Tuesday, June 19, 2007

open letter to self proclaimed "open minded" persons

(sisihin si melo.)

so just because you've chose to be deviant from what was deemed accepted by this society, you think you're expert about being openminded. well then, let's make a quick reality check.

during my college years, being in what was deemed as the most 'open minded' university in the country (not to mention the campus I had been), i was lucky enough to get acquainted not only of the word openmindedness but its 'essential' meaning as well. Generally (i emphasize), the university's students, faculties, administrations, maintainance staff and even in and outside campus vendors were aware about the unwritten and unsaid rules of respect to others. Individuals' preference of lifestyles, interests, and ideologies vis-a-vis class, sex, gender, ethnic or race background were respected and viewed individually; and not as a unit of a group or community.

thus, i believe, this is what others had failed and overlooked in their perception of openmindedness. some believed that openmindedness was a matter of acknowledging an issue, which was deemed as generally deviant to the norm or not wholly accepted by society. most of the time, these are claimed by people who were the ones who belong or do such deviance/s. luckily, it could also not be denied, that there are also a number of people who recognizes such deviances. nonetheless, the former (people who engage on norm deviances) have the tendency to isolate and keep the equitable right to live exclusive to them and deny other people (the latter included), who are different from their preferences, the very right on the way of their struggle. Thus, just inverting the social order but maintaining the very social prejudices and discrimination.

bottomline: openmindedness is not a matter or mere acknowledging and/or engaging, it is a matter of accepting and respecting people's preferences as well as setting aside one's subjectivity or whatever personal intentions.

to further elaborate, let's contextualize using the issue of homosexuality.

probably, i have estimatedly the same number of heterosexual and homosexual friends in ratio. both of my closest friend came from each 'group': a lesbian and a (hetero)guy. Although I am not really comfortable using labels, just for better discussing my points I am forced to use it and the issue of uncomfortability about labels would be a different topic. Anyhow, going back to the topic, having both of them around made me widen my horizon about the issue of openmindedness.

to start with, homophobia among heterosexuals would probably be not a new topic anymore for us and I know some may find it very exhausting, clicheic and even boring. Although it should be recognized that forms of it evolved across time and people should be well-versed about this. So, to shorten the entry, I am skipping the latter and will jump to the next, homosexism. i just want you to consider it while reading the suceeding paragraphs.

moving ahead then.

ever heard of homosexism? or atleast any idea about it?
well, me too.
although, I hadn't yet any readings or researches about this concept which I have derived from the initially established heterosexism (def. the belief of heterosexuals as the superior and dominant gender), I theorized that this could be used to replace the heterosexual with homosexual with the given definition. if you have difficulty following the direction like me, it is simply putting homosexuals above heterosexuals in the society. Ooops, try putting down you're eyebrow first. I am assuming that some might ask, if such could really possible or even deem it impossible in the country? my answer is definitely yes and believe it or not it is actually happening as of the moment among you, us or them.
the scene of a homosexual telling friends that a heterosexual is actually homosexual because of the accuracy of his/her gaydar or pushing, fighting and provoking a heterosexual person to be a homosexual in the good intention or belief that this could actually make him/her happy and free: are concrete example of it. it is everywhere: workplace, school, house, etc. honestly, it offends me to see and realize that a heterosexual who would actually accept and respect a homosexual (as a friend which could be even worst or just a person or even not at all) irregardless of his preferences and lifestyle would be push by the latter to join the group or spread rumors.

i get the point that there is nothing wrong by being a homosexual, no arguement with that. what my point would basically be is that if a heterosexual accepted a homosexual, wouldn't it be unfair for the latter not accept the former for what he is and prefers? if s/he is really destined (if there such word) to be one then mere acceptance what he prefers at present is just right instead of going ahead the process of his life. process is not an overnight process and besides mangos are sweeter if riped on the course of natural process. don't get me wrong again, i am not jumping sides. I just accepts the fact that sexuality like life is fluid. It is a lond, winding river that no one tell where the current is going.
to sum it up, as mentioned, openmindedness is a matter of accepting and respecting people's preferences as well as setting aside one's subjectivity or whatever personal intentions. for us to avoid discrimination at the very least, we should learn to accept and respect others. Thus, that is openmindedness for you.

so can you say you're openminded to yourself again loud and proud?

then, i am very happy for you. congratulations. keep it up!


the soulsearcher* said...

i think this world became hostile because we people failed to realize what you have shared in this entry. i certainly agree with your definition on openmindedness and on how we should value respect and acceptance on others preferences/belief. Kudos for sharing this and let this be our mantra!

and by the way, i've read some of your entries and yeah, i can well relate to you too (i happen to also have entries on my daily struggle when commuting, hehe). thanks also for the comment and visit. i'l be back here and i think certainly you deserve to be linked up.

God bless!

Ariel said...

Yeah, very true.

You are also right about needing to perceive the person as a whole being, not merely for the things he choose to do or to like.

Well, anyway, happiness should never depend on other people. Blame the social structure?

wanderingcommuter said...

soulsearcher, mantra indeed!

ariel, i agree with hapiness not dependent on other people but sometimes eventhough you tell yourself it should not be, at the back of your head it really matters. well, atleast its a good start and disposition, ayt?