LEAVE THE KIDS ALONE/ STOP CALLING PRE-TEENS “SEXY”

Like we needed any more! Ugh!

Since I am from the third world, underprivileged mouse-hole, let me start with what we grow up seeing. In our country, government LEGALIZED underage marriage of girls in “special conditions” such as “rape”, “pregnancy” or “kidnap” (because nobody would marry a woman who was abducted by goons when she was young, let’s get her married off with the available jackass). You can safely say, this has made majority of people happy, majority live in the rural area and they just don’t want to deal with the daughters when they reach teenage. And this “majority” vote, therefore, keeping them happy means securing more votes.

Right?

Honey, everything is fair in love, war and misogyny!

When I was younger and more naive, I had  faith is many stuff that are not as promising as I thought those are. Like the concept of communism. Sure it’s all nice and fancy, when you’re born and raised in a family where you’re economically safe, there are three meals in front of you and you don’t have to worry about working or getting paid for your hard work, it’s fancy. It is also tempting when you are in walking because you don’t have the money even for a bike and someone is riding their Convertible in front of you. But when you get past the naivete, you snap out of it. Today, I’m not here to diss communism. That’s another thing to save for letter.

Let’s talk about the other thing my naive self used to think. WEST IS DIFFERENT! THEY LET THE YOUNG GIRLS ENJOY BEING YOUNG THERE! How horribly wrong I was! Sure, the parents don’t marry off their 8th grade daughter, but they sure expect them to be “ladylike” and “poised” just like the parents in the east do. The society, the sick media and the pedophiles come crawling at the poor pre-teen girls, to make sure they don’t get to enjoy their age.

It happens to regular kids, one year they are just little kids who play, fight and roll in the mud. The next year, they’re fussing about the lipstick brands, boyfriends and trashy popstars (err, no judgment here, just some default metalhead rants, excuse me). If you’re going to start “Hey, THEY VOLUNTARILY DO THOSE STUFF! NOBODY FORCES THEM TO DO THAT!” bullshit, I suggest you to shut up. Right there!

NO! They do that kind of stuff because that is what portrayed “normal” for them. Why does a 13 years old girl think about making herself look like a lady? Because the surroundings sow a tiny seed of evil thought that, if they look like a lady, that’d be good for them. Anyway, it is also true, if the parents are conscious, and the girls in question are resilient, they get to enjoy a normal pre-teen life.

But the poor girls who work in media? Bless them.

Pre-teen girls are often portrayed as more “grown-up” ish these days. These little humans are presented in designer gowns and makeups to cover their teenage innocence and give them what gets the “circulation”, SEX APPEAL! UGH!

This is so wrong! Not only this harms this poor kid, but also the kids of her age AROUND THE WORLD! When one child, who plays an iconic role in a series that is very jerry popular, the promotion stills and videos go viral in a snap! And the whole world grasps on whatever is provided.

More precisely, whatever pedophilia-friendly bullshit is provided! We are in a time when child pornography and sexual abuse on children is an uncontrollable problem. AND WE ARE FUELING IT MORE BY putting a pre-teen girl’s face plastered with makeup on a magazine cover and writing the word SEXY on it!

NO! DON’T EVEN DARE SAYING “Come on! She was only on the cover, and other grown-ups in a list are referred as “sexy”, not her!

Asshat! We know about the font sizes and how those impact your first impression! That pedophile in bus stand won’t bother reading the tiny text! They’ll see the poor teenager, and they’ll see the word SEXY. And they will jerk off to that! Yeah, that’s how they function!

STOP DOING THAT! FOR FUCK’S SAKE! LET THE KIDS BE KIDS! GIVE THEM CRAYONS FOR KIDS FOR A CHANGE! They have had enough of the “baby size tuxedos”, “baby lipsticks” and “baby cocktail dresses”!

More importantly, STOP STEALING THE CHILDHOOD FROM THE PRE-TEENS! They only get a few years to enjoy the innocence, until life happens, where more predators, financial crises and other demons start haunting them!

LEAVE THEM BE!

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MUST WE HAVE IT ALL?

I don’t know anymore if it has become only a “modern” South Asian sentiment or if the whole world resonates the same, but must being a “successful woman” mean a woman who “balances” all the “roles”? This is gonna be an “uncomfortable” one, if just not “boring”. Thought I’d just let you know.

I should clarify the premise beforehand. Last Friday I went to a book launch event. That book included many success stories of women around us (mostly women born in Bengal region). This book written with a view to bring about female role models for the young generation, regardless of gender. My friend, an educator, and a passionate feminist, was very excited. Actually she informed me about this book and everything.

Anyway, this panel consisted the moderator, who was one of the authors, an educationist, who runs the administration of a very famous school, the first two female combat pilots of our airforce, the first female Mount Everest climber in our country, and a champion weight lifter. The last four ladies were mentioned in the book.

I guess my friend’s enthusiasm and (more importantly) a shitty week at work (it’s gonna start from tomorrow, and is gonna get A LOT WORSE) heightened my expectations and I hoped they would talk about the REAL issues women face.

INSTEAD THEY TALKED ABOUT THINGS WE ALL KNOW, AND SUPPORTED THE KIND OF “MODIFIED STEREOTYPING” THAT WE ARE TRYING TO FIGHT!

Every single panel member was gushing about how they “manage” every single role they play, how it is “natural” for women to “compartmentalize” and “multitask”, how “supportive” their families are. Like they’re trying to say, “if you want to be successful, you MUST BE PERFECT!” Like that shitty meme (or a motivational quote) found in every trashy “for female” facebook pages, like how a woman must, “Look like a girl, think like a man, work like a horse and dress like a lady” to be “successful”.

Fuck them!

Sure they can keep their achievement to themselves. But HOW DARE THEM!

I don’t believe, for a fucking moment, that a woman must be a mother, a wife, a daughter in law to be “complete”. A woman does not need to be a “multitasking angel” to be “complete”. A woman does not need to be “close to nature” or have the “natural superpower” to “be perfect and nurturing” to be “complete”.

A woman is “complete”. That’s it! She is born complete. She is complete when she accomplishes things she wants to accomplish. Sure, to some extent she might have some responsibilities as an offspring to parents, like very humane, obvious ones. But that she’s born into. BUT SHE DOES NOT NEED TO HAVE THE REST “ROLES” THAT WE IMPLY THE “MODERN EDUCATED WOMEN” CAN “BALANCE”.

I fucking HATE the word “BALANCE”.

It is a shitty, condescending word, used on women to make life harder for her. And “successful women” in limelight normalize the condescension. The patriarchy implies that a woman need to be a good wife, good mother, good at her work AND A GOOD OFFSPRING to be complete.

There is NOTHING WRONG with balancing ALL THE ROLES. The problem is, we use this against women who are successful and choose not to play “ALL THE ROLES” and “be perfect”.

If you are a man who never married and lived your whole life focusing on your career, you are a devoted bachelor, applauded by family and society. People mention that in block letters, makes it an important point to mention. Parents tell their boys to “be devoted like this man”.

If you are a woman who never married and lived your whole life focusing on your career, YOU ARE A WORKAHOLIC SPINSTER, WHO ENDED UP BEING A CRAZY CAT LADY AND NO MEN WOULD TAKE HER!

I went to that book launch, hoping to hear things like, WE ARE IN A WORLD WHERE THIS BARRIERS ARE DIMINISHING! WHERE GENDER STEREOTYPING IN THINGS LIKE THIS ARE DIMINISHING.

All I ended up experiencing was ANOTHER CAREFULLY CRAFTED LAYER OF THAT MISOGYNISTIC STEREOTYPING, THAT CAN EASILY FOOL A NAIVE MIND INTO THINKING IT IS OTHERWISE!

This is 2017, we already know there are successful women around us! WE NEED TO KNOW HOW THEY FIGHT AGAINST THE ADVERSARIES, WE NEED TO KNOW HOW THEY ARE FIGHTING AGAINST THE UNDERLYING, SILENT STEREOTYPING THAT WAS NORMALIZED IN THAT BOOK LAUNCHING PANEL, WE NEED TO KNOW HOW THEIR LIVES ARE AFFECTED BY PSEUDO FEMINISM!

Katharine Hepburn, my most favorite Hollywood actress to date was faced “criticism” from feminists for saying “Women cannot have it all”.

Katharine_hepburn_woman_of_the_year_cropped

I personally believe she’s not as revered as the other famous lady in Hollywood with the same last name, because she chose not to be “perfect” as they say and be the badass person who speaks her mind instead. But she’s my hero! \m/

I don’t necessarily agree or disagree. I believe women DO NOT HAVE TO “HAVE IT ALL”. Neither do men.

If we could have it all, and we were perfect, what would the poor devil do? Do you want to put that poor soul out of work? You’re fucking horrible! Dang!

 

 

One Doesn’t Simply Make Sexist Memes/Unless They’re Complete Jerks

Is that just me or there are more people around who find memes are the most popular form of normalizing sexism these days? Sure, many of you’re gonna drop the “F” bombs (F==Feminazi) or “S” bombs (S=Sensitivity) or Orange Supreme’s favorite “PC” bomb, of course, PC does not mean “Personal Computer” anymore!

Time to up your game Microsoft!

Anyway, let me save you the argument you sexist meme apologists are gonna make at first. Yes, meme is just another form of humor content. There are many areas to explore for this new form(mat?) and creators from every corner of the world are contributing with their own brand of humor with this meme. And like every form of humor-based content, this can get offensive to some extent, there is nothing wrong with it. If we can swallow Ryan Reynolds saying sexist stuff with the red deadpool suit on (does he say anything REAL sexist? Or it’s just the meme-artists put D-Pooly’s face with sexist words?) why can’t we take some good ol’ manly humor from that “I don’t always” dude?

Women arent right

Whoops!

Dang! I forgot to check my genitalia! But wait! If as a woman I’m “wrong” and I think I have female genitalia, DOES THAT MEAN I’VE GOT MALE DING DONGS?

Anyway, I get your point, you’re trying to say, when someone is playing with humor, it can sometimes get a little too far and there’s nothing wrong with it. It’s a part of creative process.

In all seriousness and sense of humor (was the phrasing right? I can’t even tell anymore!) I (pretend to) respect your opinions, but I believe memes are one of the latest big thing that is normalizing sexism for us.

Why?

Because:
1. You encounter these almost everyday, MULTIPLE TIMES, whenever you’re browsing your home pages on social network platforms

2. It is generally perceived as a “harmless” humor content

3. It’s “trendy” and we are often slave of the “trends” and therefore lose our ability to be rational and cross the line

(and more)

Let’s just get visual for a change. Like what harm can some “funny” texts on pictures do anyway?

Since I’m a woman of STEM field, let’s just start with the “humor” that’s milked straight from women’s hand. Well, their ability to “handle” technology.

tech sexist meme

I’m sure, you’ve seen memes like these almost everywhere. Especially in home page because some of your “friends” already “liked” those and the notification just popped on your homepage. And you found it “not so uncool” too, and clicked the “like” button. It appeared to your other friend’s home page and they followed the suit.

But wait! Are you fucking serious?

People forget how to catch a break when it comes to belittling women in the field of STEM. My ladies in Scientista foundation, Stemettes, GirlsWhoCode and STEMFem have enough resources to shut you asshats down so I won’t even bother. You fucking goldfish memory people (or probably plain ignorant bozos), do you even know why some women are still a little concerned when they handle new technology? Because your fucking patriarchy did their best to keep them away from technology. However, that didn’t work, did it? Despite all the constraints, the wage gaps, the classroom sexism, the workplace sexism, the lack of cooperation from family- still women are not quitting and leaving their marks of success in that field. Next time you post another sexist meme about women in STEM, remember this lady. None of your dick jerking male buddies could top this lady’s success as a scientist who won Nobel prizes IN DIFFERENT FIELDS OF SCIENCE.

marie curie

But the harsh truth is, a meme like this one won’t get as much likes, shares and “reacts” as that sexist one did. Controversy and insults circulate better than true, empowering facts. And this clearly helps people who are yet to grow a value to navigate their stance. Those sexist memes would make that 7 years old brother/son/nephew of yours, who peeks behind you when you’re on phone browsing fayboo to think that women can’t do shit when it comes to technology. He’s likely to “mansplain” how the “computer scanning” works during computer class to a girl. If the girl is as sassy as I was as a 7 years old, he’ll be lucky and get an earful. But if that girl is a little nervous and probably has seen memes like this or in general, like most girls are, was raised with the value that, “girls are no match for technology”, would think she indeed is no match for technology.

AND IF THAT IS NOT A MODE OF PROMOTING SEXISM THEN WHAT IS?
(People can get rather creative when it comes to being a fucking sexist)

Goodness! Even writing about these “meme sexism” normalization in the field of STEM drives me crazy! RAWRRRR!

Speaking of DRIVING! (Dang! That was a great segway! (or segue?) Good job, me!) How many of you have seen this meme for the first time in your life? (I know only a few people read my blogs, but I can tell, this is a very fvcking common meme!)

boy-scared-by-girl-driving-meme1

Ohh! Poor man! Your lady can’t drive? She wrecks every single car? She doesn’t know how to fix the simplest problem with car? Of course that’s one thing to make fun of! Unless you remember that you’re just the same, but you can’t even realize because your fucking ego was always boosted by your surroundings because just because you have a certain type of genitalia, it immediately makes you a better person when it comes to handling automobiles. The sad truth is, some women, like I said when it comes to STEM, are doubtful about their driving skill only because they grew up learning that women are supposed to be “bad” at driving. But if you ignore that, women are just as good at driving as men! And when it comes to “fixing the problem”, I’ve seen enough men to mess with their car with “confidence”. Sometimes they get lucky, but in many cases they are as clueless as the women, who are butt of this kind of “humor” when it comes to dealing with car problems. Yes, sometimes they do know. Because their dad did not deny them to be there or probably insisted they learn these things, whereas the girls are discouraged to “fiddle” with car when they are young, or just merely not encouraged.

Fuck off! Fix your patriarchy bullshit and then make fun of women who drive! You still think sexist memes are funny? Those are like pelting women virtually with real darts. Darts are game accessories after all, but those are sharp, does sting and can actually be harmful. Try to find humor in things that are actually funny. Like your lack of intellect!

Let me just get you another form of “humor” where murder is normalized as something funny, because “women should have shut the fuck up”! These people are no different from those tiki torch bearing racists or journalist slaying ISIS terrorists!

normalizing sexist murder

DON’T EVEN DARE SAYING “That’s the format of demotivator memes. It’s supposed to be ironic, sad, and offensive” This meme is far away from humor, it’s not even just sexist. IT’S PURE CRIMINAL INTENTION. And the intention is normalized in the lieu of a “format” of internet humor.

I can keep on ranting about memes forever, but will that matter? I don’t know. Today I found some parents discussing on a twitter thread what are the possible sources that influence kids to indulge in sexist behavior. I have some hope that people are starting to realize that THIS IS WRONG. Sexist values are wrong. So is normalization of sexism in any form. Does this benefit these meme making asshats anyway in the end? Other than getting some reactions and equally sexist stupid ass ego boosting comments by fellow asshats, this memes get them nothing. Maybe a few of them become “sensations” for a while, but hey, there’s always a new “sensation”. In the end these sexist pigs find themselves only with fellow sexist pigs and get stuck in an infinite loop of garbage ( probably along with causing occasional abuses on other people). These people don’t even know how to “get a life”.

No, I don’t feel “sorry” for these sexism “normalizers”. I just want their remaining intellect (if any) to dry up and them to be completely institutionalized. HAH!

Sweeping Monsters Off: A Thank Yoo Note

Like many people struggling with mental illness of different forms, I want to express my gratitude to Mr. John Green. This one will be very personal and words will appear that are not “appropriate” for everyone. Feel free to stop reading. (If anyone is actually reading of course).

Let me share what I just did prior to writing this blog. This is 3:47 am local time (when this line is written). And just before getting to this blog I dropped a huge brick of words in Paul Green’s Twitter message box. I feel ashamed of doing that, but I though I might just let another people know I AM NOT OKAY.

BECAUSE I WAS HAVING ANOTHER WAVE OF INVASIVE THOUGHTS. The most unpleasant one, the one I dread all the bloody time, the one that never leaves me alone. The one that bared it’s teeth to me IRL. When my dad had cardiac complications, had to be in ER and went through a surgery. It scarred me for life. And being the firstborn, I had to keep a straight face the whole time, not letting the world know what was going inside my head.

I have other issues as well, since 9th grade, thanks to all the pestering, as I was accused for the crime every South Asian parent/ family loathes, becoming a teenager, which set different standards for me (wearing traditional clothes, no crew cuts, being as feminine as Donald Trump’s Grandmother) which I could never accept, of course I went through (and still going) shitstorms from the people in my family. I’ve started having complications, disguised as fears, I tried to tell the adults around me, and they thought I was just trying to make up an excuse for my moderate grades (“perks” of being born in an over achieving middle class family, where every adult is a straight A student, coming all the way with very fewer resources than I was provided). And later, when it got bigger, the mode of their accusation “evolved”. If only heavy metal didn’t exist, I would be gone. I assure you that.

And now the thought spirals attack me at the most random times. And when they do, I do things that the “thing” inside me tells me to do, just to get things right. Like I SLAP MY LEFT CHEEK. LIKE EXCHANGING THE BAD BUZZES FOR A SMALL AMOUNT OF PHYSICAL PAIN. I chant religious scripture, I abstain from things I love to do. Just FYI, I’m rushing typing this blog because I’m not going to do anything creative after the prayer calling for morning prayer is performed, and this no creativity ban is up till 9:00 am.

Why? Because, the night/day one of my uncles passed away, I was writing poetry.

I don’t listen to Dance of the Dead, a favorite Iron Maiden song of mine, anymore. Because, my paternal grandmother passed away on the day I was last listening to it. I fear to turn off lights, because the last two times I did, my uncle and maternal grandfather passed away the day after. I don’t know how this one came to me, but I am a total slave to it. I’ve stopped wearing each item of clothing that I wore on the day any of my loved ones passed away. I just cannot bear wearing those. BELIEVE ME, I KNOW THESE STUFF ARE WRONG.

BUT CAN I RISK IT ANYMORE?

The answer is no. I just can’t. The fears rule my rationale against my will.

Do you know I don’t pleasure myself for the same reason? When I shared it with a friend of mine that I don’t do that, she was like, “Oh of course, you’re a religious woman, you sure won’t!”

Despite telling her, she couldn’t understand, it wasn’t the “religion”, it was the “FEAR” of “bad things that might happen” kept me away from doing that. These thoughts drive me crazy, these thoughts can overpower me so bad that it tears me up.

I wish there was a Dr. Singh for me. I could never have one! And now if I seek help, it would make my dad worry, I know that CANNOT be a reason for seeking professional help, but these “social” factors will be more against me right now that any times before.

I never thought I would read about a person who gets hit by such waves of worrying thoughts. I could access the fears of Aza Holmes. Those are overpowering. Once I watched a movie called An Invisible Sign. Where the main protagonist gave up things she loved to right the wrongs that were happening to people around her, more precisely, she “sacrificed” things she loved to ease off the pains her dad was going through. I knew there are people who try their best to control things that are beyond them by doing things that aren’t helping anybody. Some of us bite the soap bars, some of us drink hand sanitizers, some of us slap our left cheek and don’t turn lights off.

Not that we don’t know these are silly. We just know, if we don’t do this, WORSE THINGS MAY HAPPEN. And we aren’t ready for the worse things. We don’t want those to happen.

I am really sorry Paul, but I thought if I blabbered things to you, at least one more people will know there is something NOT RIGHT. I’m just being all Hansel-y and Gretel-y, leaving trail of foods to trace my way back. The question is, WHERE EXACTLY?

There’s no way back for me from this scary spiral my mind is stuck in. I don’t see a light when they attack. I don’t know how I am going to survive this. I have lost focus on most things. My GRE is on 18th December, and I haven’t started preparing properly YET! I have a college application to finish. I have work, I have studies. And I am losing focus on everything as the fear is getting stronger with time.

WHY MUST THINGS BE THIS WAY?

WHY CANNOT I CATCH A BREAK AT LEAST FOR ONCE!

Gaaaaaaah!

However, thank you John Green, for telling us Aza’s story. It resonated with many of ours. Now we can give a copy of this book to people and let them know what actually many of us go through when we “act strange” or don’t want to do things that are completely “normal”. Sometimes fictions are “stronger” than truth.

P.S: Shoutout to Paul Green, here is his blog. It’s really cool.

I cannot FRIEND

You read it right! I think I don’t know how to be a friend. I lack the fundamentals of being a “friend”.

I actually never thought about it until last year. I always knew I’m an oddball, a “different” kind of person, and if you want to say, then yes, a “weirdo”. I won’t disagree. But I thought that’s who I was, and if people accept me for this me, then there can be nothing wrong between us if we want to be “friends”.

Plain and simple, right?

WRONG!

It started with the YouTubers. And before you draw a conclusion, JUST DON’T! I’m not “intimidated” by the friendships they manifest, it just made me think of things I never thought before. Like the friendship between the “Holy Trinity”, Hannah Hart, Mamrie Hart and Grace Helbig, friendship of Anthony Padilla and Ian Hecox, there are more, I can write an entire blog about that. But that’s not the point. However, I was moved by observing the friendship between Rhett McLaughlin and Link Neal. Yes, they I think so far the biggest influences in my life right now, the way Gregory Bros were during my college days. And also there was the friendship between Allison Raskin and Gaby Dunn. Aaand then this tweet thread just cracked me up. I DON’T HAVE THIS! MOST OF THESE! (Or maybe any of these)!

And observing their friendship, I first noticed that I DON’T FIGHT with my friends. Sounds weird right? How come that be a concern. Let me be more specific, I realized I don’t fight with:

  1. Lady friends whom I knew since I was a kid (well at least pre-teen)
  2.  Dude friends of my age whom I get to know after college and have a great friendship with (well I’ve got quite emotional dependency on them)
  3. Lady friends whom I knew from college

In some cases, it’s likely that I’ve got to know these people only for a few years, and so far we’ve got many things common between us, hence, we didn’t have any reason to get into a fight/conflict.

BUT, IN SOME CASES THERE WERE NOT!

I had every reasons to be mad at people and start a fight, and sometimes they did the same. There were conflicts, there were bad blood. But those stuff would always elude me, in span of a few minutes to days. I forgot whatever happened.

UNTIL A FEW WEEKS LATER. And I could not even bring those up and start a fight.

Does any of these sound “weird” to you? It does to me. Especially after seeing two men in late thirties fight like kids and making up ON SCREEN when they’re doing a show, and it’s NOT FOR COMIC RELIEF, it dawned on me. Am I missing something? Like a very basic human skill that people pick up without even trying?

And slowly this tiny snowball started gaining momentum. And now I feel like I’m going to get an ice coffin. Sigh! I think this inability to withstand/identify conflicts has costed me some friendships. I am already living a doomed life, I get scared all the time, the untreated mental struggles aren’t leaving me alone either. I think I am in a worse hell than I was in a few months ago. This realization is doing me no good.

However, I should also note, even though I am losing grip on many friendships I thought would last the way it bloomed, as an oddball, I’ve got a few oddball friends. We’ve got many things common between us, we laugh together, we fight, we have our agreements and disagreements, but we are there for each other, and funny thing is, none of us are of same age, we’ve got different majors, different careers, different kinds of personal lives/relationship situations- like everything is DIFFERENT among us. But we’re like a weird pack of wolves who manages to stick together. Now that I think of it, I think this oddball friendship, where I can ease myself, without worrying to hurt it and stuff, has subconsciously made me question whether my other friendships are okay or not.

Oh, also, I didn’t mention the other kinds of friendships, like the ones with my bros (guy friends I knew forever), well, I’m not ashamed to admit but, sometimes I can be quite a “basic bro”-ish human, and I think that kept our friendships alive and going just like they were when we were ten years olds. We can’t appear “awkward” in front of each-other even if we try. It’s just we’re so far away from each other, in geographical and time zone manner, we grew apart. We still fight, from fistfight or epic swear battles. I think some friendships don’t grow up even if we do.

Did I went way far away from my point? If I did, then let me state it again. I think I am incapable of being a friend to some extent. And it is NOT something to be okay with. Now that “real life” has began, and I’ve got more scary challenges ahead.

GAAAAAAAAAAAH!

I think I’m never going to get a friend to sing the BFF song with. 😦

On scale of 1 to 99, how pathetic am I?

Itches before Smooches: Art of (sad) Life

Well, before I even start, I must say what I’ve been saying to people who’ve met me more than a month ago. If you’ve read my previous blogs, you know how much my anxiety involves the health of my parents. So, my dad is recovering from a severe health issue. And already jumped in his regular life while healing (and it’s a heck lot of pressure). That has made my anxiety and fears stronger. Sleep has totally eluded me and focusing on my duties have become harder since now I have more things to fear and actually some of the things I used to “fear” have happened for real. My mouth is dry most of the time whenever I can sense dad is having a hard time and I have hardly anything to do with resolving it. Though he let me run his business for a few days when he was in hospital and a week or two after the surgery. But as a dynamic person he is, he took it over and working at least 5-7 hours a day.

Though it is hard for me to talk about dad’s health issue because it cracks me up. He suffered from it mostly because he was mistreated in his own business by his associates. Anyway, as I have done this “hard part”, it’s safe to tell you, I am in a even worse mental health position right now. I stress out more, I still have no mental health counselling facilities, and more of the scary stuff are bottling up. And channels to let these fears go are shrinking with time.

But (literally) some channels are too mythical to shrink. This is Mythical is one such channel. Along with GMM, GMMore, and Rhett & Link’s “main” channel (believe me, we still watch this, last Friday my friends and I were in a fb confo and someone shared a meme, which reminded one of us (not me) the Are you gonna eat that song, and we all went through the old Rhett & Link rabbit hole).

Today, especially was (and still is) a scary day for me, since dad had some important business stuff being executed and it took almost midnight. The whole day, at work I was worried, almost blotted as the ink-blotting papers. I repeatedly listened to the Mortal Kombat soundtrack while working on the websites to be tested, contents to be written, and menstrual pains to be felt.

I think these days I worry more than dad does, I guess I just try to worry his part along with mine, even knowing that one cannot do another person’s worrying. I wish it could be done that way though.

Enough “sidetracking”, I know. If this was bowling, the ball wouldn’t even be in the gutter. It’d be rolling on the alley floor.

The point is, the stress was a little easier on me since it’s Sunday. And Sunday means “Ear Biscuiiiiiiiiiiits” (Neh, not quite like the old mail song (Just FYI, new Ear Biscuits are available every Monday everywhere podcasts are found, this is the full video version of previous week’s Ear Biscuits)).

When dad switched off his phone, handed it to me and finally went to bed, I was finally a little “relaxed”. And started watching last week’s Ear Biscuits (yayy!). Boy today’s topic was fun. (Last week’s was cool too! Girling Up sounds like the book I think I could use when I was “growing up” and I’m sure you’ll know why as you keep on reading this blog (given I finish it and articulate it properly)).

Today they talked about “first kiss”. If you’re a mythical beast, you already know about this. And I think you go and watch it and not have it soiled with my sloppy discussions. Sure they tweeted and made fayboo posts about sharing our (the mythical beasts’) first kiss experiences. And I tweeted back, I’m yet to have one and I’m oddly compulsive about making a Drew Barrymore reference, I guess she starred and  produced the movie “Never Been Kissed”.

I decided to blawwg about that podcast because I felt like ranting. Not that I feel “bad” for not being in a relationship or having a smoochie everrr, even though I’m in mid 20s. But I felt like the world should know why have I “never been kissed”. Hey, everyone is allowed to be a little narcissistic.

To be honest, even though I live in a “conservative” country and community, “first kisses”, though tabooed, but aren’t “rare”. When I was in 6th or 7th grade, all the “popular girls” in our class had boyfriends. Oh, I studied in a co-ed military school. But the boys and girls studied together from grades 1-5 and then 11 and 12. From 6th to 10th grade, girls went to school in morning shift and boys in afternoon shift.

So, yes, like 30% of the girls in the class were the “popular ones”,  50% were the “normal girls”, who’d have whispering conversations about the girls with boyfriends and sharing their “fantasies” (or “expectations”) of their Mr. Perfects, 10% were in-between the “popular” girls, and the “normal” girls. 5% were into only sports and NOTHING ELSE. My friends filled up the rest 4%, who were nerds and only cared for either Age of Empires or Simone de Beauvoir, and unanimously obsessed with Harry Potter. We even had a Hogwarts professor name assigned to most of our teachers. Yes, we had an Umbridge (dang, she still teaches there -_- (She’s the drill teacher and would never take girls on field for “modesty issues”, if that doesn’t sound like Umbridge, I don’t know what does)), several Snapes, a McGonagall, and a female Professor Binns (no joke, many girls slept through the classes).

Oh yes, and there was me. The literal oddball. I was NOT “popular” but everyone knew me. Like literally everyone. Younger students would call me “Robin Hood” because I would straighten out the bullying kids for them, older students knew me because I was that kid who would be in backstage, helping out with the props for every event, teachers knew me because I was a responsive kid, and awfully regular (even though my grades were only “normal”). Also, before 6th grade, most of my friends were dudes. Which probably makes me more of an oddball. Like you know how the “societal segregation” work among kids, like the girls find boys “gross” and boys find girls “girly”.

I never knew what that was like. I grew up with brothers (cousins), my only sibling is a boy, most of my friends before school were dudes too. It was only normal. And unlike most parents in our “conservative culture”, my parents were never against me befriending boys either. I grew up around my uncles and aunts who had their fair share of healthy friendships with opposite genders and it was never awkward to me.

Well it wasn’t awkward to me because I used to think I was one of them. Actually I hoped something wrong happened to me and I’ll turn into a boy when I grow up. I’m not lying, I hoped that so hard. And when I read Tom Sawyer, I “hoped” that to happen with all my willpower (clearly that wasn’t enough). Especially when Tom’s wish of to be dead for a while and then being resurrected again like Lazarus came true, I thought mine will as well.

So, the 4 years old me used to think, someday this wrong will be corrected and I’ll be a dude like my friends. Now if you think, I was the poster “tomboy” girls they show in romantic comedy movies, with baggy jeans, crew cuts and grease on face, you’ll be mistaken. Sure, I’d have a crew cut, and would always be hanging out with boys, playing soccer or cricket and coming back home with a hot temper for stepping in cow-dung. But I would always be wearing frilly feminine dresses. My parents wanted to raise a strong, independent, intelligent FEMININE girl (I feel sorry for them).

So, boys were nothing to fantasize for me. And I developed what I thought was “my kind of thing to do”. Which was fancying a girl. Who was my friend’s cousin (boy she came back in my life later, and I was the one running away from her on tow, that’s a whole different (academic) story! (The crush is crushed and burned)). It happened in 5th grade, when my friends would talk about which girl they think are cute and they’re going to date in 6th grade. Well, I never said it out loud, homophobia is legal here, and even though I hoped to be a dude, I knew enough that others won’t believe it unless it happened, therefore I kept the lady of my fancy a secret.

Guess what? In 5th grade, a dude in my class (friend of my then bff) started acting strange towards me. And boy I hate creepy and gnawy dudes. I didn’t hesitate a moment to let him know he was acting creepy when he said he wants to “establish friendship” with me.

This feels strange to write about him right now, because he left this world (may Almighty have peace upon his soul). He’s gone too early. But those were our literally young days, and now I understand, he had a whole different “hope situation” planned in his head, just like I did.

So, in 7th grade, when I finally had my period (yes, in tropical countries period and menopause come early), I realized my hopes were TARNISHED. And this dude decided to “ask me out” on my first day of period. Bad timing bro.

Of course I lashed out on him. With things like “how immature it is for a 7th grader to ask a classmate out and clearly I am not interested in stuff like that”, well stuff that an “adult” would tell us. Boy! He didn’t expect that from me. I think I embarrassed him, because he came with his friends (who were NOT my friends) and they were finding his “situation” funny. I felt sorry for him at least a few years later.

So, I essentially battled with the sadness of not being a dude and having the life I wanted that only a boy could live in the society we lived. So, when my friends were slowly becoming “normal”, the “popular” girls were getting their first dates and first kisses and talking about those, I was more into Age of Empire, re watching The Matrix twice a day, fantasizing myself in fictional situations in books I loved (mostly Tom Sawyer), and having Harry Potter themed nightmares. Also, most of my friends had older siblings and they’d have all the insights and tips on studies, which were fairly recent, since I only got those from my mom and even though she was trained as a teacher were not as recent as theirs. Which developed an inferiority complex in me. I focused on that too. I had zero time for fancying dudes. Seriously.

When I finally found a male celebrity “cute” enough, he came out. I still love and appreciate this incredible Westlife vocalist. But the irony was interesting.

So, one of my Potter loving female friends got their boyfriend in 11th grade, she went to a different school though by then. Two of my friends developed platonic crush on their tutor who taught at a private academic aid that they attended, and another friend of mine got rejected by her classmate in a physics tutorial I think.

AND I WAS THERE, LOOKING FOR THE “Other me”, LIKE ORHAN PAMUK (the Literature Nobel Laureate 2006) MENTIONED IN HIS ADDRESS, THE “ANOTHER ORHAN” (excerpt from his then latest book Istanbul, a chapter named “My Father’s Briefcase” I think). I was literally looking for the another me, and also spent a lot of time daydreaming about the “what ifs” when I wasn’t studying.

I think “I missed the beat” there.

I opened up to having “cis crushes” when I started college, like “celebrity crushes”.

AND ON ONE FINE DAY, I REALIZED, I HAD A CRUSH ON A DUDE WHOM I LOATHED BECAUSE HIS GIRLFRIEND STARTED GOING OUT WITH HIM AFTER CHEATING ON MY FRIEND!

Bigger irony is, this dude was classmate of that dude who asked me out in 7th grade. And we all went to same college, I studied Computer Engineering and they studied Electrical Engineering.

Boy those agonizing days! That dude and I became friends later. He’s a happy married guy now. It’s awkward for me, but meh. That’s my secret, I’m always awkward (and I make Hulk proud!).

I was supposed to talk about why I haven’t had my much tabooed first kiss yet, right?

I think it’s because I was never “interested” or “driven” enough to approach. And never strongly felt the needs. Maybe the horrors that gnaw in my flesh have more of my attention, so I don’t care much about these “fluttery” stuff. I really don’t feel romantic most of the time. It does not happen to me without external triggers like a good romantic ballad or a moving piece of art/literature. And the effect never sticks for long. My bro friends said, I’m in a limbo.

Meh!

No hope for kisses for me eh? That’s sad because I don’t end up in the surprise party every South Asian youth fears called “arranged marriage”. I think I’m ready for dropping my wards a little.

WAIT!

Does Hershey’s Kisses count?

We Don’t Help Ourselves/Nobody’s Gonna Help Us

UPDATE: I saw the PIRATED version of that book I mentioned first, it costed 200 units of our local currency and the Original version cost 1500 after bargaining. Still wondering why people prefer pirated stuff?

Today I’m here to rant about normalization of piracy and consumer rights fragile AF where I live (birthright much?)!

A book (to be sold in South Asian countries) for 600 Indian currency will be at least 2000 our currency. But 1 INR is equal to 1.25 of our currency. Yes. The book should cost like 750, and let’s just add 350 of our currency for “shipping cost” bs. It should be like 1100. But what the guacamole! If we buy that book in our country, it’s going to be almost double the bloody price!

And it’s same for the textbooks! Like most of my engineering textbooks are either published by McGraw Hill or Pearson. And they’ve got low price South Asian editions, like the Stein, Rivest and Cormen’s Introduction to Algorithms south Asian edition cost 450 INR. In our currency, the original South Asian copies should not cost more than 850 of our currency. But, the irony is, NOT ONLY THE ORIGINAL (South Asian edition) COPIES ARE HARD TO FIND! They are bloody overpriced! like 1600 to 2000 of our currency! What happens is, some bookstores (that sell engineering textbooks) obtain a few original copies, make photocopy of those books (horrid ones (and sometimes pages go missing)) and sell those in like 500-600 of our local currency (I’m referencing to Cormen’s book for price standard). They defend their deed saying, “We make engineering books more affordable! Not all students can afford to spend 800-1000 per book”. But the amount of money spent on photocopying from the original copies in uni library, to cross check what the heck is written in those poorly photocopied book is TOO DAMN HIGH! In the end, it costs if not more, then at least as much as what the original books would cost if they were available (in the MRP mentioned in books). Yes, we complete our higher study using piracy. Because our hands are tied. I spent a heck lot of time in thrift stores by the side of streets, browsing for old original copies of textbooks. Sometimes I got lucky. But most of the time, I wasn’t lucky enough and had to bear with those pirated photocopies. I’m not claiming myself a saint. But when it comes the creative people I appreciate and support, I always try to buy their intellectual efforts for what price they put for it. AND THAT INCLUDES THE INCREDIBLE PEOPLE WHO WROTE MY TEXTBOOKS.

And I guess since piracy (when it comes to textbooks) is normalized, we don’t have really strong stance when our consumer rights of getting to purchase premium contents (especially in Google platform (Apple trumped Google in this one. Schorry Google, I love you a lot, and still an android user, but you could not help us in this case, but Apple did.)) is in question.

WHAT THE HELL!

I mean we literally live under a bloody rock!

Last year I screamed like a fvcking baby for being called a drool by one of my favorite yootoobers, because he thought I wanted their premium content FOR FREE when I asked “HOW PEOPLE LIVING IN THE COUNTRIES WHERE NEITHER YOUTUBE RED NOT GOOGLE PLAY STORE PURCHASES ARE FEASIBLE CAN ACCESS THEIR YOUTUBE RED SHOW?”

I’m still bummed about that. Still sad that I was misunderstood and stuff. But I THINK I CANNOT DENY THE FACT THAT IT ALSO DEPENDS ON US! OUR GOVERNMENT IS HOLDING US BACK. AND WE ARE THE BLOODY CONSUMERS, AND WE ARE SUPPOSED TO SECURE OUR RIGHTS! GAAAAAAH!

No vlogbrothers are going to ask our government to let us purchase Kedi. No Vesauce would come up with logical reasoning for us to purchase Mind Field. No Rhett and Link are going to raise their voice to change the reality that WE CANNOT BUY BUDDY SYSTEM BECAUSE WE ARE BORN IN ONE SUCH COUNTRY.

Because they’ve got like 100 countries covered. They’ll purchase their content and the revenue will be enough for them I guess. And in the end, if not all, then these stuff are significantly about money. And why would they even care.

IT IS OUR THING TO CARE.

IT IS OUR BLOODY CONCERN! UGH!

I know, many of you would say, “Bugger off you filthy cunt! people of your country cannot even afford proper meals three times a day! And here you are trying to access “first world stuff”, okay, if you got enough money to purchase those contents and cannot because there’s no way to do so, WHY DON’T YOU DONATE THAT MONEY TO FEED AN UNDERFED!”

You kinda have reasons to say stuff like that but you know what, IT’S MY BLOODY MONEY! I EARN IT TOILING 45 HOURS PER WEEK! I GET TO DECIDE WHAT I WANT TO DO WITH IT. AND I HAVE EVERY REASON TO STAND UP FOR MYSELF WHEN I AM WILLING TO BUY ANY COMMODITY I WANT, IN A LEGAL WAY BUT THE GOVERNMENT HAS SHUT OFF ALL THE FUCKING LEGAL WAYS!

But my voice won’t do shit. I cannot do things like this on my own. And there’s another problem. MOST PEOPLE WOULD PREFER “accessing pirated versions” and this kinda is how shits work here. And that is why probably they have shut off legal ways to purchase contents. Because, it’s “unnecessary”. Or maybe there are more to it. Like foreign policy and other shizzle.

And since people around us have unofficial “encouragement” regarding pirated contents, they don’t really bother “standing up” for their consumer rights.

So, I guess I’m a lone wolf here.

A very tired omega one.

So, here’s to my failure. This time as a consumer.

But warmest wishes laced with Felix Felicis to Rhett and Link for Buddy System season 2.

P.S.: I am not going to watch this season either. I will have to cross border and be needing an international credit card to get hold of your content. Wait, I guess it’s more complected than that! Would you do that? If you were back in your old life as engineers? Would you risk legal complications to purchase contents from your favorite content creators? Wood you?