Feminism. Discuss.

I am a feminist.

If feminists were called equalityforallregardlessofgenderists I think practically everyone would admit to being one. If instead people had to say ‘God, I hate equalityforallregardlessofgenderists! They’re so annoying’ or ‘Do we really need equalityforallregardlessofgenderism?’ they’d suddenly sound ignorant to most people.

BUT THAT’S WHAT FEMINISM IS! It’s not about supressing men because women are superior, it’s not about women being better than men and it’s certainly not a bunch of whiny women complaining about stuff that doesn’t matter. Let’s look at the definition.

Feminist
advocating social, political, legal, and economic rights for women equal to those of men.

Equal to those of men. See? Anyone not doing that is doing feminism wrong. Saying that all feminists hate men is like saying all christians hate gays. It’s utter nonsense. (and if you think all christians hate gays then I guess that’s another post I’ll have to write…)

Surely EVERYONE should be a feminist because surely EVERYONE is for equality?

I know we can’t just rename feminism, and I know that there is a massive point to be made there about how if we rename it, it’s removing the visibility of women from the cause or ignoring the fact that in the fight for equality for all regardless of gender it is predominately women that have had to fight to gain equality.

I know that renaming it would speak volumes about how many people still feel towards women that they will only get on board with the idea of equality for women when the term for it is not named after them.

It’s just weird that there’s this stigma, it’s weird that men will hardly ever admit to being one, it’s weird that women sometimes shy away from the term, it’s weird that in my opening paragraph I used the word ‘admit’, like it’s something dirty, without a second thought until I re-read it (mmmm, semantics), EVERYTHING IS WEIRD THE WORLD IS SO STRANGE AND I HAVE BEEN READING TOO MANY STUPID OPINIONS OF VARIOUS PEOPLE ON THE INTERNET ALL NIGHT.

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Reflections and Resolutions

New year’s is a very strange time. I have a terrible memory personally but all the shows they put out at the end of the year and all the round ups sites do get you thinking about how much stuff actually happens in a year, hell how much stuff can happen globally in a month or a week or a day.

Much as I hate to say it I don’t think 2011 has been a particularly good year for me, certainly it was not filled with as many changes as 2010 or 2009, but a year shouldn’t necessarily be measured just by it’s changes and change isn’t always positive. This year I had to shut the door on a part of my potential future life that most people assume they will be able to have and may even take for granted. It was a heartbreaking decision, one I never expected to make at 22 and a future I didn’t even know I wanted until forced to examine my feelings. (In fact before I had to decide I would have pretty much said flat out that I didn’t want it, what’s that about people always wanting what they can’t have?) The decision, however, was necessary for me to become who I am and who I want to be and I can’t regret it. I can mourn it, part of me probably still is, but hey *insert tired cliche here*. 

It wasn’t all bad of course. There were many good times spent with friends, visiting Australia was awesome, finally getting into 2nd year tough, but even more awesome, progressing further along the realisation of who I am, getting involved with LGBT committee and becoming more sociable within the university aspect of my life, cementing friendships, making new ones and many, many, maaaany drunken times. (Tuffest 2011 anyone?).

Now that I have reflected, it is time for some resolve.

1. Stop drinking as much. It is not good for your physical or mental health. It is not good for your bank balance. You may go out once a week drinking spending no more than £20 on alcohol OR twice a week spending no more than £10 a time. (Exceptions – end of exams, your (no one else’s!) birthday, on holiday (a proper one, not just ‘easter!’), festivals.

2. Try to cut your debt by half. You are frivolous with your money, dear Tuffen, and finishing uni with all the debt from the government is more than enough, let alone the banks. Drinking less should help to cut this, as will limiting yourself to no more than one takeaway a week and no more than one other kind of meal out a week. Review financial situation in three months. Keep an eye out for jobs (after exam period).

3. Lose weight. Drinking less will help this. Eating less takeout will help this. Also, yes the buses are only 50p, but if you got up 25 minutes earlier you could enjoy a nice walk and start listening to more music. Remember music? You’re always forgetting how much you like it until you start listening to it again. Review after exam period.

4. Quit smoking. Yeah this one is gonna flat out suck so you’re just going to have to do it gradually. Not drinking as much will help this as you chain it when you’re drinking. Count the cigarettes you have this week, aim to cut down by 10% every week and to have quit by May at the latest.

5. Blog more. You have a terrible memory, try and write a blog once a week (AT LEAST every other week) so that you have something you can look back on in five years when you’re trying to remember what you were doing with your life at 23.

A tad ambitious perhaps but since when has ambition been a bad thing eh?

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I’m voluntarily listening to Rick Astley’s ‘Never Gonna Give You Up’ repeatedly

Because that’s the kind of mood I’m in.

I found a cure for emo hangovers! Good exam results! So now in future whenever I want to go drinking I will just have to sit a bunch of exams three weeks before hand. I think it is a foolproof plan.

That aside I am very happy with my results. I thought I would scrape a pass at best in social divisions, but nope I managed a comfortable 2.2. GEO112 I failed but I always knew I would, I wrote half a page on gentrification and one sentence defining social divisions then sat there until the minimum required stay of 40 minutes had passed. I missed so many of those lectures and did no reading during the term but now I have the summer to read up on that shit. I was also very kindly put in as not assessed due to my other good results showing that I actually want to study now or something.

Yeah other results were high 2.1s apart from statistics where I scraped a first. A FIRST! That one really shocked me as it was 50% marks for multiple choice and 50% marks for answering your choice of 2 questions at the end but I accidently only left myself enough time to answer 1 of those 2 questions. I must have answered it pretty damn well.

All that when I only went to about 35% of my lectures, only wrote essays a few days before the deadline and only started revising the night before each exam. Fuck me, what would I get if I studied properly? I think I will from now on.

It’s reassuring to find out I still have a working brain.

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So I fucked up my finances

Or rather miscalculated. And now I’m poor. Not a bit poor. Not hard up. Poor. Wipe your arse with newspaper poor. You see I assumed that as I was repeating first year due to ill health and still paying for first year TWICE that the University would still give me my bursary for coming from a ‘low income background’ twice. How foolish of me to assume that.

So I come back, get my next student loan, WOO PARTY IT’S OK I HAVE MY BURSARY COMING SOON! Bam, not getting one. So I’m a grand out what I thought I would be having. This means that once I pay a deposit on somewhere to live next year I have the grand total of about £200 to last me until May 3rd.

Fuck.

I’m going to try and appeal the fact I’m not getting the bursary cause it’s not like I’m repeating first year due to abject laziness and couldn’t give a fuckness and total failureness. I went on a leave of absence on medical grounds. But I am not holding out any hope of getting anything whatsoever.

Instead I am going to enjoy being the poorest I have ever been since the age of 17. And I’m going to hate my 17 year old self for wasting so much money from my part time job. And my 18/19/20/21 year old selves likewise. I hate those selves leaving 22 year old me with no cushion of savings to deal with this shit. (Although to be fair, 22 year old me was the one that spent most of his savings on a plane ticket to Australia but shhh)

I have spent £85 of my £200 on a massive Tesco shop which should last me til the easter holidays. I say should, I mean HAS TO. A further £70 odd will have to be set aside for the next three months phone bills. This leaves me with £45. To last til May 3rd. Seriously, if anyone who owes me any money is reading this, now is the best time ever to pay me back!

So I’m just going to have to be a hermit and stay in my room doing free things. I’ve joined the library so over the next few months aim to read a fair number of books from 1001 books to read before you die. I own around 200 films, 30-50 of which I’ve never even watched so I can get that done. I can erm update my blog more often with fun information about being poor and exciting things to do with no money. Hopefully I’ll find some… And there’s also always streaming tv shows online.

And hey, maybe I’ll even study more and get myself a first for this semester! I’m sure I will have an awesome time.

PS That essay I was stressing out about a few posts ago? I got a 68. Go me. Which could easily have been 70 odd but on one of my sections I just couldn’t be arsed to go find some references cause it was 5am. *leaving work til the last minute and still passing high five!*

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What’s a good book to keep in the loo?

I finished all the interesting bits of the one I’ve got in there (an Encyclopaedia of Cult Children’s TV if you’ve never been in my loo) about a month ago. I want a new one. Kate Fox, author of my previous loo book Watching the English, once said something along the lines of ‘some english males even find it virtually impossible to defecate without some form of reading material, even resorting to reading the backs of shampoo bottles.’

I know I’ve done that. And the backs of loo roll packets. The backs of loo roll packets aren’t really very interesting unless you care for approximate knowledge of the size and amount of sheets contained within. This one time I even tried to read a tube of toothpaste that I’m pretty sure was in Polish.

I tried googling stuff like ‘good books to keep in the loo’ but haven’t been getting very good results. I mean, Sun Tzu’s ‘The Art of War’? Or the kamasutra? Surely reading the kamasutra on the loo would make you think about sex. While you were shitting. Wouldn’t that run the risk of creating an association in your brain with sex and shitting?

So if anyone reading this can think of a decent book for me to get to put in the loo let me know. Obviously something that’s easy to dip in and out of. Humour stuff is good obviously but interesting stuff is best.

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The NHS is telling me to get a girlfriend

‘It is essential that you and your partner attend this appointment.’

Errr I don’t have one thanks NHS.

And just to rub salt in the wound the appointment is scheduled on Valentine’s Day. Cheers for that. Probably good I don’t have a partner actually.

‘Have you got something nice planned for Valentine’s Day?’
‘Yeah! We’re both getting up at 6.30am so we can get on a rush hour train to Leeds and go visit a HOSPITAL. You are so lucky to have me.’
‘Er…’

In other news after all that stress with the assignment I went and overslept so now I’ll be taking a 10% grade cut. Ah well, seeing as the work was finally starting to make sense in my brain I can spend a good few more hours tonight improving it so shouldn’t make too much of a difference overall.

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Venting my frustrations via the medium of blog

You’ve probably all seen me whining about essays through facebook statuses by now so I think I’m gonna shut up with them and let it all out here.

ARRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRGHOISHIORHNAREJNMOEAPJ

WHY AM I FINDING THIS ESSAY SO FUCKING HARD?!

This was an optional module, an area I am interested in. SCS1005, Gender, Sex and Sexuality. I read about this stuff in my fucking free time for God’s sake and yet I can’t write a simple 2000 word essay on it?! 2000 words is nothing! WHY THE FUCK IS MY BRAIN NOT WORKING?!

I keep waiting for something to click in the mass of nuerons in my head. I keep thinking, ok, so you’ve not found your stride yet? Watch another episode of Desperate Houseives, get yourself 42 minutes closer to the deadline and then your brain will go hey, PRESSURE, NOW I CAN WORK. And bam you’ll bash it out in a few hours. Well I have less than 15 precious hours until this deadline and still nothing has clicked.

For some reason my concentration is shot to pieces. The main reason I can’t complete this essay yet is I need to do more reading to back up what I want to say but I can’t concentrate long enough to finish any reading. As soon as I see something relevant my brain flags it up and I hurry over to my essay to try and include it without bothering finishing the ready. As such my essay is being written one painstaking fact at a time because I appear to be too bloody impatient to sit and read a whole article.

And on the rare occasions I do sit and read the whole article I forget most of what was said by the time I’m at the end.

And my brain won’t let me take notes. My brain goes, why the fuck are you writing this in notes when you just have to write it in the essay afterwards. YOU’RE WRITING THINGS TWICE THIS IS WASTING TIME! GO STRAIGHT TO THE ESSAY AND ADD IT! And my brain thinks it’s clever for saving me time. But it’s not. It’s not clever and it’s NOT saving me time.

Every sentence I add is taking an age. I write it. Then I move it to a different part of the essay. Then I change the ordering of the words. Then I realise it doesn’t fit there anymore cause I changed the ordering of the words so I change the ordering again. Then I delete it cause I’ve just read the next part of the article and realised that I misunderstood the author’s point. Then I claw at my forehead, drink BOOST energy drink and chain smoke. Then I watch another episode of Desperate Housewives.

I need to stop focussing on the fact that this essay is giving me difficulty. I am wasting precious brain space trying to figure out why I can’t do this one and why my GEO163 one was a doddle in comparison. It doesn’t matter why I can’t do it. If I keep trying to think why I can’t do it then I won’t be able to do it because my brain is going ‘you don’t think you can do that, I’m trying to think of a reason why, stop doing it otherwise all my time spent trying to figure out why you can’t do it will have been wasted cause you’ve gone and done it.’

I’m rambling. I’M RAMBLING IN THE ESSAY TOO! I’m wandering off topic and not properly concluding paragraphs. Do you know how many words I’ve written here so far? 600. I’d be nearly done with my essay by now if I could’ve written 600 on to that. So I’m going to shut up here. For now. I feel slightly better for this release but I’ll probably come back and edit in more frustrations as we enter the wee hours of the morning.

Now if you’ll excuse me I’m going to go drink BOOST energy drink and chain smoke. I’ve run out of episodes of Desperate Housewives to watch.

EDIT:- The more I research, the more I realise I am missing out huge chunks of important arguments in my pile of wank, vague, scatterbrained essay.

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