Whoever Declared March as Women’s Month, I Wonder

“You asked me to explain myself. I just wonder what needs to be explained. Let me be very clear. Look into your own heart. I swear to you, mine’s no different. You want a place in the trades and professions where you can earn your bread? So do I. You want some means of self expression? Some way of satisfying your own personal ambitions? So do I. You want a voice in the government in which you live? So do I. What is there to explain?”

(Quoted from the movie, Iron Jawed Angels; spoken by Hilary Swank who played the role of militant suffragette, Alice Paul.)

A scene from the 2004 movie starring Hilary Swank. Image from proyouththpages.com

A scene from the 2004 movie starring Hilary Swank. Image from proyouththpages.com

***

The thing is … Alice Paul, many would disagree with you; and debate that there is much difference between the hearts and souls of men and women. For example, the fact that Ms. Universe 1994 Ms. Sushmita Sen was asked the inane question: “What is the essence of being a woman?” illustrates this fact. Nobody would dare to ask a man: “What is the essence of being a man?” ¬†with the express intention of expecting the guy to answer that his main purpose in life is to produce and take care of the next generation of human beings.

Alice Paul, 1885-1977, a militant feminist in the tradition of Andrea Dworkin. She got imprisoned numerous times and worked her ass off so that women in her country could get the vote. I think she was kinda pretty, almost as pretty as Justin Trudeau. The difference between Justin and Alice is that Justin has Sophie; while Alice's lovelife was so private we do not even know about it.

Alice Paul, 1885-1977, a militant feminist in the tradition of Andrea Dworkin. She got imprisoned numerous times and worked her ass off so that women in her country could get the vote. I think she was kinda pretty, almost as pretty as Justin Trudeau. The difference between Justin and Alice is that Justin has Sophie; while Alice’s lovelife was so private we do not even know about it. Image from biography.com.

I suddenly remember you, Alice, because last March 8 was Women’s Day and I think just this week, we were celebrating Mother’s Day.

I do not want to malign motherhood, Alice — an institution without which, I wouldn’t exist. But the thing is, people have ennobled being a mother to such an extent that not being one or not wanting to be one raises the spectre of “aberration” towards someone.

I am sure a lot of our sisters are ambivalent about motherhood — even those who are mothers themselves. Of course they would never dare to tell their children (or even other people) of this ambivalence; that would be like taboo or sacrilege.

I wonder if there will ever be a time when fatherhood is also elevated in the same pantheon of “nobility” as motherhood. When a guy can be asked: “What is the essence of being a man?” and for us to expect him to answer that being a man is all about being a father.

That is when I will truly believe that the struggle of feminism has succeeded.

***

Justin and Barry -- my favorite feminists. It doesn't hurt that they also look good enough to eat. Image from news.yahoo.com

Justin and Barry — my favorite feminists. It doesn’t hurt that they also look good enough to eat. Image from news.yahoo.com

And because it is Women’s Month, I would like to have the privilege to objectify men.

Hence …

What can girls love more than guys who just scream “eye candy” — like Justin and Barry over here. Some have speculated on the budding bromance between these two world leaders ūüėČ

***

Reading Lists:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-fix/wp/2016/03/10/the-budding-bromance-between-president-obama-and-canadas-justin-trudeau-in-11-great-pictures/?tid=sm_fb

http://www.kevinmd.com/blog/2016/03/heartbreak-dating-exhausted-medical-resident.html

http://www.vox.com/2014/12/15/7371737/rape-culture-definition

http://www.vox.com/2015/10/13/9523879/playboy-nudity-no

http://www.vox.com/2016/2/4/10877038/hitchhiking-woman-dangerous

Female Genital Mutilation More Widespread Than Previously Thought, UNICEF Says

 

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Thirty-five

Germaine Greer, that controversial ’70’s feminist who wouldn’t give up, even now that she is in her 70’s, once said:

“The point of an organic family is to release the children from the disadvantages of being extensions of their parents so that they can belong primarily to themselves.”

Germaine Greer, The Female Eunuch, 1970

If I can find a copy of this is Booksale, it will go right to my TBR pile.

If I can find a copy of this is Booksale, it will go right to my TBR pile.

Miz Greer, much as I would like to agree, in principle, with your thesis, putting your point into practice would prick parents at their thorniest. Children, you see, are the emotional properties of their parents. And our parents have never; and will never (unless they are dead) let us forget that.

Mothers are the worst. Especially if you are a daughter. I cannot speak for the sons, but if they are there somewhere, I am sure they also have their gripes.

One’s mother almost died giving birth to you; so you owe her. For life.

Wait-just-a-fucking-minute!! I did not wish to be born … I was not exactly consulted if I wanted¬† to be brought into existence. So excuse me … if I resent your demands for my gratefulness. For this supposedly blessed gift called Life.

***

For a woman turning 35 (one score plus one-and-a-half decade) years old, a milestone has been reached. In medical parlance, she has arrived at a quandary called, “elderly primipara/primigravida”.

The term “elderly primipara/primigravida” was invented, once upon a time, when obstetrics was populated by white-men-in-white-uniform. I think that its insertion into the lexicon of obstetrics residents was partly a warning sign to girls — get a man and have a baby before 35 or you will die.

Samuel Clemens, also known as Mark Twain. A writer who died penniless. Just another chap who may just  be my role model.

Samuel Clemens, also known as Mark Twain. A writer who died penniless. Just another chap who may just be my role model.

In truth, and statistics will show (Mark Twain did say that there are lies, more lies, and statistics) that a lot of morbidities occur in women who gestate after 35. To wit: gestational diabetes, preeclampsia, gestational trophoblastic diseases, gestational hypertension, etc, etc.

I have come to believe that girls get knocked up in their teens because they were stupid; in their twenties because of peer pressure; and give in to maternal instincts in their 30’s because they fear death.

So Miz Greer …¬† a child is an extension of their parents. Your thesis is a fantasy. A wonderful fantasy, like The Lord of The Rings is wonderful, but a fantasy nonetheless.

But I love you, anyway ūüôā

Sex and Anarchy

ladies of avignon

Ladies of Avignon (Pablo Picasso). According to some sources, this is one of the most erotic arts in the world. Ana does not agree. A picture of naked women does not make her hot. If she wants to look at naked female bodies, she would strip her clothes in front of a mirror.

Sometimes, Ana would wonder: what can the world be if women took charge?

It would be so boring. And rigid. Women are so puritanical as a group that if they took the reins, everybody would all be worshiping in the church of Prada and dildoes would be a required accessory. But there would be no sex.

For sex to happen, there has to be anarchy.

Or more specifically … great sex requires the messiness of men. Or maybe Ana is just biased because she is not a lesbian.

The greatest orgasms (hence the best sex) Ana have ever had were the ones that have taken her by surprise. For women that usually seem to be the case.

The problem with that is¬†now, a¬†girl won’t usually know when her next orgasm will be coming from.¬†But then, Ana consoles herself, a promise of something is better than a universe of nothing. Which is basically why she is thankful that she has found her husband (amidst the billions of human¬†XYs in the world) and fell in love with him.

Ana found herself agreeing with Pope Francis when he said that we must permit ourselves to be surprised by love. (What he actually said was: we must let ourselves be surprised by god’s love. But, then Ana¬† thinks, the pope is Catholic so it’s understandable for him to insert his own deity in what would be a profound statement even for an atheist — or maybe, even for a Muslim, if we want to do the inclusivity thing.)

Ana is beginning to think that Jesus must be a feminist too. Granted, he had to relegate his mom Mary to the role of perpetual virgin; and his girlfriend, Magdalene to the role of perpetual whore. Despite those shortcomings, the guy had some of his marbles in order.

Ironically, this train of thought started because Ana was horny, not having seen Christian for the past 24 hours.

Cupid and Psyche

This sculpture of Psyche and Cupid … now this is hot — Ana.

psyche&cupid3

It’s even more erotic when seen in close-up!

***

Readings Lists:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/erica-jong/if-men-could-get-pregnant_b_82467.html

http://www.rappler.com/world/regions/asia-pacific/82682-japan-foreign-affairs-isis-murders-crisis-management?utm_content=buffer71082&utm_medium=social&utm_source=facebook.com&utm_campaign=buffer

 http://raissarobles.com/2015/01/30/haiku-on-the-death-of-44-police-commandos/

http://www.abs-cbnnews.com/entertainment/01/31/15/look-celebs-touching-tribute-fallen-cop

http://www.dailykos.com/story/2014/11/10/1343748/-It-s-Official-Pope-Francis-Demotes-Higest-Ranking-US-Cardinal-Over-LBGT-Issues#

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/12/11/pope-francis-women_n_6307822.html

https://ph.news.yahoo.com/25-things-pope-said-today-103941208.html

http://www.abs-cbnnews.com/nation/01/13/15/pope-francis-worked-bouncer-had-girlfriend

http://www.gmanetwork.com/news/popefrancis/story/409955/first-person-how-pope-francis-renewed-the-faith-of-this-reluctant-catholic

http://opinion.inquirer.net/81780/devout-and-dishonest

http://opinion.inquirer.net/81837/why-i-dont-like-pope-francis

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/01/14/cardinal-luis-antonio-tagle_n_6470298.html

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/01/14/cardinal-luis-antonio-tagle_n_6470298.html

 

Eating Crow

In a world where god is a man, and hence, by definition, holds the monopoly on power, being born female would doom one to a life where the only way to get power is to latch oneself to a male and control him. (It gets worse — for some girls, men are their horcruxes.)

So in behalf of my sisters (and mothers), I therefore issue this apology:

1. To all the men who felt that they were unmanned, castrated, had their balls stamped upon, were defecated on their head (or face or wherever) by the women in their lives ….

2. To the men who were victims of downsizing and who felt that their jobs were usurped by those bitches token females …

3. To the men who lost their erections and who felt that somehow penises that wilt are caused by irate/ exasperated/ tired/ scared/ confused/ terrified/ terrorized/ bullied/ diseased/ postpartum/ antepartum/ pediatric/ geriatric/ unlubricated/ mislubricated/ tortured/ distracted/¬† (girls, fill in the blanks as you see fit) … vaginas …

4. To the men whose love went unrequited …

5. To the men who had to put up with our nagging, our histrionics, our pretenses, our insecurities, our own lust for power (yes, dear, even we have that) …

6. To the men who honored us to be our friends, boyfriends (ok, even FUBUs), lovers, husbands, persons-in-case-of-emergency, significant others …

7. To the men who shared their sperm with our mothers — the result of which turned out to be this speck of life, however inconsequential …

8. To the men who fed us, clothed us, bathed us, taught us, nurtured us, protected us,¬† saved us (sometimes even from ourselves), defended us, prayed for us, healed us, changed us, fought our fights for us …

9. To the men who were half-owners of the zygotes we aborted …

10. To the men who are the other half of us.

We. Are. Deeply. Sorry.

In as much as an unimportant, overworked, psychotic, neurotic, defensive over-achiever, bitch, skank, slut, ho, whore, prostitute, quim, freak, virago, siren, medusa … can be sorry. Please. Accept our apology.

We did not mean to cause you pain.

We did not mean to hurt your feelings. Sometimes we did mean to, but please believe us — there were extenuating circumstances.

We did not mean to be females.

It was not our fault. Don’t punish us. Please blame god instead.

As much as we claim to hate you, detest you, want to kill you, maim you, castrate you, emasculate you, out-ball you — those were sometimes just the ramblings of a desperate creature.

The truth is we want you to love us, as much as we love you.

***

Gloria Steinem, 1972. Steinem was named the American Humanist Association's 2012 Humanist of the Year for her activism in feminism and LGBT rights. Picture and info were from Wikipedia

Gloria Steinem, 1972. Steinem was named the American Humanist Association’s 2012 Humanist of the Year for her activism in feminism and LGBT rights. Picture and info were from Wikipedia

From Wikipedia: “On September 3, 2000, at age 66, Steinem married David Bale,father of actor Christian Bale. Steinem and Bale were married for only three years before he died of brain lymphoma on December 30, 2003, at age 62.”

Romance Sells Because It’s Fun — What is So Wrong With That?

alternative titles for this post …. Because Love is Fun! (at least it’s supposed to be) …. In Defense of Romance Novels… Why I Hate “Mommy Porn” … Some Male Chauvinist Actually Called Erica Jong’s ‘Fear of Flying’ A Mammoth Pudenda–This was In the 1970’s But hey, I Don’t Think We Have Improved Very Much …

***

It used to be my deep, dark secret — I am a romance novel addict.

I was, maybe, 8 years old when it began.

sweet dreams

It started with a Janet Quin-Harkin Young Adult (YA) novel from the now-defunct Sweet Dreams line. The title of the book was “Ten Boy Summer” and the main character was Jill who had a bet with her bestfriend Toni on who will have the most number of dates that summer, hence the title. This was the 1980’s and hookups were not the norm, not even in high school.

I was not a native English speaker and a lot of the words and expressions were weird for me. I was 8 years old and I didn’t know what in heck “date” meant! As far as I was concerned “date” was something related to the calendar and not something that has to do with boys/men/romance. I did¬† finish “Ten Boy Summer” that summer of my 8th year — mainly because I cared about what happened to Jill and her summer romance with Craig.

So that’s the story of my addiction which, apparently, is shared by¬† a lot of women/girls based on this article:

***

A lot of academic and non-academic articles have been written on the appeal of the romance genre so I am going to be brief. But this is my theory as to why they sell: ROMANCE NOVELS ARE FUN.

This theory was proposed by Sandra Brown in the book, “Dangerous Men & Adventurous Women: Romance Writers on the Appeal of the Romance” (University of Pennsylvania Press, 1992) and I wholeheartedly agree.

What’s wrong with “fun”? Sandra asked in her article. What indeed? If men can have their Porsches, their war games, and¬† their Juggs magazines,¬† why can’t we have our Lisa Kleypas, Iris Johansen, Linda Howard, Susan Elizabeth Phillips, Sandra Brown, Marsha Canham, Mary Balogh, Judith McNaught, Pamela Morsi, Julia Quinn, Jill Barnett, Anne Stuart, Diana Palmer, Lynne Graham, Miranda Lee and EL James (yes dear readers, 50 Shades is a romance masquerading as a book on S&M — come on, it is not even Erotica!).

While we’re on the subject of romance novels, may I just express my dislike at the term, “mommy-porn” which they say is having a heyday as far as sales is concerned. What the effing does it mean combining “porn” with “mommy”? Do we have “daddy porn”?

‚ÄúMy reaction to porno films is as follows: After the first ten minutes, I want to go home and screw. After the first twenty minutes, I never want to screw again as long as I live.‚ÄĚ- Erica Jong

I hate sounding like a nitpicking, angry feminist (stereotype, beware!) but:

After working in 9 to 5 jobs, getting hassled by traffic, being harassed by the neighborhood pervert who thinks he is god’s gift to the female half of the species, then going home to wash the dishes and clean the house (which is done automatically because girls generally feel guilty if they don’t wash the dishes and clean the house since mother said being unclean is BAD), doesn’t us girls/women deserve a little break?

Don’t I effing deserve a little cozy time with my escapist reading fare (hello! don’t tell me FHM or Playboy or even Ian Fleming are not escapists) without some patronizing bozo calling my book mommy-porn and I’m not even a mommy yet?