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can you have both a glass is half-full mindset and a half-empty mindset?

I recently stumbled upon a spoken word video/poetry video from a poet speaking about how the world has gone to chaos and such and how ‘this world should end’. His background of choice was a broken, abandoned house in the middle of nowhere and he sat on what he could make out of the rubble and spoke about how this world should end because the air is polluted, water contaminated, our food is genetically processed and our governments are greedy. Now at first my instant emotion was to feel depressed. To feel a heavy sigh in my chest and to not really want to watch the whole thing because of the sour mood it would inevitability put me in. I didn’t want it to feel like I was discrediting the poet or ignoring his message because his message was the kind of thing all humans need to know, especially the ones who have more power to make change. This poet was releasing extreme truths and things that could hit anyone of any background close to home and I am proud of him for speaking out and was, obviously, inspired by what he said because it got me thinking – what is the better option in this current generation? To think optimistically or to think pessimistically?

As soon as I closed out Facebook to try and soften the blow of sadness that some posts on that website can inflict, I went downstairs to make myself a cup of tea. Equipped with a warm bed robe just taken off the radiator and strolled past my cat who was warm and content next to the stairs. I gave him a stroke and turned on the kettle and started thinking – is it bad to praise the good things in the world? The world is shit and I agree. As a kid who grew up with intense fear of global warming and environmental damage from a weirdly young age, I couldn’t agree more with the fact that humans have messed up the environment we’ve been given. We should have done more to look after it before it got too late for some animal species and plant species. We should be putting more effort into safe energy and more effort into decreasing harmful emissions. But as I sat there letting the kettle brew, I ranted to myself in my head that it’s even more depressing and ignorant to sit by and just accept the doom of a shitty world. There are positives to the generation I live in.

If I was a child in the 19th century, I definitely wouldn’t have been able to have my parents or older family members around now, people I know or even myself may have died from an illness or injury that, in this generation, I could have been easily cured of due to the evolution of healthcare and medical studies. There has been so much progression in technology and science discoveries that can benefit people and animals. We have discovered new species and creatures due to that advancement and I think that’s amazing. In this current generation, although it is still debatable and there is still prejudice and hate crimes, people are working more and more to get LGBT people the safety and equality they deserve but it’s not even been long since it was decriminalised. Racism and racial prejudice is still prominent in so many countries around the world including the UK and US but the internet and communities work so hard to oppose and call out systematic racism. If it wasn’t for the internet and people talking about Black Lives Matter, I may have not even been educated on police systematic racism. Some people would call the internet a downfall of our generation, saying children don’t get the right childhood anymore because of the internet but you could look at the internet positively by saying news is spread much more fast than it was in the past. The internet can also hold many communities that benefit people. If a teenager is feeling lost in their own world they can turn to the internet to discover hobbies, games, music or forums that create distractions for them and may even benefit them and make them happy. More and more people are switching to vegetarian and vegan diets in this current year to which shows a progression for dietary and animal rights.

Of course, when I was thinking that there are so many positives to this world now that people may overlook in the spiral of depression and hatred that there is currently, I didn’t want to be the ignorant one. I don’t want to turn a blind eye to the world’s negatives or what stuff we need to change. If I could ask for wishes about the world I would ask for so much instantly. I want everyone to switch to safer, environmentally friendly energy choices. I want people to create materials that decompose and are safer for the environment. I want people to learn the harm of systematic oppression and racism and educate others. But what can I do if I sit there and just wallow in the fact that the world is ‘shit’? How are any of us going to change if we just accept that the world is shit and wait for our lives to finish?

Would everyone thinking with just a half full or just a half empty mindset help anyone? I think people need to discuss and share the positives of everyday life just as much as we’re quick to share a poem or video about how shit the world is. I think the world could change if we try to look for positive progress as much as negative things. Because if there is negativity, there is no point in sitting behind a computer and complaining but then not doing anything and just accepting it. What do you guys think? Do you think I’m mad for even trying to think of positives? Do you think it makes me ignorant? I’d love to hear people talk more on what they think about trying to make a change for our world, even if its small things.

Thanks for reading my ramblings,

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Social Media vs Girls

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A lot of the subjects I rant about normally start from something I come across online. Comments under articles, comments on social media, photos on social media etc., you get the picture. Stuff on Social Media spreads very fast, so anything massively controversial me and a lot of people will see, however sometimes there’ll be small photos or posts created by people I’m friends with on facebook/twitter or shared by them and it’s kind of a slap in the face of their internalized dislike of something. For example, it’s like having a high school friend on Facebook suddenly share a very borderline racist Britain First post and you feel extremely disappointed in their views.

Today an intriguing post joking about ‘typical things girls do nowerdays’ got shared onto my Facebook feed and although it’s not straight out attacking a certain female or person, I thought it was absolutely ridiculous and unneeded. I know a lot of people of all genders and all ages still find criticizing females for things that apparently, ‘all people identifying as female’ do. E.g your typical ‘nagging wife’ stereotypes or whatever. But personally it’s outdated to me and it’s very rare to get a genuine laugh out of me. I remember seeing a hang up decor piece in a shop I used to work at, that said something along the lines of ‘Man Cave. Women not authorised unless bringing beer or sandwiches.’ and all I could do was wonder why someone would want to spend £20 on something that both stereotypes men and women. But that’s another story and I could go on for ages about the kind of rubbish sexism you’d find day to day but that isn’t the point of this post.

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Firstly, I’ll clarify, yes this could be seen as an overreaction to something that is purely meant in humour. But if this is the best humour people can spout, I hope they don’t plan on a comedian career cause they’re, frankly, boring as hell. The post on Facebook was a text post saying; ‘I swear all girls do nowadays is contour, eat chicken nuggets, squat, wear hair extensions, be indirect on social media, snapchat dog filter, turn bi for a bit, party, fall for fuck boys, drink wine, charge their phones, think having attitude problems is sexy, ignore messages, take selfies and cry.’ Aw honey, what girl ignored your message once because she has better priorities than you trying to get in her pants?

So what if girls do all these things? My question to young males who agree with this, even females who think there is something ‘stupid’ or ‘useless’ about all those things; what is the harm? Does it personally offend you? Do you have flashbacks and feel sick to your stomach when you see a girl wear hair extensions? Posts like these are sexist even if they aren’t straight out abusing/insulting the female population. Plus talk about reaching for drama? ‘Charge their phones’? Oh I’m sorry are we meant to let our phones die? I forgot because we aren’t male we don’t have the magical power to have phones with infinite battery? It doesn’t even make any sense. Also ‘turn bi for a bit’ is not only pathetically biphobic and homophobic but it’s implying that if a female identifies as bi it’s a ‘phase’, which is a gross stereotype that bisexual people are still trying to fight off today so they can be taken seriously by the people they care about. What makes me even sadder; girls in the comments were trying to defend themselves. ‘Well I don’t contour or wear hair extensions so lol’, ‘I never go out and party or date fuck boys, I’m not like other girls.’ Ladies – there’s nothing wrong with doing and enjoying any of these things!! They do not make you a worse person if you do them or a better person if you don’t! Stop letting whiny teenage boys with an internet meme account dictate what you should enjoy. Girls should be able to just live their lives in peace without some xbox basher who begs girls for nudes throwing shade at them through social media.

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Girl, you wanna contour? Go ahead; you rock that look.
Going out with your friends? Take tons of selfies beforehand because you look gorgeous.
Had a bad day and it feels like everything is going wrong? Let it all out. Cry and talk to someone. Don’t bottle it up and definitely don’t let someone make you feel like your feelings are invalid. You work so hard at everything you do and there is nothing weak about crying.
If taking humour in how stressy or bossy you think you can be helps you deal with it and shut people up. You do it. You’re a beautiful, bratty diva and if that random guy you’re kind of friends with think it’s ‘you trying to pretend your attitude is sexy’ and puts you down about it. Leave his clingy ass messages on ‘Read’. You do you.

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Same goes for men. None of these things are ‘girls only’? Guys can wear contour, guys can go party, guys can take as many selfies as they want. Let’s stop this pathetic attempt at bringing girls down. Give them a break, they’re strong as hell and you still wanna make them feel bad about something as small as using a snapchat filter or liking fast food. Get a grip.

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Thanks for reading my little rant, I hope you enjoy whatever you do today and don’t let anyone try and stop your smile.

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No you aren’t being accepting when you say LGBT news isn’t real news

One form of torture I put myself through a lot when I’m bored online is reading comments. No matter what you’re reading comments from you’ll probably annoy yourself. A common theme for me is any news about LGBTA community. Whether it’s celebrities coming out, representation articles. No matter what, you will find a homophobe. People with nothing better to do with their time, and clearly no brain or heart as they are a homophobe, than to go on an article that clearly states it’s intentions to be LGBTA friendly and write horrible stuff.

But to be fair, there comes a time when the obvious homophobes, the ones that pride in their ignorance, just become unsurprising and you can ignore them very easily because they have no good debate or power. “It’s not natural!!” Neither is the stuff they put in most American fast food but I bet you’ll eat that.

The worst ones are the ones with internalized homophobia and transphobia. These people are the ones who will deny any accusations of refusing acceptance with as many excuses as possible. Common ones will be “I have a gay friend myself”, “My best friend is gay”, “It’s not that I have a problem with it BUT..” or “Believe me I accept this but we shouldn’t put labels on it”. There’s a lot of symptoms to this internalized phobia.

And maybe they don’t realise where their ignorance is. Maybe they really can’t see it? Maybe when they sit down on a Facebook article, talking about how Eastenders has hired an actual transgendered actor to play a transgendered character, instead of hiring a cis actor to ‘act’ transgender, like most media does, and think there’s nothing dodgy about writing ‘why can’t we just have normal actors?’ or ‘It shouldn’t matter what they are as long as they can act’. The worst offenders in my books are the so-called ‘I accept everyone’ people, who shout ‘NOBODY CARES’ on these articles. I could write you a long list of people off the top of my head who care about any LGBTA news regarding whether it is sexual preference or gender identity my friend:

  • The LGBTA Community themself. Believe me that is a lot more people than your ignorant a**.
  • Any youth who looks up to said media/celebrity and is struggling with coming to terms with their sexuality/gender.
  • Any older person who has struggled for a while with their sexuality/gender as for a long time it has been a taboo subject.
  • People no matter what age, who have accepted their sexuality/gender and like to know they are not alone.
  • Children who are growing up so they can understand that popular media isn’t just filled with straight people who identify with their assigned at birth sex.
  • Literally way over 200,000 people. I’m not even sure how big the current worldwide LGBTA community is. This is just based off a 2006 population estimate of New York City ALONE.

So no when you shout THIS SHOULDN’T BE NEWS BECAUSE WE SHOULDN’T BE SEGREGATING OR SINGLING OUT PEOPLE ANYMORE, you are not being an ally, you are not being accepting, you are dismissing the LGBTA community. You are saying we are not worth celebrating milestones or any celebrity role models who come out to the community. So many people feel so proud and happy when their role models are true to themselves and it should be encouraged. Not dismissed. The reason why it’s taken us so long to become more accepting? Because of people like you who just want to brush the LGBTA community under the carpet so you don’t have to take responsibility or feel guilty for the amount of damage that has happened. So many people are abused, bullied, discriminated, hurt, threatened or even killed for being LGBTA. We are nowhere near an ‘accepting’ community yet, so don’t just act like because the USA allowed gay marriage means it’s all ‘over now’, ‘we don’t have to worry about the gays anymore they’ve got what they wanted’. That was just the beginning to acceptance.

Thanks for reading my little rant,

Lenah x x

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“Stereotype threats” online: is it dangerous?

Whenever I visit Facebook it’s really not hard to find people starting debates on statuses, news articles, photos, memes, the lot! The negative atmosphere is easy to bring up on Facebook, no matter what the topic. I can assure you, you could go on any meme or ‘shared’ photo that comes up on your timeline and find an argument.

In the past (say a month ago, I won’t try to sugar coat myself), I’ve fallen for the habit of arguing with random people on news articles and stories to defend my own beliefs on things. When celebrities come out as bisexual or a sexuality that isn’t just gay, I have argued with the latter of people on those articles who just love to shout how these celebrities are confused or ‘shoving their sexuality in people’s faces’. I’ve also seen people argue that straight people should have their own pride, that feminists are evil, ‘ugly females that want all men dead’ or even other disgusting topics where people defend rapists or racists or murderers. It definitely riles me up and as I love to voice my own opinion, sometimes I get stuck in the loop of debating with these random people who probably live on the other side of the planet.

Recently, I’ve tried to take a step back and realise, there is no point arguing with these people. Most people have these toxic racist/sexist/homophobic beliefs ingrained into them via their upbringing or media brainwashing and a single teenager on the internet is not going to help them open their eyes. This was one if the many reasons I’ve considered blogging, I can voice my beliefs to try to help people see the dangerous effects of having xenophobic beliefs and share my own research on topics.

Plus, on the internet, people can get away with being rude and hurtful absolutely scot-free. If your social media profile is private enough, nobody can get to you further than replying to your comments, and they can easily choose to block you and continue with their anger. I think people enjoy taking out any internalized anger online as you’re hardly going to be punched in the face or face consequences for your actions.

Today I read a story about how our new Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has appointed ‘vegan’ Kerry McCarthy as shadow Environmentalist secretary and a spokeswoman for our farming industry. First of all I am disappointed with most media’s descriptions of her immediately as ‘vegan’, I can see why it’s relevant to the story she is currently involved with but that shouldn’t label a person? It’s not even a needed label, are you expecting me to go around describing people by it? “Ah yes you’d love my vegetarian friend Jo, although I’m not sure about my meat eating friend Sarah”. It’s just adding on an unnecessary connotation to a person that separates them for a reason that is only important to themselves and nobody else. It’s also another way of pushing those stupid, internet-based stereotypes that hook onto people. Vegans get the stereotype of “elitists who try to make sure everyone knows they are vegan and will absolutely destroy anyone who even mentions meat in front of them”. I’m not denying there are vegans like this, but you should also admit there are meat eaters on the same level. (Have you ever met a ‘meat-eater’ who will literally not shut up as soon as someone says they do not like meat? Yes we get it, steak is amazing.)

The problem with reinforcing ridiculous stereotypes like this is that it creates an online way of threatening that is almost school playground like, which is shoving the thing the person does not like in their face as if that’s going to make them change their beliefs. On an article talking about Kerry McCarthy’s idea to advertise meat consumption in similar ways to smoking you could find a hoard of bizarre comments with almost borderline sexist slurs and threats that involve meat, cause “she’s a VEGAN we must make her cry by mentioning BACON”. Most vegans choose to stop eating meat, they do not suffer from PTSD at the mention of meat, by using meat in your threats you are simply making yourself look childish.

Disclaimer: these comments I found on a Lad Bible article, which really speaks for itself, but here are some of the things I found

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So those are some incredible examples of the responses to this whole topic. Again, this is from Lad Bible which has the audience of mainly young people ranging from possibly 11-20 odd. I removed the names and photos for privacy but I can confirm these comments are mixed from females and males, admittedly male commenters pop up a bit more but that could be from the audience Lad Bible gets.

The obvious problem with these kind of topics is that arguing over people’s ideology on things such as food, diet, health, equality etc. suddenly can become even sour and toxic because for no reason aside shock value and threat, sexism (and other ‘isms’ but in this example mainly sexist slurs) come into it. The amount of people shouting ‘bitch’, ‘cow’ and ‘cunt’ in the comments was astounding. That one example there where she is called a ‘shit, ugly stripper’ is unnecessarily derogatory. But why do online ‘debates’ (more like battles) take this spiteful turn?

Like I mentioned before, the safety of being behind your computer or phone screen with privacy options put on your name makes it a lot easier to get away with this. Which is unfair and might take a while to change. But it is an extremely harmful system that works on the internet. Obviously this ‘vegan’ debate can be considered a minuscule problem. Other turns I have seen this pattern take is when it comes to arguing for actual sexism/racism/homophobic issues. Online warriors use these stereotypes they’ve built up during their time as being an online bully to try threatening people. The amount of times I’ve heard people drag out the rape jokes when ‘debating’ with a feminist is disgraceful.

This is definitely a pattern of ‘according to this stereotype I’m going to push this topic into your face because I don’t have any research to use in debate’ which becomes more and more dangerous when debates move on to more realistic topics. Bringing up history of rape, abuse, murder, violence etc. as a ‘joke’ or a ‘threat’ when talking to people is actually a lot more real than you’d imagine because some communities will turn these topics into ‘stereotype jokes’ or ‘dark humour’ which somehow gives them the ‘get out of jail’ pass and allows them to corner people who have not even communicated with them once.

Do you think this behaviour should be stopped? Would you say it is a growing online issue or an overreaction on my behalf?

I’d love to hear some feedback.

Thanks for reading,
Lenah x x