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What bothers me about gender being Male-Female only according to society is that you will never really be free from it, it will always haunt you even in the words you use or hear.


So let's start with words. In Spanish, adjectives have the gender-specific vowel: -a for female, -o for male. So you can say a woman is hermosa (beautiful) but you can't say a man is hermoso because omg das so gay. The word perro (male dog) means the animal, while perra means bitch. To take it a step further with adjectives, female adjectives are always words which give an inferiority to the noun: only a year ago you could still find in the Diccionario de la Real Academia Española (freak out, it's the official Spanish dictionary all the way from frikkin' Spain!) certain definitions like "Women: fragile, weak, not a man, less than a man" and "Men: strong, large, first human being created by God" or something. I nearly fell off my chair laughing. And then I cried, because it's incredibly stupid and sexist.


Words are hurtful. Words have consequences. We all should use words carefully. 


Chile is a very sexist country. This Summer there was an ad on the telly about a girl talking to her friends about how "hard" her boyfriend "worked" during Summer vacations, then cut to this boy "working hard" at a local theme park, snapping pics with his phone of women's breasts. Oh, yeah, that's what I call "earning your payment". Then cut to his friends ranking the girls' breasts. Hey... DOESN'T THAT SOUND JUST LIKE DON JON ?????


So a few months ago I decided I wasn't going to keep quiet about men shouting at me or staring at my breasts or telling me I have a huge ass (like I don't know, jerk), so I've been talking back. A typical situation usually goes with me walking, some man saying something from the safety of his car, me not being able to say something back to instead I just flip a finger. A friend of mine was once told a 30-centimeter cock would do her body a favour, and she stared at the man and gestured 30 centimeters, then pointed at him and laughed her ass off. Another friend had to punch a guy in the face, right before pepper-spraying him, then running away... at noon.


And you know what.


They totally do not expect a verbal response (let alone a physical one, which is dangerous because they can kick you back) and sometimes it's hilarious to see their faces going "But... but... you're--you're supposed to--that's not--wha--"


Problem is that it doesn't make any difference. I do feel better, I feel like I've avenged myself and there's a certain sense of satisfaction in that, but it's still a thing that happens every day. 


Every day sexism is embedded in the words my father says to me and my little sister: if we don't get married, we'll prostitute ourselves for money. His sexism is clear in the way he says: wife or whore. My brother's sexism is clear in the way he says: if my wife earns more money than I do I'll divorce her. It's clear in the way you hear him talk to his girlfriend: you won't go because I don't want you to. 


Every day sexism is obvious even in little actions like "Let the man of the house do it, you'll break your nails".


Fortunately for me, I'm currently in a relationship with a man who fully supports my feminism and my feminist rants and who hates it when I'm really pissed off because some asshole thought I gave a fuck about what was going through his mind (or his penis) and put together some idiotic words and shouted them at me. This happens. On a daily basis. 


And this is a gender thing. This is the society that's raised us girls quiets, compliants, with our heads low, our mouths shut, and our legs open for any moron who puts a fucking ring on our fingers. We don't know better because we weren't taught. Some of us learn by ourselves. Some aren't lucky enough. Some pay the consequences with their lives.


The consequences of gender being only Male-Female affect all of us. I can only speak from my point of view, but if you tell your son boys don't cry you're gonna end up with a man who will have never learned to express his emotions in a healthy way. If you tell your son he'll put his family to shame for not liking girls you're gonna end up with a man filled with guilt if he ever realizes he's gay.


Speaking from my own experience with extremely religious parents, I never had a boyfriend until now and my parents were worried I may have been a lesbian. If that had been the case, they would've kicked me out in a second. Even today, with this relationship that's been going on for nearly six months, I'm still not sure. I don't love this man because he is a man: I love him because of the person he is, because he respects me and loves me, and because he is not a fucking piece of shit who will hit me because I don't obey him, and so many more reasons. And I know in my mind that if he'd been a woman, I would've still fallen in love with her if all that ever changed were what's under his pants. 


I know that.


But my extremely religious parents raised in an extremely religious and sexist society would kick me out of the house they raised me in just because of what I want is not what I should want according to my gender.


It's a problem that's been going on for so long there will never be a solution to it. It's everywhere. The world would have to end and all of us would have to die with it for this to be over. 


May the universe never remember us and our stupidity.


Stay tuned for another rant. I'm going to bed now.


 

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Hear me out: 


A pub, a bunch of people, everyone has a story to tell, and everyone has a camera to record it. So, basically, it's like home-made stand-up comedy except it isn't comedy because you can tell whatever kind of story you wanna tell. 


And it's a Live Collab because, well, it should be recorded live. And ideally in a pub, or wherever a bunch of people can get together and drink and tell stories. 

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I've had this one in my computer for a few months, not sure why I didn't upload it before. But here it is! I had to add subtitles because we talked in Spanish (except for her reading) so it was a rather fun video to edit. Also, the image might be a bit dark. 


 


(Resourcing later)

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I do not.


I read in a book once that a philosopher (can't remember which) had this one-man theory. According to it, we are all One, the same soul, living different lives at different points throughout History. I don't remember the context of his theory or the rest of the book for that matter, but to answer the question: no, I don't believe we're One.


While anyone with a highly metaphysical point of view on life regarding the immortality of souls would probably tell me to go fuck myself (maybe in kind words), I can't really wrap my head around this idea, however interesting I may find a time-travelling soul. The thing is, I recently came across a thought that soul might be as much a social construct as is time or money or the importance of your last name.


Having a soul is the argument the Spanish used to make their lives actually important when they first came to America. They found people who were different in every way and used the word "soul" to refer to them as "people who don't have a soul and therefore can be killed because dude they don't have a soul and so their bodies are totally meaningless". In the same way, we often have sci-fi movies in which robots aren't treated as humans, however human-like they may look, because they also don't have a "soul". Sure, robots belong to books and movies, but the aboriginal tribes of South America belonged to South America and they were enslaved and ultimately murdered, the women were raped, the children were only work force, and why bother because they didn't have a soul, you know.


The thing is, the lack of empathy a human has towards a different human -to the point that one may consider the other as not even having a soul so why bother with its body- makes me doubt that we have a soul. On the other hand, glimpses of sympathy towards each other (I'm telling you, this could even be a mere thank you) makes me hope that we can be better,  but it doesn't really add weight to having a soul.


So, no, I find it hard to believe we're one.


Aside from that, are we connected? Again, negative answer from me. Although this is really coming from my own experience of my inability to be interested in just about anything. I have a short attention span and this basically gave me my power (or antipower?) of being either really interested in something or not giving one single fuck about it. To me, in order to be connected with someone you have to trust them enough to think aloud in their presence and not feel like they're the stupid voice that's going to say "you're an idiot and I hate you so bye"". And the sad story of my life is that I haven't met anyone I can feel that comfortable with in all my twenty-two years of living. I also think this is one of the reasons teenagers commit suicide, and that affected me in my own adolescence.


It's too personal for me to say yes, we are all connected and yes, we are all One. 


And in my own experience I can only answer no, I don't believe we're all One and no, I don't believe we're all connected.

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Sarah had been watching the spider closely before setting it on fire. She didn't mind bugs; after all, they were basically her neighbours, living right there with them at the edge of the universe.


"Stop that" said her little brother Sam, eyes set on the burning creature. But Sarah didn't stop. "I'll call mom" he said to defend himself. 


"So call her" replied Sarah, but Sam didn't, he just watched. 


When all that was left were ahses, Sarah left, but Sam stayed. He blew them away and made a wish upon their dying star.

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(1)    INT. HOSPITAL WAITING ROOM


A mother and her daughter sit together, arms wrapped around one another in a tight hug. The little girl sobs, face hidden in her mother’s scarf.


FEMALE VO
When I was eight, my younger brother was involved in an accident in which he broke his legs. All I did was cry; I was too scared to do anything else.


(2)    INT. UNDERGROUND PARKING LOT


Mother and daughter holding hands, walking to their car.


FEMALE VO
I remember that day clearly:


(2a) FROM INSIDE THE CAR: the back of the ambulance driving and the loud noise of the siren.


FEMALE VO
The way the road look from the passenger seat as my mom drove madly behind the ambulance.


(2b) The crying little girl in the passenger seat of the car.


FEMALE VO
I remember feeling guilty and thinking if I’d been there, how different it would all have been, maybe there wouldn’t have been an accident in the first place.


(2c) Same waiting room as (1), the little girl sitting on her own this time.


FEMALE VO
I remember the waiting room: the smell of clean, the brightness of the white tiles.


(2d) Same waiting room as (1) and (2c), the mother standing in front of a doctor this time.


FEMALE VO
And I remember the doctor: a bald, tall surgeon with his name and profession proudly sewn onto his robe; the arrogant look on his face as he told my mom her son was all good, with some therapy he’ll recover just fine, there’s nothing to worry about.


(3)    INT. THERAPY ROOM


All kinds of machinery needed for the therapy of the little boy.


FEMALE VO
The truth is my brother needed years of therapy. His bones were still new and growing when he broke them and in order for them to grow correctly there were specific exercises he had to do. This was a life changing experience for both of us:


The little boy in a wheel chair is pushed into the room by his mother.


FEMALE VO
He had to change his plans of becoming a sportsman.


The doorbell rings.


The mother looks up.


(4)    INT. HOUSE


The little girl extends her arm towards the door to open it. As she opens the door:


FEMALE VO
As for me, I fell in love with the nurse.


There stands a woman in her late twenties: hair tied up in a braid, wearing a sport outfit and carrying a backpack. She smiles this big, reassuring, sweet smile that is full of love and rainbows and unicorns and all the things that are beautiful in the world and beyond it and we all fall in love with her.


(3)    INT. THERAPY ROOM


The mother sits next to the little boy holding his hands in hers. The nurse sits in front of them, gesticulating as she shows them objects she takes out of her backpack: a scale skeleton, an anatomy book, others I can’t think of at the moment but I probably will later.


FEMALE VO
For the first year of therapy my brother had Bonnie Zinsser every day for five hours all to himself in the room our mom turned into his personal paradise. I didn’t notice I was second in priority because I was too busy noticing miss Zinsser.


(3)    INT. THERAPY ROOM


The nurse, wearing another outfit, helping the little boy with some exercises.


FEMALE VO
What I loved the most of her was how every word she spoke came out of her mouth like she was vomiting rainbows, and I loved that I could understand everything she explained my brother about his body.
(Pause)
I wanted to be him so she’d look at me. I wanted to break a few bones so I’d need therapy with her.


(5) INT. HOUSE


The little girl extends her arm towards the door to open it. As she opens the door:


FEMALE VO
And just like that she was out of my life. No notes, no goodbyes, no chance for me to give her all the letters I’d written her.


There stands an unknown woman—not her nurse, but a woman who looks similar to Nanny McPhee with a few extra pounds and ugly-makeup on. But she smiles, and her smile sweetens her harsh face and humanizes the rest of her.


FEMALE VO
Then there was Estrella Salgado, and those were the longest three years of my life.


(6)    INT. THERAPY ROOM


Estrella Salgado, the mother, and the little boy.


FEMALE VO
When I asked about Bonnie Zinsser she turned her head to look at my mother who said Miss Zinsser had other business to attend to.


(7)    INT. GIRL’S ROOM


The girl holding a box in her hands, melancholically looking out the window.


FEMALE VO
I was heartbroken.


(1)    INT. HOSPITAL WAITING ROOM


The sobbing little girl is sitting on Bonnie Zinsser’s lap and they’re surrounded by a whole bunch of nurses—in fact, the entire waiting room is packed with nurses.


FEMALE VO
In a way, Estrella Salgado inspired me to become a nurse, as did Bonnie Zinsser and every single one of them I ever met in my life. I loved their simple explanations and how they had to interpret whatever the doctors said and turn it into sweet, reassuring words everyone can easily understand. It was something about their outfit and their quiet yet fast walk up and down the halls.


(8)    INT. HOSPITAL – PRESENT DAY


The once little girl now all grown up and a nurse herself.


FEMALE VO
When I was a kid I often thought nurses knew everything.


She’s about to put an injection on a crying little boy. She holds his hands and mouths reassuring words we can’t hear. The boy calms, almost magically. She rolls up his left sleeve as he closes his eyes and takes deep breaths. She cleans the area of the injection, prepares the syringe with the shot and gently pinches the boy’s arm. And the boy doesn’t flinch at all. Once she’s done, she puts a band aid on his arm—he opens his eyes and looks at her in wonder as if to say it didn’t hurt a bit. She smiles a sweet, reassuring smile full of love. The boy stands up and leaves, still in awe. She watches him go with the same smile, then looks directly into the camera still smiling only now it’s at us and can’t help but fall in love with her.


FEMALE VO
Now, I know it too.

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Not really. 


Nor is my mom.


Or my brother.


Or me.


Or my sister.


Or the cat.


None of us is a scientist.


...


But we sure as fuckin' hell try. 

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