Today, I came to understand how difficult it is to be a woman.
I have came to know and understand what body shaming is recently when some co-worker mentioned that I am “huge”. It just made me feel so embarrassed as this was made in front of a few people. And while I understand what happened, I did not expect it to come from that person and I did not know how to react to it. He informally apologized while he was walking down the lobby and I just made a comment “no worries”. No worries? Why? I could have shouted and screamed at him for taking that offence on me! But I did not. I just said “no worries”.
I came home feeling distraught and shocked. Mixed emotions of pity, confusion and perhaps, I blamed myself for not fighting back. I asked a few questions to myself, like, “Should I loose weight?”, “Am I really that fat?”, “I should really stop eating dinner”.
I do not understand how our society is only conformed to one standard alone. That is the “24 inch” body and anything beyond that figure is a hippopotamus. Why can’t we live up to the fact that each women, whatever shape they have, should never be subjected to shameful comments like this. Why can’t men understand that we, are already hard on ourselves. That we wake up everyday thinking what to wear, how to put our make up on and how to walk, not because for ourselves but for the people around us. To please the eyes of the people that wants these qualities. You see written articles like “How To Get Men to Like You”, is written by a retard whose first rule is to “always exercise to get that beautiful body”. We clearly live in the world where women needs to be thinner to be accepted.
And I cannot blame myself for not making an immediate, appropriate and defensive reaction. Because, no one, NO ONE should have made that comment in the first place. No one should make you feel that you are not enough.
As a woman, it is not your fault and it will never be.
I was in 3rd Grade when I remembered my mother, sitting beside me looking outside murmuring something to herself, in scorching heat inside the Tricycle. I was already seeing this on a constant basis. And I thought, back then, she must be going crazy! But then, at a young age, I knew exactly what was happening.
Life was a bit harsh for her. Juggling between 3 kids and a husband, who had a growing problem on alcohol, it was difficult to sustain sanity. But she had to show strength and flexibility to her kids. She had no one to talk to as she filtered us from all the issues we have had as a family, as much as she can. That afternoon, she must have unveiled the curtains and was unconsciously talking to herself.
This memory of her almost losing it is engraved to me, up until now. It was a motivating factor for me to make all types of effort to make her proud. Now, she is as goofy and loving as she has always been. Sane but, all those issues in the past did affect her so much that she had to go through Diabetes, 4 strokes and 2 major operations. But she still survived as all mothers would. It might have broken her body but never her soul.
We all have moments where, at one point, we hated our mothers. However, she had all the opportunities to hate you as a son, a daughter or even as a husband. But she chose to love you. We should all do the same.
Happy Mother’s Day.
She reaches into her pocket. Literally, not a single penny-even for a candy. It would have been nice to have one, she thought. Her mouth was as dry as Sahara desert.
She chuckled. She’d rather be in a deserted place rather than stay here — on the streets looking out for another customer. Worst of all, she has not eaten yet.
It’s been slow. The economy has worsened and nobody wants to waste their money on prostitutes anymore. Money was tight for every one. It was 2020 and Manila has some of the darkest streets and trades. She had no where else to go. For someone who can barely read or write, everyone refused to take her.
How she got there? Nobody knew. Some do not even care. They would just pass by. But mostly men, look at her, with so much disdain and lust. Some women would stare her down–from head to toe.
But she walked anyway.
Now she laid lifeless near the river banks, along with the bunch of garbage. People started to surround her body. No one knows her or her name.
Her story, we will never know.