How men talk to women

I have noticed when it comes to approaching women; most men are not like me; they have far more confidence. I’ve seen men just walk up to a beautiful woman and start up a conversation and immediately she is interested; within minutes and it’s always amazing; I am at awe at something I find so difficult. But I also notice some men are extremely aggressive when it comes to approaching woman; particularly in public and it always bothered me. There is this 7-11 that I go to every morning on my way to work and the clerks are all young attractive women; which is a rarity when you go to 7-11. Anyways I am always nice to them and they are polite to me; like you know how you are supposed to act in public. One morning I was there and some guys walked in; I think to replenish the drinks. They went past the clerk and said something like “Hey babygirl” or Hey Sweetheart” She kind of laughed and said hi. She then gave me this look like she had heard all of this before and wasn’t too happy. She looked at me said “Not this again” I responded with ” I guess it’s going to be a long day”. I tried to make a joke of it and left realizing it wasn’t funny.
They have to put with this shit everyday; all they are trying to do is do their jobs and get a paycheck; not be harassed by every random dude that walks into the store. I mean the men weren’t overtly rude but it really helped me to see the subtle way men talk to women; always in a demeaning way. Did this man think by calling someone babygirl; she would give out her phone number? Did the men see it as a compliment because she giggled and didn’t respond back angrily. I don’t know why this bothers as a man but it does. So while I am shy; I’d rather not know how to approach women than to harass them and make them uncomfortable. I’d rather see women as friends with personalities and feelings than see them objects. I do my best everyday to treat people with respect and it hurts to know that women get harassed so much; maybe women I know and that really upsets me. So I can’t control how other men act; I can only be aware of my behavior and hopefully be an example.
Thanks for listening
Dave

Doing Church Mission Trips (ASP)

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When I was younger I spent a lot of my time in my church community; I grew to really care about the people there; and they showed me a lot of love. I remember that not only did we have activities at church but we also went on trips; retreats; ski trips; trips the mountains; but the trips that were the most important to me was the Appalachian Service Project ( ASP). This was a mission trip where the church would travel to remote areas in Appalachian areas and help repair homes that were damaged in impoverished communities; I went on ASP about 2 times when I was about 17 or 18. I grew up in a community that was a bubble; most people were well off and I know for me; I wasn’t exposed to extreme poverty; I had never traveled much and had never been to the mountains. I was told we would be there for about a week; I was nervous because I hadn’t been that far away for so long without my family before; I sat on the bus in the parking wondering if this was a good idea. My health problems were starting then but I didn’t tell anyone; my stomach hurt really bad and I just felt uncomfortable. I was worried that everything I would eat would make me sick and I couldn’t run home for comfort; once that bus left; it was out my hands. It could have been nerves as well but I felt like this on most trips with the group; I chose to stay silent because I didn’t want anyone to worry. I remember getting there and we arrived at a high school; but it was much smaller than the one I had gone to and it was in the middle of A valley; a really small town; with a burger king, I think; and a little hardware store; I think there was a gas station next to the school; that was it. I was concerned because we slept in a gym and the facilities weren’t great. I was uncomfortable about sleeping on the floor with all of these people in a gym but I tried to be positive. I told myself that I was here to help a needy family and that i was willing to make a sacrifice; I felt i was doing a good thing. It took some time to get adjusted but eventually I did and the next day; we started to go to the home to help repair it. I was so embarrassed because I knew nothing about tools or building anything; I was clumsy and I never felt good enough compared to the rest of them; I didn’t fit. Most of the time I just kept to myself because I guess I was anxious. But people were nice and I never felt pushed aside; people understood that I struggled. The two trips may be merging together but I remember being on a roof and it was so hot; the midday sun was just burning; I was laying tar or something. I was just struggling; couldn’t hammer a nail to save my life; coordination was terrible but all that aside I was happy that I was there in the first place and I could be of help. It was a lot of hard work and at the end of the day I was exhausted; as was everyone else; just so sore and all I could do was sit down. But the working was not the highlight of the trip; the highlight was to meet the families; to know we were making a difference; doing what God would wanted us to do; we were supporting the families and each other; it was beautiful. I felt God spoke to me on those trips; I remember one of the families had a little girl; she was maybe 5 or 6; she was so friendly and was always interested in what we were doing; she was deaf. And when I heard her family talk about their situation; something in me changed. They talked about how they had no programs in school for the deaf; none; which coming from a wealthy county was something I had never even thought of; I always thought the deaf had schools to go to. Since they couldn’t place her in a deaf program; they placed her a special education program; which saddened me; because to me she seemed like any other little girl; aside from that fact that she couldn’t hear. When I was a kid I was in special education so something about that affected me; and here I am here 20 years later working to get a degree in the disability field; I am believer that everything happens for a reason in God’s timeline. There was another family we visited; actually it was two families. One family had two sons that I think had down syndrome; they were forced to live in the adjacent house ( which was right next to a railroad track); the family told the sons that if they crossed into the property they would be shot; I was shocked. We walked into their house ( the brothers) and you could tell they had difficulties taken care of themselves; there was trash and food everywhere; and you could tell life was difficult; it broke my heart; it really did. There is a reason I saw that; God was speaking to me; preparing me to make a difference in a disabled person’s life; it was one of those life changing moments where you now knew your purpose. Those trips meant a lot to me; the bonds I made with my friends; doing God’s work; feeling of use; helping families and seeing the smiles on their faces when we finished; I was honored to be a part of those trips. I later recalled those memories in front of the congregation; and I was nervous wreck; I had trouble fully explaining everything I was thinking and feeling at the time; so this is my chance 20 years later to say exactly how I felt. I hope someday I can go on another mission trip as an adult; and see young kids make a difference in other’s lives; just like we did. It is such a blessing that ASP exists; for everyone involved. Someone once told me that God put on these earth to help others and that couldn’t be more true.

 

Note- I am the kid with the Dare T-shirt

The fear of Bilinguals

I am Cuban American and very proud of it; I am actually first generation Cuban American; which means I was the first of the generation to born in this country; I am proud of the culture; I am proud to be speak Spanish; it is something I hold close to my heart; especially the language; I taught myself Spanish to grow a better understanding of heritage. My mother is American so Spanish was not spoken in the home growing up, but when we visited my Grandparents ( which was a few times a week); Spanish was spoken because my Grandmother could not speak English; my father or grandfather had to be around to translate. For me I missed half of the conversation but it didn’t bother me; I got used to it. In fact I loved the way it sounded and was jealous I couldn’t speak it myself; they seemed to do it with such ease ( well obviously since it was their first language)  The only confusion I had was the fact that all the other people I heard speak Spanish looked much different than my family; I hadn’t yet realized that Latinos come in all shades          ( including me!)  So as a kid I learned that people had a right to speak whatever language they wanted; and no one had a right to force them to speak English. I learned not to feel threatened when another people spoke another language than me; it’s just an incentive to learn a new language ( you should never stop exploring different cultures)  So when I attempted to learn Spanish; I picked up on the accent well; mimicking how I heard my father and grandparents spoke; I am not perfect but I try to get the accent as authentic as possible. I am proud I taught myself the Spanish I know; it’s an incredible feeling to be able to speak another language; it’s like having a key; the ability to communicate with another person who can’t speak English.  But I found a few things frustrating; one was that since I didn’t look like the majority of people that spoke Spanish fluently; I was often ignored when I tried  to converse in Spanish; it hurt because like them; I was trying to better myself and learn a new language and they  were looking at my appearance; making assumptions; not realizing I have Hispanic heritage. I have talked to few other people like me and they run into the same problem. FYI: Hispanic isn’t a race.  Another problem I ran into was that non-speakers seemed to show great annoyance when you are conversing with someone in Spanish in front of them; I think they think you are talking about them when in reality you are practicing a language.  It’s interesting we seem to one of the few Western Societies ( The US) where there is such a disdain for those who speak different languages in public; I think a lot of it is based on ignorance and racism ( seems to go hand in hand). And most of the anger come from White Anglos who have trouble accepting anyone who isn’t exactly like them. In a lot of countries; learning a second language is a requirement;  but oh no not here.  We have a long history of hating immigrants from all cultures; it is a sad fact about the history of this country.  I was prompted to write this blog after reading about a customer in New York berating a waiter who spoke Spanish to a customer; threatening to deport the customer since in his ignorant mind; the customer was an illegal immigrant. Yes all Spanish speakers who dare to speak their language must be illegal, aliens, right? What kind of racist bullshit is that?  You know, this is a free country and they and I and anyone else can speak whatever the hell language we want to speak. If you don’t like; ignore it; or walk out if you are so upset. I would say to that guy ‘ Trying going to Korea for a few weeks and see if you can be fluent”  How would you feel if you walked into a restaurant in France and they demand you speak French and then accuse you of being in the country illegally; you’d throw a fit.  So shut up finish your meal in silence and walk out. I just don’t understand this hatred of immigrants; when this country was built on immigrants; escaping persecution.   This is something that really gets to be; being bilingual is a gift. You should be ashamed to only speak one language; not shame others. You should ashamed of being so ignorant to be mad at someone for speaking another language.  I am just glad someone called this jackass out on his shit; what a pendejo!

 

 

Cyber bullying and Autism

I just learned about a whole internet meme involving a community of trolls ( hundreds of them) simultaneously cyber bullying an Autistic man; forcing him to humiliate himself in various ways; including having women pretend to be interested and upload phone calls and text messages etc. They made YouTube videos taunting him; goading to act in more inappropriate ways; there are countless videos and a few documentaries based on all his uploads; the man is obviously Autistic and mentions it quite a bit; so it’s not a secret. I want to help those who have Autism and this breaks my heart. So when we talk about Autism; we forget the dangers and pitfalls that Autistic face when they use social media. We think everyone is sensitive when in reality there is a whole other side who could give a shit about anyone’s feelings including those who are disabled. And they won’t quit because they love to see their reaction. Even if that person takes their life; the bullying won’t end. I have a very angry reaction to people like that and I feel for anyone that is their victim. It a sad cold world out there and its up to people who understand and care about the disabled to protect them from cold hearted soulless bullies that would torment someone who isn’t aware of how their behavior can have negative consequences. Just watching clips of this man made really upset. I could on but I won’t.

Porngraphy is destructive

porn-cellphone

For many years I struggled with watching pornography; it is everywhere these days; you can’t escape it. There are thousand of free porn sites that anyone ( including those that are minors) can access without any age restrictions; and it isn’t just vanilla porn; it’s hardcore pornography; anything you can think of within legal limits is available mostly for free online. It all too easy to become addicted.  And if it isn’t pornography; it’s sensual videos on YouTube ( a lot female youtubers tend to flaunt their sexuality; mostly to attract male viewers) or it’s half naked girls on Instagram or any other social media; just a never ending stream of lust. It almost makes you sick; you see women as objects; you don’t care about their brains and what they have to say; it’s about their bodies.  I used to use a metaphor for it; it’s like putting a drug addict in a room and there is a constant stream of free drugs; anything he wants; anytime of day; free of charge.   I started thinking to myself; what is this doing to my mind? How is this affecting the way I view women.   How do I see myself seeing this endless stream of scantily clad woman all day everyday; and not real women mind you; but pixels and videos; not reality.?  I think it got to the point where I couldn’t look women in the face because I felt so much shame at seeing women degraded and abused on a daily basis. I mean how can you relate and have relationships with women when you see them as objects; spit on, kicked, called names, in pain while the crew and cameramen around them laugh at their expense?  Something inside of  me started feeling hurt by watching this; I was hurt for these women.  A thought came to me that at one point they were all little girls; did they dream that one day they’d be having sex on camera for millions to see; to be abused on screen; at risk for contracting AIDS and other diseases; having their family and friends possibly find out about their porn acting and be ostracized ( I read about one young girl who took her own life because a college classmate found her porn audition video; heartbreaking), having those behind the camera making twice as much while the pornstars take all the risks. Is money worth losing your soul over?  But something amazing happened when I stopped looking at pornography so much; I automatically respected women more; I saw them less as objects and more as human beings worthy of my respect and admiration. I want to connect with women; I want to relate them; I want to understand women because I felt so bad about watching all of this garbage over the years.  It lead me other unhealthy behaviors that I regret; porn  is sort of like the gateway drug to other things.  For me personally when I turned my life to God; it’s as if he freed me from that addiction.  I felt less of a need to look at it because I saw it as ugly and against the kind of life that Jesus would want to me to lead.. I don’t want to preach or demand that porn be banned; because that will never happen. Adults have a legal right to do whatever the hell they want to do but this is something I have wanted to write about for a long time. I want people to see how destructive porn is; how many lives it has ruined; suicides; drug overdoses; aids, ; murders; a huge rate of death within the adult film industry and none of that matters to the pornographer because there will always a cute 18 year girl right out of high school; ignorant to the world that they can use; abuse and throw out like yesterday’s garbage; it’s heartbreaking. I mean this is an industry that refuses to have their workers wears condoms; in this day and age where there is still no cure for AIDS and the rest of us have to use condoms to protect ourselves from disease; the porn industry only cares about money and will put performers at risk to line their greedy pockets; they don’t care who dies as a result of their wickedness. So I for one chose to stay away from pornography; I want a healthy relationship with a woman; I want to feel better about myself. I don’t want to contribute to the abuse and degradation of women; I have respect for them and have many female friends; they are more than objects; they are people I care about it. So I hope I have been honest in this post; this was difficult to write but I feel I needed to say it.

As always, Thank for listening

Dave

Treating the disabled with Respect

I want to preface this blog by saying I am not currently working in the disability field; I don’t have a degree; I’m not an author, a medical professional; I myself have disabilities but have never been a caretaker.  But I am in school learning about developmental disabilities and I am passionate about those who have challenges and struggles; I want to help.  I hope to get my degree very soon and find a job in the helping field; where I can make a difference in the lives of the disabled. Right now I am an internship where supporter workers bring their clients; we have classes, activities, and a lot of the time they sit around and play board games or arts and crafts; they have a lot of fun; it doesn’t always feel productive though and find myself getting frustrated at those working for the agency; never with the clients.  I found immediately that I have knack for relating to the clients; I joke with them; I help with classes and just enjoy their company; we are always happy to see each other.   I am keenly aware of my tone of voice and how I come across to them.  I try really hard to relate to them on their level and talk to them like I would anyone else; obviously you set boundaries; but for the most part I treat them no differently than the staff; which may or may not be a problem. But I think it’s important to treat the disabled as you would want to be treated; because I have disabilities I can sense when someone is talking down to me; they may speak slower because they think I can’t understand; what they don’t realize is my hearing isn’t great.  They may give me a funny look while they are walking by me. Some I think have mistaken me for a client which to be honest is pretty insulting; maybe I shouldn’t be insulted but it’s how I feel. And a lot of times people are just rude and dismissive; not just towards me but to another worker who has disabilities as well. I can tell that they talk down to her; or get annoyed with her easily; and she just takes it in stride but it upsets me. I was listening to a supporter worker with her client; asking the same question in a voice that you would talk to a toddle in and I all of sudden figured out the word I was thinking of : patronizing.  It isn’t rudeness per see but a condescending attitude that these workers have; as if the clients are children; their children.  I hear workers bark orders sometimes; SIT DOWN!!  WHAT DO YOU WANT TO DO TODAY, COME ON!!” and they repeat they same question over and over. What I love the most is that when a client may say or talk about something that the worker doesn’t understand ( it seems that is a lot that the workers don’t understand) they always reply in this patronizing tone; ooook and then walk away.  Damn, does that shit get on my nerves.  For me personally, I try to probe. What does the client mean by that?  If he is talking about a movie or a song I don’t understand; I actually google so I can have an idea of what they are saying. I try to meet  themon their level. They aren’t kids; they are grown ass adults and I treat them as such. Hell, I’ve even gotten the oook response at times I just shake my head at their ignorance.   I know what it’s liked to be talked down and I would never do that to anyone else. Sometimes I wish only disabled people worked in this field because they seem to be the only ones who truly understand; they can reach out to this community without feeling superior.   I really feel I can do this and frankly I feel it’s unfair that these people have these jobs when they don’t how to properly communication with those who have developmental disabilities.  I am glad that I am seeing this; I know exactly what not to do when I am in this field; so I guess I’m grateful for that

Thoughts on the #metoo movement

There has been a lot of talk about the #metoo movement on social media, I applaud women for being so brave to share their painful stories and to call out men who sexually harass and assault women. It’s about time that we started talking about these issues and hopefully this can start the healing process for so many women who have been abused by the men in their lives. As a man, it hurt me deeply to see so many of my female friends post #metoo statuses. I have known a lot of wonderful women in my life who I care about and who were there for me in my toughest days. In fact, my most meaningful friendships have been with women. So when I realized that at some point, most of them experienced some form of harassment, I couldn’t help but angry at my fellow men for behaving this way. When women talk; I tend to listen. I don’t interrupt them or contradict their stories, I listen. So reading articles about #metoo from women has been truly heartbreaking. But I think people fail to see that the #metoo movement isn’t about just women but as men as well. I think that it’s not only important for women to share their stories but its just as important for men to listen and to show their support for the women in our lives. We can’t change our behavior without listening to what women have to say. And we as men shouldn’t be afraid to call out men who harass and objectify women. There have been times in my life where I didn’t always value women; I am man enough to admit that. I laughed at lewd jokes, I stayed silent when I should have spoken out, I saw women as objects and that was wrong. I am trying my hardest to become a better man. A man who appreciates and respects women; a man who values my friendships with women. ( because they have been important). I sometimes feel as A guy, it is not my place to speak and that I should step back and let the women have their say. But I have never been one to stand by and stay silent when I see anyone being treated with such disrespect. I hope we can get to the point where he don’t need a #metoo movement. A time where can all treat each other with respect and most importantly treat each other as equals. I stand with women everywhere you have my support; continue being brave and speaking your truth. You have a friend in me.

A matriarchal society?

Are we becoming more a matriarchal society where women play a more prominent role and are treated with the respect they deserve?. Where women are treated as equals and we become a society where sensitivity is an asset and we solve our problems diplomatically. I hope so because patriarchy doesn’t serve anyone well. Not only does it hurt women but it hurts us men as well. I for one, welcome matriarchy, we all need it. So to the women, letting you know you always have my support and admiration. Dave

 

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Martin Luther King: My hero

Today is Martin Luther King day and I thought it would be a perfect time to talk about one of my heroes; someone who is very high up on the list of what it means to be a great leader. I admire Martin Luther King will all of my heart because he stood against racist hatred, he stood for love, peace and forgiveness. He died for the cause of racial harmony; so we could love each other and not just tolerate our differences; but embrace them. I think these are values that we all should have; the kinds of values we should be teaching our children; to accept others without question.

I get very emotional when talking about men like Martin Luther King. When I was younger, I had a lot of emotional issues and was kept in special ed classes. I was different then most kids and because of that I was singled out. I wasn’t singled by anything I said or did but I was singled out but because I was in the small class with the weird kids . I had curly hair and big glasses and I had a speech impediment so I was picked on mercilessly and the teachers didn’t do a damn thing about it. I think was about 9 or 10, I found this book in the library about Martin Luther King and the Civil Rights movement. We were not learning this in school and no one prompted me to read it. I remember reading about how black people were forced to drinking out of separate water fountains and use separate toilets. I read about white policemen setting police dogs on children and spraying them with water hoses. It didn’t make sense to me, because they were black they didn’t have the same rights?. Why was this allowed to happen?. How could someone hate another person for something as absurd as the color of their skin; what difference does that make? It really broke my heart to know people had been treated this way and I just didn’t understand it. But then I read about Martin Luther King who marched for black’s rights, he went to jail simply because he was protesting, he spoke at the National Mall in DC ((My hometown) about how blacks were treated in the south. I thought to myself something must be wrong with some white people ( even though I was one) because they didn’t know who to handle anyone who was different from them.

After I read about civil rights, I then looked at myself and how I was being treated unfairly by people simply because I was different. I could relate in some way to the plight of blacks and anyone else who had been oppressed. I knew what it was like to be hated and to feel like no one cared. I was pushed around and none of it made any sense. So for me someone like Martin Luther King is someone who stood up for someone like me. He was a person who fought against injustices and tried to bring love into this world. I started to think deeply about why those kids behaved the way they did. The only thing I could come up with is that their parents never taught them to accept those who were different from them. Even at that age I could see that parents share a lot of the blame in hate and discrimination. Racism is not something we are born with; it is taught. It is a priority that parents teach their children at a young age to accept other’s differences and to treat each other with respect. Can you imagine if every parents took the time to say to Johnny: I know Carlos may look different and he has an accent but I don’t want to treat him any differently; he is no different than you, he is your equal. If everyone taught those values to their children, the world would be a much better place. So I want take the time to personally thank Dr King for dying for the causes of freedom and racial harmony. Thank you for standing up for what is right and teaching us to love each other. Please be kind to each other today; and remember the message of love that Dr King gave to us. Peace love and harmony

DaveUS President Lyndon Johnson (l) shakes hands with