Monthly Archives: February 2018

Fake-ish News

Something that has recently been brought to my attention, yet again, is the idea that social media has made us less sensitive to the issues that are plaguing our world day in and day out. Of course, the tragic shooting at Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida has brough this to light. I for one think that the fact students were able to document what they went through was extremely important. Even if the only thing that comes from it is the fact that it is forcing people to notice that gun control is a serious issue in the states.

The main point of this post was to highlight a trend of virtual sympathy; to bring forward the issue of passive compassion. For too long the day after mass shootings, and there are many to choose from, consist of ‘thoughts and prayers’. Although it’s nice that we say we will keep these tragedies at heart and try to prevent them; when is this issue actually going to be dealt with? The US has an obsession with with The Right to bear arms even though this was put into action when guns could only shoot one bullet at a time. It makes perfect sense for the 1800s.

Thus we get back to my point of passive compassion. These people are able to deny the consequences of the second amendment because they simply don’t know the impacts of it. Take the Parkland example; so many survivors are being ridiculed for posting videos of the attack, but in that moment of panic and fear it makes perfect sense to want something familiar and that you can control. The real issue here is not that people can see these videos, it’s that some people don’t. More accurately, they scroll past. I’ve watched the videos and they are nothing less than horrifying but I’m glad I’ve seen them. There is now no doubt in my mind that the US needs to, at the very least, have more regulations on gun ownership.

We now have the ability to scroll past the things we don’t like and only pay attention to the parts of the world we want to see. We are in complete control of the news we receive and thus can build up an entirely false picture of what it’s like to be in the 21st century.

For example, a few weeks ago I logged on to twitter and was bombarded with pictures and jokes about Courtney Act’s shocking entrance in to the Celebrity Big Brother house. When I brought it up with my sister she had absolutely no idea what I was talking about or even who Courtney Act is. Something that is important to you can be an area of ignorance for someone else and unfortunately we all have the chance to live in complete ignorance even though we are constantly surrounded by the news.

I too, am guilty of this. If I see something that scares me or upsets me I simply don’t watch it. Of course that doesn’t mean that these things aren’t happening. Surely it is better to know and to take the world exactly as it is rather than live in a protected bubble where only good things happen. The world isn’t made up of GIFs of famous drag queens losing their skirts on live television and we need to be aware of the real troubles we face as a community. I don’t just mean school shootings. I mean poverty, abuse, natural disasters and corrupt governments. This may not be what you want to see online on your lunch break but it’s happening and we cannot ignore it. Be in controll of your knowledge about the world. Don’t close yourself off from what actually goes on outside your device.

Year of the Woman

This year marks 100 years since women gained the right to vote in the UK.

This was a monumental point in history. The suffragettes forged the way for us to make this world an equal place. If we all exercised our right to vote we could achieve true equality; not even just on the bases of binary gender but for all people. If we all have a say in who runs the country we live in and if we can choose people that will make the right choices for us all, then there would be no inequality.

That’s a very broken down solution (of course we need to educate people on the importance of equality) but it rings true. Surely we don’t want to end up being a world superpower with a bigoted, sexist, heteronormative and xenophobic leader…

International Women’s March 2017. Topeka, Kansas.

Women are still not considered equal to men. You might think that this is a harsh statement because all of your male friends treat you with as much value as they do with other men but that isn’t equality. Many men, and women, go about their daily lives without any thought to the fact that women have to work harder and for longer to get the same pay as men or that they may not get the job in the first place because they have the capability to have children. A lot of men would question why girls feel the need to go to the toilet in groups or wait with each other for the taxi that only one of them is getting.

Feminism is a word people are scared of because of those stories you here about hating men and burning bras but the only thing feminism means, and it’s really quite simple, is equality. Yes it focuses on women at this stage because women are the ones who have been oppressed in this patriarchal society for centuries. That does not mean that any feminist would say that men are better off in all aspects because we know that isn’t true. You have to accept that our priorities right now are, understandably, things like dissolving rape culture; which does impact women more than men. We acknowledge that it does happen to men, that is where the equality part comes in, and we are trying to bring this to light.

Feminism is for everyone. It’s about giving each person the same opportunity as the next. Women don’t want to dictate everything you do, we just want to be able to do everything you can do. We want equal rights, we want equal pay and we want control over our bodies without judgement.

If there is one person who can explain it better than I can, it would be Australian Idol superstar, Drag Race alumna and winner of Celebrity Big Brother Year of the Woman; Courtney Act. Please watch this clip, start thinking and be a part of a very feminist future!