8 August 2016

Why I'm Done With Disclaimers

*At this point I would usually go with "Beware, this is a long read"  But I am done with disclaimers.  Read or don't read.  It is up to you.

Go to any article about women, feminism; crimes against women; tv shows or films with female leads and you will run into trolls or MRAs.  Usually both.  

After a few years of engaging and getting angry myself (I know I should avoid the comment sections but I cannot help myself), I have tried a change of tactic.  Amusement. I laugh as the insults get worse, the comments become more and more "But women bad, men good!". 

Recently I made a comment on Facebook on an article from the Guardian about who should be the next James Bond.  There was a spoof piece written in the Guardian entitled "Forget Idris Elba, It's Time for a Lesbian Bond  Clearly a satire piece and one that I found funny.  

Whilst some took it in the humour it was intended, there was the inevitable backlash of PC gone mad, feminazis at it again, don't fuck with Bond bitches!  

I commented "Jesus people, it is satire.  Don't worry.  Your Bond will remain the misogynistic asshole he has always been".  I wasn't actually intending to provoke a reaction, that thought went straight from head to keyboard.  But, all hell broke lose.

Long story short, I ended up deciding to have fun with it and play a game of troll bingo.  In 89 comments on my little sentence, I had points on the board for triggered, feminazi, overweight, lonely, cat lady, man hater and my favourite. obnoxiously mouthy.


That is the funny side of the comment section.

Then, and this is the point of my blog post today, you find the #notallmen crowd.  The #whataboutmen crowd.  The "I'm going to ignore this horrible crime that happened to this woman, but look at what happened to this man one time five years ago" crowd.  The "you didn't mention men in this article/post/quote so therefore you are a misandrist" crowd.  The "feminist doesn't mean equality, look what this woman said 15 years ago" crowd.

A woman was raped "Men get raped too you know and false rape accusations are rampant".  A woman was beaten by her partner "Not all men".  A woman was murdered "women kill men too".

Hell, you can't even win a gold medal without your husband being given all of the credit.  You might not even have your name used, you are just called someone's wife

Time and time again you see the entire comments section filled with arguments that have nothing to do with the article, filled instead with "yes I know bad things happen to men too" conversations.  Those of us who dare to question the diverting tactics are immediately labelled man haters.

Now it is all over social media.  You cannot say anything about being a woman, inspiring women or anything that happens to women without being told that you should have mentioned a man.  Proof?

On Saturday night, after another "you got nothing to be vain about bitch" comment on a selfie, I posted:

"A woman having confidence is not the worst thing in the world.  You know what is? The people who tell her she shouldn't have any"
Nothing wrong with that as far as I can tell.  Nothing derogatory against anyone, other than the people who do that.  Something uplifting for women to remember.

However.  I received a message, that I did not understand, telling me in a series that I was trolling men and I was a man hater.  This did not come from a troll or the usual MRA fuckwit.  This was a regular (I thought) person.

I read and reread my tweet, looking for answers.  I asked why they thought the above, only for them to resend my message back to me, asking me to reread it.  I was completely oblivious as to why my tweet came across as anti men.

Today, I read my tweet again, together with the conversation that followed.  It dawned.  Dawned in a way that made me want to smack my head against a wall.  The reason they had a problem with my message was that it did not include that men should have confidence too.

I am done with this shit.  I am done with this whiny want of inclusion of men in every single thing about women.  We are seemingly not allowed to say anything about ourselves, without first acknowledging that some man, somewhere, has experienced it too.  

If you cannot get through a tweet, an article, a comment about women without crying "what about men"; I cannot be arsed with you any longer.  I will no longer engage.  You are not worthy of my time, in the comments sections or on social media.

Women are not required to mention you in every section of their lives. We do not need to pander to your insecurities any longer.  If your response to an article about a woman being raped is "Men are raped too" you are a pathetic excuse of a human being.  

If you cannot read a comment about a woman having confidence without thinking "Why didn't she mention men having confidence" I can't help you.  Reassess your fucking priorities.   I'm done.

I'm out.  

2 August 2016

Just Keep Swimming

I am looking at you, the vast white blank space that is my new draft post.  You entice, making me want to fill you up with words, my thoughts on display, my feelings on show.

(Jesus, that sounded a lot more filthy than I meant it to come out.  But hey, the intention here is to get me writing again, so I will allow it, this once)

I can see the words that I want to type, dancing just behind this vast white screen.  The many topics I want to speak about, suddenly disappear the moment I open my laptop.

It used to be so easy.  I used to post 2, 3, 4 times a week sometimes.  With ease.  I could bang out an opinion piece in a few hours, the thoughts formulating in my head as I went through my day, pouring out of me when I got to my laptop at night.  

Do I have less opinions these days?  Hell no.  Probably more.  Am I less passionate than I used to be?  Definately not.  But the words, they still do not come.  Irritatingly, if I am given a subject, a starting point; I am fine.  The words flow easily like they did before.

Ironically. this post that I am writing to you now is flowing.  The words are here, within my grasp.  The thoughts come together.  This means that I still have it in me, but the dots are not connecting.  Is this writer's block?

I think what I am lacking is focus.  My work life is insane at the moment, my head is still coming out of the loss of my step dad and my beautiful little dog child, Ellie.  My anxiety has spiralled and I feel like I am constantly waiting for the other shoe to drop. It has been a really shitty couple of years, but I feel ready, more than ready to clear the head space and become me once more.

I re-read a post that I wrote for the Huffington Post in 2014 this week. Mirror, Mirror On the Wall and it made me remember the love that I had for writing.  The passion that I felt about body confidence, about reminding people that we are more than just our bodies; that is ok to look at yourself in the mirror and like your reflection.

I have tried everything to reignite my writing bug.  It is still there, in force, but still under the surface where I cannot yet reach.  I need my focus back.  I need to clear my head of what has gone on before and just write.  I need the Twitter me to expand and jump on to my blog page.


I think that I am just doing to channel Dory.  Instead of keeping swimming, I am just going to keep writing.  Not focus on a subject, just write.  Lord knows what you will be reading, but I feel that it is the only way to bring myself back.

I will try and throw some interesting pieces in between the journey of self reflection.  But I ask that you bear with me in the transition.  It is time for the gobby opinion to make a return to The Curved Opinion.

1 August 2016

Work Handbags

One universal truth is that the bigger the handbag you buy, the more you will find that you absolutely have to have in it.

I remember in the late 90s (yes, that shows my age) going on a night out with nothing more than a purse that held my money and a lipstick.  These days, that list has expanded somewhat.  Phone, purse, lipstick, eyeliner, concealer, pressed powder, face brush, mini brush... Ah, to have my 1990s face complexion!

When it comes to handbags for work however, my tastes have never changed.  I need something that will go with every outfit (a different coloured dress every day could pose a challenge), something to hold the never ending list of things I absolutely need (read not really) to take with me, something that is aesthetically pleasing and timeless.

I am currently looking for an new work handbag so thought that I would show you some the bags currently in contention.

You really cannot go wrong with a black crocodile skin (fake obviously!) handbag.  This is the first handbag I spotted on my search and is high on the list of contenders/

Carvela Winged Tote Bag £49.00
This bag would go with every and I love the simple gold detailing to it.

DunedinCashmere £69.99
This is the most professional looking of the bags I have been looking at.  It would go great with a suit for those days I want to look a little more professional.

John Lewis £33.00
I love the styling of this bag, although on a practical side it is only something that I could use in the Summer months and is cream a good idea when dragging around on the bus every day?

Ok, ok, I admit it.  This bag is not in contention.  I cannot afford a £400 bag for work.  But I LOVE it.  I adore everything Vivienne Westwood and I have a major style crash for this bag.  Sadly, it is not meant to be, but at least I can look at the picture.  Sob!

Going through all of the above, I think that the Asos bag is my best bet.  What do you think?