What makes a good single woman?

Traditionally, that answer was easy. A good single woman was a virgin who covers up but has fiery eyes that can ignite a man with passion and wide hips as a show of her empregnability. This cow like view of a woman is generally (but not everywhere) considered outdated. But still in most countries there are double standards for how men / women should behave in order to be considered “good”. In too many cultures a woman is thought less respectful if she wears too much make-up, too short a dress, drinks too much, shags too many or a random combination the previous factors.

I have a good friend who had shagged 50 men by the age of 28 and was not embarrassed to say it. And no, that wasn’t me. For her, sex was just fun and uncomplicated and something to do. Does that make her less of a good woman? I later saw her in a long-term relationship: always faithful, impeccable house, amazing food, supportive to her man. But surely somewhere in there there was the pontential for betrayal, some of you may be thinking. I would say just as much as for a traditionally “good woman”, because my friend knew the opposite gender and their ways well enough to dodge idiots and liers and fraudsters, and also because she chose her man among many others in full knowledge.

The worth of a woman, or of a man for that matter, can be better judged by:

– from what depths does your laughter come when you are with her?

– is she there for her family and friends?

– is she responsible with work and children and animals?

– does she respect herself above all things and no matter what obstacles she faces?

– does she get back up and keep up a good fight after she’s been hurt?

– is she loving and caring without being weak?

– does she express fear or positivism most of the time? Good vibes or bad vibes?

– does she see you for who you are and love you anyway?

If so, she is a good woman. If not, maybe she is less so. Regardless of how many men she slept or did not sleep with. Regardless of the length of the dress she is wearing now.

Worthiness is not measured by the following of rules. Especially not by the following of your rules. Worthiness is something that is further within. A moral quality that is immaterial in nature.

We’re going backwards so fast!

So this is how the world has gone through phases of utter idiocy in the past.

The U.K. has just voted a ridiculous vote, a break it all vote, break the EU, break the world economy, break most of all its own financial well-being, break its modernity, but worse, break its “United” as well. The HSBC is moving its headquarters to France and many will follow. This country tumbles back into the dark ages. Because people were playing a parade.

There’s that blond guy in the US, Trump of an elephant, also being voted in what is most likely a defiance of the people against the establishment. But a dumb one cos it’s a shoot in the foot. Reminds me when the Italians  voted Cicciolina the porn start for senator, it was an act of defiance, but a cool one and at least a few hundred men managed to touch her naked breasts mid street for it, nobody wants to touch anything of Trump.

The Arab Spring was also a cry against the politicians. And against the lack of choices young people have in countries where only old people have access to decent jobs. But again, even amongst cries in streets and demonstrations and unrest, there was logic, there was a desire for something better. Here in the UK there’s just nostalgia for the past. In the country that still hasn’t figured out how taps work. In the country that does not make highways so as to preserve warehouses from the XVIIIs. It’s a country that does not like change and wants its country back. Of afternoon tea, scones with jam, and local packed beer pubs. Good luck with that.

And then there’s the songs, the rap songs in the US, ever more eroding of women. And the growing rape culture. A disrespect for women like I have never seen. Like I did not see when I visited Iran! And so many sad women, with little self-esteem. After all our conquests! 

This whole thing reminds me of two recent movies – “Agora” and “The Physician”. Both are about the fall of all the acquisitions of enlightenment at the hands of ignorant fundamentalists. It happened in the II century in Europe, when scientists were condemned by the rising of Christianity to the places of political power (Agora) and it happened before the XI century in Arab countries, when fundamentalist Muslims destroyed the places of study and maths (The Physician). History has many a times walked backwards and, after 60 solid years of progression in the West, it seems like we want that too, we’ve had too much of a good thing.

Truth be told that that good thing was obtained at the cost of a lot of going backwards in other countries. The US backing fundamentalists minorities in Saudi Arabia and other Arab counties for the sake of oil power has been one major reason, I think, for the erosion of the quality of life in so many places. In Iran itself women used to wear their hair uncovered in the 70s!

Thing is, society cannot evolve alone, a group cannot grow at the cost of others. At some point those others are going to grow large enough and decapitate the queen. Wasn’t that what the rise of Communism was about too? That’s what we learn again and again and somehow we always forget again and again. Why do we forget? Because a new generation comes about which bares no notice of the paths trotted before and thinks they know better. In the UK it’s the old, who were brought up in post-war peace and think they know it all, think savagery does not exist here and cannot come from them. Right. Whenever one group of people deems itself superior to others, big shit happens and they do, so much so they don’t get their taps checked – what could the rest of the world possibly know better?

I never dreamed I’d witness times as these. Maybe the Queen will come out of her shelter and stop this madness already. Say “Dudes, I don’t want to loose Scotland and the Northern Ireland over which so much blood and tears have been spilled, so we’re staying in the EU and enough talk”. That could work, right?

The EU did need a wake up call

Maybe this BRexit thing is not such a bad thing after all. Maybe it will be a wake up call for the EU. We have seen the EU abuse its power since 2008. In fact, we have seen Germany take on too dictating a role, imposing inconceivable pain on Greece and Portugal for the sake of the improvement of its own exports, oh the money they made off of our unemployment, interest, and suffering. Any economist in the world (and I studied plenty of that) knows you do not come out of crises by raising taxes and creating unemployment, you come out of crises by lowering taxes and doing structural changes that even out the imbalances of the economy, such as thinning governmental institutions or freeing labour markets. But no, the solution was “they misbehaved, they must be punished”. And blindly and purpouselessly they bled them. The EU replaced itself to elected governments to impose the law of idiocy. Do you want to be part of that EU? I don’t. I want to be part of a EU that puts people first, that solves problems together and that listens to the votes of the people. Now if this referendum had happened in Greece or Portugal or Malta or Romania, noone would care. But the UK is one of the three pillars of the EU. They were dumb enough to let it fall out of the Euro in 1993 and regretted it ever since, they will do what it takes now to make a EU where Europeans might actually want to belong. And it is one that is not a puppy in the hands of Merkel.

Sad day for Europe

So racism and xenophobia are prevalent in England and now it’s been proven. To tell you the truth, it’s no surprise, we could see it behind the smirks, behind the jokes of a few. For example

– A former colleague used to ask me where I live, I’d say Bermondsey St, he’d say ah Elephant and Castle. This happened a few times. Idiot.

– Or the old academic lady, so badly dressed thinking she was so posh, who told me with an English smile how some group was “all proper British, or should I say proper European given our company today, you know no Chinese”.

– Or a friend who used to wonder if we should close the borders so as to preserve a dying culture. And that was a friend of mine who would never call himself the first words of this post. Culture doesn’t die, it evolves, sooner or later into something better than it was.

– My former boss, who was otherwise totally adorable, used to gloat at how there have never been government coups or revolutions here, like we had in Portugal in 74. He’d say this often, until I told him in Portugal there are no terrorists and have never been, no one feels they need to blow themselves up in order to be heard.

It’s ok, I didn’t want to be here anyway, it’s my company that insists, and I was on my way out before today already.

I think the EU itself will crumble. Now Denmark will want a referendum too. I have lived there 20 years ago. They would have voted out back then already. For the same reasons. And many other countries would too. Which is why referendums have always been discussed and avoided in so many countries.

Truth is, like my good friend from Venezuela was saying, Europe is racist and xenophobist. It’s just how it is. Even Portugal feels itself slightly embarrassed in front of other Europeans and feels underlying superior to non-Europeans. Even I have had thoughts that I combat. We are all idiots. Thing is some of us combat our idiocy more than others. But we are all idiots. Like my same friend says “we are all equal”! We are all here doing our best for our children and for our dreams and we all have have strengths and weaknesses that bring us up and down in history and in life, but no one is inherently above or below.

To all my English and Scottish friends who have been so kind to me for 11 years, please forgive my venting about your fellow countrymen. I made an effort to stay quiet and thankful all this time, but today, in front of evidence, the water filled the vase.

My biggest mistake? All my savings are in pounds. Argh

Poetry / lyrics from Portugal

“The legend of a gypsy woman

Asleep out in the open

Who missed the caravan

For following her thought.

There are days she hovers 

Along the paths of the world

There are days she rolls

Around the fangs of time.

Holds the legend that the gipsy

Along the path she had trawled

A shawl had lost

And a bump had brought it.

Shaking the dust and the hurt

As if colour could awaken

In a hug he danced with her

Before time would steal her away.
Only time rolls our skirt,

Only time makes us dance,

Confuses our steps in the sand,

Changes the course of sea water.
In the silence they could barely be heard

Dancing barefoot on the sand

In an almost cold night

The moon was almost full.

And so they could tare darkness

Or escape loneliness

They tied tired bodies

On the vague shadow of the floor.

When the sun spills the day

The shawl laid forgotten

And the steps of the gipsy woman

The wind had already hidden.

Remained alone the bump

Rescuing an illusion

His soul gagged in the palm of his hand”.
Mafalda Veiga, “A lenda de uma cigana”

I dream of a day

I dream of a day when everyone gets the same respect, regardless of the size of their dress, the cover of their bodies, the colour of their skin, the size of their purse, the education they manage to get, their ancestry, their career choices, their sexual preferences, or whether they choose to conform with the ways of their immediate circle or to find their own path. A day when people get respect merely for existing as a fellow human.