My Existence Is Validated

I have never been physically attractive. Growing up, I’ve always looked younger than my age and while wearing shorts at 15 or 16 might get someone else attention, I never did. My body is not what anyone would qualify as sexy. I am very thin and what little fat I have went to my tummy instead of my boobs. Get the picture?

I have accepted long ago that if people would notice me, it will not be because of my looks or my body. So I concentrated on developing my personality and my brain. I don’t think there was a point in my life when I acheived something because people think I am beautiful. It is always because I am either qualified or because they think I did great.

It is more important for me to be capable than beautiful. It is more important for me to be determined than attractive.

None of my goals in life requires me to be beautiful. To climb mountains I need patience, determination and strength. To build my own house I need to be hardworking. To travel the world I need to be smart and brave.

My job requires me to be smart, observant, and analytical. My employers requires me to be honest; they expect me to do what is right, take accountability and trust me to make the right decision when the situation calls for it. My parents need me to be kind, dutiful and respectful. My friends need me to be open-minded, understanding, patient and have a sense of fun.

Don’t you think it is too shallow if someone is with you only because they find you physically attractive? If you think about it, it is more satisfying feeling that people like you because of your qualities rather than your looks.

I guess the media has really twisted our perceptions. We live in a world where to be beautiful you need to be tall, skinny and flawless. You need to have straight hair, flat stomach, long legs and penciled eyebrows.

I can’t count the number of times people told me that I should have my hair rebonded and my eyebrows shaved or whatever they call it. I can’t count the number of times I’ve had people tell me that I should wear make-up or do this and do that so I would look pretty. I just smile because realizing all of the things I mentioned above, I know I don’t need people to tell me I am beautiful or sexy to validate my existence.

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*I apologize for any spelling or grammatical errors. Proofreading via mobile is a challenge for me.*


Double Standards

We hear all these stories of men being wolves in sheeps clothing; of men being monsters and assholes and all that yet we seldom hear stories of how women can be equally horrible. We live in a society filled with double standards, that is the truth. We live in a world where respecting each other just seemed so hard and so impossible. We all have to be better than the next person. That person has to be worst than us. Blah, blah, blah.

One particular double standard our society has that I find really cringing is in terms of abusive relationships. I came across this infographic about the ten signs of an abusive partner and I find it quite ridiculous that it is, probably unconsciously, biased against men.

I do not condone domestic violence or abusive partners. I am not saying that it is not happening. Some men ARE monsters, that is also true. What I am saying is that, it is not just the men who are capable of domestic violence. It is not just men who are abusive in relationships. Women can also be very abusive.

Sadly, we live in a society where we have this perception that only women can be abused and only men are abusive. We live in a society where we still believe that women are fragile creatures, not capable of tormenting or hurting anyone. We live in a world where a man cannot be abused or raped because that is just impossible. We live in a society that unconsciously condones abuse. We live in a society that is determined to have gender equality but unconsciously just switched one bias to another.

Truth is, those ten signs of an abusive partner? It applies to all of us.

I am a woman and I do hate abusive men. I admit, I am guilty of having this stereotype in my head. When I see a man hits a woman, I instantly think of him as a monster. When I see a woman hit a man, I just laugh. But you see, my (journalism school) training always kicks in. I always wanted to know the story behind everything and I want to see both sides of the story. Though I am inclined to listen to her story, I also want to know his story.

Think about it. When you see a woman slap a man, it doesn’t matter how many times or why she did that, your first reaction is to cheer her for being so brave in standing up for herself. If the man retaliates and slaps her even just once, we will rise up with murderous intent. But this got me asking. If a woman has the right to defend herself when she’s being hurt, why is it wrong for men to defend themselves?

I know, this is very complex. It is not black and white, yes and no kind of thing. What I am trying to say here is that, we should probably not applaude anyone hurting anyone.

I’ve met women who are crazier and more manipulative than men. I have met women who embodies those ten signs and yet nobody calls them out. Sometimes I feel that society is encouraging us women to be so. Sadly, and I hope this is just me, in our attempts to empower women, we ended up abusing men. We just simply switched the scenarios. The real message was lost in translation.

Look at this closely:

Rappler: Young, inlove and abused in Indonesia. May 22, 2015 issue.

Physical abuse. Well, I guess it is easy to think this just applies to men. Afterall, men are supposedly stronger and more physical than women. I guess, although as women we don’t want to be seen as fragile creatures, we are not above accepting that description as well if it means justifying our actions. I guess this makes us more dangerous doesn’t it?

Men with volatile tempers are called abusive, women are just PMS-ing. Hyper-jealous and possesive women are simply clingy. Screaming at your boyfriend in public is normal, but boyfriend screaming at you in public is emotional abuse. Don’t get me started with digital stalking. And what’s with snooping into someone else’s phone or computer to read emails and texts? I personally know a lot of women who does this. And you know that thing you do when you go whever your boyfriend goes and if you can’t go, he shouldn’t as well? Why is that normal when women do it but why is it only abusive when men does? Everyone should be able to go wherever they want.

I am not trying to demonize women, I am simply attempting to highlight the fact that we are still living in a double standard society. The only difference now is that, women are now the dominant gender.

I believe in gender equality. For me, the current trend that we have is the farthest thing from it. I believe gender equality is about respect. Mutual respect from both sides. It is about empowering both genders. It is not about giving women the right to abuse men.

I also believe that abuse, in any form, is not to be tolerated. We have to help women in abusive relationships but also have to acknowledge that men are not the only abusers in a relationship. We should stop this whole stereotype and educate people that anyone is susceptible to abuse. I believe that the most effective way to stop domestic violence or abusive relationships is to accept the fact that those ten signs are not restricted to one gender only.

Again, respect is at the core of this. We should start respecting each other and start accepting that everyone of us have the same rights as the person next to us. We should start facing and changing the things we kept a blind eye to. Men and women should support each other. Nobody deserves to be abused. It’s time to stop the double standards. It’s time to hear both sides of the story. It’s time to change our perspectives.

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*I apologize for any spelling or grammatical errors. Proofreading via mobile is a challenge for me.*

When You Feel That Everyone Hates You…

I don’t think there is one person in this world who truly believes that everyone likes them. It doesn’t matter who you are, what you are, where you’re from or what you do. There will always be someone who will hate you. But why?

Or, you're just really difficult to like.

I came across this image as I was browsing through my newsfeed. I partly agree with this quote. Only partly because it forgot one other possible reason why people hates us.

I mean, in your whole life have you ever considered the possibility that people hates you because you make it difficult for people to like you? Have you ever considered that they hate you because you are hateful? It takes a brave and serious self-evaluation to answer that question.

Some of us are either not so brave to answer it or deluded enough to think that we are perfect and everyone are just simply envious of our perfection.

I personally think it is easier for us to think that people hates us because they are jealous of what we have. It is quiet painful to think that they hate us because we are hateful, self-absorbed individuals who gives everyone a reason to stay away from us. It is sad to think that we exude an aura of pure negativity that we drive people away and just a sight of us sends them running in the opposite direction.

So as a defense, we don’t take time to evaluate ourselves. We justify their hatred by telling ourselves that we are better than them and they hate us for that. We live in a delusion that all these people hates us because we have something they don’t have. We convince ourselves that we are not the ones with problems and issues but the people who hates us. Easier to accept than face the truth that we have an attitude problem.

No, don't just be yourself. That's the worst advice ever. Strive to be the best version of yourself. It's not to impress people. It's just the right thing to do.

I think everyone has an attitude problem. It’s a matter of being honest with yourself and taking the step to change for the better. I, too have an attitude problem. I am impatient and bossy. I have brain-to-mouth filter issue. I am sarcastic and tactless. I have a lot of flaws so I am not surprise if someone hates me.

Regardless of their reasons, I think it is important that we evaluate ourselves. In any given situation, we should be able to see our flaws. Sometimes we need to ask ourselves questions. Sometimes we need to be brave enough to ask if the problem is really with the people around us or with ourselves.

It is not always bad to change yourself because of other people’s perception of you. I used to live with the excuse, “this is who I am, take it or leave it…” but looking inside me I realized that this is not always good. You have to see what is wrong with you and change that. If majority of the people thinks you’re an asshole, then you probably need to start evaluating yourself. You can’t always be an asshole.

So think about it. Before you start telling yourself that the world hates you because they feel threatened by you or is envious of you, ask yourself first if there is a tinny tiny possibility that you are the problem and not them.

It takes courage and practice to see yourself as you truly are. Self-evaluation is the first step to change. But change because you truly know that there is something wrong with you that needs to be changed and not just because you want to impress people.

We are all works in progress. None of us are perfect. We all just have to strive to be better versions of ourselves.

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*I apologize for any spelling or grammatical errors. Proofreading via mobile is a challenge for me.*