After reading this article, personal acquaintances would scoff and say they were expecting that I’d write something like this. Frankly, I don’t care. I’m writing this because I want to set the record straight: that contrary to popular belief, feminism is not about hating men.

For the sake of misguided ignoramuses out there, feminism is a movement, which dates back to the late 18th century. It began with women writers such as Mary Wollstonecraft, Virginia Woolf, and Simone de Beavoir, who promoted women’s rights to suffrage and education, among others. As the centuries passed, the philosophy branched out into different clusters and developed a sort of specialized brand of feminism. The most common— and infamous— branch is radical feminism. This is the type of feminism where men are really hated because they are viewed as oppressors and abusers of women. They are the ones that we commonly see on the streets rallying for women’s rights for this or that. Some of the other types of feminism are, the liberal, which holds that women are capable of doing everything that a man does; the conservative, which criticizes liberal feminism for adopting a male stance on life and “thereby denying women’s need for intimacy, family, and children”; and the postmodern, which enjoins women to create an identity of their own.

I mentioned these kinds of feminism in order to enlighten some people on the fact that the term “feminist” is not something negative. Even other women, (I confess that I used to be one but thankfully I know differently now) have a distorted view of feminism—that they are ugly, bitter women who have been spurned sometime in the past by men and are objects of ridicule. This image is merely a caricature of what feminism really is. Being a feminist doesn’t mean you hate men (there are in fact MALE feminists throughout history), it’s just a belief that women and men should have equal rights and opportunities in life.

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It's never about religion

So for the record I just want to stress that I’m not a man-hater. I wouldn’t be friends with some guys if I were one. It irritates me to be labeled a man-hater just because I adhere to certain feminist views.

***

A bitch, a snob, a pessimist, a man-hater, a feminist. These are just some of the names I’ve been labeled with for being quite verbal about my views on life, men, etc. But among my so-called “qualities,” I considered apathy as the most essential one because in my twisted point of view, detachment is the sole survival skill needed to exist in this cutthroat world. So I practiced this skill over the years and honed it to perfection, or so I thought.

The moment we were declared graduates last March 28, the reality of my leaving UST sank in. I’m no longer a student but an alumna. Not only that, I’m also an outgoing staffer of the Varsitarian. It was at that point that I realized I’m not as apathetic as I pretended to be. Still, I didn’t entertain that saddening realization. Because it meant that I had to face the fact that I had barely said hello and here I was already saying goodbye.

I have too many regrets in my memory vault—particularly the ones tagged “Varsitarian”. And so when we had the outgoing staffers’ night, I put on my mask and recited all the necessary lines by the bonfire. Which leaves me with another regret to add to my abundant collection: I wasn’t able to tell many of the people here how important they’ve become to me. So I’m now taking this opportunity to say what I didn’t have the courage to say then.

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Beyond Margins

Good luck to my batchmates Shiela, RJ, Alder, Billy, Lutchie, Geoff, TL, Rachel, and Charles.

Thanks especially to Lutch, Geoff, TL, and Rachel for our sundown to sunrise bonding experience in Makati. Although I had a hard time keeping my eyes open the next day, it was worth it. Let’s make sure to repeat that moment again okay.

Thanks also to Dex, Marisse, Paul, and Joanne, for the occasional heart-to-heart talks.

Ken, I’ll never forget the time we climbed up the high catwalk at the Med Audi stage. Although your glasses fell and you were probably fumbling in the dark, you still bothered to look after me.

Dumy, for being very supportive, not only during the Pautakan, but throughout the two years I spent here. I know you weren’t too fond of having me call you ‘Tay,’ but thanks for responding everytime I did anyway.

Eldric, for all the help—academic or otherwise. I apologize for the times when I was standoffish to you. But then I probably don’t need to explain why. You’re one of the few people here who surprisingly understands me.

Stephan, for making me laugh and for putting up with all of my idiosyncrasies. Thank you for sticking around despite my mood swings.

Finally to Mye, for everything.

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