Privileges **

** (noun) a special right, advantage, or immunity granted or available only to a particular person or group of people — as defined by Google

a book without women is often said to be about humanity but a book with women in the foreground is a woman’s book. — Rebecca Solnit

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In an ideal world, we would all have the same privileges irrespective of race, gender or social class.

But it is not an ideal world. Privileges (even by definition) are conferred based on what you are, not what you have done or what you can do.

Men have certain privileges by virtue of the fact that they have a Y-chromosome and a penis; while women do not.

Recently, I can’t help but wonder if these privileges are conferred only on certain types of men while excluding others. Maybe privileges are conferred not on the basis of anatomy but about society’s perception about your person-hood (specifically, male-hood or female-hood).

I have come across the blog of a man who is a self-described introvert, pessimist, mediocre, 30-year-old virgin. Dateless and bothered about it, he took it upon himself to start a blog chronicling his (mis)adventures — I find his voice articulate, engaging, somewhat depressing, but a great read anyway.

He reminds me of G, actually. I wonder if G would have ended up sounding like him if G had not met me — the love of his life (or so I think) 🙂

 

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Deflowered But Not Devalued*

(*with all gratitude to Shoshanna Shapiro of “Girls” from whom this line was lifted)

***

Alice contemplates. She doesn’t want to; but she can’t help it. Sex does not really mean anything, supposedly, ideally.

So why does it feel like it does?

She googles when she contemplates, so her laptop currently has several tabs opened from enlighteningly esoteric websites, such as the Journal of Adolescent Health and UNFPA and Family Planning International. She should  start doing her lecture, and really that’s what she meant to do. For some reason, she got sidetracked and she now has to remind herself that her lecture is about general cognitive psychology and not Adolescent Counseling.

Drats! She is not an adolescent anymore. But she feels like an adolescent right now. Thinking about it, she acknowledges that she had never really been given a chance to be an adolescent. For one, she can’t remember having a rebellious phase … until now.

Truth be told, going all the way with him (god she can’t even think of it as “having sex”) has an element of … activism? Or, liberation maybe?

Okay, it’s not as if being a virgin is the be-all and end-all of a woman’s existence. Not anymore.

Alice wonders: what's the big deal about virginity when it can so easily be commoditized like this?

Alice wonders: what’s the big deal about virginity when it can so easily be commoditized like this?

She is not living in the 19th century. This is the 21st … the third millennium. In  a few years people will be going to the moon and set up lunar settlements; or colonizing Mars. Sex and the City and Ally McBeal and Friends say it’s totally cool to be out there and  just … do it. Because it feels good, it’s feminist, and it’s liberating and it’s …

Why is she so bothered?

Due to years of social conditioning, probably.

And the fact that he immediately went  to Mindanao after what happened and now (despite the daily texts and that one time he called her cel) … and now … she misses him.

It is a novel feeling for Alice to miss a man. Come to think of it, she didn’t even miss her father when he went and became a TNT** in the US.  She missed her mom when she died. She misses her grandmother and her aunts when she doesn’t see them for weeks. But a guy? No, never a guy. This  is a totally new thing.

She was reading an article in a journal about Turkish girls who undergo surgery to have their hymen restored. And  Alice’s reaction is: give me a fucking break!

So this is what a hymen looks like. Imagine all the stress women have to undergo for this measly insignificant  piece of  tissue!

Alice: So this is what a hymen looks like. Imagine all the stress that women (for centuries) have to undergo for this measly insignificant piece of tissue!

She totally sympathizes with the Turkish girls, though; can completely understand how important physical virginity is in a society of male chauvinist religious fundamentalists.  If she was born in Turkey, she would probably be lining up in a gynecologist’s clinic right now.

She wonders what virginity feels like for guys. Do they acknowledge that concept for themselves? She wanted to ask Jonas what it felt like when he lost it. But she’s, well, embarrassed — liberated outspoken girl that she is. Until now she still cannot think about the details of what happened without wanting to bury her head under Kim’s futon.

***

(TNT – Tagalog “tago nang tago”, term used for illegal aliens in the US