Monday, March 31, 2014

Things people say that frustrate me

Presenting without further ado, stuff that bother me.

#1 Hmmm/Maybe

This is simply the most irritating statement I have ever heard. Here I am, spending all my energy and creativity and deploying sarcasm and wit and all you can contribute is a Hmmm?! At least say, "what can I reply to that?" or "I've lost you there" or just a smiley, you know "Hmmm :-)". Now you've given me this one word and I have no idea whether you're angry-yet-restraining/mad/sad/plain-stupid/awkwardly-typing-something-to-fill-gap-in-conversation. Now while I reason between my choices, you get bored and walk away. Typical.

Or I ask, "What was that?", politely and pretend to be stupid and ask you to explain.

#2 No signal/Transaction failed/All phone lines on this route are busy

Look, life in general is not pretty 24x7. DO NOT take away the tiny things in life that are capable of bringing a smile to my heart or at least have the courtesy to give me a bubble blower. Then, you are forgiven.

#3 I will cut only this much hair

I confess I really like my wild, unmanageably curly and moderate length hair. Yes, I am a feminist who likes pink and curly hair, moving on. And then when you when I ask for a trim, you say you're going to trim and leave me with nearly a military shave(writers take note, exaggeration is known as hyperbole). I mean why do you do this to me? That fallen hair is not going to benefit any of you, I will anyway pay you the preposterous amount of money you asked. It is not directly proportional to the amount you cut. Why. Why. And then you will proceed to lecture me how much easier it will be to maintain. Oh I see, why don't you shave your head :P

P.S. Yes, I know hair isn't important, insert politically correct statement here.

#4 You ought to eat more and put on more weight

Yes thank you for your pearls of wisdom. In general, people who want me to change how I eat/dress/talk, I say thank you, hoping that'll forever stem further pearls from your vast indexed database of unsolicited advice because no matter how I am, you will always have an opinion that we lowly human beings are incapable of following with the ease you practise them .

#5 Why don't you know how to cook?

Oh don't have the need, pay my mess bill myself and have awesome home food.

#6 You are afraid of pain, which is so weird for girls ( while convincing me to try some gruesome wax for example),

I am beautiful the way I am. I will wash my face, comb my hair, apply some makeup because that makes me feel good for myself and I like the way I look in the mirror that way. Imperfection is perfection. I will not stoop so low so as to inflict pain on my body to attain some surreal ideology of beauty that is defined by this complex evolution of society. And, it is independent of any gender.

#7 You should take care of your health more

This statement is the worst thing you can hear when you're sick. You want to get better, not be told off!

#8 I'm really proud of your achievements. Only thing is, it'll be so difficult to find a guy for you who is more qualified than you.

Dear aunty, I am an equality-demanding non-homely non-stereotypical nightmare. Please, my qualification is the least of your groom hunting problems.

These are answers that always pop into my head, but I believe in being polite so most unfortunately I never voice them and smile sheepishly. That way, the irritation only lasts a second. I believe in being optimistic because life is short. Enjoy it, don't waste it on being frustrated. And, hopefully I shouldn't ask such things ;)

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Men Empowerment

Today I attended a "women" event. It was wonderful to meet techie, intelligent and diverse women from various fields.

One of the organizers said we organized this to empower women. We wanted to bring this on Women's Day, but overshot it by a week. He was curious about what we do on Women's Day.

And then he started being true to himself. He started saying how no one remembers Men's Day and how no one remembers it and he asked when it is. Well of course I answered it was on November 19 ;)

And then I thought, this guy is whining to whatever degree societal norm allowed. He really truly believed misrepresented and underprivileged and I thought it would be fun if I tried to empower him. You know, returning a favour.

#1 We don't celebrate Men's Day as much as Women's Day, that's sad

It is true that nobody celebrates Men's Day as much as Women's Day. Nobody creates Men's only events to discuss your problems and issues. It is so difficult for you to find a like minded man to talk about that girl you sighted, that game you played, that code you developed.

Women's Day, as I've said earlier, was first observed in 1911 so as to spread a message for equal rights for women including the fundamental right to vote. Men's day was started because Men felt bad they had to work on a holiday, felt unequal and reverse discriminated.

Women's Day is a day of celebrating one day of achievements. Men's day is yet another day of celebration.

It's only a matter of time before Men's Day gets hyped and you'd have offers on all your favourite products. The UN has acknowledged that it will lead to better gender diversity. And economy.

#2. Men have to be responsible for the family.

That is absolutely true. I am doing a PhD and I know if I were a Man, people would have advised me to not take it up, there is no money while studying, how will I support a family and so on. So, I'd have assured them I will mint money after the degree either here or if need be, abroad.

I'm so happy I don't have that burden, all I have to deal with are questions on how I'm going to get married if I study so much, how will I get married if I'm going to marry after four years, you will get an old guy, get random advice telling me don't get carried about your success or you will not learn about how to adjust in a relationship(actually should be plural because they sometimes refer to the relations of the 'relationee'), and how if I want to go abroad, they will have to find a 'foreign mappillai'.

#3 Men need jobs. Women who are going to quit them when they get married need not take them. This is taking away jobs for men who might actually need it to support their family.

I quite understand this is how a Man who didn't get a job would feel. A bread winner is more important than a hobbyist. Knowing how important this job is for you, you worked so hard and didn't get a job because somebody who didn't need the job was motivated and talented to be hired for the job than you. And Women take jobs because they want to earn, feel good, save up and then quit to spend time with family and make others feel good. Man, find solace, a Woman gets married way earlier than the time your parents realize a daughter in law would be a great addition, you'll have plenty of time to get that job she quits and start an empire by the time you have a family. Be strong.

#4 Men are always the bad guys

I understand with increasing awareness of atrocities against Women, Men feel uncomfortable being stared at as evil guys, being feared. Men have become clueless whether being gentlemanly is good or demeaning.

I really empathize with you. I really do know about uncomfortable stares. Stares that make you feel guilty of breathing. Stares that you perceive but don't dare meet in case that might signal acknowledgement. Stares of wonder. Stares of disbelief. Stares of disgust. Stares of expectation.

#5 Men take responsibility for Women. Men are responsible for themselves. It is unfair.

The burden of responsibility is huge. Men need to take care of parents and future family, need to provide for them. I totally agree this is completely true and unfair. Today's society is not driven by physical protection at least in civilised parts of it. Sometimes, you need a day off, you need to feel taken care of, I don't mean the nursing-kind of taking care that only moms have, the real care where you need not worry and divide the burden with somebody else. I empathize with you, I really would like that to change, no sarcasm here.

Ok, I've had my fun. Real talks, the issues that affect women have a totally different dimension to it. As society changes so dynamically and vibrantly to accommodate them, there are unique issues for men that need to be addressed.

In today's society empowering a man, would be to relieve him of massive societal obligations, to tell him it is alright to share his burdens, his responsibilities, to tell him it is ok to cry sometimes. Empowering a man should make him feel comfortable about women, somebody who can listen and contribute equally. Empowering men would eliminate the absolute call of duty, the pressure to lead. Empowering men, will be to make minds broader, will allow him to pursue his passion to his zenith. Empowering men is not to make men weak, it is to make men not pretend to be stronger and macho than they are.

What I'm trying to say is,
Empowering Men and Empowering Women will lead to an honest acceptance of two wonderfully different and diverse people for who we are on an equal footing.

Personally, I'm a feminist, I believe women's rights are neglected and very important. Somewhere down the line, I realize we cannot expect these changes suddenly in a jiffy. But I feel, men are being empowered too in our society to handle this change. Let us come together. One for all, and all for one.