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

Advertisements

this girl and her ‘boy friends’

Catchy right? *wink*

I’ve been mulling over this entry for awhile since quite frankly, I don’t know what to say. People who just met me often ask me why most my friends are either dudes- really tough, macho men or gay guys- who are fun, quirky and a little crazy. I’d always say, ‘Well, we like the same things.’ Now that I’ve been thinking about it, I actually also like girly stuff. I look forward to shopping trips, check online for trends and purchase women’s magazine when I can but I still seem to find it hard to connect to women my age.

To this day, I have no concrete answer. I have guesses, mostly psychological in nature but here’s what my guy friends think.

Maybe it’s not what I like but how I live.

photo from boyishnotions.tumblr.com

photo from boyishnotions.tumblr.com

When I like something I say it, I’m not exactly cryptic.

  1. During confrontations, I’m seldom emotional. I rely heavily on reason and don’t involve feelings in how I take in an argument.
  2. I hate crying.
  3. I’m not a big fan of romance. When we watch romcoms, I think they’re sweet but they’re never gonna happen. Real life romance is far to complicated to summarize in 2 hours. Plus I don’t think all successful relationships should end in marriage.
  4. When they ask what an ideal afternoon is, I say one spent in the projects building make shift houses or tutoring kids.
  5. When we talk about where we see each other in 10 years, I say a few steps from the peak of my career and hopefully still travelling the world. I don’t see myself settling in a white picket fence home, with a minivan and 3 kids. That’s great but it’s not for me.

They say that because I think that way, I prioritize things in my life differently. Most of them can identify with that and like that about me. I guess I can see their point. My priorities are more akin to a guy than to a girl my age. Now I don’t know if that’s good or bad but I love being myself and being with my dudes, sloppy mess and all.

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.

loveit

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.

feminist-hate-men-separate-with-comma-yes-Favim.com-224251

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.

you KNOW how YOU VOTED

While on the line earlier, waiting for my chance to vote, I overheard a conversation between two guys behind me.

Guy in a RED shirt: Pare, kuanon mo na sana tapos dai iboto. Pwede man baga. Alangan man maglaog sinda diyan tapos basahun ang balota mo.

Guy in a WHITE (almost cream) shirt: Iyo ano? Saen ngani sinda nagaabang?

Guy in a RED shirt: Diyan baga sa may luwas. Itong nagtatao ning sample ballot.

(English translation)

Guy in a RED shirt: Just get it then don’t vote for the candidate. It’s doable. They won’t go in and check who you shaded on your ballot anyway.

Guy in a WHITE (almost cream) shirt: That’s true. Where are they again?

Guy in a RED shirt: Outside, they’re   the ones giving away the sample ballots.

It’s frustrating because quite frankly this seldom happens in my city, most of the voters are learned and have high respect for the system. Compared to the rest of the country, we were as safe as a walk in the park. I was so close to coming up to them and telling them off; I was that pissed (partly due the heat too) but I decided against it. Today I’ll let them make that decision for themselves. I cannot keep coaxing people to do the right thing when they themselves are not convinced they should do it.

But just to get this off my chest, here’s what I would have said:

Yes, people will not know who you voted for. Those who paid you off will keep their fingers crossed that you stay true to your words and they get the votes they need. Those who process your vote will be oblivious to the fact that you sold out.

They won’t know but YOU WILL.

You will know at that very moment that you lied, you sold out and you gave in to a broken undignified system. While  a hard earning construction worker refuses for his vote to be bought despite his obvious need for money, here you are squandering your chances to make a difference. Granted, you may think, “What is one vote?” How is it going to affect your country? I can construe a dozen arguments why it does but that won’t matter as much as HOW YOUR VOTE CAN AFFECT YOU.

You have a chance to prove to yourself that you are worth more than a few hundred pesos. We don’t get chances like that very often.

If knowing that you just sold your vote isn’t torture enough, then you have a bigger problem. You are numb to people trampling on your dignity, callous to overglorified politicians walking all over you and treating you just like any other purchase he’s made- disposable and insignificant.

You’re better than that. WE are better than that. Once every 3 years we get to prove it. 

when cheaters cheat

I’m 21- turning 22 and people don’t expect me to flinch or react or hurt when this topic comes up but what else can I say except infidelity resurfaced issues I thought I already dealt with.

No matter how liberated or open any society is, cheating is never negotiable. You cannot come up to someone and grope her then act all normal as if that was supposed to happen, as if it was 2nd nature. He had a choice and he chose to cheat. It’s the worst form of betrayal because you don’t only break your promise to your wife, you knowingly involve someone else and persuade her to join you. It’s never fair to anybody.

Although I do not have the strength (much like you do) to talk about what went on in my life for me to abhor this of all possible mistakes anyone could commit, know that I’m thankful I got to read your blog. I admire you and for what it’s worth, you made me feel less fearful of making the same mistakes as those infidels. Thank you. (Her entry resonated with me so I decided to reblog it as a reminder that I am not alone in my worries. With it is my comment on her page.)

Hypersensationalism

This is something I’ve wanted to write about for awhile. Of course I mean absolutely no offense and I know there are plenty of genuine family men out there who wouldn’t dream of straying. I’m sure there are also single men with morals and standards (call me)…I just haven’t met heaps of either lately.

*****

Being single can be hard. It was hard last year, being the new mum in a small school community, from the next (also small) town. Single mums are the furthest thing from a rarity here, and despite what that says about the socio-economic structure, I’m enjoying it. When I lived ‘up the hill’ it was a rarity. I was a rarity. I was naïve enough to think it wouldn’t matter, because it wouldn’t matter to me.

I shouldn’t feel like I have to defend myself but I do. So here’s the disclaimer. I know that fairly often

View original post 604 more words

Love is without guarantees

Love is without guarantees.

They say that love is one of the many endeavors of man which isn’t calculated or rationalized. It’s more than a feeling; it’s an iniative fuelled by human will. Because it isn’t with reason that we love, we cannot justify why we have it or why we’ve lost it. It simply happens and when it does we say that it was never guaranteed to work or last anyway.

But then I ask, “What guarantee are you looking for anyway?”  

The security that he will not find another

A vow that you will live in eternal bliss

A promise that you’ll wake up everyday knowing it will never end

If that is what you believe guarantees in love are then you are right, there are none.

As for me, I find love provides a different guarantee, one which is more personal- more for the self than for the partner or your relationship with him. Love warrants humanity, that moment of absolute vulnerability you are willing to take to be with another. It assures you of an experience that transforms you or at the very least, reveals to you your deeper, more unguarded self.

When you are in the a happier stages of a relationship, one depicted in romcoms and chick flicks, you realize you can be happy and that you deserve it. Even when you lose him, you continue to find happiness for yourself because you’ve discovered how uplifting and empowering it is.

In the darker pre and post break up stages, you feel pain and learn to deal with it. It does not matter how, through beer, parties, writing, painting, eating or ranting, as long as you acquire that resilience we all need to get ahead in life.

You’ve won, not that it ever was a competition.

Love may not last. It may not be entirely of bliss or with one guy but it comes with a guarantee. You will learn and you will grow and you will have at least loved. Isn’t that takeaway enough?

gay and great

Disclaimer: This is a repost from one of my best friend’s blog. He was my first debate partner and one of my closest confidants in college. His post was disturbing and frankly, I just wanted more people to be aware of his struggles. For those who have been (or are) in the same shoes, my support and prayers go to you. Trust me when I say I know it’s tough. I hope this cheers you up or at least leads you on.

I am GAY, and that is not wrong.

Yesterday I have heard the greatest insult I have had in my entire existence – all because I am gay.  And to make things worse, it was from a woman whose professed faith seem to have the monopoly of truth and right. (nothing against those who come from her dominion, it was just the impression made yesterday)
I was asked this, Brent, alam mo nman diba ang tama sa mali? (Brent, you do know the difference between right and wrong)
It was asked after a friend and I talked about my current ‘dating’ status. As you know, I am dating a gay guy, a university teacher, a performer, a Catholic – basically a decent member of the society. Both of us don’t cross dress, both of us have decent lives to live, both of us are educated in catholic institutions. Both of us are choosing to be honest – and true.
The question alone was not offensive, but what followed after was way below the belt. Considering she did simply bat in, in our conversation. In a nutshell, she was telling me that I was born a man, thus I have a ROLE to ASSUME. She further continued that a relationship between two men is a sin, and that we should be punished – by death. That was quoted from Leviticus.
As a writer, I do know subtext. And with what she said, she nullified my very existence. That as if, all of me, all because I am gay, is wrong. That my very ‘being’ is as if a dirt bag. Mali ang buhay ko (My entire life is a mistake), to put things in perspective.
Ouch. F*ck Yeah!
It was uncalled for, and it was insulting.
But I shut up, all because I know better about RESPECT.
But it disturbed me so much I decided to share my piece here.
I am GAY, and that is not wrong.
Let’s put it this way. Following her line of thought that man is made in the image and likeness of GOD, it is therefore innate in man the ability to LOVE and to be (and do) good. In such premise, is it wrong then to HURT after falling for a man and realize that he is not in love with you? In the context of love, if I love someone (and granted I do not do anything all because it is ‘wrong’) but my heart feels pain because it is suppressed, it is hurt; WHY THEN DOES IT FEEL AFFECTION, for the first place?
 

God has made every being in his image and likeness, thus, by nature we tend to choose what is RIGHT and GOOD. The society, granted the biases that culture and practiced religion have imposed upon it, has a notion of what is right. BUT GOD KNOWS BETTER. HE gave us a heart – for which we can listen to, when in doubt.

I have served, during my Ateneo years as a head for my organization’s personal spirituality formation. And I did pick up something from there. That our relationship with GOD is within, that it is a personal relationship. Though there exists structured religion, it is not the foundation of truth, nor is the bible (which was written and construed by man). TRUTH is within us. It equates peace and contentment, and it is found after journeying within. I felt so insulted when she said those things because she did not even recognize my formation, my personal discernment, my personal relationship with GOD. She talked liked it was way apparent that I was wrong – and she was right.
Lastly, I would like to stress that no one person in this world has the right to know what is right for you. Guided by whoever you conceive your creator to be, HE(she) would never let you go on a wrong path. There is so much the world tells us, but for those who know better, society is never a perfect structure – and so is religion. So there are no definite ROLES that one being should assume to. Being a man, a woman, or gay (bi, transgender or what have you) is something that we are called to be. And no one has the right to tell another who he should be.Society is flawed; take for example those that dictate that women ought to be owned by men. Religion is flawed, talk about those faiths that promise the monopoly of salvation. These can be used as guides though – but there is one thing that our creator has had given us. It is something that, no matter your race, your religious affiliation, your educational attainment or spiritual formation, remains untainted by evil. GOD gave us our hearts, the foundation of our freewill and rights, it feels pain when wronged and delighted when listened to, thus it is through which we may know RIGHT and the TRUTH.
My heart tells me that I am wonderful, that I am beautiful – and yes, that I am a sinner, that I am flawed and imperfect. But it tells me that GOD loves me – and it is okay to be gay.
 
I just hope though that others could afford every gay guy the respect he deserves; that since not one in this world is perfect enough, may we find peace in our own hearts that there is a greater reason behind why we are the person that we are.

 —

This was my comment to Brent’s post.

It is not wrong or selfish to seek affirmation and respect from others because we are social beings and we value relationships and image. However, I know (because I’ve seen it) that you are stronger than your worst critics. You know you’re great. You know the people who love you, love you regardless of your orientation. It matters less what she thinks, I love you B. Gay or not, you are an amazing person. In the words of Carrie, “If being gay is you then it must be good because YOU ARE GOOD.”

PS To the girl who clings to the principles of the old world, know when to change. Understand your compass to right and wrong then get back to me. 🙂