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

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#LouisvillePurge

I just wrote a thousand word entry about this 5 minutes ago but for some reason it got deleted so I had to redo the whole thing. I don’t remember much of it since most of you already know, I’m an emotional writer and I put everything I’m thinking to an entry.

Here goes.

About a week ago I got engaged in a conversation with a few of my online friends regarding this threat about a ‘Purge’. For those of you who are yet to see this dystopian thriller. It chronicles a 12 hour per year tradition of no laws, authorities and my opinion, morals where you’re allowed to do whatever the hell you want with no fear of prosecution or punishment. This goes to say that no one is safe.

The Louisville frenzy starts with a flyer.

This flyer got games cancelled, forced people to stay inside and encouraged the height of police vigilance.

When I woke up this morning, my twitter feeds were fire with the #LouisvillePurge trend. Basically there were two factions, one freaking out for their lives and those they care about while the other half condemn the hoax that is this issue. My first instinct is to gag at the stupidity of it. Who in the sane mind would want to reenact such a violent, pointless and avoidable act? I’m almost convinced that insanity is contagious and we’re contracting it. To be honest, I have no idea what to think.

On the hoax side

Well the pictures people tweet are from the movie and anyone who’s seen it can attest to that. Makes you wonder where the real pictures are if there’s any. They also question the validity of the police scanner everyone’s been tuning on to since the beginning of the ‘purge’. They say it’s pre recorded or it’s sketchy that there even is one.

At one point I even told my sister this might be some marketing campaign to promote the Purge movie franchise like Carrie. If I’m right, they’re sick and you should all just boycott the movie because that’s not a reasonable stretch of marketing tools use. If I’m not, we should be more discerning of how we interpret movies because reality imitating art doesn’t go for everything we get to watch. 

People also pointed out that the city should be on proper lockdown or else it would have spread to surrounding cities. The fact that it hasn’t is odd. Well honestly how do we know that it has or hasn’t? No major news center like CNN or BBC or Fox News has reported ANYTHING on the matter- which leads me to last reason why people think this is nothing a but a sick joke some guy behind the screen started. Where is the coverage on this really?

On the’IT’S ACTUALLY HAPPENING’ side

Mind you the Louisville Police Department does link a police scanner on their site and half the people I talked to online confirmed it’s credibility.

http://www.broadcastify.com/listen/feed/13853/web

There’s also a few local radio broadcasts discussed by people living in the surrounding areas. Then there’s people living in the area talking about staying indoors and being really terrified. It’s on twitter under this trend. You can go check it out for yourselves.

And frankly, the fact that major news facets have not said anything about this is a double edge sword. The topic has plagued half the netizen world for hours and you don’t see them shutting this down while they blow up stories about celebrities getting back together. It leads me to infer this might be similar to the Guatanamo, Wikileaks cover story where everything is up in the air until they can come up with the perfect media diversion- but that may just be my conspiratorial, non trusting brain working.

Whatever it is, I’ll leave you to make conclusions on your own. I will however link sites to help you out.

tweet

Let me just end with this. Hoax or not, we should not make jokes about this. There are people who actually suffer from purge-like scenarios. Stop insulting them with humor and your attempts at a pun. IT’S NOT FUNNY.

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what my sister asked me

I have the sweetest little sister anyone could ever ask for. She’s a diligent straight A student who hates confrontations and shies away from compliments so imagine my surprise when we had this conversation last night.

HER: Maybe I should be tougher, meaner.

ME: Why? What’s up with you?

HER: I just think that people always expect me to do everything because I’m too nice. I don’t scream when I ask them and don’t make scene when they don’t do anything.

ME: Never stop being nice to accommodate people being rude. People will always try to corrupt the good that you have; don’t ever give in to that.

worthit

Being tough and strong is different from being mean and rude. You don’t measure strength by the decibels of her yelling in an argument nor do you see it when he seemingly doesn’t care about anyone else. In fact, I think you’re stronger when you have enough courage to retain a good attitude and continue to care even in the worst possible circumstances, even when people take advantage of it.

Anger every once in while is not a bad thing but allowing it to take over you so people would listen or do what you ask of them isn’t healthy. If you allow people to bully you into changing, even if that’s to becoming a bigger bully than the other person is, that becomes your default. Your go-to is giving in and being mean to people when you’re stressed.

You thought you solved the problem by elbowing someone into submission, what you don’t realize is there are bigger bullies out there just waiting for the their next target. If you grow into a louder, angrier, meaner person every time you encounter someone abrasive or uncaring, you’ll grow callous and probably so much worse than every bully you’ve ever encountered.

Frankly I just don’t think it’s worth it.

In the short run, you may have gotten what you want but in the long run, you will have lost an amazing outlook in life and attitude towards people. You lost out because you changed the good in you to respond to the bad others show you.

 

 

***

My  little sister and I love taking pictures especially when we’re together. These are some of the photos we took while having this conversation.

with Kayle

 

an act of random kindness

https://www.facebook.com/video/embed?video_id=1392936030935563

This made me feel uncomfortable in the best possible way. I’m not sure if I can ever make that big of an impact on anyone but I sure could try. You can never really tell whose life you can change by one random act of kindness so make a habit of it.

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deleting comments

Posting online takes a lot of bravery.

Granted we are protected by a veil of anonymity and very few if not none will be able to tell who we really are when we decide to hide behind the masks of our online names but it doesn’t make us any less vulnerable to judgements  made by our fellow netizens. The pang of anger and hurt we feel when we read derogatory comments about our posts, what we stand for or, much worse, who we are as people is not diminished by the fact that they don’t personally know who we are and that they’re not saying it to our face. It’s equally painful.

Yesterday I was posing a question towards a stance a blogger had on gun control. It wasn’t anything personal nor argumentative. It was a simple query regarding the logic of his parallelism. He then responded with a full on tirade about how I must be black or an immigrant of some sort who wishes to reek hell on US. At first I thought he was joking. It really did not make much sense how he attacked my character and how he stereotyped non-white races as pro destruction or violence. Although I found it extremely offensive, I wasn’t going to let him turn me into some conflict crazy monster who argues with everyone who has a different view so I simply told him that there was no need to feel attacked but he just wouldn’t stop. He then deleted all my comments and the comments of those who also had a different view.

It’s a blogger’s right to moderate the comments on his page especially if it hampers the image or the goal of his site. However, I hope that we’re all responsible enough to understand that presenting our readers with a skewed version of the truth lessens our credibility as bloggers. Just because you quoted a Harvard Study out of context, it doesn’t mean you’re handed the authority bastardize the dignity of discourse. Disrespecting those who have different views or are of a different race or culture under the guise of a pen name or an online profile is barbaric. Let’s not make the web an avenue for bullying, promoting irrationality and creating racial divide.

And by the way dear Sir, erasing my comments and the comments of all those other people on your page only proves that you think they have merit and you’re a little scared your readers will think the same. Let’s be dignified netizens and respect the influence we’ve been awarded.

the jeepney allegory: TRUST

For those who are not Filipinos, never been to the Philippines or have never seen travel shows featuring this living art of a country, a jeepney is our version of the famous, roughneck American Jeep. It can traverse any terrain and is durable. In contrast to the jeep that most are familiar with jeepneys are public utility vehicles meaning they function like buses or subways or toktoks in other countries. They’re one of the most popular means of public transportation and also one of the cheapest.

Pinoy Jeepney

Photo from a blogger friend, photosfromajuanderer.wordpress.com

There’s a lot to learn from a jeepney ride. I decided to devote a few entries every now and then to tell you about them.

This first entry is on trust.

Like most developing states, blue collar workers- jeepney drivers included- have to work extra hard to make ends meet. Most of them spend over 12 hours laboring intensively to earn minimum wage salaries often devoured by inflated prices of food and other staple commodities. It’s no sob story, just the truth. 

You would think that a jeepney driver would guard his earnings closely and ferociously considering his and his family’s sustenance for another day depended on it but he still exhibits an admirable degree of trust. Seldom will you see him accompanied by a conductor to collect fare from passengers. It will rest upon your conscience whether you pay or not. It’s fairly easy to get away with not paying but I’ve heard of very few successful attempts. It’s just the culture we grew up in. We pay whether the driver is aware that we did or not.

The driver allows us to make a decision for ourselves and trusts enough to make the right one.

We, in turn, are raised to prove him right.

I’ve heard many stories of honest drivers returning bags full of cash and valuables to their owners, even making the effort of visiting radio stations to find who lost them. I’d like to think the trust they have for people, those who would pay their fare even when no one’s checking, strengthened their moral high ground to remain honest even in the face of material temptation.

My moral for this one: trust is a value worth keeping even in the face testing circumstances like collecting money or people doing what’s expected of them.

You have to see the best in people, just like what a jeepney driver sees in his passengers.

depressing, or not

It’s mildly depressing to think that everything that is has to fall apart. What takes a lifetime for us to build, years from now there may not even be a single trace of .

Civilizations- Persian, Babylonian, Greek, Roman and Egyptian- were all great, built from the ground up. They were powerful and controlled the world in their days but they crumbled and yielded to other more advanced societies. My adorable pillow, my comfort and imaginary shoulder to cry on, now tattered and old. Friendships I put all my heart, time and effort into, they’ve come and gone. Granted some things still remain, but they too will fall apart, vanish into nothingness. Even I, when I pass, I am no more.

That’s discouraging right? Not most people’s cup of tea.

But knowing me, I see an up side. If things will pass, they’ll be gone in the morning, won’t you have more reasons to look at now? You see the problem with our generation is that we’re too busy looking forward, what we build, what we’ll own, how our lives will be like in the future. We, more often than we’re willing to admit, are never truly present. We always think we’ll have tomorrow to enjoy everything. But what if tomorrow everything fell apart? There’s nothing more to look forward to. Wouldn’t you wish you lived more?

You have the rest of your life to live in the future, better live in the now. If tomorrow doesn’t come, you’ll have today to be happy about.