That philosophy always troubled me.
I think that the phrase emanates from the mixed up minds of people who are compelled to be instant best friends with everyone who they encounter. The problem is that I do not want to catch flies and I do not want to be around people who catch flies.
It is mostly women who tell other women to use their honey and to catch those flies. But any gender is capable of such nonsense.
Think of the art and responsibility of the introduction. People who carry out an introduction are putting their reputation and lives on the line by vouching for a stranger. That stranger is given access to the family, the home, the tribe, the community or the nation. The introduction might bring in a spy, a monster, a thief, or a murderer, exposing everyone to the worst of dangers and harms.
You catch more flies with honey than with vinegar.
In the past, making the wrong introduction could result in a horrible death for the introducer and for their instant best friend. The stranger could go on to defeat the tribe from within, to bring death to the community or to cause the suffering and demise of innocent people.
Women have been pressured by fly catching honey drippers into abusive relationships. Families have found themselves ruined by the crimes, murders, cons and scams of freshly caught files. Whole communities have been ruined by blind and instant sucking up to charming predators who were attracted by people who were generous with their honey.
No good salad dressing is made all of honey or all of vinegar.
The world is full of harmful people and choosing friends wisely is a fine art. So is standing up for oneself and learning to assess the character (or threat) that a stranger presents. Properly testing the boundaries by welcoming new and unknown strangers into personal life is a skill that is based on life experience. Life experience teaches us in hard ways to welcome only those who deserve to be welcomed as new friends.
Women are not served by mindlessly dousing everyone in the world with their honey. This is a collecting and controlling mechanism that calls for the females of the species to be always sweet, always giving, always weak willed, always weak minded, and helpless, deceitful, or manipulative in demeanor and conduct.
The phrase “catch more flies with honey” may hark back to the days of home correction, but there are still whole worlds of abuse and oppression that prevent women from determining their own fates or realizing their full potential. Women were and are not allowed to defend themselves or their children from the horrors of the world. Women are still not allowed to discover penicillin or to go into space.
Honey will help neither women nor men who catch or who are caught by oppressive flies.
I would be glad to see people become more discerning about the ways in which they spread their honey around, as it should be treated as a rare and precious substance. A human who conserves the honey does not have to be a constantly sour, isolated, difficult or ugly person. Sparing the honey can come from an intelligent sense of self preservation in a world of flies that are always going to be unmannered, crooked, selfish and cruel.
Women and men have used their honey to catch and to keep serial killers. Women and men have used their honey to catch and to support the worst of mobsters, pretending to be unaware of the evil that they sponsored and exposed to the world.
And some humans have used their honey to catch many flies before they slowly pulled their wings off of them.
But mostly, it is women who are told to use that honey and to catch those flies.
Flies serve an important purpose. Their larvae help to break down the flesh and meat of dying and dead things. Without them, nothing would decompose rapidly and the world would be filled with slow rot and spreading disease. But flies also carry the diseases that have been flourishing in the living creatures and they spread sickness and death to other living creatures as they travel.
I refuse to waste my honey on catching flies, preferring to dose it out to people who need or who deserve gifts and acts of bravery and kindness. I fit right in to all kinds of places and mix it up with all kinds of people, but will no longer be the kind of woman who is compelled to win approval and friendship that will never come; nor am I the kind of woman who is compelled to be burdened by crowds of evil, difficult, exhausting and terrible “best friends”.
I do not want use my honey in order to catch nasty old flies. I also do not intend to be around people who waste their honey in order to carry around a cloud of flies with them wherever they go.