Intuitive Kindness

Intuitive Kindness

A quickie: I had a great experience that I want to share with you.

Being of a philosophical bent, I believe what happened to me says something pretty nifty about humanity, and it’s positive too, one of those “maybe there’s hope for us after all” type of feelings.

I was at an aunt’s birthday party, which was held as a dinner at a banquet hall. It was a 40-person+ event, with many family members and friends of family present. I have ten cousins, half of which have kids. One of my nieces (actually my cousin once removed, but I just call them nieces/nephews) is Jenna. She’s about one year old, and is a shy little girl. If she doesn’t know you or doesn’t like you, she’ll completely ignore you, pretending you’re not there. No crying, no smiling, no laughing, no turning away, no reaction; just a blank stare straight ahead (“maybe they’ll go away if I ignore them”).

That night, however, we ended up sitting beside each other, and after about ten minutes of me making funny faces and noises, she finally warmed up to me. We were playing around in between courses, and at one point she picked up a chopstick and poked me with it. Playing along, I pretended to cry making exaggerated motions with my fists rubbing at my eyes, and you know what my little one-year-old niece did? She leaned forward and gave me a kiss to make me feel better.

I melted.

I was touched that she was sweet enough to feel sorry for “hurting” me while playing, but it was just too gosh-darn cute having a baby giving you a kiss. Her entire face was pressed up against me, hitting me with her forehead first.

But you know what the coolest thing about this? The implications this has on what it means to be kind, and to have empathy.

Simply put: if a baby can understand someone else’s pain and suffering, and have the courage/will to make things better, then there’s good reason to be optimistic about humanity in general. This topic perhaps deserves its own blog post, but I firmly believe that humans have already evolved to the point where social cooperation trumps competition. Whenever we move a step forward as a human race, it is likely that the social fabric will consist of unity, cooperation, and an openness to new ideas. But from whence does social cooperation spring? From trust, love, and empathy. Difficult to do for strangers, for sure, but that old book has it right: ultimately, we’re all brothers and sisters of the same flock.

And so, if a brand new human being, who hasn’t learned much except who is mommy and daddy, who doesn’t yet know why the sun rises, or why the birds sing, or how to walk, or how to talk, or even how to survive, but still understands when someone else is in pain, and wants to help that person — if this is an intrinsic and necessary part of our DNA, our makeup, our soulstuff or whatever you want to call it, then perhaps we might all just get along yet.

Thanks for reading.

*Photo by Joshua Reddekopp on Unsplash


Why #Feminism doesn’t work and #BlackLivesMatter doesn’t matter.

Why #Feminism doesn’t work and #BlackLivesMatter doesn’t matter.

The hashtags are there for a reason.

I’m not saying gender and racial equality isn’t important. Both are valuable and necessary for any society to function and flourish. When all members of a community are given equal opportunities and treated with the same amount of respect, everyone’s a winner.

#Feminism and #BlackLivesMatter are the labels I’m giving to feminism and the movement to end racism in a post-2015 context. From major headlines to normal conversations to observations in culture, social commentary, media, and unfettered online reactions and arguments, it seems that both social movements have strayed far from their original goals, and have devolved into megaphones to cry out for attention rather than enact and encourage positive change.


-someone gets offended when a guy makes a joke and says his name is Hugh Mungus

The Huffington Post believes a room of 99% white female editors is a statement about diversity

-Rolling Stone published a false article that accused innocent males of a heinous act

-people regularly bring in the gender pay gap as an argument for feminism, when that whole issue isn’t even motivated by gender discrimination

All of these things, and many more incidents of a similar nature, all come from a good place. Yes, for a long time in human history women were treated unfairly. They were neither encouraged nor allowed to speak, and that is what feminism should be fighting for: a voice. But now, with the Internet enabling any and everyone to speak their voice, it has become a regular occurrence that anything relating to feminism also features false accusations, hate-mongering, and close-minded thinking (“I am a woman so I am right and you are wrong”).

I know, I know, it’s the idiots who shout the loudest, and so they are heard most often, but the sentiments trickle down and are echoed in less extreme situations, but are nonetheless ridiculous and serve as examples of faulty reasoning. The next time you read an article purporting “feminist principles”, or talking to an extreme feminist, see if you can’t add the following to the end of their statements: “And I’m right because my feelings got hurt” or “if you disagree with me, you’re wrong.”

In trying to balance the scales of social, workplace, and human equality, #feminists have overloaded their side. No social movement that calls for inclusiveness will work when it brazenly excludes others and relies on libel. Women and men are more alike than they are unalike, but right now, the crazy #feminists are trying to prove otherwise, and they won’t win, because truth ultimately prevails. Truth is what enabled the feminist movement in the first place, and that truth was and is: no one deserves to be persecuted or favoured based on their gender.


The usual criticisms against #BlackLivesMatter are familiar and intuitive. Why doesn’t #BlackLivesMatter speak up when black people hurt/murder other black people? What would happen to society if the police weren’t allowed to do their jobs? Despite these criticisms, I believe the movement was necessary to initiate positive change in our communities. There is no denying black people were and are being treated unfairly within the justice system, and something had to be done.

But what I wanted to talk about was the disappointing direction #BlackLivesMatter has taken in my home city. Earlier this year, Pride Toronto voted to exclude police officers from this year’s Pride parade, giving in to a list of demands from #BlackLivesMatter.

It’s impossible to describe how disappointing and misguided all of this is.

Isn’t the goal of Black Lives Matter to mend and fix the relationship between black people and law enforcers? By excluding the police, the answer is clear. #BlackLivesMatter is not about communication, inclusion, or repairing a social relationship, but rather a statement that says “We are above any of those things.” And that is not how any social movement will ever succeed. By invading the prerogatives of another historically discriminated group and by excluding a party that needs to be present in order resolve the underlying social problem, #BlackLivesMatter has shot themselves in the foot.

Whatever you’re fighting against, whether it be the patriarchy or systemic racism, you cannot win by instigating division and exclusion. No communication + no participation = no resolution.


I wrote this because I’m angry. I believe in what’s right and what’s just, and what feminism and Black Lives Matter originally wanted to achieve is something I’m willing to stand behind. The old saying goes, however, that power corrupts, and both social movements have fallen from grace. Due to recent events, both of them have gained traction and they also have the Internet as a way to scream and shout their demands.

And so it seems they are losing their way, and I am frustrated by this. I haven’t lost faith, however, as Truth always wins in the end. We know that skin colour does not determine character, that is why slavery was abolished. We know women play a huge role at every level of society, and that they are human; that is why the women’s suffrage movement succeeded.

It is a plain and evident Truth that misandry and irrational thinking will not help even the playing field for women. It is obvious that excluding the police in a movement that’s all about your relationship with the police does not solve anything at all. Because these are Truths, I have faith we will pull through, and that common sense will reign again once the loudmouths go away.

But for now: please use your judgement. Anyone telling a group to get out of the way is only in it for themselves.

What the Election of Trump Signifies

What the Election of Trump Signifies

Out of the frying pan and into the fire.

It was clear during this past election in the USA that the public strongly disliked both nominees as potential Presidents of their country, and both sides had good reason for distrusting and being weary and suspicious of their candidates.

Trump winning at the ballots, however, was indeed the surprise result, but only because history has shown us that for an administrative position as important as the POTUS, the public will, in general, elect the more experienced and qualified person for the job. Trump has no political experience, and his resume includes being a WWE performer, running beauty pageants, and the founding of a scam-university (which is sadly so prevalent in the US today).

Despite all of this, Trump prevailed, and this state of affairs is significant because I think the election has demonstrated a critical state of mind for the American conscience.

Consider what Hillary Clinton represented. She is the wife of a former President, explicitly tying her to a bygone era. Old news. She proved herself technologically inept when she got caught using her private email for her professional affairs. Even worse was how those emails portrayed the democrat’s campaign as manipulative, conniving, and seemingly self-serving (nevermind the fact that Trump’s emails would’ve been the same if not worse; people only care about what’s in front of them).

Trump also has a proven track record of being self-serving and interested only in financial gain; the various lawsuits against him prove it. However, Trump’s advantage is that he is an x-factor. Because he has no political background, the people have a genuine hope that his presence will enact change. This is indicative of the greatest folly and greatest aspect of humanity: hope. I think it’s odd that a group of people would expect a mogul such as Trump to suddenly do an about-face and start caring about the lower class, but that’s what desperation does.

And I think that’s what this election has shown: how desperate people are.

They have elected a new face because they no longer trust politicians and the current system, and Clinton so obviously belonged to the “old way”. Who can blame them? They were betrayed in 2007 and 2008 by people in power, causing a catastrophic financial crisis. Wikileaks, on a monthly basis, showed how self-serving and greedy politicians are. The Panama papers showed how willing the elite upper class were willing to the break and bend the rules that they so forcibly press upon on the lower classes. This is why Trump won; people had enough.

I doubt Trump is going to bring about any change. If he does it’s hard to see how any of it can be positive. Everything I listed above in the previous paragraph applies to Trump too, but because he’s charismatic, because he’s capable of using language that diverts attention from his own ineptitude, and because he promises change and has the background to back it up, people believed in him. So I’m not too worried about it anymore.

What I am worried about is the future. What happens when Trump fails to bring about the change everyone wants? Where will be people turn to when Trump shows himself to be just as self-serving and corrupt as any other politician?

Consider what has happened throughout history. Every major turning point is preceded by a series of crazy events. People have be shown to elect maniacs when they think there is no other means of salvation. Revolutions have caused much bloodshed after the people have had enough. 9/11, the financial crisis, various public shootings, civil unrest, loss of privacy; all of these crazy things are afflicting America now, and now in steps Donald Trump.

Is this a precursor for a major point in history? The future is unknowable, but the patterns are there. And it’s worrying.

Grief and Loss

Grief and Loss

The passing of a loved one is always painful and emotionally strenuous. Those we care about aren’t just people; they’re the sum of experiences and memories we share with them, which is why we feel a part of ourselves is missing when they’re gone.

Closure can take many forms. Unhealthy closure involves denial, guilt, and blame. These reactions are normal because human beings are rational creatures, and we naturally seek explanations and reasons for everything. However, it’s also possible to take this too far, and assign agency when there isn’t any, just so things “make sense” to us.

Acceptance is the best way to achieve closure and inner peace. Unfortunately, from a psychological standpoint, there is no one sure-fire way of attaining acceptance. The metrics vary for different people. For some it can come in a week, others it will take years; some people cope by pouring it all out, others keep it to themselves; some will be affected physically, while others will simply feel numb. There is no right or wrong way to mourn, but there are ways you can take control of your body, and consequently your psyche.

Physical exercise releases dopamine in your brain, the chemical responsible for making us feel happy. I’m not saying you should be joyful over your loss, but moderate exercise should help you balance your inner sorrow whenever you are ready to begin moving on. Whether going to the gym or going for jog, distractions will give your mind a chance to focus on something else.

Keeping other loved ones by your side is also tremendously helpful. I’m not a neuroscientist, but I have been around long enough to see the effects of sympathy and empathy in human beings. Being able to talk to someone who understands your situation and pain serves not only as an outlet, but also to reaffirm that you are not alone. The recently departed cannot be replaced, but you can still depend on others to help you get through this tough time, whether it’s simply lending a shoulder to cry on or helping to take care of visitation/funeral arrangements.

It is possible, nonetheless, for the sorrow to be overwhelming. If you notice your emotions and throughts are becoming too much, it may be the case that the grief is evolving into clinical depression. There is no shame in crying or feeling sad; rather, it shows the strength of your heart and your capacity for love. Clinical depression, however, is a medical condition, and needs to be treated as such. I would encourage you to seek professional help should you become afflicted.

When faced with the passing of a loved one, we all use different mechanisms to deal with our emotions. Taking care of your body and seeking company with family and friends are two of the best ways you can help yourself get through these tough times.

When we’re alive it is easy to be cynical. However, I’ve always taken heart that when a loved one passes on, we always remember their best traits and our happiest memories with them. I promise you that is what will happen when the cloud passes. Stay strong, endure, and remember you are loved.

Thanks for reading.


A Comment on Modern Democracy

A Comment on Modern Democracy

The original title for this blog post was going to be “The Failure of Modern Democracy”, but in thinking about the content for the blog post, I have eased up on my original position. What originally spurred me was the fact that democracy seems to have been a real letdown lately, hasn’t it? Democracy was originally conceived as a check on governmental powers, an assurance that whoever was elected as head of state was done so by the people, and thus less likely to screw everyone over.

Yet, as the Panama Papers show, even democratically elected officials don’t always have the public’s best interests in mind. Other times the government is so inept it’s depressing how much money has been wasted, and ineptness is the best case scenario. I live in Canada, so I get the best of both worlds (which is the worst).

However, it’s always best to put things into perspective before throwing down a final judgement, and so I invite you to consider with me the pros and cons of democracy, supported by various events events in democracy’s short history up until now.

Is it really that bad?

In just about every first-world country, one of the wrongdoings that piss the most people off is the misuse of taxpayers’ money. From wanton spending to deliberately using funds for personal gain to plain ole mismanagement, it’s the case that whenever you give someone or a group of people a lot of money, they’re gonna use it in some way other than for the good of society.

But this is far from the worst thing a government can do. A parallel here with communism is that a communist government overtly seizes their citizens’ properties with the intention of redistribution, but the end result is the same. It seems democracy’s only shortfall here is that those in power have to be more sneaky about it.

Furthermore, annoying as it is to admit, wasting our money is the lesser of many evils a government can commit. Bloggers: in certain countries, governments imprison, exile, and even execute our counterparts for criticizing their rule. Freedom of speech is a privilege that usually only members of a democratic society can enjoy.

Many other governments persecute their citizens on the basis of race, religion, sexual orientation, and political inclination. Such injustice is unlikely to happen in a democratic state (though it has happened), because the people theoretically control who’s in power, and no one wants to live in a state of fear. Thus, it seems in a democracy people can expect to be protected from cruel treatment by those in authority.

The Lesser of Several Evils?

But is that really a defense? Just because democracy isn’t as bad as other forms of government, doesn’t mean it’s the best, or even good in of itself.

Here it gets a little muddy, because we approaching the deep end of the philosophical pool. How much are citizens allowed to expect from their governments? Is a form of government the best if it’s better than all other existing forms?

For those of us living in first world countries, we sometimes see the downside of democracy. It was democracy that allowed the sterilization of innocent women in Sweden, it was democracy that put Hitler in charge of Germany, and while Donald Drumpf isn’t the leader of a Nazi regime, democracy is the reason a racist with a long list of criminal charges has a shot at becoming President of the United States.

In these cases it’s not the will of one person or a group of persons, but rather the ignorance and fear of the multitudes that plunges a state into economic or social turmoil. Do we really want to say this is better than a dictator persecuting against minority groups? In a democracy it’s what the majority wants, after all, and that sounds way worse (and scarier) than one crazy lunatic in power.

This criticism of democracy highlights a fundamental weakness: sometimes the best person for the job isn’t elected. Sometimes the voters are easily swayed by propaganda or misplaced fear, and bad decisions are made. Whether elections are held or a dictator hogs all the power, it seems the masses have no control over their rulers. If the president or prime minster sees fit to go back on their word, they’ll do it. Even if democracy enables voters to kick out unwanted leaders, the damage has already been done, and who’s to say the next one will be any better?

I don’t think it’s the case that any form of government allows or fosters corruption any more than the other. Those in power have probably always been corrupt and self-serving, since it’s likely how they got into power in the first place, and how they plan to stay in power. That is why democracy will never be free from corruption. It only serves as an inconvenient hurdle for those looking to line their own pockets. Bad people will always find a way to get on top.

Blog Segment IV: A New Hope

If I stuck with my original intention for this topic, this fourth segment would’ve been the conclusion. However, I thought about the topic more, and I realized that my originally pessimistic view ran contrary to my basic ideology with regards to humanity: the fact is that we are always constantly improving ourselves.

As much as I want to hate and complain about how our current government system is inefficient and provides too many loopholes, the fact remains that we have come a long way from the days where kings and feudal lords could rape their subjects and take their land because they wanted to.

It’s not the vote that is the most important feature of a democracy, but what the vote symbolizes. In every democracy, everyone has a voice, and because of that, we can have conversations, instead of violence. Alright, sometimes the violence happens anyway, but, more importantly, sometimes it doesn’t. When the people speak together in one voice, united by something that can be as simple as common decency, good things can happen. The voice can speak out against corruption; it can demand accountability. No other form of government has this. It is only in a democracy that people have the chance to say something freely and without fear.

Indeed, it is worrisome that the shortcomings of democracy have the potential to destroy itself. Due to the events of the past two decades, democracies have limited their own voices and freedoms, in an effort to combat terrorism. The great irony, of course, is that this is how terrorism ultimately wins. I wish I could somehow make people realize that the answer to fear is not to be more afraid, or to be more suspicious of our neighbours, but rather to endure and stand strong by one’s own ideals. I can’t spread this message to everyone in an instant, which is why I’m writing a blog post, but at least this blog post represents my voice.

It is only in a democracy that we can have a conversation about what to do with migrants and terrorist suspects, rather than have one dictator decide that all members of an ethnic group need to be rounded up. It is only with a democratic frame of mind that the Panama Papers were able to be leaked, discussed, and be relevant, because the Panama Papers are meant to stir our voices.

And so my objective with this blog post transformed from lamenting the failure of democracy to reminding myself of why democracy is important. Personally I don’t think democracy is the optimal form of government, because there are still so many loopholes and problems. Maybe the perfect form of government doesn’t exist and never will, but for now we may have the next best thing.

Don’t scoff at a voice. Every story begins with a sentence, and every idea starts with one person brave enough to say it out loud; that’s how protests turn into revolutions. Your voice may be a whisper now, but say it often enough to as many people as you can, and it just might resonate with what everyone else is thinking but not saying out loud. Then the whisper becomes dialogue, and when multiple voices speak together, it’s a unified voice shouting together for what is decent, what is right, and what is fair. It all starts with having a voice, and only in a democracy is that possible, so let’s all try our best to remember just how important our voices are.

Thanks for reading.

Featured image originally from Wikipedia.

The One Time I Put Down the Book

The One Time I Put Down the Book

I love books. Most of the books I’ve read were pretty good, and I am glad to have read them. Sometimes the book started off slow, but my perseverance paid off and they turned out to be worthwhile reads. With so many books in existence, and the Internet to help filter and tailor my choices, I’ve never given up on a book, with one exception. In this blog post I want to consider the reasons I put down the book, because that should provide some insight into what makes a book unreadable (for me, anyway).

Why do I read? I read because I enjoy being sucked into another world. I also enjoy adopting another frame of mind, understanding the perspective of other cultures and ideologies, and having my imagination stirred. I read to be entertained, first and foremost, and if I am simultaneously enlightened in some way while I’m reading, then the book has gone beyond its obligations, and potentially is something greater than just a stack of paper bound together.

Blindness by José Saramago was originally published in 1995. I don’t really remember why I chose to read it. Likely I was going through some kind of elitist phase, and looked up some titles by Nobel Prize winning authors, and decided on this one because the premise sounded interesting. I began to read it, and I don’t remember my initial impression of Saramago’s style of prose, but it didn’t bother me that much because I read up to the point of the rape scene, and that’s when I put the book down.


Blindness was not enjoyable. The premise of the plot (everyone going blind except for one woman) sounded great, but the storytelling fell way short of my expectations. Fiction is fiction, but even the highest of fantasy novels needs to be grounded in reality in order for the reader to care. Readers pick up books in order to escape from the real world, and the novel needs to be realistic for it to matter, but Blindness was too realistic in the unpleasant sense. I had to read about a horde of blind people going to the bathroom. I had to read about their suffering not only because they were disabled persons, but also because they were being treated as less than human. Yes, art is supposed to reflect life, and life is sometimes ugly and nasty, but Blindness presented this side without ever convincing me I should care about it, because I completely lost all respect for the protagonist (see Logic below).

Conversely, there were a couple of elements in the plot that I thought was completely unrealistic. I scoffed when the “gang” began taking over the quarantine zone. Yes, those with power will inevitably take control in a primitive setting, but all they had was a single gun, and each and every one of them was blind. It is impossible to convince me that a blind person with a gun can usurp all the authority in a small society. Out of the huge group there, no one could think of a plan to take down a blind man? Not the military presence? Not even our protagonist, who can see? That’s a major advantage, and yet she still succumbs to the will of the blind man with the gun.

The lesson: while readers appreciate realism, too much of it can be a turn off. Most of us read books in order to escape reality, after all. On the other hand, the part with the gang and the gun was completely unrealistic, to the point where it made me angry. The best course of action would be to write enough to convince the reader the world is real, but not too much that you begin to forget where the reader is coming from.

Logic, World Building, and Characters

When a reader gives up on a book I suspect they are likely to be feeling either one of two emotions: boredom or anger. I was really angry. As described above, the “hero” of the story is a woman who retains her sight, but claims to be blind in order to be with her husband. After the gang takes control of the quarantine zone, they initially take all the food, but eventually demand the women as well.

I gave up during the rape scene because I was angry, and I was angry because there was no reason for it to be happening. You know how some people get uptight and offended at provocative art? That’s sorta what happened. It’s a violent rape scene; the women (characters that we come to know) get molested, picked like cattle, and forced to do some explicit stuff. I would completely understand if there was a thematic reason behind the necessity to portray this. But I already understand that women are people, and that no one should ever be forced to experience the degradation and violence that is rape, so the purpose of writing this scene was lost on me. What upset me even more was that I felt Saramago thought I was an idiot.

The situation is that the protagonist can see. She can see the gang leader and the gun he is holding. She could’ve brought a wrench, a pipe, a knife, anything to stop him. But she doesn’t. She allows herself and her companions to be violated, all because Saramago wanted to depict the violence of rape, or maybe to make the story more realistic. This fails because the narrative doesn’t make sense. The protagonist had every means to stop the situation from happening, but she inexplicably chooses not to. It fails in the moral sense too, because “rape is bad” is such a basic and obvious principle that it seems childish to create a scene just to say that one thing.

I am probably being unreasonably angry. Just recalling the book is getting me fired up. The group rape didn’t need to happen, not just because it was crude, but because both the world and story logic suggests that it could’ve been easily preventable. It made no sense, and because it was violent and explicit in its descriptions it feels like it was arbitrarily written, in bad taste even. We hate it when evil triumphs, which is why bad things happening to good people can get us engaged with the plot, but in this case it completely misses the mark. The bad thing happens because of our protagonist’s stupidity and unwillingness to act. Not only is it unbelievable that a real person would’ve done what was necessary, but sympathy for the protagonist is lost at this point, because she failed to act, and when that’s gone, there’s no reason to continue reading.

The lesson: a story should not only be consistent with the logic of its own world, but with the logic of the real world as well. There is no excuse for the woman not to kill the gang leader, because she inevitably does so. I probably would’ve kept on reading if the main character killed the gang leader in the first place, because that would’ve convinced me she was a real person, who is brave and smart enough to do the right thing. As the story is now, I was flabbergasted and disgusted with how things turned out.

The End

I guess the main reason I put Blindness down was because it was unrealistic. In the first instance it was redundantly so, in the second it seemed like the author was deliberately forcing an arbitrary and unbelievable scene in order to be provocative just for the sake of it.

There were probably many things lost in translation. I am not familiar with Saramago’s culture or customs, and so there are likely things that I have missed in my reading, or things that would’ve kept me reading despite what I found to be disagreeable. I recognize these possibilities, but when it comes to plot and characters, the two most important elements in any story, I found Blindness to be ludicrous and insultingly farfetched.

It’s peculiar how books that are adored en masse are rarely granted academic or artistic prestige, while just about every author (Hemingway is my notable exception) who has won the Nobel Prize in Literature is quite difficult to read and enjoy. We all have to study Shakespeare, but few people enjoy reading him for leisure. It is difficult to see Stephen King or J. K. Rowling being studied at Universities long after their passing, but they are the two most successful mainstream writers of our generation. I don’t think you have to be deep and philosophical to write a good book. You just have to make us care about the protagonist, and provide a consistent and engaging plot. I don’t know what Saramago was trying to do with Blindness, but I had to put it down because it came off as being crass just for the sake of it, I didn’t care about the main character, and the plot turned out to be utterly ridiculous. The only good thing is that I’ve learned this lesson, and hopefully will be mindful when telling my own stories.

Thanks for reading.

Rethinking Feminism

Rethinking Feminism

I came across  this article the other day and it got me thinking. I’ve always felt there was something odd about feminism, despite it having a seemingly fair premise. Everyone has the right to political equality, no matter their race, gender, sexual orientation, or religion. This statement, while not true in the world, is an ideal that a civilized people should strive for, because it is just. But I’ve always stopped short of considering feminism as a just cause, and I think the story behind this article can explain why.

In first world countries, feminism is about giving women political equality, and that means allowing them to make choices (career, academics, lifestyle) without detriment or prejudice based on their gender. One of the stronger motivations for this is that women have, for most of human history, been confined to the role of housewife and mother, and the cry of feminism is a cry to allow women to reach their full potential, by encouraging and providing resources for women to achieve their goals, professional or otherwise.

In practice, I believe modern feminism has fallen short of its noble goal because it has gone from being about choice to reverting back into giving women very little choice at all. Of course, sexism used to be explicit in laws and workplace guidelines, but the restriction I’m talking about here is a social one.

In the article mentioned above a private school teacher laments the fact that girls are pressured into pursuing higher education, and she is of the opinion that girls used to be happier when they were only expected to marry and lead a simple life.

I can understand why parents were upset over these remarks. If I was a parent I would never want my daughter to feel limited or bounded by any social expectations. But perhaps that is the problem itself. I think feminism has taken matters too far the other way.

You probably know at least one female who is proud to be doing whatever she is doing, and scoffs at other females who have settled to be wives or mothers. There is evidence of this in pop culture as well.

Doesn’t it seem strange to you, that if feminism is about choice and letting women be whatever they want to be, that we would put down certain women for choosing to live a certain way? It’s a contradiction, and it’s illogical. I’m bothered by it personally when I hear females I know talk down about other women just because they don’t have a University degree or a high-paying job. This, among other things, is what makes me feel like feminism can sometimes veer off track, if it hasn’t already.

Not everyone enjoys school or desires a post-secondary degree, and this goes for both men and women. Maybe they want to do something else with their lives, and I don’t think that’s shameworthy in any way.

I think this is what the teacher is referring to with her comments. There seems to be a pressure for girls to achieve more in school, and in extreme cases, find meaning in their lives that excludes raising a family. This situation sounds awfully familiar, for aren’t we pressuring young girls to pursue and idealize a certain lifestyle independent of what they actually want?

The problem with modern feminism is not only that it leaves a lot of women behind, but also that it can sometimes pressure females into make a certain lifestyle choice, just not the same one it was thirty years ago. If feminism is about women choosing what they want to do with their lives, then I think it still has to make room for those who choose to be a parent or a homemaker.

Thanks for reading.