Feminism & Non-Binary vs. Chivalry

“Though I’m a big believer in gender equality, chivalry scores high in my book.” ~ Amy Plum, Die for Me

I was on the train today, commuting home from work.  I had had a particularly trying day at work, and I was hoping above all odds that I could find a seat on the train.  I was standing in front of a man who was with his daughter, and I heard him say to her that they would be getting off at the next stop.  I felt relieved knowing that I would be able to sit down after they left.  However, as they were getting up from their seat, another man, standing next to me, wormed his way past me, and sat down before I could take a seat, and while my attention was focused on him, another man came from my other side, and sat down in the other seat that was previously occupied by the little girl.

New Yorkers would tell me that it was my fault that I didn’t get a seat.  “You shoulda moved fastah!” they would say to me.  I suppose it is true – it is my fault – this is the city where if you blink, you lose an entire day.  This city definitely does not wait, and I already know this, but I really did not expect to to lose a seat to two grown-ass men.  Don’t men offer up their seat to women anymore?  Or is that from another long-gone era?  I wanted to snap a picture of the train car to show you what I saw that has destroyed my faith in chivalry: rows and rows of able-bodied men, sitting all in a row with their faces glued to their phones, and a fair number of women, some much older than sixty, standing.

Feminists will murder me for writing this, but I blame the feminist movement for the death of chivalry.  I suppose men feel that they no longer have to give up their seats to women, or hold open doors for us, and I mean why should they if women are marching for equal rights and equal treatment?  Doesn’t equal treatment mean that train seats and building doors are fair game, and the “what’s good for the goose is good for the gander” mentality applies?  And furthermore, chivalry could never survive the whole gender-ambiguous, gender non-binary, and gender fluid movements. With all this confusion going on with M, F, and X designations, why should men even bother with chivalry?

Sunrises & Sunsets

“One day, I watched the sun setting forty-four times……You know…when one is so terribly sad, one loves sunsets.” ~ Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, The Little Prince

NASA astronauts at the International Space Stations (ISS) must never feel sad.  The ISS travels at a  pace of 17,100 miles per hour, which means that it orbits Earth every ninety minutes.  So the astronauts witness a sunrise every ninety minutes.  They witness a total of sixteen sunrises and sixteen sunsets a day.

I wonder if they ever tire of seeing this?

Fiery South Atlantic Sunset | Photo by NASA

I love sunrises and sunsets.  It is rare that I get to wake up early enough to witness a sunrise, but I do have a large collection of sunrise photos.  Here are a few:

Sunrise over the Bronx
Sunset in Athens, Greece
Sunset over Queens, New York

 

I have a lot more, and today I decided to organize all my photos.  They are scattered and saved everywhere, but as I was looking through the thousands of photos that I’ve taken over the years between my phone and real camera, I realized that a good portion of the photos I take involve some sort of sunrise or sunset.  Imagine if I was a NASA astronaut – I would be taking at least 32 photos a day, and I would never feel sad.

Try Again Next Year

“The danger of motherhood – you relive your early self, through the eyes of your mother.” ~ Joyce Carol Oates, The Gravedigger’s Daughter

Belated Happy Mother’s Day to all the mothers out there, to all the mothers-to-be, to all the mothers of angel babies, and to all mothers who are struggling with infertility – you are all amazing.

My mom is in the Philippines, so I called her Saturday evening to greet her.  I wasn’t able to get through to her, but I did leave her a message on her phone.  By tonight (Sunday evening), I still have not been able to reach her.  It’s one of the many struggles of transatlantic communications – especially to a third-world country such as the Philippines.  While they are advanced technologically in the bigger cities like Manila, many of the outer provinces still have spotty telephone and internet service.  Unfortunately, the corruption in the government does not allow for a complete overhaul of the country’s infrastructure that is desperately needed.  There are still many areas even that do not have running water.

Surprisingly, the Philippines was one of the richest countries in Asia following WWII.  However, years of economic mismanagement and the corruption of the Ferdinand Marcos regime and martial law, led to the Philippines becoming one of the poorest in Asia.  Further economic stagnation and decline continued during the years even after Marcos due to political instability.  The country now largely survives on the money brought in by OFWs (overseas foreign workers), to the tune of approximately $31B/year.

My own mother’s day celebration was a bit of a disaster.  G had promised to make me breakfast, but in typical tweeny fashion, she wasn’t paying full attention, and was instead focusing on a video on her phone which she had placed on top of the kitchen counter, and she dropped a whole carton of eggs on the floor.  It took me nearly thirty minutes to fully clean up the gooey mess on the kitchen floor.  By then, I had lost my appetite, so I made oatmeal for us instead.

I took the opportunity to turn it in a lesson: Don’t half-ass anything in life.  Whatever you do, do it fully and with commitment.  

Lessons learned.  And, there’s always next year.

Texting

“As a medium, it’s safe to say, texting facilitates flakiness and rudeness and many other personality traits that would not be expressed in a phone call or an in-person interaction.” ~ Aziz Ansari, Modern Romance: An Investigation

My [lack of] texting etiquette may suggest that I am a rude person.  I’m not very good at responding to texts, and I’m not too keen on initiating them either.  I tend to leave people on “read” and generally take a long time to respond.

I am not like this because I am rude – I am like this because I haven’t quite [de]evolved to that level of social communication.

I grew up in the days of corded rotary phones.  I grew up during the time when phone calls during dinner were unimaginable, and phone calls placed before 8:00 a.m. and after 9:00 p.m. were considered bad manners.

Nowadays, chances are slim that I can spend an entire meal with a friend uninterrupted.  I could be sitting with a friend, having a nice conversation and a nice meal together, and everything would come to a screeching halt because she would get a text that she absolutely “must answer.”  Maybe she would only spending a minute or less doing this, but oftentimes, this same urgency to respond to text messages would happen a few more times during the course of the meal, and before you know it, she would have spent at least a quarter of the time looking into her phone, rather than being completely present with me.

Sadly, this societal behavior is what is considered “normal” these days.

Technology has made it so that the person in front of you comes second (or third, or fourth) and significantly less important than whomever is texting you.

And it seems no one these days care about what time they text you.  As soon as a thought comes into their mind – BOOM! – they text you, and it could be 1:00 p.m. or 10:30 at night, or 4:00 in the morning.  And worse, some people expect an immediate answer from you.  It’s the world of instant gratification.

A while ago, I received an angry text from a friend.  She had taken the time to write out a few paragraphs on text about how she was disappointed in me, and how she never expected that I would be so unsupportive.  Um, excuse me?  I had read her text, and I was so confused that I immediately thought she had texted the wrong person.  So, I did what she never thought to do herself: pick up the damn phone and DIAL MY NUMBER AND TALK TO ME.

I called her and she answered.  I asked her straight out what the hell was she talking about?  She said that she had texted me a few months ago to let me know that she was expecting a baby, and she was angry and hurt that I never acknowledged her pregnancy.

What in the actual freak???  Since when do people give LIFE-ALTERING news over text?

I told her the truth, which was that I did not receive that text, and that if I had, I surely would have CALLED her to congratulate her.  I really don’t get it, man.  Texting sucks.  I think it was designed to be able to pass brief, concise information quickly, like when you’re outside waiting for someone to arrive, and that person texts you to let you know they are running late.  I don’t think it was really designed to carry entire relationships, which, quite sadly, is how I think people use it.

photo credit: google images

Cinco de Mayo

“Clouds come floating into my life, no longer to carry rain or usher storm, but to add color to my sunset sky.” ~ Rabindranath Tagore, Stray Birds

With the exception of Saturday, this whole week was washed out because of the rain here in NYC.

 

 

It was just as well, I suppose, as this was another busy week here at work, and I wouldn’t have been able to enjoy the outdoors anyway.  I wish I could tell you all what I’ve been working on, but the attorney-client privilege prevents me from doing so.  I’m working on such an interesting project, so I don’t even mind working such long hours, but I do wish that I could talk to someone about it.

Despite my busy schedule, I did manage to find time to go to the gym three times this week.  Now that the days are longer, I can still go early enough in the morning before work and not have it still be pitch black when I wake up.  G says I have lost weight, but I can still pinch some fat and skin on my sides, so I am determined to keep going.

Today was cinco de mayo, and in honor of the day, G and I made tacos.

I still believe that the French lost at Puebla to the Mexicans because they were blindsided by tacos.  I mean, who can resist such deliciousness?