WRITTEN BY: KRYZIA
When Andrel and I began our relationship in grade, there were two things I knew to be true about my high school self: (1) I was a social butterfly and (2) I wanted to do something with my life. At the time, my grades were mediocre, but my social life was robust. I remember telling my immigrant, Asian parents that grades meant absolutely nothing because no one would care what my grades were after I left high school. It was always a point of contention, to say the least, whenever my parents got that report card. I bluntly told them that I wanted to focus on my social life because those relationships would be what matters at the end of the day. And they really did matter. Those friendships carried me through some of the roughest challenges of my life, not just in high school but up into my adult life. It's funny because Andrel would bring up a random name from the past, asking me if I remember so and so. I always casually answer, "Yeah, we used to be pretty close."
Because I was a social butterfly, I was all the things and more: Class President, Social Vice President, Student Association Special Events Coordinator, Student Association President.. It was a long list of extracurriculars and student leadership positions. There was a sense of self-confidence and self-awareness. Whenever someone asks Andrel why he decided to pursue me, he'll tell you it's because I had a big head.. literally and metaphorically. He thought it was his duty to "humble me". However, my strong will and ambition are two of the things he's learned to love and accept about me. In high school, there may have been a slight tinge of conceit.. I'll admit it. I was confident that I could be more and do more in my life, that I wanted to make a great impact on my corner of the world. I didn't know exactly where I would end up or how I would get there, but there was always this longing to break the limitations that were placed upon me because I was an Asian, Filipino woman.
But then, I got into a relationship that mattered and my whole world was turned upside down.
Written By: Andrel
In a previous post, I highlighted that within the black community and in my own experiences, there are a number of covertly destructive philosophies that can either slow down or completely prohibit forward momentum. As of late, one such philosophy that I have been battling against in my mind is the concept of being "self-made". For the purpose of this post, the working definition of "self-made" is when a person propels themselves out of their inherited social position and acquires success on their own, thereby creating a new identity of higher stature for themselves. The definition of success is subjective. In reading this post, it can be viewed as holistically or narrowly based on your own perspective.
WRITTEN BY: KRYZIA
I watched the now infamous Gillette ad when it came out last week. The funny thing is, I started writing this post before the ad came out. I watched the ad. Here's what I saw. I saw men objectifying women, harassing people, and bullying others. But I also saw men stepping in, calling out that behaviour, and holding their fellow man accountable. I saw a man asking other men to hold each other accountable. I saw men stepping in to stop other men from being creepy in their approach to women. I saw a man step in to stop a bunch of kids bullying another kid. I saw a video of a man stopping a group of boys from resorting to violence over nonsense. I saw a man being there for his daughter.
Yet, there are men who are furious because they see this commercial as a portrayal of men in a negative light, completely missing the juxtaposition. They got so fixated on the negative portrayal that they completely missed the point. Comments about the ad being "anti-white" and "anti-man" and "leftist liberal propaganda".. It makes me shake my head. Asking for accountability, encouraging respect and civility, and believing we can do better is "anti-white", "anti-man", and "leftist liberal propaganda"?
In a time when the horrible actions of certain men (i.e. Harvey Weinstein, R. Kelly, etc.) are currently under immense scrutiny, I think it's necessary to acknowledge we've created a toxic and dangerous environment that has allowed horrendous actions to thrive and repulsive men to get comfortable. I think it's necessary to tell each other to do better, to hold each other accountable. I think it's necessary to admit that we haven't done the greatest job, that there's room for improvement not just for ourselves, but for our future children. Because isn't that whole point? To leave this place better than when we got here?
Written by: Andrel
I remember very clearly in my high school days that there were points in time when the guys and girls would be together having discussions about nothing. Suddenly, whether sparked by my cousin or me, the conversations would turn into heated battles of the sexes with either side unwilling to concede even the smallest of points. There's one discussion I keenly remember and I've continued to have this discussion over the years. It's the idea of female submission and male leadership in the context of a romantic relationship.
Written by: Kryzia
Entering a new year always brings about contemplation and evaluation of the year before and the year ahead. The promise of a fresh chapter, a fresh slate, tempts us to recreate who we are and who we will become. As I look back on 2018, there are so many things I can possibly share: so many lessons, so many pains, so many victories. The list can go on. But I think the biggest discovery of 2018 was who I would be as a wife.