The system – and me (personal)

by Milla

The cultural patterns that we are so used to, that we don't even notice them.

Take a seat on to the cultural patterns that we are so used to, that we don't even notice.

Some weeks ago I went to get a pizza with my friend. We sat down. And there it was in front of me: The System.

We were sitting in a local rundown bar / pizzeria, in a booth, and the seats were covered with a friendly colorful pattern. Animals.  Pretty soon it started bothering me. It was a religious theme. Noah’s ark, from the bible. The guy seeing how everything is going to hell, a big flood coming, and decides to save us all by building a big boat. On the boat is the whole animal Kingdom (…Patriarchy). In pairs. Male and female.

The heterosexual couple relationship propaganda that I see in romantic films (such as Pretty Woman, where a woman prostituting herself finds love in the guy who buys her for sex), and fairy tails (the Prince kissing a dead Snow White or a Sleeping Beauty) – the same relations later turned pornography – the one who is active who fucks, and the one who is passive, submissive, gets fucked, violently, and takes it with a smile, saying “I like what you do to me.” “Give me more.” “Harder.” (It’s called acting, but still everybody thinks that “Really – they want it.”)

So there it was in front of me. Talking with my friend, having a horrible head-ache from coffee. We were talking about living space, paying rent for a room or a flat, how it not only ties us up economically, but also isolates us, and binds us to certain areas and in those areas we get into habits (like drinking at the local pub). Getting a used car would both provide enough safety – always knowing that there’s a place to sleep – and also mobility, being able to move between different areas and cities, or countries. — So. — I interrupted her when I saw the clouds. There it was clearly stated, the heterosexual bipolar gender-patterns. The “either: ‘Male’ or ‘Female’“, and “‘opposites’ attract” system. An ideology passed on through the fabric we were seated on.

There were two clouds in the pattern, and they were Blue and Pink. And even the Fish (who wouldn’t need to be saved from any flood) were in pairs.

Segregation: Pink and Blue

We know that the pink cloud is female, from the big eyes, big lips, big eye-lashes, and small nose.

Noah saving the Animal Kingdom

The guy Noah saving Patriarchy.

There’s even two stars there – “together”. The sun and the moon by themselves. But most of us have some idea of these being opposites and still belonging together. The sun (male) representing light and life, while the moon (female) is darkness and evil.

After watching this for a while and trying to cure my head-ache by drinking lots of water, I visited the bathroom. Someone shouted something at me, about going to the wrong place.

I took my whiz, and then I went to the bar to get some more water, and the bartender told me that I had gone to the “wrong” bathroom, and that it might upset the guests. I said “I know.” She said “It was a mistake.” I said: “No, I just went to the toilet. A hole in the ground.”

A woman came up to me once I sat down by the table again. Asked me if I understood the system. Thought that maybe I come from a country where there’s the same toilet for everyone. I said that I understood the system, and that I’m totally against it. Segregation in order to create a difference in our minds. Messing with our heads and hearts. But that I also can understand why women would like to have a toilet by ourselves, as long as men don’t sit down to pee, leaving it all nasty and smelly and dirty without any consideration for who comes next.

I asked my friend for her phone, where there’s a camera, to take pictures of the seats and the toilet sign.

Stand up for your rights! Sit down for your piss!

Stand up for your rights! Sit down for your piss!

We continued talking, and then I asked her for the camera again, saying: “Could I, please?” She understood me differently. Looking at me with an “Oh, well…” kind of look, handing me a 5 euro bill. She thought I was asking for money to have a beer.

I guess this is where the personal part of this post comes in. The drinking that I do. At that specific moment it wasn’t on my mind. But the habit and the place made her think of the most obvious… Milla wants to drink… She understanding me in this way really says a lot of how I live my life.

Not cool at all.

Toilet sign for revolutionairies.

Toilet sign for revolutionairies.

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