Archive for November, 2011

25
Nov
11

Gender Based Violence

Yes, this is an honest-to-God post about gender based violence. On this blog. What is the world coming to.

So, The WMC is having a 16 days of activism thing -> http://srilanka16days.wordpress.com/ which hopes to inform people about gender based violence and things. I had no idea what gender based violence in Sri Lanka is like, so I googled it. There is some violence against men, but I couldn’t uncover much about that and the whole 16 days thing seems hell-bent on women. Apparently it’s mostly violence against women, usually takes place in domestic settings and is almost evenly distributed among all areas and societies.

This is not surprising. Women get enough shit as it is, what with passive aggressive blogposts that reek of discontent with the female populace by snarky post-adolescents and the whole internet thinking they belong in kitchens. It doesn’t help that the legal system doesn’t offer much solace for many victims, and only a small percentage of cases are actually reported at all. What this means is that well, it’s up to you to do something. *cue motivational speech*

Violence, be it domestic violence, sexual harassment or mental trauma do not go unnoticed, most of the time. Just like an excessive amount of commas in a sentence.

*ba dum chingggg*

Stop treating women like they’re some other species. I keep seeing people who are all “Oh yeah I respect women, totally man.” and then start spewing stereotypes like a confederate soldier. It’s not about respecting women, for Christ’s sake, it’s about respecting your fellow human beings. They are not from Venus, and no matter what you tell yourself, you’re not from Mars. All of us crawled out of the sea together. The female of the species did not accidentally crawl out of the sea and into a prehistoric kitchen, in which they’ve been stuck ever since.

Women, don’t let anyone tell you you’re anything less than the other gender. Even the little “You know no machang, women are like that”. Women are like what? Enlighten me, dear caveman. We’re not living in some 1940’s Disney movie. There’s an infinite amount of things to get over, like parents raising their children to believe women are the fairer sex, people’s primitive instincts to assault anyone weaker than them and inane cultural influences designed to keep men in power. You have to start somewhere, I guess.

21
Nov
11

On Smartphones

I don’t have  a very long history with smartphones. Through most of my life I was either too impoverished to afford one or too disinterested in them to choose one over a conventional phone. When I got old enough to want a phone, I was in school and had no means of getting one. So I steadfastly maintained that I didn’t need one. Till my brother offered me the one he was using, which I greedily salivated at with the enthusiasm of cat in a washing machine clutching at a proffered limb.

After that(a Samsung X100), it was a string of regular phones till early this year when my Sony G705 was replaced by a Nokia E71, a real live smartphone. Although by then it was well past its prime and got paper balls thrown at it with accompaniments of “stop drooling on your lunch you senile old man!” by the other, more powerful smartphones.

It had an OS that could actually run full applications. I felt like I was creating world peace every time it synced with my Google account in the background. Symbian was old and creaking, but it was still an actual smartphone OS. It was a mini computer, complete with an accessible filesystem, applications and all the little things that made it feel like one. A mini computer from 2004, but still, a computer.

A few months ago I was thinking of getting a smartphone. I was hell-bent on Windows Phone, because it looked pretty and, I thought, wasn’t as restrictive as iOS. I got my hands on an iPod touch for work stuff. A few weeks later I was wondering what the definition of a smartphone was.

After learning that Windows Phone was just as restrictive, if not more so, than iOS, my dreams of mobile computing lay shattered, in ruins, in a pile next to my dreams of becoming a professional foot-model. The most important thing about these phones that I missed was file system access. How can you call a device smart if it can’t download and store a random file off the internet? Even my router gives me basic access to its folder structure. I mean, my old Sony Ericsson dumbphone let me see what was on my memory card. Windows and iOS, while very pretty, felt so very wrong. They do their thing very well, but that thing isn’t exactly full-featured computing. That thing could better be described as a thing that-

Anyway, a few weeks ago I got myself a Galaxy S. Running Android. Only a few months ago I would have balked at it as a badly hacked together linux window manager, but honestly, I’ve been enjoying it far more than I should be. It just feels right. It lets me do things like unmounting the cache partition and re-mounting it somewhere else with more space, and installing different kernels(after making a backup to a PC on the network, of course), just for the heck of it. Most of all, it feels like a computer.

I can see why a lot people would prefer other OS’s. They’re more phone/internet-device-thingy than full fledged computers, and they set the bar on what things should be designed like. But for myself, I prefer Android, with its frustrating UI issues and downright retarded battery life*. It’s not a phone’s fault batteries are evolving at the same pace as women’s collective ability to drive. It’s just a matter of time till they figure out a way to run phones off people’s fat. But then again, I don’t see a sudden upturn in the graph for female F1 drivers either(Though this might be a good thing). One can hope.

 

True story.

 

* Managing about a day’s use now but it’s hard to track with my current sleep cycles which fluctuate like a dog’s opinion of you when you step on his tail(whinewhine it hurts! I hate you whine grin lick lick wag tail, anyone?).

** Christmas is coming up!

*** Watched Mulan. For the first time. Totally crushing on a cartoon character.






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