Is Calling Taylor Swift ‘Ugly’ Being an Anti-Feminist?

maxresdefault

I still haven’t forgotten how I was branded an “anti-feminist” not because I burn my bras and rallied on the streets telling feminists to fuck off. Even more so not because I petitioned on the local government to torn down monuments of heroines and replace them with the ones bearing a phallic symbol like the obelisk. Trust me, I didn’t and would never want to.

             Calling Taylor Swift Ugly

But guess what? I was labeled to be against feminism because I said Taylor Swift looks uglier now than she was back then.  Okay, maybe I was being stereotypical for preferring Taylor Swift having long curly golden hair, not that I hate women with short hair and think they are all ugly. Maybe I just particularly like Swift’s curly-hair days so much that I can’t seem to accept her new bleached, cropped hairstyle.

Well, it’s not just the hair, really.

I mean, she just changed a lot in a way that shattered that sweet innocent girl-in-sparkly-dress-and-boots country singer that I came to love in the first place. And if you have been an avid Swifty fan, you’ll know what I’m talking about.

Anyway, this is my opinion about her because 1.) I have opinions and I’m not afraid to voice them out (for heaven’s sake this is why I have blogs for), 2.) I was a Taylor Swift fan which still entitles me to differentiate her looks from what she was and what she is now, 3.) I have preferences and my own standards of beauty that 4.) I was just absolutely honest about what and how I really think about Swift.

What does Taylor Swift symbolize in the first place? Does she represent the whole of the female sex so much so that it is diabolical to offend her (or the gender she represents) by saying she is not beautiful? And ever since when did being ugly steps on the rights of women to equality?

How, in all this, did I just become an anti-feminist? In what way did I offend my own sex? And what is being a feminist really about?

Which leads me to my next point:

             What really is feminism?

So finally, I pulled myself together and thought about it deeply. Maybe I was wrong. Maybe  the reason why I was termed an anti-feminist is because there is a new definition of feminism creeping its way to topple down all four waves of feminism.

If you’re not a Literature or English major and have never stumbled across the four waves of feminism (that’s still highly likely even if you claim to be a feminist), let me shortly elaborate to you the intricacies of the four waves of feminism so we’ll be in equal footing. After all, that is what we, feminists, all craved and fight for–EQUALITY.

So let us be in a singular understanding.

Okay, so the first wave of feminists were just more on the political aspect which basically sought to give women equal political rights as men enjoy (like voting rights). This movement started around the late 19th century and continued over the course of the early 20th century.

p16nqd447k1eocuj4v3412st151v0_45873

And no, it’s not true that the first-wave feminists were the “amazon type”, you know, the ones going after overthrowing men, as the general notion goes.

The second wave of feminism began in the 1960s  and rowed on a larger ocean of issues where overstepping women’s rights is involved, like sexuality, family, and workplace. This is probably the start of actually giving attention to sexual abuse, domestic violence, (marital rape, if you must add) and  stuff like that. The highlight of it all, though, is the equal rights with men in terms of wages and positions.

maxresdefault-1

The “girlie feminism” is what unconventional feminists like Martha Rampton call the third wave of feminism. The third wavers defy categorization by putting labels on things and people so they don’t settle even on being called feminists.

Their movement is to shatter gender barriers that the second wave feminists fail to tear down. Since voting rights are established for women and more female workers get into public office or hold white collar positions, there’s not much to rally on the streets about that anymore. Or so they think.

London: Women march against male violence

So, they work on less important (sarcasm intended) but equally brutal discrimination against women–more on rape issues and to some, women’s abortion rights (disregarding the fact that the unborn children those women who would decide to get abortion could have been girls as well with just as much human rights as their supposed mothers enjoy).

You know what? I don’t have a quickie definition for the fourth wavers. They go along with everything else from technology to post-modern lifestyle–oh what’s the word for it?  Complicated.

The fourth-wave feminists are whatever they want to define themselves.

Their movement is combined with all other words with “ism” there is–racism, ageism, classism, ableism, fascism… well, you get the idea. This kind of feminist movement doesn’t want to stick with fighting for “just women” and decided to bring along its other  equally exploited and desecrated neighbors of “minority.”

11221417_10156284033480413_8615226362965145155_n2

So much for breaking barriers, third wavers.

But what if the “feminists”  evolving now are those who find the slightest bit of derision a call for war, not only between sexes, but within it? One that is founded in the fabric of teenage sensitivity and emotionally-unstable fangirls surging the tide.

The thing about this emerging new wave of feminists is that it craves attention and authority in epic proportions. Political correctness is no longer enough. If you say something as bad as recognizing a fault done by one particular person (make no mistake about mentioning a celebrity or a celebrity itself doing the act), you will be branded for life to be someone who is against a movement that’s about protecting and fighting for rights.

question-mark-woman

The fifth wave of feminists, as I would now call them, would have to be the people holding power by pointing out those who don’t go with their thwarted “principles” exaggerating a fault, allowing too much leniency towards what the members of “minorities”  do even if it’s immoral, but condemns people outside the majority for the slightest humanly tendency such as name-calling. Debate is even out of the question, with the sense of anything-you-say-will-be-held-against-you threatens or pays people their silence.

These people are what Lupe Fiasco said the “truth is what they say is.”

              Beauty defined

So going back to calling Swift ugly, the question begs to be asked, what is beauty anyway?

Some would say (of course),

“Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.”

This written-to-death line about beauty strikes as the passive-aggressive statement that as cliched and redundant this may sound, beauty is really THAT subjective. For instance, I just googled in the word “beauty” which unsurprisingly directed me to roughly a thousand results.

I’m kidding, it actually says “about 2,770,000,000 results.”

That just says how varied our views and opinions are about beauty. We all have some kind of perception and standards to beauty. And these concepts change, too. Like how fair-skinned people are generally attractive in the Orient while tanning is the definition of sophistication and charm in the West. Not necessarily the best adjectives I could think of, but you get the point.

Ethnic Beauty

The truth of the matter is if we sum up all cultures’ definition and concept of beauty, none would fit the word. It is not even dignified enough that women always feel the need to be pretty.

Feminism is throwing in the towel at the idea that to be feminine means to be pretty and if you’re called ugly, you’re out of that gender categorization. It is rather convincing the latent truth that to be feminine doesn’t mean you have to be beautiful. You just have to be you and let other people deal with it. Or not. Either way, you shouldn’t let others tell you off for expressing your thoughts and opinion about something that you either find attractive or not.

If I say, oh look the pigeon’s feather is not colorful so I think it looks uglier than a parrot, would you brand me as an anti-animal rights’ activist?

So many things have changed (largely for the better) ever since feminism was born hundred years ago. More than anything, I am happy to be a feminist and my preference and opinion about a particular celebrity and what beauty means to me doesn’t change the fact that I am not against women’s rights.

Let’s move on.

Advertisements

5 Smart Ways to Avoid Unwanted, Unsolicited Small Talks

5 Smart Ways to Avoid Unwanted, Unsolicited Small Talks

 

Anywhere you go around the world, you’ll get to meet at least one or two of their species. They are scattered in the crowded corners of the universe and exist in the least parts you thought they would. Whether you are riding a bus, a train, a plane, or you stroll in a park, the market, the mall, and even during holidays and in between family gatherings, you can be sure to rub shoulders with them from time to time. I call them the “small talkers.”

Have you ever had to strike up a conversation with a complete stranger? If yes, how did it go? If no, good for you. I have had several experiences to know how exasperating it is to endure an unasked for conversation with someone I barely knew. And yes, even the awkward exchange of pangangamusta (social pleasantry) with an old friend can cause me an episode of panic attack.aaeaaqaaaaaaaayaaaaajdy0ztm3njhklta4ytctndjiys1imgjmlti5ntvkmjfin2m2yq

The bad news is nobody is exempted from meeting people whose apparent trade in life is to initiate and perpetuate unwanted small talks that are usually just one-sided.  And the thing is, you hate those insipid chats—you’d rather get lost in your own thoughts, read a book, listen to your iPod or play video games than engage in their hobby. But at the same time, you also don’t want to just walk away, so you just suffer silently. But you can do more than that—way more.

Carefully follow these few tips on how to avoid such unpleasant pleasantries.

Tip #1: DON’T ACT INTERESTED

a363ce60-c0fb-0132-9a5c-0e01949ad350

Don’t make eye contact. Stand on one foot bearing your weight and start tapping the lazy foot rapidly like you’re waiting for the bus while running late for a final exam. Check dirt on your nails, which are not there. Nod your head fast and frequently even before they start on another line. Scratch parts of your body that don’t itch. If you are wearing a watch, take an “accidental” look at it and mention you remember to do something urgent.

 

Tip #2 BEAT THEM IN THEIR OWN GAME

635771770332611701-1416518787_hf7ktj6

Give them a taste of their own medicine by over talking. Take all the chances you can get and don’t let them beat you to the next sentence. When they are trying to cut you off, change the subject—and do that very often. Don’t let them interrupt you by interrupting them.

Pretend to give them a chance to speak, only to cut them off again. This way, they’ll get irritated the same way you do when they’re the ones giving you the talk. Discuss taboo topics like religion, politics, sexism, and racism.

Tip #3 MAKE A SMART MOVE

1382470942595393573

Act like you have a stomachache, headache, backache, brainache, etc. Or start to get busy with your phone and press the song set as your ringtone and mock a phone call.

Tip #4 PRACTICE STRATEGIC AVOIDANCE

Remember who the small talkers are and avoid their presence as much as you can. If you see them approaching, don’t look in their way and start walking towards the opposite direction. But if luck is not on your side and you can’t avoid to bump into them, give a quick “hi” and walk fast.

introverts_smalltalk

But what if you’re still not in luck and it seems the universe is conspiring against you that you happen to be just stuck and cornered in, say, a jeepney or a bus? Just look at the window and casually say, “oh, look, there’s my stop right there.” Then call the driver’s attention to drop you off the hook.

Tip #5 LEARN TO GET AROUND

The last and probably the least horrible thing you can do to escape from small talkers is to tell them nicely.

Say that as much as you want to talk to them about the job you landed in to, the accomplishments you have achieved so far, or how fair the weather is, tell them you also have other better things to do like write a novel, sleep, and brainstorm for ideas on how to change the world and stuff.

sorrycard

 

But of course these are not the advisable exact words that you should say. Try to be more creative.

Craft socially acceptable phrases and words to feign concern. You can hide these words under more polite terms and wrap them up in pretty packaging called implied sarcasm and sugar-coated euphemism.

Most people don’t get the irony anyway. Anything you can conjure at the rare moment of colossal ingenuity you can muster would be enough.

So yeah, try to follow these nuggets of admonition and you will be sure to get by and get around these atrocious situation of awkward conversations.

1294963978250_5276772

A Song of Fire and Ice

                You hear a  song for the first time (not necessarily a new one, but that which you discovered recently) and you instantly like it. In just a matter of minutes,  your ears are plugged with earphones, you are banging your head or tapping your foot to the beat of the song that’s set on replay in your iPod.

              Then for the next few days, you’re stuck with it that you even hum the tune in your sleep.  Deny it all you want, but you know LSS has done you in big time. And that’s when it hits you–you’re hooked.

             More like when you think you’re “in love.”

            Infatuation is a more accurate word, but you wouldn’t put it that way because it sounds too immature, too vague to even label your sudden inexplicable feelings. The truth is, there is just no word for it, really. You just know you wake up one day knowing everything will be the way things have been–just another ordinary day until you saw that person and bam! Your life changes.

              So just like the new song you’ve come to like, you go on everyday looking for ways to spend time with the object of your affection. You do everything to see them and make them notice you back. Maybe a glance or two from them is enough to make your day.

But you never get enough of it. You have to know more about the song. And the person.

             The first few weeks are the hardest. And the most exhilarating, exciting and excruciating experience you’ll ever have. You’re starting to recognize emotions no words could give justice to. So, you try to “get to know” the song. You play it on repeat until you think you know the lyrics. You struggle to verbalize most of the words that go with the tune like groping for  black socks in a dark room–in the middle of the night. But no matter how much you try to get the words right, sometimes you’re a little too carried away with the feel of the music that you think, “Screw the right words. I’m gonna sing it the way I want to.”

             You think you got the song all figured out, right? You think you would never need to look up the lyrics to prove that your whims about it are true. But who are you kidding? Sooner or later you hear other people singing the same song you’re so addicted to… only to find out you’ve been singing it all wrong. And you kick yourself for believing otherwise. Now you know better, but still love the song.

              When you finally truly memorized the song–lyrics to tune, head to foot, skin and bones, you started to get tired of it. Somehow, the song that you’ve once struggled to master, the very one that you have painstakingly learned, devoted your time and got attached to just juiced the interest out of you. What was on repeat is now on a shuffle and no longer included in your New Playlist.

               Then soon enough, you’ll discover another song and a new obsession is underway. You look at the title of the song flashing on your screen and couldn’t even remember how and why you have become so bent with it in the first place. You were sure it must have been the lyrics or the tune that got you so fired up, but now? All that’s left is the embers, cold and gray.

7 Pathetic People Scattered in Social Media

7 Pathetic People Scattered in Social Media

You’ve created an account in social media and started to participate in the social pool to meet a whole lot of different personalities. Congratulations, for like me, you’ve finally decided to step out of your cave and avail a dose of “modern civilization”…. So let me walk you through this whole new jungle called the social media and warn you about the 7 people you’ll surely meet along the way..

1. People who share their private and intimate stuff in public which no one understands because it’s contextual and no one really cares about it because it’s personal. ‪#‎fad‬

2. People posting how they are too busy that they don’t have a life–and yet, amazingly, have the time to post about that. ‪#‎frontAct‬

3. People in love rubbing their relationship on everybody’s faces like they are the least miserable ones. Fine, you’re the sweetest couple on earth. Ok already. ‪#‎thefeeelss‬

4. People who think they are naturally beautiful and post their “prettiest” photo after taking a hundred selfies on Camera 360 and put hashtags implying they woke up with that look. ‪#‎fake‬

5. People who broadcast every little detail about their pathetic existence–from whining about a nail polish color to ranting about a random experience and everything in between. ‪#‎facade‬

6. People who do what everyone else does just so they don’t fall out of fashion and are not left out. Then brag it to the world like they’re the only one who has or does it. ‪#‎fool‬

7. Lastly, people who purposefully hit the LIKE button on others’ posts in the hopes that they’ll return the favor. Kind of like fishing for Likes. Yikes.‪#‎fastidious‬

And there you have it. You never know you might be one of them someday. Or you already are one of them now. But the only sure thing is you’ll meet one or two of these. And yes, you’re welcome.

The Wall

I have always wanted to be your friend, always wanted to break that wall that separates your world from mine. I realized I wasn’t only interested of being your friend, but I know wishing too much is being too greedy already. So I just kept on wishing and thinking if there are ways in which I can penetrate through that great vast wall between you and me, only to realize that you’re not interested.

Knocking endlessly, I was the crooked, creepy stranger outside your door. Though I know you found me all annoying, still I kept on pursuing. I thought of climbing over, digging under, and even go round about that giant wall just to have the chance to enter to your barred domain. When in desperate attempt I tried everything I thought would work, you came along and opened the backdoor to let me in. I thought you chose the back because you were too ashamed to let other people know you let someone undeserving like me enter your premises. But i was wrong–you never intended to open the door for me at all. I came to know that you opened that tiny door for something else. But I was determined to get through, oblivious of the foreboding consequences lurking over me.

I was so big and the backdoor was so small that it took great effort to push myself in. I was too impetuos to get in that i didnt think of anything else aside from entering the passage so freely opened before me. I was too rash to know that it wasn’t opened for me so I thrust myself in, anyway. Regardless of my unfitness, I conquered the task laid out before me with so great a risk of either breaking the wall, or breaking myself. The odds I was fighting agaisnt should never be underestimated in this so vulnerable a moment and so slim a chance.

However impassable it may seem, I manage to get through just in time to see the hope gleaming into my fog-shrouded soul. From the depths of despair, I struggled to inhale the air of ecstasy. I hold my breath, not wanting to ruin the breathless moment of my life–I was drinking in the sight of the brightest star in my moonless night. Just as my preoccupied mind never fail to be fascinated and be mesmerized by your presence, I started to feel the cold ghastly air solidifying into a hard lump churning in my stomach. I stood there, motionless. Almost invariably, I watched and waited for the light of that beautiful smile I had always wanted to flash before me. The foolish part of my heart was shouting, wishing, and even begging for the sign of happiness to show in your face as it proudly shows in mine.

The defeaning silence struck like a fist into my gut, forcing me to choke out the words I know I would soon regret to have said.
“Am I welcome?”
I was still waiting… Dead silence filled the room. I was almost slipping away behind the wall of silence and indifference as your painful words left unspoken hangs in every fiber of my being, their invisible weight oppresive enough to drag me down into the deepest nook of the earth. I was helpless to stop the inevitable rejection smirking sardonically beyond those unopened lips. The next words stopped me cold.
“who said you were?”
My eyes found yours unerringly in the gloom. Your eyes narrowed, my countenance fell. I suppose I had been too proud to listen to the thoughts I had previously conceived. But those thoughts I erroneously rejected are the very same thoughts that could have saved me from the terrible pang of regret, had I chose to listen to it. I listened as the throbbings of my heart echoed the regrets i have accumulated through time–regret for the things that might have been, but never would be. I tried to shut the words, tried to detach myself from the throb of remorse reverberating in my chest. I smiled–probably the worst faked smile the world has ever known. But it didn’t make me feel any better nor did it make me feel less alone. My life was falling apart the same moment when I hoped that that wall should have fallen instead. Finally, I did the best thing I could have done that was left for me to do at that moment–I walked away. Slowly pacing, I drag my feet noiselessly towards the door in which I compelled myself to enter right from the start. This time the door wasn’t as small as it had appeared to be the ment I forcefully entered in. I raised my head to see how far and wide the door seemed to hold itself as wide as possible for me to find my way out. It was as easy and effortless for me to get out as it had been the other way around when I tried to get in. Before I took my last step, I turned to look back on you and hoped for a wave of goodbye. But even that last gesture I wished to see you heartlessly deprived me of. I nod and continued treading on my way out of that darkened realm of unforgettable past.

The Letter I Wish I Received

Dear Elementary Pupils,

Please don’t take your Math lessons lightly. Pay careful attention to your teacher when he’s teaching you how to solve the freaking fractions which you thought aren’t as important as knowing how to divide a pizza among hungry friends. Don’t ignore the lessons you learned about how to convert fractions to decimals and percentage or vice versa when you reach the age when you think dollar conversion is of much importance. Don’t neglect your lessons on how to calculate your father’s age and/or the average of you and your siblings’ ages because they make sense in building relationships, really. Don’t discard your memory of how you solved the measure of distance and speed of a vehicle when you’re at the point of your life wherein all you wanted is how to own a car and break the speed limit.

Love,
Me