On Sunday August 29th, Ani and I headed to a site we never knew existed: the Araya-Chouit train station. After Google-mapping the towns, we set off and arrived there early.
Early to what you might ask? Well, the reason we did hear about this is through Books in Motion’s (BIM) series of theatrical pieces written and directed by renowned Lebanese director Lucien Bourjeily, produced by Denise Marooney and amazing puppet design by Randy Ginsburg (a UK-based artist). Araya proved closer than the other featured train stations, and once we got there, I was confident I made the right choice.
Parking on the main road, we came across a cute little puppy, sitting alone on the side of the street with a broken arm. I petted the dog, made sure she stayed off the road, and continued to the train station. She followed us there, and despite our attempts to find her a safer place to stay, she insisted on coming too. Once we got to the site proper, fortune was on our, and Chouity’s side (I called her that cause we found her in Chouit and she was a real sweety = Chouity) a couple of dozen orphans from SOS villages were there having a picnic before the play started. They were ecstatic when Chouity found them, and she couldn’t have been happier, running around, with a limp, from child to child. We will get back to Chouity later.
The first thing you see once you reach the station is the impressive water tower. Locomotives of the day used steam-powered engines and water was a necessary supply along with coal at every station. The rusted water tank had scars all-too familiar to many old Lebanese structures: shrapnel holes. The damage littered the metal shell that once held well over 4000 liters of water and ensured 24/7 operation of the train station.
To the right of the tower, a small booth stands, roofless and doorless. It’s what remains of the ticketing kiosk my dad and his scouts troupe used to bargain at for lower ticket prices to make feasible their scoutly excursions into places as far as dahr el baydar. Nowadays, no humans stand in line in front of this ticketing office, and the only scouts are bees looking for fresh flowers to replenish the dozens of beehives that are kept in lines in front of the guichet.
Then, the station itself looms from between the heavy forest (something not so common anymore in Lebanon). The façade and interior tell stories of what this place used to be and how history has forgotten it. In many places, the brick-red outer façade has been ravaged by vegetation, water erosion and man-made damage. The roof tiles are loosely held together, faltering over the decaying windowpanes and shutters. Below the 2-story-high building, the sign read “Chouit Araya” in Arabic and French, over a segment of the building which had caught on fire many years ago, and was now exposed to the elements.
Inside, everything was devastated. Stairwells, roof beams, and even floor tiles were reduced to rubble. Amidst this sad situation though, patches of intricately designed ceramic tiles stand out, reminding the beholder that this was once an awe-inspiring sight, one that symbolized Lebanon’s once vibrant and promising circulatory system.
After going over every centimeter of the location, the spectacle was about to begin. The official in charge of railroads and trains in Lebanon (at first I thought it was a joke and laughed… another brilliant example of how the government wastes money and spends resources on a sector that has been dead for over three decades) took the ‘stage’ and described the Lebanese Railway System’s Golden Age back in the 50s. He expressed his remorse that the railway system is no more, and insisted if it were brought back to life, many of Lebanon’s infrastructure and pollution problems would be solved. An environmentalist also added on what the trains official had to say, insisting public transportation in the form of trains, was the ideal solution.
The president of the municipal council of Chouit then elaborated on the historical, social and sentimental value of this once splendid station, which once joined two neighboring towns, torn apart by civil war. He lamented those days, and acknowledges the link and friendship is stronger than ever, but there is no Chouit-Araya station to be testament to that brotherly bond.
The play then began. The satirical comedy retells the folk story of treasure buried by Ottoman soldiers near the Riyak train station as their forces fled the oncoming British onslaught in 1918. The actors and actresses seamlessly merge song, stand-up comedy, puppetry and drama to deliver a truly unique, lighthearted and delightful theatrical piece.
I’d like to mention a few things I found very nice: the puppets were amazingly constructed from everyday objects like pans and dishes and balls. Also, in a segment where the actors speak Turkish, the actors performing the dialogue held up cue cards with an Arabic translation of the conversation (like subtitles, hehe)
As for Chouity, she watched in amusement as the play unfolded and the dozens of people clapped and cheered. After being fed and given water by the cast and crew, one of the cast members volunteered to take Chouity to a shelter, where she will be cleaned, vaccinated and relocated to a loving family. So, apart from the awesome location, amazing play and insightful messages, we all got to save the life of a beautiful little puppy.
All in all, let’s hope this initiative helps spark the much-needed attention to a potential life-saver for Lebanon’s traffic jams and pollution. I would like to end this post by borrowing a few words from the actor who played one of the main characters, did the voiceovers and made us all laugh plenty, Raouf Khelifa: “Nshalla yerja3 el tren yemshe, ta nirja3 n2ool toot toot 3a Beirut…”
Well, the name made me have to watch this movie. For those of you who don’t know, splicing is the joining, or rejoining of DNA, RNA or proteins. It is a technique genetic engineers use to modify the genetics of an organism. The genre also helped: “sci-fi horror” is something I’d pay 11,000 LBP to watch.
The movie stars a married couple of genetic engineers who have become international celebrities for their success in combining genomes of several organisms to form a brand new species. The ramifications of this breakthrough are just the first step for them though, and one thing leads to another and they end up adding human DNA to the concoction.
DREN is born and one twist after another, the fate of the couple, and humanity as a whole gets jeopardized.
The movie is ok, and the unexpected twists are entertaining. I guess I expected much more. It was a welcome change though to see the lab-geeks being the hero instead of muscly, IQless rambos or IQless old has-beens with a lot of gadgets that do the job for them. The ending redeems the moviemakers from any transgression against logic and credibility, with a signature horror movie ending.
Besides that though, the movie addressed how science can sometimes turn an expected ‘miracle’ into a ‘nightmare’. Honestly, I did not enjoy this message at all. Science already has enough constraints from silly religious and ethical insecurities, and scaring people with a genetically modified organism like that will only add to the negative sentiment towards the advancement of controversial fields of study, like genetics and cloning.
Oh What A Night (Chuckie Remix) – Lil Jon Ft. Claude Kelly Pretty cool track, I like Lil’Jon
Club Cant Handle Me (Scuba Remix) – Flo Rida,David Guetta A version you can bear listening to
Not Giving Up On Love (Armin Van Buuren Remix) – Sophie Ellis Bextor I know I said I wouldn’t SS this before the album came out, but this a remix, and I prefer the original one =P
Special thanks to Krekib.com for this Sound Selection
Nine months later, this site has fully developed from an embryo of dispersed articles, to a healthy fetus with specialized segments and dedicated functions.
The first 35,000 hits helped sculpt what and how the blog features. Those who followed the progress from the start, are well aware of the dozens of trials and experiments that have culminated into the present categories and sections the blog offers.
Well-established categories include the Biology Related section that many readers find delightful in its simple language and terms that elegantly expose key features and advances in the realms of biology, neuroscience and science in general.
The Out and About category has also proved very popular, with comprehensive, honest and unique reviews of Lebanon’s hottest clubs, pubs, restaurants and events. The collaborative efforts with heavyweight nightlife website beirutnightlife.com has also enhanced coverage of major events for readers, with quality images and video accompanying the much sought-after reviews.
The Thoughts segment chooses topics from politics, current affairs, society, economics and religious matters and elaborates my humble opinion in regard to such topics that spark my, and many of my readers’, interest.
We all love Failblog.org and enjoy laughing at the epic failures of people all around the world. Unfortunately, the endless reservoir of local failures does not get its fair share of exposure on giants like failblog… That’s why we borrowed the concept, and tweaked it a little into the فشل stamp , the Arabic word for “Failure”. Photos sent to the blog by the readers themselves, and failures I happen to stumble upon myself are all featured in the Fail Loubnan section, that has not surprisingly been quite successful.
Music, especially electronic dance music, is a genre I am very fond of. I believe music is a very integral part of our lives, and as such, make sure Sound Selections handpicked by picky old me are a regular feature on the blog. Sound Selections include direct links to download the songs listed, and despite my efforts to diversify the SSs, the blog will be collaborating with Krekib.com to deliver a wider scope of the latest commercial and RnB Sound Selections, making sure all our readers are satisfied.
I come from a heavily artistic family, and have been surrounded by the many forms of art all my life. That is why, a late-comer to the blog is the Artsy Fartsy section. you might be wondering why I chose that title, it’s cause it sounds funny. In this section, I call upon expert help from my more arts-oriented friends, who unlike me, remain up-to-date with the latest design, architecture and cultural trends. I would like to take this opportunity to welcome the first author on the blog besides myself, Ani, who will largely be responsible for the Artsy Fartsy and cultural aspects of the blog.
Even though it is largely unappreciated by many Lebanese readers, the How-to section has proven quite a hit amongst Googlers. In this section, I attempt to explain as clearly as possible how to execute some less-known activities online. From Twitter, to Google Calendars, selecting all your friends on Facebook, how to understand the Richter Scale and much more have been explained in my way after I myself had had trouble getting the hang of them, and finally did.
Compared to other sites, the blog’s traffic might seem humble, but I would like to point to the fact that in today’s social-media-oriented world, it is quality that comes before quantity in terms of traffic. From a meek 3000 hits in the month of January 2010, 6 months later, the blog traffic rose 140% to 7,200 hits in July. So far, August has surpassed the 7,000-mark. This steady increase averages to some 250 hits/day, 15-18% of which are from redirected search engine results and 3% from syndicated views. The rest are redirected traffic from social media networks Facebook and Twitter, as well as links from other bloggers and websites.
I love blogging but it is not my job, nor do I want it to be. However, I am obsessed with improving it as much as I possibly can. I do not plan to make profit from this website, and I have injected into it some of my own cash with barely any financial return (but a whole lot of sentimental return). That is why, after careful consideration and consulting a few friends who understand how the markets work far better than I do, I am opening the floor to advertise on the blog officially.
After comparing several ad services and website offers, I have come up with a fair pricing for the blog’s ads. 1 cent/view is the blog’s rate.
Why am I sharing this with everyone? To make it clear how much profit this blog is making, and to ensure to anyone in doubt that this money will go into making the blog bigger and better, enabling us to hold more competitions and bigger giveaways, along with increased space for more pictures and videos hosted on the site itself. Several long-term plans also are in place, but I’ll keep those a surprise for when the times is right.
Thanks for reading this long, boring post, and if you are interested please email me at
I stumbled upon this album of delightfully magical pictures of Ehden after a heavy snowstorm in my Mac’s old folders. The white, virgin snow along with the breathtaking icicles only add to Ehden’s natural splendor. Enjoy =)
Every class I attend at AUB, 3 or 4 students are carrying a cup of the above. Whenever you go for a visit, you’re offered Turkish coffee, when you wake up, Nescafe, during the day, an espresson maybe. All you people drink a lot of coffee to ‘function’properly. Personally, I hate the stuff and tried drinking coffee only once. Don’t worry though, I too am hooked on caffeine, though my preferred form (unfortunately) comes in red or blue can, or one with a charging bull on it.
Coffee is the second-most traded commodity worldwide. It can be safely considered as the only true universal addiction humanity has. It has many forms, flavors, tastes and modes of intake, form sizzling hot to ice-cold, black to latte, almost everyone drinks coffee, everyday.
What’s funny though, is that the actual effects of caffeine are still largely misunderstood. Studies on the effect of caffeine have so far been too specific and hardly convincing in the comprehensiveness department. However, recent studies are shedding light on how caffeine reacts with our biology, and the results might be disappointing to many of you.
Firstly, let us establish that caffeine is indeed an addictive substance. In fact, it needs no more than 36-hours for our bodies to get hooked on caffeine. It seems silly, but think about it, if it’s not coffee, it’s Coke, or chocolate or some other caffeine-rich food or beverage. So, we develop this addiction fairly fast and pretty early on. Coffee’s whopping 100mg of caffeine/cup (compared to a mere 30mg in Red Bull) enhances our need for caffeine, and develops tolerance for the substance in our systems.
Efforts to totally deny the body caffeine intake have exhibited withdrawal symptoms from simple headaches, to considerable disorientation, inability to focus and nausea. In fact, the body needs approximately 10-12 days to recover from these withdrawal symptoms.
Now let’s take a look at my favorite system in the human body: the nervous system. Our nervous system (the brain, spinal cord, nerves) is made up of cells called neurons. These cells communicate with each other through electrical and chemical impulses that allow us to move, think, eat and just about anything else we consciously and unconsciously do. In order to communicate with each other, these cells need energy. This energy is mainly derived from an energy-rich molecule called Adenosine Triphospate (ATP). ATP is basically the fuel for all our cells. Upon using up ATP, a byproduct is often produced: Adenosine. Adenosine acts as a signal to our neurons to tone it down. This negative-feedback mechanism stops us from overworking ourselves. If I think/move/work too much, I’d be using a lot of ATP, and thus accumulating adenosine in my system, which in turn will hit the brakes on my nervous system.
Now that we’ve discussed the nervous system and adenosine, allow us to compare the molecular structures of adenosine and caffeine.
As you (hopefully) can see, caffeine is very similar in structure to the adeninyl segment of the adenosine (the green and blue double-ring). Coincidentally, the receptors for adenosine in neurons bind to the molecule in that specific region. Caffeine not only fits well, it fits better than adenosine itself into the adenosine receptors. What’s even weirder, is that caffeine can indeed bind to the receptors, but it does not produce an effect. What this means is that the caffeine is ‘competing’ with adenosine for its neuronal receptors, and winning. Subsequently, the adenosine receptors are occupied with caffeine molecules that do not change its conformation and allow for subsequent ‘toning down’ of the body’s activity.
This means that caffeine is not in itself a stimulant, but an inhibitor of an inhibiting agent: adenosine. In other words, caffeine masks the effects of fatigue and does not allow the body to respond to its initial wear-and-tear prevention mechanism. To go further with this, if you need that extra push from a not-long-enough sleep, caffeine will do the trick. However, caffeine will not boost your energy after a 3-day all-nighter spree, the fatigue will be there, whether the adenosine receptors pick it up or not.
Interesting as this might seem, further studies point to an alarming possibility: that our need for coffee is merely our body avoiding caffeine withdrawal symptoms. If a heavy coffee drinker stops drinking coffee one morning, withdrawal symptoms like drowsiness and headaches quickly appear. These symptoms are relieved after the body has had its formidable 100mg dose of caffeine.
Further evidence to support this claim has surfaced. Coffee-drinkers were put on a caffeine-tablet regiment. In the first 12 days, participants on the actual caffeine tablets outperformed the control group on a sugar pill. The dose of caffeine was gradually increased, and reached an astonishing level of 900mg/day. That’s equal to nine cups of coffee. In a month’s time, the participants on the 900mg caffeine regiment, and the controls on a placebo, produced similar results. This suggests the initial flop in the control group was a result of caffeine withdrawal and not the ‘boost’ caffeine gave the participants ingesting caffeine tablets. It also demonstrates that like any drug, we develop tolerance towards it, and more and more amounts are needed each time to produce a viable impact (or in this case, avoid one).
Bet you didn’t know that about coffee =D
From the 19th till the 23rd of August, movie enthusiasts in Lebanon jam-packed Empire Sofil, a small movie theater in Ashrafieh, to catch films and video clips by Lebanese directors chosen and presented by Né a Beyrouth.
This year’s 9th Lebanese Film Festival (the festival Né a Beyrouth began in 2001) proved to be a great success, with the two theaters being sold out throughout the festival.
The tickets to the film festival are 5 dollars and give you access to all screenings throughout the four days of the festival, as a result the theaters became overcrowded where audiences had to sit on the stairs or stand up by the exits (It is worth it if you are a movie connoisseur and are tired of watching Hollywood Blockbusters). Pay another 5 dollars and you could buy a catalog with overviews on each film. During the closing ceremony, three prizes were given out to the top three films; audiences could attend by paying an additional 25 dollars.
During the opening ceremony, four movies were screened, “Takhabot” by Ghassan Halwani, “Masmou7 Lasek Al El3anat” by Tarek Chemaly, “Hinkerort Zorasune” by Vatche Boulghourjian and “Le Temps de la Balle” by Hervé Jakubowicz.
The highlight of the evening was Vatche Boulghourjian’s “Hinkerort Zorasune”, translated as “The Fifth Column”, a film already highly acclaimed by this year’s 63rd Cannes Film festival, touched audiences, with some even admitting to tearing in some parts of the film. The Synopsis of the movie as described in the Cannes Film Festival’s official site “A chronicle of desperation and mourning in the economically and culturally marginalized Armenian quarter of Beirut through a weave of allegorical narratives. In a panic, Hrag has stolen his father’s gun and fled home. As father searches for son, both discover paths to personal freedom in a city that offers no escape.”
The Movie won 3rd place in the Cinéfondation Selection at the Cannes Film Festival.
Another significant movie in the film festival was Bahman Ghobadi’s “No one knows about Persian Cats” a film made in collaboration with the Human Rights Watch, which documents the underground music scene of Iran and the hardships Iranian musicians suffer because of the strict regulations of the Islamic Republic.
Unfortunately, due to the overcrowding of the theaters I was unable to watch the film.
This year’s prizes went to:
1st prize “The Fifth Column” by Vatche Boulghourjian
2nd prize “Al Mathana by Rami Kodeih
“Meilleur premier film” award “Au milieu des Autres” by Renée Awit and “November” by Mirella Salame
And “Wadi Khaled” by Christophe Karabache got a “Mention Spéciale”
For those of you who hadn’t known of the film festival or couldn’t make it, you can still catch some of these amazing films in “Ayyam Beyrouth Al Cinema’iya Arab Film Festival” from the 15th till the 22nd of September in Empire Sofil. [Read more...]
The first Above & Beyond Ticket is up for grabs! There are a total of FIVE tickets to be won from now till September 4th!
Catch is, you won’t know when! So, I reeeeally suggest you subscribe to the blog by email (box to the right)
Today’s question: What is a Mirror Neuron? (answer must be from blog)
Answer as a comment, first come, first serve! But to keep it interesting, I will only approve the comments a day later (evil laugh) Don’t worry, wordpress doesn’t allow me to change the date and time of your comment, so, you’re safe!
The gloves are coming off ladies, and I’d love to hear what you have to say, minus the religious-type zeal I’m expecting from most of you.
Feminism means different things to different people. For example, the term ‘Feminist’ is a joke in Saudi Arabia and Iran, ‘feminism’ is an adjective for unattractive, single women in most developed countries, and a convenient excuse for individual failure and incompetency for many women.
Let us first and foremost acknowledge that if you are a woman in an educated, civilized, non-fanatical society, AND a feminist, then you m’am are a lazy failure. I have NEVER discriminated between male and female when it comes to competency, merit and dependability… In fact, it is the very notion of feminism in 2010 that has made me realize this is actually an issue. I know dozens of women who run companies and get to top executive positions, because they are worthy of it, and up to the task. Yes, more so than the men that work with them. That is not a ‘victory’ for female-kind nor a devastating blow to ‘patriarchal systems’, it’s simply cause she does a better job. Period.
Civilized countries that do not follow barbaric, oppressive religious laws have no problem with gender equality worth mentioning. However, countries like Afghanistan, Iran, Nigeria and KSA still exist today for some reason, and there, women have the absolute right to fight for their equal rights. In cases such as that, I am the chief feminist and will dedicate all my time and effort when possible. However, I do not live in those backward-religion-infested places, and thus will begin locally before going globally.
Why Feminism Became Obsolete
Even though women have historically acquired their rights in a not-so-romantic way, the fact of the matter is that they have acquired them to the fullest, and here are some reasons why:
- Political movements to obtain the most basic of rights formerly denied to women, such as voting, property ownership and the ability to change marital status, which were largely successful in the US and the UK
- The two world wars basically forced most of the traditionally male workforce to fight away from home, creating a void women had to fill during the war itself, and after it, considering the immense death toll that mainly included working-age men
- Even after gender demographics somewhat leveled, the prospect of Globalization and the free market system requires everyone to pitch in, work, and innovate, and in return get to live a decent living. And in today’s viciously competitive market, any qualified person is most welcome, and two incomes for one family has never been more essential.
- Apart from the Great Wars, politics is a dirty business, and tapping into half the population’s votes is something no politician would hesitate doing. Promises to safeguard and progress women’s equality are the similar to today’s pro-environmental slogans so many politicians declare in vain today to lure the ever-growing eco-conscious voters
- Growing up in a school with boys and girls will definitely highlight the differences between the sexes, yet it will also teach children that they are equal in terms of gender, and that both of them can compete and excel in the same subjects. In other words, the scholarly status formerly attributed to men, has become a necessary skill for both sexes, thus rendering a man and woman equal in terms of job opportunities, college acceptances and other supposedly ‘patriarchal systems’
Issues Feminism Has Radically Transformed
- Basic rights are an obvious victory for the early feminist movements, it was completely absurd and unfair to revoke rights such as property ownership and the right to vote from any upstanding citizen
- The ongoing, vicious debate about Sexual Rights is another issue feminism has helped shape and maintain over the years. The right for women to choose whether or not to terminate a pregnancy, was, is, and will continue to be for the foreseeable future a divisive issue, with convincing arguments on both sides
- The vaguer, less-defined and justified feminist topics blur into silly excuses and often extreme paranoia, and include socio-economic and philosophical aspects
No matter how strong the argument, how fierce the conviction, and how determined the fight, men and women are not the same, they are not equal and they never wil be. In fact, if I were a female feminist, I would consider it an insult to be called, the ‘opposite sex’, ‘inferior sex’ or ‘better sex’ since the main issue is comparing the female gender while taking the male as the gold standard. We’re simply not the same sexually and that needs to be understood in any debate or aspect.
My civilization professor explained a very boring philosopher’s ramblings. That philosopher was Hegel, and he believed that all relationships have a master-slave nature, which can either alternate or be set in stone. This was somewhat a farfetched proclamation, but one I quickly took grasp of when give the example. Feminism is a perfect example of this master-slave relationship, for the objective of feminism s to gain recognition from the male gender. This objective puts the male in the master seat, and the female in the slave seeking approval seat. Please understand that master and salve are allegorical, and I do not mean actual domination and submission. In other words, as it is today, feminism is counterintuitive and is in fact reinforcing the patriarchal system instead of tearing it down.
Feminist Hypocrisy and the Reversal of Roles
Often times, the oppressed minority’s suffering is turned into favoritism for that particular minority. This is evident in racial matters in the US today. The sensitive issue of slavery and blacks’ segregation has metamorphosed into a black-favoring mentality, where to avoid being ‘racist’, one will submit to or concede certain rights to appease racial concerns. In other words, past discrimination against black people has forced US society to indirectly treat them more favorably than white people for example. A similar phenomenon has occurred in the case of women.
Today, if a man is chosen over a woman, the boss is sexist and anti-feminist. If a woman is chosen over a man, the boss is pro-choice and a champion of feminism. This particular issue disgusts me. A man can be better than a woman at a job, and the opposite is equally true. When I see the typical feminist reaction to such a decision, I weep for human intellect and integrity.
In a recent incident I remember, a tweep of mine who I will keep anonymous, was ecstatic that a woman was working in a forensics lab. I found this sad for two reasons: 1- the fact that she considers this such a big deal for women, and 2- the fact that the gender of that forensic scientist was what impressed her. If I were a woman, I would consider that demeaning, and would rather acknowledge that this individual demonstrated certain capacities and skills that allowed her to be chosen over others for that particular job.
The feminist excuse goes both ways though, and naive men will blame feminism for their failure, and not their own incompetencies for their misfortunes. Those cases are rare though, and I have not encountered them in my 2 decades.
I am a fierce advocate of accountability. I believe everyone should be held accountable to what they do or say. In order for accountability to be valid, all circumstances need to be equal amongst the individuals and groups under scrutiny. In other words, you mess up, you pay for it – you do good, you get paid for it. In a gender-unequal society, it is very easy to hide under the title of sexism and blame the unequal rights on the failure of woman to act and impact. So, in my opinion, women and men should not only be guaranteed equal rights, but equal rights need to be forced upon them, so when a woman messes up, we can safely say it’s cause she’s stupid, incompetent, unstable or otherwise, not because men didn’t allow her to blossom to her full potential. When I say woman, I mean a particular individual, and not the whole sex.
This philosophy works both ways too, for it’s not only failures that will be attributed to the individual, but also victories. So, this woman got this job because she’s good, not cause she’s a wiman and her boss is pro-feminist.
I find it extremely annoying when feminists over-analyze a certain story, image or video, and turn it into a controversial fight to the death between the sexes. Petty things that are not worth considering are bloated into shiny pro-feminist slogans and masculin resentment. Below are a few examples, which I hope my tweeps will forgive me for
- The latest issue I found peculiar was on http://www.ivysblog.com, where Ivy expressed deep resentment to the popular ’3a2belik’ phrase, which is basically wishing the person gets to do whatever the occasion is soon. In Ivy’s case, it was a wedding. I get the ’3a2belak’ neutral word 7 million times each week for some kind of family function, I NEVER thought much of it, and contrary to what was said, I doubt much thought is put into it by the person saying it (at least not much thought is put into gender, gender status and inequality)
- Another one was the outrage some friends had over the new Exotica ads, where the women are jumping in the air to catch the ceremonial bouquet. The one the bride throws to the group of bachelorettes that is supposed to forecast which of them will get married next. Apart from the complete stupidity of the concept itself, the fact it bothered some feminists is alarming. It is a stupid tradition, which is good material for an ad which is funny and symbolic of the advertiser: a flower shop. Apart from that, getting married and having a husband and kids is not evil or anti-feminist. The phobic reaction to anything marriage-related is sad and indicative that there is more to feminism than gender-equality and that juvenile rebelliousness, or general discontent with one’s personal life drives this battle against the mainstream society and its norms.
- Since we brought up the Exotica ads, I didn’t see any masculinism (not sure if this word exists, my spell-checker doesn’t think so, damn, how sexist of it, let’s start a riot guys) outrage when a female driver was put into the driver’s seat of the ‘balconies campaign’. The positioning was deliberate, and I welcomed it instead of insisting it is a female conspiracy to bring the male gender down.
Less Tangible Discrepancies and Food for Thought
- Women do not fight wars (in direct combat roles)
- Men can never get a free drink from a bartender for flirting with him (unless the bartender is gay)
- Male cleavage will never get us out of a tight spot (again, unless the person who out you in the tight spot is gay)
- Women have the priority of boarding lifeboats over men (Titanic, remember?)
Do you see male groups going raving mad over these issues? I don’t, so shush. It is an acceptance of the difference in roles and in natures of both sexes, and denying it, like feminism does, is plain silly.
I love you all! Please take this as it is, and don’t twist it into something it’s not, I’m pro-feminist on many issues and you might consider this as candid, constructive criticism.