I tag all of you readers out there since I don’t like excluding people.]]>
I remember back when I was in eighth grade, I was overtly made fun of because I didn’t shave my legs. My classmates saw them everyday when we had gym since we had to change into our gym shorts. Back then, I was simply oblivious to the conventional beauty standards of keeping our legs hair-free. When confronted, I innocently asked them, the ones who made fun of me, why it was okay for guys to not have to shave. They said that guys do have to shave – just their face. They said it’s only fair. Confused by their answer, I pointed out that it’s not the same idea when guys shave their faces for the sake of having hairless face. “Girls didn’t have to worry about hairy face because they are biologically created that way. What doesn’t add up is the fact that girls have to shave their legs while guys don’t. And it is quite evident that guys and girls grow hair on their legs.” See the difference? When guys shave their face, it’s so that they [just like girls] could have hair-free face. Even when they don’t shave their face, it’s not something to be made fun of. As for girls shaving their legs, only they must while guys are encouraged not to. If girls don’t shave their legs, they would be seen as gross and unhygienic. See the difference in standards?
Anyways, the classmates then lectured me on how to be a feminine beauty “the way God intended.” (Those last words were their exact words.) Still confused, I merely argued that if God intended it, then it’s natural. But the very fact that we had to spend our time, money, and energy to shave them off with man-made materials means that it’s anything but natural. If He intended it, then He would not have injected such burden on us.
To prevent us from going off-topic, I ended our conversation by telling them that such standards were some of their ways of oppressing women. Interestingly enough, I never though of such pressure as oppression until that day when I realized that I get made fun of for not conforming to such artificial practices. Instead of feeling angered, I felt sad – sad at the fact girls try so hard at an early age to conform and sad at the fact that such “divide and conquer” strategy is used to prevent us from being to end the oppression once and for all.
On a brighter note, I got myself the new Pokémon game! Ever heard of Pokémon Rangers: Guardian Signs? Yea that’s right! I am still a child at heart.
One good example is “High School of the Dead”. Upon hearing this title, you would normally think of “horror/gore” genre-wise. If so, you’re absolutely correct. “High School of the Dead” is about a protagonist and several of his fellow survivors who fight off zombies by smashing their heads against hard objects. Apparently that’s how you “kill” the “living dead”. What makes it graphic is the blood you see splashing everywhere upon seeing the zombies getting their heads smashed or “feeding” off of living human beings. Here’s the opening theme to the show. Warning: Though not an explicit content, this video does have some suggestive graphics. If you’re not comfortable with that, then don’t watch it. To those that don’t mind watching it, pay attention to where the screen is centered at when showing those female characters. Such taks becomes easier to accomplish as the video progresses.
This is called “fan service”. Click here to get a general idea of what fan service means. Now that I’ve shown you what needed to be shown, the reason behind my calling this the vicious cycle is quite obvious. The artists don’t show such suggestive content just because they want to. They do it because it’s a way of providing “service” to the “fans” out there. They’re just meeting the demands of the general public. However, as more people get exposed while believing that it’s perfectly natural, then the artists will continue making more anime series that happen to have such element of fan service.
All this got me wondering: who is at fault? What’s your thought on that?]]>
Before I go any further, I would like to point out that this is not a complaint entry in response to his [this another friend] statement. This entry does, however, point out how it’s the accumulation of tolerance of subtle gender inequalities that “grow” into something bigger. It also allows me to revisit the whole concept of what being a feminist is all about. Be warned: what I’m about to say might not be what you’re expecting to read. I suspect that my views might come out to be a little cold and harsh. However, I will not use any profanity so rest assured.
As far as I know, there is no objectively correct way of being a feminist. If you believe that women are equal to men in every – except biological – aspect and advocate equal treatment regardless of gender, then you are a feminist. Then again, that’s how others see it. I, on the other hand, will go even further and define feminism as acknowledgment of equality in every – again, except biological – aspect regardless of sex. Note that I didn’t say gender for there is a slight difference between sex and gender. Sex is biologically defined whereas gender is socially defined. Therefore, I will refer “women” as females and “men” as males to help make things universally easier. Believe me, there are places that don’t classify gender the way the westerners do.
Going back to what my friend said about how I’m just a girl, he excused my boredom just because I’m “a girl” and that it’s expected for “a girl” to be more into drama and romance and everything else in between. Why though? Is it really because only we females are “programmed” to love that sort of thing? After all, the society finds it acceptable for females to react emotionally when watching a romantic movie and give a slightly-bored – or even better, appalled – reaction in response to a more action/physical movie. On the contrary, it is considered more “normal” for the males to be excited in response to action and suppress their own feelings in response to more sentimental genres. I guess this is why he expected for me to find The Expendables to be boring [at first] which isn’t the case. I won’t get into too much details, but the main reason I was slightly disappointed is because it was a little overdone by my standards. That’s all there is to it. But since I’m a girl, it just had to be because it was *exaggeration* all action and no plot *end exaggeration* right?
The aforementioned experience serves as a good example of how subtle inequality builds up to something even bigger: gender inequality. As mentioned, it was “understandable” for me to not find the entire movie exciting. But when a male says the same thing, he’s “at risk of losing his manhood.” Where did I get that? I overheard some random guy saying that to one of his male friends who had the similar reaction to the movie as mine. See the difference in the expectation? If so, I guess there’s no need for me to talk about my work experience then. I’m sure quite a few of you would agree: females are typically treated a little more leniently than males are. In the short run, we females enjoy the luxury of convenience and forgiveness. However in the long run, we are seen as a group of people who are to be treated with less expectations, thus seen as “less” than our male counterparts.
What’s sad is that, the way I see it, quite a few self-appointed feminists want to retain the feminine behaviors and treatments while fighting for equality. As nice as it sounds, I find that to be simply impossible. What they fail to see is that some of those nice treatments that we are getting are due to gender inequality. How do we know if those treatments or expectations are sources of inequality? Easy: if it is considered “abnormal” for our male counterparts to request those same treatments that are considered “normal” for females to receive.
This is where things get a little extreme: in order to truly attain equality, we might have to renounce some of the luxuries that we’re currently enjoying. Here’s a good example: clothing. It is totally acceptable for females to wear relatively more revealing attires for casual wear – i.e. short shorts – while males…not so much. [Sports attires are excluded.] In formal events, there are multiple designs of dresses for “women”. Although there are minor detailed differences in “men’s” formal attires, the overall design is more similar. The major difference between the males and females is that with females, it’s all about how they’re “decorated”. Just look at the make-up, hair, accessories, and of course dresses. Males don’t have much option because “they don’t need to worry about it too much“.
Long-story short, get rid of this gender-divided fashion. That means it’s whether we deem these attires acceptable for for everyone to wear or just get rid of such attires altogether. Told you this entry is going to be harsh. After all, wouldn’t it be unreasonable of us females to fight for “equality” while retaining some those luxurious [discriminatory] treatment we get? If we want equality, we have to take one small step at a time. In the end, it’s those little things that count.]]>
What is marriage exactly? For some, marriage is defined as a union between two people. Others would feel more comfortable if “a man and a woman” were to replace “two people.” To me, marriage is merely a legally-recognized union between two people. Note that I added the word legally because when a marriage is recognized by the legal system, the married couple receives basic benefits such as Social Security, right to inherit in case of death, joint parenting/adoption, and so on. Long-story short, I see marriage as [ideally speaking] a lifetime legal contract between two people. Now that you know where I stand definition-wise, I can finally move on to some of the common arguments I hear against gay marriage. I would like to make a disclaimer that they’re not in any particular order.
The gays shouldn’t be allowed to have this special right.
Again, the right to marry is the right to the benefits that the two [plus any additional party such as children] are to receive upon “signing” this legal contract. These rights to benefits are already given to the traditional, heterosexually married couples. In fact, right now these rights are exclusively given to the heterosexually married couples. Is it a special right? As of now, yes because it’s a special right given to the heterosexual couples. Therefore, in practical terms, this argument doesn’t make any sense.
Gay marriage is a threat to procreation.
Please do correct me if I’m wrong, but we are still dominated by heterosexuals population-wise so procreation wouldn’t be a problem. Besides, in some areas, there’s a population crisis going on. With that being the case, we could use a few homosexual couples to help balance things out…You know, but rescuing those homeless children and taking care of them through adoption. *BEGIN/Ultra-sarcasm* After all, our population is dwindling so quickly, we’re stuck with a bunch of homeless children that serve as nothing but a burden on society. *END/Ultra-sarcasm* Which reminds me, allowing gay couples to adopt children wouldn’t hurt. Since they couldn’t create their own children, it wouldn’t be surprising for them to want to adopt one. For all I know, they might be more willing to adopt children than heterosexual couples who have their own children to take care of. In fact, according to Williams Institute’s analysis, “for every child available and waiting for adoption, there are 16 lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered people wanting to adopt”. If only they were granted those rights…Perhaps granting gay couples certain benefits of marriage such as joint parenting/adoption would help children find a home instead of being stuck in some foster care without being able to settle in a home.
What about the children? They won’t have a healthy life without a father and a mother.
After “thirty years of research says the same, including a new 17-year study published this month in Pediatrics, the official journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics, concluding that children raised by lesbian parents do better academically, are more confident than their peers and have fewer behavioral problems.” (CNN) Though this is just one research that happened to be conducted for a few decades, I can confidently say that such aforementioned myth…Is merely a myth. Since I’m not really satisfied with the amount of evidence I have presented, I will find more articles to help further refute such myth.
As of now, these are the only arguments I could think of. If you have anymore arguments that you would like to present to me, please feel free to do so.
Mini-Update on Life
I’ve spent the Friday night with three of my close friends watching Dinner for Schmucks. Overall: worth the watch. In fact, there are quite a few [literally speaking here] LOL moments. Although I suspect I’m one of the later viewers of the movie, here’s the link to view the trailer.
Here’s one sad news: this might be my last time seeing them since I’ll be flying back to my college in about a week. Of course I may be able to see them again if we arrange ourselves to meet during the weekday. We’ll see what happens. Gosh I need to start packing…Anyways good night!
On a side note, you may have noticed that the layout has changed once again. This time, it’s a pre-made layout [credits at the bottom]. I’m going to take my time with the WP theme. It might take me a day, a week, a month, a year, something I cannot predict. However, I will do my best. I have re-organized the contents as well.]]>