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Slutwalk is coming to London. It was originally scheduled for Saturday the 4th of June but apparently it’s been moved to the 11th. This is an anti-rape protest first started in Toronto, Canada.

I am troubled with Slutwalk as a movement. At first I found it difficult to put into words why this was. It made me uneasy. I consider myself a feminist, of course I am against violence towards women and I’m a fan of protesting. Protesting something we disagree with is important, we shouldn’t just accept the status quo. So when a law officer in Toronto said that women should avoid dressing ‘slutty’ to avoid rape I was pleased at the uproar.

However, as the protest movement picked up speed and organised into the ‘Slutwalk’ phenomena spreading across to the U.S.A., U.K. and Australia I became increasingly uncomfortable. And I’m not alone. People all over have been voicing concerns such as this critique by Meghan Murphy and this blog post on the f-word. ‘Reclaiming’ a negative word doesn’t automatically take away its power. It may seem empowering to call myself a slut but by doing so I am buying into the rhetoric of the word to begin with. If someone uses it against me with malice it’s negative power holds true.

Not all negative words should be reclaimed.

I think we just need to get away from describing what people wear as slutty. It’s not the clothes. After all what is thought of as ‘slutty’ changes depending on the time, the country and the person. Rather than embracing the word ‘slut’ and making friends with it I think we would do better to attack it, chopping it off at the roots. As fun as it is making a sign shouting ‘I’M A SLUT’ better, I think, to shout ‘THERE ARE NO SLUTS’.

Awesome

Earlier I had a post about my over-use of ‘dude’. Yesterday it was made clear to me that I also waaaay overuse the word ‘awesome’. An innocent brownie shining in her blindingly fluorescent yellow asked me if it was my favourite word. Horrified I realised I’d just muttered ‘awesome’ at all of their work for the last 30 minutes. Oopsie.

On a separate note – I have finished my masters! Huzah! Hence why I am suddenly available once more. In a glut of excitement at having free time once more I have been madly theatre-going, volunteered with a brownie pack and signed up for Japanese classes. Am now a little exhausted. All this ‘doing more than one thing’ in your life is tiring. Oh, and I also have a job (ick spit).

A question or two

Yesterday we went to see ‘Any Questions?’ hosted by Jonathon Dimbleby. It was excellent. Anthony Horowitz was on the panel. How I love Anthony Horowitz.

That says it all really. I can’t remember the last time I went to a town that didn’t have McDonalds, but Bruge was free of them. Excellent. Just what I hope for in a medieval town. It’s a very pretty town, crammed with ice, waffles, chips and massive bowls of hot chocolate. Mmmm.

The Killing Season

Above is the trailer for a great documentary called ‘The Killing Season’ about malaria in Uganda. It raises very important issues to do with drug manufacture and distribution. Sadly the whole documentary isn’t available just yet but hopefully it will be soon.

Mastering the masters

A masters is like a black hole that you throw your time and life into. What month is it? December? How did that happen? What happened to November? All I know is that I have two more deadlines for next week. And then a further two a few weeks after that.

This first semester has gone so so fast. The whole year is going to be a blur I can tell. Hopefully at the end I’ll be found in fancy hat, masters degree in hand, smiling knowlingly, and not in a gibbering wreck under a desk somewhere. As it is I am quite tempted to build some kind of fort out of all my books and articles and have a little nap.

How do academics survive? Is it always like this?

I need to buck up and grab this thing with both hands. I’m determined that I will master the masters.

Remember a few months ago there was all that controversy about a new advert for ‘Oven Pride’? It got loads and loads of complaints. Here it is:

I just found this vinatge ad:

delmonteo

It’s interesting that this goes both ways. And people get very outraged. Apparently according to this article there were over a thousand direct complaints to the company calling the oven pride advert sexist.

Oh, I’ve been so naughty not writing on here. Once you stop doing something regularly it’s pretty difficult to get going again. I shall try to be a better person though.

So in a quick update (not much as I try to focus on the present) I have now moved to London. Woo! And we’ve moved into a shiny (shiny-ish) flat. Oh the amount of space we now have seems decadent. I’ve managed to fill it quite well though.

I’m also 3 weeks into my new course. So far my impressions are “Ah the reading, the reading”.

I’ve been a bit sickly in recent days. This is why I haven’t blogged for a while. That and I didn’t really have anything to say. This was a more or less direct consequence of being ill. It’s not very interesting to blog about having watched over an entire season of House in a week (although I have – boom ra. Anyone want to ask what diseases can be diagnosed with a lumbar puncture I am your gal).

Daring to be different I didn’t actually have swine flu, which, as I’m sure everyone knows, was declared a pandemic by WHO a few months ago. Of course as the UK is currently diagnosing people over the phone, using non-doctors and then throwing TamiFlu at anyone with a temperature I’m not sure I trust the current statistics of how many people have been affected thus far.  Several people have been found to have been misdiagnosed. Sadly only when they got worse or died. A 48 year old woman died of meningitis after being diagnosed with swine flu, and a 13 year old boy had to spend six days in hospital after being diagnosed with H1N1 when he in fact had a kidney infection.

As for myself, C (I couldn’t talk at this stage) had to assure the receptionist at the health centre that I didn’t have a temperature or any flu like symptoms before I could get an appointment to see a doctor. The doctor rather unhelpfully said that it was “…probably a chest infection caused by a virus in which case you’ll have to fight it off yourself, but just in case it’s a bacterial infection here have these anti-biotics”. I’ve seen way too many House episodes to not realise that just means ‘I have no idea just eat these and see if it works’. I was all for not eating them but C persuaded me.

I’m much better now. But I think that’s mainly because of the bucketfuls of squash I consumed.

Incidentally there’s also government advice set up on swine flu at directgov including links to the NHS ‘Online symptom and treatment assessment tool’.

I had a go on this tool and it told me to CALL 999 IMMEDIATELY!!!!!!!!!!! Okay it didn’t have so many exclamation points but it definitely sounded like it was trying to convey a great deal of panic. Needless to say I didn’t call 999. I wasn’t even messing around – I just answered the questions seriously. I don’t think it’s a very useful tool, amblances take forever anyway (more on this later) without fools wasting their time because the online NHS tool led them astray. The whole flu panic is out of hand – people need to take deep breaths and calm down.

gillette-ad

When my brother was a toddler he on several occasions got hold of my father’s safety razor and badly cut his thumb. Doing it once was forgiveable but he went back for more! Oh the blood. He was a cunning child and had the skill of finding where you’d hidden things from him. Luckily for his thumbs though eventually papa managed to put the thing out of his reach.