Precisa-se de palavra

Read in English

O português precisa de uma nova palavra, ou pelo menos o Brasil precisa de uma. E a palavra é etarismo, vinda da palavra inglesa ageism, que poderia ser idadismo em português, mas creio que etarismo fica melhor. Às vezes, uma palavra faz falta na língua porque fica mais difícil para as pessoas conceberem conceitos sem uma palavra especifica. Se você tentar traduzir ageism, que por sinal muitos falantes de inglês pensam que é discriminação apenas contra idosos, o que não é, na verdade é uma discriminação contra qualquer faixa etária por outra faixa etária, você nem encontra nos dicionários mais populares, mas encontrei em dois:
Ageism: preconceito de idade (boa)
ageism: discriminação contra pessoas idosas (definição totalmente errada)
Muitos jovens são julgados imaturos só porque são jovens, mas existem garotos de 13 anos, e eu conheço alguns, que são mais maduros do que homens de 40, mas são discriminados apenas por parecerem jovens. Lógico que há discriminação contra todas as idades, mas creio que os idosos acabam sendo mais discriminados do que qualquer outra faixa etária.
Ageism é um grande problema no Brasil, é um problema tão grande que o Português não tem sequer uma palavra para ela. A discriminação é realmente um problema sério quando as pessoas nem percebem que ela existe. Muita gente no Brasil prática “etarismo” descaradamente e ninguém sequer fala sobre isso.
As pessoas tomam por certo que por uma pessoa ter cinquenta anos, como eu, essa pessoa não sabe operar um computador, por exemplo. Bem, deixe-me lhe dizer, eu sei mais sobre computadores do que a maioria dos jovens. Eu os conheço desde que surgiram e me mantenho atualizado o tempo todo. Eu estou presente na maioria das redes sociais, posso usar a família de programas do Office e BrOffice também. Eu posso criar sites e muitas outras coisas. Sendo assim, apenas tomar por certo que alguém não sabe nada sobre computadores por causa de sua idade é puro “etarismo”.
Outro ponto que fazem é que os idosos passam mais tempo no hospital, exames, etc. e quanto aos jovens que não vão trabalhar devido a problemas de saúde, também, e muitos deles se divertem muito à noite e não trabalham corretamente no dia seguinte. Este argumento não cola, há tanto jovens quanto idosos responsáveis.
E o que é engraçado é que uma pessoa de 70 anos pode ser levada em conta para a presidência, mas não para qualquer outro trabalho, o que é ridículo.
Acredito que as pessoas devem parar de perguntar a idade dos outros nas fichas de emprego e devem fazer perguntas-chave a respeito das falhas que uma pessoa possa ter na hora de realizar um trabalho. Por exemplo: “Quantas vezes você vai ao hospital?” Qual seu estado de saúde? Qual seu conhecimento sobre computadores? E o que eles acham que é negativo deve ser colocado em forma de pergunta e desta forma eliminam as pessoas que não se encaixam no que querem, mas apenas tomar por certo que alguém não sabe nada sobre computadores, por exemplo, devido à sua idade e portanto, se recusar a dar-lhe uma chance de provar o contrário é simplesmente pura discriminação. Por favor, brasileiros mais velhos, façam algum barulho, ou vão continuar a ser discriminados, até a morte. Se não por vocês mesmos, façam por futuras gerações que passarão pelo mesmo processo. Todos envelhecem, então, todos deveriam ajudar os mais velhos hoje a conseguirem seus direitos, pois estariam lutando por si mesmos.

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Word wanted

Leia em português

Portuguese needs a new word, or at least Brazil needs one. And the word is <b>etarismo</b>, coming from the word ageism, which could be <b>idadismo</b> in Portuguese, but I believe <b>etarismo</b> sounds better. Sometimes a word is sorely missed in a language because it is more difficult for people to conceive of concepts without a specific word. If you try to translate ageism — which, by the way, many English speakers think it’s just discrimination against the elderly, which it is not, in fact it is discrimination against any age group by another age group— you can’t even find it in most popular dictionaries, but I’ve found it in two:
ageism : age discrimination (good)
ageism : discrimination against older people (totally wrong definition)
Many young people are judged immature just because they are young, but there are 13-year-old boys, and I know some, who are more mature than 40-year-old men, but are discriminated against just because they look young. Of course there is discrimination against all ages, but I believe that the elderly end up being more discriminated against than any other age group.
Ageism is a big problem in Brazil; it is such a big problem that Portuguese doesn’t even have a word for it. Discrimination is really a serious problem when people don’t even realize it exists. Lots of people in Brazil practice ageism shamelessly and nobody even talks about it.
People assume that because a person is fifty, like me, that person doesn’t know how to operate a computer, for instance. Well, let me tell you, I know more about computers than most young people. I’ve known about them ever since they put in an appearance and have been keeping updated all the time. I’m present in most social networks; I can use the office family of programs and the BrOffice as well. I can create websites and lots of other stuff. So, to just assume someone doesn’t know anything about computers because of their age is sheer ageism.
Another point they make is that older people spend more time in hospitals, examinations, etc. how about younger people who don’t go to work because of health problems as well, and many of them have too much fun at night and don’t work properly the next day. This argument doesn’t hold water; there are responsible young and older people.
And what’s funny is that a 70-year-old person can be considered for the presidency, but not for any other job, which is ridiculous.
I believe people should stop asking people’s ages on job applications and should ask key questions in them regarding the flaws a person might have when performing a job. For instance, “How often do you go to the hospital?” how healthy are you? How well do you know computers? And whatever they think is negative should be put in question form and this way they’d eliminate the people who don’t fit in with what they want, but just assuming somebody doesn’t know anything about computers, for instance, because of their age and therefore refuse to even give them a chance to prove otherwise is simply sheer discrimination. Please, older Brazilian people do make some noise, or you’ll keep on being discriminated against until you die. If not for yourselves, do it for future generations who will go through the same process. Everybody gets old, so everybody should help the old today to get their rights because they’d be fighting for themselves.

No superheroes here

Pronunciation: e is pronouned as AY as in say without the y sound, or as i in sit, dd as the American pronunciation of the t in city or the dd in daddy.

Yes, that’s true; we have no superheroes in Brazil. The closest thing we have to a superhero is Mônica’s gang. If you don’t know who Mônica (MONGneeca) is, check it out, it is the most famous comic book in Brazil, created by Mauricio (mouddEE siew) de Souza (diSOAza), the number one cartoonist in Brazil. I doubt very much you can call yourself Brazilian and not know who Monica is. She is called dentuça (dengTOO sa), because she has  big front teeth, or buckteeth. She is a super strong girl and her weapon is her little stuffed bunny. The other members of the gang are Cebolinha (ceboLEENG-ya) (little Onion), Cascão (kasKOWNG)(Crust boy, because he hates bathing), and magali (magaLEE), among others. If you want to learn Portuguese, I advise you to pick up some Mauricio de Souza comic books and read them. You’ll learn a lot about Brazilian culture this way. Now they even have a manga style Mônica comic book, in which the little girl is a teenager.

Rede (HAYdee) Recorde (heCORE) de Televisão (televeeZOWNG ) has come up with a soap opera about mutants, but that’s kind of Dr. Moreau meets Heroes on the “lost” island kind of thing. If you know of any Brazilian superhero, let me know, I haven’t been keeping up with the comics lately, so, there may be one, who knows. But anyway, I don’t care for us to have superheroes anyway, even though I love reading and watching movies about them.  Do I have contradictions about my personality? Who doesn’t? Anyway, I’m not a politician or celebrity, so I’m not in a popularity contest.

A superhero is a kind of brainwashing technique invented by the supporters of altruism to convince the individual to kill himself for the sake of faceless strangers, in other words, humanity. If a person loves superheroes, it is much easier to convince them to get into a uniform and go fight for their country anywhere in the world. The hero and superhero motif is a very efficient brainwashing technique, so I don’t really care to have Brazilians contributing so much to that.

What’s a superhero, after all? A police officer-cum-firefighter-cum-soldier that works entirely for free just for the sake of humanity with no thought for himself, a different kind of Jesus Christ, but a Jesus Christ, nonetheless. I’ve never liked extremes, so I don’t like irrational selfishness the same way I don’t like altruism. I prefer rational selfishness. That’s what guides most people, anyway, even when they say it doesn’t, they are taught to go against their nature, so becoming a hypocrite has gotten to be a way of life for most people, they just feel guilty by following that unconsciously because of churches and superheroes, but it is more rational to be selfishly rational, anyway, so screw superman and all his holier-than-thou gang.

Think about it, superman, a superhero that fights common criminals to defend the status quo, respecting established governments, whether democratic or not. Sorry. I believe in democracy, so if I had his power, I’d fight corrupt politicians, not regular criminals. For me, my neighborhood comes first, then my city, my state, my country, my continent, my planet, my solar system, then the rest. I’d fight in a war to defend myself, and my people are part of me, my family comes first, my friends and then the rest. I’m self-centered, so what? That’s rational. That’s group think in a rational fashion. Just sacrificing yourself for any stupid stranger is not my idea of rationality.

Pokémon was a huge success in Brazil. My son loved it, but I told him Pokémon was just a way to teach children to be competitive. Pokémon is not a part of the superhero mentality. The little devils may do good, but is it any different from a cockfight? They get their little monsters and make them fight to find out which one is the best. That’s market mentality for you. Competition, competition. And I do believe in competition.

My son told me he wanted to get a passing mark in school; I told him that’s a loser mindset. He should strive to be the best, not just get a passing grade. So I told him to watch some more Pokémon to learn to be more competitive. Did you know in Brazil you don’t need to get good grades to pass to the next grade? You automatically go from the first to the eighth grade, whether you’re good or not. The mindset behind this policy is that it is better to have children in school than on the street. So, if children keep automatically going from grade to grade, they won’t quit school, therefore it is one fewer child on the streets. I don’t know exactly if there are grades you can fail, but most of them, you can’t, just keep going and you’ll get through school. This policy may keep children in school, for sure, but they won’t learn competition and the philosophy to be the best. When you strive to be the best, I tell my son, you are not competing against people, you are competing against yourself, so if you lose, you shouldn’t become a sore loser, just strive harder. Competing against others is just a motivation thing. You feel good when you destroy the opponent, as long as he is worth it, defeating a good-for-nothing bum brings no glory. Your greatness depends on the opponents you wipe the floor with.

It’s not very capitalistic of Brazil to promote this kind of school system. I like capitalism because it turns our basest instincts into something good. Instead of war, MARKET; all the war techniques can be turned into market ones. It’s a war without blood; you just humiliate your opponent to death. That’s civilization for you.

And I like meritocracy, which promotes a mindset different from altruism. You grow because you’re good at what you do. I love it. You do deserve more if you are good at something, the fact you did nothing to be what you are, you just are, doesn’t matter. If you don’t like the fact you were born with a low IQ and not much willpower, go complain to God or nature, but not even God escapes this. God is God because God was born God, what did God do to deserve to be God? I don’t know. We are born with some natural characteristics and we have to learn to take full advantage of them. I know stupid people who are successful and intelligent ones who are not, why? Single-mindedness. Focus is more important than intelligence. If you are not intelligent enough, just keep doing something tirelessly until you learn everything about what you want to learn, become an authority on something, people will even think you are intelligent. People are stupid enough to believe that because you developed some mathematical formula you are generally intelligent in other aspect. Is that so? That’s not what life has taught me, but remember, focus is the most important thing. If you focus, if you are single-minded, you’ll get practically anything you want out of life. And school in Brazil is not teaching that with their policy to let everybody just pass.

Well, I guess that’s it for today, thanks for reading my tirades.

Your friendly neighborhood Joe da Silva

Education is NOT the answer

educationAt least in Brazil, people keep talking about education and how it can solve the problem of irresponsible parenting, crime, and many woes of society. I hear the same yarn from all over the world as well. Now, if education was the answer, how come a lot of educated people all over the world keep electing stupid leaders? Education gives information, but, most of the time, it doesn’t teach people how to think. I hear very stupid opinions from “educated” people all the time. And those same educated people show very little thought in what they talk about, they just spout propaganda from different segments of society: the left, the right, whatever, and many of them don’t even try to think outside their particular boxes.

I happen to talk to people from all walks of life in Brazil, and online, I talk to people from all over the world, I speak more than one language, which makes it easier, and many of those people are educated and let me tell you, what the educated prove to me is that education is not as hot as people think it is. The “right” education is important, not what many call education: constant amassing of information with little time for digestion and little to no development of critical thinking.

I live in a poor neighborhood in São Paulo. Of course, in the same neighborhood there are some middle and upper class families living right among the poor, and my work makes me go to the rich parts of town and get in touch with the more fortunate, but I’ll go smack dab in the middle of favelas (fahVEHlaz) and have a beer with the guys and the same day I’ll have dinner on Paulista with executives. And many times, I hear stupid opinions from the “well-educated” and very good opinions from the uneducated, and vice versa. Who’s the judge of opinions? Me, of course, and so is everybody else.  I could care less when somebody criticizes me because of my views, there are always those who’ll oppose you, no matter what you preach, so those who support me fall behind or alongside me, those who oppose me, come get a piece of me, that’s life.

My son goes to public school in the morning and to a private school in the afternoon. Many schools here don’t require a uniform anymore, but his requires a partial uniform, I’m all for uniforms, at least with them you know who belongs in the school, and he gets it for free, as well as milk and books and notebooks and he has read lots of books, including “Os Lusiadas” (ohz loozEEadas), a classic by Luiz de Camões, a Portuguese poet, the teen version,  and he loves “literature de cordel” (liteddaTOOdda di corDEoo),  stories told through rhymes, a mixture of pulp fiction with poetry, which became repente (rePENGtee), a kind of very old Brazilian rap, as it is sung through rhymes, but it usually tells a story, he recommends this book http://www.livrariaresposta.com.br/v2/produto.php?id=1085 for those interested, and he has read Robin Hood, and he loves Greek mythology, so he has read the Iliad and the Odyssey, by Homer, the teen versions as well, so Homer is not just Homer Simpson to him.  He loves the school library, which is very good, and he monitors it as well as the information technology room, and he sings and acts, and the stage at his school is pretty good, too. So for those who think São Paulo has a very bad public school system, I’d say I’m happy with the school my son is going to. The problems I point out about education go deeper than the basic stuff.

At night, he has 2 hours with me, on the weekend, I go out with him. I send him to public school so he can get to know people from all over, I send him to a private school so he can learn practical stuff, such as languages, information technology, math, business management, anything that can prepare him for practical life. I personally teach him how to be a leader, how to debate and get his points across, how to handle people so he can get what he wants from them, and since he’s a teenager, I’m teaching him how to deal with women so he can eventually get a great one, not just a regular worthless pain in the butt and he needs martial arts as well, not to fight people, unless it is a competition, just to be prepared and to give him physical confidence. Anyway, fighting people is not a good idea because there are plenty of cowards here who’ll shoot you in the back. They don’t believe in the same principles my son and I do.

If I wanted just data, just information, if I thought that was education I’d get people to keep doing searches in google. Education is preparing people to deal with life; it is not just knowing where Europe is on a map and getting to know the history of your country and the world, and sciences in general. This is just information, and information doesn’t make you educated, “thinking” about the information is what makes you so. Today we have access to lots of information and I don’t think the stupidity level has dropped that much. Schools get students to memorize stuff, and unfortunately, very few teachers get students to “think” about what they are learning, and to “examine” the source of the information.

And of course, religion doesn’t help people how to think critically at all. For people, religion is like wine, the old ones are good, the new ones, cults, are bad. The older a religion is, the less you question its dogmas. The new ones are easier to prove wrong, the older ones are taken as truth on faith, and what’s faith? Just self-convincing, repeat something long enough, get into a trance, and you’ll believe anything. So I teach my son to be agnostic about religious matters and to adopt just what he thinks is good, and he decides what’s good based on critical thinking and facts. His mother is a born-again Christian, my sister is a Mormon, my mom is a Catholic, my son goes to churches and I introduce him to philosophy, other religions, and free thinking, which is good, at least he won’t become a fanatic since he’ll be pushed around by different influences. Diversity is good; it forces you to think more.

My son is great, and I trust him entirely. I take him to parties and he gets offered drugs and people try to convince him to do things that would be detrimental to him and he doesn’t do it. Unfortunately, the drug culture is very strong here, my son is just 13 and you can’t imagine how many times he’s offered alcohol, cigarettes and illegal drugs. One of his friends is a Satanist, who takes all sorts of drugs, because his family is made up of born-again Christians who are too severe and not prone to dialoguing, just saying NO!, so since his family is Christian, he decided to become the opposite, but my son is helping this friend and others, and I try to do my part as well. The way the Satanist adopted of being a rebel is very common, but being a rebel doesn’t mean being the opposite, it means doing what you think is right. A long time ago, my son liked Michael Jackson and people showed bad stuff about his idol, I told him not to care about Michael’s life, he is just a man, he should keep liking his art no matter what people said. I’ve always taught my son not to be led by the stupid majority, to always do and like and think whatever he wants, even if he had to face the whole world. If you try to please everyone, you’ll end up pleasing yourself the least. He likes Chris Brown today and Chris is going through hard times, so? That just proves he can fail, but my son keeps on liking his music.

And a friend of his almost got a girl pregnant, but he told his plans to my son, and my son convinced him to use a condom and to think about his future and not to spoil it by early pregnancy and that he would be responsible for the child he put into the world. His friend is just 15, you can imagine the kind of problems he could get into.

I never taught my son there was such a thing as Santa Claus. I never lie to him. I always give him a straight answer, so when he was very little and people talked about Santa Claus I told him it was just superstition, and I told him people believe all sorts of stupid stuff, no matter how educated they are, and that they have conducts that are way stupid, no matter what country they come from, what their religions are, their degree of education, and that he should never judge a person just because of money, religion, philosophy or “education”. He should never hand over his thinking to a person just because they are a supposed authority on something. He regards a priest, experts, a teacher, a politician the same way he regards anybody. Authorities are not special; they should never be obeyed unthinkingly. You teach somebody blind obedience and then you’ll have authorities abusing people, or societies like Nazi Germany and other totalitarian regimes of today, religious or lay, with its obedient citizens. I’ve never hit my son, and I’ve taught him I don’t hit him, unless I’m teaching him how to fight, because I want him to learn to reason with people, so I must set the example, I’ve always reasoned with him, I’ve always explained myself, I’ve never told him to follow me just because I’m telling him to do so, just because I’m his father. That just teaches blind obedience and to have blind faith in authority. And I’ve taught him how to fight and debate, so he can defend or impose himself using whatever weapons people understand since most people are not educated as he is.

He’s learning hypnosis, mass manipulation, neuro-linguistic programming, rhetoric and all the means the media and authorities use to MANIPULATE people’s minds. This way, he’s learning NOT to be a victim of this manipulation and become a manipulator for GOOD, and good is whatever he decides it is. In case a relativist opposes mine or his definition of good, somebody has to decide what good is, it might as well be him, or me, for that matter. My son is not perfect, neither am I, but we have to decide what is good for us, life is action, if you don’t move by your beliefs, the beliefs of others will move you. We prefer to be the movers and shakers.

Anyway, I don’t think what many people call education is the answer at all. The answer is CRITICAL THINKING and SELF-CONTROL. And that doesn’t come from society, it comes from good parenting, and it could come from school as well, if most people believed education is not simply amassing information, but reflecting on it.

Author: Joe da Silva

License to procreate

Let me tell you a little story about a guy in São Paulo who lives in my neighborhood and is a true stud, at least if you are talking about the past, when men were used as reproducers. Today, he is an irresponsible procreator. Just imagine, he has 4 kids with one woman and 3 with another one, 3 with another one, and he just made another one pregnant and he doesn’t support any of them. He keeps going from woman to woman, and they keep getting pissed at him because he is not a good provider. But maybe now he’ll go to jail for not paying alimony and palimony. At least, I convinced one of his ex-wives to report him to the authorities. Now he’s pissed at me and her and keeps threatening us. I did it because she happens to be my niece. I told her the guy was good-for-nothing before she had 4 children by him, but she didn’t listen to me, now her whole family, meaning myself and other members of her extended family, helps her support her children.
It’s really funny that you need a license to drive a car and to do a lot of other stuff, but any stupid person is allowed to reproduce. I believe anybody should be allowed to have the first two children, but after that, they should prove they have the means not only to support them, but also to give them a good life. Supporting doesn’t mean just giving them food to survive, just like you do with any animal.  In Portuguese, there is a stupid saying, “Onde come um, comem dois, comem três” (Ongdi kongmi oong, kongmi do-iz, kOngmi trays). A lot of the poverty in Brazil is caused by irresponsible reproduction.  And I believe the way to control it would be by having those irresponsible men and women sterilized. Those irresponsible begetters are a burden to society as a whole.
People complain about China’s abuse of human rights, but as regards reproduction, I don’t think they are wrong. I live in a country where irresponsible reproduction abounds. People say society should never try to control that because it would be against the most basic human rights. Well, I agree to a certain extent, in my opinion, two children would be the limit just to appease those advocates of the right to free reproduction, but if it were up to me, I wouldn’t allow many people to reproduce because they make children that become a problem for society since they give them no education, not enough food, and as we live in a capitalistic society, the class differences are huge and so those kids will resort to crime due to envy.
Capitalism encourages envy because it makes the world move forward.  The neighbor’s wife is always hotter and if he has a car, you should have one as well. Those children in Brazil who are the product of irresponsible reproduction have the odds against them to begin with so chances are they will become criminals since according to statistics most criminals are the product of a single mother and an absent father.  I’m not just in favor of family planning; I’m all for punishing irresponsible reproduction by neutering irresponsible people.
And the Catholic Church doesn’t help at all, quite the opposite. They know the best way to get converts is by brainwashing children. Children are easy to manipulate, so they convince the stupid to procreate like hell, the physical conditions of the children the stupid poor produce doesn’t matter, what matters is their souls. If children suffer a lot, they have their place guaranteed in heaven. That’s the problem with overemphasizing spirituality; sometimes the result is ignoring the flesh. At least, that’s what History shows us.
I went to a mass with my mother, the priest was Father Marcelo Rossi, a singing priest, the answer of the Catholic Church to the evangelical movement. Well, he was praising women who had more than six children, calling them “heroines”. Cows, that’s what they are, ignorant cows. I’m not blaming them for being ignorant cows, that’s just what they are due to life’s circumstances, but I blame whoever promotes this way of thinking.
Well, enough of my rant, long live family planning!

Author: Joe da Silva

Bolsa familia and its unexpected results

One of the good effects of Bolsa Familia (BOAsa fumMEElia),  besides helping the poor, was to get the impoverished in big cities like São Paulo to go back to their places of origin, and keep people in the disadvantaged regions from coming to São Paulo. Immigration is good, it can bring plenty of diversity and options to a country, but if it is uncontrolled, it can generate lots of problems, unemployment and crime among them.

How can a state deal with an inordinate rise in its population every single year?

Before Lula, migration from the poverty-stricken regions of Brazil into São Paulo was staggering. Now things have changed. Lots of people in here are going back to their places of origin, thanks to Bolsa Familia. I belong to a family of internal migrants since my parents came from the Northeast, my mom from Pernambuco and my daddy from Paraiba. “Paraiba masculina, mulher macho, sim senhor” (paraEEba maskooLEEna, moolyEH mAHshoo, SING sing-Yoh) (Paraiba is for macho man, even women are macho”. So goes a song.

I like it here in Sao Paulo. Even though my parents came from the Northeast, I’ve never set foot there. I intend to travel around there someday; people say the beaches are great, I digress.

Anyway, migration to the South has been so common that we call Mineiros (miNAYrooz) (people born in Minas Gerais (MEEnaz zheddEYEZ), “Baianos cansados”, tired Baianos, Baiano (buyUNG-noo) is a person born in Bahia. Since Minas Gerais is midway between Sao Paulo and Bahia, the expression was coined. I guess Cariocas (Rio de Janeiro-born)  are baianos cansados, too, but they love the beach, so they took a different route. Joking aside, the fact is this internal migration is good as long as it is not totally uncontrolled.

At any rate, I don’t believe everybody should embrace the capitalist ideal. Capitalism is good, consumerism is good, they force humans to evolve, but I know people can live without it, just look at the Indians in the Amazon and the aborigines in many places. They don’t starve, they have fulfilling lives, they enjoy themselves as much as a person with plenty of material things. And they can’t miss what they never had.

Capitalism makes you think if you don’t have a lot of stuff, you are poor and suffering. But that’s not true; I know plenty of slum dwellers who are very happy and lots of rich people who are always unhappy. Many people are not ambitious, so let them lead their simple lives. We don’t need to keep increasing the number of consumers exponentially, and Bolsa Familia is helping control this influx. Hooray for that! Let the ambitious keep coming, not people who are coming because of starvation. But I guess the ambitious could stay there and move it up as well, or down, depending on whether you think defining yourself as a big consumer is a good thing. I love consuming, but I was brainwashed by society as well, I’m just another victim, even though I do believe capitalism can bring advances like no other system, but the price you pay for that is constant worry.

So worry and consume, or don’t worry and be happy, whatever makes your world go round.

Author: Joe da Silva

Women in Brazil Beware!

“In Brazil a woman gets hit or beaten up every 15 seconds. As long as the hitting or beating up takes places at home, people think it is not that serious.”

juiza-vanessa-ribeiro-mateusThose are the words of a beautiful judge, Vanessa Ribeiro Mateus, who just took office as head of Sao Paulo State’s judicial branch in charge of domestic violence against women. Vanessa is married, 33, has no children, and was born in Santos, a city in Sao Paulo’s seaside. She is the first woman to occupy such an important position in Brazil.

The special branch is the only one that can provide women with everything the law requires: psychological help, social workers, a place for children, women’s shelters, etc. The law in question is called Maria da Penha, to honor a battered woman who got paraplegic, read more about it here.

The branch allows the same judge to handle both the civil and the criminal case. They can keep husbands from seeing their children; provide separation from bed and board, refer women to NGOs, etc. Unfortunately, most women do not seek help when they are being beaten up by their husbands. They themselves think it is okay to get hit around every now and then; it has become part of the culture itself, but luckily, this culture is changing, not only because of the law, but also because Brazilians are being made aware that it is not okay to hit women and children.

Many people from several countries and cultures think it is okay to hit the weaker, I’ve never thought so. I am against hitting women and children. I know many will go against me on this issue, they’ll find reasons to justify hitting children, even in the bible: “spare the rod, spoil the child“. But I think children learn to be violent from their parents. I’ve never hit mine and he’s great.

There is an expression in Brazil, “Ele bate, mas é trabalhador” (Eli bahti, maiZEH traballyadOR). “He hits, but he is hardworking (a good provider). Not only do women use that expression often, but their family, friends and lots of people around them use that as well. So there is kind of an idea that if a man is a good provider, he can hit his children and wife. I believe Brazil is not the only country with that kind of culture, but my purpose here is to talk about Brazil. Because of this philosophy, among others, women won’t report their beating husbands. They are afraid they’ll get stuck with their children with no one to take care of them and so they choose to put up with it.

Therefore, they are willing victims as well because they don’t think they can be successful in life on their own, they need a man to take care of them. Many that get hit think like that. They get into a psychological cul-de-sac because of a total lack of self esteem that gets worse every year they stay in the relationship.

I’d say most people in Sao Paulo think it is okay to hit a child to make them obey, or for their own good, etc. And women talk too much and irritate men and they should be put in their places. People who think like that should be living in a cave, but I hear that every day. I was hit by a woman once, and I showed her I could beat her up, but didn’t, I just held her and kept her from hitting me and made it very clear I could beat her up, but I chose not to. This woman is what Brazilian’s call “mulher de malandro” (moollier di mahLUNGdroo). A mulher de malandro is a woman who teases men, nags them no end and practically begs to be hit. Or at least, that’s what many men say about women who won’t do anything about it if hit. And of course, there are those who are secretly into S&M and will in fact pick up a fight to hit and get hit. They find it exciting, that’s the case of the woman I mentioned.

And there are women called “Amelia” (amEHlia), they are called so because of a very old song, lyrics and mp3 here.

Amelia is regarded as a woman who will accept a man no matter his circumstances. She won’t go away just because he has no money or is going through hard times, etc. But it took on the meaning of a woman who will stay with a man no matter how much crap he puts her through. So, it is common for a woman to say to another she is an Amelia because she will stay with a man even though she is mistreated every single day. And a man will call women who put up with their crap Amelia, too.

Galinha (gaLING-ya) is a slut, but now they call guys galinha, too. So galinha (chicken) is not associated with cowardly behavior as it is in the English-speaking countries. Here a chicken is called “bunda molde” (bOONGda mAWli), (soft ass). Anyway, some men are regarded as “corno manso” (kORnoo MUN-soo), a guy who stays with a woman even though she cheats on him all the time. They are called “manso” “tame”; because they apparently know their wives are cheating on them and won’t do anything about it. But until recently, a guy could beat up a woman and allege she was cheating on him and practically nothing would happen to him because authorities called beating up or killing a woman under those circumstances “legitima defesa da honra” (lezhEEtima defEza da ONG-ha), legitimate defense of the honor, in other words, you have the right to beat up or kill a woman if she is cheating on you. But things are changing and it is very hard to get away with murder by claiming that now.

Anyway, I think it is a cowardly act to take advantage of the weak, and I know many women will say, “Hey, don’t call me weak!” The fact is, physically, most women can’t beat up a man. I’m not talking about intellectuality or anything like that here, I’m talking about physicality. And I know martial arts, so for a woman to beat me up, it would be very hard anyway, even if I weren’t usually stronger.

A lot of guys hit women because of a lack of self esteem. Why don’t they try to beat someone their own size? They’d get whipped if they tried, so they think it is nice to be the big guy somewhere. Many of them beat their family up when they are drunk and then get really sweet the following day to make up for it.

I think an opponent has to be strong enough to give me glory by defeating them. What’s the point of beating someone who doesn’t deserve the name of adversary? But I guess men in Brazil hit women and children because they can. The same way a dog licks his balls, because he can. Some men have fast hands, in other words, they hit pretty fast if the child or woman doesn’t do what he wants, democracy, outside the walls of their home, not inside.

So I sure hope that beautiful judge and the law in general put a lot of guys in prison to change this aspect of our culture forever, and good riddance to it.

Author: Joe da Silva

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