How To Get Away With Fame

Hey guys!

I’m back with a long overdue post. Part of that is because I’ve been away in South Africa for the past month or so, visiting family and friends. But that’s not the point of today’s post.

Today’s post is an important one, and I’m feeling kind of daunted about where I should start, just because the topic is so hugely current, and it’s… well, it’s scary. So let’s start with one of the most recent news headlines: Johnny Depp and Amber Heard’s divorce. We’ve all heard that Depp’s behavior has been violent at home and in his personal life, which has led Heard to file for a divorce. Countless die-hard Depp fans are accusing Heard for being a gold digger and just doing it for the money and the fame… but is she really?

Domestic violence is a big problem, and it is not dealt with enough. And when it is dealt with, it’s not always dealt in the right way. In the case of Depp and Heard, the things people have said about Heard highlight how easy it is to dismiss domestic abuse just because one of them is a much loved Hollywood actor. I mean, I’m not saying that I know all the ins and outs of their relationship, but I’m not going to be so closed minded and say that Heard is the only one in the wrong. Personally I don’t think she’s in the wrong, but that’s just my opinion. I also still believe that Depp is an incredibly talented actor, and I will probably watch films of his in the future (depending if I like the look of them), but since this news has come out, my admiration for him as declined somewhat.

But the reason I wanted to talk about this today, is because fame can hide so much of a real person. We only see so much of these celebrities that we adore, and although it feels like we know so much about them through chat shows and interviews… the person they present to the public is only a shell of their true self. Let’s look at a few more examples. One of the most hated people at the moment is Brock Turner- you know, that rapist who raped an unconscious girl behind a bin, and then did not serve the adequate time in jail for a rapist, and then was let out ridiculously early, because he’s only a rapist. Okay, I know, it’s because his dad is super rich and is worried about his son’s reputation because apparently he’s alright at swimming… SERIOUSLY. WHAT IS WRONG WITH THE WORLD? Brock Turner is a rapist and just because he has some form of high social status, means that he doesn’t have to serve the correct sentence in prison. This is completely unfair.

Then we have people like Bill Cosby and Jimmy Savile. They are slightly different cases to each other: one sexually assaulted women, and the other abused vulnerable children. HOWEVER, both of them got away with their actions for a significant amount of time, because of their fame. In Cosby’s case, women started coming out and telling the truth about him, but were silenced because Cosby is super rich and famous and is able to hire the best lawyers in the country. In Savile’s case, because he was such a big name in the BBC, the BBC didn’t want the public to know about what was going on behind the scenes, even when people complained. Savile died a few years ago, but that was when people who were violated against really came forward and the whole story came out. Jimmy Savile had a show called “Jim’ll Fix It”, where he helped ill children do something really cool. The point of the show was that the children would write into the show, and then one of them would be chosen for each episode. Although at the time it seemed like the coolest thing to be on, there was clearly a lot being kept secret backstage. It’s disgusting behavior.

So that raises the question: why should celebrities be let off so easily? Why is it that sometimes they are made to be seen as the “good guy”, when their actions suggest the opposite? And why is it that institutions like the BBC are so worried about their reputations, that they won’t sort out the problem? It’s all very complicated, but again; why is it complicated? Violation of innocent people’s human rights are happening far too often, and a lot of the time it’s “okay” because “that person is famous” and they were probably just “having a bad day”, or they “drank too much, and it’s the alcohol’s fault”. Remember the whole Oscar Pistorius case, where he killed his girlfriend, but he was adamant that he believed it was a burglar… It’s crazy that he thought he could get away with that story, when he was known to have anger issues, and wasn’t it weird that he didn’t check to see if his girlfriend was asleep in the bed first (for her own protection), before “blindly” shooting at the bathroom door? Hmm…

If you want to read any more articles on any of the people mentioned above, I will leave some links below. What are your thoughts? Why are so many celebrities being let off so easily?

-The Storyteller

My Blog ~ The Storyteller My Twitter ~ @janetbargmann My Instagram ~ @janetbargmann

LINKS

Amber Heard and Johnny Depp

Brock Turner the RAPIST

Bill Cosby

Jimmy Savile and the BBC

More Jimmy Savile Articles

 

TED Talks: Identity and Acceptance

Hey guys!

Long time no see kind of sums me up right now! With the end of Semester 2 of my first year of University swiftly coming to an end, I’ve suddenly been very busy and haven’t been able to post regularly on my own blog, let alone on here.

BUT I am back today with a post inspired by a video my lecturer showed my class on Friday afternoon, about a Drag Queen named Jeremy Grimins. In class we were learning about writing memoirs, so my lecturer showed us this first before going into details.

The video is 20 minutes long but it’s really worth watching, so I’ll leave it here:

Plus, I’m really jealous of his dance moves… especially in 5 inch heels!

The important thing about this video is learning self-acceptance, and eventually those around you will begin to accept you too. Most of what I want to say is said in the video (after the amazing dance opening) so if you still haven’t watched the video, then you might want to go back and do that!

What did you guys think?

-The Storyteller

Blog: The Storyteller / Twitter: @janetbargmann

“Why I am Not a Feminist” – Lauren Southern

Hey guys!

What do you think after watching the video above?

When it first appeared on my Facebook feed a few days ago, I was slightly shocked. Obviously, as I’m sure you know by now, this blog is about equality, which in my eyes, comes into the term “feminism”. Yes, the word itself is “gender bias” but there is a good reason for that.

It’s called “feminism” because when the movement started, it was a movement for women. Nowadays, it depends on what kind of feminist you identify yourself as. Yes, there are feminists who are “angry man haters” and think that women are superior to men. But then you get feminists like myself, and the other bloggers of this group, who believe that feminism means that both sexes are equal, and that is what feminism is all about.

I think that Lauren Southern generalizes quite a bit. Yes, I agreed with some of her points in the video, and there were things she says that I didn’t know beforehand. However, when she says that feminists don’t talk about, or don’t know about males who are raped in the US, I think that’s exactly the reason why we need something like feminism. Personally, I don’t think the name should put people off identifying as a “feminist” just because it’s “gender bias”. In my opinion, feminism is about equality between the sexes and it is in no way implying that women should be “better than men”.

-The Storyteller

Blog – The Storyteller / Twitter – @janetbargmann / Instagram – @janetbargmann

“Somewhere in America”

Hey guys!

This week’s theme is a free theme, and I just wanted to share with you a really powerful video which came across my Facebook Page last week. I’m sure many of you have seen it already, but in case you haven’t (or you want to watch it again) Click here to watch the video “Somewhere in America”.

This poem is powerful for a number of reasons, but I think the main one is because every single thing these girls say is so true. I live in England, and even I think that some of the things they bring up are relevant to my country. Once we can open our eyes to the reality of what is going on, only then can we change society, and I think this poem does that perfectly.

I know this was a short post, but I feel like most of what I want to say has already been said in the poem.

Thank you for reading.

-The Storyteller

2015 in Review

Hey guys!

Can you believe that 2015 is nearly over? It feels like it’s gone so fast! So much has happened this year, and for our final posts we decided to take a trip back down memory lane and look at some of the major events that happened this year.

I decided that I wanted to talk about the legalization of Same Sex Marriage in both the USA and in Ireland, because it wasn’t a topic we really covered in much detail on this blog. I live in England, where Same Sex Marriage has been legal since 2013. For me, that in itself is a bit ridiculous, because although I myself am not gay, I still believe that love is love, and it shouldn’t matter who you wish to marry.

As I’m sure you’ll remember from earlier on this year, Same Sex Marriage was legalized nationwide across the USA and I think that this was such a great thing to happen, because people were finally being treated as equals. People were allowed to marry their loved ones in a country where this topic had been almost ignored for too long.

Same Sex Marriage was only legalized in the Republic of Ireland in November of this year, just over a month ago. The difference here was that it was down to a popular vote. The referendum result showed that 62% voted yes to the legalization of Same Sex Marriage, and 38% voted no. The result was such a massive thing, because Ireland is a country that has been dominated by the Catholic church, so although it is a religious country, the people wanted change and that’s what happened.

Both the USA and Ireland are religious countries, and I can see why Same Sex Marriage took a while to become legal, but at the same time, I don’t think religion should determine whether two people are allowed to marry or not. I mean, I understand that marriage is traditionally a religious ceremony but still! Surely someone’s happiness is of a higher importance than whether they are marrying a man or a woman?

In Northern Ireland, Same Sex Marriage is still not legal, making it the only country in the British Isles that has not legalized it. Of course, there are still numerous countries around the world that have not legalized Same Sex Marriage. For example, South Africa is the only African country where Same Sex Marriage is recognized. And there are many more countries where homosexuality itself is still illegal.

How are we still living in a world where this form of discrimination still exists? It’s nearly 2016. It’s about time we start changing. It angers me when people say that they believe in equality but they don’t agree with Same Sex Marriage, or they disagree with feminism, or they’re racist… In my opinion, if anyone says something like that then they don’t truly understand what equality and equal rights mean.

Rant over.

-The Storyteller

Blog ~ The Storyteller | Twitter ~ @_WhenInDoubt_ | Instagram ~ @janetbargmann

The One About University

Hey guys!

I haven’t been here for a while… I apologize for that! I’ve been very busy with finishing my first semester at university and making sure my assignments were all handed in in time, and that got me thinking about this week’s post. We are currently on a free theme, and I wanted to talk about whether or not university is still relevant to people today.

In my family, university was something that was always talked about as being a good thing, and it was expected that my brother, sister and I would all go to university. That’s just how I was brought up, and in my eyes, there was never an alternative option other than going to university.

It was only when I was in Year 9 (age 14) when I realized that there were other options out there. Year 9, in the UK is the year before we do our GCSE exams, and it’s when teachers and careers advisers start talking to you about what you want to do after school. At least that’s what they did in my school. They started talking about apprenticeships or going to college to specialize in hairdressing or animal care or whatever,  and there were so many things available for young people that wasn’t university.

Even when I was 14 my plan was to study English at university. After these talks, I still wanted to go to university, because that had always been the way for me. If you read my blog posts over August about my A-level results, you’ll know that it wasn’t exactly easy for me to get into university, but I managed to get a place and I couldn’t be happier.

But the point I’m trying to make is that university isn’t for everyone. I made a friend at university and she just missed her family too much, even though she was about 40 minutes away from home. So, she dropped out and now she’s an apprentice chef.

If you take anything from this post, just remember that if you’re unsure about your future, or if you’re unsure about going to university, then talk to teachers, students, parents- just make sure that they’re not pressuring you to do something you don’t want to. There’s no problem with taking a gap year to really think about what you want your future to be.

I can only talk from my experiences as an English student studying at an English university, but wherever you go, you don’t want to be spending so much money on fees when you’re not even sure if the course is something you want to do for the rest of your life.

It’s okay to be selfish every so often, and at the end of the day, if your parents are pushing you to go to university when you don’t want to, your happiness should be their priority.

I hope this helped!

-The Storyteller

Blog ~ The Storyteller | Twitter ~ @_WhenInDoubt_

Women and Hollywood

Hey guys!

I love films. I am such a film addict, it’s ridiculous. My sister loves films a bit more than I do, so much so that she is now studying Film and TV Production at University. So in my household, movies are a pretty big thing. Living with my sister, I’ve learnt a lot about the film industry, and over the years it’s become clearer and clearer just how… unequal it really is.

For one of my modules, I took out a book from the library called “America on Film: Representing Race, Class, Gender, and Sexuality at the Movies”, and there is a section about Women and Hollywood. (Now you can see the link with the title!) I was just having a quick read through, and this quote by activist Rebecca West really stood out for me, and is what got me thinking about this week’s blog post:

I myself have never been able to find out precisely what feminism is: I only know that people call me a feminist whenever I express sentiments that differentiate me from a doormat.

It’s great, right? But you’re probably wondering what this has to do with Women and Hollywood. I saw a few weeks ago something about Jennifer Lawrence making a complaint about sexism in the industry, and how whenever she stands up for herself, it is seen as something petty, whereas if someone like Bradley Cooper made a complaint, he would be making a “very good point”. Why should there be a difference, just because one famous actor is male, and the other is female?

It doesn’t end there. Have you noticed at the Oscars, almost all of the time it is a male director who wins the “Best Director” category? If you hadn’t noticed that, then take another look. Kathryn Bigelow (director of “Zero Dark Thirty” and “The Hurt Locker”) was the first female to win this category with “The Hurt Locker” which was made in 2009. The Oscars have been going on for over 80 years. Just think about that for a little bit…

Going back to “America on Film”, it clearly states that directing and producing films used to be seen as a “man’s job”, and that between the 1930’s-1950’s, women would usually be put in secretary or receptionist jobs, because it was more suited to their skills. Of course, women could be in front of the camera- there are hundreds of famous actresses from this period. But a woman couldn’t work behind the camera, and if she did, it would be working as a minor assistant, or a script girl (she would assist the director in making sure the scenes were continuous). Sounds like a pretty mundane job for a woman, right? I know this was back in the 1950’s, but still!

The point of this post is that I find it ridiculous that it’s 2015 and women are still unequal to men in the film industry. Films are something for everyone, yet it is pretty much controlled by men. I understand that historically, men would have been the financial backers so they had to be in control of certain things, but it’s not the same anymore. Can’t people just move on and accept that things have changed?

Finally, I want you to take a look at these statistics. For those of you who follow my personal blog (I’ll leave a link at the end of this post), you may know that I studied media for my A-levels, and we learnt about “The Male Gaze”, which is a theory by feminist Laura Mulvey, in that films are made with a male audience in mind. If you look at the website in the link, I think it really shows that Mulvey’s theory was correct. It also reinforces everything I have mentioned in this post, so if I haven’t persuaded you that now is the time to start changing Hollywood’s views on equality then I don’t know what will…

-The Storyteller

Blog- The Storyteller / Twitter- @_WhenInDoubt_

The Tampon Tax Thing

Hey guys!

Before I start, I just want to say, please be prepared for another rant from me. Because I can tell even now that this is gonna be a long one. Also, please look out for sarcasm.

Okay. So. Blokes. I don’t really know if this is going to be of any interest to you. I don’t know what you’re going to have to say about this post. I wouldn’t be surprised if you just stopped reading halfway through. Why? Because it’s about something that isn’t a necessity to you.

Ladies. We get this thing called a period every month. So we kinda need tampons/pads (I’m just going to say sanitary products because that’s easier). Now is it just me, or does the idea of putting a tax on a necessity seem pretty… I don’t know… freaking stupid? 

Because that’s what’s happened in the UK. The government has recently decided to reject the tampon tax challenge, as it’s being called, in a vote which “would have forced a negotiation with the EU for a reduction in the 5% VAT rate”. It’s absolutely ridiculous that women need to pay so much money for something that is so important, yet there are so many other products out there that don’t have a tax on them which should do so… like… why? I don’t get it. It doesn’t make any sense.

I often wonder if it’s because there are so few female MP’s in parliament… not just because of this whole Tampon Tax thing, but generally. There are more men in parliament anyway, and historically politics has been more of a male dominated area. So does the Tampon Tax thing exist because there are not enough female politicians in parliament who can really back up the petition (which has reached over 250,000 votes)?

I apologize if I sound like I’m generalizing. Politics isn’t my area, but something needs to be done about this. I don’t think taxing an essential product is really going to do anything when there are so many other products out there that aren’t being taxed and they’re not a necessity.

So here’s my message to the government: get your act together. Stop making your money out of something that women need, and find something else to tax.

-The Storyteller

The Wage Gap

Hey guys!

I’m afraid this is going to be somewhat of a rant post, so I apologize in advance if I get too over-excited. At the same time, however, it’s something I feel very strongly about.

It’s been 100 years since the Suffragettes got the vote for women, which was an incredible milestone for the whole equality thing between men and women. But why is it that 100 years later, men are still being paid more than women who work in the same job?

I’ve only ever had part-time jobs, so some people might think “this doesn’t affect you, why are you complaining about it?” I’m complaining about it because it is something that will affect me very soon if nothing is done about it now. We’re not just talking about people working office jobs. We’re talking about people who are professionals, people who are at the top of their game, who aren’t being paid equal wages, just because of their gender. That’s not right.

There’s a new film coming out called “Suffragette”, which I hope you’ve all heard of. As the title says, it’s about the Suffragettes, and what they did to get women the vote. At the premier, there were a group of activists who protested, saying that women are still not equal to men, and the wage gap was just one of the things they brought up. And what’s so great is that the actors and actresses were in support of this protest.

I love this interview so much, because it shows exactly the attitude people should be having towards this issue. As Carey Mulligan said, only 22% of parliament is made up by women, and there’s such a huge imbalance which needs to be corrected.

Even in the film industry, when you look at the number of successful male directors and producers there are in comparison to female… the numbers are just ridiculous. If we look at the Academy Awards (i.e The Oscars) how many female directors have actually won in their category compared to men? I urge to to research it because the numbers are absolutely shocking. And it doesn’t end there.

I was sent a link to Jennifer Lawrence’s Facebook page, and for some reason it’s not letting me add the link here, but if you have Facebook I’m sure you’ll be able to find it. Anyway, this quote is from something she said about feminism, and working in the film industry as a woman:

A few weeks ago at work, I spoke my mind and gave my opinion in a clear and no-bullshit way; no aggression, just blunt. The man I was working with (actually, he was working for me) said, “Whoa! We’re all on the same team here!” As if I was yelling at him. I was so shocked because nothing that I said was personal, offensive, or, to be honest, wrong. All I hear and see all day are men speaking their opinions, and I give mine in the same exact manner, and you would have thought I had said something offensive.

We need to be aware of the things going on around us, because it affects all of us. The other lovely ladies who write with me for this blog will be affected. You, reading this right now, will be affected, no matter what gender you are. We need to start standing up for what is right to finally make everyone equal.

-The Storyteller

Blog – The Storyteller | Twitter – @_WhenInDoubt_

My Favourite Charities

Hey guys!

We have come up with the theme of charities for this fortnight. There are so many charities I want to talk about, because I support so many of them, but I have decided to only talk about a couple in full detail.

I very much believe that if we support charities that look out for the planet, then that will be beneficial for everyone, because if we try saving the planet, we can save ourselves in a way. Let me explain. If we keep cutting down all the trees in the rainforests, there will be no oxygen and everyone needs oxygen, so… let’s stop cutting down the trees! I happily retweet and favourite and like things that are posted online by Greenpeace and WWF, because I want to spend the rest of my life in a world where we don’t have to worry about the future of our home.

I recently got a call from Greenpeace, asking if I would be able to donate some money every month, because they are not run by the government. And I felt really guilty when I said no, because at the end of the day I am a student, and I am trying to get by with what I have. However, that doesn’t mean I can’t still support them by doing things like this, and advertising them. I’m sure you’ve all heard of Greenpeace before, but if you want to look further in to what they do, then click here for Greenpeace and here for WWF. I’m a sucker of cute animal pictures, so if you want to see what things you can do to help animals that are in danger, then go and click on those links!

Now, even though I support wildlife charities, that doesn’t mean I don’t care about human rights. Amnesty International is a charity that helps people around the world who have basically been stripped from their human rights, and they work incredibly hard to find justice for these people. Do you remember hearing about the man who was beaten  and imprisoned for blogging about free speech? Raif Badawi is a Saudi Arabian who was doing the exact same thing that I am, right now. I am a blogger, and I have a right to express my opinions, but apparently, Badawi doesn’t. What is the difference between me and this man? The only difference is the societies we live in.

You can help Badawi by signing the petition to help free this man for writing about something he believes in. Alternatively, you can see what else you can do to help people around the world, and you don’t have to pay a single penny if you can’t (if you’re a student like me who has no money but a big heart!) you can simply click on this link to see what else Amnesty get up to and if there is anything you can do to help.

So those are the top three charities that I support. Amnesty International, Greenpeace and WWF. They’re all pretty big names, but as I said there are so many charities that I think do amazing jobs all the time and help so many people around the world. I chose these three because I’m a massive dreamer and I want to save the entire world one day but unfortunately, there is only so much I can do. So by writing about these charities, I hope I have done my bit to help.

-The Storyteller

Blog – The Storyteller | Twitter – @_WhenInDoubt_