4/24/2012
Girls first before boys

When I was around ten, I had a songwriter streak. I just composed my first song - a terrible campaign jingle that's all vote for me, I'll do well, I really will - and felt that I could do it again. All I could muster was a similarly terrible ditty where I complain about the fact that girls have to get things first before boys. It's terrible because I only had the last two lines of the chorus. I never finished it.

Not that I completely disagreed with the "girls first before boys" thing. In fact, as a ten-year-old who badly wanted to impress girls in school, I believed in it. Girls are generally weaker and more vulnerable, so boys, as the stronger gender, must yield to them at every opportunity. Open doors for them. Let them sit first. That kind of thing.

Of course, now, that assumption will not fly. Girls are not the weaker and more vulnerable gender. Sure, they may be more capable of showing compassion, but that doesn't make them wusses. We've had female presidents and female CEOs and female athletes, not to mention all you mothers out there. Just as well, boys are not the stronger gender; just look at me and how much better I could've done things all those years ago.

So, all fine, right? We're all pretty much equal, give or take a quirk or two. End of discussion? This is gender, silly - there is no end of discussion. I'd love to blame the fact that, while our assumptions on what we can do have changed, albeit gradually, our ideas of what we should do haven't. Men still earn the money, while women still watch the home. Men do the physical stuff, while women deal with the emotional stuff. And yet when someone tries to subvert these traditions, perhaps due to negligence or outright abandon, well, a war starts.

Chivalry is dead, girls complain, saying that boys are preoccupied with objectifying them rather than making them feel special and giving them that warm fairy-tale-y feeling in their hearts.

Oh, no, chivalry is dead, boys complain, saying that girls love messing around with their feelings while expecting them to stay strong for them.

Girls say boys spend a lot of time watching porn. How crass. They like boy-on-girl and girl-on-girl! Sure, they may not get turned on by boy-on-boy porn, because extra appendages are universally gross, but they conveniently forget about buying Cosmopolitan to ogle at Derek Ramsey's abs.

Boys say girls spend too much time crying and too little time actually dealing with issues. No wonder they always tell off their mates when they open up in the middle of a drinking session. Be a man! And then they talk about their feelings anyway. I cannot live without her, dude. And they thought women are the needy ones.

Boys, in fact, believe girls cannot live without them. Only they, after all, can provide the stability a girl so badly needs. Wants, maybe. And with that thought, they suddenly feel empowered to do cruel stuff. You. On all fours. Or else. Love will initially be made, but sooner or later it's just sexual trauma.

Girls believe that they are always right, that they will always win arguments. They're just never wrong. And when they are, well, don't mention it to them. Boys have to let us win this one. It's the right thing to do.

If boys hurt girls they'll look like wusses. If girls hurt boys they'll look heroic.

Girls think all boys are stupid. And shallow.

Boys think all girls are shallow. And stupid.

I'd love to be in the middle of this. I really do. But it's impossible. Both sides are inherently sexist, Dee said. I should've thought of that before; it's a much more important universal truth than anything else I'm spouting here. Also, I'm on one side. I'm a man. I'd love to be courteous, but some girls just don't deserve to be treated with respect. I was treated like shit by one forty days ago. And yet I know I got myself there because I liked her, perhaps I needed her, and I can't do anything if she doesn't feel the same way. But that doesn't mean she can do what she wants. And that also means I can't do what I want, either; no retaliation outside of reason, no stabbing behind the back, that sort of thing.

Also, there are some things I will never understand about girls. For one, why the fascination with rock-solid abs? The same way they will never understand why we watch porn, the same way I will never understand why I'm inclined to. Pretty sure that makes all this one-upmanship against the other side, pointless, right? Because we're all the same. Cheesy, yes, but we're all the same, and we need each other, and nobody wins because everybody wins.

But I said it earlier, of course. This is gender, silly. There's no end of discussion. I'll have positive encounters and negative encounters and my feelings will change. She'll be the one, and then she's a bitch. I'll be a weird guy, and then I'll be a psychopath. And then we'll generalize the hell out of each other again, and I'll end up wondering why I addressed this in the first place. There's no changing minds. Girls have the license to be girly, and we have to respect that. See what I mean? Continue discussion.

And your responses...

E, may pinanghuhugutan naman pala. Hihi. You're right. In the end, we all have to suffer under this patriarchal society, you are expected to be strong while I am expected to marvel at your strength. You are expected to hold the door open while I am expected not to ask why you have to, "I have hands, don't I?" And the fools who choose to digress and stand on the front lines of this vicious battle are suffering the most, but someone has to keep fighting. Bless them. Yes, continue discussion. :)

Blogger Fiona4/25/2012     

Post a Comment