Scorpio Risen

Archive for the ‘ranting’ Category

I’m tired, so forgive any ramblings.

Who else is desperately refreshing the rolling coverage of the abortion debate on the Guardian’s website?

I am so, so, so relieved that the proposal for a 12 week limit have been defeated. 12 weeks – are you fucking kidding me?!

You know, there has been so much said about this whole issue on the f-word and elsewhere. There’s not really that much more I can add, nothing new I can really bring to the table.

It is very worrying that there is a real possibility that women’s rights can be undermined tonight. And, if not tonight – well, Nadine Dorries and co will continue to fight for their anti-choice, anti-woman agenda. No, it’s not pro-life at all. It’s bullshit. What about the life of a woman who is vulnerable? Any reductions on the upper limit will be affecting those women who are most vulnerable. And that’s fucked up. I don’t care how many high-profile cases about babies surviving at 20-24 weeks there are. The reason why these cases are so high-profile is simply because they’re so goddamn rare. Duh, it’s a basic principle of news worthiness!

I’m now so relieved that the 16week proposal has been squashed. Thank Goddess.

I am  horrified, yes, horrified that these amendments have even been proposed. I don’t give a shit about what the BBC news reporters claim the debate is about: it’s not “sanctity of life” vs science. The real issue at stake is a woman’s fundamental right to choose, to have her own autonomy. Dammit all, feminists fought so hard. We’re still fighting. Writing letters (that’s about all I could do this time round), protesting, signing petitions.

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I – and a few others in my year – have a bone to pick with my school.

Let’s not get complicate matters, let’s just keep the issue nice and simple.

 I think it is wrong for the army/armed forces to recruit in school, and I damn well think it is wrong that my school allowed/booked them to do so at my school last week. I will be writing letters about this, believe you me.

 It’s taking advantage. That is exactly what it is: it is exerting influence over kids who perhaps don’t know their own mind yet, not sure of their path on life, and maybe aren’t all that likely to go down the academic path of brilliance. Perhaps you’re not doing too well at school, you don’t like it, but you don’t know really what the hell you’re going to do when you leave. But hey, what is that? Is it a bird? Is it a plane? No, it’s some be-khakied blokes in a truck driving down the drive with all the answers you’ll ever need! Thank God they’ve arrived, with their euphemisms and their bags of (militaristic) fun activities! Now all our prayers are answered!

For years I’ve known I wanted to be a journalist, and all my life I’ve wanted to write something, so I’ve been pretty set. However, not everyone is like that; heck, even when you’re at the age of 17/18 and choosing University courses, you may not even be sure what the hell you’re actually looking for. I think it’s wrong to target kids at such an impressionable age, and I think it’s wrong to influence said kids. Dress it up really nicely as much as you can, it’s still wrong – in fact, it’s worse. Because it’s bullshitting people.

 It’s banned at Universities, y’know; army recruitment. I don’t understand why it’s not banned at schools. It damn well should be. At least at Uni, you have a few more years, and a bit more maturity (and, heck, qualifications), under your belt, and you know a bit more about what you want, who you want to be, who you are. It’s not so much the recruitment idea that pisses me off so much (although, I would think anyone must be out of their mind to join the armed forces in today’s climate), but the environment in which they do it in, i.e. schools. Just, don’t do it in schools! It’s wrong – and somewhat contradictory – to look to recruit people to the armed forces in an environment where one is meant to grow and develop as a person, not catch them with a butterfly net before they’ve even figured out who they are, who they want to be and whatnot.

It was brought to my attention today that posters advertising the new Harry Potter film along the London Underground have had to be re-done after it was noticed that the posters starring Emma Watson (is that the right name?), aka Hermione were clearly photoshopped to make her breasts look more enlarged, and her waist smaller, to conform to patriarchal expectations.

Hmm.. With this one, it’s hard to decide where to begin.

How about that in the film she is supposed to be playing a 15 year old, and is actually about 16 years old herself IRL, and so – in my most humble opinion – it’s a bit fucked up to try to sexualise her like that? Or how about, given that she is 16, it is completely unfair to change her body by computer wizardry (no pun intended, well, maybe a little bit…) because it implies that there’s something wrong with her body the way it is naturally, and – although it’s an everyday thing for, like, every woman with a pulse irrespective of age – it is wrong to imply that, because it affect’s people’s self esteems, and trust me…15 to 16 year old girls have a rocky time of it with their self esteem, whether they’re a movie star or not.

Or, how about the fact that the character Hermione is supposed to be respected for her brains, and that she isn’t actually judged for whether or not she can fit a C cup, D cup or F cup, and that photoshopping a picture of Hermione just goes against the grain of her being a strong, intelligent character? Now, don’t get me wrong…it is quite possible to be sexy and intelligent, but this just takes the biscuit.

Or, how about that they wouldn’t feel the need to photoshop Ron or Harry because their male, and their worth isn’t based on their curves or their hair or their face, since they are part of the priviliged caste in a patriarchal society?

I mean, damn, don’t you get sick of how everything is male-defined? I know there’s been quite a bit of debate about “male gaze” and what have you, but really…what is the point of photoshopping Hermione/Emma Watson? Other than to sexualise her character and to assert a value on her aesthetic, when in the books she is primarily judged by, and valued for her intelligence and strength of character; it’s like a fucked up patriarchal currency exchange.

Typical…

Posted on: 2 July, 2007

I finally get my internet working again, and then I get writer’s block.

Grr.

I mean, there are some thoughts floating around in my head – but they’re kind of disjointed, and really, essentially, reactions to some things which have somewhat rattled me of late.

For example, I was reading this article in a Sunday mag which is supposed to answer people’s health questions, and this 15 year old girl wrote in about how she felt she weighed too much, and wanted to look like a size Zero model, but didn’t think she had the time to eat healthily or exercise. The response was – hey, everybody can find the time to exercise and eat healthily!…Your weight may be in proportion to your height. Bla bla bla…but the thing which really riled me…this was to a 15 year old girl, who had said she wanted to be like a size zero. I can’t remember her weight, but it may have been about 9 stone of something, so I think she was probably about a size 10-12…so, yeah, if she were to achieve her “dream” of being a size zero (I think it’s a size 4 over here?), a dramatic weight loss would be needed! But was she discouraged against this? Nooo! That just doesn’t seem to me to be good, healthy advice! And she’s only 15! Damn, I know only too fucking well what it’s like to be 15 and have no self esteem…and it should not be implied or stated that to lose that much weight is ok. From a fucking health page!!!

Also, in the same magazine, I was also a bit miffed at comments from a Michelle Pfeiffer interview, in which she laid the blame of the whole size zero thing at women’s door. Something, also, about how men didn’t want us women to be skinny or to have boob jobs or what have you. I’m not even sure I should even dignify that with a response.  

I’ve only really seen this advert once, partly because I hate watching adverts and tend to channel hop when they come on, but I was in a cinema at the time, so couldn’t exactly channel hop.

It really, really annoyed me.

I mean…c’mon!!! The gender stereotypes!!!
OK, so the angry women are a bit less passive and a bit angrier than the norm, but – the handbags!!! Oh, and the new a la Paris Hilton dogs! What the fuck?!
And, of course, the men are more active, and are represented as such with the footballs and the remote control cars (!).

Now, neither sex, to be honest, comes out of this advert without looking like idiots, to be fair. Is that the Mail on Sunday’s idea of equality between the sexes?!

HA!

URGH! It’s just…so stupid!

Then again, what more can I expect from the Mail on Sunday?

I know they say feminists don’t have a sense of humour.

I would disagree with that. However, if finding jokes or casual remarks about rape offensive means I don’t have a sense of humour, then, fine, I don’t.
I don’t want to listen to or have anything to do with that sort of “humour.”

Toilet humour – juvenile.
Rape humour – beneath contempt.
I will not tolerate it.

But the thing is, I do sometimes have to bite my tongue, when it comes to things my peers say. I cannot spout off my feminist opinion all the time. Partly because, believe me, I would get exhausted. Partly because I have had to learn to bite my tongue. Which, I hate, I feel like I’m selling out a bit.

So, it does come a time, when I’ve had enough and feel I must, must, must say something. To be the – most likely – lone voice saying “hey, wait a minute, that’s fucked up.”

So, I was on Myspace last night, and I was looking through my bulletins, and someone’s bulletin had been entitled “Fucking talk or ima rape your face“.

I don’t care if this person didn’t mean it. I don’t care if this person was simply being flippant. I get so sick of people (my age) making flippant remarks about rape.

So, yeah, it was one of the times when I do speak up and say “hey, wait a minute, that’s fucked up.”

In fact, to be more specific, I said:

“that is well fucked up.
when are people going to stop making jokes or undermining rape. It’s a serious subject.
For fucks sakes. “

His response?

“maybe you should relax? maybe you shouldnt take everything so fucking seriously? its people like you, that take offence at any possible opportunity, that make me sick. you fuck up everything, and you ruin anything thats lighthearted.
get a fucking life.”

O, well, excuse me for ruining your goddamn fun. Fuckwit.
Sorry to have stepped over your fucking sense of entitlement in which you feel o so shielded you can just make light of subjects such as rape, which affects so many people. Sorry I didn’t realise it was funny that at least 47,000 women are raped every year in the UK. The rape conviction rate, at just 5.3%, is now at the lowest level for 30 years.
Hmm, maybe I don’t have a sense of humour, so can anyone please tell me what the punchline is to that o-so-hilarious-fucking-joke?!

Like I said to him:

“It’s a serious subject. It affects people’s lives, often leaving them traumatised. It is a constant fear in many women’s lives – because, although men can also be raped, women are pretty much socialised to fear rape, women are told it’s often a case of “when”, not “if” they get raped – it is not treated seriously by the law system.
So fuck you.”

His response:

“your argument is pathetic.but i really dont care if some fucking retard *waves* takes things too literally, when its not meant as a serious thing. if i raped someone, yes. thats serious. but i dont (need to), so therefore it is not meant as a serious thing.”

He doesn’t need to rape someone?! What the fuck is that supposed to mean?! Like – raping someone is a necessity?! And those who don’t “need to” can laugh and joke about it, because, clearly, it will never happen to them or someone they love, care or give a damn about?! 😐

Oh, and yeah, here’s the icing on the top of the cake. He ended that message with:

“so go choke on some rapists cock, and die.
thanks.”

 Now, that, that was not a joke. That was not funny.

Clearly shows the mentality of some people, eh?!

Like, I said:

“you say my argument is pathetic, when you end yours off with something really despicable?!

By joking about something like that, and by joking about something like that being seen as acceptable, not only demeans the issue itself and undermining it, but socialises people into accepting and not taking rape seriously.”

And then I was told to lighten up!!!!!

Flippant remarks and jokes about subjects such as rape  all endorses and normalises disgusting heinous crimes.

I know that most of the time people don’t really see it like that, but I guess that is arguably part of the normalisation process.

How could they have awarded Kate Moss the sexiest woman award?!
For starters, she’s a model, not a musician, so how is she applicable for an award from a music magazine?!
She is not a responsible, or a positive role model for young girls or women; there’s the whole cocaine thing, and the fact that she’s super skinny, and yet she’s won an award for being sexy. Sexiness is, according to much of our pop culture, a desired and valuable attribute all women should have, and should sweat and slave to achieve. Therefore this sends out the message that drugs are sexy, and that to be sexy, you need to be skinny. And an idiot for some dopehead.

On the other hand, Beth Ditto would’ve been a much more deserving winner. And it would’ve sent out a much more positive message: that there’s not just one idea of sexiness, you don’t have to be thin or conventional looking. You can speak your mind and be yourself, and that’s sexy. I think she’s beautiful and brilliantly unconventional.

But no.

And it is something of a pipedream, because the media is so stuck on certain concepts of womanhood, and telling women they should be a certain way. They refuse to think outside the patriarchal box.

I also have another bone to pick with the whole sexiest woman award thing. Although there is a sexiest male award, this isn’t given as much attention as the sexiest woman award. It’s as if to say that the only place for women in music is to be sexy. Even though there are various wonderful, strong, talented female musicians and singers.
The thing is, women in alternative music are not given as much press as males. I haven’t bought a Kerrang mag in aaaaages, but women were hardly ever present or mentioned, and when they were it was often in an objectified, stereotypical way. There’s an article on the F Word which will go into this in more detail than I will in this particular post: http://www.thefword.org.uk/reviews/2006/09/kerrang.
While men are hailed as heroes, or gods, in rock music, women barely get a mention outside of groupie anecdotes.
And mainstream music – don’t even get me started. Videos for pop and r’n’b, and hiphop etc are just a minefield of misogyny. Even when it’s a female band, or a female artist, women are still presented in objectified, sexualised lights. And often the lyrical content isn’t that much better.

The thing is, music often reflects raunch culture – particularly R’n’B, and HipHop etc, whose lyrics are often damn right misogynistic. Women in music videos are all shiny and skinny, sometimes with large breasts, gyrating against a pole, or simulating a sex act or something. But that’s just not what sexiness is about to me. The whole idea of “sexiness” needs one hell of a re-branding. It should be subjective, it should be idiosyncratic, it shouldn’t be constricted and restricted and limited and squashed into one small box. I know there are some women who feel sexy with their breast implants, and when they’re gyrating against a pole: fine. But to say that to be sexy you have to pander to male fantasy, or to what the media constantly screams at you to be, isn’t sexy. You can be sexy if you’re slim, curvy, fat. The point is, that sexiness isn’t an aesthetic, and it shouldn’t be marketed as such, especially since it is marketed as just one aesthetic. To me, sexiness is more about being comfortable with yourself, being able to speak out, not conforming to one ideal. So maybe sexy isn’t the right word for it.

This post has been something of a rambling, unstructured rant: we’ve gone from Kate Moss to Ariel Levy almost. Damn I loved her book!