‘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

Advertisements

Do Adults Really Exist???

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.

Are LGBT Labels Good or Bad?

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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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!

Thanks for reading,

ranterwrites

Twitter: https://twitter.com/ranterwrites

YouTube: goo.gl/j4OiTx 

Why My Cat is Better Than Everyone Else

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:

  1. 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.

007.JPG

  1. 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.
  1. 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.
  1. 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.

 002

  1. 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!

Thanks for reading,

ranterwrites


Follow me on Twitter: https://twitter.com/ranterwrites

Check out my YouTube Channel: 

 

My Thoughts On Transgender Bathroom Bans

As you may know, a few days ago Donald Trump revoked a law issued by Obama allowing US transgender public school students to use the bathrooms and locker rooms that match their gender identities. Here are my thoughts on laws preventing transgender people being allowed to use bathrooms they feel safest in:

One of the main arguments for bans like these (used by people who aren’t claiming transgender people are ‘mentally ill’ or ‘don’t exist’) is that cis males will take advantage of this situation. Many advocates of the ban say cis men looking to sexually assault women will dress up as females and pretend to be transgender in order to enter girl bathrooms. They fear this will give sexual predators the chance to sexually assault, rape, or carry out other inappropriate behaviours towards women. In a world where one in five US women will be raped during their lifetimes (2015), of course these concerns are legitimate fears for females to have. Trust me, I am in no way trying to undermine that. However, we can clearly see that transgender women using female bathrooms aren’t the problem here. The concern revolves around cis men looking to sexually assault women.

Some might argue that men who assault may be the problem, but that transgender women being allowed into these spaces will still allow these men to put women in danger. The thing is though, this argument completely prioritises the safety of cis people over that of transgender people. Transgender people are put at risk when denied access to public bathrooms.  As I previously said, sexual assault is a legitimate concern for cis women, however transgender people are the most likely group to experience sexual violence, with 64% having been sexually assaulted in their lifetimes.  Those who say transgender people are the ones posing a threat to people’s safety are labelling the most vulnerable group as a dangerous one.

water-tap-1269763_640

Police, school officials & sexual assault and domestic violence organisations say non-discrimination laws allowing transgender people to use bathrooms matching their gender identities haven’t seen ‘a rise in sexual violence or other public safety issues.’  One police department spokesman stated ‘I doubt [non-discriminatory laws are] gonna encourage the behavior. If the behavior’s there, [sexual predators are] gonna behave as they’re gonna behave no matter what the laws are.’

The National Press Secretary for The Human Rights Campaign, Sarah Mcbride, notes that if sexual assaulters were waiting on ‘loopholes’ like this to appear, they could be entering female bathrooms already.  Laws preventing transgender people using the bathrooms based on their gender identities state that everyone must use the bathrooms matching their ‘biological sex’ instead. This is defined by the sex on people’s birth certificates. Mcbride points out that transgender men are likely to have birth certificates which state they are ‘female,’ and that a lot of the time they are indistinguishable from cisgender males. So in places where it’s the law to use bathrooms matching the sex on your birth certificate, men looking to sexually assault could ‘skip the trouble of dressing up and go into the women’s room, pretending to be a transgender man.’

sign-26291_640

Time Magazine also points out that sexual assault remains sexual assault regardless of your gender identity. Many advocates of the ban work on the assumption that if a male sexual assaulter enters a female space by posing as a transgender woman, their actions will have no consequences. However, if a woman claims she was sexually assaulted, the gender identity of the assaulter doesn’t change the fact that this is a crime. Human Rights Campaign attorney Cathryn Oakley points out: ‘If you are a man who dresses as a woman and goes into a bathroom and commits a crime, whether you have a non-discrimination protection on the basis of gender identity or not, that behavior is illegal and criminal and you could be arrested and go to jail.’

The last and rather ironic point I am going to make is that Donald Trump, the person who revoked Obama’s guidelines based on ‘the safety of women ’ has infamously bragged about getting away with sexually assaulting women because of his fame. This is the man who has set an example to millions by trivialising sexual assault and sexualising women. As president of the United States, his words have real consequences when it comes to the attitudes of people towards these topics. Does this man really care about preventing the sexual assault of women? Or is this just, as many have claimed, an excuse for prejudice and hatred?

fax-1889060_640

The Trump administration rescinding protections for transgender students means these children and teenagers are in more danger now than they were under Obama’s rules. In order to fight this prejudice, we need to educate people about these things. Whatever your gender identity, do your best to teach people, write blog posts, write articles, post on social media, go to peaceful protests, support organisations, etc. Basically, do whatever you can to spread the message that transgender people deserve better than this. I’m a cis female, so obviously I can’t understand how terrible these restrictions must be. But, if anyone reading this is transgender, then what I do know is that you’re strong as hell and that there are tons of people out there that completely support you. And I’m sorry Donald Trump is such an asshat.

————————————————————————–

Twitter: https://twitter.com/ranterwrites

YouTube: 

 

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.

5 Reasons Why You Should Follow Your Dreams

For the sarcastic individual that I am, I sure do come out with a lot of deep, supposedly ‘inspirational’ waffle at times. This is one of those occasions, so if you’re someone who enjoys reading annoying ‘profound’ articles that tell you how to live your life, then this is the post for you.

Lately, as I’ve become increasingly aware of the inevitability of death (which I might expand on another time), the realisation that I need to follow my dreams has hit me like a ton of bricks. Essentially, I’ve realised that I need to live my life to the fullest. Alongside this, I’ve developed a nagging feeling that I should be telling other people to follow their dreams too (because clearly I feel like I have that kind of authority or something).

Evidently, I am someone who thinks it’s really important to follow your dreams. When I say this, I’m talking about actually following your dreams though, not just decorating your apartment with aesthetically pleasing ‘life is short’ wall stickers. Not that there’s anything wrong with decorating your apartment, you can do that too.

Without further ado, here are 5 extremely good reasons why you should follow your dreams, and 5 extremely good examples of me relying far too heavily on clichés in my writing:

  1. You only live once – please don’t throw things at me! Overused as this expression was about three years ago, in my opinion the initial message of the statement has become somewhat overlooked. I am not afraid to tell you that YOLO, so you’d better start living today!

 

  1. It’s better to regret what you have done than what you haven’t. Noticing my theme of cheesy expressions yet? I’m not going to lie, when I embarrass myself by doing something regrettable, I often look back on it and cringe immensely. It can be an extremely painful experience. But do you know what I find worse? Looking back on opportunities I’ve missed and thinking ‘I could’ve done that.’ That feeling sucks.

012

  1. Your opinions of yourself are more important than other people’s opinions of you. I feel like this one ties into the expression: ‘the longest relationship you will ever have is the relationship with yourself.’ I’m not going to sit here and tell you not to care what other people think of you. Telling you to do that would be extremely difficult and would make me a total hypocrite. However, I will tell you to try and care about your opinion of yourself more and to do whatever you want with your life regardless. Within reason.

 

  1. The feeling of satisfaction you get from accomplishing your goals is awesome. The feeling I get after doing something successfully or putting myself out of my comfort zone is one of my favourites in the world. Binge watching TV is amazing I’m not going to lie to you, but it doesn’t give me the same buzz as doing something great. I’m not telling you to never watch TV again though, that would be cruel.

011

  1. To be honest, you owe it to yourself. Think about all the unpleasant things you’ve done today. You probably got out of bed this morning – that was awful right? But you did it anyway because you’re strong as heck. Surely, after everything you’ve put yourself through, you at least owe it to yourself to achieve the things you’ve been dreaming about? Right? That’s what I thought.

So there you have it, 5 good reasons for you to get off your butt and achieve your goals. No need to thank me. (; If you still find me mildly tolerable, let me know what your dreams are in the comments below. I’d love to hear about them!

Deep and inspirational images by: me


Twitter: https://twitter.com/ranterwrites