A rant.

October 6, 2012 § Leave a comment

I’m going to resuscitate the blog by writing an angry post.

I’m not angry anymore, to be fair. I was angry hours ago when some asshole grabbed my ass at a party I was with my uni friends in a random club. The party was actually really good. I wasn’t wearing a short dress/skirt. But if I were he still didn’t have the right to do so.

What makes a man think a woman would like that? To be groped and touched by a stranger without her permission?

What makes a man think a woman likes to hear shouts and words calling her hot, sexy or anything else on the street?

Do people really think this is attractive? That this is a good way of getting women to sleep with you?

Because it seems like a really fucking terrible idea. And worst of all are people who think that it’s a compliment. No, it isn’t. It’s harassment. It’s not just the words, it’s all that comes with it: fear, power, violence, objectification.

I’m made fun of by some of my classmates because I always say ‘That’s so sexist!’ to mostly everything people say (that I consider it to be sexist). But I don’t believe this time I’m not overreacting.

Why do you think women are fucking scared of being followed by a man? Or mostly by a group of men? On our way to the party, about 4 or 5 cars shouted and whistled and honked at us.  Then, my friends that were behind (in a larger group of women) started being followed by a big group of guys, who shouted things as well. It’s terrifying.

Tell me why do I have to think that being grabbed by a random stranger at a party should be a compliment? And why should I be called ‘fucking ugly’ because I said ‘No’ and pushed him? Why should I be ok with the fact that a person I have no idea who it is, because the party was crowded, thought he had any right to grab my ass like he did? It’s my body, after all. I should have a right to say something about who touches it.

I read an article a few months ago about this research someone did in the US. They asked a group of men and a group of women what were their worst fears regarding the opposite sex. Most men answered ‘to be humiliated’ or something like that. Most women answered ‘being raped and murdered’.

ISN’T THAT REALLY WRONG? Do men understand that the ‘compliments’ they shout at women on the street, or the way they look, whistle, or even clap when girls walk by, are not just words or acts, but actually carry with them fear and shitloads of years of sexism and violence against women? Women who are still sadly and ridiculously considered the ones to blame when something bad happens, because they ‘asking for it’ or dressed in some sort of improper way. Sexual violence is more about violence than sex. It’s about power.

It was a strange day, to be fair, my father made a comment of the sort ‘asking for it’ when he saw a girl walking on a dark street (at a quite reasonable hour). I found out about a ridiculous tale of how a girl was fingered by a police officer during a search. And these things happen with friends and family and cousins and classmates and co-workers. And yes, it happens with men too.

Some people don’t understand that being a woman means you constantly live with this bizarre fear. You feel powerless because it’s revolting. Powerless to change the minds of these assholes and powerless because you can’t not feel like shit when someone does something to you. Powerless because sometimes there’s not a way of fighting back. Powerless because it’s not one guy or just once. It happens more often than people think and most people make no case of it – as in when I was in the bathroom I told my friend a guy grabbed my ass and I could see the girl next to me rolling her eyes at my story of how I felt vulnerable and sad.

My sister has never seen a Batman movie.

July 28, 2012 § Leave a comment

So, yeah. Yesterday (just before I went to see The Dark Knight Rises) my 12 (almost 13) year-old sister told me she had never seen any of the Batman films. And not just the new ones, but the old ones as well. It’s a concept I can’t quite grasp – probably because I grew up watching the Tim Burton version, on the telly on Saturday afternoons, or because I was slightly obsessed with Arnold Schwarzenegger back in the day so I watched that horrible one-we-shall-not-name far too many times before Batman’s nipples started bothering me.

Batman is probably my favourite superhero. We can go into the argument that ‘he’s not really a superhero because he doesn’t have super powers’. Well, fuck off. His super power is that he’s filthy rich and super intelligent and shut up because it does count.

It’s not just because Batman was darker and more mysterious than other superheroes, that came later, because I read the comics and paid attention to the story. Back when I was around 10 years-old (that’s the 90s by the way), Batman had a few movies out there, the brilliant Batman: The Animated Series and I occasionally caught up the old 60s TV show on late nights (along with Wonder Woman with Lynda Carter and the Hulk series). Good times.

I guess it was all a bit of determinism why I became to be a Batman fan as I was exposed to it so much. Also, I was a bit of a morbid teenager, I was very (and by very, I mean very) fond of Jack the Ripper stuff, Agatha Christie’s books as well as Sherlock Holmes’ stories. So maybe because Batman had a bit of detective to himself, I liked him so much.

It’s weird then, to realize that my sister (who is right now watching Batman Begins – courtesy of my DVD collection) will not experience the Tim Burton movies which I truly believe led the way to the superhero franchises of today. She will never have chills going down her spine whenever she sees a dead fish because she remembers the Penguin eating a raw one in the scene that has disturbed me the most in all of the Batman movies so far. She will have Anne Hathaway’s badass Catwoman, but not the sexy goddess that was Pfeiffer (therefore it’s unlikely she will dream of having a vinyl catsuit and vinyl boots to go along like I did – and yes I eventually bought vinyl boots but never wore them). But hey, at least she won’t have Batman with nipples (although I admit I love the Batcard joke in the Batman & Robin movie). She will have brilliant the Heath Ledger as the Joker, which I truly believe owned up to the character more than Jack Nicholson ever did when it comes to making me scared or nervous (and I was a child then, so allegedly easier impressed).

Much to my sadness, it reflects a sad reality: my Star Wars was that of the Phantom Menace. My dad (thank FUCK) was a fan of the old ones and made me watch it, but after went on raving afterwards about how the originals were better and I went there and watched the old ones before Episodes II and III came out. Thankfully, my sister has gotten the better of from this similar situations, because she has the Nolan brilliance to show her who Batman is in the big screen and all I got was fucking Jar Jar Binks.

PS.: Proud geek daughter fact: my dad took my mom to a Star Wars-all nighter for their first date.

From the series: Found In The Old Notebook – Part 1

July 11, 2012 § Leave a comment

‘Immortals don’t die, child. It’s not possible. The day the universe blows up in pieces, maybe they will vanish. Yet, they will not die. They continue to live in a different dimension.’

‘But when the universe explodes, they won’t have bodies anymore.’

‘Don’t underestimate the power of magic, Miss Reed. Mortals see their bodies as the thing that makes them being alive. They might believe their souls continue to exist in whatever place their faith says it exists. But not immortals. Body, flesh. These are just concepts. Perception, as you might call it, can change.’

As he said that, Dr Shaw pulled his sleeves up and closed his eyes. Suddenly, right in front of Agata Reed’s eyes, his body started to become paler and paler. His fingers were becoming transparent and she looked at his face, only to see the wall that was behind him.

‘That. Is. AWESOME.’, was all she could mutter.

‘Please, Miss Reed. Don’t use of this commonplace language in this house.’ As he said that, his body started to become visible again. ‘In fact, I would much prefer if you refrained from using it whatsoever.’

‘But it was awesome!’, she repeated to his utter annoyance. ‘Am I going to learn how to do that?’

Dr Shaw sipped his tea and looked at his watch. ‘In due time. But as I said, the body is just a matter of perception. You will see that when we study transfiguration.’

‘Wicked!’

‘Yet, Miss Reed, you must be aware that it’s a very strenuous process and many have failed before you.’

She nodded, smiling, unable to hide her excitement.

He finished his tea and got up. He went to his desk, where there was a book. It had a black leather bound cover. The book seemed relatively new and he put it in front of Agata.

‘You must read this. For tomorrow.’

The book had nearly 900 pages. She opened her mouth in shock, but closed it just as she realized that Shaw was gone from the room.

She opened it with a small sigh. The book was entitled ‘A Manual’ and it didn’t have an author’s name or year of publication. Agata got up and grabbed paper and pencil to make notes. When she turned her back, she heard a loud noise. It made her jump and drop everything on the floor. She looked up and saw a woman standing by the door.

The woman was short and blonde. Her nose looked like a small potato and her eyes were of a milky colour. She wore ragged clothes and carried a small shoulder bag.

‘Ahn, hello’, Agata said.

The woman didn’t say a word. In fact, she wasn’t even looking at Agata. She was looking at the book. Suddenly, her body tightened up and her eyes narrowed.

‘Are you the girl Shaw is tutoring?’ the woman asked in a demanding voice. Her eyes were inspecting the room. Agata stared at her. ‘Maybe, who are you?’, her ear lobes were tingling, ‘How did you get in?’.

The woman smiled and shook her head.

‘Do you know who I am?’

‘No.’ Agata said defiantly. She wasn’t feeling comfortable in this situation. Where the hell was Shaw?

‘You must be scared. How rude of me’, the woman said, ‘My name is Morgana. I have known Shaw for many years’, she said, sitting down in the sofa and taking off her coat with an effort. ‘What is your name, child?’

‘Agata. Agata Reed. Are you really Morgana? THE Morgana?’ Agata asked eagerly.

‘Yes, I am. Come sit down. Do you have any tea?’

Agata wasn’t sure she should leave her guest alone in the living room. While she pondered, Morgana looked at her with interest.

‘Nevermind. I wouldn’t leave you alone in my living room either.’, she said suddenly. Agata blushed.

‘I thought you were taller. And a brunette.’ the girl said, shyly.

‘I was. Once. Many years ago’, Morgana replied, with a smile. ‘Now, where’s that old rag of a wizard?’

‘He…well…he vanished.’ Agata said, confused.

Morgana looked around the room and got up.

‘Yes, he does that a lot.’, she said, absently. She started to scan the shelves as if looking for something.

‘Can I help you with anything?’, a voice said behind Agata. She jumped on her feet. It was Shaw, wearing a wet raincoat and closing an umbrella.

Random things that remind me of London.

April 15, 2012 § Leave a comment

For some reason, slightly cold and yet sunny Sunday mornings remind me of London (they do have sun in the UK, you guys), much more than rainy days in fact. So I’ve decided to compile a list of other things that remind me of that city which is the true love of my life. (I’ve tried to keep out obvious UK products)

- Tea (well, this one was pretty obvious)

- Subway (first time I had one was there)

- Dumplings and many other types of food that have nothing to do with England, like Dim Sum, Kebabs, Curry.

- Have a real breakfast

- White sheets and white houses

- Jägermeister, Ales, Cider

- People complaining it’s cold when the temperature is around 15ºC. (this is basically Summer, people)

- Orthodox Jews (the first house I lived there was in a street where I was basically the only one not Jewish)

-  Tea Cups (or rather ‘Cuppa’)

- Black cocktail dresses

- Ray Ban Wayfarers

- Hills (I spent a lot of time in Muswell Hill)

- Parks

- Sunday Roast

- Hangovers

- Gingers

- Very big houses with great gardens (aka ‘manors’)

- Comic books

- Small  avocados

- Moldy bread (used to happen a lot, I ate it anyway)

- Oysters

- Braids

- Mustard

- Women with moustaches (I met one as soon as I got to London and she was really rude)

- Supermarket own brand products

- Talking about the weather

- Stand up comedy (well, funny people in general make me think of England)

- Some REALLY bad adverts (video ones), yet the clever visual adverts (like the ones in billboards or magazines) or beautifully designed packages also remind me of London

- Old men with very white hair

- Cheekbones (Matt Smith and Benedict Cumberbatch)

- Men wearing pointed-toe shoes

- Naked women in the newspaper

- CUSTARD, OH GOD I MISS CUSTARD and scones, I miss scones too

- Red bricks

- Banjos

- Men with nice haircuts

- Girls wearing shorts/skirts with a high waist

- Waistcoats (my boss in the pub wore it all the time)

- Scarves

- Puns

- And last, but not least (for now anyway): banter

Amuse me

February 22, 2012 § Leave a comment

James acordava todos os dias às 6h17 – exceto domingos e feriados, além de outros dias santos. Não 6h15. 6h17. Ele não gostava do número 5 e nem de números pares. Nem de azul-turquesa.
Melissa, sua esposa, já não se estressava mais com os desgostos de James. Ela até achara charmoso e interessante nos primeiros meses de namoro.
Nessa terça-feira em particular (ou nessa particular terça-feira), James não conseguia dormir. Veja bem, ele andava preocupado com o filho na faculdade e a hipoteca da casa. Além disso, ele estava com o estômago embrulhado desde o dia anterior.
Portanto, às 6h17, James já estava de pé. Ou melhor, ajoelhado. No chão do banheiro. Com a cara enfiada no vaso.
‘É culpa daquelas porcarias que tu come no trabalho’, disse Melissa, ‘se tu viesse jantar em casa…’
‘Mas eu nem comi ontem’, responde James logo antes de ser acometido por um ataque de vômito.
‘Pior ainda. Tá vomitando o quê?’
‘Meus órgãos?’
James sentiou o enjôo passar levemente e levantou-se. ‘Passou’.
‘Vai ir trabalhar?’
‘Tenho que ir. Depois do incidente da semana passada tem muita papelada pra resolver.’

James trabalhava no Laboratório Farmacêutico da HSF, um dos maiores laboratórios do gênero no mundo. Nos últimos anos a HSF vinha sofrendo uma série de processos contra testes em animais e foi na semana anterior que um grupo de coelhos, que estavam sendo testados para uma nova droga contra o Alzheimer, escapou. Dos 60 coelhos, foram recuperados 57. Um foi encontrado morto dois dias atrás no sistema de ventilação.
‘A coisa mais curiosa do mundo aconteceu’, disse Jamile, uma das novas contratações da companhia, assim que James entrou no escritório.
Jamile era morena, tinha 24 anos e era tenista nas horas vagas. James vinha dormindo com ela desde o mês passado, na festa de despedida do antigo vice-presidente da companhia.
‘Sim?’, ele respondeu, pensandos nas 7 horas de sexo ininterrupto da sexta-feira passada no motel perto do laboratório.
‘O Dr. Zeller veio aqui me contar que o coelho 58, o que tinha morrido…’
‘Hum’, o estômago de James embrulhou e ele sentiou sua mão direita formigar e parar de responder aos seus pensamentos.
‘Que estranho’, ele murmurou.
‘…não morreu’, a voz de Jamile o trouxe de volta.
‘Oi?’
‘O coelho. Não morreu. Parece que era algum tipo de estado catatônico só.’
‘Hum’, agora o braço inteiro dele parecia não funcionar. ‘Eu vou pra minha sala’, ele falou, desatento ao que Jamile estava dizendo.

Fora alguns enjôos e idas ao banheiro, o resto da manhã passou sem maiores incidentes para James, fora o não-funcionamento do seu braço direito.
Às 13h, no horário do almoço, James foi encontrar Jamile no motel. O braço de James voltou a funcionar mais ou menos às 13h31. Às 14h18, quando ele atingiu o orgasmo, o mesmo braço quebrou a armação da cama do motel.
E às 18h30, quando James chegou em casa, o mesmo braço quebrou o pescoço de Melissa.
Às 18h33, James devorou metade do pescoço da sua esposa.
Por fim, às 20h33 – aproximadamente – Melissa, com seu pescoço meio devorado, comeu o cérebro do vizinho.

On oversexualization and hands touching.

November 2, 2011 § 1 Comment

Confession blogs have become quite popular on Tumblr and recently I posted a confession on a Jane Austen blog saying I thought the scene in Pride & Prejudice (2005) when Mr Darcy helps Lizzie and gives his hand was just amazing. There’s a lot of sexual tension in that and anyway the movie is not what the post is about.

This scene is one of my favourites because I think it’s very simple and yet it represents a lot of things.

First of all, I’m a fan of Jane Austen’s work and I’ve seen this version of the movie about 10 times (I think Joe Wright is an amazing director). However, I’m not a naive 15 year-old girl who thinks Regency times were this amazing thing OMG. Nope. I know it was a patriarchal and sexist society, where chivalry was merely one of the many ways of repressing sexuality and so on. I know all that.

So, back to Tumblr. My confession was that I love this scene, because it represents a time when touching the person you like was so rare, that the slightest touch meant the world. Which I truly believe.
There was an argument among other people who saw that confession saying I was ‘misguided’ and that I was naive for thinking that (again with the same argument of sexism back then and repressed sexuality) and while I appreciate that maybe I wasn’t that clear, I think they consider themselves persecuted by something which wasn’t a romantic view of the act chivalry (not at all, I can open my own door and pull my own chair, thank you very much). However, someone said something about the ‘oversexualization’ these days and that’s the point I was trying to make.

I’m not against sexual expression, sleeping with random strangers or having thousands of sexual partners. I’m all for it. As long as you are feeling good about yourself, I say, go for it. My point with that confession was that today, when you like someone, it’s usually pretty easy to spot, the hugs, the touches, the clothes you wear when you’re going to see that someone, whatever. Some people are more discreet, some people are very obvious. It’s normal to start a relationship based on touch rather than on feelings (and that sometimes works perfectly fine). What I’d like to bring to the discussion is that what I meant to say was about sexual tension.

Honestly, I LOVE some good sexual tension and I find it kind of hard to come across these days. It’s difficult for people not to touch, if they are friends or even co-workers. If you’ve never experience that almost electric thrill that comes down your spine when you touch the person you like (preferably by accident) then take your hand out quickly kind of scared, then you haven’t lived. It’s quite unique and sometimes people really ignore that. Which is funny, because that’s my favourite part of the ‘flirt’: when the tension is so thick, you could cut it with a knife. It’s scary. It’s intense. It’s fun. And it doesn’t mean I’m sexist. Sometimes you didn’t even know you liked someone until a random touch to reach for the same thing allowed that weird awkward-make-me-blush kind of thing. Even if you are very open about your sexuality and speak freely of the pleasures of the flesh, it’s impossible to ignore that feeling. Because later, when (and if) something happens, it’s like taking shoes off that have been crushing your feet for hours x100.

I might not be the most clarified person about my sexual life (I know I have problems with being seen naked for instance), but I think it’s more about insecurity than sexism. I know marriage was never the happy thing everyone thinks it is (please, most of humanity married for convenience until the last century) and I know people get divorced more these days, because they CAN choose what they want and don’t have to stay stuck in a hopeless and sad union.

On the other hand, oversexualization is a problem. Look at your TV, at your 11 year-old sister (like my own) and listen to what kind of music they listen to – bitches, whores, pimps and so. It’s a bad oversexualization. It’s not for liberty, if anything, it’s for more sexism for the most part of it. Treating women like objects, just like they did back in Regency times and way before that. If before it was no sex at all, now it seems it’s too much, isn’t it? Of course my judgement is still influenced by a moral society grown out of Catholicism, yet in a country where barely dressed women are just normal and you’re weird if you don’t like to wear tight clothes – like myself – seem to be outdated and sometimes even ‘intimidating’ (because I don’t like to wear uncomfortable clothes? How aboutcha). I don’t blame the victims for being raped, because it’s not how you dress that will trigger a sick man into raping you. If you want to dress with tight short and high heels and a cleavage, I salute you , because I feel very uncomfortable in most things other than jeans and a t-shirt. I’m a well-educated woman and I think as they are allowed to dress like that, I should be allowed to dress like I do, without being frowned upon by people saying I suffer the influence of a sexist society.

So, when I say that seeing hands touching it’s more of a turn on for me than seeing girls shaking their asses on some random rapper’s face, I will not stand for being said I was misguided. My romantic notions are pretty realistic (even if I do allow myself an occasional daydream), but I like the mystery more than the obviousness.

A citizenship

September 22, 2011 § 1 Comment

Some days make me ashamed of being a citizen of this planet.
When people murder each other for shoes, when innocents are executed because of their skin or religion, when we rather spend days watching Big Brother instead of giving a helping hand to those who need, when families abandon their children, when children abandon their parents, when we forget who we are or how we got here.
When it’s easier to see hate instead of love.
At the end of the day, all we really have are our actions. Our thoughts will be long forgotten after we die, but sometimes our actions won’t. As someone famous said, do things so that your death brings no pleasure to the world.

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