Stop Slut-Shaming

I used to slut shame people all the time. If I saw a girl in a short skirt, I’d call her a ‘slag’ because she was obviously just trying to draw attention to herself, right? She needed to have some self-respect and behave more like me.

I learned the meaning of the word ‘slut’ in year seven. Luckily, from an early age, I knew the importance of women dressing a certain way, acting a certain way, and absolutely not having too much s-e-x! Obviously, I could never be friends with someone I considered ‘slutty,’ because otherwise I’d be associated with ‘those types of girls’ – and I was way better than them.

dress-1924547_640

One fateful day, however, I watched a video that completely blew my mind. The video was called ‘she’s such a SLUT’ by the YouTuber Laci Green. For the first time in my life, Laci made me question why people called girls sluts and whether there was actually anything wrong with women having lots of sex. She also pointed out that males didn’t get slut shamed. Instead, they were championed for having sex by getting called names like a ‘player’ or ‘a guy with game’ (which wasn’t necessarily helpful for them either). I’ve linked her video at the bottom of this post if you want to watch it.

I realised that as long as sex was safe and consensual, there was nothing wrong with having it! Or not having it! Or having it upside-down! (You get the idea).This judgemental label that I’d been using for years was actually a misogynistic double-standard that made no sense. At the end of the day, other people’s sex lives (or lack thereof) were none of my business. This meant I never had to worry about the length of anybody’s skirt, the amount of cleavage they showed, or how often they bonked again! What a weight off my chest.

A while later, I also learned about something called ‘prude shaming’ and how it could be just as damaging as slut-shaming. It all came back to the idea of not judging people for their personal sex lives and minding my own business. That seemed easy enough to me.

fear-299679_640

Slut-shaming is very harmful and needs to end. It may seem trivial to merely call someone names now, but shaming people for their sex lives can lead to very serious consequences in the future. These can include bullying, rape victim-blaming and even suicide. I may write a more detailed post or make a video about these consequences in the future because I think they warrant their own space to be discussed.

I’m so glad that people on the internet helped me to change my perspective on slut and prude shaming. Shout out to Laci for introducing me to the concept in the first place. Whatever gender you identify as, you should be able to have as much or as little sex as you want without people policing you for it. So as long as it’s safe and consensual sex, do whatever you want!

Thanks for reading,

ranterwrites


Laci’s Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_BwuASx8yT8

My YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCNYM8MsTt08kkwSvSKzktCg

Twitter: https://twitter.com/ranterwrites

 

Advertisements

‘Masculinity, Men and Feminism’

Hey everybody, just a quick post here today!

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!

Thanks for reading,

ranterwrites


Follow me on Twitter

This is my YouTube Channel

Random Thought – Donald Trump is Rude

So as you probably know, Donald Trump held an hour and a half long press conference a couple of days ago. During the conference, Trump discussed many things ranging from himself to every paper he believes is delivering ‘fake news.’

As I watched him tell everybody he had the largest electoral college victory since Ronald Reagan, a thought dawned upon me: Donald Trump is a very rude, arrogant man (not for that false claim in particular, just in general).

Now I know what you’re thinking – ‘wow, this girl is a genius, she’s figured out that Donald Trump is rude! What a major new discovery that no one has ever thought of before!’ (sarcasm).

Yes, I know everybody already knows that Donald Trump is arrogant. I already knew Donald Trump was arrogant, it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure that one out. However, whenever I’ve watched the president before, I think I’ve been too distracted by the highly questionable things he’s been saying about immigrants, women, and other marginalised groups to think much about his rudeness.

That night, I saw Donald Trump for what he was underneath all the other terrifying things he was at the surface – not very nice. I wouldn’t really care about his rudeness if his policies didn’t terrify and upset me. Unfortunately though, they do, so his personality still bothers me.

Obviously I know that the rudeness of Donald Trump doesn’t compare to the worrying policies he’s making and the impact he’s having on people’s lives. You’re probably sat there thinking: ‘this girl is ridiculous, she should be talking about the things Trump is doing, not whether he says please and thank you at the dinner table.’ And I’d totally agree with you, but it was just a random thought I had in my head.

What Feminism Means to Me :)

Once again, the president of the United States almost stopped me from posting today. Once again, I am not going to let him stop me!

Hello everyone, today I am going to be talking about what feminism means to me. Get ready to buckle your seatbelts because this is going to be a wild ride.

Feminism is something that is very important to me. Although I only learned about it properly a few years ago, the lessons it’s taught me have had a humongous impact on my life and the way I see the world. The literal definition of feminism is the theory of the political, economic, and social equality of the sexes. Feminism does not mean women are better than men. This notion means so much to me as I’m a firm believer nobody should ever be discriminated against because of their gender (and you should be too!) To me, feminism means a better quality of life and more opportunities for everybody.

Feminism means fighting for a better world. To me, this is about never giving up in the face of defeat. Yes, we will lose battles along the way, but we’ll also make progress in the future – because we are the future! After all, so much has already changed since the movement began. It means celebrating our small victories whilst staying strong and fighting back when life tries to walk all over us. It means reaching out to help others when life tries to walk on them.

early-feminism

Feminism needs to be intersectional in order to benefit all women. If you are more privileged than someone in terms of race, gender, sexuality, etc., this means listening to their experiences and actually acknowledging them. It means believing them, not being indifferent or accusing them of lying because we can’t relate to what’s been said. Ultimately, intersectional feminism means recognising the movement needs to help more than just white, cis, able-bodied, middle-class, heterosexual women (that was a mouthful!) It needs to help all women.

Feminism also means helping men. Although women suffer from the effects of the patriarchy to a greater extent (which is why I think using the term ‘feminism’ is important so we don’t lose sight of that), there are also ways the patriarchy harms males. For example, male abuse and rape victims are taken less seriously. Also, men are more likely to die from suicide than women. Many believe this is because society has taught men to completely suppress their emotions.

Feminism means recognising just because we are discussing women’s issues at one point in time, that doesn’t mean we don’t care about men’s issues as well. For example, if someone is having a specific conversation about female victims of abuse and rape, it means not dismissing that by telling them ‘well men get raped too.’ This is because in that space the conversation happens to be about female victims, therefore in another conversation it will be about male victims. Having said this, it’s vital these conversations about men do actually take place, because like I previously said, male abuse and rape victims are often taken less seriously. In short, feminism means making sure these conversations occur for all genders. Feminism does not mean fighting against existing conversations in order to start new ones. An alternative, more helpful response to ‘well men get raped too’ could be ‘I really care that men get raped too, so let’s start a conversation about that as well whilst the one about women continues.’ In my opinion, this is more useful mind-set.

calm

So there we have it – that is what feminism means to me! During times like these (a.k.a. the Trump era), I think it’s more important than ever to keep discussions about feminism going. Although all this negativity often brings me down, I am trying to make it encourage me to speak out more. If any of you have written posts speaking out about issues under threat, please link them to me in the comments. I will genuinely read all of them because I need people to give me hope right now, so please let me know your thoughts!


Twitter: https://twitter.com/ranterwrites

 

Sad Ramblings, India Mass Molestation, Life Lesson of the Week

Hey people,

This week was interesting because I went back to do some more work experience on a magazine I’d helped out on last October. I was helping them with research, which meant I had to read around a lot of news websites all week.

Normally I try to keep up with the news as much as I can anyway. However, as you can probably imagine, searching through these websites all day meant I read a much wider range of stories than usual. Because of this, for the majority of last week I was being reminded of how much bad stuff goes on in the world. Which was great.

On the flip side, I was being reminded of how incredibly lucky I am. I could have been born into any family, in any country, during any time era. Heck, I could’ve not been born at all. Yet here I am…

Despite this, I haven’t been feeling amazing this week to be honest. I’m not sure why. I guess my brain just decided to be a bit moody. However, like I just said, my problems could be way way worse. At the end of the day I think it’s important to stay grateful, cheesy as it sounds.

096

One news story that really stuck out to me last week was the mass molestation in India on New Year’s Eve. The indifference shown by Karnataka’s Home Minister saying ‘these kind of things do happen’ angered me a lot. Worse still, one minister shockingly blamed these attacks on the women themselves for dressing in a ‘western’ way. This kind of victim blaming for sexual assault still happens all over the world today and it’s absolutely disgraceful. It’s 2017 people – we need to be a little more forward-thinking than this! This, of course, was just one of the horrible stories on the news last week. I haven’t even touched upon things like the Florida shooting or anything happening in the Middle East.

india-society-crime-molestation_371155a6-d242-11e6-89f5-e9c163347fb8

I also had to research some charities during my placement. Again, there were two different sides to this experience. On the one hand, it was unpleasant to be reminded of how many problems and crises there are in the world. On the other, it was nice to remember how many charities have actually been set up and how many people take time to help others.

go-the-extra-mile-for-autism-charities

All in all it’s been an interesting week for me. The main thing I’ve taken from it is to try and stay grateful for what I have. Sometimes if I’ve had a bad day, I feel like wallowing in misery for months and refusing to do things that make me feel better. However, that isn’t very helpful and my life could be a lot worse. I could literally be living in a war zone, have an extreme lack of human rights, or be starving to death (sorry if that got a little dramatic, but it’s true!) Over the past few months I’ve gained a better perspective on life in general, so that’s definitely something I want to work on now.

I hope you all had a nice week. Thanks for reading xo


Twitter: https://twitter.com/ranterwrites

PATERNITY LEAVE IS UNFAIR??!1!

So I haven’t been fired from my job yet, which means they’ve let me continue working there for the past six weeks. Trust me, I’m just as surprised as you are. As I’ve been there a while now, I’ve done my fair share of opening post. I don’t mind doing the post, which is lucky because I have to do it twice a day. I have to sort it all in to piles which is incredibly exciting when post openers exist. Anyway, one of my piles is for maternity leave forms, and I’ve had a lot of these come in since I started. A few weeks ago, I opened an envelope and something different fell out – a paternity leave form. I didn’t think much of it at first. Then, I suddenly realised this was the first one I’d had in my four weeks working there. Comparatively, I’d waded through about 92 maternity leave ones. I read the paternity form and found the father was only entitled to a maximum of two weeks paid leave. Although I knew what was coming, I decided to compare the form to a maternity one anyway. Sure enough, the mothers requesting leave were allowed 52 weeks off.

baby-blocks

I know this isn’t some huge ‘discovery’ I’ve made. Most people (I think), know that (in general around the world) mothers are allowed more leave than fathers when it comes to caring for a new baby. It’s always been something I’ve disagreed with, but never something I’d thought about in much detail. Having said this, witnessing it for myself hit me in a different way.

So now I want to think about it properly. First of all, we can look at the standard maternity and paternity leave in the UK, which apparently the majority of couples are currently choosing to take. Paternity leave offers the father or partner either 1 or 2 weeks of leave. In comparison, maternity leave offers mothers 52 weeks of leave. Clearly we can see a discrepancy here. However, to be fair to the UK, in 2011 additional paternity leave was introduced as an alternative option for fathers and partners. This was a good step in the right direction but like many things, it came with its limitations. Figures from 2013 and 2014 show the uptake of APL was very low. Reasons for this ranged from financial issues to stigma attached to men staying at home. In 2015, Shared Paternal Leave and Pay was introduced, replacing the old additional paternity leave option. Again, this was a step forward for the UK. The scheme allowed parents to split 52 weeks of leave between them, getting some payment for 39 of these weeks. This leave can be used on top of the statutory two weeks of paternity leave already available to fathers and partners. However, similarly to additional paternity leave, uptake so far has been extremely low. Again, there are many different reasons for this. Many couples are hesitant to take it as they find it doesn’t make much financial sense for them to do so. Some parents also fail to meet the qualifying conditions to take Shared Paternal Leave.

Not everywhere has the same system as the UK though (obviously). For example, Iceland operates around the right of a child to be cared for by both parents. This means three months of leave are allocated to each parent, with an extra three months to be shared between them. Interestingly, Sweden uses “daddy quotas” to encourage fathers to take time off, a method that has proved effective. I’m no expert on these foreign countries’ policies, but from what I have learnt, they seem to be moving in the right direction if you ask me!

So why do I want things to change in the UK? Well, fathers may simply want to spend more time with their children without being shamed or restricted financially. In my opinion, parents should be able to decide for themselves how they split their work and home life without money constraints or stigma. By all means, if a mother is eager to take time off whilst a father wants to works, then obviously that’s fine too. However, it’s about giving each family a proper choice – a choice that isn’t so influenced by financial restrictions, heavy stigma, and so on.

bottle

Assuming mothers will always be the primary child carers can also prevent women from reaching higher positions at work. Employers may be reluctant to promote pregnant women when they simply presume they’ll be the main child carers. Whilst pregnancy does affect mothers more than fathers, child caring does not have to and couples shouldn’t feel pressured to split their work and family responsibilities in a particular way.

Since finding that first paternity form, I’ve only had one other form for a father come through in the post – just ONE! I really want things to change. I want all restrictions lifted, more financially realistic paternity policies introduced, and the pressure some women feel to become main child carers (when they don’t want to be) reduced. Equally importantly, I want the stigma of fathers looking after babies and children to go away!

Basically, I think parents should be able to organise their lives the way they want (within reason, obviously). I hope at least some of you agree with me. Anyway, that’s my opinion on the current maternity/paternity leave situation in the UK. Feel free to give your opinions on it in the comments, even though opinions scare me a bit if I’m honest (which is really convenient considering the kinds of topics I discuss on this blog hahaha…)        

Anywho, if you’ve gotten this far then thanks so much for reading this long-winded post. Hope you have a Merry Christmas! 🙂 


Follow me on Twitter to hear more opinions no one asked for 🙂

Late reaction to Trump presidency

(I know I’m a bit late with this, but I’ve just started a new job so I’ve been MILDLY BUSY)

So, Donald Trump was elected president (just in case you didn’t know). Personally, I am not his biggest fan. Whilst he has many supporters, I lean more towards team OMG I’D RATHER A POTATO RAN AMERICA.

In all seriousness though, this situation has made a lot of people very worried. As we all know, Trump spewed prejudiced comments against women, immigrants, and many other groups throughout the election. Lots of people are horrified that he is their president. Although we can’t predict the future, some of Trump’s promises have been terrifying. Personally, I think we shouldn’t assume anything. After all, many people assumed Trump could never become the president. Just saying. Even if Trump doesn’t do much, we can still make the world a better place by fighting for what’s right.

Like many, many others, I desperately want to help. I want to make the US president change his views and treat people equally. But like many, many others, I find this problem overwhelming. After all, I am just one person – what can I possibly do? This situation is huge and we don’t know where to start. Whilst this is an understandable attitude, it’s not a particularly helpful one. If all of us think that way, we’ll never get anything done. So, what should we do? Well, none of these tips are going to be ORIGINAL or GROUNDBREAKING, but I’m still writing this as I think we need to spread awareness as much as we can.

Firstly, I think supporting organisations that need our help is very important. There are many different charities you can donate to. If you live outside the US (like me), finding relevant organisations to support can be trickier. I’ve managed to find a couple for UK citizens so far. Obviously, only donate if you can (I don’t have much money either). Again, lists like these can be overwhelming, so, as recommended, maybe try picking just one for now. That’s what I’m going to do anyway.

As well as donating, I think supporting marginalised groups is equally important. I’ve seen people online stressing the importance of ‘upping your allyship’ during uncertain times. I completely agree with these people. Oppressed minority groups need to be heard. They also need to be taken seriously and respected. That means actually listening to what they have to say. That means ensuring their opinions aren’t drowned out by those who have more privilege than them.

After an event like the election, everyone is talking about social justice. I think that’s fantastic – these things need to be discussed. However, the challenging part is keeping it that way. Even if your friends stop tweeting about it, try not to forget these issues next week, next month, or next year. If you want to raise awareness of a problem, ignore anyone saying you talk about it too much. This isn’t just about Trump, it’s about the injustices people have been battling against for decades.

We must not give up hope. I genuinely believe there is hope for the future but we have to keep fighting this.

Most importantly, remember that a president can’t change who we are. They can’t stop our beliefs, values, or determination to make a difference. They can’t change the millions of people fighting for what they believe in. Trump may be the leader, but we don’t have to be his followers. So, let’s get to work.