No Lena, No

Lena Dunham has said many things that have upset and offended people throughout her career thus far. Each time she has done so I have either thought people have been mis-interpreting what she meant, overreacting entirely, or I have just put it down to the fact that she was young and like all of us does not have all the answers.

However she has finally done something that I can not justify. Nor will I even attempt too.

As one of the current feminist voices of our times or at least as “a voice of a generation” as she said in her show Girls, she has a far-reaching and very powerful cry. Which normally she uses for good.

I admire Lena, I think she is a prodigious writer, and it has been so refreshing to have someone so brave and unapologetic using her talents to defend those without a platform to do so themselves.

So it was incredibly disappointing when after a brave young woman came forward telling the police that she had been raped at 17 by one of the Girls writers – Lena jumped onto her social media dais and announced that this woman is part of the 3% of women who lie about rape as there is no way that her friend would do such a thing.

You cannot say that women need to be listened to and believed when they come forward about rape and then on the other hand shame a woman who did just that.

What Lena has done is really fucking cruel. She has used her incredible social media reach and labelled this girl a liar before knowing any of the details.

I know that there are many that would say the reverse is true of the accused also, that until he is tried and found guilty fingers cannot be pointed, but I made the decision a while a go that if a woman says she was raped then I believe her. Period.

83% of rape cases do not end with a conviction. It is apparently too hard to prove in most cases. But with a culture that inherently refuses to believe women and will go so far as to victim blame and shame them if they come forward, I wonder just how true this is.

Lena is a very privileged, wealthy, white woman from a successful artistic family. She has obviously had her trials and tribulations, but for the most part her perspective is skewed and she cannot speak for all of us no matter how hard she tries. Perhaps I have put too much weight in the power of her words. And perhaps it is time for her to sit down and let other women speak now. If she is going to shame a woman while defending a potential rapist she no longer is a voice I want to speak for me.

I understand it must be hard to hear that your friend could possibly have committed such a horrific crime. But the truth is that most men that rape aren’t the scary, sinister monsters they are imagined to be. Usually they are just regular looking dudes who I am sure in other ways can be perfectly nice human beings.

A perfect example of this has been Louis C.K.

When I first read that Louis had been accused of sexual assault I couldn’t believe it. How could such a sweet, seemingly enlightened, talented guy be capable of such gross acts?

But he is guilty. Even he says so.

Comedian Sarah Silverman’s comments around Louis’ actions were particularly honest and admirable. She spoke about how she has found it really difficult to find out her best friend (Louis C.K) had done these things and that we need to look after the survivors of these crimes and help them in what ever ways we can. Lena would have done well to take a page out of Sarah’s book.

In saying all this, the last thing I want to be doing is blaming women for rapist’s actions. Yes I believe Lena was wrong, very wrong, but the bigger issue is that a woman has accused a man of rape and it is this rapist and only the rapist that the fingers of blame should be pointed.

What is happening in Hollywood feels like a watershed moment. For the first time in probably ever, women are coming forward to share their assault stories and people are listening. The swamp is being drained and hopefully what is happening in this industry will begin filtering through to all areas of our society. But in the meantime I think the best thing we can do is listen.

 

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The hateful truth

In the past week I have had three separate conversations with friends of mine where we shared the areas of our bodies that we hate most. This probably happens all the time but for some reason I was particularly aware of it recently and it was pretty horrifying. When I look at the gorgeous women I am lucky enough to call friends I cannot see why they would be so daft as to think there is anything wrong with the way they look. However if I look at my thoughts about myself the narrative is very different.

“In a society that profits from your self-doubt liking yourself is a rebellious act.”

I can’t find who exactly is responsible for this quote but I feel strongly that it is a battle cry we should all embrace.

We are taught from as early as possible that our bodies are imperfect and will never be good enough. We don’t have to be told this outright, it is just a fact that we all inherently know. An ideal version of beauty is chosen for our times and this is what we must all aspire to look like. The problem being that this “ideal” really doesn’t exist. We can never be skinny enough, pretty enough, prefect enough. But we will spend our lifetimes trying to achieve it nevertheless.

One of the worst conversations women can surely have with each other is the self-deprecating discussion of what areas of their bodies they dislike the most. One may hate her arms and refuse to ever wear short sleeve tops even in the peak of summer, the other may hate her legs and how no matter what she tries they never seem to be slim enough. Both will admonish the others ridiculous claims and tell their friend that they have nothing to worry about, but neither will take this advice themselves. We can so easily see the beauty in the women around us, but find it almost impossible to extend this same kindness to ourselves.

Learning that the story we have all been fed is a lie and only a way to control us is freeing but even then overriding our training to not appreciate the way we look is a long and arduous journey. We continue to keep fighting to be thin, keep spending our income on miracle creams to “fix” our ageing faces, spending so much energy and time trying to perfect our “imperfect” selves.

What could we achieve if our attentions were not taken up with this Sisyphean ordeal? How would the beauty industry, the fashion industry and the health and exercise industries alter if we all decided to choose the radical path of loving ourselves and our bodies just as they are? Would the world collapse? Or would we finally have time to break the patriarchy wide open and force the world to give us true equality that still remains just out of reach? Probably not. But it is a lovely thought.

I guess for now I’ll keep trying to look at myself kindly, try to ignore what the scales tell me and keep attempting to shut down the self-doubt filled voice from within. I just hope it doesn’t take me a lifetime.

 

# Men Too

James Cordon of The Late Late Show fame recently found himself in hot water over jokes he made about some of the things Harvey Weinstein has been accused of. I really like Cordon as a general rule but after reading about the nature of his jokes I was pretty shocked.

Cordon has since come out and said that his jokes were meant to shame Weinstein for his abhorrent actions. But what he actually did was make light of the sexual harassment, assault and rape claims against Weinstein.
While it is awful, it’s not surprising. The fact that a “decent” guy like Cordon can’t see what’s wrong here is indicitive of just how deep this problem goes.
We live in a rape culture, whether we want to admit it or not. This is part of the dark underbelly of our current society and it’s time for the change to come.

What Weinstein has done is not unique. The horrid fact that his actions have been known about and covered up for so long by the toxic predatory community in Hollywood is also not unique. But what is a bit more unique and hopefully will become less so is the fury that people are expressing over it. Leading the charge and the dialogue are actresses like Rose McGowan and Ashley Judd, women who have long been vocal about Weinstein attacking them, and for so long no one listened to them.

Nevertheless they persisted.

How many women need to come forward before they will believed? 35 women accused Bill Cosby but it was only after a man pointed this out that anyone listened, and even so he is still a free man. So maybe the question needs to be – how many times can a man rape and assault women before they are convicted.

A lot it would seem.

The number of Weinstein accusers are up to 50…and still counting.
What Weinstein has been accused of is truly horrific – and I do believe he has done these things – but perhaps what is happening could finally shake things up and expose the predatory culture that exists within and without of the movie industry.

Outside of Hollywood a dialogue has begun that is long overdue. The hashtag #metoo has been trending over the last week, brave women all over the social media world are coming forward and sharing their own stories of sexual harassment and assault to show just how many people this affects.

I would wager that for every one woman who has posted this hashtag there are at least ten more who have been through the same thing and have stayed silent.

Although #metoo has been trending recently it is actually 10 years old. The battle cry was originally created by a woman called Tarana Burke. She coined the term in 2007 for a youth organisation called Just Be Inc. Burke created it to try and help sexual assault survivors in underprivileged communities, particularly women of colour. It is sad that Burke’s authorship was diminished while actress Alyssa Milano was credited, and it is probably indicative of the deeper issue that while all women are affected by sexual assualt women of colour are the least likely to be listened to, acknowledged and helped. So even within the realms of feminism and sisterhood there is a lot of work to do.

While I admire the women using #metoo and secretly wish I could have been as courageous, I don’t believe it should just be up to women. More men need to join this conversation. Enough of being complicit by staying silent when these things are happening, enough of not believing a woman when she shares her story. Enough of hiding behind the fact that you didn’t see it. And definitely enough of telling women to get over it or justifying these actions in anyway -“boys will be boys” anyone?!

For there to be any hope of change support needs to come from both sides of the gender divide.

Quentin Tarantino recently admitted that he had witnessed Weinstein’s abhorrent behaviour year’s ago and did nothing. He has admitted that he is ashamed that he did nothing. His honesty is admirable to a degree but it is still upsetting that he has stayed silent for so long. His statement has divided people as well because he ended his statement saying that he hoped it would not affect people’s reactions to any of his future work which has cast doubt over his true intentions.

Kevin Smith who has made some of his best movies with Weinstein has released a statement saying that he knew nothing of Weinstein’s actions but that he is completely disgusted and has pledged to give all future royalties from these movies to women’s support groups.

It is hard to know whether to be grateful for the acknowledgement of these men or to see it as too little too late, but maybe we should just accept that these are the first baby steps towards women being listened to believed and no longer having to fight the fight alone.

Breakups in the age of social media

Break ups suck, of that I know for sure. Whether you are the dumper or the dumped or feigning a “conscious uncoupling” they are a weird and shitty time for all. But while once one could cut all ties, burn all photos and move on hopefully safe in the knowledge that you will never see your ex again – today in the age of social media this is no longer the case.

You can de-friend your ex, block your ex, unfollow their friends, you can even unfollow your own friends but yet still somehow some way there is still a chance you will find out exactly what they are up to. This digital nightmare is where I have found myself in recent times.

I broke up with someone last year. I say broke up because I don’t know how else to term it. We were forced to part because my visa had run out and I had to return to my home country. We stayed in touch and I was hopeful we would meet again, but as it would appear he was less so. Within a short amount of time he had become distant and cold and it was not long after that it came to an end. Stupidly I remained Facebook friends with him in the vague hope that there was in fact still hope for us.

Mama didn’t raise no quitter.

It was only after I went back for a holiday and tried to catch up with him that I finally got the message. I had tentatively sent him a text asking if he wanted to meet up which to my surprise he had enthusiastically excepted. I had told myself that I wanted closure, whether this was true or not I am still trying to work out. Either way 5 minutes before we were supposed to meet as I waited anxiously in the bar I received a message from him letting me know he was not coming. I had been stood up.

I was out of excuses, dead horses to flog and idioms. So I de-friended him.

I assumed this would be the end of it, now we were no longer social media friends I would be blind to what was going on in his life. I was wrong.

Shortly after returning home and beginning the process of healing my broken heart, I was rudely brought back to reality when I saw something online. It was a photo taken of  several of my friends when they had caught up for dinner, he had been there and so had a mystery girl who was photographed with her hand affectionately laid over his. I felt like I had been punched in the stomach. I wanted to throw up.

De-friending had not been enough, I had to take more drastic measures. I deleted all of my social media apps and decided I would be taking a break from all of it for as long as I needed to.

This lasted a week.

As empowering as it had initially felt, after a while my FOMO wore me down and I re-entered the digital conversation once more.

When I returned I was weary of being accosted again by any offending images so I unfollowed his friends that through my relationship had become my friends. This was not enough, so then I had to begin unfollowing some of my friends as well. It had become a weird game of cat and mouse, at every turn where I thought I had escaped him there he was again looking happy and successful and like everything was great in his life. I know social media can be a lie but sometimes it’s hard to remember this when your ex’s gorgeous smiling face is stalking your social media channels.

Probably the weirdest part of this story is that I am also friends with his mother on Facebook. I know this sounds strange and that I probably should’ve de-friended her too but I really liked her and it appeared that she really liked me too. I had spent my last Christmas in the UK with him and her and I almost felt like she and I had become friends separate from him. I would feel bad removing her from my friend list. In the end though I had to unfollow her too.

It has taken me a while to get over him, longer that it probably had to. Today I have  finally let go of the hope that there is any chance of a re-coupling with this person and I have  got to that point where I see him for all that he is and isn’t as opposed to all that he and we could’ve been. But it has been a tiresome journey and if I had my time over again I would have cut the social media ties a lot sooner. I have learned ignorance in these circumstances is most definitely bliss.

Dating in the Tinder-verse

Recently a story went viral about a poor woman getting stuck in a window while on a Tinder date. This girl had gone home with her date and had discovered after pooing in his toilet that the thing would not flush. In an act of pure desperation she grabbed the offending feces and through it out the window. This part of the story would be funny enough as is but it gets better/worse. The window did not lead to the outside as per the norm but in fact was closed in by a separate window. At this point admitting defeat she bravely fessed up to her date what she had done. Rather than being horrified he suggested that they try to get the poo out…together. After several attempts to reach it the girl suggested that she climb down between the window panes as she was an ex-gymnast and could probably reach it –  she couldn’t. She became stuck and it was at this point her date had to call the fire-brigade to come and rescue her by shattering the glass of the outside window. This amazing tale came to public attention after the pair had decided to crowd-fund for a new window.
As unbelievable and cringe-worthy as this story is, there is something admirable about the way both parties acted in such a ridiculous situation. If they do end up together (here’s hoping) they will have a fantastic cute-meet story to tell their children.

My experiences of Tinder have not been quite as exciting or as hopeful…so far.

In this day and age it seems that we are left with few ways of meeting people. If we are not lucky enough to have a wide circle of friends who themselves have lots of single friends than it can be really hard to meet anyone. You could try going to a bar but this generally does not end up anywhere except in one-night-stand territory.

So instead we turn to the land of dating sites and apps. Everyone seems to be on them and so you either join them or give up altogether probably.

The problem with apps like Tinder is that you have little information to go by. There are a couple of photos, perhaps a short blurb and if you are lucky potentially you can see their Spotify choices but that’s it.

When you do match with someone and begin chatting it usually goes one of two ways. The first is the boring but unavoidable small talk chat about how their day, week/end, life is going. While a perfectly reasonable way to begin a conversation, these often don’t lead anywhere as with so little to go on the conversation can often die before it has really begun with either or both parties losing interest. The second way is that one person will have either some witty open liner to get the conversation going or they will find some element of the other’s profile to ask about and the conversation will immediately be a little more interesting. Failing that they can just send a GIF which works equally well.

If you can get past this initiation period you will then need to work out whether you would prefer to just meet and see if this has any future or continue speaking to them and gathering more information.

When I started on Tinder I thought that the second option was best, collecting as much information as physically possible before deciding whether to meet up in person was the way to go. The problem I learned from doing it this way is that some people are great via message but less so in person. With so little to draw from you start to develop an idea of this person in your mind which often comes crashing down when you actually meet them and realise that who you thought they were actually doesn’t exist.
These days if I find that the initial conversation has gone well and there are no obvious red flags I will elect to meet up and avoid spending too much energy on the message banter.

It becomes clear very quickly once you meet someone whether this thing has legs or not. And it is usually sans legs.

I’ve been lucky so far in the fact that I haven’t really had any truly awful dates. Usually they will just be awkward, or conversation will be slow. You’ll realise that while you’d rather spend your weekends socialising with friends at restaurants or wine bars they would rather be dancing for 24 hours at some rail-house dance party.

Sometimes you will learn very quickly that this thing has no future at all when they tell you that they support Trump and will then launch into a diatribe about how we need to close the borders to anyone who is not white and rich, at which point you will suddenly have something very important that needs doing and get the hell out of there.

But usually it will just be that you both know that this is not a match.

The worst though is when you think it is going really well while for the other person perhaps it isn’t. You meet someone who you connect with straight away, the conversation flows and you seem to have so much in common. You organise a second date and again things just seem to flow and then.. you Never Hear From Them Again. You don’t know whether your interpretation of things is way off, or whether they have been abducted by aliens but suddenly they just disappear and you are left questioning every element of the date in the hopes somewhere in there will lie a clue to the radio silence. This last scenario needs a little down time afterwards as you recover from the rejection and mend your faith in basic truths and humanity. But at some point you have to get back on the horse and learn to swipe again.

It’s a tricky world out their in the Tinder-verse and when you are working with such superficial beginnings in such a throw-away world, it can be hard to navigate the delicate rules of this weird place and not become dis-heartened. Ultimately though I think the best way to manage it is to not take anything too seriously and remember it could always be worse, you could be the girl who got stuck in a window trying to retrieve her poo.

 

 

My friend Dave

My friend Dave was a one of a kind type of guy. I know many say this about the dead, but for me this was sincerely true.

I met him when I first moved to Melbourne. I had begun waitressing in a large glamorous restaurant called the Waterfront. Dave was the head bartender there. The Waterfront was the type of place that at the time attracted celebrities and gangsters both of which had to be treated as VIPs. It was by where the Spirit of Tasmania docked and there were times where some of our guests would arrive literally by super yacht.
It was the kind of place that as a waitress you could receive large tips both in cash and some times even in cocaine.

Dave was outgoing, hilariously funny and always up for a chat. He had traveled the world and lived in many countries. He made friends wherever he went. At that time he was living in a backpackers in St Kilda aptly called ‘The Mansion’.
The Mansion as per it’s name was a mansion or probably had been once in it’s younger days. At that time it was a large crumbling house in grey. Dave and another Waterfront staffer and friend – Donnie, lived there socialising with the backpackers that passed through those run-down walls.

As anyone working in hospitality can probably attest, when you work separate hours from the rest of the world, your hospitality team become your family. And the Waterfront crew were no different. We were all young, mostly foreign and all aching for company and adventure. Much of our time outside of work was spent frequenting the bars in St Kilda where Dave seemed to know everyone and would often score us free or at least cheap alcohol.

I was young and far away from family and apart from working all I wanted to do was party. No matter how far down the rabbit hole I would travel though, I always felt safe as Dave was there, and I trusted him completely. Once, on a particularly hot new years eve night, we were traveling by tram from the city and I had begun fainting from the heat. Dave helped me off the tram and sat with me for several hours at the tram stop until I was able to maintain consciousness. We then headed back to the Mansion where I spent the the rest of the night sleeping it off in Dave’s kindly sacrificed bed. Another time at a dance party after taking several pills that as it turned out where laced with hallucinogenics I began seeing people’s faces twist and morph into grotesque masks. This was followed by literal vertical vomiting. I was in such a bad state that I could not trust myself to get home safely. Dave in his infinite kindness taxied with me all the way to my house north of the city before heading back to his home in the south. This was the type of guy he was, an amazing person to have on your team.

One of the things I remember most about Dave is what a great story teller he was. Every time we would catch up Dave would have a new yarn to spin. These were usually not very PG and generally involved some young backpacker he had “courted”. There was the story of Brown-eye Girl – a German backpacker who had invited Dave to her room where she had immediately dropped trow, bent over and demanded that Dave have sex with her. Dave promptly obliged and it was only part way through that he realised that both of her room mates were in residence and awkwardly trying to ignore what was happening in the middle of their room. He always had an innate ability to get himself into the weirdest/funniest situations.

Dave actually met his wife at the Mansion, she was a lovely french girl, who we all assumed would be another flash in the pan, but this one stuck and the two of them ended up getting married and having two beautiful children together.

I can’t remember how this came about, but one day we were all discussing how if we were each animals what would we be. Dave looked me square in the eye and told me that I would be a Lioness. For me it was a great compliment. For the first time in what may have been ever I felt like someone was seeing me for exactly who I wanted to be. They say it is much easier to remember the bad things people say about us over the good, but I have kept this comment safe in my heart as a precious gift. To this day it makes me feel better just thinking that there was once someone in the world that saw me in this way.

Years later when Dave messaged to say he had lung cancer it had been a long time since we had seen each other. He had been living in Switzerland with his wife and I had recently returned from living in London. I had moved back to Melbourne as my visa had expired. With no job I was in a dark depression having left the city I loved -London- my friends there, and a boy that I cared for deeply. I had so little to give and so when I received the group message that Dave had been diagnosed with cancer I couldn’t even respond to wish him well. I ignored the fact that this was potentially serious, I simply could not face the possibility that he could be in real trouble. So I said nothing.

Then the Facebook post came several months later telling us that he had died. I fought even harder to remain in denial. His wife sent out a request for us to share our stories of Dave so that she would have something to show their kids what kind of guy he was. But even this I could not do. Partially because our stories together were not fit for children, but also because this would be admitting to myself that he was actually gone. This I have learned is the blessing and the curse of having a friend pass that is in a different country. Their death remains ever so slightly unreal. And because of this you can ignore it but also you can never really have closure as their is no way to properly grieve. Funerals I have discovered, are for the living.

One night after returning home from drinks and dinner with a friend it hit me. Alone in my darkened room the tsunami of grief crashed down on me and I began to cry. Primal, childlike sobs of sadness came shuddering out of me like a geyser and I could no longer ignore the fact that Dave was truly gone.

I miss you Dave and I am so sorry I was not able to say good bye. You were one of the most unique and beautiful souls I have been blessed to know. My life is eternally enriched because I was lucky enough to call you friend.

 

The Handmaid’s warning

Just finished reading The Handmaid’s Tale and I’ve been feeling the cold prickle of dread at how close we are to this horrifying future being a reality. How quickly could the hard won rights we have only had a 100 years or so to enjoy, could be ripped away from us and we become the slave race Margaret Atwood has warned us of becoming.

From Trump removing funding from planned parenthood and Russia legalising domestic violence. The war on women feels like it has begun and I for one am worried.
The past year has felt like a bizarre nightmare or strange alternate universe, every time I read a news story the facts become scarier and weirder.

But how realistic is it that Atwood’s tale becomes a reality? I think what I found so scary about her book is just how quickly and adequately women could be completely crippled and forced into servitude. First closing our bank accounts so we have no access to our money, then making it illegal for us to work therefore making us (once again) completely reliant on the men in our lives. Finally we would be stripped of our rights to choose the direction of our lives, our humanity stolen we would then be reduced to a vessel designed for baby making and little more.

As awful as this scenario sounds in some places in the world this is not that far off reality and there are many on the right that would be more than pleased with us going back to these archaic ways in the west. So is this possible and is it where we are heading? Or is this just the last stand of the far-right, white, misogynist, patriarchal conservatives? Shall we batten down the hatches or simply ride this weird little blip in history out and prepare ourselves to laugh about it later? I guess only time will tell…

Poor millenials?

Today I leaned that millennials are one of the first generations in a long time who are destined to be less well off than their parents. How the hell is that possible when we are earning more than any previous generations ever have.
My parents met at university. The were both two of the first in their family’s to even get to Uni. University was free for them, when they left uni (debt free) they were able to travel the world and then buy a house. Still in their early twenties they were now educated, well-travelled and new home owners.
Now my parents generation are in charge, they are making all of the political decisions and royally screwing everyone else that has come along after them.
I once heard my grandparents generation  – or the WWII generation  – referred to as the last great generation – selfless, generous, kind, and noble. So if this is true what the hell happened to their children -the Baby Boomers? Were they too privileged? Were their lives too easy?
Millennials have more opportunities available to them than ever before, we are better educated, freer, and better paid. Yes we are also time poor, with limited attention spans due to the mass over stimulation of our phones, tablets, laptops and Netflix, but otherwise we should be riding high on all the blessings provided us…but we’re not.
Millennials have been referred to in the media as lazy, entitled, flakey, and spoilt. But are we really?  These claims are made despite of the fact that we are working longer hours for more money, also regardless of the fact that a single income household is now a pipe dream that most of us will never know,  and that we may not retire for  very long time once the massive population of the boomers sucks the superannuation pot dry. If we will never have houses of our own and are on track to be poorer and less secure than our parents how spoilt can we be?
I know every generation is thought of in a more negative light by the preceding one, so the negative attitude towards our group should not be that surprising, and perhaps very little stock should be placed within these opinions, but what does seem to be true is that the world in some ways seems to be going down the proverbial toilet and it is our age group that will be the ones who have to struggle to fix it.

Old eggs

I seem to have reached the Sex and the City age. No I don’t live in New York or have an uber successful career nor do I live in an amazing apartment but I am in my early thirties and I am single. I’ve never had marriage as a massive life plan but I did assume that it would happen organically one day without me having to worry about it. I have fought mentally against the “ticking-clock” farce that women are pressured to believe in and I hold on to the hope that if I am meant to have a child it will happen. But lately my resolve has begun to wain, lately the little tickle of worry has start to itch my neck and I am not sure what to do about it. It’s hard feeling young and sprightly but feeling also as if the world is judging you as being old and spinsterish.

I envy the friends of mine that don’t want to have kids, for them surely the pressure does not exist. There is no impending threat of their eggs going off. Exploding from their bodies, never to be used again. For them they must feel the infinite freedom of time stretching out full of career moves and overseas holidays. Or maybe not. The point is I am beginning to buckle under the unspoken expectation to be coupled up and I don’t know what to do about it.

It’s not that I don’t want to be in a relationship, I very much do. It’s just for some reason I can’t find anyone who wants to be in a relationship with me that I like in return. Is there something wrong with me? Do I exude something that repels possible suitors from me? Am I so ancient now that no-one could possibly want to be with me? I hope not. If I’m too old now then I have many many years of solitude ahead of me.

So what do I do about all of this then? Latch on to the next guy that crosses my path, as long as he has a heartbeat and reasonable personal hygiene? Do I hitch my wagon to whomever will have me and repress any other wants or desires that come up? No, probably not. But if not that path then what? because the ache I feel when engagement notices come up on my Facebook feed is becoming really irksome to me.

WTF 2016?

2016 has been a weird year to be a human let alone a woman. It really has felt like some big horrible April fools joke that won’t end. Surely someone is going to admit soon this was all just some big prank and that the joke is on us.

Bono was named Grazia’s woman of the year, Brexit happened, people started dressing like clowns and scaring the crap out of each other..oh and Donald (Sexism and racism poster child or as Samantha Bee so aptly called him  – screaming carrot demon – was voted president and the world did a collective sigh of confusion and despair.

The year began with the death of Bowie and it did not get much better from there. Music died and fascism resurrected itself. We have apparently passed the point of no return in regards to climate change, people are being evacuated from the island of Kiribati because the sea is engulfing the island. But rather than focus on the earths imminent demise we seemed intent instead on fighting amongst ourselves. Evil corporations continue to find shitty ways to continue the earths destruction (Dakota pipeline anybody?) who only care about money and power continue their destruction while the rest of the world is tearing itself apart one fingernail at a time. What the fuck is wrong with that small wealthy group of avaricious cretins?

When I heard that Trump had won I came home and cried. Trump being voted in sends a very clear hate filled message. As one woman suggested – “this is white supremacy’s last stand”, a statement which is scarily accurate. I would add it is also misogyny and systemic sexism’s last stand as well. The orange potato-head poster-child for xenophobia has put every marginalised group in the USA in serious danger and my heart breaks for them. As one man said, ‘How do I treat my children that bullying is wrong when Trump is president?’. How do you teach children that racism is wrong, homophobia is wrong, Rape is wrong when all of these acts have been committed by the leader of their country.
Around the world the rise of the so-called “Alt-right” – read ‘white supremacy’ – seems to have been repeated. In a time where we should be more advanced than ever before the world has taken giant steps backwards in acceptance of all non-white, non-male, non-heterosexual, humans.

Perhaps it is the last stand of hate and privilege at lease for the west, perhaps the patriarchy is finally crumbling and this is it’s last attempt at holding on control, but what scares me is who will be the casualties to this final battle because I imagine most of the blood shed won’t be from rich white men.