The Problem with Double Standards

First thing’s first, I’m an equalist.

I have given up on the term “feminist“. I’ve now decided that I will label myself as an “equalist” because that is exactly what I want; total equality in all human beings.

Sure, women have it hard in the world where they aren’t afforded the same opportunities as men in some circumstances because of their gender – which is total bullshit – but, as liberal as a human being as I am, men have it hard as well in a different way than women do.

This is where the double standards issue comes in.

Does anyone else want fairy floss after looking at this picture? (Screenshot from "All About That Bass" music video)

Does anyone else want fairy floss after looking at this picture? (Screenshot from “All About That Bass” music video)

Take this picture I saw floating on Facebook recently; in the top half is a cartoon of a regular bloke talking to a heavyset woman, and the man says “Sorry, I prefer to date thinner women,” and there are a bunch of girls in the background saying “BOOO! Typical man!” and “Every woman is beautiful, no matter the shape” and other such things.

In the bottom half, however, is a shorter guy talking to a taller woman, and the woman says “Sorry, I prefer to date taller men”, and the same bunch of girls in the background are saying “Yeah! You tell him girl!” and “I prefer dating taller men as well!”

What makes it okay for a woman to dictate how she would like her man but all of a sudden it’s wrong for a man to do so? Fair enough, most women would not want to be called fat. But most men wouldn’t want to be called short. Men can’t help their height as much as women can’t help their weight (most of the time).

It’s not even just genders that suffer from this.

Take Meghan Trainor’s All About That Bass song (pictured above), where she’s basically singing about how large she is and she’s happy with it. Good on her. But the issue I have is when she says “I’m bringing booty back, go ahead and tell them skinny bitches that.” How is that meant to be empowering to women? What if those “skinny bitches” were actually very lovely women and the men that they have loved them for their great personality and/or gentle soul instead of being “skinny”?

And to put it doubly into perspective, swap the roles around: if a thinner woman, Selena Gomez for example, were to sing a song saying “I love being so thin, tell those fat bitches to back off my man”, shit would be thrown at her something chronic for criticising bigger women. Yet, it’s totally okay to criticise thinner women.

If you want a male example of double standards, then I have one for you.

Gay men and straight men. A gay man says that he doesn’t like a straight man for whatever reason, and I’m assuming most people would be like “Yeah, he doesn’t know what he’s missing out on” and “Good on you! Stand up for yourself!” A straight man says that he doesn’t like a gay man for whatever reason, people would be absolutely slamming him, calling him “homophobic” among other things. If that were true, that would also make the gay man “heterophobic”, wouldn’t it? Why isn’t the gay man criticised as much as the straight man?

The same could be said about black people and white people. Black people make a joke about white people, it’s generally okay. White people make a joke about black people, and you are automatically racist.

Now, I get it. I truly get it. The “minority” groups in these situations have it hard and have had it hard for a very long time and that shouldn’t be the case anymore. I get it. But if we’re striving for equality – and I mean truly striving for equality – then criticising the “majority” groups should not be okay. It isn’t okay.

All humans are born different, raised different, and grow up different. But they all deserve to be treated the same.

Get on the real side of this fight. Not the feminist side, or the misogynist side (if that’s the male form of feminism), or anything like that.

Be an equalist.

– by Noah La’ulu

Life with Vertigo, Anxiety and an irrational fear of Odd Numbers

Being normal is so overrated anyway, right?

Among other things, I have several “problems” that contribute to my “intricate personality”, some of which include:

vertigonoun; a sensation of whirling and loss of balance, associated particularly with looking down from a great height, or caused by disease affecting the inner ear or the vestibular nerve; giddiness.

anxietynoun; a feeling of worry, nervousness, or unease about something with an uncertain outcome.

disparnumerophobia; noun; the fear of odd numbers.

Vertigo, probably made most famous by the Alfred Hitchcock film Vertigo, is more common than one would think; however, with people like me, it happens a whole lot easier than to someone who will only experience the feeling of vertigo when looking down from a great height. That one strong feeling of dizziness and nausea someone may experience when sitting in a ferris wheel is exactly how I feel when looking down a set of steps or when sitting on a children’s rollercoaster.

Anxiety is also more common than one would imagine. My anxiety stems from a lack of control which has thus made me become a major control freak. If I can’t predict the outcome of a situation or I don’t know what’s going to happen, I’m set off. I was even reduced to a panic attack watching game two of State of Origin this year because I was unsure of the outcome. If I once had control over a situation and had that control taken away from me, you can bet your bottom dollar I will be reduced to a panic attack.

Finally, disparnumerophobia, or the fear of odd numbers, is also more common. It’s become a “thing” on Facebook to not have TV volumes on odd numbers, but my fear stretches even further than that; if I press the button at the lights, I’ll have to press it an even amount of times otherwise I fear lightning will strike me. Even when I’m eating, I count how many times I chew and how many times I swallow in case of the odd-numbered-lightning strike. Someone who doesn’t have disparnumerophobia may think it is a funny concept, but it actually takes control of my life more than you’d think.

Singularly, having each of these is a slight problem, but put them all together and you’ve got yourself a very different life.

So... high... but I want to pay attention!

So… high… but I want to pay attention!

Let me paint a picture for you. I was lucky enough to receive tickets to attend the Super Rugby grand final this year at ANZ Stadium. Waratahs v Crusaders, the latter of which being my second team in Super Rugby. Plus, these tickets were free. Sounds like fun, right? Well, little did I know that these tickets were very, very, very high up. I didn’t have a problem with the seats being far back, it was just the height that got to me.

Walking up the stairs to get to the seats was probably the most harrowing experience I’ve had in recent years. I struggled to do a simple exercise like walking up stairs. I had to grip onto the rail for dear life and take the steps one at a time for fear that I might tumble down the stairs and roll off into a pit of death, and screaming Waratahs fans.

I look down at my ticket… it’s an odd numbered seat. Suddenly, my anxiety kicks in and I’m thinking about all the bad things that’ll happen in the world because I have to sit on an odd numbered seat.

I can’t do this. I can’t do this. I literally can’t do this.

Luckily, there was pretty much no one at the back and I got to sit wherever, which included sitting down on an even numbered seat. Life was all good.

Until I looked down at the field and my vertigo returned after a short break. I begun to think about all the ways I could tumble down the rows in front of me and eventually roll onto the field in a bloody heap. So much so that I could barely pay attention to the Super Rugby final being played in front of me.

Having these “problems” for lack of a better word have made my life a bit less cruisey than a life without them, but I think they make me what I am. I am a strong-willed spitfire pot of sass because I’ve had to deal with my crippling fear of heights and odd numbers and the fact that I overthink everything.

In a sense, I don’t regret having these minor issues or resent having them. In fact, I think I’m embracing them and am learning to deal with it better than most. Because I’m a strong independent men who only needs chocolate in the world.

– by Noah La’ulu

(If you or someone you know is dealing with anxiety and it is becoming uncontrollable, please seek support immediately. Check Beyond Blue for addition details)

My Very Specific View on Marriage

Marriage isn’t for everyone. If anything has been made clear in the 21st century, it is that.

In today’s society, it is rare and almost a huge a shock if a celebrity couple get married and stay married. Divorce isn’t a weird concept anymore and rough figures suggest that almost half of marriages end in divorce.

In my sweet and humble opinion (IMSAHO, for future reference), I attribute this to one simple thing (or two if you really think about it). One thing that nearly every couple does. One thing that has been customary so no one really thinks too much of it. One thing that, when you really think about it, is not necessary to marriage at all.

This one thing is weddings (and honeymoons).

What problem could I have with these two lovebirds? Read on and find out. (SOURCE:  Andrew Morrell's Flickr photostream)

What problem could I have with these two lovebirds? Read on and find out. (SOURCE: Andrew Morrell’s Flickr photostream)

Watching wedding shows like Don’t Tell the Bride and Say Yes to the Dress have me draw my own conclusion: people are way more focused on the materialistic things of the wedding that they are forgetting the most important of any wedding… getting married to the person that you love.

In these shows – and from my other observations – it’s evident that couples care way too much about what other people think about them; therefore, they spend all this money on having the best venues and the best food and the best gowns and tuxedos that they forget that they are eternally binding themselves to one person for the rest of their lives because they are in love. Forking out thousands upon thousands of dollars for a 2+ hour ceremony celebrating two people is, to me, ridiculous and unnecessary.

Sure, there may be other problems in the marriage that may cause a couple to divorce: adultery, a different view on the future, or my personal favourite, “irreconcilable differences”, but I think that if two people are getting married for the right reasons – binding yourself to the love of your life because you want to spend the rest of your lives together – then they will last longer than the couple who are looking forward to their honeymoon more than their future of growing old together and rocking on wooden chairs holding hands.

Think about all the money that goes to weddings and honeymoons that could go to better use somewhere. A car? A house? Savings? These TV programmes that show women forking out up to $250,000 for a wedding and honeymoon are, excuse my French, fucked up.

If I were to ever get married, should I choose to, there will be no wedding. No honeymoon. No reception. No food. None of that crap. We will go to a small chapel with only the priest and a witness (if necessary), elope, and then go home and sleep in our bed as if nothing special happened. Then, and only then, will we tell our family and friends the next day that we got married.

I get that your loved ones want to celebrate your marriage and your love and that’s fine. They can just do it in their own time.

As for me, if it were to be my dream scenario? I would get eloped in a onesie. With ug boots on.

And I would be the happiest man alive.

– by Noah La’ulu

The Intentional Loss of IQ Points

This may just be me, but I’m sure more people out there do this.

Do you really Eva? DO YOU REALLY? (SOURCE: E! Online website)

Do you really Eva? DO YOU REALLY? (SOURCE: E! Online website)

For the purpose of this article, I will be using a fictional girl named Samantha. Now, the heroine of our story is studying a degree in psychology at a well renowned university in Sydney. She is getting good grades in all of her units and has an above average IQ. Samantha is also a very physically attractive girl who would rather bury her nose in books than take shots on a Saturday night. She also works part time in a fashion boutique.

Enter James, the strapping young Dave Franco look-a-like who walks into Samantha’s place of employment looking for a nice button-up shirt to wear to a dinner.

“Hi,” he says with a bright perfectly toothed smile, “do you have any nice shirts I could wear tonight? I’m going to a formal dinner and need to look somewhat presentable.”

Samantha, who usually doesn’t let anyone else jeopardise her intelligence, begins giggling and twirling the ends of her hair – a very uncharacteristic trait for Samantha – and motions him towards a fine range of silky cotton shirts she has.

“These are great,” exclaims James, “I think I might grab two. How much would that be?”

Knowing quite well that two shirts would equal to $100, Samantha continues to giggle and places her hands on her hips.

“Oh my god,” she says delightfully, “I can’t add that in my head. I totes haven’t done math since like high school.”

James, completely oblivious to Samantha’s flirting, grabs two shirts and enters the dressing room to try them on.

“Tell me how you go in there, babe,” Samantha says, a word that doesn’t exist in Samantha’s vocabulary.

What is it about being in the presence of attractive or inspiring people that automatically renders someone slightly less intelligent than usual? I know I suffer from this and most of the time, I’m not even doing it on purpose.

I recall a time that only happened recently where I was talking to someone, trying to look calm and cultured, and while this conversation was happening, I was urging myself not to touch my hair (a body language gesture that is usually associated with someone who’s absent-minded and vacuous) even though I don’t even have hair to play with.

I don’t even want to delve into how many times I’ve awkwardly giggled at someone even if what they had said or done wasn’t even the slightest but funny.

Samantha’s situation could be the same from a guy’s perspective when they do “rebellious” things that are not of their nature.

Why does this happen though? Why do people feel as if they need to dumb themselves down to impress someone when an intellectual conversation on worldly matters is more than or equally attractive to a pair of half-exposed breasts or some cheese grater abs.

I personally think that celebrity culture – movies, books, TV shows, etc. – have made it seem like playing dumb for a guy or a girl will make you seem more attractive to them. While it may work for some people, it is not always the case. I’m in the mindset that “being who you truly are” is the most attractive thing a person can be because you can tell that they are comfortable in their own skin.

Sure, there are times when playing dumb will work to your advantage – getting out of a fine anyone? – but truth be known that intelligence is sexy. Lord knows I find someone more interesting if they have a wide range of interests as opposed to someone who likes “working out at the gym 24/7″.

I cannot drill this in enough; be who you truly are and the type of person that you want to attract will come barging your door down.

And please, cut the “I can’t even” talk down. So cringeworthy.

– by Noah La’ulu