“The Last Jedi” Does Not Need Another Rave Review

(+++ warning, if you are sensitive to swear words please do not read this)

So I will not make one. But my article today will use Rian Johnson‘s baby as a starting-off point to talk about sexual harassment, creative/artistic efforts and James Damore.

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Picture from Wikipedia

Looking at Mr. Johnson’s facial hair and the fact that according to Wikipedia, he is presently in a relationship with a woman, it is safe to say that he is a heterosexual white male.

Heterosexual white males have traditionally been privileged creatures in Planet Earth. Yes, they still have their own pecking orders as in:  Jewish heterosexual white males are picked upon by  Italian heterosexual white males, who are picked upon by the Irish who are picked upon by the British who are picked upon by the Nords (??) — ad infinitum.

The point is, in the Grand Scheme of things, these guys should think twice first before claiming to be a discriminated minority — BECAUSE THEY ARE NOT. Another point is, I have just had enough of their whinings which they can express in pseudo-reasonable or creative ways.

Then Mr. Johnson came along and created “The Last Jedi” — and it restored my faith in male humanity. To anybody who has not watched that movie, in a nutshell, the takeaway message of TLJ is: “guys, for fucking Christ’s sake, listen to women.”

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Because if you do not listen to us, one day you may just wake up and learn that once upon a time you were a rapist.

Yes darlings, when a woman says NO, it DOES NOT mean yes; and no: yes does not mean anal. If you have chosen to believe otherwise, then you are an asshole.

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Women have been sidelined or worse, harassed in the workplace long before Mira Sorvino agreed to tell her all to Ronan Farrow (Ronan, Mia Farrow’s son, who may or may not have been Woody Allen biological child — yes, Life is Ironic).

I was watching Ms. Sorvino’s performance in “Mighty Aphrodite” just now; and she is wonderful. She carried the movie, despite Woody Allen’s clueless-ness (Allen, by the way, was the one who inspired Rian Johnson to become a film-maker, after watching “Annie Hall”).

A very sad thing that Allen was able to thrive despite his crimes. But as Oprah said in the Golden Globes Awards this year … a new day has come girls!

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Despite Oprah’s speech, I am still pessimistic. It will be an uphill climb for human beings with XX chromosomes to achieve the same respect as human beings with XY chromosomes.

And that is mainly because women will never (or rarely ever, at the very least) kill their sons.

If women are as cutthroat and efficient  (and I say “efficient” in a disparaging way) as men, then misogynists like James Damore will not live long enough to write his fucking memo.

Yes, James, you are a misogynist. And do not give me that “I make reasonable, evidence-based, rational arguments” crap. You do not.

As Cynthia Lee has pointed out — your memo is nonsense.

If you had the reason that god gave a petunia, the first thing you will do is to have a uterus transplant on yourself, carry a baby the full 9 months, breastfeed that baby, raise it up to be a decent human being — without killing yourself in the process.

Then you will have a right to write your memo. Because, James, darling, men like you is the reason why I do not want to become a mother.

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On a positive note (yes there is one as I refuse to end my piece like Nietzsche), all this ranting has made me realize that I do not want to be a male, and thank God she made me a woman.

Who am I kidding? God definitely is not a woman. It would be a different world if god is a she. But then, if alternate universes are possible, maybe in one of those — God is a SHE.        Image from: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-3108477/If-God-woman-Church-feminists-say-God-wittiest-wisest-writers-imagine-world-higher-female-power-helm.html

 

 

 

 

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Orphans

Image from pinterest

I am ambivalent about the morality of assisted reproductive technology (ART). That may be a reason why, despite being a fascinating scientific area of study, I chose not to go into Reproductive Endocrinology. More’s the pity as there are less than 200 board-certified reproductive endocrinologists in the Philippines, a nation of 120 million.

This article is not about doctor-shortage (although it is tempting to make it about that as I have a lot of rant on that topic as well), but rather this is my ruminations about parenting.

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Image from pinterest

The best and worst thing about having a progeny is being confronted with one’s mortality. It need not be a biological progeny: one can have a Grand Life Project — like maybe, “Giving Women the Right to Vote” (Alice Paul), or  “Ensuring Philippine Freedom From Colonial Spain” (Jose Rizal), or “Ending Marcos Tyranny” (Benigno “Ninoy” Aquino) etc etc.

If the point of living is to prepare us for dying then what better way to spend that prep time than to strive for something we are really passionate about. Life is to foreplay what orgasm is to dying.

Progenies remind us of death because they are what come after us — the orphans we leave behind.

It would be a wonderful universe if we leave our orphans with a situation that is better than what we had. Unfortunately, more often than not, the Universe  is cruel and uncaring. Our orphans are left destitute and scrounging for a place (any place) to exist. How many orphans have perished at the demise of their parents, I wonder?

We are puppies, kittens, cubs, nestlings, fingerlings, tadpoles, caterpillars — left behind by mothers and fathers who did not survive our births.

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Image from Pinterest

Of course, it is a self-defeating attitude to resent a parent for not being strong enough to live. One is never ever ready to face a parent’s death. And a parent will never be able to protect its kid forever. That is Reality, sad but true.

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Image from Pinterest

I was walking along a foreign road this morning, tears streaking down my face, remembering my mother. I would give an arm (the left one as I am right handed) to see her again.

Before she died I asked her plaintively what am I going to do when I have a kid of my own and she is not there. She said that I have my aunts to help me through that.

Well Mommy, that is an unsatisfying answer, I have expected something more Buddha-esque from you. To give you credit though, you have gone through more pain in your life than I can even imagine, so maybe I should cut you some slack for not being more philosophical.

While we are at it Mommy, let me remind you that being a doctor was never the greatest dream of my life. I can save a thousand bodies from dying an untimely death, but that will not satisfy my soul as much as making up stories can. Yes, I would rather be a professional liar than a professional healer. How’s that for a life goal, mother?

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Were you a good parent or a bad one?

(I would think that I have a right to judge you as I am your progeny. And since you are dead, eviscerating you in print won’t matter very much.)

Image from Pinterest

What makes a “good parent” versus a “bad parent”?

Should parenting subsume one’s life at the expense of everything else, the way women have done for centuries?

Why are biological progenies supposedly more acceptable than non-biological ones?

The world is overpopulated with humans so what is the point of having more of us?

Image from Pinterest

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Mommy I don’t want to sound nihilistic (although I know I am), but maybe your biggest mistake was having me?

I keep thinking that if I did not come along, you would have lived longer; the same way your older sister (the one who went to another country and shares my name) is now living her life to the fullest.

What was the point of having me Mommy?

Seriously … I cannot understand. That is my problem.

Image from Pinterest

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

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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.

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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 😉

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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

 

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.

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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 🙂

We Were Not Exactly Demeter and Persephone

Dear Mommy,

I do have a love-hate relationship with you. Even now that you are dead, I still find myself detesting you, or praising you, for what I have become.

This is not an original idea, but children are the greatest projects of their parents. For those who chose not to procreate – well they can have other great projects. Isaac Newton, for example, wrote Philosophia Naturalis Principia Matematica  and invented Calculus, while Katharine Hepburn won the most number of Best Actress Oscar Awards.

But I am digressing. The thing with adults is that they sometimes (or most of the time?) use their offsprings, their kids, as pawns, as trophies or as insurance policies. I think I was all these for you, mommy. And maybe you didn’t even realize it.

You were not a bad mother. For the most part you were wonderful:

Providing offspring with food, clothing and shelter, check.

Facilitate socialization of children, check.

Teach kids values and mores consistent with one’s beliefs, check.  (Though I am not absolutely sure now what you really believed in)

Teach daughter to know own potentials and desires and follow them accordingly, FAILED. In this, I think you made me an extension of yourself, an extension of your dreams and wants and frustrations. And I am/was such a great daughter that if being a Good Daughter were a contest, I’d have won 1st Prize. For I have imbibed all your hopes, dreams and neuroses with flying colors.

I am just beginning to learn where you ended and I began. I am just beginning to learn what I am and what I really want.

But all that I have become that were because of you are also a part of me now. I cannot disown that. I cannot go back to being a 5 year old or a 16 year old.

Sometimes, I  feel grief for the Me-That-I-Might-Have-Been. Would she have been successful on her own terms? She dreamed that she would write her first novel by the time she was 30. Well, guess what mommy, she is now 33 and she can’t even find her langguage!

Ok, fine, I should not be too hard on you. You, being a product of your time. Just like me, your parents also made you into the person who eventually raised me. There is a part of me, though, who feels like a small girl asking you why?

Why could you not protect me from yourself?

Demeter went as far as the Underworld
to rescue Persephone from Hades
Who saved Persephone from Demeter?