Behind the mask

Why do I feel uncomfortable hearing men talk (about tits, boobs, and other lady parts)? Perhaps, it’s because I’m a woman. But I know of some women who don’t seem to feel the least bit awkward over these guy talks. Perhaps, it’s a matter of tolerance since I know of some women who don’t just listen but participate in guy-talks-over-boob-topics. I also know of some women who start out to enjoy these banters. Yet, at the end of the conversation, they exhibit manifestations that show how they’re offended by the topic, word-choice, or the guys. Either the guys will brand these women as “too sensitive” or feel baffled (“if it’s really offensive, why did she join in our convo?”).

In my quest to find the reason why I feel what I feel, I tried to find myself in these types of women. To say that I’m uncomfortable about this type of guy-talks just because I am a woman is… too vague. To say I can tolerate it is out of the question; yet, I’m not the type to tell guys or any person to stop what they’re doing because it’s making me uncomfy. Call me stoic (because really, I am). Now, we can scratch the type of women who joins this kind of guy talk because I don’t (and I won’t, even if sometimes I think I could learn something if I do more than just listen).

Because it makes me feel uneasy, attempts of taking out my opinions over boobs or tits or lady parts usually fail. I will either smile that false, polite (or politician-like) smile or exude disinterest or act as if I didn’t hear anything.

This is not helping, is it?

I don’t see a clear picture because I like to act in between — I am uncomfortable but I won’t confront the guys (perhaps, I might make it worse). I prefer to be stoic, yet my mind wants to decipher the cryptic reason why I feel what I feel, or who am I behind the mask that I wore. I could just submit myself to the wisdom of infamous phrases, like “boys will be boys” but what is the point in exploring my hidden persona if I couldn’t look at it in the face, in the eye?

So, let’s do it again, shall we?

Why do I feel uncomfortable hearing men, guys, boys talk about boobs, tits, or the whole woman anatomy? Because the “boobs,” “tits,” and lady parts are tangible to me. Yes, a guy may have the tit-equivalent but we all know they’re referring to the lady’s, right? Besides, the lady parts are not quite like the guy’s parts to the guys’ perspective, right? They freely talk about lady parts that aren’t tangible to them — but could be “accessed” through ways that I don’t need to enumerate. Their curiosity — though fascinating at times — could not substitute over their lack of connection to these lady parts that seemingly make a woman whole.

Through bro-talks over who has the best boobs, the smoothest skin, blah-blah-blah, perhaps, I have always detected that lack of connection, which arouses suspicion over another layer of lack: empathy.

Is this only about them?

Certainly, not. I am not yet sure why I plaster a fake smile or nonchalant pose over convos that bother me. But going over the woman types in the context of guy-talks-over-boobs has certainly helped me see that hidden part of me. Behind the mask, I am more of a girl than a woman. I have boobs and all the lady-parts that those guys have been talking about. But these parts are not the only ones that I have.

I also have a soul — kept intact by billions of cells, stories, and sea-salty tears.


The Voices

IV. x_x

The day begins with that sore feeling right behind my right ear. It doesn’t have a sound, but if it had a voice, it’ll probably hum a mosquito-song. I didn’t bother looking at myself in the mirror. What’s the point? For sure, I will see things that I haven’t really liked for the longest time — a pair of eye bags sitting right below my eyes; sallow skin that marks the new-born facial fat; tired eyes that are both abused at work and at home.

III. The Trying-Hard Neutral Voice

To hate requires a cause. Sometimes, it had to do with people doing something ‘bad’ to you. And even as a witness of that bad deed (done towards another), hate surfaces. To put it neatly, hate is that invincible line you draw — a line that divides you from people (people who do something that you don’t do or so you think).

II. -__-

I’m drinking my cup of loathing today — steaming, singeing my tender taste buds in a span of what — seconds?

Without surprise, I feel toxic.

I push myself so hard and wear myself thin. Here in this black office chair, I can only express myself in numbers — number of texts that I could produce, number or dates when I can deliver the texts. Right now, I don’t feel much different from those short programs that we used to ran on C — producing 1s, 0s, and binary shit that I’m too dense to comprehend.

I. My Voice

Left alone in my own thoughts, I am dangerous.

I’ve always known that but…

like everything else, I’ve chosen to ignore it.

Dinner Time

Time Out: 5:01 PM

Pagnaug sa elevator: 5:05 PM

Pagtabuk sa duha ka eskina ug pag-abut sa Immaculada: 5:11 PM

Paghuwat sa eskina ug 04H nga jeep: 5:59 PM

Pirmi na lang ing-ani ang akung biyahe pa-uli sa Plaza Housing. Gadali-dali. Wa nay pwedeng agi-un kay ga-apas sa oras, sa sakyanan. Kung swertihun, makasakay dayun ko ig abut sa eskina. Kung dimalasun, maglakaw pa ko sa unahan, sa Asilo o di kaha Gorordo Ave. para ig naug sa pasahero, mapulihan dayun. Abug, singut, samuk. “Nganu na diay ni?”

Kahinumdum pa ko sauna katung gatrabaho pa ko sa Escario, ig log out nakug 5:05 sa hapon, maabut naku sa Housing ig 5:40. Usahay ig naay bangga, maabtan o kundi malapasan ug usa ka oras. Pagbalhin namug opisina sa Ayala, mas paspas kung makasakay ug jeep. Apan sa mga miaging panahun, nagkadaghan ang trabaho sa siyudad. Natural, midaghan pud ang tawu ug sakyanan nga pribado ug pampubliko. Wala maka-apas ang sistema sa kalsada; ang resulta, kining traffic. “Haii…”

Dili baya jud ko ganahan nga ma-abtan sa akung dinner time diri sa kalsada, sulod sa jeep ug tupad sa ubang mga pasahero. Lisud kaayu ning magsagul ang baho sa padung uli ug padung trabaho. Makalipung ang anghit ug isug nga pahumut. Beeep, beeep. “Pistul!”

Ni-vibrate akung iPhone. Milili ko sa akung relo. “Diosmio!” Naa na lay napu ka minuto before ten. “Pisti..” Taymsa, unsaun ko kaha ni? Naa pa mi sa ngitngit nga bahin sa Gorordo, atubangan lang sa sirado na nga bangko. Pawung ang suga sa poste, pundir siguro. Ang suga sulod pud sa jeep kay gaduwa-duwa sa akung pananaw. Ug ang huumuuut nga bahuu sa dugo sa mga pasahero murag gi-vaccuum tanan sa akung ilong.

Gitutukan nako ang bata nga galingkud sa atbang ug gi-ngisihan. “It’s dinner time!” 

Ug ang amung jeep padayung gihabulan sa akung kangitngit.