a man’s thoughts on feminism

Below is a post I read off Tumblr and I thought I should share it as much as I could considering I, like most women, have experienced some form of discrimination. Whether it was intentional or not, it shouldn’t happen. Neither should little boys feel emasculated because they wanna play with dolls or be more creative. It’s unfair to expect men to hold back tears and women to get paid less just because they were born with a different set of organs. Your gender shouldn’t dictate your entire life because it’s such a minute part of who you are.

I hope you’ll find it in your heart to share this too because I’m sure at one point in your life there was woman who mattered to you but even if there wasn’t, you deserve to live in society where we’re more than just our gender. 

“I’m a man.

When I was born my grandfather congratulated my dad for having a son, and thanked my mother for giving my father a son. I got my grandfather’s name.

When I was a child, I could play with LEGO, because “Lego is a boy thing” and that helped my creativity. My ability to solve problems was stimulated.

I got HotWheels car-washes and gas stations. I also got a box of plastic tools, to assemble and disassemble toy cars and trucks. That also stimulated my creativity and developed my logic capability, which is good for every child.

In my school day, the girls wore skirts and my friends lifted their skirts. It was a mess, So they were forbidden to wear skirts. I never saw a boy actually get punished for it though, after all “Boys are just like that. Took after his father this menace” – is what I usually heard

At home, with my family, I liked to play house with a younger cousin. We were around eight. I was the dad, she was the mom and the dolls were our children. While playing, when i carried the dolls in my arms my mother would get mad: “Let go of that doll boy, that’s a girl thing”. And my little cousin’s father, when he saw us playing, wouldn’t let her do it either. He said boys play with boys and girls play with girls because “boys are very stupid, and worse, very forward”. I did not consider myself stupid, and did not understand what he meant by “forward”, but I still did as I was told

At Christmas, my sister got a Barbie and I got a beyblade. She cried a bit because my toy was much cooler than hers, but every year my mother made the same mistake, and got her a doll, a toy stove, a toy fridge, a blender, everything pink, once mom got her an iron

When I turned 15 and started dating, my father bought me some condoms
During my teenage years, no one criticized me for kissing lots of girls. Nowadays, that still stands.

My father does not get mad at me when I don’t come home for the night, He does not say I need to be a “family boy”. He never slapped me in the face for thinking I’d spent the night at a motel.

No one lectures me saying I need to be reserved and play hard to get.
No one judges me when I want to be with a girl and take initiative

No one cares about my clothes; no one says I have to preserve myself.
No one says I have to preserve myself because “women only think about sex”

No one think my girlfriends were only with me for sex.
No one thinks that, when I have sex, that I’m submitting to the wishes of my partner
No one demonizes my orgasms.

I was never judged for carrying condoms in my backpack or in my wallet
I never had to hide my condoms from my parents.

I was never told to marry a virgin because I was a man
I was never told that “men have to value themselves” or that I had to “give myself the respect”. Apparently, my gender already makes me worthy of respect.

When I go out into the streets no one tells me I’m “delicious”
No unknown woman shouts “smoking hot” my way
I can walk down the streets having an ice cream cone at ease, because I know I won’t hear things like “drop that and come suck me”. I can even walk down the streets eating a banana

I never had to cross a street, even though it was out of my way, to avoid a group of women in a bar, who will probably catcall me when I pass, embarrassing me

I never had to walk in sweatpants, because my shorts leave my legs exposed, and that could be dangerous
I never heard someone say I was “shameless” because I went out without a shirt
No one regulates my work out clothes
No one cares about my clothes period.

I was never followed by a woman in a car when I was walking back home

I can catch a crowded subway everyday and surely no woman will rub against me, to record it and throw it on some porn website

No one ever had to create a subway wagon that was “just for men”

I never heard of someone of my gender being raped by a crowd

I can get on a bus by myself in the middle of the night
When I’m not carrying anything valuable, I no longer feel threatened, because I don’t fear getting raped at any moment, at every corner. That risk does not exist in the minds of the people of my gender.

When I go out at night I can wear whatever clothes I want.
If I suffer any kind of violence, no one blames me for being drunk, or for wearing certain clothes
If, one day, I was raped, no one would say it was my fault; that I was somewhere inadequate, that I had on a revealing outfit
No one would try to justify the rape based on my behavior
I would be treated as a VICTIM and that would be it.

No one thinks I’m vulgar because when it’s cold, my nipples show through my shirt

When I have sex with a woman on the first date I practically get a standing ovation. No one calls me a “tramp”, or “easy” or a “whore” because I have casual sex sometimes

99% of porn websites are made to please me and men in general
No one is shocked when I say I watch porn
No one judges me if I say I love sex
No one cares if I read erotic literature
No one is surprised to hear I masturbate

No mother-in-law will tell her daughter not to marry me because I’m not a virgin

No one criticizes me for investing in my career
When I have the same job position as a woman, my salary is never inferior to hers
If I am promoted, no one says it’s because I slept with my boss. People believe in my merit
If I have to travel for work and leave my kids with their mother for a few days no one calls me irresponsible

No one finds it strange that, at thirty years old, I still don’t have kids

No one guesses my sexual orientation based on the length of my hair
When my hair starts to grey, people will find it sexy, not think I’m letting go of myself

Society does not see my virginity as a prize

90% of military services are destined to people of my gender, even the higher jobs, in which the official only deals with paperwork and management

If I go out with a certain outfit no one says I’m “asking for it”

If I’m at a club and a woman performs oral sex on me, I’m not the “whore” or the “tramp”, she is.
If a video of me having sex with a woman gets leaked, no one will call me names, criticize me, stone me. I won’t be the “disgusting little bitch” I won’t be “trash” or “used” or “cheap”. I’d just be the man, fulfilling my alpha guy position in society.
If I lead a promiscuous lifestyle and then fall in love with just one woman, people think its beautiful. No one judges me based on my past.

No one says it’s disgusting if I don’t shave myself

No one would judge me for being a single dad. On the contrary, I’d be seen as a hero.

I’ll never be stopped from occupying a higher position in the Catholic Church for being a man

I was never beaten up for being a man
I was never obligated to do housework for being a man
I never had the obligation to learn how to cook for being a man
No one tells me my place is in the kitchen for being a man

No one says I can’t curse for being a man
No one says I can’t drink for being a man

No one stares at my plate if I put a lot of food in it

No one justifies my foul mood by blaming it on hormones

No one has ever made jokes that undermined my intelligence for being a man

When I sometimes mess up in traffic no one says “It had to be a man”

When I’m polite to a woman she doesn’t automatically assume I’m hitting on her

The term “tramp stamp” did not come into existence because men were seen as cheap

No one treats my body as just a tool for giving pleasure to the opposite sex
No one thinks I’ll have to be submissive to a future wife

I was never judged for drinking beer at table in which I was the only man

I’m never the target audience for house cleaning products ads
I’m the target audience for beer ads

No one’s ever asked me if my girlfriend lets me cut my hair. I cut it when I want to and people understand that.

There isn’t haze at USP (a university) that promotes my humiliation and objectification

Society doesn’t split my gender in “to marry” and “to whore”

When I say “no” no one thinks I’m just playing hard to get. No is no.

I don’t have to dress a certain way to avoid having women falling into temptation

People of my gender were not raped each 40 minutes in São Paulo last year
People of my gender don’t get raped every 12 seconds in Brazil
People of my gender didn’t get raped by a crowd during protests in Egypt

I’m not a man. But if you are, it’s fundamental to admit that society AS A WHOLE needs feminism
Don’t underestimate suffering that you don’t understand.”

Camila Oliveira Dias

Mr. Chivalry and Ms. Gender Equality

How many of us women expect a guy to open the door for us, pay for dinner, offer to carry the bags or take our puppies for walks? And yet, we also expect to be treated equally and with as much independence as anyone is allowed.

I know, I know guys. It sounds ultra confusing and it just underlines the prehistoric argument that women are fickle and are from a different planet. Bear with me as I give a you peek into our allegedly differently wired brains.

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Patriarchal paradigms took decades to destroy and to this day there are still semblances of that kind of discrimination so forgive us, male species, if we feel apprehensive whenever you selflessly offer us a hand. Like most people, there are days when we feel we have to stand up for ourselves even in the smallest of threatening circumstances- carrying our luggage, opening the door or calling a cab home. I’m sure this also happens when we take care of you too much like bringing you cookies during boys night out or making you wear knitted pink cardigans. Emasculating right? Well, deviating from the take-care-of-us habit makes us feel we can take care of ourselves, we’re our own people- which is true of course. It doesn’t mean we do not appreciate your instinct to help out when you see fit. Accept that there times when we don’t want to be helped.

Then there’s also the argument that different women have different tolerances to chivalry. I, for instance, thank men who offer me a seat during the long commute because I’m usually wearing 5 inch pumps but I don’t believe men should always pay when going on dates. You’re not a credit card. I can’t just charge all of our outings on your wad because I ate and had fun too. Don’t blame the entire female population for your thinning wallet because not every one is after free dinners and your shiny card. And yes, there will be women who will not tolerate any man doing anything for them period. There are also those who are traditional and would demand that you do everything for them.  Those extremes exist and if you land one of those girls, it’s up to you to figure out her individual tolerance. Most of us on the other hand want a perfect balance of independence and gentlemanly encounters. It’s not the confusing, right?

Intent is also an important ingredient when performing acts of chivalry. A gentlemen opens a door for a girl not because he thinks she’s a lesser being, weaker and easily manipulated by men, but because he respects her enough and wishes to show simple acts of admiration by making her life a little easier. You see, intent may not be said but it is felt. Woman or not, a person knows when someone is doing an act good out of good or out of sheer arrogance.

The goal of feminism or gender quality is not to destroy moments of interaction between men and women.

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Empowering ourselves, knowing that we are treated as equals in all media does not reduce our clamor for romance and simple, random acts of admiration. Feminism means listen to us. Understand our needs and make us a part of your decisions. Often the best forms of chivalry respond to that need when used at the right time with the right women.

On Beauty Pageants

To say I cringed every time the contestants try to muster up a response is an understatement. At first, it was funny because the crowd cheering and people throwing questions at you can be rattling and the best you can do is calm yourself down and laugh at your own mistakes but as it progressed the answers just got worse. Bb. Plipinas and any pageant for that matter is a platform to elevate not only ones self but what you represent. With those answers, it’s like saying that the country represents beauty but not wit. It’s a 2 hour marquee saying we support what’s superficial, what’s physical and ignore what’s intellectual.

The questions were current and personal. They do not require a masters degree from the fanciest universities to at least solicit a decent response. I felt obligated to rant because for as long as I remember I have been defending pageants as a legitimate avenue to embody empowerment, bearing and class. This is where we portray role models who are yes, beautiful but are intelligent and opinionated as well, to the rest the Philippine populace and later on to the world. How could we do that when my twelve year old sister tweeted about having the applicants play “Who’s Smarter Than a 5th Grader?” before they qualify for the pageant. The pageant shouldn’t be the center of mockery because it’s degrading not only to the contestants, who obviously also did their best, but also the audience who make fun of other slip-ups. It shouldn’t be that way but it is because it really was a disappointing sight.

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Nevertheless, all the criticism should encourage the winners and all the other contestants to work on what they know they lack.

here’s to GAY RIGHTS

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Ad by Stonewall, a gay rights campaign group

I am not shy nor reluctant about my stand on gay rights. I believe that respect is due to this sector as they pursue and demand for the rights they so rightfully deserve.

Most critics would say that destruction of traditional morals start when we accept changes that do not agree with the norm. I do think, however, that we, as rational human beings, should be capable of assessing which of these beliefs are worth keeping and which are fossilized errors worth reviewing. Once, women were accorded with much lesser rights than men. This fosters the then accepted patriarchal idealism. Men are better. Men rule. Men are important therefore we women have no say in matters that are as important as men. We can’t vote, have political inclinations, be sexually satisfied or be powerful in the workplace as these offend the rights and in my opinion the ego  of pre-gender equality men.

Gay rights are human rights.

Today, we support feminism and its consequences like affirmative action in the workplace and shared responsibilities at home. Society accepts that although men and women have different niches and functions in the society, they are to be considered equal and therefore, awarded the same rights and ability to pursue them. The errors of the past were corrected by a more progressive and open-minded community of individuals who are not afraid of deviating from a set of accepted norms to find better ways of looking at things, ones which are fairer and more respectful of our shared humanity.

The same principle applies to offering the same level of respect for the orientation of our brothers and sisters in the LGBT community. Beliefs and traditions are time-bound and should continue to progress as the humanity that abides by it also progresses. Although I do not wish to offend the traditional moral institutions and lobbyist groups which believe in eternal damnation for this sector, I hope that you recognize that the respect you require of us in terms of honoring tradition is the same respect required of you for the change in society that supports gay rights.

We have seen the effects of bullying gays into becoming something else, not respecting them and stripping them of their rights to be with their partners. It’s never going to get better. The mudslinging and hate will continue unless the we decide that it ends now, unless we promise to foster respect despite our opposing beliefs. We can agree to disagree, refuse each others belief without the hate and obvious disregard for the other’s dignity.

Some people are gay.Get over it. 

As for the population of this world who are gay, lesbian, bisexual, transsexual and everything in between, hang in there. Change comes with opposing views, thesis and anti thesis. Sooner than later, more people will realize that you guys, like women, also deserve to be treated respectfully, equally and humanely. Until that time, know that you have at least one supporter right here who promises to press on and support you.