I have been loving the Olympics – I remember saying that I wouldn’t watch any of it and yet I have been completely won over and become obsessed. It makes me feel proud to be British and so excited about how many medals we have won so far already! I think though that my favourite thing about the Olympics is the possibility that teenagers/young children will finally have some decent role models to look up to.
Regular readers will know how much I detest the way in which famous women often use their bodies and sexuality to get attention in the media. Cat and mouse situation; do they do it for attention or is attention only garnered that way so the cycle continues? It sends a message that, as females, we are only valued for our looks. Women can feel inadequate if they don’t consider themselves as ‘measuring up’ and it sets precedents that newer celebs feel the need to beat; how much further can it go? We already have soft porn masquerading as music videos. It is fucked up and worries me that children and teens will see Rihanna naked, rolling around, selling records by the tuck load or Katie Price turning her breasts into a multi million pound empire and want to emulate it. Or worse, feel that using their bodies in similar ways is the only route to success. To an extent, you’d be forgiven for thinking that with the messed up state of our media. Every time a female celebrity is mentioned, her age, relationship status and looks are commented on by all and sundry. Men really don’t experience the same wrath from the media as women do and it makes me immeasurably angry that in 2012, what a woman looks like is still valued more than what she is accomplishing and achieving in her life.
With that in mind, I am welcoming the media coverage given to the Olympic athletes. Men and women showing that with determination and bucket loads of hard work, success is achievable. These people are not successful for flashing their boobs on a reality show, or cheating on their wives – they are successful and well known for their talents and skills. This is much more preferable to me. These are the people I want to read about. That I want my students to read about – athletes who aren’t afraid of working hard and who don’t expect rewards for nothing. They are aware of what it takes to achieve, and are happy to work for it. So many teenagers today want to be footballers or rappers – they see these as easy choices, quick routes to money, fame and sex. I am so happy that instead of half naked singers, auto tuned to within an inch of their lives, photo shopped to unrecognisable proportions and moulded into identikit copies of each other, we now have women like this for our children to look up to.
Hey sweetpeas, my blogging break was much longer than I anticipated! I am back now though and on summer holidays – hooray!
I could write this post by just copying and pasting the one I wrote about Imogen Thomas and Ryan Giggs – simply changing Imogen’s name to Kristen would be enough as both women have been treated in the same way. I don’t know who (else) Rupert Sanders is shagging but he must be simultaneously jacking off Rupert Murdoch and Ted Turner as his ability to escape from this whole ‘scandal’ unharmed and become the invisible man, is remarkable. Kristen on the other hand, has become the Antichrist.
Let’s look at the facts here; he is married. With two children. And is 41. And was the director of a film in which Kristen was starring which gave him power and control to an extent over some of Kristen’s actions. He isn’t blameless yet is coming off as some poor victim who fell prey to Kristen’s wicked sexual advances. All focus on Rupert so far has been concerned with him ‘trying to save his wonderful marriage’ and praising his directing abilities and skill as a father. The press however have decided to use Kristen as a punching bag and are talking about her suspicious beady eyes, her inability to commit, her desire to self combust, her rampant sexuality and how she has cheated before. It makes me sick to my stomach that time and time again, men get away with cheating on their wives and the women involved take the fall – Imogen and Kristen are just two recent examples where the men are hailed as fucking heroes and poor tragic scamps – ‘men will be men’ and magazines and newspapers rehash articles about how hard monogamy is for our cavemen and bring out some leathery old guy who brags about his shagging conquests and pisses all over the concept of happily ever after, but the women are torn apart.
In situations like this, women seem to be judged much more harshly; perhaps because the behaviour subverts the traditional way in which women are expected to behave – all virginal and delicate like for example. Women get blamed for breaking up happy homes and wrecking lives but it takes two to do that; you don’t go looking elsewhere if you are completely happy at home. Regardless of how much much Sanders loves his wife or how ‘heavenly’ his children are, he still chose to carry on with Kristen. He made that decision. Wasn’t forced. Didn’t have to. Chose to. As did she. Are we happy for women to pose half naked on a magazine cover, happy for them to bend over in music videos or rub themselves down with soapy water, and yet not ok when they actually turn out to be sexual beings?
Yes, they both cheated. BOTH of them so why is it just her that is shouldering all the blame? Also, do you know where is more private than a public car park to conduct your dalliances? ANYWHERE ELSE. Seriously, come on!
On Wednesday my wonderful Grandad passed away. To say the last few days have been tough is an understatement. It has taken me until today just to get out of bed. Some people aren’t that close to their grandparents but I was, am. To me, my grandad was what a man should be – warm, generous, kind, loving, protective and sweet. I can remember him taking my baby sister and me on nature walks where he’d tell us how to identify different animals from their tracks. I remember him making us boiled eggs and soldiers – because of him, I always eat my soldiers with marmite on. He taught me how to write in joined up letters. I was a Brownie and Girl Guide because he was a Scout Master and I wanted to make him proud. I remember him reading the newspaper while I would read the magazine insert next to him. I would steal his hats and loved the smell of his jumpers. He would always save me the hazelnut chocolates and drank port on special occasions. I called him my egg and he called me Em. He never needed a lead when he walked his dogs, they would just listen to his voice and sit or stop. He took us to the fairy-glade – the woods near our house where fairies lived and let us play in the tree hollow. He never finished crosswords, he loved motor car racing and hated football. He always had travel sweets in his car. His eyes were the exact blue of my sisters. He hated tattoos and never spent more than one night apart from my Grandma in 55 years. He loved drawing and kept a diary which he wrote in every day. On my graduation day he told me he was so proud of me. He said he’d never leave me if he had a choice.
Stop all the clocks, cut off the telephone,
Prevent the dog from barking with a juicy bone,
Silence the pianos and with muffled drum
Bring out the coffin, let the mourners come.
Let aeroplanes circle moaning overhead
Scribbling on the sky the message He Is Dead,
Put crepe bows round the white necks of the public doves,
Let the traffic policemen wear black cotton gloves.
He was my North, my South, my East and West,
My working week and my Sunday rest,
My noon, my midnight, my talk, my song;
I thought that love would last for ever: I was wrong.
The stars are not wanted now: put out every one;
Pack up the moon and dismantle the sun;
Pour away the ocean and sweep up the wood.
For nothing now can ever come to any good.