Saturday, July 28, 2012

Down with Patriarchy

Here's something infuriating, get ready.
I was on the skytrain heading home yesterday and had the unfortunate view of a drunk and sleazy man making vulgar remarks at several women. This fucking clown was THE slime ball of the century, not only was he completely insufferably obvious while ogling these women, he also very vocal and made kissing noises and various disgusting facial expressions. The situation was an example of power imbalance. The women looked beyond uncomfortable, they looked extremely distressed and perhaps felt very vulnerable too (I know I would). They tried their hardest to keep composure and exited the vehicle as fast as possible when it was their stop. 

To make the matter worse, this man was not alone. HE WAS WITH A WOMAN!!! This woman (also drunk and obnoxious) seemed totally aloof about how her date was making passes at other women. At some point, the man turned towards two girls sitting behind him and started gesturing at them with his hand and touch them. At this point, the girl was trying to dodge his hand all the while telling him to stop. Upon hearing this, the drunk woman became hostile and turned around and said, "hey, don't start shit. You're suppose to say 'please and thank you'".

Without getting too deep into the social significance of this whole thing, I think we can all agree that this is just another example of how some men feel that they are entitled to treat women however they see fit. (ie. with less respect thus as less than them) At the same time, some women perpetuate this inequality by not only submitting themselves to the subjugation of men but also broadcast such beliefs externally, unto other women. Thus, we (women) are disadvantaged by two sets of taken-for-granted assumptions which does not help the cause of equality at all. 

I, in the past, have been criticized by other fellow feminists as "contradictory" and "victim blaming" (victims being the women who are discriminated against) because my notions can sometimes seem a bit harsh towards women. My defence is usually that I hate to see women as victims of patriarchal circumstances and by seeing woman as the people who have been subjected to sexism and unfairness sort of implies that "that's just the way it is, we women are always the passive recipients of the shitty end of the bargain". To that I say "FUCK THAT" because whenever I hear anybody (men and women) talking about anything with any a shred of gender undertone, I tell always say to them, "it doesn't have to be that way, gender roles are the status quo, yes, but it doesn't have to be." Thus I try to change as much of our societal expectations as possible, starting at the most basic level by rejecting everything coloured by gender rather than sex. To subvert gender, I believe both men and women are responsible but since most gender stereotypes hold more negative standards about women, women need to work extra hard to reverse them. This means, by only defending ourselves against external sexism coming from others is not enough, we also need to recognize our own schemas of gender and reverse them. That is usually the hardest part but it can be done. 

Sunday, July 22, 2012

SLC Punk!

One of the best independent movies ever. Underrated, witty and informative. 

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

When Zombies Attack

Unlike others, I truly believe that If the world was over-taken by zombies, I'd be one of the first to die. You know, like the ones you see in zombie movies who only made a guest appearance, for like, two minuets in the beginning of the movie then suffers from the most brutal maul by a hoard of zombies. Yeah, that's going to be me.

Putting yourself in zombie scenarios are useful sometimes for assessing your level of common sense and the ability to make split-second decisions. One of the most popular hypothetical situations I often contemplate is whether I'd be able to kill someone I love who's been infected. If you ask people that, most of them will probably say "yes" (I know I would), but again these people have probably watched a lot of zombie movies and get super frustrated when some teary-eyed character is reluctant to shoot his zombie brother in the face, consequently dooming himself and the rest of his surviving party members. In this tough dilemma, people often base their judgement on the most utilitarian option (bash in your zombie mother's skull and save yourself and the rest), but what most people don't really take into consideration is that to truly be utilitarian, one oftentimes need to be ruthless. The problem is, people don't want to be cruel, especially not to someone they care(d) about.  I mean, think about it. Would you really, really be able to kill your best friend, in the midst of a zombie frenzy (not to mention, you probably already witnessed a great deal of brutality by this point)? After surviving for so long, having overcome so much, wouldn't you want to fully commit to whatever shred of hope you have left in you that maybe, just maybe the love of your life won't come back from the dead and tear you into pieces? And it's precisely that hope that tears us apart. Reduces us into a rubble of emotional, nonthinking, anti-heros. That's probably what I will be, and for that reason alone, I think it's be best I'm not on your team if you think you're going to salvage whatever little is left of mankind during the zombie apocalypse. 

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Manic Pixie Dream Girl

As much as I enjoy indie, quirky, romantic-comedies (ie. Garden State), I really resent the female stock character which the industry refer to as the "manic pixie dream girl".

Drawing from the definition, the MPDG is often used in movies as the human catalyst for the growth and the development of the male protagonist's sense of identity. She helps the main character (often a tortured, anxiety-ridden male) overcome his immaturity and eventually inspires him to fully embrace all experiences and relish in all aspects of life.

Yes, MPDG are the proverbial "the one who changed my life" girls. I believe,  they are also products of androcentrism. This means the portrayal of these type of characters indirectly undermines the complexity and the individuality of every woman. Fuck man! Not every quirky, bubbly and eccentric girl is just waiting to instil epiphanies and new found experiences in self-deprecating boys. I promise you LSD can achieve that same effect. Much less emotional entanglement as well which is probably useful, considering it can help prevent a full depression relapse when you finally do reach self-actualization and realize that you are a nothing without your MPDG. Oh yeah, and that you're also kind of a chauvinist. 

I'm wearing eyeliner!!! WHOAZ!