Monday, 16 January 2012

Girls v Boys v Society

Feeling particularly sorry for myself today.
The men vs women debate is probably the oldest and one that's caused the most drama. Within the general argument there are mini ones - does being kicked in the crotch hurt more than labour? Who has to make the first relationship move? WHO'S BETTER AT MARIO KART?! The fact is, gender roles have changed dramatically over time. Back in yesteryear, men and womens' roles were clearly defined; men did the hard labour, were the breadwinners, while women had the children, and were the gossipers. For a long time (and today in some countries) women were not educated, it was deemed a waste of time; sewing and cooking were all we needed to provide for the men. I'm not a feminist at all, (I like my bras too much) so I can appreciate that men had it hard too. Come the war, and without much say in the matter, they were shipped off to fight for their country - something I doubt every male wanted. For a while our men were heroes, and they could boast about it as much as they liked, you couldn't deny the sacrifices they'd made.

Today the argument is different. As we develop technologically, men and women's roles have merged, sometimes reversed. I base this strongly on the developed world, there are places where a more traditional gender divide still stands. Women operate machinery, are educated to high, equal standards. Men can stay at home with the children, while sewing was a job for spinsters, now male fashion designers dominate the industry.

So when it comes down to the argument, you've got to get technical. Make a list of the stereotypical things each gender is saddled with and its safe to say, biologically speaking, women come out on top. Once a month, every month, and I don't even have to finish that sentence and the men are running for the hills. Women endure childbirth - despite the Oscar worthy performances footballers give, labour IS worse than a kick in the balls. As for the relationship argument, that's not genetics, that's something we've created socially, and its down to personality whether or not you make the first move.

I don't know what the future will bring to this argument, but I can't see it changing that much. The fact is, on paper, women have more to 'deal' with than men. We are not superior. Men are not superior. Individuals rise above others but as genders we all face similar difficulties. So next time your girlfriend/sister/friend is complaining of stomach cramps, don't try and compare it to the time 'stevo got me where it hurt' because, no, fuck that. This shit blows.

Friday, 13 January 2012

hurrah and huzzah


Saturday, 7 January 2012


Tonight, I'm going out 'in town' for the first time. I turned 18 on the 5th and because I'm not mental enough to get a fake I.D, have yet to experience the delights of Lincoln's nightlife.
The day after my birthday, someone asked me if I'd gone out the night before. Upon my reply of 'err no I went to Damon's and ate my body weight in ribs' they looked at me with utter contempt, as if I had committed the ultimate sin. I don't understand the infatuation with clubbing, queuing in the cold, finally getting into a sweaty room with drunken, creepy blokes and girls who probably spent hours getting ready, but only managed to get a top on. I would much rather spend an evening in a pub, or a restaurant with friends, relaxing and in close proximity to food. If I'm being brutally honest I'd rather stay home and play the Harry Potter board game, but I've got to leave the house sometime.

So tonight will be interesting, thank the lord we are eating beforehand (have already seen menu so can order promptly) so won't be starving as well as freezing as we wait to enter the club ironically named 'Home' - somewhere I'd rather be.
Scrooging aside, I hope to be pleasantly surprised by tonight, it's for a friend's surprise 18th, so should be a good night. Who knows, I may be drawn in by the bright lights. The repetitive club beats may leave me on a high, as opposed to a low, in a corner, rocking back and forth.

Who knows, one day I too could be this classy... or sassy..or flashy......

Thursday, 5 January 2012

Isn't it nice to look nice?

Why are women penalised so much for wanting to change their bodies?
If a man tried to get fit, went to the gym a lot, sure some may see him as vain but on the whole, there's no questions asked.
As for women, we're constantly bombarded with urgent messages: 'STAY TRUE TO YOURSELF' 'DON'T CHANGE FOR ANYONE!' Erm excuse me but is my desire to have a nice body really such an anti-feminist crime?

I am content with my personality. I like myself, sure, but I couldn't say I was 100% happy about the way I look. No big changes, I don't plan to go under the knife or spend a month eating crackers, but sometime I'd like to do something about 'certain parts'. These changes would make me feel better about myself, make me more confident, and ultimately happier. I see no issue there, do you? While I find it hard to comprehend the pain and expense some go through to achieve a look they want, I also find it hard to find fault. If they want to change their bodies, why shouldn't they? Granted, many of them do it for increased male attention, but if that's their aim in life then who are we to judge?

The phrase 'beauty captures attention, personality captures heart' always amuses me. It proves what we all figured out a long time ago. That, eventually, personality is what shines though, and keeps couples together. But our 'beauty', our physical appearance, is what attracts us in the first place. You could be the nicest girl in the world but god forbid, if you have bad hair, or a wonky nose or dodgy dress sense, it can be hard getting people to notice you.

My mantra: don't worry about worrying! In the animal kingdom those crazy mammals do all sorts to attract mates! If you feel like you want to change something, do it! If it's going to enhance what's really important - your personality. Just don't get hung up. Don't spend hours in front of a mirror fretting, I've done it and it got me nowhere, so I downloaded an app, and now I'm off.

Tuesday, 3 January 2012


This book is marvellous. Sums up my (almost) dream life in words. A hefty read, but worth it. Read it and be pleasantly surprised with how much you enjoy it.

Not particularly what I go to school for

Have you ever seen the film Accepted?
It's a very good film, a comedy, but with a nice underlying message and all that. It's about a boy (Justin Long) who fails to get into any University but can't bear to tell his parents. Long and short of it (watch the film for the bit in the middle) (really, do watch it, Jonah Hill in his early days is brilliant) he ends up creating his own University where the pupils do the teaching and everyone is oh so happy and isn't the world just wonderful.

Entirely unrealistic of course, but the idea is there. School today manages to sap the fun out of everything. If I could explain it visually I would describe an evil looking headmaster with a bag labelled 'joys of life' squeezing out every last drop onto the dirty school hall floor (we've all got one, dust galore) then spitting in it. Because somehow, somehow, whatever you went in to school liking, you ultimately end up hating.

I love to read, absolutely love it. I like to read books, and then when I've finished I like to put them down, and later on read another. I do not like psycho-analysing every last word until the marvel of the story has been removed. 'Why do you think the author chose to use the word 'and' here Rachel?' 'Gee miss, I just don't know. Perhaps the shortness of the word represents his ultimate outlook on life and his negative views of social politics?'
Truman Capote would turn in his grave if he knew the utter rubbish I've spouted in essays.*

Everyone, even teachers, know that we just regurgitate knowledge for exams, then promptly forget it as we stroll out, pretending to our peers that we got 'like, so totally stuck on question 4' when in fact we all did fine. School needs shaking up. Teachers need shaking up. If you ever find yourself being taught by someone who seems to actually care about their subject, treasure it. Those teachers are rarer than X Factor number 1s. But in reality, not that much can be done about it. As a nation we're far too frightened of change, within months of vocational courses finally being improved they were shot down again. Teachers today seem to have lost a spark. When they imply that I should know the answers to something my blood boils. You are the teacher, and I drag myself out of bed everyday to be taught. If all you plan to do is read us the textbook then I plan to leave.

Maybe it's me being nostalgic for years I didn't have. I would love to have been a boy in the late 1920s, going to oxford and being friends with my professors (minus the dodgy touching). It's not inspiring anymore. I don't feel inspired to go out and do anything because of my teachers. In fact the internet gives me more food for thought than any class does. Maybe that's the next step - virtual learning.

Who knows. All I know is I return to year 13 tomorrow, and plan to get my head down and muddle through it, before finishing my final exams and heading to university where, please god, someone will still have some spark left.

*DISCLAIMER. The above quotes were not direct, I have never analysed the word 'and'.