The unit of womanhood.

Keeping up with the morning alarm habit, but this morning I finally pulled out my new sketchbook and brought out all my pencil cases. I put my name on the book, sharpened a fresh pencil, and spent about half an hour sketching on a page. I also played a bit with my camera, but I’m still trying to figure that out.

When I went downstairs, I let Arya out of her cage for a while as dad cleaned her cage. That sort of threw me off my bathroom, meds, coffee-choco, breakfast habit, but it’s okay. And since I had listed down topics I had in mind for the blog, it wasn’t too hard to work out what this post will be about. Now, I have a pretty shitty memory, so the list is encouraged by past me who has forgotten stuff I wanted to write about before, and it’s the 21st century, there are ways to alleviate that problem. *Sigh* Speaking of which, I already forgot the point I was trying to make about my memory. Let’s move on.

Fair warning, I am Filipino, so this post will mention a fair bit of relatives. It might get confusing, but bear with me. I will distinguish them as best as I can. For privacy and anonymity’s sake, should their names be relevant, they will be given aliases as well, like Sylvester.

Three days ago, Sunday (when I missed a post because we were out for the majority of the day), we went to Pampanga for my aunt’s husband’s birthday. I’m not very close to him, I don’t think we’ve had an actual conversation lol, but my aunt is my dad’s cousin. It’s very rare for him to even meet up with friends, so this was an opportunity for him to meet up with his relatives. Also, it’s the province, it’s always nice to go back every now and then. Free food and fresh air, what more could you want?

We’d visited their house in Pampanga before, but my uncle (dad’s eldest brother) and his family, hadn’t yet. My uncle’s family consists of his wife, Dawn, and their daughter Dianna, who I grew up with. Dianna got a boyfriend last year, and my uncle is the stereotypical dad who’s strict about it. However, Dianna just graduated from College and got into Law school, so he doesn’t have much license to be against it. We’ll call her boyfriend Travis.

Last year, a few days after Christmas, they’d invited us over. Travis was coming over as well, but Dianna told me just as we arrived. When I got up to get some food, my uncle conspiratorially yet jokingly asked me if I had a boyfriend. Actually, I didn’t understand what he was asking at the time, and awkward human being I am, I didn’t think to ask again. So I just smiled awkwardly and laughed. My go-to expression. He then took this as a sign that I was being coy and shit. I figured out what he asked a few minutes later, but then I didn’t care. It was much later when I got the privacy of my own company and my thoughts, since my uncle is a bit of a show-off, it was his way of bragging that his daughter got a boyfriend, and that his brother’s daughter didn’t. Then again, that just might be my bias.

So this previous Sunday, it was inevitable to be introduced to obscure relatives. My dad’s cousin, I think he is my aunt’s brother, sat down at our table for a conversation. One way or another, my uncle inserts Travis in the conversation, and how Dianna has a boyfriend. Naturally, they would ask if I had one, and for such things, I normally don’t give an answer anyway, or vehemently shake my head. Every now and then, I would be asked, “girlfriend?” right after I do, but these people are more conservative than others, so I didn’t expect to be asked so. This time, I go back to smiling and laughing. My dad’s cousin has two daughters himself, I think, who are younger than Dianna and myself. And I wonder if they have boyfriends, and if their father knew about it.

Even after we go home, and mom and I go to buy groceries, it haunted me. I’m not at all insecure that I’m single. Granted, it’s not like I don’t want to be not single, either, but I’m not pursuing it. My generation’s standards for men has put me off of it, at least for the time being. I am just not interested. But my question was, “why?” Why do girls have to have a boyfriend? Is that the unit with which we measure the worth of a woman?

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Quite frankly, these are the moments that make me consider being “loud and proud” that I’m a bitch, that I’m a slut, and that I’m butch. To assert my feminism in a way that makes people uncomfortable, because that might be the only way to stop people from shoving their shitty ideals down my throat. But at the same time, I don’t want them to see me that way, not because I’m ashamed or afraid, but because it’s not like I will change them. They will change, but whatever amount of effort I put into it probably will not help. They are grown ass people, and they will think whatever they want to think, and behave however they want to behave.

I’ve mentioned it before, I think, that I don’t want to focus on the negative, but instead on the positive. These ideas that I present aren’t for the ignorant and the close-minded, but for those willing and curious. At the end of the day, we are the ones that decide what is worthy of our time, and of what we are worthy.

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