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The Five Men Who Made Me a Feminist

These men gave me a mix of good and bad experiences.
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It was on the same day today, three years ago, when I was dressing up in my room without knowing that a man was peeking into my window. My mom interrupted me as she had to throw something out and shockingly saw the guy who then immediately ran away.

He made me a feminist.

Because I hated how he sneaked into our property without fear just because he knew everyone inside that house were women. I hated how he reduced my body to an object that's meant to give him pleasure and satisfaction. My room has been the only place where I felt safe, but he managed to make me check my window curtains from time to time and make sleep harder at night because of the fear that someone's looking at me. I hate how I feared him for what he has done, when in fact he should be disgusted.

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I hated how he reduced my body to an object that's meant to give him pleasure and satisfaction.

My dad wasn't home when it happened because he spends a lot of his time at work. He always thought that as the man in the family, his main obligation is to work for us and not to be with us.

He made me a feminist.

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Because I believed that there was nothing wrong if he stays at home more often than not and looks after me and my mother. Patriarchy sometimes does not build a home but destroys one.

A few weeks after that night, my best friend told me about his depression and how he hides it because he doesn't want his friends to think he is a loser for being too emotional.

He made me a feminist.

Because I thought that all the emotions he is feeling are valid, that he is allowed to feel too much and that doesn't make him any less of a man. He is depressed, and he should not be associated with any other identifiers aside from being depressed. 

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All the emotions he is feeling are valid, that he is allowed to feel too much and that doesn't make him any less of a man.

As we both walked through the school canteen, a group of boys were shaming and calling their friend a "pussy" because he's serious about his girlfriend. These guys thought boys who have gone to a lot of girl's pants are the ones that should be celebrated because this is what they think masculinity is about.

They made me a feminist.

Because I hated how they considered women as the less important partners to men. I hated how they associated the P-word with being a coward or less. I hated how that one guy felt ashamed for being the better person in the group, for not being the one celebrated for treating a woman exactly how she deserves to be treated.

I hated how that one guy felt ashamed for treating a woman exactly how she deserves to be treated.

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One of the boys in the group was my ex-boyfriend. You can easily recognize him because aside from his perfect eyebrows, he has deep brown eyes. He stands out because of his long list of girls that he cheated on. It's not something he is ashamed of but something he brags about, especially because most of the people think it's okay: "It's normal because he's a guy."

He along with those people made me a feminist. 

I believe that gender should not be a reason to justify any certain mistake, that someone doesn't have the privilege to do something stupid or hurt someone else because of his or her gender. Your gender is not supposed to make you any special than anyone else.

All these guys made me see the imbalance issue, they made me see how we still need to fight for equality and disregard the gender roles that the society constructed. They made me a feminist and for that, I'm thankful.

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What events in your life made you realize you were a feminist? We're interested to know! Leave your answers in the comments below.

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About the author
Melissa Francine Quinal
Candymag.com Correspondent
Your socially relevant girl next door.
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A community page where you can share your feels and show your skills! Learn more here

This is a drawing and a poem I’ve made for a summer love. Our time together was short-lived but the feelings were not.

“God’s Gift”

On a platform we stand

Faces seen all in a blur

Relentless searching led by a spur

To find someone, to feel something

Aren’t we fools to waste away time?

To look for one man’s treasure

Somewhere as ephemeral, as fragile

As a bond built in crime

But aren’t we just like every weary heart?

Hoping for an oasis

In the midst of the desert

Wanting to quench our thirst

Aren’t we all like frosted windows

Of old and battered houses on winter?

Wishing for the sun to give us warmth

To melt the facade so we can show what the inside is made

Aren’t we maven pretenders?

A Casanova? A Temptress? Who made us this way?

A sly fox? A ruthless hunter?

Let down the walls, It’ll be okay

Rushed for a hug, now no hesitating

Engulfed by a sense of bliss or was it longing? Eyes wide-open,

Stepping on a quicksand I embraced the fall into the deep end

Gazed at you lying there unaware With you, found something rare I swear

Realization dawning as loud as a thunder

As the Beating of your heart put me into a deep slumber

Waking up from this reverie

Truth slapped me back to reality

Two worlds so different, now I see If only I could I’d be anything and anyone you need me to be I’m the ludicrous clown, you see

Thought if I ruin it first I’d be free

From the doubts brought by my own insecurity I was so wrong,

What a tragicomedy Brought by the month of April

We rushed the ticking of clock to May Hands interlocked

Weaved skin to skin on a rainy day But when June came to say hello, all went dark grey

What was once there ceases to exist Like the wilting of a flower

Once so beautiful, so full of life Now turned into dust by death’s kiss

Unbounded joy brought by your presence

Paralleled with the perennial ache of your absence Yearned for and offered seventh heaven

Now the heart weeps for evanescence

A mirage, to be the fair maiden The sorrow to find out I’d end up our own villain

But all’s well for you are but a distant dream Gamaliel, You are, I knew it from the very beginning .

Written by me, the one-shot story

Coffee is about a girl who used to cherish moments with someone in a cafe. Sometimes, a simple drink can leave an imprint on someone's mind. ____________________________________________

Coffee

It's been a year since my boyfriend and I broke up. I love him and he loves me too but things just didn't worked  the way it should be. Now I'm heading at the cafe where we started and ended. I have no choice but to go there after all it was made up of both happy and sad memories. But that's life , right? We can't be happy all the time. Challenges come and hearts can break. But it doesn't just end there.

"One signature coffee , please." I said as I ordered from the cashier.

"What size?" she asked.

"Small." I said.

Then she took my payment and I headed towards the seat near the window. A window seat.... for two. The cafe was surprisingly full tonight unlike the past few days.

Again, I have no choice but to sit on that window seat. It is where we sit often. It is our seat. Our place. There are a lot of couples at the cafe and wow I'm alone. There's a part of me which says you should be happy because he's not the only guy in this world. Another part of me says you're still hurt so don't pretend to be happy. The truth is , I am both happy and sad.  I'm happy because we're both free and we can focus more in our careers. But I'm sad because I'm not the other half of his heart anymore. I'm sad because I let him go even though I still love him. I'm sad because I can't see him. I'm sad because I can't share this relaxing coffee shop where we can chill with the aromatic smell of the coffee.

"Small signature coffee?" the waitress said as she serves my coffee.

"Yes. Thank you." I said.

"Since you're a regular customer here, we would like to give you this item for free." the waitress said. She handed me a purple journal with the name of the cafe on it and a pen.

"Oh thanks." I said .

"Enjoy your coffee!" she said.

I took advantage of using the freebies from the cafe. A window seat is also a bonus in inspiring me to write something. While sipping my coffee my brain and my heart began to function smoothly.

And so I wrote: My coffee has been cold lately, I can't feel anything after taking a sip and there's no heat to leave a pain on my lips. And it was a relief. But then, I remember one thing about sipping a cold coffee instead of a hot one: cold coffee doesn't leave you any marks when you sipped it, just like a blunt feeling. But a hot coffee will leave you a remarkable pain from the heat which reminds you that you are alive to feel....

I closed the journal and stared at the window. He was the coffee. The hot coffee. No matter how our breakup hurt me, he left me a mark and a lesson to learn. A hot coffee can be a challenge too or an obstacle. They all made you feel that you are alive. That you can go on with your life. You can still stand up. Love taught me to move forward. He taught me to be stronger. He is love.

Belley Marie A day ago

WHAT IT'S LIKE TO BE A BROKE FANGIRL/FANBOY

One of the proudest things as a fan is the feeling that you are part of their growing fandom and stardom. From streaming their songs online, watching their music videos, TV guestings, collecting photocards, albums, lightsticks, attending to their concert and fan meetings surely, you're a fan! But there's a problem, MONEY.

It's really heartbreaking when you hear that members of your favorite band are coming and their concert is just around the corner but here you are thinking of how to sell one of your kidneys just to go to their concert (kidding).That no matter how much you try to save, it will never be enough for a ticket because you are only a student who has limited resources or if you're an adult, you have bills to pay. So joining a "team bahay" livestream is your last resort, but sometimes even those links don't work!

Of course if there's team bahay there's also "team airport/ team labas", fans who waits at the airport hoping to see their idols upon their arrival. How we wish we could also attend and be part of it, something like shouting their names, fanchants then cry out of happiness while waving their lightsticks or banners. What a concept isn't?

Hey, cheer up! being broke doesn't make you any less of a fan. Know that there are other ways to support and love them. For sure our idols have the same and equal love to us no matter what "team" we belong (team concert, team airport/labas and team bahay).Maybe for some people, they might think we are being overly dramatic without knowing that for us fans, their existence itself and music saved us and made us happy once in our lives. -Gwy June 16,2020

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