“Spotted”


I must admit, reading about “Spotted” in the news once again came as no surprise to me. Sadly, it seems everyday a new wave of internet indecency or nastiness becomes part of the norm.

And, make no mistake, the materials posted upon “Spotted” are particularly grotesque. But, I still have to question; aren’t such materials in many ways merely an expression of freedom, and of being human?

In truth, it is completely normal and part of everyday life – men and women will look at, talk about, fantasise about and trade lewd comments/pictures of the opposite sex. They don’t need the internet for this either.

So, I have to ask – how far is too far on the internet?

And, has “Spotted” reached, breached and exceeded the limits?

For those of you who don’t know what ‘Spotted’ is, allow me to provide you with some shockingly foul-mouthed quotes which illustrates it clearly (warning – profanities follow);

That blonde haired girl who just walked into the 2nd floor of the library is fucking banging – ‘Spotted: Reading University Library’ (3718 likes).

To the dirty skank… for gods sake buy some new leggings!! jesus christ! i can see your minge! [sic] – ‘Spotted: Swansea University Campus’ (2407 likes).

To the girl talking about harry potter. i think your arse might be a horcrux, im gonna have to destroy it tonight – ‘Spotted: Kent Uni Library’ (4209 likes).

These comments are typical examples of what “Spotted” has to offer. Male university students and their velvet tongues, produce one disgusting comment after another, and it is shrugged off as a type of compliment that their female peers should enjoy receiving.

“Spotted” pages are in fact part of the Facebook family. They are pages that encourage students to write comments and messages about their peers, which are published anonymously by page administrators. Many of the pages target specific universities (each page supposedly run by a student at that institution), with hundreds of different pages appearing on Facebook. Many of the pages have been liked thousands of times.

The “about” sections of most of the pages innocent enough, they encourage students to share funny incidents, grievances or secret crushes, but the reality is very different. Many of the pages consist of heavily sexualised and offensive comments about students’ appearance and sexuality, and female students are targeted with particularly misogynistic comments.

To the stuck up slut who looked at me as if I’d just slipped a finger up her grandma… –‘Spotted: University of Portsmouth Library’ (7460 likes).

Some posts include images, seemingly uploaded without the subjects’ knowledge or consent.

A current post on the ‘Spotted: University of Essex’ page (3955 likes) shows a young woman sitting at a computer, apparently unaware of the fact that her underwear is exposed above the waistband of her trousers, or of the fact that she is being photographed from behind. The caption on the photograph reads: “Nice bit a crack in the reading room.” [sic]

Another picture featuring a female student, again taken from behind and apparently without consent, appears on the “Spotted: Coventry University” page (4097 likes), captioned: “Asian girls and their asses though.” Several of the posts nastily blend racism with sexism.

A post appearing on the ‘Spotted: Hotty in Hartley Library’ page (3493 likes), displays a picture of a female student from behind, and asks fellow students to identify her so the poster “can get on that”.

Many posts inform female students what their male peers would like to do to them, or are doing while watching them:

To the girl on the c+ floor with the red toshiba laptop… i was sitting next to you a few hours ago. I literally couldn’t take my hand out of my pants the whole time. [sic]

To the hot girl sitting opposite me on level 3, do you mind if I have a cheeky danger wank whilst looking at you?

To the sexy brunette on the 4th floor, will you be my girlfrien? I didn’t add the D because you’ll get that later.

 Others veer from sexual objectification towards bullying:

 To the girl in the floor 4 toilets, you’re not Niagara falls, at some point you’ve gotta stop flowing.

The fat bird standing by the printers on the first floor. Don’t want to shag, but could really do with a cuddle.

Is it all in good fun??

A National Union of Students study reveals that 68% of female students experience sexual harassment during their time at university, and one in seven are seriously physically or sexually assaulted. These statistics actually shocked me; I didn’t know this was the case, and I doubt many female students (current or future) would know either.

So, how harmless are such pages if they feed into a wider student culture which increasingly treats young women as sexual prey?

And, do such pages merely demonstrate, and ensure that sexual harassment infiltrates every part of the academic arena to the point that there are no limits?

I then wonder;

Does “Spotted” encapsulate a new culture of objectification, harassment and misogyny?

How can this freedom of speech be curtailed, or, should it be?

Is “Spotted” just boys being boys or is it more sinister than that?

If you or your daughter were on the receiving end of such grotesque comments, how would you react?

All I can say;

I am thankful “Spotted” didn’t exist when I was a student. It was daunting enough entering the new environment of a large university, leaving home, being frightened, unsure and anxious over everything. I certainly wouldn’t have appreciated contending with this form of bullying and harassment too.

“Spotted” is childish, dangerous, aggressive, soul destroying and cowardly; not the best way to demonstrate what a UK university education can teach you.

Perhaps, a little less lady spotting and a little more studying wouldn’t go amiss.    

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Where’s Autumn?!


Dear Autumn,

RE: Where Are You This Year?

I write to you with a grave concern I felt compelled to express. I am consumed with sorrow, because of your absence.

May I enquire, why have you decided not to visit Madrid this year? What have we, the people of the city, done to offend you?!

It is the MOST horrible thing about living in Madrid, the fact I rarely have the opportunity to enjoy your company.

There has been this year, as last, a distinct lack in seasonal change, which is once again intolerable. In fact the only season that seems to last the duration here is summertime. Summertime never knows when it is polite moment to leave!

Snow, well, that too would be some kind of miracle. I think I saw some last year, but it was similar to someone with bad dandruff shaking their head nearby. Madrid’s version of snow sucks, just like their version of ‘Autumn’.

You Autumn are merely Autumn in name alone, and you should be ashamed of that fact!

The sun is unashamed, it remains fixed in the blue sky, mocking anyone who wants to feel a cold northernly wind scratch at their face! The temperature still hovers around 25 degrees, even though everyone walks around in coats, with runny noses, colds, and coughs. They, like me are willing you to put in an appearance and offer reprieve. Yet, regardless of this, you Autumn, are NOWHERE to be seen!

This for me is sorely disappointing. I mean, how can I truly enjoy Halloween, the highlight of your season, without a chill in the air, without a sense of the eerie or melodramatic?

It is unnatural, celebrating Halloween in a tee-shirt, and probably shorts. It sucks!  This suckiness is something YOU Autumn, are responsible for!

I want the cold, the rain, the icy mornings, the crisp evenings, the purple and red leaves, the thick wooly hats and scarfs, the coats, the extra socks and cold nose, seeing my breath in the air and feeling winter is on its way!

What is extra odd though, whilst mentioning the changes in leaf colour, or absence of such; that even if you Autumn are confused about the date, the tress aren’t. OK there are no dramatic leaf colour changes, because of your late arrival Autumn, but nevertheless the leaves vacate their branches. I feel deprived when leaves merely fade from green to brown, as here in Madrid, they just curl up and die! Every leaf on every tree falls by the wayside, they slowly just decide to give up the ghost! They realise it is October and they should be shed already, they hurry in their departure.

You see the trees know the seasons, even if the weather does not! Yet, you Autumn haven’t been involved at all, shame on you for shirking your responsibilities!

What I want, what I miss is the cold, is the sign Summer is over. So, please, please, please Autumn let it be cold soon!! I have had enough of the heat, the dry scorching air, the dusty roads, the parched vegetation, the hardly there attire!

You know what, to add insult to Autumns injury, today I saw a butterfly flutter past me whilst I was walking to the university! Yes, there it was as bold as brass, basking in the afternoon sun. It was just like summertime, summertime in the very nearly middle of October! Despicable! Absolutely despicable! What do you think Autumn? Are you now fully shamed into making your appearance?

Anyway, if you are by chance reading this, belated Autumn, get your bottom in gear and hurry up and arrive! Better late than never!

Yours sincerely,
A frustrated city dweller.

The Chicken And The Egg, Which Came First; Happiness OR Intelligence?


Which came first, intelligence or happiness?

According to UK research completed by University College London; lower intelligence will signify more unhappiness in life, those who display higher intelligence will be happier.

In a study comprising of 6,870 people; the participants who answered they were ‘very happy’, were those people with an IQ of 120 to 129. However, the highest proportion claiming they were ‘not too happy’ was found in people with an IQ of 70 to 79. People with lower intelligence were reporting that they felt significantly unhappy in their lives.

Has this study found a correlation between intelligence and happiness? Lower intelligence was linked to; lower incomes, worse health, worse  mental health, and more feelings of powerlessness to complete even mundane activities. Are these feelings only associated with lower intelligence, or is there more involved such as social status?

In my experience the higher the intelligence of the person the more issues they have with mental health and unhappiness. Over thinking life, struggling to fit in and be accepted, dealing with personal issues alone, pressures of work and family, and being more aware of themselves and others. How many famous people; artists, musicians, politicians have been unhappy enough with their lives to commit suicide? Were these acts a result of a deficit in intelligence?

How has the intelligence of the participants in this University College London study been measured? IQ tests have come under fire in the decades gone by for being culturally and language specific; ignoring and not inclusive of the vast sections of society, experiences, and different cultures. They also focus heavily on Mathematics; if you have no head for sums you won’t perform well.  What does an IQ test really prove?

What do you think about intelligence and happiness??? Are they reliant on one another or can you have one without the other?? What makes you happy? Is there a measure for this emotion? Is happiness a constant thing or fleeting? Is it your intelligence to blame for unhappiness?

Have a look at below link for further information:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-19659985

Please leave your comments below, thanks 🙂

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