Showing posts with label society. Show all posts
Showing posts with label society. Show all posts

10 December 2015

The Age Factor

Age and how you perceive it, is a funny thing.

I remember being 13 and thinking that I couldn't wait until I was 18 and I could do what I wanted. 18 was the epitome of cool to me then.

I remember turning 21 and feeling that I was "old" now.  25 was full of "shoulda, woulda, coulda" with what I should have done and be doing with my life.  Turning 30 filled me with dread.  40 was, and still is at my present age of 36, an unknown but daunting prospect.  But why is it a daunting prospect?  

What I have come to realise however over the past couple of years is that age does not matter.  

The only problem with whatever age you happen to be is the limitations that we and society as a whole place on us.  Our lives are governed by this invisible set of rules and regulations of what you have meant to achieve, be and look like at various stages in your life.

I remember being told when I was around 26 that I had better get a boyfriend soon because "You don't want to be left on the shelf".  A man said this to me in all seriousness; like I am nothing more than a thing to be bought, sold or discarded.

At 30 the kindly advice people went up a notch.  "You are getting older now, you need to get married and have children before you can't have any"  Apparently the fact that I have never wanted children nor have (yet) met the right man means nothing against the milestones and rules that we apparently have to obey.

At 40 you are told that you are "over the hill".  Well I don't know about you, but some of the most vibrant and fabulous people I know are in their 40s,

Fast forward a few decades and you are in the winter of your life.  Twin sets, purses, iron grey perms, slowing down.  Why?  You are old, not dead!  My mum is living proof that your 70s can be fun and fashionable.  You do not have to give up and change who you are just because you are a certain age.  Rock it!

Age: 36   Amount of Fucks Given: 0 

5 August 2014

Breaking All the Rules

Are you tired of being told that you and your life doesn’t fit the mould that society expects?  I know that I am.  Being expected to look a certain way, act a certain way; have all the same views as others; to “fit in”.   I have HAD IT. 

It is a pack mentality; the trouble being that the pack is far too large with too many commentators.  Any individuality you possess can be crushed under the weight of it.  The mob (aka Daily Mail readers and their ilk) will criticise you for any breaks of the rules that they perceive to be set in stone.

So what rules of society do I break? 

  • I am still single in my thirties.
  • I don’t have children (nor do I want them)
  • I am fat and happy. 
  • I don’t dress the way that many deem that I should.
  • I am not afraid to say what I think when I am passionate about something.
  • I have no inclination to “fit it” for the sake of it.  

 What society would tell me that I am, gleaned from this list is that: 
  • I am left on the shelf
  • I’m lying to myself about not wanting children but everyone does
  • I am fat and thereby it is inconceivable that I could be happy
  • I am wearing clothes they don’t want to see me in
  • I am too outspoken.

I don’t care. 

Life is about choice, not conformity and the fact that I don’t fit into society’s little “how to be” box no longer bothers me. 

My ducks will never be all lined neatly in a row.  I don’t even have any damn ducks; although I do aim to dress like a peacock.  My path in life is not straight and clear; it is winding with complicated intersections and although I have fallen off it at times; it has always been there to take me in another direction.

One day I would like to meet someone to share the rest of my days with, to get married and be happy.  That day will either come or it won’t, but I won’t think that my life is ruined if it doesn’t happen.   I am not “left on the shelf” because I was never for sale.

Today is the day that I choose to stop listening to society.  I will no longer read the Daily Fail which is full of nothing but hatred, body snarking and vile views.  I will no longer judge myself as society says that I should, just because I am single.  I will no longer let others views affect how I lead my life nor have an impact on how happy I am.

I will skip down the path that is growing day by day under my feet.  I have no idea where it leads but one thing I do know is that I am going to make damn sure that the journey is fun. 

11 March 2014

Confident Women

I heard someone say the other day that women were (and I quote verbatim) “Harping on about confidence and sexism all the time because they want something to moan about”.

For some it seems that because we got the right to vote, moved into the workplace and started to voice our own opinions, that we should somehow be content with our lot.  What I see however is a society that still seeks to control women, just in different ways.

We can vote, but the right to our own bodies is in question.  We can be confident, but that also makes us a bitch.  We can wear what we want, but that we also mean that we are “asking for it”.  We can have a career, but are judged for not staying home with the children. 

One thing we cannot do is be whatever size we want, and dress how we want without the media, trolls on the internet, even total strangers telling us that this is not how we are meant to look.  The ideal must be conformed too.

Society in one form or another is constantly telling us how to be, how to look, how to dress, how to behave.  The quest to look perfect has never been more prevalent then it is now.   It isn’t just men telling us how to look either, the pursuit of the right way to look has gotten so huge that women are doing it to each other.  That’s before you even get into the subject of trolls.

What I have noticed however, over the past year especially, is women pushing back against these constrictions and fighting against them.  Everything from the celebrities who speak out against being airbrushed in magazines, to the #notbuyingit campaign against the objectification of women in advertising, to bloggers of all sizes and shapes sharing their images online and being confident in who they are and what they look like.

I have seen the start of so many confidence journeys in the past year and to watch as their confidence grows is awe inspiring.  Seeing somebody who was previously insecure and under confident blossoming into someone who is sure of herself and happy is a privilege to watch.  There is a message that women are sending out which is gathering speed and is getting louder and louder.  You cannot tell me how I should look.

The 20th century saw women gain the right to vote and step out from the kitchen.  Maybe the 21st century will be remembered for women gaining the right to be able to look how they want and be themselves, not the image of what they are told they should be.

1 August 2013

Great Expectations

First, a Very Long Foreword 

I wrote this post a couple of weeks ago, before the veritable shitstorm that happened and is still happening on Twitter in what seems to be escalating into a full out war between men and women.

Putting my two pence worth in, in relation to the banning lad’s mags, do I want them banned?  As long as women are happy to be paid to pose in them and men want to read them, carry on as far as I am concerned.

Lads mags have been around for decades and no children’s minds have been warped as a result of seeing a naked/half naked body on the front of a cover. 

Both men’s and women’s bodies are splayed over countless magazines in various forms of dress and undress and all telling you how the “ideal body” should be.  All magazines show images of how we are “supposed” to look and banning lad’s magazines won’t do a damn thing.

If you don’t like a magazine, don’t buy it.  Censorship of what we see and think is already up on the up, let’s not help it.  If you object to the magazines purely for prudish reasons, then I suggest you simply don't buy them and avert your eyes. 

With regard to the absolutely horrendous abuse that Caroline Craido Perez and others have been experiencing this week, the level of rape and death threats have astounded me.  It is easy to say "just block and report" to someone, but how is that even possible when at one point she was receiving upwards of 50 threats AN HOUR.

I applaud Caroline for not staying quiet and for instead, shouting back.  Staying quiet in the face of abuse never solved anything. 

This isn't men v women or visa versa.  Women don't hate all men and not all men are rapists.  We are talking about a small section of the population here who are throwing abuse.  It needs to be dealt with, but talks of things like a Twitter strike isn't the way forward.  I am not sure what is.  Whether a “report” button will work on Twitter, I have my doubts as it could quite clearly work in the troll’s favour too.

Back to my original post

What I have wrote below has long been society’s view of women, and in society I include men and women because we are accountable in some ways for views and assumptions that are still maintained.

So here is what I originally wrote:

Sometimes I think that we pass through life with one person after another imposing on you who you should be, what you should look like, what you should wear, what is appropriate to say, do, think.  Everyone has an opinion and sometimes, your opinion seems to be at the bottom of the pile.

What I was thinking about today was how much of that have we assimilated?  Are we drinking the Kool Aid of what we should and shouldn’t do, say, think, be?

Some of it is what society tells us, some is passed down through our families and some through popular culture.  I was always told for example (from various sources) that “A lady doesn’t swear” .  Well fuck that.

Recently Joanna Lumley told us that women shouldn’t wear provocative clothing… Although I think she worded it as “Silly girls in silly dresses”.  Victim blaming is nothing new, and it comes from both sexes.

If you think about all the things that women are supposed to be and do, the list is quite astonishing.  In more than one corner of the world, all of them will be said to you or be presumed of you at some point.

A lady shouldn’t swear.
If you wear provocative clothing, you are “asking for it”.
Dress conservatively and you will classed as matronly or an old maid.
You must conform with society’s version of attractive.
A lady should be quiet, subservient, well spoken.
Be a lady in the kitchen and a whore in the bedroom.
“Putting out” on the third date is expected.
Remember: No man will buy the cow if he’s getting the milk for free.
You must remain perfectly groomed at all times.
All woman want children.  If you don’t there is is something wrong with you.
A man shouting “Nice tits, can I cop a feel” at you across the street should be replied with a smile not a rebuke.
You can have control of your own body, but only if society says that you can.
Be thin.  If you aren’t then any abuse you receive is your own fault.
Be a “good” girl (whatever that is).  Nice guys don’t marry bad girls.
 The list goes on and on and on.  I can’ listen anymore because it is getting depressing.   How many of you have heard had many of the above said or applied to you.  I certainly have.  You cannot possibly be all of these things all at the same time.  It's possible.  So let's not be.

It’s for change ladies.   It’s time to rip up the goddamn rule book and do things our way. 

“The most courageous act is still to think for yourself. Aloud.”

Coco Chanel

18 June 2013

Second Vlog

Two posts today!!  One blog and one vlog!

You can find the link to my Youtube video here Society v The Breast Issue