The Gender Divide

It started with a post on the group chat regarding a petition. In a not so popular high school in a city I consider as my second home, a group of boys decided to disseminate compromising pictures of their ex-girlfriends. The victims’ side are claiming not to let them officially graduate. This has been going on for 2 or 3 years now thus, the petition. All of the involved are minors.

I don’t have the full picture and background so I feel it’s not my place to specifically discuss them here. I will, however, wanted to ask this: Who’s to blame?

Everyone agreed that it was wrong of them to publicize the pictures. But I was mildly surprised that the take on those girls who sent the pictures to their boyfriends in the first place were polarizing. Points like “how can these girls be so naive?”, “If there are no pictures, there will be nothing to send out for the whole world to see”, “why are we making such a big deal about this?”, and the clincher of it all: “If it’s the other way around , if this happened to the boys instead, will we still react the same and show the same fervent support?”

Which got me thinking: In this day and age, does everything still boils down to gender?

It’s baffling. When we have sexual issues such as this at hand, why do we always feel the need to present a counter-argument that divides us into two: Boys vs Girls.

Is it too difficult to just focus on what the actual issue is and just say that A is right and B is wrong? Why do we feel that by putting a gender label to it, the issue automatically feels complex?

Towards the end, we all agreed that:

(1) it was wrong to publicize the pictures and the boys should not earn the rights to officially graduate from the high school,

(2) while sharing compromising pictures to your partner is bordering on naivete, it’s normal and it’s your decision but you should be ready for any possible repurcussions,

(3) both victims and transgressors should be spared of public humiliation since they are all minors and they still deserve a future.

But the clincher is still a clincher.

Prayer on Repeat

Dear Lord, 

Thank You for making we wake up and get up. 

This has been my daily prayer for the past months. Simple and to the point. A daily reminder that I need to be deserving of every chance earned.

They say that every day is a new beginning. Having the chance to wake up and experience another day again is a gift because you get to be blessed or become a blessing. And if you’re really lucky, you get to be both.

Yes, you’ve earned it. But it doesn’t stop there.

Aside from waking up, you need to get up. For without the getting up, you’re just a lump on your bed, one with your sheets and pillows. For without the getting up, you rob yourself of making the most of the day.

A day that not everyone gets. A day that not every one has.

The Gentlemen Extinction

The days of damsel in distress is long gone. Girls today now pride themselves as independent beings who don’t need a man in their lives to feel complete. Years of fighting for “equality” has molded us into these self-functioning creatures who think and can actually rule the world. Of course there are still those who revel in being damsels, preferring to be always helped and saved by a man than to lift their dainty fingers and exert even the smallest of efforts.

But we, the general women population, isn’t about to let these forever damsels cloud over our shine. I have observed one downside to the Girl Power thinking, however. It is what I call The Gentleman Extinction.

It happened thrice last week: a guy who let me pass through the lobby first on our way to the restrooms complete with the “you first” hand gesture; a guy who instinctively reached out to open the door when he saw me approaching even before I reached out for it; and a guy who deliberately held the door open for me after I badge in.

All through this, I was fighting the urge to tell them “No, you first” or “Sorry!” or “It’s OK, I can manage” than just giving them the “Thank you!” that they deserve.

My subconscious was so busy asserting my independence as a woman that I forgot to let them be the gentlemen that they are. We often think that these type of men are a dying breed but could we, the independent women of the world, have contributed to this extinction?

With all the gender equality movement happening around us, it is so easy to overlook or even to fully misinterpret their core message. Getting help from a man does not make a woman weak. Being a feminist does not mean you are a man hater. Oftentimes, men are vilified by these extreme “feminist” conversations. If so, how are we, the women of the now, any different from those other men who oppressed women from centuries past?

The Romanticism of A Love That Was Lost

I would like to start this article by throwing caution at the wind and saying that of all topics of conversation, it is about LOVE that trumps everything else.

And when we talk about love, it’s almost always either of these three: the First, the Great, and The One That Got Away.

The First is always a reminder of our fresh brush at love. Everything’s sweet, everything feels right, but not even this innocent feeling can help us overcome the obstacles of our adulthood. And so, we part.

The Great is always a reminder of how powerful of a feeling love really is. Where The First is all about the highs, The Great has the lows, too. A sort of conflict is involved and this, along with the euphoric feeling of passionately loving and being passionately loved in return, contributes to its flair.. its drama. Overtime, the drama gets too much of the love that we decide to just let go. And so, we part.

The One That Got Way is always a reminder of how capable we are to love but equally incapable to fight for it and commit to it. If you look back, there really is nothing wrong about the relationship. At least, nothing wrong that we can’t really fix. But why did we let go? Why did we part? Because our internal conflict was too much at that time that it ate up whatever fight we have to continue loving. And so, we part.

But why then do we tend to look back at our could haves and would haves as if they’re the best chapters of our lives? So much so that we tend to miss enjoying our current chapter to the fullest. Or worse, tend to undermine it.

If you put our past romances in a microscope and just be totally objective about it, you’ll realize (and hopefully accept) the cracks and nuances of what you have put in a pedestal. The relationship was stuck on the honeymoon phase before it even really hits reality. Reality like waking up to their morning breaths, sleeping through their snores, navigating through your personal messes… and helping each other get out of them. Him fighting for you, and you fighting back for him; with the rest of the people who matter rooting for you two to win against the hurdles of life.

Everything happens for a reason, they say. And this is true about our past heartbreaks, too. There’s a perfectly reasonable explanation why we never ended up with The First, The Great, and The One That Got Away — they are not The Right for us.

The Right is that one love that could and should make you stop thinking of and pining on the other three.

I know that our past experiences, including relationships, should give us lessons in life to make us prepare for the future. But they shouldn’t be totally defining and dictating our present.

Who knows? Your current chapter could be very well your epilogue, too.

Love.JPG

On Dates and Memories

As a kid, I felt the need to memorize my family’s birth dates because how could I not? They’re family. My father’s, my mother’s, my brother’s and later on, my kid sister’s.

As I grew a little older birthdate memorization extended to Lolos and Lolas, Titos and Titas, cousins, and close friends.

And much later on, the range extended not just on birthdates but on other life milestones, too — monthsaries, anniversaries, the day you first met, your pet’s birthday…

Dates are always associated with memories and with it comes the good and the bad. It can get too overwhelming, too, that sometimes, we feel the need to downplay it. Monthsary celebrations are limited to anniversaries, even your couple anniversary become overshadowed by your wedding anniversary, because one just can’t have that many of a celebration!

But my current question is this:

When it comes to babies and losses, which date do you keep?

The day you found out you were pregnant, the expected delivery date, or the day that you lost your baby?

Do you reminisce the happiness, be nostalgic at the feeling of anticipation, or commemorate the loss?

It’s a little tricky is it not? But amidst this confusion, I hope that I find clarity…

The Pains of Being Lonely

I cry.

You say, “Be strong”.

I cry some more because you don’t seem to understand.

You say, “Be strong for him”.

I cry even more because you really don’t get it.

I cry because I’m lonely, not because I’m weak.

I cry because I’ve been trying to be strong. Not for anyone, not for him, but for me. Because first and foremost, I need me to survive — every day, every hour, every minute.

I cry because sometimes the loneliness just creeps in and some days, you really don’t have full control over it.

I cry because I will never get over it.

I cry not because I’m weak, but because I’m lonely.

And it’s sad that you can’t seem to understand.

It’s sad that you might never get it.

DiaTRIBE: Part 1

Human beings are curious creatures. The more I get to know them, the more I realize that they are just the same as any common animal operating in groups. They thrive in numbers and alter their behavior, from the slight to the grand, when they are with different companies.

Their collective behavior is amusing to me. The alpha would always establish dominance, and the rest will follow. The minions would most likely hold a secret contempt against the alpha but rarely do I see one truly stand up against the alpha and not care shit about what it would do to his status within group. Especially if the alpha has a Balenciaga.

Monkey see, monkey do. An old passage but still very true. Don’t we just wish that one day it’ll pertain to something positive?

In my continuous observance, they fit right into the mold of the four proposed functions of animal group behaviour, both the good and the bad:

1. Social Interaction

Studies show that animals operating in groups become highly stressed when isolated. Same is true with most humans, don’t you agree? Everyone wants to be happy but only if they belong to the happy group. If they aren’t, they immediately feel contempt towards that group. They might even form a group of their own and do everything that they can to look happier than the former happy group. They always feel the need to establish dominance.

On the other hand, some would declare that they are perfectly happy being alone. It’s part of being an intorvert, they say. But they have this nagging feeling whenever they dine out solo surrounded by couples and other groups. This, after getting a weird look from the waiter who just can’t believe that dining solo is pefectly normal. And some actually prefer it from time to time. Thus the need to declare to social media the happiness of me-time complete with a beautifully filtered flatlay.

I’m telling you. Humans are weird.

2. Protection from Predators

Who here has always thought that animals gather in group as an attempt at teamwork?

Yeah, me too.

Together we stand, divided we fall.

But have you heard about the selfish herd theory? It states that animals gather in group not because they wanted to work together but they wanted to put another individual from the pack in between him and the predator. Thus, decreasing the chances of getting hunted himself. Their natural instinct is to use a fellow herder as an anti-predatory lifevest.

Sneaky, right? Reminds you of some people you know?

Yeah. Me too.

Those who work with you not because they want to and they think you’re valuable BUT just so they’ll have someone to blame when things go to shit?

Yeah. Me too.


NOTE TO READERS: This is a diatribe meant to poke fun on the annoying people that we encounter in our lives and the weird wiring of the human psyche. These snarks’ main goal is to elicit a good-natured chuckle from even the most sensitive person who’d think that this article is all about him/her.

Any resemblance to actual persons that we mutually know and/or actual events that we both experienced may be coincidental.


 

Up Next: Enhanced Foraging and Increased Locomotion Efficiency

On Getting Older

“WHITE HAIR!”, I exclaimed rather too enthusiastically while checking my reflection in the elevator mirror.

“Why are you so excited?”, the puzzled husband asked.

“It means I’m getting old”, I answered.

“Then why are you so happy?”, he asked still puzzled.

“Because not everyone gets to be old”, I quipped.

Which is true when you think about it. We’ve all been conditioned that getting old is a bad thing, especially the ladies. White hairs, wrinkles, sagging skin, freckles, and (gasp!) expiring egg cells are some of the things that we should fight against all odds. Or just try to prolong from happening as much as we can, no biggie.

But please hear me out. Getting old is a blessing.

Every waking day that we get is every chance that we get to live our lives the way we want to – go to places we’ve never been, hug and kiss the people we love, have a good laugh with friends, read that book that’s been collecting dust in the shelf.

So rejoice if you start seeing white hairs, wrinkles, or sagging skin. These are testament of life lived.

Dial 8-Delivery

I’ve been thinking: What is it with people asking me about babies and weight gain that really, really bothers me?

This due to the fact that I attended several reunions (forced and not) over the holidays and got into the usual roast with people.

Reunions that made me realise why I’m starting to hate reunions. It’s like looking at a cracked fucked-up mirror held up straight to your face by that someone.

That someone who shouts to the world “Ang taba mo na!” even before the “Hello”.

That someone who sarcastically comments “Ah.. kaya ka pala tumataba..” on anything remotely related to weight or body measurements without even knowing about your hormonal and emotional struggles.

That someone who blatantly asks “Bakit wala pa kayong baby?” before the “How are you guys doing?”.

That someone who imposes “Dapat gumawa na kayo kase tumatanda ka na” like I’m some sort of baby manufacturer about to be bulldozed in a few months.

And that someone who has a pathological need to always reason out the miscarriage “Kaya ka siguro nakunan kase…”.

It may be a culture or a generation thing but I really find it insensitive and bordering on rude.

Weird thing is, I’ve met with friends who asked me about the miscarriage and my weight gain that did not bother me at all.

Which led me to realise that it has nothing to do with the subject of miscarriage or weight gain. It has more to do with the delivery. I felt more receptive and open to people who sounded genuinely concerned with what I’m going through compared to those who sounded mocking or even accusing.

I don’t really mind if they want to know what happened and if we’re trying again as long as it doesn’t feel like it’s an imposed requirement for a marriage. It’s so archaic it’s giving me migraine.

And what is it with people and their love for humiliation? Sometimes it’s so ingrained in their system that they don’t even realise that their idea of small talk is already humiliating someone.

I’d appreciate it better if you give me tips on the most effective diet or exercise for someone with hormonal imbalance instead of flashing your abs at me, thankyouverymuch.

Tone and timing is really essential for good communications.

Manners maketh man.