Tuesday, November 29, 2011

A "Bad" Day

Ever since the quarter ended, I have tried really hard to be productive by reading some of the materials for next quarter, tutoring, and cleaning (it was about time on that last one!). However, following the three months of watching depressing films on genocide and human trafficking, I am now spending a lot of time watching all kinds of TV shows. One of the Grey’s Anatomy episodes I recently watched mentioned the theme of having a bad day, or what a bad day truly is, and of course, that got me thinking.

Most people, including me, tend to claim, with somewhat of an ease I might add, that they have had a bad day when their bus is late, when someone spills coffee on the new shirt, when the boss yells at them, or when any other such mundane and quite common occurrence takes place. If we really think about it, however, all of the above together should hardly constitute a bad day. Unfortunately, we realize that the above are not even close to having a bad day only when something really terrible happens. We receive a call that a close friend or relative is seriously injured or was killed in a car accident. We find out that we have been laid off with no prospects for a new job. In those moments, we know what a bad day really is. And we wish the bus was late and that were the only “bad” event for the day. 

My point is, people should seriously reconsider their over-use of the “I am having a really bad day” phrase. Because most of the time, we are just having a regular day with common episodes happening to many of us. Spilling coffee is not a bad day; it is simply just another day. Smile, buy a new coffee or a new shirt, and move on!

 - Krasi

Monday, November 21, 2011


This is how my desk area has looked like for the past several weeks:

Lots of reading and lots of writing are certainly the most devoted companions to every graduate student. What prompted me to write this post, however, is not the level of work required in a graduate school, but the thoughts I caught myself having about wanting the quarter to be over. Who hasn’t had those thoughts? Many people go through their daily lives wishing for work to be over, for school to be over, for the mandatory meeting to be over, for chores to be over, for anything mundane to be over. What we don’t realize is that what we truly ask for is for our lives to pass us by as quickly as possible. As unpleasant as the completion of some activities we engage in might seem, they are not simply a part of our lives; they are our lives, our experiences, and make us the people we are. Consequently, even though it is going to be hard, I am planning to do my best to not wish ‘things’ to be over (even if 'the thing' is a statistics class…:) and would rather enjoy and cherish every little boring happening in my life! Maybe then I'll realize that nothing is as boring as we make it out to be.

A great example of what really happens when we wish for so-deemed unpleasant events and occurrences to be over is the movie Click. Adam Sandler is funny and he presents another full of jokes production, but what makes me love this movie is the underlying message of the danger of wishing our lives away. So if you have not already done so, and even if you have, I encourage you to watch the movie. And what better time to do this than right now:)

- Krasi

Sunday, November 20, 2011


To piggyback on Krasi's post, lets talk about the insidiousness of patriarchy. No insidious does not mean scary or evil a la

Patriarchy is a system wherein all things masculine are preferred and promoted. Regardless of who you are (maybe an independent, successful assertive woman) you are inferior because you don't have masculine characteristics that are deemed superior or if you do have those characteristics then that is unnatural and you're weird. How is it fair if you are viewed as less than by the uncontrollable characteristic of having certain chromosomes? Saying patriarchy is insidious means it is subtle yet powerful. What do I mean when I say that? Let's look at a few examples, shall we?

  • Male sexuality is celebrated but for women can lead to labels like 'slut'
  • Common terms are masculine aka male-as-norm, e.g. God is a 'he', when referring to both genders, he is put first (he/she), 'man up'
  • Social acceptability of toughness and anger in men but not women 
  • Men become distinguished as they get older; women lose beauty and are undesirable
I could go on and on and on. My point in writing this is to elucidate that we are all part of the system, whether we like it or not therefore men are not the problem, the system is of which both women and men are a part of. Since we are all part of the system, we all take on the problem. We learn what is expected of us from the day we're born. That's what I mean when I say insidious: it's a low level hum that is almost imperceptible but has real consequences. What are those consequences:

  • Women are still paid less than men
  • Women are still objectified for their beauty and bodies
  • Ridicule men receive from other men when they act 'feminine' (i.e. show feelings)
  • Routine inclusion of violence against women in TV and film
So what do we do? First we accept that we're a part of it. Second, we become aware of our participation in it which most simply begins with our words: sexist jokes, words like bitch, crone, and witch. You may be viewed as 'oversensitive' (I know I have!) but as part of the system, we can change it.


Feminist Majority Foundation

Equality Now

What do you folks think? Patriarchy? Do you feel it's insidious?

- A

Monday, November 14, 2011

Men Reign Superior Again...

It is the week of finals and as I am studiously trying to finish my paper on genocide, one interesting topic emerges. I have mentioned it previously, but I am going to provide more detail in this post. The topic refers to the established commonality between all genocidal murderers and that is that they all possess the gene of a killer and that particular gene is the Y chromosome. Yes, the really talented genocidal killers have all been men. As if it is not already hard enough to be a woman, but in the field of mass murder, men reign superior once again.

Throughout history, women have not been used as soldiers and only in recent years, some countries have become more welcoming. They are considered the weaker gender and as such, they cannot be trusted with the important task of being a soldier defending the country. Furthermore, men who refuse to participate in mass murder actions are labeled as cowards and become the targets of jokes and verbal attacks. Therefore, in a twisted and perverse way, those who agree to slaughter innocent women, men, and children are marked as brave and honorable while those who refuse to do so are deemed as weak and cowardly. This, consequently, only goes to prove ChristopherBrowning’s idea that ordinary people are the ones committing evil acts. What is even more disturbing than the ease with which ordinary people commit atrocious acts is the general acceptance of such acts and the excuse that they are normal and necessary in the fight of some global evil. The acceptance of a deviant and aberrant behavior as necessary is just as evil as actually exhibiting it. This is the ordinary and banal world we live in: to kill is courageous; to choose not to is pusillanimous. This is exactly what Hitler believed; in his opinion, if apes could kill outsiders or ‘the other’, why would not humans be able to do it? As if killing is some form of a higher achievement one must be proud of.

Personally, if I have to choose, I am going with the cowards and that is my final answer!

-       Krasi

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Denver Film Festival

It is almost the end of the quarter and instead of thinking about the two 25-page papers I have to write and the upcoming statistics final, I am mostly concerned about the number of films I can go and see at the DenverFilm Festival. What can I say? It is not my fault the event is taking place right before finals! 

As a film fanatic and a budding human rights advocate, I have chosen two films I definitely plan to go and see. One is about the extent of human trafficking in Eastern Europe and the other one is about a journalist who was not afraid to fight for what she believed in and consequently paid the ultimate price. Even though I have not yet seen any of the aforementioned films, I highly recommend them to anyone with a sliver of interest in human rights. 

The Price of Sex

A Bitter Taste of Freedom

- Krasi

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Slavery Footprint

If you have not already come to the realization that slavery is not at all an issue of the past, here I am to remind you yet again! Modern-day slavery is a multi-variable issue and it will take a concerted effort from all of us to resolve it. As much as I would not like it to be so, each person, including me, is to one degree or another contributing to the maintenance of modern-day slavery. For example, I just found out that 29 slaves work for me! And I thought I am pretty cognizant about what I use and buy. Anyway, if you want to find out how many slaves work for you, please visit http://slaveryfootprint.org.

Please share your results, especially if your number is higher than mine so that I can feel better...

-       Krasi