“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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Peace In Our Time


A little quote I forgot I even wrote, and was reminded of today by Julien of ‘Mirrors Of Encounters’.

“Peace is a conundrum; often sought and rarely found”
Bex 2013

I feel that these words are ladened with relevance at this moment in time, considering the heated debate regarding the fate of Syria.

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?

Anti Human Trafiicking Ad


A new concept to raise awareness of the global issue of human trafficking has just been released. An advert, which was filmed in the Amsterdam red light displays the ‘reality’ facing many of the cities sex workers.

What do think about adverts to raise awareness on such issues?

Does the advert make its point clear enough? Is it ‘hard hitting’ enough?

Will this raise new awareness about the global issue of human trafficking?

Take a look at the Youtube link to the advert, and give me your opinions please.

Is This Feminism?


image

Are bare breasts ever a weapon?

Are bare breasts instruments of political protest?

Are bare breasts able to make a direct difference to politics?

FEMEN, a Spanish branch of the feminist protest group founded by Ukrainian Inna Shevchenko, believe that bare breasts represent all of these things.

So, are semi naked protests the way forward for the feminist movement in the 21st century?

Well, I personally don’t think the naked body has anything to do with a protest of any description. I just wonder if it is merely an excuse to get officially naked publicly?

Perhaps the bare breasts detract from the actual message being delivered by the group.

I wonder what percentage of the population actually read the article specifically to discover what these women were protesting for. How many really read it solely for the bare breasts? Ummm, I wonder!

By the way, if you too are finding yourself absorbed by the bare breasts, and have missed the political message, I shall enlighten you – they are protesting against patriarchy.

Spanish Anti-Abortion Move


Out with the old and in with the new? Well, not for Spain.

An abortion policy that really ought to have been condemned to the history books is soon to be revived, if Spain’s ‘Popular Party’ have their way.

The Socialism of the previous Government is the antithesis of the Popular Party. There is no room for what was. The right wing ruling machine have opted for a ‘clean’ slate’, well, if you consider corruption in economic dealings and social injustice per se, a clean slate.

Apparently, Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy has drawn his inspiration for tougher abortion laws from the Catholic Church. He is happy to publicly allay himself with the moral and ethical ‘standards’ of this religion. Well, just like in religion, adopting double standards never hurt the cause; just those following it.

So, the plan is to reinstate an outdated abortion law which keeps the religious elements appeased (70% of Spainish claim to be Catholic). The law will state that abortion will be deemed acceptable, only, in cases of rape (Spainish law is also outdated concerning this too), and if the Mother or child will suffer severe health risks.

However, laying stake to such a high moral ground seems perculiar, especially upon knowing the sexualisation within Spanish culture. Sexually transmitted infections are on the increase, affairs are common place, prostitution is ignored, couples are extremely intimate in public places, sex and nudity advertises everything, oh, and women dress scantily clad. Spanish culture is hardly demure and reserved.

So, what can such a restricted abortion law achieve?!

Seems to me as though Spain is a country with conflicting morals; two and two doesn’t necessarily make four.

To make the serious issue of abortion, the rights and freedoms of women worse, Pro-Life organisations have become involved in the mix too. 250,000 plus supporters have protested and petitioned.

One such protester, Ana Maria Llera de la Torre, spokeswoman for Adevida-Jaen Pro-Life Association told the press proudly that her organisation agreed with the Governments proposals to tighten abortion laws. She said in a recently interview; “We want to say yes to life, say yes to the birth of a son”. Ummm, how interesting. Perhaps then, Ms. Torre and her archaic attitude, would be far more sympathetic, and extend the offer of an abortion to those expectant Mothers carrying a girl child?

Such nonsensical attacks on rights, and more specifically rights of women, at this moment in time make sense; consider the economic troubles in Spain. A Government needs to be seen attempting to appease the electorate, so what better way than stamping on the vulnerable. These type of drastic and alienating policy changes are seemingly the only ones this Government is capable of making. They are reactionary, and to be honest not worth the paper it will be written upon. When so much needs to be done, abortion (for or against) is not an issue which will keep the country poor for years to come.

Priorities, por favor!

What’s So Civil About War Anyway?


Just one word, war.

OK, not yet, but the potential of such an act should be enough to warn other countries; stay the hell away. Haven’t there been enough incidents to prove this type of ‘civil’ war gets no one anywhere, this type of war drags on, kills hundreds of thousands and costs the same amount in money too.

Ample previous experience surely proves to U.S and UK governments how this war will end, badly.

Syria, will be such a war, given the chance. There will be no real or swift resolution to their problems. It would be another war neither the UK nor U.S have any business being involved with.

Why must the UK feel they have to become embroiled in such ‘fights’? Perhaps because the U.S ask them to be? Where are the rest of the world in such situations? Oh yes, staying out of it because they are sensible enough to realise they haven’t the resources, and they aren’t some super human power capable of healing the world.

I do wonder though, if the U.S or UK were having such problems (like Syria), would other countries also be so eager to rush in and help, to solve, and heal the problems? I think not.

Again, can the problems of the world be solved, and solved well enough by merely playing the war game, no.

These wars are about ego, pride, heritage, history, religion, money. These are men’s wars.

What does concern me is that so far Syria has had no qualms in killing their own people in vile and despicable ways. I wonder then what ‘joys’ will await the troops, and countries, who dare to become involved in Syrian ‘civil war’.

The only clear answer then to avoid such wasted efforts and human carnage; leave Syria to their war. Now is not the time to become part of yet another middle eastern power struggle.

Nothing is worth becoming tied up with, and into, yet another pointless ‘civil war’.