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4 Things That We Should Not Normalize in the “New Normal”

Feature ⬝ Real Jhon Castillon


Even before all the fuss about this so called new normal, which is coined recently due to the ongoing global pandemic that has dramatically changed the course of everyone’s “normal” lives, there are certain things that we should have never normalized in the first place.


These norms that have been ingrained in our culture – often taught to us when we were still young totally naïve of the world around us, and the baby boomers once ruled the world – have done more harm than good especially towards the younger generation or the generation that precedes them. Norms that everyone think are deem tolerable only to find out, thanks to the power of social media and it’s plethora of users or “influencers” who are fortified with a handful of knowledge about an enormous amount of pressing issues and have dared to challenge the status quo, that these norms are not after all acceptable. That they too have their own fair share of problematic roots that are open for critical and thorough discussion.


Though challenging what has been normalized for far too long requires a lot of hard work, particularly from the receiving end which is the Millennials and Generation Z (Gen Z), whether we like it or not, the only way to go is to move forward. But of course, we’re not doing this without putting up a fight. 

We’ve rounded up some of the things that we should no longer normalize now that we’re in the new normal. Some of these realizations were borne out of what we’ve encountered in social media during the last four months when all of us were forced to stay home to combat the spread of COVID-19.


FILIPINO TIME

There’s nothing more annoying than going to the event early only for it to start an hour late. Time is gold and precious, as they say, but definitely not Filipino time.

 

This behavior of starting everything late like it’s a normal thing has long been stapled in Filipino culture and it’s about time we put it to a stop. More than a sign of disrespect, tolerating this behavior shows how we give less value of time. That late is always better than never. But remember, not all the time.


We must gradually start building a culture that respects and values everyone’s time – whether in meetings, events, workshops and any other special occasions. The concept of Filipino time should have left ages ago but here we are.


Always consider not just your time but the time of everyone involved as well. The world does not only revolve around you sis and you have to respect that.


Related: Opinion: Stop Normalizing "Filipino Time", It Ain't Cute


VICTIM-BLAMING

The lockdown imposed by the government has seen an unprecedented increase not just on the number of people who got infected by the deadly virus, but also the number of people who came forward and aired out their #MeToo and #RespetoNaman stories online. For those of you who do not know, these online campaigns serve as everyone’s safe space particularly those who encountered or worse, experienced sexual abuse or harassment.


And as we admire these people for their bravery to come forward after years of keeping it to themselves, unfortunately there are still those who have the guts to invalidate the experiences of these victims. Asking them why it took them so long to speak out and what were they wearing when that incident happened. Seriously? Why is this still up for discussion?


When hearing stories like these, the last thing that you must do is to put the victim on a hot seat. Instead of coming after the victim, why not we go after the person who has made that person’s life a living hell and make that abuser accountable for such actions?


These victims would not put their selves, let alone their families, at risk if they’re just fabricating these allegations. The mere fact that these stories resurface means that they’re happening and we must take an action.


Related: Let’s Talk About Sex, Baby. (Because Your Parents Are Too Scared To Do It)


TOXIC POSITIVITY

As much as we appreciate you showering your friends or colleagues with those empty compliments and “just chill” advice but sometimes, these “uplifting” words do not come in handy – especially when they become a knee-jerk reaction to invalidate your feelings. Instead of giving side remarks, why not hear them out first and understand where they are coming from?


Toxic positivity, in case you didn’t know, refers to making positive or happy remarks out of a toxic or unpleasant situation. An act of “good vibes all the way” that often leads to invalidating someone’s feelings. And this act is often seen or heard all over social media nowadays, with the current political state of the country.

 

We deserve to keep and protect our peace, yes, but not on the expense of others. If confronted by this situation, simply keep your mouth shut and be there for them. Or more so, educate yourselves on how to respond to this situation. The last thing we want to hear is you giving us an unsolicited advice about how you got through with things and you’re sure as hell we can go through with them as well. 


USING OUR INDIGENOUS TRIBES AS “DECORATION”


Our support towards our Indigenous People (IP) should go beyond buying their products and inviting them for cultural presentation in any corporate events. These gestures are just the bare minimum if we are advocating for their rights. You have to know, first and foremost, their stories and cultures.


You can’t just invite them to do shows in your star-studded event just because it is aligned with the motif of the celebration. If they were only there for the show, without any platform for them to showcase the beauty of their culture and share their firsthand experiences of the struggles and abuse they experience under the hands of the state forces and capitalism at large, then it’s purely exploitation and worse, cultural appropriation.


They deserve our utmost respect. And with everything that’s happening in their own ancestral lands, the last place they need to be is to be in the same room with people that only use them for decoration and took them off of their basic rights.


The only time that you can use them for decoration is never. Our IPs deserve so much better.




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