You can look but you can’t touch….or can you?

              

 

Many of us dream of having the perfect children born and nurtured in enviable settings, in the house with the white Pickett fence growing up to be a great success. Often this is not the case, our children take up a profession that we did not want them to or worse still they develop a sexual preference that will not carry on the nuclear family tradition. As trying as this outlook maybe it is more bearable than what has become a voyeuristic and exploitative world technology and business expansion has created over the years. This is a world where women have the option of joining lucrative industries where they have sex and other activities for money, the traditional role we once knew of as the prostitute bent over a car offering sexual services for cash in hand is soon to be a thing of the past. The naïve girl who degrades herself for the taste of the highlife is of a different calibre these days apparently she purposes ‘I know what I signed up for’, ‘I love sex why not get paid for it?’ ‘My partner supports what I do’ is now predator to the legal sexual industries widely advertised and always recruiting. But if you look closely behind the image broadcasted by these industries of young make-up laden girls you see a trance like stare screaming ‘help me’, ‘I didn’t know it was going to be like this’ you often will find the same masquered girl who if not for the ‘innovation’ of technology would still be trailing the streets at ungodly hours looking for that middle class client who will be the difference between coming down and the next drug fix.

If we imagine the socio-economic history of one of these girls we often will see the girl who had the best start in life, hopes and dreams where did all go wrong?  No its best not to answer that question as a producer of an xxx movie or porn viewer all we care about is the girl standing in front of us and what she has to offer, how far she is willing to go to induce pleasure for the attentive audience. It is not just those within the industry who fail to acknowledge so many little girls lost who walk into a studio and claim to love their job, everyday folk cannot get away from X-rated images, just open the Sun Newspaper and turn to the 3rd page everyone can read this paper and with the average reading age ability set at 8 years old it’s really painful to question who is exactly are there target audience? Those of us within the corporate world are too wrapped up in with the demands of working life to study and question the images we are bombarded with each day and the worst of all is the sexualisation of young girls craze. For centuries we have been told we must fight to illuminate the appearance of ageing and who is this for? Well it certainly isn’t for our best friend Lucy is it? No it is for men who have bought into this ideology and some might say this originates from pornographic images of young  18 ‘teen’ girls who are portrayed in a childlike manner. The porn industry may argue they are merely just playing on the biologically wiring of men as scientists claim they like to mate with young women as youth  is a sign of fertility and attraction is based on the desire to procreate. As ever the technological world is always advancing and one has to fear what could be next to break the boundaries of voyeurism and bring sensuality to life from the comfort of a customer’s home.

 

0 notes

The grey area between equality and diversity in the 21st Century

image

The 21st January 2013 marks the 84th Martin Luther King Jnr day, a day of splendid and periodic pride for Americans and quite frankly everyone around the world touched by his timid and peaceful impact on the civil rights movement. His manner and passion for civil rights has made it possible for civil rights as a term to be currently defined in the progressive and ‘socially inclusive’ era. Martin Luther King Jnr was a pacifist who believed in equality for all. It is hard at times to fathom that a human being of his calibre existed in such a simple and oppressive paradigm of ideologies.

What’s more, is that these ideologies were realities, the exploration of equality and diversity it is not a simple argument where it can be concluded that we (all) intellectual, powerful and dynamic have surrendered that power to the state and government, but we have reached a state where we will section off our sensibilities and human instinct to help someone out in need without any foreseeable reward. Everyone likes structure and it is important to psychologically take care of yourself and others in your immediate surroundings , that is and of itself character building, but when did it get to a point where we can now make fun of poverty in light-hearted ‘Facebook memes’.

We don’t probe further into the system otherwise we are viewed as outlandish tyrants that refuse to conform to the norm of judicial decisions and viewed as believing we are above the law. Peaceful protesting is a very admirable and intelligent approach, but at what point do we shout to let our voices be heard at what extent does the dreary day to day spin on news become too much for us. Particularly in the UK Do we continue to believe that because things are happening out there that are beyond one person’s control we should just ignore, how is that we still make judgements and perpetuate stereotypes in the supposed age of tolerance and acceptance. Is a sense of entitlement justified feeling that we must have a certain social standing to be deemed successful as our peers? There are still hesitations we make when dealing with the truth about our nature to others why must pride and appearances stop human beings from seeking truth and not just what a newscaster has told them this is how the ‘other half’ live. Being ‘normal’ and straight-laced and confined to a comfort zone is not necessarily fulfilling, to take off our tinted shades and embrace globalisation is truly what life can be about. 

Setting the bar

There are many great people out there, among them are women who challenge and push boundaries who show through their work that ‘breaking the glass ceiling’ is achievable even in your small ‘world’ or sphere. People like Ruth First where not afraid to attack the intellectual level that men in that era regarded women to have. She was a journalist and activist who believed strongly in the power of free speech and used this power to investigate and publish controversial work first in The Guardian, then as a editor of the pro-alliance journal Fighting Talk. During her talks she aimed to end apartheid, In 1956 her and her husband were charged of treason and she was banned from working as a journalist.

The events that lead up to her murder were all cultivated by her bravery, her activism and her will to make the world a better place. its very rare to find a woman quite like her in today’s world willing to risk their lives for the good of someone else and that is because we accept the commercial ideology that we belong here, doing this sort of profession and earning that amount of money. The truth is there is no glass ceiling to break only the idea that we have to try to compete with men, when women can conquer their own dreams, hopes and ambitions without a second glance back at the expectations of others and mainstream influence.

(Source: indexoncensorship.org)

The feminist library

As I sat down to interview Sarah O’mahoney, 46 who is a volunteer at The feminist library that holds approximately 10,000 books and a small collection of archives from the Women’s Liberation Movement, I realised the importance of the library’s existence. The legacy of female feelings,thoughts and activism are documented within the books and archives waiting for attentive young feminists to reach in and relate to their experiences. It also offers advice and services for women of all ages to remain connected with other like-minded women, such as informing local women about upcoming events run by London Feminist Network or UK Feminista summer school and also holding monthly writing and book reviewing clubs of female fiction and non-fiction. Sarah discussed the aims of some great  feminists such as Kat Banyard author of The Equality Illusion which was to educate women on the flawed male dominated society in which we live in.

She says ‘Feminism is not just about women, it can be for men too’  equality is something that has to be realised by both sexes and The feminist library aims to promote equality in the world and for Sarah equal pay is still a big unresolved issue that need not be ignored. Women now perceive themselves as more independent than ever before and for some the history of female activism is something that should remain in the past. Nevertheless she highlights that organisations such as OBJECT deal with the subtle issues that even local councils overlook, such as consulting local communities on the permission to license lap dancing clubs. Women seem to know what they want now, but the reality highlights that perhaps in order to keep the peace we enter the male dominated world, obey and comply with any decisions that inhibit self-realisation. That may be becoming a CEO or executive of a company but for many women the idea of having children and then face a plummeting career is one they are not willing to take. Amidst the objectifying images of women in the media the arriving of the Slutwalk that originated In Canada desired to reclaim the derogatory term and stereotype imposed on  females dressed in ‘provocative’ clothing. In response to critics of the name the view of Sarah and The Feminist library as a community is that it is a step into a more equal world and should be supported as a necessary form of activism.

The clear message seems to be that mainstream media can make what they like of the extremist connotations that the label feminist has cultivated in the past, but celebrating feminism and all that it entails is something that can have great implications on social and cultural progression.

(Source: feministlibrary.co.uk)

1 note

The Killer Inside Me

This intelligently 1952 written story is given vitality and suspense by its author Jim Thompson, what one might think to be initially limited, by telling the story from the first person perspective of Lou Ford the viewer gets a much deeper insight into the structure of this chilling tale. Lou Ford the protagonist could be described as the pillar of the Texas community, of which he lives and is the deputy sheriff of the police force this fact makes the way Lou is contextualized, his character and job title even more sinister and thrilling in the construction of suspense and intrigue for the reader. What caught my eye in this novel on the first page is the set up although it is a know trick to writer’s that you must formulate and sustain a pictorial view in the mind’s eye of the reader, the writer does this ease and in a subtly canny way.

In response to  a cafe worker who was concerned that a deputy sheriff like himself was not carrying a gun. His response is ‘Anyway, people are people, even when they’re a little misguided. You don’t hurt them, they won’t hurt you. They’ll listen to reason’. The irony of this keeps the reader within an appropriate naive mind set. The main character is a pretentious sociopath with sadistic desires, his battle with the past affects all areas of his present life in the book the way in which this character tells his story is matter of fact. And the social impact that this 1952 book must of had at the time must have been noticeable, the construction of the female where typical and unimportant the balancing of Lou’s sexual desire for Joyce and commitment to Amy Stanton does not distract him for covering his criminal tracks. It is clear at this time the writer did not want to make the book an intentional derogatory attack on women, but the ambiguity of Joyce’s character who no doubt plays a pivotal role in the plot leaves the reader to assume that she was a mere instrument and content instrument in fulfilling Lou’s desires. The book is not written to evoke copy cat violence, but the intensity of the filmed version The Killer inside me 2010 by Michael Winterbottom will add a small influence to the way that women are viewed. Having said that it is difficult for any reader or viewer to lose sight of the main character’s atrocious perception of the world and how he manipulated those around him.

social media and popular culture

The average teenager can create various personalities on the web before breakfast, the culture of convergence means that life has become a race to remain within ‘the loop’. Never before have young people had to be so alert to the on-goings of modern technology, without vigilance it is possible to get left behind. The woman a midst all of this is racing to keep up, as her identity has been constructed to want social approval and material satisfaction much more than her male counterpart. Since the arrival of Facebook and Twitter and countless other social networking websites their description and reason for addiction can summarized into one thought of the average woman that is ‘That last update was brilliant. Someone’s going to like it any second now..’ 53% of adult females use social media at least on a weekly basis. Ethan Bloch of gift marketing company Flowtown found. Connected with other forms of culture such as fashion, music etc. women are helpless to submit to the demand to want something quick and instant, spending on average (according to Ofcom and other research) 9.5 hours a day online,the era of new media technology may serve to perpetuate anxiety and indecisiveness as it becomes increasingly difficult to focus on one thing.

(Source: pamorama.net)

I’m not too crazy about power dressing

1. It is not desirable and women do not like anything unless it is even remotely desirable or socially acceptable.

2. You don’t get any further than the next girl  if you dress in such away, all you do is create and enter a world of pretense (your head is almost touching the glass ceiling and unfortunately you have not broken through)

3. Its not proven that men or women take you more seriously if you dress in a stern suit and the most ‘masculine of clothes’

4. By ‘power dressing’ you are conforming to a role the notion that power connotes and signifies everything non-feminine and ‘weak’.

As a feminist I just don’t like it, it does not prove anything and by dressing ‘normally’ you create a affinity with other women and set an example. No women do not have to dress like men in a professional environment end of.

(Source: MSN)

3 notes

Body image and the workplace

It seems for females these two subjects do not coexist, instead in the context of work and the professional environment body image is disregarded, hidden under the mindset of a duty to fulfil one’s professional role at work. It seems as females we have collectively come a long way away from the pasts need to protest for civil rights, equal work for equal pay. The answer to the hidden question of whether female body perception really gets in the way of work progression is to look at the long standing influence of culture. Evolutionary psychologists claim that there is a natural inclination (to ensure survival) that makes women have the will and desire to appear attractive to a mate. It is not only this natural desire within women that reinforces stereotypical female behaviour, fashion has become a permanent fixture throughout the world and the introduction of styles such as the dolly bird look and various forms of make-up and social conditioning are what created body image and maintains it. Lauren Fritsch the founder and CEO of coaching collective has said ‘We need to rethink what success is, because success is different for a male CEO and a female CEO’.

Nevertheless, it is difficult to escape the brush with which women have been tarnished with for many decades, the ideology that women desire a man to look after them or even appreciate the efforts we go to look pretty. It seems time has proven for women that we are as intelligent or even more so than men, but there still seems to be this subtle almost non-existent feeling that how women perceive and present themselves in a office or professional environment will always affect how they are treated in a world that remains dominated by men.

 

The future of feminism

Sitting in the context of ‘modern’ society, the events and tragedies that occurred in the past with diligent and determined feminists may occur far removed from female day-to-day experiences.  No longer do we have to fight for rights and protest relentlessly until we are listened to, that is  a surface fact no analysis required generally we are not looked at by men as the housekeeper, child carer or sex toy. Having accepted this fact isn’t it time we bury the term feminist or feminism? Perhaps the issue with term is not just that it appears ‘outdated’ , but the issue revolves around the stigma attached to calling one’s self a feminist. For me feminism involves measurable and observable action, not just in word, deed and mentality. The great Alice Paul is an example of dedication and  intense commitment, for her and her struggle for equality, being a feminist was not just a label, but a way of life. This lady who was force-fed, extensively and repeatedly beaten was an active feminist, possibly radical. The point is that although there are all the different kinds of feminist in my view there is the soft and the hard, the ones who will cause shock, upset and voice controversial views and the ones who are nominal and lack action.  Perhaps there is a need for the ‘nominal feminist’ in this day and age where we have catapulted into equality so when the odd sexist who breaches this deserves to face the wrath of reprisal.

0 notes