Hamilton in the Fall

What is remembered

The first time they had a fight, he went out of the room and lit up a cigarette. At the flip of the lighter switch, he felt better already, inhaling and exhaling the smoke. Nicotine doing its almighty work, subtly but powerfully altering his mood. He took comfort in the floating cloud of smoke swirling around him and his own argument, impervious to anything outside.

On the other side of the door, she put together all the clothes in a basket and did laundry. She had to cleanse her and her clothes of these frustrations. Some things are not so grey. They are black and white and you can see who’s right clearly. Why can’t he? And she wondered what nicotine had on him that her logical explanations did not. Meanwhile, the laundry machine whirred cycles after cycles until it washed and dried the clothes of excessive water.

Then he came back into the room and they hang the washed clothes together.

He must have had some hopes when he pursued her. She was cordial, chatty and told him that the thought of seeing him at the end of the day was getting her through work. He imagined her typing away at her computer, surrounded by the immediate misery but with a hopeful expectation to get out in a few hours. Into pleasant evenings with him, after work, he had hoped. His place in her life would not just be assured but would become a necessity.  He probably believed that he would also end up better than he was before. And he did in certain ways.

They went for a dinner at a restaurant of her choice. She sat next to him, instead of sitting at the opposite end of the table, like she usually did with other people. He loved his friends, she found out. He took joy in talking about his childhood as she ate and listened. It was not so much of a conversation where information of each other was exchanged. He would not ask her many questions. He would just tell her about these people that he loved, his family, friends and the life that he led. The full and happy childhood. Like hers.

Plenty of people talk about getting comforted by food. But that night, she really felt it, having a warm bowl of soup next to him. The soup had Enoki mushroom, lotus roots and dried tofu in it. All he was doing was cluelessly slouching, talking and putting more sushi rolls onto her plate.  Eat more. Eat, eat. And he talked on and on. Comfort was so simple with him that the reciprocity of the information exchange in this conversation, became unimportant.

Later, she would suggest that they both should go take a train ride on Yangon Circular Railway. It would be nice to just sit on a train and gaze out into parts of Yangon that they never seen. They would firsthand see the actual commuting of Yangon people from here and there because trains are not a form of transportation in Yangon that was commonly talked about or thought of. Not to them anyway. The government subsidized the rail transportation so they could buy the best seats on the air-conditioned train and it would still cost them very little.

It was during the rainy season so he preferred not to go in the rain. Next week might be sunny. Let’s go then, he said. That year, it rained for so many consecutive weekends and they eventually forgot about the plan altogether.

Instead, during those weekends, they would learn about each other over breakfast. He would choose sleeping in over breakfast most of the time but what say would he have on this now? They would shop together. She just started her first job and getting a sweet taste of earning her own money and spending it. The fridge, the washing machine, the kitchen tools, they would go buy together. He helped her accessorize her house. She would teach him how to get rid of a cockroach that’s running around in the bathroom. He needs to know such practical things, she said. She also made him watch horror movies with her. All the gory details in the movies, she could look at. That was her favorite because it was a release of her fears, imaginary or real. She could face those terrors in his safe company and it liberated her.

They kept themselves busy that way. She kept them busy.

The last time they had a fight, she drove to where he was and returned all of his things. On the way back, she made a list in her head of all the things that she was going to do that she hadn’t been able to for a while. The lampposts lining up on both sides of the road seemed to be leading to her liberty.

She told herself that he would never meet somebody who fixes his resume as well as she does. There’d never be somebody who cares about his future and potential as much. He wouldn’t meet  anybody like her who still understands as much as he does the meaninglessness of it all in the end.

And he wouldn’t. Instead, he’d later meet somebody who holds his hands when he was cold.  Somebody who takes care of his well-being and bundles him up with blankets and love when he was sick. Someone who makes him feel at peace, as everyone should.

She would forget right after she got home that all of this happened. How do you remember the memories you made with a stranger? One late evening, after a busy day at work, she would come out of the office building and step into her car. The relief of solitude after all day interactions with people reminded her of him and the way she had felt around him. She was grateful that he loved her with a love that was unguarded. In a world where she made herself rush through things, he made her walk a little slower, worry a little less and a tad happier. And that was all she needed. And that peace is what is remembered after the relevance of each other in his and her separate lives has been erased.

Mothers and daughters

There is a small and shabby Mohinga shop standing attached to a house on the 93rd street in Yangon. Their Mohinga is called Yay-sein Mohinga which is different from the typical kind sold in Yangon. It comes from Mawlamyaing, a city in the northern part of Myanmar’s southern tail that lies connected to Adaman Sea. The soup is thin, less salty and the noodles soft and smooth. A bowl of Yardlong Bean submarined in water sits next to 3 tiny bottles of spices on the table to be all eaten together with Mohinga. They cut up gourd into little chunks, deep fry it so that the customers could dip it into tamarind sauce and eat it as an appetizer.

Mother loved that Mohinga, ordering one serving after another, up to three servings in one sitting. She gulped up water and then ate this bowl of Mohinga at an impatient pace. Her permed hair was short enough to not interfere with this process of eating when she bent down to the bowl to eat. The noodles were her favorite. The soup was just a consolation prize that helped her ease into finishing the bowl empty after all the noodles were eaten. One more, one more she asked the waiter to bring to the table with Nga Phel and Pel Kyaw.

There was a slight tinge of embarrassment and discomfort instilled in her daughter when she saw all those empty bowls piled up on the table as Mother kept eating. She was annoyed by the oblivion that Mother slipped into while eating. Mother’s indulgence and satisfaction were irritating and always well concealed from people who did not watch her eat. How did Mother, a tiny woman, have an appetite so excessively disproportionate to her body?

Perhaps it is the fact that this home restaurant is run by a family from Mawlamyaing who speak in an accent similar to the one in Mother’s hometown. Mother used to have that accent but it faded overtime after she moved to Father’s city when they got married.One visit a year to her hometown did not help her keep it. It is the comfort of distant familiarity that amplified her appetite.A stomach satisfied and a longing calmed by food.

Later in the day, Mother and Father dropped the daughter off at Mandarin Class. The teacher was scary and made her stand in the corner for a long time when she could not recite some paragraphs smoothly. She hated the fact that she always understood her teacher perfectly in Mandarin but could not string the words together to make a decent sentence. Her cousin in the same class was way worse. The lazy kid that he was, he was always punished, got pulled in both ears by Teacher numerous times. He would pout, sulk and when he got home, complain to his mother. His mother in turn let the aunts know and subsequently the grandma. Then a definite conclusion was reached by the whole family; the teacher was too biased and disqualified to teach him. After all, he is the favorite kid in the family. Someone untouchable. But why? She couldn’t comprehend.

His parents had eloped and married without the permission of the rest of the family. His mom had been a maid, scrubbing people’s dishes and floors in her brown skin darkened from the sun and bruised from the battles of life. People said that his dad (her uncle), a skimpy awkward person, saw his mom carry a bucket of water across the road and his heart flew out the window.Secret exchanges of looks and letters, impelled by the forbidden, united them in the corners of the house, under the staircases. When it evolved into a stronger love that only marriage, a lifetime commitment, can depict, the family disowned his father for two years. They took him back in when he was reported to be seen driving a bus to make his living.

Despite his parents’ ugly history, he grew up spoiled by the relatives. It was his awful laziness and reluctance to learn that made her feel superior. She felt more encouraged to maintain her better position in Chinese Class and later, in everything else in life. Fortunately, it came quite easily to her. She learnt confidence from her victories over his shortcomings. She still checks on him occasionally to make sure he was still that kid without any potential that would match hers.

Mother did not care for that nor encourage it. Mother’s important values were in being disciplined and organized. Thorough planning is everything. A person without a plan is a boat without a paddle. It goes everywhere and nowhere. Her daughter was a person of indulgence and spontaneity. Neither an organized person nor a planner, she was also uninhabited in her relentless pursuits after desires. Not every desire has to be negative, does it? Goals are desires. Ambition is desire. To her, going everywhere is not the same as going nowhere.

Both of them would have their own reasons for why they were right. And they were.

She went away for higher education, away from Mother and Mother’s ideologies. She entertained ideas that would drive Mother mad. She relished in the exotic delicacies that Mother would have turned her nose away from. She happily rode in roller coasters that were too high, speedy and twisty even for Mother’s younger self to enjoy. She found people similar to her in whom she found reassurance and familiarity. She had a home independent from Mother’s.

When they occasionally talk to each other over the phone through the static noise, Mother asked her how she was. She asked the same of Mother. They did not talk about anything else. They did not risk arguing and leaving things unresolved. Not with the Pacific Ocean between them. She had built up experiences that were too different from Mother’s. Their struggles were too distant to assuage dissatisfaction in each other. Mother would later blame her on going away. She would blame Mother on never going away. What did Mother know of her battles? Voices were raised and doors were slammed. Cars were driven out to faraway places where the absence of each other fulfills instead of empties. Both of them would eventually find peace in reticence and in distance. Out of sight, out of mind.

She stumbled upon the Mohinga shop and ordered a bowl, with Pel Kyaw and Nga Phel, because she did not find savory Mohinga without an accessory snack. She put in the Yardlong beans when the bowl came and spiced the whole bowl up till the soup turned red. The poorly cleaned tables and dirty walls were expected and the shop did not fail the expectations. Dropping her superiority hygiene claims, she swallowed Mohinga out of hunger, unappetizing as it looked on the stained table cloth.

The chili spice always made any type of Mohinga taste better for her. In the soft noodles and the thin soup, her stomach found satiation. She liked it. She liked the smoothness of the noodles and the comforting warmth of the soup. For the first time, the hunger dissolved into a sweet relief of forgiveness. It was understanding and empathetic. Three servings did she finish. Three empty bowls piled up on the table. Looking at them, she unlearnt the embarrassment she had felt years ago when she came here with Mother. She sympathized.

It is the feeling of reconciliation that comforted her. This ability to relate to Mother somehow reassures her that all is not lost.

Like Mother, like daughter. Even if it is only in one singular way.

For now.

Nettles

Last night I had a dream that my room was full of lizards, big and small, all white and disgusting with their little toes and their unshapely sticky bodies. I woke up much later after the dream, panicked, scared and thinking of you. On the table next to my bed, there was a short story book I picked up at Frankfurt Airport three years ago. On the cover was a picture of a child’s feet on a big tree branch, tiptoeing, waiting to jump. It wasn’t a New York Times Best Seller nor was the author a name I had heard of back then. I kept reading it on the flight while the passenger sitting next to me complained about the lights that were on the whole night.

When I was 10, you told me about this Burmese person who won a small English writing competition in Reader’s Digest, with his winning article published on one of the pages. It was about two children trying to save up for a bike, buying it and going on a trip. No big plot, no dramatic twist or turn, you said. It was just simple and beautiful. You would have loved this book that’s now sitting idly on the table next to me. All these short stories, all the simple little things that the author noticed and wrote meticulously about at the age of 80. I guess one of the advantages of gaining age for some people is that they have noticed so many things over the years that they know which trivial things are to be taken for granted or shrugged off and which small things are to be glorified and written beautifully about. She does it right, amongst other things. You would have told me about the author if you had discovered her first.

I remember the last book you bought for me. It was with a dominantly yellow cover and all wrapped up in plastic, sitting on a shelf of a bookstore in Bangkok, a city that I came to resent. You told me to just take it home. It was a break I needed from my college semesters – to be able to read for pleasure however preposterous or brilliant the characters in the book turned out to be.

When you are a 10-year-old kid, you secretly take pride in yourself whenever you finish a book, thick or small. There’s always a big sense of accomplishment seeing that all these pages are defeated by your sheer willpower and dedication. All the knowledge that you think you gained. That one pigtailed girl that sits next to you in class cannot and have not read a book this big. That boy sitting one row away doesn’t know the meaning of this complicated English word. All sorts of things that kids use to establish how smart they are, you find yourself doing those after the final page of a book is finally turned.

But you didn’t force me to finish reading the whole book. You didn’t put that big weight on me. You knew better.

You were proud when I had a tiniest desire to pick up a book and read. You were proud when I bought home a small thesaurus because I wanted to know how many other words have the same meaning as the word “love”. A lot, I found out. You were proud when my English essay won a third place just because the judge wanted to give out an effort prize. Getting validated in small things like that, makes a kid happy and fearless. And especially a small kid that has insomnia over a tiny lizard that she has seen in the kitchen, two rooms away from her room.

Now, even after years, there I was, alone at 3 am after a nightmare, your memories have held me safe and loved.

Reclaiming Yangon

At 6 pm on a Wednesday evening, Yangon traffic hums endlessly along Pyay Road, too busy to sympathize with the exhaustion of the working people, but not too lengthy enough for people to forget that at the end of this grueling traffic, there’s a home waiting for them with warm cooked meals, or a favorite Korean TV show to watch with family members… and you. You with a new hair cut, your nails bitten down to tiny squares on your fingers and a pinch of warmth and happiness.

A few months ago, I found myself recently graduated and relocated to the familiar sunny abode of Yangon, a city of excitement, 1.5 dollar SIM cards and 50-cent breakfast. Thousands of miles away from the snowy upstate New York and multiple layers of coats and gloves, Yangon sees 40 degrees sunlight and half-naked men unapologetically walking around downtown. Who needs a shirt when you have a big belly to cover yourself up anyway? And then there’s this parking problem that makes you go in rounds and rounds in Chinatown until you find a spot tiny enough to not get taken by bigger cars yet wide enough for your purple Honda Fit to slip right into.

5 months later, here I am, getting to know Yangon again where old restaurants are getting replaced by up and coming cafes and bars, the excitement of the budding nightlife in Yangon. Burmese people jump on the consumerism wagon like no other, you said, looking at the crowded shopping malls and people lining up to pay for the newly imported goods they just bought. Then you would make slightly racist jokes and watch me laugh in denial. Streets after streets, getting caught by one traffic cop after another, I’m reclaiming Yangon as my city…. my city with you in it.  I who have only craved and enjoyed companionship in the chilly frozen college town, now find myself draped in warm sunlight, contented watching you drive on the left and happy in your company. I want to tell my friends about you. About how you profusely sweat at a tiny hint of spice in your food and how I secretly remember the type of cigarettes you ask for at restaurants.. Disarmingly down-to-earth and physically 2 inches away from me, you’re a good thing. This is a good thing.

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On the way back, distraught, I hit two cabs from the back 10 minutes apart, one of whom tried to almost literally squeeze money out of me. But I couldn’t care less about the damage that wasn’t there. So I got back into my car and abandoned the mad and confused cab driver on the road.

Today, as I slip out of my bed at 3 am and start my day, I will miss you. Next time, when I’m at a bar with nameless people, I will pick up the phone..

My Lemonade

When I think of happiness, I will think of this little patch of joy…the joy of wearing a pair of pink slippers that you bought. The slippers that gave me comfort when my heels hurt. The slippers that carry me home after a long day at work.

Under this scorching Singapore sun, the lemonade that comes in a little tainted glass actually seems appealing. The clean roads, the clean MRT and air-conditioned public places help, I guess. But the best thing is seeing you patiently carry two glasses of lemonade on your way to come sit at the hot pot table… our hot pot table.

It’s lime juice, not lemonade, you say.  I know I know.. like how, in Singapore, they use words like “alighting” “hawkers”… or how everyone has a pack of tissues with them to mark a table as theirs in a food court.

Since when did you start carrying tissues with you? I was asked. I can pick up the local habits very quickly you see, like how to queue for a 3-dollar lunch for half an hour or how to pick the best seats on the subway train or even how to catch up on my long abandoned mandarin skills again. As those habits fade away once I leave Singapore, you know what will stay. I will remember the hands that held mine when I was cold. I will remember the sunrise that made us debate whether the sky spreading across in front of us was red or orange. I will remember our midnight bike rides to go see the river that separates Singapore and Malaysia.

When I think of happiness, I will think of our slippers and the shirt that i took from you. I will think of the noise-making machine that is the air-conditioner in your room. I will think of our bench in the East Coast Park that faces the water… the water that goes down to the Indian Ocean.

Not how the bus that brings you to see me takes the longest.

Not how we have to let go of this … like watching the waves leave the shore, slipping out from underneath your feet…

It’s 2:30 am and I’m tired. Hope you’re sleeping well.

Colors and Crispy Leaves

You originally planned this night to be the one where you would be fixing a cover letter or finishing that book. But instead, here you are, writing a blog post that would probably amount to nothing. One of your maids told you this morning that it’s cold season already. Here in Myanmar, you don’t actually have “winter”, the word that makes you visualize snow falling all over the place. Instead, we have “cold season” which doesn’t match up to what it actually feels like. Because cold is something you don’t want, like those ugly green grasshoppers that came along with the change of the season. It feels pleasant, it feels cool, it feels like Fall with beautiful colors of those deciduous trees.

I wanted you to see those crispy leaves falling on the road, so pretty that you feel like you’re in a storybook where a child is supposed to color systematically inside the line but paints randomly with many different pigments yet it looks splendid anyway. You would have loved it. Egypt doesn’t have it, does it? Nor does China or other Asian countries you have been. But I’m glad you saw those places you wanted to see.

I can’t wrap my head around the idea of Samsara. It makes sense to me, more than what other religions and schools teach. But it emphasizes too much on the human life which is said to be the hardest to obtain among other life forms in the Samsara cycle. But if the dinosaurs weren’t swiped out 65 million years ago, humans wouldn’t have evolved. Maybe dinosaurs would have evolved to be intelligent, human-looking forms with social constructs like religions, laws and clothes, but wouldn’t exactly be humans as we know it. Religions that center only around human or human souls, that talk about heaven or hell for human but not for other life forms are hard to think logically through, to me. Didn’t people think the earth was the center of everything until Aristotle, Copernicus and future generations proved otherwise? We’re actually nothing in this big universe of gazillion galaxies and planets.. We don’t know if we’re products of mere accidents or of a big grand creation. Or if there’s a purpose for our human lives.

It is scary to realize that you don’t matter. Even if you can change the world, the earth would just be one of the 300 billion objects in the Milky Way galaxy. The fact that what you’re striving for, the “big future” that you envision, doesn’t matter at all is quite frightening and depressing. Maybe we did not evolve in a way that enables us to understand our purpose. So we get caught up with our mundane life activities and routine. We only know life or no life and don’t understand other forms, like 3-dimensional creatures can’t comprehend the concept of 4 or 5 dimensions. We have evolved only to survive. Smarter, yes. More intelligent, only so that we could make our life more comfortable by inventing this stuff and that stuff.

My childhood dentist said to an 8-year-old version of me, “Nature is so kind. These dental problems you have could be a lot worse if Mother Nature didn’t know better.” I don’t remember the rest of what he said. He probably was talking about evolution. I had a lot of dental problems growing up but everytime I got a tooth removed, I got a present from you, be it a stuffed animal or a new watch. How unfair it is that you tirelessly drove me to the dentist, paid for the dental service all for my own good yet you still had to get me something after that. How unfair it is that you actually wanted to do that for me, who would go away to a college half the world away ten years later and leave a spot empty at the dinner table. But you loved me for doing that, for being my own person. Because you knew that physical distance doesn’t keep a family from being intact. Because you knew better than to dull that curious and dreamy mind of a young teenager. So you kept it alive and happy. And I am.

Thank you. Thank you.

Ours

There was a little girl about 8 years old who came into the store in search of a pair of earring. She came with two adults, one possibly her dad and the other one, her uncle. They had this old pair of earring that they wanted to exchange for the new one. It’s not unusual. People do it all the time.

The dad looked over everything and browsed here and there, one pair after another. I started calculating how much they would get for their old earrings and how much more they had to pay for the new ones that they were potentially getting. I wrote the numbers down like I always do. The dad asked me what those numbers meant so I explained, along with the salesgirl next to me. You throw in some technical terms without deliberately trying to confuse him. After a few attempts, you see that he doesn’t have a slightest idea what you are saying. He’s probably a farmer who works hard all day in the field under the sun, somewhere away in a small village. He tied up his hair with a purple scrunchie and had the looks of a man who went through a lot but found his peace with where he is now. While the other guy sat there smiling at the little girl trying on the earrings, the dad finally gave up trying to understand what I was saying and contented himself with a nod. It killed me. It always does.

You see those strong-looking men tumble under what you are saying because they don’t understand. Then you feel as if you’re the bourgeois taking advantage of them. Even when you know that they don’t feel that way. Doesn’t it hurt your soul the most when you see the men, especially the strong, the almighty-looking ones fall? Like the giant guy in the Green Mile with Tom Hanks, or the one in The Blind Side with Sandra Bullock. You just wanna go give them a hug and tell them everything’s gonna be okay, even when they don’t understand a word of what other people are saying or when they can’t defend themselves despite their body size. But I saw that man go home happily while his little girl tags along next to him, with a  new pair of beautiful golden earrings that glitter in the sun. He probably saved up for a while before he bought that for her. He probably went home to a nice-looking hut where his wife would be waiting with dinner ready on the table. They won’t have enough to fix the roof or afford fancy meals but maybe they will look at the shining earrings on their daughter’s ears and bask in happiness, thinking they have everything in the world.  And they probably do.

They do.

The Fault in Our Stars

fault in our starsI keep reading because I’m too overwhelmed by my own thoughts,  questions and of course other real-life tasks that I have to work on. These blog posts are written because I care about certain issues or often because they need to be written as a distraction for me from myself.

I finished this small book in 2 days which I’m sure I would have cried over if I were a hormonal 16-year-old girl. Having said that though, it was a really nice book, a bit too cheesy at some points but it, as a whole, touches your soul like a lost puppy makes you tear up. The title of the book was the main reason I started reading this book. In my own interpretation, I find it very relatable, don’t you? The Fault in Our Stars. The inevitable flaws of Fate. The loopholes and errors that Fate intrinsically has, the ones EVEN Fate can’t change. They always say “Everything happens for a reason.” As if the universe always plans things out perfectly. So cliche.

“…….but it is the nature of stars to cross and never as Shakespeare more wrong than when he had Cassius note, “The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars. But in ourselves.” Easy enough to say when you’re a Roman nobleman(or Shakespeare) but there is no shortage of fault to be found amid our stars.”

Thank you, Mr. Green. That’s definitely something I needed to hear.

Pride and Prejudice

For a long time, I have been curious on what’s the big deal about Pride and Prejudice that has made so many people claim as their favorite or one of their favorites. After downloading it for free (thank you, ibooks) and after a week later, I finished it. The movie is the next destination but after a movie, I tend to forget many details in the book and all I remember is the movie plot.

Quotes

“Angry people are not always wise.”

“What are men to rocks and mountains?” – Mary Bennett (hahahaha, it’s not always the case, Mary)

“To be fond of dancing was a certain step towards falling in love.”

“There is, I believe, in every disposition a tendency to some particular evil, a natural defect, which not even the best education can overcome.”

Rating- 3.5/5

It was a good read. You’d think that people would easily get bored reading about young women trying toPride and Prejudice get married/a drama set in old times of England. But it was entertaining mainly because of Jane Austen’s writing style. A lot of characters in the book were amusing; Elizabeth embodies the brain and the eloquence that a worthy woman should have although she is sometimes too uptight and prejudiced (hence the book’s name). I find Jane ordinary (except in her beauty, of course) and boring. Mrs. Bennet was one of my favorites because of her dramatic personality which sometimes induces some laughs. The sarcastic conversations between Mr and Mrs. Bennet always make me laugh out loud. Jane Austen did a great job portraying Mr. Collin’s apologetic nature and his loquaciousness in a really funny way. I was rushing to get to the end to see what happens. So I had a hard time appreciating her writing in the last few chapters. But I’d recommend the book to anyone who needs some literary entertainment.

Game of “Religions”

Warning: This post is not commenting on the whole situation nor saying which side is right or which side is wrong. This is just for the proposed interfaith marriage law.

“They are opposing the draft because they didn’t read the entire thing.”

“This law is going to protect all the Burmese ladies. What the heck do they have to complain about? Read the whole thing. We are doing this for your own good.”

Sometimes, it is unbelievable what some people would do in the name of “greater good” just because they want to show their power, display to public how influential their decision can be and how far they can go to oppress the other side.

On this important matter of marriage law, thanks for the concern about Burmese womanhood which I’m sure is the only incentive behind the law.  Also thanks for including women in the discussion….Oh wait.

In Myanmar where worries about having basic needs fulfilled usually take up the whole daily routine, it is only normal that other things are left ignored. Things like healthcare, nutrition, education, gender equality, human rights and many other things need to be addressed more heavily. But interfaith marriage ban is not one of those.

You want to protect the ladies? Then you give them the power, the power that they need. The power of critical thinking and knowledge. Set up more and more organizations for women that will enable them to stand on their own feet, make their own decisions, and connect them to women in power and inspire them. Create job opportunities that will make use of their skills and talents and lift up their self-confidence. Husbands are partners, not dictators.  Show them they deserve much more than a husband who beats his wife, no matter what religion or race the husband is. Put a stop to the social stigma of the label “divorced woman” on those who willingly got divorced from that kind of horrible husband.

You do not protect the ladies by setting up boundaries that limit them from making their own choices. You do not empower the women by telling them what rules to passively follow or who they need approval from, before they get married. You do not change a woman’s life for better by putting them under scrutiny before she builds a life with her partner or by acting as if you know their potential husbands better than they do.

You start by making them submissively follow your unnecessary rules. The next thing you know, they will start following the husbands you “approve” even when the wives don’t agree with their husbands when they are married.

By targeting a certain audience as potential culprits, the draft ignores other potential risks that endanger a married woman’s life. Bad husbands don’t exist only in one certain demography, race or religion for that matter. It is awfully disappointing to know that more and more people are supporting the draft mostly because they blindly put their trust in the “leaders” that initiated it.

Again, this post might be missing the important views or perspectives that an outraged average Burmese woman like me might overlook.

10/7/2013

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