The Immeasurable Power of a Word Slip

It’s been years since I graced this blog, so forgive me if I sound a little off. Like the first time I wrote an entry, though, there are thoughts in my mind that just won’t shut up. They have taken over my supposed good day, and are now threatening to overthrow my good sense — meaning it’s hindering me from working.

So let me vent.

Don’t worry, it will be amusing.

Have you ever been in a position where you say things about someone without really thinking why you’re saying it? Some people call it word vomit, others a slip. Whatever you call it, it imprints an effect on people.

Resulta ng larawan para sa saying rude things tumblr

The effects vary in degrees, depending on what you let slip and just how important you are to the person you’re addressing with these words. Regardless, it’s an effect.

In the most basic of interactions, like a restaurant server and a customer, it could be fleeting. A comment like “move faster” is easily shrugged off, unless, of course, that person has his own deep-rooted hatred towards being asked to move faster than the sloth it was compared to.

There are thoughtless comments though that unintentionally change people. You may want the adverse effect or you may just want to make the person feel bad, but really, you have no control over the results you create.

I have seen this happen so many times, and I’ve been on both ends. Never to the extent that those I’m trying to call out here have gone, I hope. I’ve witnessed this in real life, and alarmingly, on most social media platforms. People resort to thoughtless ad hominem because of a political squabble. Good if it was at least based on facts, but most are ill-conceived. It’s unfortunate that people find the time to put these comments up, but not enough time to Google their validity. Guess it’s easier to say things you never took the time to think through, than it is to challenge your current bias or improve your instinctive responses.

Ever thought to stop and ask what random, negative comments say about you?

 

Because these are spur of the moment comments, it reveals more of you than it does about the person you’re addressing. You call them an idiot, and it shows how easy it is for you to reduce people to their ability to think, rather than their other contributions. You compare them to another person you deem as incompetent when they’re actually helping just because they’re not doing it at your pace shows your lack of grace and gratitude. Resorting to thoughtless rhetoric to make yourself feel better and the other worse shows how self-centered you are. It also reveals that, instinctively, the only way you can motivate people is through negativity.

dr__jekyll_and_mr__hyde___dark_mirror_by_neral85-d8m9raj

What do you think you’ve accomplished by doing that?

If you’re thinking you’ve gotten people to work harder for you, you’re wrong. You’ve convinced them to stay as far away from you as they can when they work. Do you comfort yourself with the thought that you’re only inspiring them to move faster and be better? No, you’re telling them that they’re not worth respect.

Although we are all human and will inevitably make mistakes like this, try… try not to. It’s one thing to do it, apologize and aspire not to do it again. It’s another to resort to it each time you want to gain the upper hand.

Be better, you owe the world and yourself that.

 

 

 

 

 

#PrideMonth entry 1: my best friend

Five years ago (in uni), I was blessed with the most amazing debate partner anyone could ask for, and he’s still one of my best friends. Everyday, I’m grateful that he is who he is and that I got to meet him. If there was anyone to discriminate against him – call him names, deprive him of rights, belittle him, I will not sit idly, and watch. I’ll make sure they (whoever they are) understand that no one deserves to be treated that way. As much as I can logically argue for rights, I would admit that LGBT, in particular, is a personal cause for me. When I hear people say that gays shouldn’t be allowed to marry or adopt kids, they’re saying that my best friend who, for the past tumultuous six years of my life, has been a rock and a supporter, is not good enough to reaffirm his love for another or build a family just because of his sexual preference. That, I cannot stand. Who you are and who you choose to love is not reason to be treated with any less dignity than any other person. You deserve to be seen as an equal because you are. 

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

#unpopularopinion GAY RIGHTS

I haven’t posted in awhile for reasons I promise to reveal in future blogs but for now I’m back here with a new website name. I’ll be making some changes and you’ll see that in the course of the coming months. Exciting things, I promise. For now, allow me to talk about something that has been bugging since I saw this video:

The gist of it is Austin, an openly gay teenager from a private school, was called on by his principal to ask him to ‘go back in the closet’ from whence he came. It was an all out inquisition if you ask me, calling his parents as if he cheated on a test or something worse and told them that he had to delete all his posts on social media regarding his sexual orientation and basically act like a ‘normal’ dude, whatever that is.

We all already know how I feel about gay rights. Granted I was vague about why I became such a strong advocate in the first place but I never faltered about my stance on it. I would be lying if I said wasn’t seething when I first saw this video but the logical side of me calmed me down enough to write this entry.

There are merits to the principal’s decision, much as I hate to admit it. Writing that feels like swallowing salty water when you know you’re about to drown. It’s a private institution, with its own moral code or whatever bullcrap the admin or  board of trustees feed the students to blindly follow. The principal may have A. had his hands tied himself or B. he’s just as homophobic as the rest of his academic peers. For his sake, I hope it’s A. because all he’ll need to get over his lack of spine is a bit push in the right direction which I hope this entry does for him. If it’s the latter, then he has some serious learning to do because regardless of what he believes there was a better way of delivering this to a teenager already having a hard time. If this is how you let every person whose going through the same thing feel then you shouldn’t be dealing with coming-of-age teenagers who might already be picked on every day for who they are.

There are enough bigots in the world. Trust me, these kids don’t need reminding.

I was 16 when my best friend of 4 years came out to me. He came out to a whole group of people he just met at uni before he told me and to be honest with you it broke my heart. Much as I tried, I couldn’t talk to him for days the way I used to even if he was going back to school in a week. If you’re wagging your finger thinking I’m no different from that principal, you’re wrong. That’s not it at all although someone who knew me less would have taken it that way.

I’ve been replaying in my head over and over again what I did to make him feel like he couldn’t tell me. He said it wasn’t a big deal, that he would have told me anyway but he didn’t and I couldn’t help but feel that there was something I did that convinced him I won’t love him anyway or more because he was honest with me. Was it because I come from a pious Christian family? Is it because I was in an all girl religious group in high school? I couldn’t bring myself to talk to him because so much guilt was eating me up like some terminal disease and it made me feel so sick.

I never talked about this because since then I’ve had some traumatic experiences concerning other gay friends and how they’re treated. I’m not always proud of how I defended them so I  usually just avoided the topic altogether. I’m not much for emotions as most of you already know but I thought it was important to share what I realized after that.

I DIDN’T DO ANYTHING.

I’ve always felt strongly about gay rights, always defended them in my head, wrote stories I never published supporting them but that was it. I never did anything openly to reassure anyone in my life that I’ll be there for them, love them and support them regardless of what their sexual orientation is. Not since recently at least. It doesn’t mean shit if you fight for them in your head. They don’t know that because often those who criticize them are louder than those who rally behind them. It’s unfortunate but it’s a fact, one which I hope this small blog from some unknown corner of world changes in some little way.

So Austin I may not be able to convince the world to be kinder and more accepting of you and those just like you, much as I want to, but I hope you know that there’s one girl, insignificant as she is to the statistics of 7 billion people, who celebrates you for who you are. Who you choose to love is just one part of you, albeit and important one, don’t let them box you for that. The world will get over their ignorance one day and you should know that you’re one of the reasons why they did.

Stay strong Austins of the world. We’re slowly finding our voice to fight for you.


 

As for my friend, you know who you are. I hope you’re reading this and feeling how much you are loved. If, my dear readers, you want to make someone else feel the same, share this blog and that video. Show them that we’re better than the jerks who treat them badly. #niceinternet #supportgayrights

the subtle art of listening

What does it really mean to listen? Like most of you I am guilty- guilty of not paying attention every once in awhile (maybe more, I couldn’t really say. I wasn’t exactly paying attention remember?).

If on that day I have much on my mind then it most likely drifts aimlessly to those seemingly important things. Sometimes I have too much to say that I forget you too may need to be heard or I might think that you’ve said your piece just so many damn times, I’d rather not be reminded of it for the nth time. It’s selfish, I know. In all those instances ‘I’ is probably the most overused pronoun.

photo from didiondoll.tumblr.com

You’re not the only person in the conversation and if what you wanna say is interesting or if you believe your opinion to be important then you should give the other person the benefit of being heard and actually considered. He too might say something as interesting if not more. Yapping on and on about your worries, thoughts or achievements without giving so much as a thought or acknowledgement that the other exists is not just rude, it’s actually pretty offensive.

If you’re Ms. Busy and have too much on your plate to be in a conversation then politely tell  whoever is talking to you exactly that. They deserve to know that you’re not in the mood to listen before they start pouring their heart out to you. However if the problem is that you too have something bothering you or are just really excited to relay something that means a lot to you then have the decency to let the other finish. Don’t brush off whatever he just said because you’re in a hurry to get to your topic next. That kind of attitude will guarantee you resentment. If you’re too damn mighty and shucking insensitive then why should anybody listen to what you have to say in the first place. KARMA’S A BITCH and it will not discriminate. Sooner or later, whoever you are, the disrespect (or in some cases, the disregard) for other’s feelings will garner you the same treatment and to be quite honest, you absolutely deserve it.

The last possible reason for brushing someone off and not listening to things they’re saying is that they’ve said it too many times before, you can basically say it back to them. Trust me when I say, I know how that feels. My mind starts drifting the moment that happens and I have to consciously pull myself back to reality and remind myself to pay the least bit attention. If that happens, you have to ask yourself why these words are repated to you ever so often. Do you ever take them seriously? Because the repeatition might be due to your inability to heed them. If on the ther hand, that’s not the case or you don’t agree with that advice then say something because chances are, if you’re tired hearing it, they are also exhausted saying it. No one wants to sound like a broken record- at least, no NORMAL PERSON I know.

Of all my peeves, having someone not pay attention or talk over you is probably one of the worse. TO me it’s not just plain insensitivity, it says a lot about what I mean to you and how our relationship is- what it’s founded on. If you have the audacity to do that and not even flinch then that means I may not matter to you as much as I hoped and our relationship, whatever it is, is as unimportant to you as what I have to say.

I know I might not be the best person to be blogging about this since there are times when I violate the same advices I gave but trust me, on the occasions that I stick to them, everything works out fine. For the other times that I don’t, I’m so sorry- temporary lapse in character. I’m working hard to rid myself of that nasty habit. I hope you will too. 🙂

 

***

And I really just need to add this. If you are with someone, especially if you’re in the middle of a conversation, KEEP YOUR BLOODY PHONE IN YOUR POCKET AND STOP STARING AT IT EVERY 5 SECONDS. You’re busy I get it but it does make me feel like you’d rather not be here. If that’s the case though, then tell me. I at the very least deserve to know that right?

commas and periods (a tribute to the How I Met Your Mother Finale)

Spoiler alert: If you haven’t watched the final episode of How I Met Your Mother Season 9 yet then reading this entry is probably not the best idea but if you don’t mind spoilers at all or have fallen victim to other spoilers  (like what my twitter followers did to me) then go right ahead. 

First things first.

WE DO KNOW WHO THE MOTHER IS and yes, Ted married the mother after some years and 2 kids. Barney and Robin got divorced, tried to stay friends but ended up following their own pre-wedding patterns. Barney wrote his second Playbook and Robin became an international news anchor. Although Lily tried to keep the gang together, their meet- ups got rarer and rarer which was expected for most friends with families, careers and responsibilities. Barney’s old ways finally caught up with him when he got someone pregnant. He was quite apprehensive at first but then we saw the Barney that Robin fell inlove with when he finally saw his daughter for the first time.  

And then after some blissful time together, Tracy got sick and passed away. In the end, Ted is shown finally concluding his 9 season long story about how he met the mother to his 2 kids. His kids point out that although he labeled the story to be about the mother, it was really about how he has kept his feelings for Robin all these years. They’ve always had some sort of a spark and the kids, well now teens, are okay with that and they give him their blessing to go after Robin finally.

Now what does that story have to do with commas and periods? Don’t worry this entry isn’t just an excuse to vent out my frustration about match airing fails and spoilers. I know there are some readers here who aren’t fans of the show but I’ve been following that HIMYM since I was a freshman in high school. It was always funny but more than that it has a way of introducing life lessons that’s subtle but isn’t lost in translation. 

So here’s my take on it.

You know how period is always the goal of the sentence and commas, although they’re important, they’re just marks that come before it all ultimately ends with a period. I always thought that the mother, when she was introduced would be Ted’s period. She will be the answer to his 9 seasons-worth of mishaps, insane women and thank-goodness-it’s-over experiences. For awhile it seemed like she was. All the mysteries in all the 10 years it has aired led to their meeting  by the train stop. It makes sense because the way they built her character, she was really what he thought he’d end up with but never met. They were happy and it seemed like she was the period to his messy but definitely interesting sentence.

Then…

Tracy died and Ted finds his way back to Robin. The mother, the character to which his entire story was leading towards, isn’t the period after all. She was just one of the commas along the way, granted maybe a more important and a more strategically placed comma but a comma nevertheless. It seems that Robin was ALWAYS the love of Ted’s life and although I have been a supporter of their relationship from the start, it got me to thinking.

Is the comma okay with being just another step towards the period?

Because to be quite honest, even if I’m not sure I even have a romantic bone in my body, I’d like to believe that I deserve to be a period in someone’s life too. I deserve to be a Robin to a lucky Ted. 

 

fu**ing filter

F*ck!

F*ck!

F*ck this!

F*ck that!

F*ck everything!

and NO I don’t mean that literally

photo from christiancastroart.blogspot.com

Sometimes I just wanna rid myself of all the filter and just CURSE TO MY HEART’S CONTENT. It’s not so much the cursing but what the cursing implies. To most people cursing is a taboo especially if you come from a conservative Christian family like mine. Every word means more that it does and social standards (in other words popular opinion) govern your every thought, word and action.

Cursing, to me at least, means having the right to be improper and different and out of control every once in awhile. It’s not ideal but for someone who has relied on structure a lot (like me), it’s very enticing. Have you ever felt that way too?

It’s the simplest and easiest way of rebellion. You get to say ‘Suck it social standards’ or ‘In your face Mr. Perfect’. I can say whatever the hell I feel like just because I can. Somehow, even if it doesn’t really solve what you’re so pissed about, you feel a little bit better and you can go about your day conforming to rules again. Much like an outlet, losing your filter allows you to express yourself completely even if or sometimes because it’s not acceptable to most people.

Word of warning though, cursing as a force of habit isn’t exactly the best thing either. Using it so often and in almost all conversations neutralizes it’s effect on you but not necessarily on the people you’re talking to.