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Sparrow or Gockel?
I found her in a small café. Actually, it was more like a bakery with a few tables and chairs inside. She had already finished her cappucino, but made no move to leave. There was an Ipad in front of her, on which she was scribbling away with a white plastic pen. Her hair hung loosely braided by her shoulder and each fingernail was painted in a different color. But what finally put me under her spell was a little sparrow that had fluttered in through the open door, searching for crumbs on the floor. The way she smiled at him.... suddenly I wished for nothing more than to be such a sparrow myself.
We still probably never would have met if she hadn't come over to my table a little later. I showed her what I had written and she showed me what she had drawn. I guess she could hear my heart pounding, but she didn't show it. I came back to the bakery the next day, and the day after that again. And one day she was there again. I could hardly believe my luck. We exchanged many words - about trifles, wild secrets and the rattling wheels of the world.
But one day she said this one sentence. 'You know what,' she said. 'One could really fall in love with you if you weren't so terribly nice.' Probably it was meant as a compliment. But I felt something burst inside me at that moment. I didn't say anything about it. But the next day I didn't come to the bakery. And not the day after that as well.
Too nice? Honestly, what is that even supposed to mean? I've heard it many times, but never understood it. Why would you want someone to be less nice? It doesn't make any sense.
But there's something else that bothers me about this sentence. It is a symptom of a deeper problem. We all (well, most of us) agree that we don't want the old toxic masculinity anymore. But then we also have to allow for another, new form of masculinity to take its place. Yet if as a man you try to get along without all the cockiness and dominance posturing, if you understand strength not as aggressiveness but as sincerity and inner stability, and if you simply try not to be an asshole in general, then you get to hear that you're too nice. It's not only frustrating, but also fatal for our society as a whole. If all the 'gockels' are rewarded for their behavior, they'll be around forever...
Have you heard our song on this issue? t͡suː nɛt is everywhere there is music since Friday. Listen to it up and down, put it in your playlists, show it to your friends and your enemies too.