Thursday, May 29, 2014

To Love Women

The recent case of Elliott Rodgers has sparked a fierce debate on the role society plays in treating misogyny and what hating women means. I won't say by any means that sexism or gender inequality doesn't exist. I know it does. But what bothers me is when people begin to use cases like this to distort politics.

Elliott Rodgers hated women. He was a narcissistic and a chauvinistic pig. I'm not sad he died a virgin as he deserved worse. Now I've seen support coming from both sides. Some say like me that he should have no sympathy. Others are asking what could have prevented this. And there's a rare few who are cheering him on, but I'll ignore them for now. And ultimately, there's is no wrong opinion.

But this case has lead to many now saying that we as a society are encouraging such behavior. Maybe we are, but when you start blaming a Seth Rogen movie because a fat guy gets a hot girlfriend, you've gone too far. To say that the fictional success of an undesirable man lead to a mass murder only proves the killer right: women are creatures of desire to be treated as sex cattle. How ironic that a woman is inadvertently coming to the defense of a misogynist.

There at two sides to every story, and as the listener, is our job to be objective and not use creative interpretation to jump to conclusions. My back story is similar to Rodgers'. I was rejected by women for a long time. I was lonely for much of my life. But that did not drive me to kill. Stop blaming society for the actions of individuals unless you have hard evidence as opposed to conjecture.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

My Medallion

People who know me know I have a constant article on at all times. I change shirts, pants, underwear, and even, on occasion, my hair. But for what must have been almost half a decade, I have never removed my medallion. This medallion, a cheap tin trinket with the kanji for Tiger that isn't worth the 25¢ I paid for it is probably the most precocious thing I own.

I bought at a toy dispenser you see in restaurants and grocery stores. I'm not sure why I found it so fascinating. Maybe because I was born on the year of the tiger and tiger are one of my favorite animals. Maybe because it was dispensing Dragon trinkets and thus I considered it some sign that I got that instead. And come to think of it, when I first got it, it sat in a bowl in my closet for a few months. But eventually, I put it on. It was, again, of cheap construction, and the clasp mechanism was so annoying, that I eventually just kept wearing it at all times. I wore it in the shower, when I worked, and even when I slept.

And as a result, it's become a part of me. After a year or two, the chain loop fell apart and after some failed attempts at preserving it myself, I took it to a jeweler to properly protect it. This shot it's overall value from 25¢ to $300. That's how important this is to me. Still, I was broke, and so the best I could, after he put it on a frame and new chain, was to have the backing of it lacquered with nail polish.

That must have been eight years ago, and I've been wearing it pretty much ever since. But the years have caught up with me. The lacquer is gone and the symbol is starting to appear on the back. Not a good sign.

Hence, I have done something that fills me with dread. I took off my medallion and now am looking to protect it further. With this, I hope to don my medallion again and wear it with pride for a decade at a time.

To anime fans, I sometimes describe this as my Strawhat, referencing the popular story of One Piece. For the uninitiated, the main character in One Piece wears a simple Straw hat, a gift from a friend that he now protects as his most sacred treasure. I remember also being part of a discussion on a forum where I asked other if they too treasured something that was otherwise worthless. There were some interesting responses.
As of now, I'm looking to repair and seal the damage on my own. But this requires me to take it off for some amount of time. Some people don't notice when I wear it or don't, but until I repair it, I will be feeling quite naked as I walk about in public. It is my hope to fix this as soon as possible.