Travel

I’ve been spending a lot of my time at work looking up travel in South America and even finding out what level I’m at in Spanish. Apparently I’m advanced in the vocabulary but at the beginner level in grammar. Five years is enough time for all your grammar knowledge to diminish into nothing. My old Spanish teacher would not be pleased at all. She took great pains to teach us all those tenses and when exactly they should be used. It’s sad that I’ve forgotten all of it. Overall, I’m at the intermediate level. I’ve also been pricing tickets and trying to find the locations of all the embassies and consulates for the different South American nations in my country.

I realize that I’ve been taking this travel thing seriously, that I might actually do this thing and that I’m terrified that I won’t do it. Yes, it’s a confusing muddle of emotions. I’m excited that I’m actually taking the steps to make this dream a reality but it’s frightening me a bit as well. If I don’t do it, I will feel so disappointed in myself. And if I do it but it doesn’t live up to my expectations and I end up failing at it, that would really hurt me as well. I’ve invested so much hope into this. This dream to travel and explore constitutes such an enormous chunk of what I aspire to do in life. Perhaps I should think this thing through more and figure out why I want to travel so much. If I was doing it for all the right reasons, I wouldn’t be so confused.

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I don’t want to be the kind of Feminist

..who only feels inspired to write posts about feminism when other feminists have pissed her off because they’re apparently doing it wrong. I don’t want to be the kind of feminist who only feels inspired to write when she sees some shit on facebook that one of her female acquaintances has posted. I don’t want to be the kind of feminist who feels like clobbering one of her female friends or colleagues on the head when she hears her bashing other girls or explaining oh-so-informatively why girls are actually inferior to guys with respect to logic, psychology and emotions. I don’t want to be the kind of feminist who in a fit of rage writes an essay about how much she hates girl-hate and girls who girl-hate. I don’t want to be the kind of feminist who feels intense hatred for girls who try to explain why girls are horrible friends to have and male friends are so much better. I don’t want to be the kind of feminist who only feels like writing when she is forced to endure interaction with girls/women who have internalized misogyny to such an extent that they are willing to throw their dignity, pride as well as their own girlfriends under the bus just to get some pitiful scraps of approval from some inconsequential, pathetic guys.

And yet I am that kind of feminist. And I seem to have internalized misogyny as well. I hold my female colleagues and feminists to higher standards than the rest of society so that if they say one fucked up thing, I jump all over them with anger. I don’t think I’ve ever wanted to tear apart a man the same way I’ve wanted to tear apart a woman for saying something misogynistic. It’s like I expect men to be fucking assholes – I’ve stopped expecting any kind of decency from them. I simply don’t care for it anymore. But when a girl says some shit, I can’t bear it. It’s like they’re betraying their friends, their sisters, the people who actually care about them just for some approval from men who don’t give a fuck about them and I can’t stand it and I have to let them know it.

I have no excuse for being like this. The above is not an excuse but an explanation for why I feel infuriated when girls bring each other down for not being sufficiently appeasing to men and the patriarchy. But an excuse and an explanation are more or less the same thing in my book, so who am I fooling? I can’t go holding girls to higher standards than men because doesn’t that kind of make me an oppressor too? We’re all trying to survive in this world which is governed by systems which privilege some over many, many others and we do this in various ways. Who am I to fucking judge? I’m going to try to not be so judgemental in the future. Let’s see how long it will last because I can’t just turn my anger off like a switch. And when I’m angry, I need to vent and writing is my outlet. It will be a slow process but I’ll just have to try.

Reconciling the Subordination of Women with Feminism

I am twisting my brains into knots trying to figure this question out: how do some women who have some kind of feminist awareness reconcile their feminist beliefs with their religions? I can’t think of a single religion which isn’t inherently sexist. Islam and Christianity are both at best patronizing to women. Christianity does no favours for women. It insults us early on in the very first book of the Bible, Genesis. It’s because of a woman, evil first entered the world, right? The much touted New and Improved Testament says that god is at the head of man and man in turn is at the head of women which is why it is an abomination for men to cover their heads in the presence of god but an utter necessity for women to cover theirs. Covering one’s hair according to Christianity has every fucking bit to do with upholding the status quo of who is in charge of whom. It is entirely symbolic of our second class status and has fuck to do with modesty.

I don’t know how Christian feminists can read this fuckery and be all fine and dandy with it. Some even go so far as to claim that Jesus was a feminist! I mean really, you all? Really? The guy came down here preaching his message of peace and love, shit we already know. While humans are famous for killing each other and whatnot, we’re social animals and it is love and our willingness to cooperate and show compassion for each other which has partly contributed to the success of the species and the evolution of the hominoid species known us Homo sapiens. The people in Jesus’ day didn’t need the much redundant “love and peace” message hammered into their heads again. There were certain oppressed groups, however, that urgently needed Jesus’ help but he didn’t speak up much for them. These were the slaves and women. I think he told the slaves to be good to their masters or some useless, insulting shit. This really lowers my opinion of Jesus, let me tell you. While slavery and oppression of women are still being perpetuated today by humans, there are other humans, particularly women who are using their own brains and hearts to fight these things. They devote their lives to ending oppression and they are the real heroes, if such things exist.

What about dear old Islam? I’ve already ranted so much about Christianity and Jesus that I don’t really have the energy to go on about Islam. But I’ll at least get this out: Islam doesn’t do any favours for women either no matter how much Muslim Feminists try to insist that it is an inherently feminist religion. It says to honour your mum more than your dad or before your dad or something because of the great role she plays in your life but our mothers don’t need that patronizing bullshit. What they need is for the responsibilities of parenthood to be equally shared between both parents because it is fucking hard for one person to handle all that shit on her own, no matter how much you praise her for it. At the end of the day, praise does little for a burnt out woman’s soul. Institutional change with respect to gender roles would make a hell of a difference though.

Islam also says that men are the protectors and maintainers of women instead of giving women what they really need which is the right and ability to protect and maintain themselves. An economically independent woman is a hell of a lot more safe than a woman who lives at the mercy of a man. Why give men so much power over women, Allah? Why would you do that? What do the holders of power tend to do? Yes, they abuse that power while another suffers. The other thing is that women wouldn’t need the protection of men if we didn’t live in constant fear of men. You entrust men with the power to protect and maintain women and the right to their wives obedience which is incredible power, but you can’t say outright not to fucking hurt us? There is a fine line between a man commanding a woman within his rights and a man abusing those rights, yet those rights and that power are his and you trust that he won’t abuse these things. But you are positive that there will always be men who hurt women, who won’t be able to control their urges when it comes to women. You are positive that men can’t control their urges but at the same time you believe that they will be able to resist exploiting their wives so you’ve given them rights over them. Does anyone else see the contradiction?

Men are expected to control the urge to exploit and abuse the services of their wives (although it is so easy in Islam) but when it comes to sexual urges, it is expected of women to be accommodating of their lack of control. Like I really don’t understand, Allah. There is also a lot of gender essentialist views in Islam which are of course necessary to justify the ridiculous gender roles in there.

With all that said, I have to say that Islam and Christianity are not really that different from each other. The Hijab and beard might make Islam seem like it’s a completely different religion from Christianity but it’s not. A lot of the same bullshit pops up in both religions.

So anyway, that was my question and this is my rant. I am perplexed by women who defend these woman hating belief systems to the death, especially when these same women are critical of every other thing worthy of scepticism on Earth but their religions.

Sometimes I need reminding

Whenever I read the comments that a lot of guys leave at the end of feminist videos, I often end up asking myself,

“why do I want to find love again?”

“why do I waste my time dreaming of someday finding “the one” again?”

“why do I even like men again?”

And lastly,

“why couldn’t I just be a lesbian?”

Maybe living a life separate from men, an idea which so many feminists are terrified of even contemplating, isn’t such a bad idea after all. Clearly men don’t think much of us anyway and an essential part of male sexuality is apparently viewing women as sexual objects which lack those characteristics which make one human such as emotions, thoughts and opinions. An essential part of male sexuality according to the nearest men magazine to you is thinking of women as mere masturbatory devices.

I don’t need that kind of shit in my life. I’m happy with myself. At least I think I’m human and I take a pride in my humanity and in my thoughts and feelings. My opinions and thoughts are who I am. I fucking adore myself.

I don’t need some person to give me worth. Especially a person who regards me as an accessory or appendage to him. A thing he sometimes finds useful. A thing he’ll soon grow tired off and need to replace.

I’m not someone’s useful device. I am a complete human being.

Today’s “hot” might be you..

But not tomorrow’s. If you choose to define your body according to men’s opinions, that is.

Image

Who’s hotter? Us or Them?

I saw this picture on facebook, a while ago, and immediately became annoyed with it. A lot of boys and girls were responding positively to it but there were obviously some negative comments coming from girls who were “naturally skinny.” The comment section ended up being very long and filled with arguments between girls who belonged to either of these categories about who was actually hotter, with the occasional comments from guys who tried to cheer up the hurt parties by telling them that they actually thought that X was pretty hot also and not to feel too bad about themselves.

This is the problem that I have with the picture – the idea that women should feel good about their bodies based on the opinions of men. The ever changing opinions of men I should say.

This is my response: Women should feel good about their bodies regardless of what men think. Men are fickle. They change. Their opinions change and what they consider to be beautiful regularly changes. Are you really going to let your self-love and convictions of who you are rest on the opinions of idiots? It isn’t a nice way to live and your self-esteem is going to be very fragile, because one day they’ll be calling you hot and the next day they’ll be calling you a cow or a scarecrow depending on your size. You’re never going to be truly happy with yourself when you try to live up to the impossible ideals of others. So don’t allow these pictures to make you feel bad or give you an ego boost. Instead you need to consider how insulting it is that men think that we can only consider ourselves beautiful if they reassure us that they think that we are pretty first. They can rest assured that we don’t need them for that. We’re perfectly capable of coming to our own conclusions about our bodies without their assistance, thank you very much. This is the first thing that should come to mind when you see a picture like this.

The second problem that I have with this picture is that it divides women. In the comment section below the picture there was so much bickering between girls about who was actually hotter. There was also a lot of skinny-hate and accusations of girls starving themselves in order to be that skinny. The skinny girls in turn had many rude things to say to the self-professed thicker girls. But a lot of wise and wonderful things were also said, the gist of which was that neither category of girls is hotter than the other. We’re all beautiful regardless of our size and we have to be happy with ourselves and who we are without bringing other people down. Furthermore, are we really going to let the opinions of men divide us when they are one of the main causes of the insecurities that women collectively experience? Women have so many things in common with each other with respect to our lives in a patriarchy. Most of us have painful issues with self-worth which are closely tied to our experiences with men. Is it progressive to fight with each other over the little scraps of approval that we can sometimes get from men? Or is it more progressive to listen to each other and to try to understand each other’s lives? I think it’s the latter. You’re not the only woman who has been shaped by many, different experiences in her life. You’re not the only woman with complex emotions, who responds in various ways to different situations. You’re not the only woman who is a human being. Other women are not as black and white as society, culture, men and even some women make them seem. We’re all complex creatures, and it is beneficial for us to start listening to each other instead of competing for worthless compliments from men.

Stupid things I’ve done: #1

When I was seventeen years old I fell completely for a guy, or rather became infatuated with him, solely on the basis of his looks. I knew what his name was and where he was from, but I didn’t know who he was. I knew nothing about his personality or what kind of person he was but I insisted that he was the one and went to great lengths to get his attention. Like everything else that I put my heart and soul into, I succeeded, but it blew up in my face. The guy wasn’t who I thought he was. He was something that I thought he couldn’t be. And he wasn’t very nice. It all quite thankfully abruptly ended, whatever it was, and I’m glad that it wasn’t worse. It could have been so much worse. It still messed me up pretty badly though but it taught me a valuable lesson: don’t fall for guys based on their looks alone. Looks don’t tell you whether a guy is kind, smart, thoughtful, a pervert, an asshole or a liar. You have to know a man in order to fall for him and only his actions can tell you what kind of person he is. Not his stupid face.

What exactly is a “real woman” anyway?

Real Women

This “real woman” bullshit is something which really divides women. It may seem uplifting to some women but it makes other women feel like crap. Do you know how annoying it is to hear a “curvy” woman go on about how she’s proud of her curves because they’re sexy and she’s glad she’s not skinny because skinny girls have no shape and are sick-looking and ugly? I know that it must be equally annoying for these same women to have the skinny ideal shoved into their faces repeatedly by the media but that’s no reason to be fucking mean. Do you know that there’s a hell of a lot more to people than whether they’re skinny or fat or thick or whatever? Did you know that skinny girls can actually be kind? Did you know that skinny girls can actually be smart? Did you know that skinny girls can actually be really great friends?

If there’s anyone to hate for this skinny ideal bullshit, it’s the media and idiots who are intent on perpetuating this crap. There will be mean skinny girls out there, of course, who might take a pride in their skinniness because they have nothing else going for them. But there are also nice skinny girls out there too. When you start going on about how ugly and freaky and disgusting they are, the target of this includes both mean and nice skinny girls.

So instead of being mean, let’s be nice to each other. We’re all real women regardless of our size. We all have to jump through a million and one hoops in the obstacle course that is patriarchy in order to survive. We all have expectations to live up to. We all have to figure out how to be happy. We all have to figure out what’s a bunch of lies and what’s the truth. We all have it fucking hard and we don’t need to further divide ourselves over a standard that was created by the male-dominated media and culture.

Image obtained from here.