Gender Roles and the Average Male

I’m conflicted as I write this post. On one hand, I don’t want to pay any attention to something that has received some negative media attention. On the other, I can’t just bite my tongue and I need to say my piece.

Daryush Valizadeh. That name was recently the cause of much distress for Canadians due to some very controversial views on women and relationships in general. It seems that he’s been vilified as being a man who condones rape in the privacy of a private residence. I haven’t heard what he actually said regarding the rape comment, however I did take the liberty of watching two other videos he had posted on his YouTube channel.

The first video I watched was one that was titled 36 Things Wrong with American Women. As much as I wanted to turn it off I sat through it, much to my dismay. The second video was actually posted by a Brandon Carter – who according to his profile is a self-professed best-selling author, speed reader and fitness expert.  This video was an interview titled How to turn your passion into profit and its one that I had to turn off at the 3:11 mark.

Daryush claims to be a writer – and I’ll give him that. He’s written 22 books, all of which seem to do with getting laid and places to get laid (or not to get laid) for those that choose to travel for sex. From what I can see, he’s an “expert” on getting women into bed and feels like it’s his duty to share his wisdom to other men.

It’s my belief that this man and his philosophies are part of what is negatively affecting our society AND the stifled evolution of gender roles. I’m not going to waste my time in reading his instructions on how to get laid, however these books are the first issue with his philosophy. Getting laid is not a game, if your end game is just getting laid then there are escorts and hookers to help you with that. As much as I don’t support the sex-for-sale trade, I still feel that it’s a better alternative than this need to “hunt” for sex. This type of objectification of women by men is a contributing factor to the gender gap that exists today.

Secondly, the list. I had some major issues with his list of things “wrong” with American women. I’ve previously stated how religion drives people apart, well stereotypes contribute to the same. People are different and be that due to race, religion or geographical placement and if you don’t like or agree with them, then don’t associate with them.

Some of the items on his list made me laugh as he was obviously exposed to a very small population of Americans. For Example: Number 3 – The fact that all American women have short hair, which obviously equals laziness as they do not want to maintain long hair. For twelve years I’ve had long hair, and I can attest that it does require more attention but if I have the ability to cut my hair short, why should any woman be chastised for doing the same? I’ve met some very non-lazy bald women in my life that are quite pleasant.

Number eleven states that a woman who has given up on getting a man, gets a dog instead!? I strongly disagree – I see animal adoption as quite a compassionate and caring action. It’s a huge responsibility to adopt and raise a pet and to do so by yourself is akin to being a single parent. To take on such a huge responsibility is quite honourable and should not be belittled as a negative attribute.

Then there were number nineteen & thirty-one. They really got to me as it was a clear statement that a woman is not worth as much as a man. Nineteen states that American women are proud to be dating many men, as if they were men themselves. Thirty-one claims that women care more about maintaining a good career instead of keeping a home and family, that they care more about money instead of having kids and a husband. Clearly this list is compiled by someone who is under the impression that women have a place and it’s nowhere near a career or a choice. This bothers me as I feel that our own societal progression is dependent on eliminating our sense of cast and gender and view each other as we are, people. Letting people carve out their own path instead of following archaic and simply irrelevant gender roles is one of the first things that need to happen before we can evolve as a society.

He goes on and on about the most asinine stereotypes about Americans, insinuating all the while that a woman’s role isn’t much more then to be a wife, mother and model all at the same time. He is publishing books called “Bang” teaching young, sexually frustrated men and passing along negative insights that help nobody.

I’m friends with plenty of American women and none of this applies to them. My own wife is (secretly) American and I can say that she couldn’t be the farther from this list and that makes me happy. She is an individual who is not only focused on herself but on our relationship as well. We work best when we’re each happy and this is a lesson that I think few people actually get a chance to learn. Instead of teaching young men how to get laid, teach them how to be in a happy relationship. Foster a happy partnership by ensuring that both of you are happy. If you’re living with someone that makes you miserable or makes you hide who you truly are, why stay? If you’re lying and sneaking around to do things that make you happy then why aren’t you focusing your efforts on finding someone who can enjoy what you do, or at least accept it? I guess that just not the way this world works.

Oh and one last thing about the list, number Twenty-three. I think it’s appalling when people do this, but he skipped point twenty-three altogether. I mean why lie and say you have thirty-six items on your list when you clearly only have thirty-five!

Garden of Sam

To clarify, I currently do not have a garden. For 6 years I lived in a townhouse style condo with a relatively small balcony and for the past 10 months I’ve been living at my parent’s house. It’s just temporary, I swear.

For the past few months I’ve been unemployed and as much as I’ve been looking for work, I’ve also taken advantage of having the opportunity to be able to have a yard and garden to do a bit of work in. It has been nice to be able to have a space to work the earth, however when I was living at my condo I did manage to cultivate a small swath of green space on the small balcony space that I did have.

Pre-greened Balcony

Pre-greened Balcony

As you can see by my funky panoramic picture, I didn’t have much space to work with. The space measured a paltry 8’x4′ and some of the space was taken up by an air conditioning. The flooring was some sort of plastic covered concrete that would constantly be dirty and wet. If you notice, there is snow in the parking lot behind out unit. I started this project in late March so it was still quite cold out. As I ventured on the cleaning process I also started seedlings from seeds I acquired from Seedsnow.com. After doing some research I found them to provide the best price and value for organic and heirloom seeds which was important to me.

Getting Started

Seedlings

After several attempts at cleaning the flooring, I realized that I may have to look at an alternative to the existing cement-like floors that were on the balcony. As you can see below the floor would stain and would constantly pool with water and debris. Initially I was looking at putting down carpeting or some sort of wood covering.

Swabbed the deck

Swabbed the deck

After doing some research I stumbled upon some composite decking tiles that were quite remarkable and were able to be installed without the need for any tools. That is aside from a table saw that was used to cut them to the right size around the AC unit.

Deck it! Deck it good!

Deck it! Deck it good!

They are a 100% polymer material that looked just like cedar planks. They are durable and mold and mildew resistant. The plastic webbing underneath allowed them to snap together easily and were available at the Home Depot. Altogether I spent just under $90 for the tiles and had exactly the amount I needed. In the box on the right, you’ll also notice some tools that I used for the garden including an x-hose that was small enough for storage and attached to the sink for easy use once the garden was up and running.

Almost fully installed

Almost fully installed

Measuring and fitting

Measuring and fitting

Once the tiles were measured and fitted, the warmer weather had started rearing it’s head. Fortunately, we were able to get everything installed in time to start transitioning the seedlings from indoor to outdoor in order to get them hearty enough to survive. The balcony was south facing and I ended up planting mostly veggies and plants that would thrive in those conditions.

As this project is over a year old, I don’t have any current pictures of the balcony but I’ve included some photo’s that show the progress over the rest of the summer. All in all I was quite happy with the results of the project and I was able to accomplish it all for under $200.

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Teak Patio Furniture

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Coconut husk planters

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Foldable chairs hung nicely for storage

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And old Tupperware bin made a nice vegetable patch. Onions, Tomatoes of the beefsteak and cherry variety

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The tops of one of the Tomato plants broke off, fortunately it took root and was able to be re-potted elsewhere

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Re-purposed an old garbage pail into a carrot patch.

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Cucumbers scaled the railing with a little help

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The other side of the garden, there was Basil, Cilantro, Sunflowers Lemon Balm, Jalapenos and even an evergreen to boot

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Watching the World Cup on my tablet while enjoying my mini-oasis