A few weeks ago whilst I was wasting my life on the internet, I watched a video from a Youtuber called Hannah Witton. Hannah makes videos on sex and relationships and this particular one was called ‘Masculinity, Men and Feminism.’ It’s quite an old video so some of you may have seen it before. Anyway, normally I consider myself to be fairly ‘woke’ when it comes to gender roles and stereotypes. Despite this, at the start of the video Hannah introduced me to an idea that I’d never really thought about before. Without quoting her word for word, Hannah said that since feminism had begun, gender roles for women had changed quite a lot. Women (at least where I live) can go to work, are sometimes seen as strong individuals, and even have places they can go to discuss gender related issues they may be struggling with. Men on the other hand appear to have been a bit left behind. Male gender roles don’t seem to have evolved in the same way female roles have. Men are still often expected to be aggressive, to suppress their emotions, to be physically strong, and to conform to many other stereotypes.
I found it rather strange that I had never thought about this before. After all, I’m the kind of person who actively spends her time trying (and often failing) to teach people about hypermasculinity and how damaging forcing gender roles on people can be. I guess I’d simply failed to look at this ‘lack of evolution’ idea in the past. Weird stuff huh?
Throughout the rest of the video, gender roles, feminism, and even some very serious issues like male abuse and rape victims are discussed. I have linked the video here as I think it is very interesting. I encourage you all to go and watch it and continue these important conversations with the people around you!
Technically speaking, on the 10th of August 2016 I officially became a ‘grown up.’ Being the slightly dramatic person I am, I remember the moment I entered adulthood very well as I was collapsed face down on my faded yellow carpet, wallowing over the prospect of leaving my childhood behind forever.
Now here’s the thing – as my final moments of youth slipped away and I entered the scary jaws of responsibility and existentialism, I don’t remember being given any instructions on how to proceed. I was handed no certificate of congratulations for reaching this particular milestone and I experienced no epiphany where I thought ‘I know how to adult now.’ This made me start wondering ‘what is an adult anyway?’
Yes, yes, I know technically an adult is a person aged 18 or over. But why exactly does that set number of years make somebody a responsible grown up? I’m sure there are many technical answers people could give me to that question, but I’m more interested in wondering about the following:
Will I feel like a grown up when I stop living at my parents’ house and move out? Will I feel like a grown up when I start paying my own gas and electricity bills?
What about when I go out shopping and buy my own coffee machine – will I feel like an adult then? Or maybe if I purchase some decorative towels for my bathroom some grown up feelings will start to kick in.
When I’m sixty years old and tell teenagers how different things were ‘back in my day,’ will I finally feel like a worldly all-knowing adult then? Or will I just feel old? On my 73rd birthday, will I finally be mature enough to stop needing dessert after every meal I eat? I highly doubt it.
Maybe I’ll never feel like a grown up at all. After all, somebody once told me that no adults actually exist on this planet and that everybody is just making up their lives as they go along.
So are we all just big children, walking around running companies and buying houses like we own the place? Or, when I hit 40 or 50 or some other ‘proper grown-up age,’ will I suddenly feel a different sense of adulthood to what I feel now? I guess I’ll find out when I’m 83.
I feel like LGBT labels are seen by some as an amazing concept and by others as the worst thing in the world. Personally, I don’t feel like I’m that opinionated when it comes to labels which is surprising seeing as I’m opinionated about pretty much everything else. So naturally, rather than leaving it be, I thought I’d take a look at some of the different advantages and disadvantages of labels today. I thought it might be interesting to look at some varying viewpoints from other people. You can write your opinions in the comments and stuff and we can start a little discussion thing…if people want to 🙂
Some disadvantages of labels I’ve heard:
Bullying/discrimination: Some people think labels encourage bullying, discrimination, and exclusion. This can happen when people change the meaning of the word ‘gay’ to insult someone or use nasty slurs such as ‘tranny.’ Discrimination like this can ruin people’s lives and in extreme circumstances, even put individuals in danger.
We don’t need them: Lots of people think labels serve no purpose because they argue that ‘we are all human.’ They think we should be able to accept everybody for who they are without needing labels to categorise people into different groups.
Pressure to meet society’s expectations for labels: Some people think assigning a label to yourself pressures you to meet societal expectations, for example dressing or acting a certain way to fit a stereotype. This pressure could potentially make individuals act differently from who they really are.
Some advantages of labels I’ve heard:
A sense of belonging: Many people in the LGBT community know the feeling of being an outcast all too well. Some people argue labels like ‘gay’ introduce individuals to a group of people they can relate to where they can discuss any struggles they may face with others who empathise.
Empowerment: Lots of people argue they are proud of their identities and like being able to use LGBT labels to tell the world who they are. Labels can also lead to events like Pride being organised which benefit those within the community.
Labels themselves don’t cause problems, the people misusing them do: People argue words like ‘gay’ and ‘transgender’ aren’t the concern here but the people turning these well-meaning terms into harmful insults are. They argue people like this shouldn’t make us cut these words out of our vocabulary entirely.
I asked some people I know how they felt about labels and here’s what they said:
Boyfriend – ‘I don’t care for them at all, (I think the world) would be a much better place if we stopped using labels entirely.’
Friend 1 – ‘I think labels are good because they tell people where they stand or what they go for but they are by no means necessary. It’s okay to still be figuring things out. I think especially at uni labels aren’t the best because people are still very closed minded still and rely heavily on stereotypes in my experience which frustrates me A LOT.’
Friend 2 – ‘I do not like the idea of labels because I feel like assigning yourself in a particular box will always cause controversy from people who may not understand what it means. I also feel like for people discovering themselves as LGBT in a traditional household may not feel as though they are comfortable ticking a certain box. For a lot of them the way they feel is a lot more than just a word, and I feel like that very label may isolate them because of the stigma related towards it whilst growing up in such households. They may think it’s a crime to act like the way they do when it is perfectly normal!’
If you have any opinions on labels, write them in the comments below as I’m sure there are many points I haven’t included in this particular post. Hope you found this interesting!
You might think you’re pretty cool – you have a great job, lots of friends, and you’re relatively happy with the way your life is going so far. Unfortunately, your ego is about to disintegrate as I tell you about the creature whose standards you can never live up to.
Objectively, Harry Hill (my cat) is cooler than anybody else in the world. Don’t be mistaken, as he’s much more than just your average pet. Not convinced? Here are five excellent reasons why my cat is an inspiration and a blessing to us all:
He never gives up. Harry is somebody who knows exactly what he wants. Whether this be killing a piece of string, eating dry cat food forever, or spending an entire day licking a plastic bag, Harry’s persistence impresses all who meet him. We see his determination reflected as he pulls rubbish bags out of the bin, refuses to eat anything remotely moist, and sabotages my mum’s emails by jumping on the iMac keyboard.
He’s more hygienic than you. How much time have you spent washing yourself today? Probably not as much time as Harry. Even without the fancy toiletries available to most privileged humans, Harry invests more time in cleaning himself than most people do. We should all take a leaf out of his book.
He effortlessly looks amazing. Harry always looks as if he’s spent hours in the bathroom and has just put on a new tuxedo. What most people don’t realise is that Harry simply wakes up wearing a matching suit and tie. That’s right, on top of everything else, Harry just happens to look naturally fabulous too.
He doesn’t care what people think of him. Although Harry knows some people are jealous of him, he never lets his haters bring him down. Admittedly, sometimes my family will laugh when they see him vigorously chasing his tail, falling off a chair, or literally not moving for seven hours straight, but Harry doesn’t care. At the end of the day, he knows he’s living his best life and that he’s spectacular regardless of what anybody else thinks.
He brings joy to everyone he meets. Harry has lived with us for five years now (and what a blessed five years it has been). During that time, apart from a few cat scratches and sabotaged emails, he has never emotionally or physically hurt anybody in our home. He has never said anything spiteful or insensitive or even started a mildly petty argument. Whenever friends and family are lucky enough to see him, they always greet him with a smiling face and a scratch behind the ears (if he hasn’t chosen to run away from them because he simply doesn’t have the time). Usually, guests in our house seem more interested in talking to Harry than to us! We can hardly blame them though.
So there you have it – now you can see why Harry is better than anybody else you know. Do you have a pet that you think is amazing? Tell me about them in the comments because I’d love to know!