Wednesday, May 18


He was the perfect guy there ever was, the perfect student that every teacher wanted, the perfect embodiment of a loving son, the perfect guy any girl would want.When someone remembers the first time one learned that the earth is not flat an image of a ship hulk in class 2 textbook comes to mind, for me and anyone in my class we remember the arrogant egocentric boy who volunteered the information when we were still ignorant 7 years olds.

We first knew about him when his name came up in the School topper list when we were still in Junior high. After that there was no stopping him. His name would pop up as topper in every exam.Competitions and he will be among the winners, debates and he would be involved, sports and he will be running among the participants, you get the idea. Teachers always wanted him to be Captain since he would be the first person to get things done and if we had a group assignments, we would all wish to be in his group because we knew he would do anything to make his group win.I guess he was egoistical up to a certain level but when you have that kind of brain to back one up, who would not get a bit high into the head and everyone acknowledged him as such. To top it off, he was not bad-looking either so if his brains didn't make him the most popular guy in school, the girls going gaga over him made him known anyway. But the fact was he was a good guy, charming, funny and friendly with everyone despite his popularity. If you were in trouble he would be the first person to help you and you could always count on him. That was the way he had always been and for all the years to come since I knew him he just seem to excel more and more. 

It is like what people say, in the end the nerds will always turn up at the top and the popular boy in school will end up being a dumb jock or the fact that one can only go up to a certain height before falling down into the dumps.It happened to him in high school.That was the year he changed. The school mills said his parents went through a bitter divorce - I am not sure what the reasons were but everyone knew they separated nonetheless. In schools we would hear bits and pieces of what was going on with his parents, how the court case was proceeding and despite all talks about secrecy, rumors have a vicious way of being circulated especially in High school. But he wasn't the same guy anymore then.Believe me,I am not making excuses for his behaviour and I am sure he made a conscious decision to be the way he turned out to be.Perhaps he did it because he was tried of listening to people talk, perhaps it was all an act to tough-up the divorce,perhaps he was just a 16 year old kid unable to cope with his parent's divorce but fact remains that he changed.

It is easy enough to guess how he changed.He didn't hang around with the popular kids anymore, instead he would be with the hoards of boys who are traditionally marked 'naughty' in every school.The kind whose regular 'hang out' would be the dark alleys of places like Clock tower and Zangdopheri.He won't miss classes traditionally and didn't bunk even now but he wasn't concentrating either.He was still very brainy, you could tell by the way he still scored good marks but he would do anything not to call attention upon himself in class. He sat at the last bench, sleeping or under some kind of 'influence' and you would never see him make any effort to be present. He is still the same boy in some ways, a dark aura just seems to evolve around him. He would still help you if you asked him and he would still love me. But he wasn't the life of the party anymore but rather the brooding guy who stands in the background and nothing in his manner invites any questioning about his life making him an even scarier person to approach. 

I don't mean to make him a character larger than life or something that you only come across in fiction but I am in love with this guy you see, so everything about him just multiplies for me. I loved him since the day he walked into my class and never realy stopped.When we were teenagers I thought there would be no reason for the school's popular kid to have to do anything with me.There were so many girls better and prettier than me. So I never stood a chance with him. I thought I wasn't good enough for him thus, I never thought about a relationship with him. And now that I have grown up and come to terms with the fact that I want to be with him, the irony of it all is that he thinks he is not good enough for me.He says he doesn't want me getting involved in his complicated life because he is not good enough to pursue a relationship with me and that is just realy sad for me. Perhaps before, I naively loved him more for the fact that he was the popular guy in school and the fame that comes along but the fact that I still love him,after he has changed so much makes me believe that it wasn't all because of that. Believe me, it isn't anger or frustration that I can never have my relationship with him that you read in these lines, it would never be that, it is helplessness because although he thinks he doesn't deserve a relationship, I know he does but I can't do anything to change his mind.

So I always wonder when was the right time to get into a relationship with him? Was it when we were still teenagers figuring things out? Should I have pursued the relationship then when I wasn't ready? Or is the time now right when he thinks he is not good enough for me? Or was it never meant to work out anyway?

Wednesday, May 11

Call me a Slut - I will live up the Name!

Yes, the word 'Slut'. Being a Bhutanese, I am sure everyone cringed a little when I used that word. Being a boy, I am sure you thought that is one girl I am not suppose to take Home. Being a girl, I am sure everyone thought that is one word I should stay away from. But what does it actually mean? 

Does it mean a girl have slept with too many people? Does it mean she dresses up too freely for your taste? Who knows perhaps it means she loves her body to do as she pleases and enjoys a sex life that in any male would be considered 'normal'! No one exactly know what the word mean yet they use it all the time to express their displeasure.    

Last week a rally 'Slut Walk' was organised in Boston and has been gaining popularity around the world. The rally was organised against a Toronto cop who told a group of female students at York University that the best way to avoid getting harassed was to not dress like a 'slut'. This comes a long way for blaming females for dressing up the 'wrong' way. How many times have men used this word as an excuse to do as they please. Tease a girl, but 'dressed like that, she was asking for it right?’, abuse her and 'she must get comments from all the other boys so what is a few more',  sexually harass her and one can easily say 'she was asking for it'. From daily encounters, it happens constantly up to serious cases where rapists are actually not punished because the girl was dressed in a sexually attractive manner. [You will be surprised by the number actual legal cases who actually put up this defence.] 

It is surprising how society have often made it seem like it is the girl's fault for their own mistakes. For who will come to the rescue of a 'Slut'? Any girl who dresses up in the manner must surely be asking for it, so they invent a name 'Slut'. Being called a 'slut' marks a girl as an 'easy' target, an easy prey who is more likely to respond to their sexual connotations. An easier defence to draw up to, an easier consciousness to live with, because the girl they teased/ harassed/abused was a 'slut'. There have always been debates about rape and the blame game and it has been a constant tug of war with court defences lining up stating the girl's apparel. But how can anyone in their right mind say it is the girl's fault for being raped? How can anyone think a girl dresses up the way she does because she wants to be ogled by every living male within sight! How can anyone say girls dress up because they want to be jeered at by every passing male. 

It is not a girl's fault. It is the men who commit these actions! It is their inability to control their own desire that bring about harassment. It is their own prejudiced that makes them comment on every action that girls undertake. It is their own inhibited mind that makes them think girls appreciate being teased, that girls like lewd comments aimed at them, that we mistake harassment as anything other than harassment. Furthermore, who gives them the right to even comment on what clothes we wear? We don't go on whistling every time a good looking male passes by in front of us, we don't go on calling out names when a boy happens to cross a street. 

If you start looking back on the days woman were actually considered 'inferior', you will have to go a long long way. Joan of Arc was burned alive because she dared to go out into the male sphere; Queen Elizabeth had to fight for her birthright when the throne rightfully belonged to her in the first place. Woman in 18th Century had no other purpose but to be a decorative piece for their husband's property. Nineteenth Century women were considered 'too soft' to be in the outside world confining herself to be the 'angel of the house' which is nothing more than a glorified name for a house maid. And when it was time for writers, it is not surprising that women were not allowed to take up the pen. And we all know the history of unequal vote rights. For goodness's sake men have used The Bible to treat women as inferior interpreting 'men' as the whole human being instead of the gender male. So we have a whole history of injustice done right there.

But it is funny how we read these histories of female subjugation. We are shocked women were treated so badly, aghast that anyone could justify such treatment and say 'hey, that is so unfair. Men were realy cruel'. And then we smile and say we have progressed from those stages. We are treated equally now. It was in the past. We can vote now, right? What we don't realise is that it happens every day even now. Look around you, you don't see a boy quitting his job because he became a father. You don't see boys dressing up every time they get out of their bed because they know they will be judged based on their beauty. You don't definitely see people naming boys 'Sluts' just because they sleep around too much instead they are accolade for being the men of the men. No, it is just the females. 

It is surprisingly easy to overlook the fact that this is one word that is used exclusively for female and it is even more easier to forget that there isn't a word that means the same thing for a male. We are judged for everything we do. If we dress up in anything a little more exposing then we are called sluts, yet if you dress up in a traditional uptight way you will never hear the end of how uptight you actually are. It doesn't even need to have anything to do with sex for someone to call you a slut. Go drinking and you will be called one. Try enjoying parties a little more than usual and you will be labelled. Try having a number of male friends and God, forbid you will never live it down. No one knows what it actually means and it has already gained so much connotations one would even shudder to use that word and try so hard to never be called one. 

The word 'Slut, it is nothing more than a word rapists came up with to provide an excuse for their actions, it is nothing more than a word that gives them free reign over what you do and what you wear, it is nothing but a word that makes you turn on each other blaming one's self and your own gender. It is nothing more than a word society came up with to give make you feel ashamed of yourself, your body, your sexuality. This month's 'Slut walk' was inspired by that - To do away with the connotations that women are constantly faced with. To do away with the blame that comes with being harassed and being blamed for it, to throw away the excuse that every rapist seem to have for violence. To do away with the intent that dressing and experiencing your sexuality in your own way is your fault and knowing that there’s nothing you can do that will make someone harass you, anyone but their own fault.

The rally comes to Sydney on Monday and I for one can't wait to join them! One might read about the Slut Walk and think hey, it doesn't concern me or Bhutan is too small a country for these things to happen. Believe me, if you are a girl you have tried your whole life trying not to live up to that name and if you are a boy thinking we would never do such a horrible act, think of the times (if you did any) you ever called a girl a name she didn't like from the side of the road or prank called a girl because she appeared to be more 'friendly' than other because harassment in any small amount, is still harassment.