Warning: These words may hurt..

Scrolling through my timeline, just like everyone else nowadays, I notice as I read through post after post, the majority of what I am reading is all the same. Although I deactivated my Tumblr account over a year ago, I cannot delete it from my other social media sites. I must admit I find some of the screenshots of posts on the site hilarious but then there are the posts that remind me exactly why I deleted my account in the first place. I believe that this particular social media site is incredibly toxic. Blogs containing pictures of emaciated women, morbidly obese women and limbs covered in self inflicted wounds are nowhere near as horrifying as their captions, encouraging those who view them to inflict pain on themselves as it will show strength and empower the people that do so. It is also home to the illogical, the easily offended and the ones who claim to be some sort of hybrid on a broad spectrum, each person competing with the next over whose gender or orientation is the most rare or most impossible to explain.

Though I would like to think that I am accepting of people and adapt a “to each their own” type of attitude, -I have to draw the line somewhere. I feel that a lot of this is regression instead of progression.In this day and age open-mindedness excludes those who are born cis heterosexuals. If you are biologically male and attracted to the opposite sex, you are not deserving of respect or sympathy during tough times. If you are a white heterosexual cis man in this day and age then you do not deserve a voice because of how much you were apparently born with.

Privilege is separating everyone despite those demanding it to be checked claim to be fighting for equality. If you own a computer and live in a heated house with food and running water, how can you possibly complain about privilege? In a world where equality and unison are the aims of the left, why is everything and everyone given a name and put in a box they are forbidden to get out of? Why is the ‘norm’ suddenly becoming such a terrible thing?

Acceptance and diversity will never be achieved if in an effort to reach those targets, entire groups within society are alienated and shamed. An example, fat people will never be accepted if they continue to shame thin people, that argument in general is disgusting. Placing one type of unhealthy on a platform and condemning the other form of unhealthy is ridiculous and a complete and utter contradiction. Also, what about those who are in between? Those who aren’t fat but aren’t thin either? Are they like the bisexuals? Indecisive? Refusing to pick a side? Please.

I could go on about just how ridiculous people are becoming but at the same time it’s the fault of the Left, freedom and encouraging diversity brings this out in society and we have to learn to deal with it. The Right may have some messed up views but Christ on a bike! We Lefties have a lot of sorting out to do. We need to have a serious think about what our actions mean in the long term. A world where free speech is tainted because “words hurt” is a world in which there are very few words we can use and very few topics that can be openly talked about.

 

 

High heels and higher horses

Little girls sneaking into their mothers’ wardrobes to try on their high heels was once considered an adorable sign that the little ones were excited at the sheer thought of growing up. Plastic high heels for kids were all the rage and you couldn’t stop a girl from click clacking around the place no matter how hard you tried. Nowadays, it seems that all of these little girls are now women who, no matter how hard you try, you cannot get them to wear high heels.

The story that has inspired this post has been making headlines and been discussed on radio programmes over the last week or so, the response to this story has been incredibly interesting and many have raised the question as to whether or not this is plain old sexism or just another mishap as a result of the infamous ‘unspoken dress code’.

Having read the story on the BBC website, I initially felt sorry for Nicola Thorp and angry that women were being judged more so for their attire than their ability to do their job. However, as I read it again, I noticed that the article was looking a little sparse. A few questions come to mind;

  1. Was Nicola Thorp aware of the fact that high heels had to be worn when she first took the job?
  2. Did Ms Thorpe review the appearance guidelines before signing?
  3. If PwC does not prohibit female secretaries wearing flats, then which party should be held accountable?

Honestly, I don’t think this is purely an issue of sexism as it is more of a health and safety issue. Dress codes are not soley for the purpose of the image of the company, they are also enforced in order to avoid problems with health and safety. I completely understand and agree with establishing dress codes in the work place, however, making it mandatory for women to wear high heels is not some thing I agree with particularly on the grounds of health and safety. Companies that make it imperative for women to wear heels at work are leaving themselves open for all kinds of trouble. If for example a high heel wearing employee is going about her jobs for the day and falls, she can sue the company for any injuries that occur. It is very easy to lose your balance and if you’re running a company that doesn’t mind paying off employee hospital bills, then by all means, rock on. Make the men wear heels too while you’re at it, after all, they started it!

As well as the long term effects of wearing high heels for several hours a day such as bunions forming around the feet (they have to be operated on in order to remove them). It increases the risk of developing arthritis much earlier in life and causes damage to the lower back, hips and knees. I know a lot of women who struggle to wear high heels, they just cannot walk in them no matter how hard they try, on the flip side, I also know women who can walk perfectly in high heels and go all day in them without any trouble. There are also a lot of women who choose not to wear high heels because they are already very tall as it is and feel that they just aren’t necessary. I myself wear heels now and then but if I know I’m going to be walking a lot or running errands I tend to opt for flats because they’re more practical. With all of that in mind, if a woman cannot walk in high heels because of a medical issue or because she simply cannot walk in high heels, how does that affect her ability to get the job done? Should a woman who is excellent at her job but cannot wear high heels be sent home or not allowed work for a company?

In terms of women’s footwear, there is quite a selection to choose from, different heels, thin or chunky, wedges or stilettos and all at varying heights. Formal flats are also very easy to come by and can look every bit as professional as high heels and the risks are practically non-existent.

From what I’ve read, I think maybe we are too quick nowadays to categorize every single thing we read about. Most people seemed to only jump on the sexism bandwagon instead of looking at the facts and thinking about what lead to this event. Though I support feminism and firmly believe in equality I would look at this in terms of practicality, or in this case, impracticality.

Rights, responsibilities and the thing about privilege

“As a cis white hetereosexual woman, you seriously need to check your privilege. As a queer, I have it far worse than you and live in constant fear because of sexist jokes.”

If you raised an eyebrow or your jaw dropped as you read that sentence, then let us be utterly flabbergasted together. No, this is not some troll. This is the reply I got for not recoiling in horror when a video called ‘Dear Feminists’ was posted in a group I was in on Facebook.

It has gotten to the stage now where I feel as though the movement I love and believe in has been taken over by the very thing it is not. I cannot help but think that if the feminists of the past could see what was happening today they would bow their heads in shame. What I see on social media every day saddens me, it saddens me because it is twisted and counterproductive. Over sensitivity is killing feminism.

Two years ago I would never have called myself a feminist because I was disturbed by what I was seeing online and reading about in magazines. Man-hating, skinny-bashing, anti-shaving women who victimized themselves and blamed the patriarchy for everything that was wrong with the world. I believed that this was feminism and I wanted no part in it, until my older sister came to visit and she, my mom and I sat down and discussed it.

The type of feminism my mother and sister described to me sounded incredible, nothing like the feminism I was seeing and reading about. We talked about the objectification of women in media and film, we talked about the issues women face in their place of work and we talked about the roles the women of the past had no choice but to carry out.

I believe that feminism is not about shaming anyone, I believe that it is a driving force for every woman and girl, yes a man can do that job, but so can you.  A man can speak out about injustices or express an opinion and so can you. Some women are mothers and love being mothers but your anatomy doesn’t mean you have to be a mother if you don’t want to be. Feminism is about opening your eyes to the endless possibilities as to what you can do with your life and why your gender should never be the thing to hold you back.

Looking at this issue as a whole, both men and women have some pretty bad habits which have kept us more or less divided on a lot of things socially and politically. Politics is a dirty, dirty game that will never be fair so you just have to toughen up and get on with it. If women want to have an impact, if we want to be taken seriously then some of us need to stop playing the victim. Do you think Countess Markievicz would have been remembered if she played the victim all the time and whined about men instead of getting up and fighting like she did? Hell no! She was one tough cookie and she got shit done, the kind of shit you don’t get done if you wallow in self pity. I understand that life is tough, it is, but you have a responsibility to make your life as simple as you can, blaming everyone else is not simplifying anything, it’s creating more problems for yourself.

Over sensitivity stunts growth, makes freedom of speech impossible and makes socialising an even bigger pain in the hole than it already is in this day and age. Between the whinging going on and the “triggering” topics affecting third level education in the States, I am finding myself on the brink of pulling a Van Gogh.

I think I speak for a lot of people when I say we need to do something about political correctness and how we choose to get messages across. If anyone is to be educated or simply to be heard, then we need to simplify things a little and understand that not everything is a personal attack. In CSPE (Civil, Social, Political Education), a subject taught in Irish secondary schools, I remember learning about rights and responsibilities, a responsibility accompanies each right you have. In this instance, you have a right to be offended, you have a right to express an opinion but you are also responsible for dealing with what comes with exercising both of those rights. Be a victim, that’s your right, but someone else has the right to call you out and for your own sake, I hope you’re prepared and self pity is not your weapon of choice.