NOTE: This is NOT intended to be a pity parade. I learned a lot, and was not traumatised.
A few years ago, I was a “victim” of sexual harassment from my unofficial boss at the time. This was before I started questioning social norms, reading political opinion blogs (ah, the glory days of inner peace), and before I truly understood my own boundaries…so…whose victim was I really? Possibly my own.
I was interning at a small events and media company headed by a successful bloke from West London. He offered me a weekly unpaid job and I thought job opportunities would just burst out at me after this, no doubt. I wrote up phony articles about some bars in Camden (for a website I now suspect he’d just set up to occupy my time) and was part of a team helping him to organise some skeezy luxury-themed events. He would get me in his office whenever I finished my writing and would congratulate me for my work and “confide” in me. He’d show me a terrible film he was working on and ask for my approval. It was weird, to say the least, but me, being the remarkably agreeable person that I was, I went along with it. I kind of admired him as I tend to admire those who make something of their lives, I assumed I should probably learn something from him.
Anyway, one evening he took me and a friend of his to review the opening of a new club night in central London. It was exclusive, fancy, free drinks, great fun. I interviewed some people just to impress my boss – I hung out with him and tried to ask him what elements I should review and how (this was my first reviewing gig) – most of all, I drank. His friend kept seeming to leave us alone together and bring us booze whenever we ran out. Somehow it wasn’t quite the professional visit I’d bargained for.
Continue reading “Soul education: How I used an unpleasant life event to become a stronger person”
I was a little apprehensive about writing this piece, because what authority do I have? I hold no degree in “Gender & Sexuality studies” like the writer of this drivel. Then I decided that if people can write politically acceptable articles based on nearly nothing, then I could do the same, only a bit less acceptable – ‘cause why the hell not.
I’m saying it.
I think traditional gender roles are beautiful.
It took a few years of consideration but the movie Deerhunter did it for me.
There is a meaning and a priceless value to intense emotions, so intense that they scar you physically as well as mentally. I personally have cherished every bursting surge of life that a rush of uncontrollable emotion brings – this is why people often take drugs if they are feeling understimulated by their day to day routine. This is why people have casual sex, or go paragliding, or get into street fights. These are all short term, life affirming moments accorded us by our fellow humans.
But there is truth in saying that ultimate transcendence, in the form bestowed upon us by Nature herself, lies in birth and death. In between those two events of a person’s life there are countless opportunities that allow us to experience these core feelings to varying degrees, such as the ones mentioned above.
I think it is fair to say that two concrete manifestations of these events are war and childbirth.
Continue reading “O Glorious Gender”
You know how, as people grow older, they become more and more conservative? Ugh, I can’t believe I’m that guy, before even turning 30. This might be due to more than just bitterness and being overworked. I think a lot of it has to do with nostalgia.
Even after long years of consideration, debate, and self-doubt, I’ve realised that I simply and honestly prefer lots of things how I remember them to the way they are now. Sure, progress is a staple of humanity and it’s unstoppable. But could we not have progressed more in some other directions? Ideas: toilet paper hasn’t changed in centuries. Matches are still essentially the same, and so are calculators.
Continue reading “The Glory Days of the Web”
“It’s time to speak out!”
That’s right, people. ‘Cause there’s a severe shortage of “speaking out” these days.
That is if you disregard the millions of moaning Michaels who find ever more creative ways to tell all their friends (without having to leave the house) every single thing that’s on their minds in bite sized portions. No, but this time we really mean it. Oh my god, we’re going to rattle the world with this hashtag, you wait!
I feel like I’m witnessing the tumorous growth of yet another virtual fad, its lifespan likely to be as short and wimpy as those that preceded it. At least the ice bucketeers actually helped raise quite a bit of money for a clearly defined cause. This, however, looks to me like a load of bored young women jumping on the bandwagon of Hollywood’s latest ladies of the hour.
Continue reading “Predictably, we too have an issue with the #metoo craze.”
Here’s a thought. Imagine you’re North Korea, one of the last independent communist states standing. You’re far from perfect and you tend to abuse your citizens, but relatively to the rest of the world, you’re doing OK and you’re keeping to yourself.
Enter the USA, a hawkish state notorious for its continuous and thinly-veiled attempts to smother any ideology that does not align with its interests. They set up a military base just a stone’s throw away from your fragile country just to flex their bombastic muscles in southeast Asia’s face. Their media does all it can to get the rest of the Western world afraid of you. You are now officially evil, and the welcome support you get from Satanic overlord Putin and the borderline republic of China only makes you look worse in the eyes of our manipulative press. Your leader is also a tad on the “goofy comic book villain” side.
Continue reading ““The North Korea Problem””
The recent “epidemic” of “depression” is one of my biggest beefs with society today. People are actually gaining exposure from making whiny, longwinded articles for massive media outlets talking about their PTSD induced by overly strict parenting and schoolyard bullying. How can this be happening? When did our culture turn around and show its underbelly to the big mean world? Moaning and whimpering we flock in droves to our underpaid doctors and leech antidepressant pills out of an NHS in crisis, and then feel even more sorry for ourselves as a result because our “needs” and “desires” were not “met appropriately”.
When I myself was a moody teen, I used to wish I’d had a rougher life just so’s I could complain more legitimately. Today I see that such fantasies are no longer necessary, because now everyone’s complaint is valid and worthy not only of consideration, but thorough compensation, too. Hooray! What a shame (read: thank God) I outgrew that stage before I could exploit it.
Our middle-class first world has officially become overly comfortable. Far too full of humourless, well-off, middle-class babies are getting showered with attention for describing their “symptoms” in a semipoetic and fully public way. I think maybe this little epidemic is maybe a little touch overhyped. In fact, calling it “depression” only became fashionable about 40 years ago.
Continue reading “#shoutyourmentalillness”
When you’re debating with someone about a very sensitive and/or political topic, it is good to have some factual backing for your arguments. Don’t worry, though. If you know you are right, the need for fact-based arguments diminishes considerably, and you can basically relax into dignified smugness and repetitive, evasive responses. You can reside safely in the knowledge that the other is just a victim of brainwashing, or simply a bigot (unlike yourself). Either way, clearly not someone to listen to. However, if your adversary plays by the same rules, you may have a chance of winning via cigarette break or introduction of an unrelated third party into the conversation – but there are few other options. If your opponent is quite laid-back in their bigotry, you may get a few points across, but you must keep your inner shield strong to avoid persuasion or manipulation that may sway you to regard their obviously wrong ideas as worthy of consideration.
Why are you proud of your sexuality?
It seems this is the guise the LGBT movement uses to hide their real ulterior motives. Before moving on to what the movement is really trying to accomplish, allow me to go along with its poor alibi. I can agree that no one should be ashamed of anything in their identity which they have no control over (although that is apparently still up for debate, just ask my favourite person), but pushing that we should actually be proud of our sexuality or gender is a bit too much of a stretch, even for me, with my extremely socially liberal tendencies (ha, ha).
Allow me to break this down using homosexuality as an example. You are proud of being gay. If you are a man, you are proud of the fact that the chemicals in your brain react to external stimuli, let’s say an attractive man, and subsequently send blood to your penis, causing an erection. You’re essentially proud of a perfectly natural human bodily function. You may as well be proud of taking a shit.
Continue reading “Why LGBT Pride Month is (mostly) Bullshit.”
As a steadfast pro-choicer since as long as I can remember, I have recently made myself read and listen to as many pro-life arguments as possible. Let me cover these arguments and my rebuttals here and if anyone has anything to add or subtract, make yourself heard.
Now, I’m probably not going to say anything new here. Let’s not beat around the bush. I’m pro-choice firstly because I’m a young woman who realises that with one small mistake, I might bring my already unstable life to crash down all around me like the wrath of God. All because of a moment’s blindness to reality. I’m lucky to live in an era where I can fix that mistake relatively painlessly, few questions asked. Continue reading “Why I’m Pro-Choice (Within Reason)”
The first thing I feel needs to be addressed, is that this discussion dwells as a small controversy within a much larger topic. I believe that before we ask the question “should I have an abortion?”, we should ask “how did it get to this stage in the first place?” This is a broader discussion that would be of great benefit to those on both sides of the abortion debate. If we could all agree that every step should be taken to avoid the situation in which an abortion is to be considered, and work together to make it easier to avoid, both parties would be much happier, and more productive.
My main argument is that abortion is always immoral, regardless of circumstance. Killing an innocent human being is always immoral. Because I assume that most (if not all) people would agree with that statement, and that a great way to hammer home my points is to deconstruct the arguments of my opposition, I will go through and deconstruct the best arguments in favour of killing babies, for your own convenience.
Notice that I always refer to the life inside the womb as a baby, the same as the NHS. I always use language that doesn’t deheumanise a baby.
Continue reading “Why I’m Pro-Life”
One of the most frustrating things that our society now values is diversity, something I have never seen as an inherently good or bad thing. Speaking as an individual that would be labelled a radical 60 years ago, a classical liberal 30 years ago, and a bigot today, I declare I could not care less about your race, your gender, your sexuality or your religion. I only care about your actions and your values.
According to my set of values, I would not hold a group of diverse criminals in higher esteem than a group of homogenous criminals. Because diversity has been so unanimously accepted as a positive in mainstream British culture, my position is an unpopular one. Call me old-fashioned, but I am yet to be convinced that any protected characteristic provides an individual, or indeed a collective, with more or less virtue. Continue reading “The Problems with Diversity”
Surely humanity has now encountered the world’s second best personification of ultimate evil: Vladimir Putin. You must have heard of his unforgivable crimes against humanity; vicious tales of corruption during the Sochi games; “damning” tales of the murder of political dissidents and journalists; the spreading of Kremlin propaganda through government owned press (but who owns the American media?); the unlawful taking of Crimea; supporting Assad’s murderous regime. Surely all this suffices to identify him as a dictator with fascist tendencies – no room for redemption with wickedness this profound. Continue reading “MSM on Putin: Lies, Slander and Propaganda”
Well, I’ve been reading a few religious opinion blogs lately, and there goes all I thought I knew to be true! I was always incredulous of people who slagged off the likes of Richard Dawkins and Sam Harris but now I think I can see how much these smart alecs misunderstand about religion. A “God delusion” it may well be, but how can we deny its importance?
I think that what we atheists refuse to acknowledge is the significance of our own species’ history. We are too quick to turn our noses up at the faith and lifestyle of those who came before us, assuming we are at the peak of human progress. Unfortunately we have no way of knowing what history was really like; what actual, average people were like. We are eager to assume that the reason “they” didn’t accept or respect non-traditional ways of life is because it was, well, simpler types, simpler times, following the diktat of a centuries-old fantasy fiction novel over a thousand pages long that they actually had time to read in those boring old pre-Internet, pre-TV days.
Well, here it goes. I’m willing to take that extreme position of accepting and tolerating those who stand by those traditional values, because who in the hell am I to assume that people of the past were dumber than me? A 25-year-old first world baby, with no ambition not only for myself but for all of mankind? I’m first to say I couldn’t give a shit whether our species survives or not; this, my friends, is a direct result of our beloved individualistic Western “civilisation”. This is where we are now. It’s every man for himself accompanied by some sad illusion of mutual solidarity. Continue reading “True Privilege”
A small, yet important point to make regarding political discourse: do not believe anyone that purports to be speaking from pure objectivity. I am certain I am not speaking to anything more than a tiny minority. Yet, as appeals to authority have increasingly been taken less and less seriously (since the day someone first wondered if that dude is telling the truth that he is delivering the word of God), I do believe this point raises some broadly encompassing questions about our biases.
Without trying to sound philosophical, and without linking you to the plethora of scientific studies exploring this idea, it is safe to assume that every human being on planet earth experiences life in different ways, and our experiences all lend themselves to shaping our worldview. When we experience or consider something new, the subject in question is immediately sent to consult with the experiences already stored as memories in our heads. Only after being held up to scrutiny at the mercy of our previous experiences, and our feelings towards them, will our initial feelings towards the new experience be defined. Continue reading “We All Have Bias… A Lot Of It”