Learning Gender Roles Via The BBC


The BBC have recently been accused of sexism with their remake of children’s classic Topsy and Tim.

It was claimed by parents that the BBC misinterpreted the original children stories, and chose instead to reinforce traditional gender stereotypes, which were being aimed at very young children. The charecter Tospy is a little girl who is seen baking princess cakes with her Mum, while her Brother Tim is informed baking is not for him. As a boy he can play outside on his bike or help his Dad with “mans work”.

I wondered, as I have on many occasions before, how do we learn our ‘gender roles’? Is it nature or nurture, and how can we be sure?

Thinking of my own childhood, I recall never being compelled by my parents to be particularly ‘girlie’, and naturally I wasn’t this way either. I was always encouraged to just be me, and perhaps by being a headstrong child who knew what I liked, pressures to be ‘girlie’ (if they existed), never affected me. I therefore feel surprised that in the 21st century children are still being encouraged to mimic, and reflect, what their own parents deem to be acceptable gender specific stereotypes. It just seems almost self defeating and rather odd.

Why would any parent force their child to be anything, and ruin their own child’s ability to blossom and develop naturally, free of preconceived ideals laid down throughout the eons?!

What is so terrible about girls playing with cars and bikes, and boys playing with kitchens and dolls? Surely having diverse skills and interests make for more rounded and capable future adults?

I know if I had children, I would indeed encourage them to be them; who else can they be after all!

Don’t get me wrong, their is nothing wrong with traditional gender roles, if those people performing those roles are happy enough to do so. Yet, there is nothing wrong with mixing it up either!

Living in Madrid I see many more examples of the conventional family unit than I do in the UK. The wife cooks, cleans, takes care of the house and kids, while the man works, is head of the household, applies the discipline and often the education of the kids. This is almost expected and seen as the social norm.

Now my household has never been quite like this, to the surprise of the people I meet in Spain. People are shocked that I am interested in politics, and also that my degree, career and writing all have a political grounding. I have actually been told how unusual it is for a girl! Obviously they haven’t heard of Emily Pankhurst, Simone de Beauvoir, Eleanor Roosevelt, Margaret Thatcher, Naomi Wolf and Hilary Clinton; what about Eva Perón?

For me, applying any expectations upon a person, especially at a young and impressionable age, just becomes a simple case of the self fulfilling prophecy. You get what you expect. Women and men then become merely caricatures of their gender, nothing more than that! How can we then argue they are naturally as they should be?

Have women actually been able or allowed to genuinely break through that “glass ceiling”? Not if the 21st centuries depiction of gender is the reference point; a woman’s place is still at home, while the man still belongs to the world. This has to be true, the BBC even think so!

To be serious, in recent years it has been a giant step backwards for men and women alike. Adverts, marketing, media and society in general have peddled the over sexualisation of the younger generation. This has drip fed a generation with gender specific notions of beauty, relationships, sex and availability, youth, frivolousness, self obsession, celebrity culture, diets, gossip, fashion and materialism.

So, maybe reverting to the stereotypical gender roles is only the natural step forward from this re-education?

For me I feel it is difficult to distinguish, and therefore state concretely, how much of nature actually plays a part in a child’s socialisation, self perception and development. Especially with all the dross floating around their environment.

Think about how difficult it is for us as adults to really separate ourselves, and our choices from all the expectations applied upon us, what we have seen, learnt, experienced and absorbed into our psyche?

If it is so difficult for us as adults, the question then remains; how can a child?

Nature v’s nurture, for me there is no real contest to contest!

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“I Am Beautiful No Matter What They Say”……..


Apparently NOT!

Discount EVERY lyric of the Christina Aguilera song. Miss Aguilera sang it, and now perhaps regrets doing so.

One celebrity woman’s quest to be what ever she wants to be, yet again falls flat.

FAT = UGLY because society tells us that all the time, and we as individuals cannot tame the power society wields over us all. It is a definite one sided society that we live in though.

If you read the recent article I wrote ‘Consider Her Ways’ My Article, you know I don’t necessarily like seeing any flesh (et al) on show, whether thin or fat. Yet, I don’t like it full stop. I don’t make up silly little rules regarding what is OK, and who should or shouldn’t show off their flesh, or who is and isn’t beautiful. In fact I am more sick of people dictating that thinner people ought to have the monopoly on nakedness, scantily clad dressing and beauty.

WHY? Why is that OK? Why are only thin people seen as the cream of the crop in society? Why are only thin people ‘allowed’ to get it all out on show for everyone to ogle at?

It seems this is the question Miss Aguilera didn’t ask, and just accepted the dictated ‘norm’ as the Gospel of God (or, whatever else holds absolute truth)!!

What is the difference in being larger or thinner? She showed her bottom when she was thin, and who knows how she remained thin; was it via a healthy route or not? Does anyone care so long as she didn’t offend and gain weight! Heaven forbid!

Miss Aguilera wore more clothes when she gained weight, and yet, still she was deemed grotesque. So, whether she flaunted her more rounder bottom or not, it was still unacceptable, and yet, isn’t it HER business whether she chooses to be fat or thin? Isn’t it her choice what she does in her own life? Just like it is apparently individual choice to, expose the flesh to all and sundry or remain covered up.

I personally think exposing ones self unnecessarily to anyone who will look, is bad taste! I don’t care whether that body is thin or fat. There is NO need for ANYONE to wander around with their wobbly bits on show. NO NEED!

Yet, apparently people over a size 12 really shouldn’t, they should NOT accept their bodies at all. Perhaps these ‘fat people’ should do society a favour, and just go and die. Great attitude to instil in the future generations that individuality sucks! We as human beings are merely aspiring to be like, and look like everyone else about us! Wow, what a feat of achievement, we should ALL be proud of ourselves as we all look the same.

Just to let you all know, I am OVER a size 12 – OH GOD shoot me now!!!!!!!!! Should I hide away and die too?? Am I ugly, a blot upon societal perfection?? Should I be ashamed to show my skin too?? Am I less attractive than a size 8??

Who is anyone to tell me YES?

I have fought all my life to feel I am HUMAN because I am NOT a twiglet, because I have curves, because I have always been a little different. I have recently succeeded in feeling good about me, well, over last few years anyway; and let me tell you – it was bloody hard work. As a woman, and being determined NOT to follow the herd, well that is never easy. Anyway, I exercise and eat well, so what am I doing wrong other than refusing to become what is for me, unattainably thin? Well, the media and anyone else who feels I am in need of reprimand aren’t shy to inform me that I should be ashamed of myself. I need to be thinner and trimmer. I need to be X, Y or Z or don’t bother even thinking I can wear a short skirt or indeed be beautiful.

Yet, I am beautiful.

All I want, which perhaps others do too; is to live in a world where the only label a woman HAS to wear are those sewn into her clothes, regardless of the size of those clothes.

Maybe this might seem odd but, beauty to me is more than flesh, size, shape or even dictated fashions of what is hot or not. Beauty can’t be bottled, shipped and sold, it can’t be manipulated, created, identified beyond a doubt or universally applied. Yet, we all try to do this for some reason.

See here for another article I wrote about ‘normal’: Who Is Being Allowed To Redefine Normal?

So, below is the article that instigated this angry post!! Take a look at this blatant self depreciating, and contradictory ‘enlightening’ piece which salutes thin, and encourages a certain view point as far as beauty is concerned.

Oh, and health apart, this is an image and confidence and acceptance thing. I’m not talking about illnesses, obesity and God knows what else. For the record, anyone can die of anything at any-time. So, I don’t wish to debate fat as a health issue. Thank you!

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/tvshowbiz/article-2344265/Christina-Aguilera-proudly-shows-dramatic-weight-loss-skintight-skirt-The-Voice-finale.html

If You Tolerate This………..


And THIS is a product of a healthy society?? Yeah, right!

And THIS is a product of a healthy society?? Yeah, right!

……….Where-in the HELL will it end??????!!!!!!!!

The issue of these disgusting Facebook pages makes me sick to my stomach. Where is the debate here at all?? It is simple for me; REMOVE ALL THE ABUSIVE AND SICK PAGES, and REMOVE THEM NOW!!!!

Rape, abuse and God knows what else – what part does any of that play in social networking? I mean what a conversation starter between long lost friends; “Hey great to speak to you again Steve, yeah, I’m an Engineer now, I drive a BMW and oh, yeah, did I mention I’m a wife beater and rapist – soon to be a Daddy too”. SICK, SICK, SICK; and another word, debauched.

What a twisted world we live in, and what low life scum inhabit it. Times like these make me ashamed to call myself a human being.

The men responsible for such things are surely on some ‘Most Wanted Psycho Killer’ list somewhere or another, if not, they will be.

There is nothing amusing about this sick content, and nothing which should be classed as anyone’s right to express. This is not liberating and progressive, but harmful and debase. In a civil society there is no room for such cruel, moronic and misogynist attitudes.

Ban abusive Facebook pages NOW!!!!! Stop quibbling over T&C’s and everything else; what is more important here, people and their lives or bloody paperless contracts for internet jibber jabber.

Facebook PLEASE get your priorities right once and for all!

This Is Frustrating


I found a great little job site for applying for work here in Madrid, yet, the application process SUCKS!!!

I can’t upload my own CV, which far surpasses the useless and limited electronic version the site has for every candidate to use. It is OK if every candidate is Spanish, but I am not, and the jobs being advertised on the site aren’t all for Spanish speakers or Spanish companies!!!

The CV on the site didn’t even have the ‘pull down’ option on there for MY degree, what the Hell!!! It couldn’t get my age correct either!! It also required either NIE (certificate of residency) or passport number – which is highly confidential information to part with, and leave lying around on an online job site, which could be hacked any time, and my complete identity then stolen!! In the UK such personal identification would NEVER be required until the interview stage or, until an actual job offer has been made.

The site also required me to input a Spanish telephone number, which I haven’t got. I don’t want one either!!!! I didn’t see the need to transfer my contract over to a Spanish contract, especially as mobile contracts are expensive here. I use texts more than calls, here, Spanish people use calls more than texts – who the Hell am I gonna call and chat to?? I don’t have an endless contact list!!!

The other down side – everything on the site’s CV was in Spanish. Yet, the jobs I wanted to apply for are not advertised in Spanish, are not for Spanish speakers, but Native English speakers. Therefore, as a non-fluent Spanish speaker – the whole site was a tad frustrating to navigate – and most of it wasn’t applicable to me!!!!

It was a classic catch 22. I need to be in a Spanish working environment to learn more Spanish, and yet getting a job to help me do that – is a nightmare! So, I rely on applying for English speaking only positions to help me get somewhere; but this is no better, as the application process is in Spanish!

Barriers, and then some!!!!!

The etiquette for interviews, and for meting people in a business capacity is completely wrong too! There is no follow up, the only option is; come at this time, this date, to this venue – there is NO, can you make this? Is this OK for you? Let us confirm this 100%. There is NO response to confirm or responses to answer questions – its just – this, that and nothing more. If that is no good for you, well, tough – and DON’T contact us again! How is that conducive for business or organisations to run?? Why can’t they clarify what is required?? Why can’t they communicate and decide what is best for all parties concerned?? How does anything ever get done if there is no negotiation and communication, just orders?!

As a candidate or enquirer about volunteering, info on jobs, organising meetings and so on, you have to do all the chasing too. Without two way communication you are often left hanging with no real answers, clarification or a way to progress. Basically, it is a one time only offer; unless you comply to what they want, when they want it and how they want it, you as a candidate or enquirer are up the creak without a paddle.

No wonder so many people here in Spain are unemployed!!!!!!!

I am at least, seemingly, making headway with volunteering. I am trying once more to arrange a meeting to discuss what I can do, and they can do – and so on and so on. Fingers crossed this will all be done and dusted by next week!!!!! Fingers crossed!!!!

My Unique Selling Point


Having been a little angry recently, OK very angry recently, I thought I’d attempt to change my tune before I implode!! Hehe!!

Don’t get me wrong, I haven’t resolved the issues that have prodded at my anger. I can’t yet, but I can at least try to delve into the positive side of life for a while to help me forget the bad 🙂

So, I began thinking about my ‘UNIQUE SELLING POINT’!!

In this post my USP is only for my reference, and not meant to impress or ‘WOW’ outside influences by relating to them my amazingness (I jest)!!! At this moment I just want to think about what I like about me, whether others will share the same opinion of me, who knows, I can’t say for sure!

USP is usually something economists or career guidance people chat about. It is unique to you, so only you know what makes you unique 🙂 In that, there is no wrong or right!!!! Yippeee!!!!! In this post I am assuming you are the product you are trying to sell to the world – which is I suppose exactly what we are and what we try to do!!

USP is important stuff then? Well, it is drawing others attention to your value or what you have that they need.

Yet, I do question it, just a teensy-weensy bit!!! Why should USP be used to buy and sell who you are – why should it be used to get others to invest in you??? Can’t it just be for you and you alone??? I mean if they need a USP to believe in you, then it says more about them that it does about you.

Anyway, just for the sake of this post, I am going to reveal (ta-da!!!) my USP. Even though I sometimes question the purpose of such one sided mechanisms of value, I do think it has a place in some circumstances (fickle eh? Not to be included in my USP)!!!! I suppose I just want to ensure we don’t become hung up on such things; it will never be the end of the world if a USP reveals we are not ALL singing and dancing geniuses!!!

OK – lets talk ME!!!! I feel I have many qualities depending on the circumstances those qualities are being assessed within. I think it isn’t so easy to sum up everything I have to offer the world (see, I can be positive when I need to be)!!!!!!

Anyway just to appease the topic of this post here are some of my USP’s (you might or might not be interested)!!!

**I am great at adapting to any situation**

**I am excellent at communication ~ I love to talk & explain**

**I am empathetic and can listen to what is being said**

**I can sing (oh yes I can)!**

**I have lived in the real world (interpret that how you want to)**

**I have a capacity to learn things & very quickly**

**I have a god memory, especially for faces (I should have joined the police)**

**I possess intuitive skills, which have helped me out on many occasions**

**I am affable, but not weak**

So, these are some of my USP’s;

BUT, WHAT ARE YOURS?????????????????????

What do you have to offer that makes you stand out from the herd????

What makes you you???? 

Do you ever consider your USP????

The Perfect Woman, PLEASE!


OK, I thought I was going to sign out and just continue in a holiday haze, yet, the lure of that wicked Facebook drew me in again, drat!!!!!

I had to share this with you all as it infuriates me!!!!!!!!

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What is this??? Window shopping for eye candy or a side show in non-reality (male equivalent fairy stories)??????

Does this person exist, erm, well the title is surely a give away; ‘Anatomy of a Perfect Woman’! As though one of those exists outside the realms of Photoshop!!!!!

Sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but women are human too!!! We have spots, bad breath, have hairy bodies, wrinkles, saggy bits, have periods, we sweat, we get angry, we diet and dye our hair, we apply make-up and we don’t laugh at inane jokes! WE ARE PEOPLE NOT OBJECTS like manikins in shop windows, if you don’t like that REALITY then sling your hook!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I DON’T want to put down ALL men! I am aware there are PLENTY of GOOD GUYS out there who are lovers of ALL WOMEN and don’t treat woman like objects! Not all men think like Men’s Health magazine think they do, nor are they all idiots who only think in such shallow terms.

However, there are men out there who do.

I suppose I am fed up with hearing SOME men’s scrutinising perspectives and assumptions on women.

I wonder if, and what the Woman’s Health magazine say about their perfect man????? Nothing I suppose, because woman aren’t supposed to want one of those, we should accept a man as a man. ALSO, a perfect man doesn’t exist, there isn’t one out there!!!

The reason for this is REALITY; WE ARE ALL PEOPLE, men AND woman alike! We are different and more than just what we look like!!!!!!!! I mean Prince Charming doesn’t exist, us ladies learn that one quick enough. I just wish some men would learn that Princess Charming doesn’t exist either, it would do them a HUGE favour!

Is This A Joke?


WTF???!!!

WTF???!!!

Is this above Tom Ford advert sexy? Would it seduce you into purchasing the item being sold, which is if you haven’t figured it out a men’s cologne? Is the advert for real or maybe it is a joke? If it is a joke who is the one being laughed at?

I wonder has advertising finally scraped the bottle of the barrel, is this as low, literally, as it can go?

I don’t see the need to advertise anything in this vile and crude fashion. Can’t advertising sell anything unless overt sexual connotations are attached? If they can’t, then maybe what is being marketed isn’t worth buying!

I know this advert is aimed at men and no doubt made to shock, stand out and insight arousal; but I just don’t get it! I know people will no doubt say; ‘sex sells so how can you be shocked or upset by this image in today’s society?’ Well, why shouldn’t we be? Why should it be OK to advertise in this way? Why do I have to be ‘cool’ with seeing woman portrayed as nothing more than their breasts and vagina?!

Yes, we have seen these lady parts before, yes as women we all have these parts, but my God I don’t want to see these parts large as life everywhere and all the time? It doesn’t turn me on, it doesn’t appeal to me.

A woman’s perfume would never be marketed this way; IE, a man in such poses. So, what does that say about how a woman is perceived in marketing?

Objectification of women as sex objects, women made into an ‘it’ or is this a damn good marketing technique to appeal to men?????? You better decide, as I for one am at a loss with this.