Saturday, May 30, 2009

Stun Guns and Self-Defense

Among the most thoughtful first gifts I've ever received from a boyfriend is a stun gun. He thought that since I used to be always out and on the go, having one will keep me safe when he's not around.

But I was too scared of bold electric charges to even put the gadget in my bag. It remained tucked in a box of keepsakes for years.

However, if there's anything else that stuns without use, it's gotta be fright. I keep on hearing stories about helpless women being attacked by thieves and sexual offenders. In fact, last week, the events have literally come closer to home - my second home that is. An officemate is said to have been held up just behind our office building.

So I made a bit of Googling and found A lot of techniques, gadgets and safety/preventive measures can be found in the site. You guys might want to visit.

Click here to read Stun Guns! Is it for you? at

Photo Credit:

Friday, May 29, 2009

Voyeurism as a Breach of Trust

It has always been around but these days, voyeurism is just one hot topic that arouses the interest of every Filipino. Many are reacting. Gabriela steps in. And even the Senate takes the case on its hand.

Setting aside the fact that the hype on Hayden Kho is creating a tabloid out of the Philippine politics, we have to grasp the issue in bite sizes to be able to come up with real solutions. Judgment is necessary. Solutions, however, are preventive.

Good ol' Wikipedia defines voyeurism as:
"the sexual interest in or practice of spying on people engaged in intimate behaviors, such as undressing, sexual activity, or other activity usually considered to be of a private nature"

If we will be human enough to look at this definition as some stark reality, we have to ask ourselves whether this is normal or not. If not, what do childhood and early imagoes have to do with one's compulsive effort to videotape acts that occur in private places? And in which cases do we classify the voyeur as an offender?

(Since the first question is far too complex for a blogger to discuss, allow me to delve on the latter instead.)

Sad to say, existing Philippine laws do not have any sanctions on the recording of sexual activities; on the other hand, some countries have laws that explicitly declare the act as deviant and even criminal in cases when there is no consent from the other party involved.

Given the said limitation, we can only think about the Hayden Kho scandal as an ethical offense--particularly because it is a breach of trust.

Sex and everything else leading to it are basically like relationship contracts. Such contracts are made and entered into with the binding force of trust. Without the other's knowledge and consent, videotaping obviously violates this trust. An act that is done in the bedroom should not find itself replayed on public media.

Moreover, the act should not be passed on from the hands of men and women for reasons due to entertainment, money-making, and even just sheer curiosity. At the end of the day, circulating the videos can be just as damaging as the real offense.

The worst part of all these scandals lie on the fact that most, if not all, of the victims are women.

Private Shows and Voyeurism... What's New?

Hayden Kho makes it to the headlines again. But really, what's new?

Ever since file sharing websites and Blue Tooth technologies have become accessible to all, the whole world has seen the worst of what should just take place inside the bedroom. Everyday, normal people become instant superstars with beginnings traced from the humble sidewalks of Quiapo. Recent times also prove that there is no longer a need for hi-tech equipment, super talent and editing skills to produce a blockbuster hit. Any three-minute private clip shot by a simple camera phone can be viewed and downloaded by a thousand times in just a matter of hours.

Such indie productions grace the growing galleries of every voyeur's laptop. They zip it. Hide it. Then they think they're safe.

But girlfriends should be wiser than safe.

- - -

Not all lawmakers, given their preferences, are oblivious to the atrocities that occur in the Internet. Buhay party-list representative Irwin Tieng, for example, has long filed a bill that seeks to criminalize the recording of private acts. But issues such as Cha-Cha and whatnot are more prioritized in the House. Not really complaining but thanks to Hayden, the others must now see the urgency of passing the bill.

- - -

It is not just about the act for we have seen and heard worse. It is more about the innocent women falling prey to Hayden's fetish. In the first place, if the video was not at all recorded, there will never be all these pa-flash, pa-download and who's-at-fault talks.

Secondly, whoever has spread the video must face the same punishment as Hayden. Putting ourselves in Hayden's shoes must give us some sense that he must have recorded the videos for personal consumption. Or that, at least, publicizing the videos is not among his plans. Whoever leaked the video to the you-know must be well aware that it is not just Hayden who will be shamed. More than anyone else, it is the unsuspecting women whose reputations are forever tarnished.

Likewise, the public must be discouraged from spreading the scandals further by making the mere possession and distribution of private videos illegal. For whether we like to admit it or not, we will not go into such lengths to get a copy of the scandal if not for the purpose of entertainment. We, of course, know the best way to show our sympathies. [Yes, I've seen the videos... - J.i.H]

The issue should not limit us to Hayden and Katrina. A lot of nameless others had their right to privacy violated by either voyeurism or just plain cruelty. It's about time that we learn that what happens in the bedroom, stays in the bedroom.

- - -

For me, however, the better one-liner is:

Kids, don't try this at home.:p

05/21/2009 with updates made on 05/25/2009

Debbie Co for Ensembles

Carmina sports a Debbie Co for Ensembles

Fusing Manila's celebrated young designer Debbie Co with a brand that's known for corporate wear results into fab working females!


Debbie Co for Ensembles collection available at Alabang Town Center, Eastwood Citywalk 2, Festival Supermall, Glorietta, Robinsons Place Manila, Robinsons Galleria, SM Bicutan, SM Megamall, Trinoma, Chimes Davao.

Suffer for beauty, oh bitchy one

Across borders and throughout centuries, women's relationship with beauty is that of an S&M.

Back in our school days, we have read about tribal women who chisel their teeth, pierce their nipples, drill big holes on their ears and put huge tattoos all over their bodies. In the Victorian era, women endured breathlessness and pain in the middle section in order to attain the hourglass figure that corsettes gave. A thousand years ago and until the early 1900s, in China, women suffered the excruciatingly difficult process of breaking and binding the foot; a lifelong tremendous effort for beauty.

These days, women still suffer, though in less absurd ways. We spend hours in the gym motivated by the "no pain, no gain" mantra just so we can achieve the look or the feeling that we want. We lie on the derma's beds, which are actually beds of roses and thorns, as we stifle the screams of pain from the pricking and inserting of needles used in procedures to eliminate flaws or even change the way we look. In more simple events, many of us go for toners with the astringent effect or tend to sacrifice comfort for style like enduring the pain from dancing all night in sexy stilettos. And in some ways, we also have to repress the pain that our affinity for beauty causes to our pockets.

Speaking in terms of sex and bitchhood, I say that the quest for beauty is similar to losing one's virginity. Along the lines of pricking, waxing and threading; it always really hurts on the first time. But since it made you look and feel good, the saying that "once you pop, you can't stop" applies. It goes on to the point that you finally find yourself addicted to pain--living through and loving it; knowing that glory awaits the brave ones.

For hundreds and thousands of years, women have suffered in the name of beauty. While we maintain that to look good is our primary motivation, we leave in the shadows the reasons behind our sadomasochistic approach to beauty. Okay, we want to feel good about ourselves. But why? Can we not feel good even without having to go through such process?

I believe that the raison d'etre lies on the lines of acceptance. In an article on the Lotus Foot, I found this
:"The driving force behind this desire was complex: it had to do with marriage;
it had to do with sex; it had to do with status; it had to do with beauty; it
had to do with duty." (Footwear Fetish - An Erotic Tradition,

These days, it is not just fair for women to blame men for their sufferings. The quest for beauty has something to do with acceptance from the opposite sex or from persons within the ranks found in the social circles where we find ourselves in. It may be to appease the wants of a domineering mother; the conditions of a meticulous lover; the observant eyes of a discriminating social butterfly; or the requirements of a tyrannical boss. Beauty just seems to be a social requirement--where the requirement varies from one social circle to another.Vicky Belo, a world-renowned cosmetic doctor, has been capitalizing on these social requirements to encourage more women to be valiant about addressing their aesthetic insufficiencies. I do not intend to give her any negative associations for this because what she says is basically true!

I remember learning in my Theology class on Marriage and Sexuality that even the late Pope John Paul II says that love starts with attraction. And how in the world can a man single out a female in a room full of them without his own requirement?

In jobs, priority is usually given to the applicant who looks more charming--assuming that all applicants have the same credentials. The same goes with women in sales-oriented careers. The initial requirement is always a good and pleasing personality (which I think is really a good and pleasing appearance). Only after she meets this, will she get the honchos to listen to what she has to present.

Feminists have been successful with attacking the footbinding tradition in China and so are those who fought against other seemingly obscure practices like the stretching of mouths and sculpturing of teeth. But still, there are new traditions to contest and since most of them have become ironically acceptable, we leave them the media and the catwalks for their battlefields.

The "enemy" in the first place is not the men in general but rather, the social constructions made by men and women alike.

Note: The title was fed by a man who does not wish to be named. Published online on 22 Nov 2007.

About This Blog

It's still quite a challenge to be a woman.

We might have broken through glass ceilings and earned our well-deserved recognition in most societies. However, many issues continue to plague us.

There's the big gender divide when it comes to relationships. Stereotypes. Double standard. Cervical cancer. Breast lumps. Osteoporosis. Lower back aches. Feminine itching. Solo parenthood.

Moving on to the lighter stuff, women have to make decisions on seemingly superficial but nonetheless crucial matters. Like, what dress to wear, what sunblock to use, hot wax or cold wax, and the list goes on.

As one can see, being a woman is to be both a Jack and a Jill of all trades. It requires us a great deal of awareness. It takes a no-frills appreciation of the self to beget respect. Most importantly, it asks us to look after the others.

This blog is made out of an effort to organize a clutter of ideas that has accumulated over the past years. This aims to empower women and at the same time, give valuable pieces of information to men.

Happy reading!