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 PerĂłn?

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!

Advertisements

The Real Deal


A few weeks prior I decided to join a meet-up group by the name of ‘Positive Thinking’. I was particularly drawn to this group, to the ethos of being positive, and what wonders awaited upon adopting such an affirmative outlook on life, self and the world.

I suppose with feeling that I myself had been, and was going through many changes, that this group came about at the right moment. It had something to offer me.

Coincidence, well it could be described as such, yet, I don’t think so. I don’t believe in such things, as for me, everything happens for a reason within your life.

Now learning that such things as ‘coincidences’ (not quite worded as such), actually have a place within the theory of positive thinking, added extra weight to the notion that everything does happen for a reason. This group perhaps had made itself known to me, because it had something that I was looking for.

‘The Laws Of Attraction’, ideas currently being utilised by Abraham Hicks, AKA Esther Hicks (the motivational speaker and author); explained such ‘coincidences’. Although, the actual ideas, and terminology had been conceived of long before Mrs Hicks began talking about them.

Now, until the Positve Thinking group, I knew nothing of Mrs Hicks or any of the theories surrounding being positive! Yet, having read, listened and watched more about the topic, I realise what they ‘preach’ are things I always suspected to be the truth about us and life. It seemed therefore, Hicks et al had hit the nail on the head, it was the real deal so to speak.

Perhaps what they are selling is merely a sort of sense? A sense we all have about us, our lives and our place in the world. It is perhaps a sort of order to the universe or us as energy.

Allowing ourselves, our perceptions, minds, hearts and whatever else to be open to ideas; to make decisions, to choose to know what it is we want from ourselves, and from others and our lives. This all helps to obviously point us in some direction. Yet, what makes things come to us just when we seem to need them the most?

Basically; like attracts like. We get what we give, or put out into the ‘vortex’ of energies surrounding us all. Our energy effects all energy around us.

I feel this is true.

What you expect will be confirmed; in a way it is similar to a self fulfilling prophecy (a sociological theory).

Now I see that Mrs Hicks has a real good, and dependable money spinner going on here. They never deviate from the message (like preaching), they repeat the same things (like indocrination), they never offer an exact solution (like therapists), it could be a placebo effect (like some medicines), and basically – it has all the whisltes and bows of any good self help mantra.

Yet in stating all of these things, if it works for some people then why not consider it? Why dismiss it all as hokum until you try it?

As I have mentioned already, most of it makes sense! The stuff being discussed are things you will indetify with, you will no doubt have thought about already.

The topics Mrs Hicks discusses actually pull some things together. For me it helped, as I reconsidered things in life from a different perspective. Or, more precisely, from a perspective I had all along (in some form – don’t necessarily buy into it all). Hearing the seminars, it gave some of what I had already been thinking credibility/acknowledgment. Don’t get me wrong here I am no new age guru follower, or converted disciple or trying to sell any one idea! I just find the concepts of positive thinking, and laws of attraction to be interesting, appealing and useful.

However, the BIG question surrounding all of these ideas/theories still remains unanswered. If everything we need is there for us, out there in the universe, and all we have to do is in effect ‘will’ it to us, why aren’t we all happy, healthy and wealthy?

I can’t provide one air tight, logical or rational explanation for this disparity in life. The best I can do is suggest that we, and our lives are all different; and as with any feel good therapy, I don’t have to explain myself more than that!

What I do know, from my own experience is; like or need attracts like or need, your connections in life are with those who connect to you, mind can win over matter, positive can help you overcome the worst situation, being open to new experience is far more rewarding than hiding away, being clear on your own desires helps you find ways to make those desires a reality, and knowing yourself is the best way to help yourself. All of this wisdom courtesy of little ol’ me, ummm, perhaps self help or life coaching should be my new life goal!

Seriously though, positive thinking is my new way forward. Of course I can’t be; doped up with a silly grin, not a care in the world and never angry, positive ALL of the time, every hour of day! Now that would be silly to expect. Yet, I am trying to increase the positive injections and decrease the negative ones! I hope this change in my internal balance will help readjust some stuff, and steer me clearer on a clearer path.

How about you give it a go too? Go on and do it, and see what, if anything, changes for you.

Breaking Bad Becomes Child’s Play


Breaking Bad 'Lego' set :)

Breaking Bad ‘Lego’ set 🙂

What do thinking of these ‘Bricking Bad’ toys?

These ‘toys’ have been modelled upon the Breaking Bad series. Yes, the Crystal Meth lab, and all the characters of the series included; in fact, every last detail has been faithfully recreated in miniature LEGO format!

Crazy fun ‘eh?!

‘Bricking Bad’ was being marketed to the ‘LEGO’ company, but strangely they refused to see the the funny side of it all.

LEGO therefore turned down the opportunity, of what would no doubt have been lucrative sales, deeming association with such a ‘rip-off’ product as akin to sleeping with the devil.

The tweeters were twittering with indignation over the inappropriate nature of it all too (no doubt what eventually swayed LEGO’s final decision). All the social networking tribes set to work to shun ‘Bricking Bad’, before it could filter through to corrupt the young people of today!

I think this is totally off the mark, I mean what six year old’s toy box would be complete without such a unique item? How to cook Meth, isn’t it what every parent hopes their child will learn, and then recreate in their teen years! Don’t ridicule, it could be a good option in such an economic climate!

For me, I see this as an adult/collectors item, obviously! It was never likely to be marketed as anything more than a novelty item for a model shop, rather than a toy shop.

Yet, to be serious, with all the uproar this product has received you’d think the young of today led sheltered lives, instead of being the informed and savvy socialistas they really are.

Good God, they learn about sex from the ages of five now, so, Crystal Meth is far from off limits for topics of convo, surely!!!

Anyway, I’d have bought a ‘Bricking Bad’ set, I can definitely see the cheeky side of it! Can you?

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????

One Billion Rising


20120925005802!One_Billion_Rising_-_logo_-_01

“On V-Day’s 15th Anniversary, 2.14.13, we are inviting ONE BILLION women and those who love them to WALK OUT, DANCE, RISE UP, and DEMAND an end to this violence. ONE BILLION RISING will move the earth, activating women and men across every country. V-Day wants the world to see our collective strength, our numbers, our solidarity across borders”.

Help put an end to rape and violence by joining One Billion Rising. Take a stand against these vile crimes today.

Take a look at the link below. This cause is a great way to raise awareness of the violence and abuse women face daily across the world.

One Billion Rising

I wonder how many women and men will ‘Stand’ up on 14th Feb and be counted???????

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!!!!!!!!

66792_405094206226493_1502439041_n

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.