Posts Tagged ‘society’

Shrieking kids in public

laelene Posted in general blog,Tags: , , , ,

What are your thoughts on children who are playing in a restaurant, running amok and hollering at the top of their high-pitched lungs?

That’s what a good fifteen minutes of dinner was like for me last night. Exacerbating the fact was my exhaustion and stress over everything I needed to do after getting home. I already have no patience for children as it is, and I was not pleased that neither the parents nor the waitstaff said a thing. My friend and looked at each with eyebrows raised, cringing with each piercing shriek that filled the otherwise empty room. A boy of about eight was chasing around a boy of about three and the young one was having a grand old time challenging our eardrums.

The mother quietly spoke in Vietnamese as the other two adults ignored the situation. Perhaps they were used to this behavior, or perhaps they were mildly deaf (they did seem rather elderly). The kids paid no attention to whatever the mom said and that was that. Meanwhile the staff (only two were out) looked on and stood awkwardly with no sign of at least attempting to create a more pleasant dining experience for my friend and me.

I don’t know if it was because the place was Asian or maybe they knew the family, but I’m pretty sure a Western restaurant would have said something. I kept looking at the adults and the staff until I got tired of waiting. Then I resorted to my usual tactic: I stared solemnly at the children. Whenever kids are acting up in public, making a scene where it is disruptive to others (at least when I feel that way), I stare them down. If they catch my eye, they generally stop. Sometimes they might just be startled to realize someone is looking. Sometimes they figure out that they are being annoying. Whatever the case, it tends to be effective in getting them to stop yelling.

This time, the older child noticed me and then began to tell his brother to quiet down. They happened to be leaving at that point anyway, but I was glad for the noise reduction even before they made it out the door. Too bad the one causing a ruckus never saw me staring. Maybe then he’d learn to keep his play to louder environments or to more appropriate situations.

Would you ever be like I am and look at kids until they stopped screaming or crying? Or would you be even more straightforward and go speak to them or their parents? Maybe you’re like most others who sit and bear it with teeth gritted?

Voices hushed, voices crushed

laelene Posted in general blog,Tags: , , ,

There’s an epidemic out there. It’s a diseased thought, the idea that women shouldn’t speak up.

Why shouldn’t we express ourselves freely? Why shouldn’t we stand up for ourselves?

From a young age, we are taught that showing so much emotion is weakness. That complaining is really just whining. That saying something to defend ourselves is sassy or downright b****y. That a strong woman is not “feminine” (enough). We’re attacked for being too loud, too proud. For doing what we want, for being ourselves, for daring to be ourselves. We’re told not to rock the boat – “don’t create a scene.”

Really? Pointing out injustices is creating a scene? No wonder the majority of us endure rape, domestic violence, sexual harassment, and other abuses. Heaven forbid we “make a scene” over it. It’s hard for me to believe that in this day and age, we are still plagued with these issues. We keep our voices hushed so we don’t bring that negative attention to us. Who wants to be labeled a whiny b****?

When I bring up an issue that is bothering me, it should not be perceived as petulant. When I share I’m struggling with something, I should not be judged as weak. When I cry it out, I should not be any less respected. I had a friend suggest that bringing up grievances is showing your weaknesses. Just grin and bear it, right? But to me, doing so in a respectful manner is a show of strength. Strength is not pushing the world away and trying to go it alone. Strength is standing up for yourself and getting help doing that if you need it (and you probably will, if the struggle is meaningful and worth it).

And so it goes, this perpetuation of a preposterous idea. Women constantly find themselves put down and judged harshly for doing the very things men are praised for. “Way to stand up for yourself,” they cheer him on! “Why be such a drama queen?” they ask her. How in the world are we supposed to achieve equality with this sort of mentality standing in the way? How will women be respected when society continues to a demure beauty and men continue to objectify them? Just because “that’s the way things are” doesn’t mean it’s right, doesn’t make it acceptable.

This is how our voices get crushed. It’s no wonder we barely speak.


(So thank you, blog, for giving me a bit of my voice back.)

You. & I.

laelene Posted in general blog,Tags: , , ,

cover image for you. & i. poem by mary qin

You who hold me down.
You who hold me back.
You who keep me caged.

How do you capture a whisper?
How do you keep still a moment?

All I ever wanted to be was
Whatever I wanted to be.

You try to hold me down.
You try to hold me back.
You try to keep me caged.

I live within your rules
And it is breaking me apart

But I dare not escape
I dare not defy you
For you rule the world
You rule my world.


I am drowning.
I am flailing.
I am suffocating.

I dream of a whisper.
I yearn for a moment.

All you let me be was
Whatever you wanted me to be.

I will not drown.
I will not flail.
I will not suffocate.
Any longer

You imposed your rules
And they nearly broke me

But I fight to escape
I struggle to defy you
I struggle to rule my world.

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