Rethinking

A few weeks ago, whilst I should have been studying for my finals, I came across an interview on youtube. The video was from the Hollywood Reporter for the Emmy’s 2016, and featured some of the biggest female names in Hollywood at the time. This meant that Amy Schumer, Kate McKinnon, Ellie Kemper, Tracee Ellis Ross, Lena Dunham and Gina Rodriguez were all sat together for an hour-long interview. Naturally, this felt more important than studying for my last three finals so I watched it.

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Women In The Olympics

In case you pay absolutely no attention to what is going on, the Olympic games are currently taking place in Rio, Brazil. I am not a massive fan of sports, but during the Olympics I am glued to the TV or live streams online. My favourite events to watch are swimming, diving, and gymnastics (gymnastics being my all time favourite). But that is not the point right now.

The point is, that in these Olympics, women from across the globe have been absolutely killing it. From Simone Biles, to Penny Oleksiak and more, women of all ages and all nationalities have been smashing the records and making history.

If you don’t believe me, head on over to the Rio app and take a look at the medal count for Canada (12) and who won all of those medals. You will soon realise, it was all women. Al 12 of Canada’s current medals have been won by women, and four of them in the pool by (individually or in relay) the Toronto native, 16-year-old Penny Oleksiak. At 16 years old, Penny is the only Canadian athlete to win four medals in one summer Olympic games, the first swimmer (male or female) to win gold in 100m Freestyle since 1992 and now is the beholder of two bronze, one silver, and one gold medal. And through all of this she has stayed her humble and bubbly self.

Going back to Pennny’s gold in 100m Freestyle, that was actually a tied gold race. She tied with team USA’s Simon Manuel, the first ever women of colour to single-handedly (meaning not in relay) win a gold in the pool. Both winning their gold in Olympic record timing.

Then we can also take a look at the american gymnast Simone Biles, who is now being referred to as possibly the greatest gymnast of all time. At 19, she has a tumbling pass named after her (which even some of the male athletes she trains with cannot land) and her dismount on beam is the hardest in the world, making her the only one to compete with it. At these Olympics, every time she has competed so far, she has brought home a gold (3 in total). Typically gymnasts will win by hundredths or even thousandths of a point, but she is able to do it with a one or two point gap between her and her competitor. Yet, she remains giggly and friendly, still cheering on her fellow competitors and teammates and even announcing that she is more happy for Aly Raisman (fellow US gymnast) for winning silver in all around finals, than she is for herself for winning gold in the same event, because Aly has been wanting this for so long and got it.

There is then Oksana, the 41 year old gymnast from Uzbekistan who is married and has a son, and just completed her seventh, and final, Olympic games today – while still holding her own against gymnast who are at most, half her age.

In the vault finals today, we saw a Swiss gymnast take home the bronze, making her mark in the history books as well.

Another Canadian won bronze in the heptathlon yesterday, making her the first ever Canadian to medal in the event at the Olympics.

The other day in 800m Freestyle, Katie Ledecky took home the gold (as well as the gold in 200 and 400m Freestyle) in record breaking time (I believe breaking her own previous record, but I could be wrong), and with a large lead over her competitors the entire race.

And these are only a few of the accomplishments, the ones I can fully remember and watched. I know their have been many more record breaking accomplishments, or just incredible accomplishments in their own respect, from all women of all nationalities at these Olympics.

Throughout these games, I have not only been cheering on Canada, but all women from all nationalities. Because through all of the sexism thrown their way from reporters, journalists, and spectators alike, the women have still been able to pull through with record breaking strength, making them all incredible roll models for everyone.

And although their have been men accomplishing incredible things as well, it is time for women to show that they can accomplish just as much as men can do, and this Olympics that is just what they are showing every single time they have stepped up to plate.

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What do you think of this years Olympic’s?

Sydney Xx

lovesydneyblog.com

 

Britain, I’m not impressed.

(Disclaimer: these are my personal opinions and this is a rant, so sorry if I disagree with you and please feel free to correct me if I’m really offensive. This is not meant to be a dig at leave voters, and I will not hold it against you if you voted leave.)

For any of you who didn’t know, I’m British, and last night was the infamous EU referendum. This basically meant ‘the general public’ had to vote on whether or not to leave the EU (European Union). And I’m certainly not impressed with the result.

The results of the vote were incredibly close, with an utterly miniscule difference of about 4% as the results pointed to around 48% remain and 52% leave. Unfortunately for me, and the many other people who supported the Bremain campaign, Nigel Farage’s Brexit campaign (which quite frankly sounds like some sort of breakfast cereal and not a serious political campaign) won the vote. The difference is so tiny that a large proportion of the country is getting screwed over in my opinion, but we’ll come into that later. For now, here’s a handy graph showing the results together, courtesy of BBC News:

Home_-_BBC_News

Extremely close, as you can see.

And here’s another graph showing the results split over different areas of the UK (also from BBC News:

eu ref

I’m disappointed in Yorkshire to be honest

This really does show how the vote varied throughout Britain, with Scotland, Northern Ireland and London all voting majority remain. Sensible places, if you ask me.

Now, I hate Nigel Farage – even his name annoys me – so naturally I was not surprised that I supported the opposite campaign to his. Even Donald Trump supported Brexit, and if those two alone aren’t enough to put you off then I don’t know what will! *shrug* Michael Gove – AKA the Guy Who Made My GCSEs Harder – also threatened to resign if we voted remain, but instead we’re now faced with the prospect of him in some high-up place in parliament. So great job there, Britain.

Now, since the results were released this morning, SO MANY THINGS ARE BACKFIRING. The Pound is already losing value (as well as other worldwide currencies), Japan is refusing to trade with us, and don’t even get me started on the whole NHS thing (here’s a video and article that shows it better and proves Farage’s ‘OOPS my bad probs shoulda told you that before you voted but I won now lol bye’ attitude to his campaign). Not only that, but Scotland and Northern Ireland, and apparently even London want to leave the UK and rejoin the EU, and another Scottish referendum is very likely to happen in the near future. Basically, if we’re not careful, it’ll be little old England and even littler Wales on our own to fend for ourselves with our anti-immigrant views. Which is obviously just what we want, right Nigel?

So basically the UK is going down the drain, and mostly due to loads of immigrant-hating old people voting leave, because they seem to forget that immigration helps our economy and shall I mention who a large proportion of our medical staff are??? A few of my friends are immigrants or have parents/ other family members who are, and as far as I know they’re doing no harm, other than they don’t fit Farage’s white, British agenda. Because, you know, ‘traditional values’ and all that (ignoring all the bits about acceptance because pfffft, no one needs thaaaaat, right?). In fact, here’s a little thing that explains that concept of acceptance that some leave voters/campaigners just can’t seem to grasp:

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“We can keep at it” but apparently not

But despite all this, I think the thing I’m most scared about is my own future, and the future of the rest of my generation. It’s going to hit us the hardest – with university and housing fees likely to skyrocket, not to mention the prices of everything else, and the fact we won’t be able to properly leave for up to another 5 years (probably). A large proportion of people that voted leave were in older generations, and naturally they’re probably going to die sooner than us lot that’ll have to deal with the consequences for a lot longer.

Studying and/or working abroad will be more difficult and more expensive, living costs are going to be tremendously huge, and if we can’t go to uni then who’ll be the future doctors, teachers, business owners, eh? In the end we’re all worse off, and that’s the horrible part.

Nigel Farage can keep his racist views to himself – this is my future being affected, my life, and I’m terrified.


Elly

Personal blog: A Hufflepuff’s Thoughts | Twitter: @badgerunicorn | Instagram: @egb1708 | Pinterest: @badgerunicorn

How I Ramadan

Hello friends! It’s Angel here and it’s been quite a bit since I’ve talked to you guys on here! Why I am here right now is because Ramadan started 12 days ago (wow has it been that long?!) and I’ve gotten quite a few questions about it on Twitter. So I thought I’d answer the questions on here and explain how I Ramadan. Hope you enjoy and learn a little something! Before we start though, I’d like to remind you guys that I am only one person and can’t represent the entirety of Islam….hence the “I”. Ok now let’s go:

  • What is Ramadan? What do you do in Ramadan?
    • Well in the simplest of terms, Ramadan is basically the holy, obligatory month of fasting for all Muslims around the world. The specific timing of it changes every year if you’re looking at the Gregorian calendar (aka the January – December calendar). In actuality though, it’s always the same month in the Islamic year and that month is called Ramadan (I wonder why….lol).
  • So, uh, how long do you fast? What is fasting?
    • The length of hours of when a Muslim fasts depends on where you are in the world but you also fast in between sunrise and sunset. For me, right now, I fast about 16 hours and 25 mins. During the time of the fasting, you are not allowed to have any food or water and yes, that even means no water.  You’re also not allowed to have sexual intercourse which, considering I’m nowhere near married, means nothing to me….
  • Is there anything else?
    • Yup! There are levels to fasting actually. Not eating, drinking and having sex is the first bar. The second bar is abstaining from saying, hearing, seeing, touching or doing anything bad. Some examples are: dressing modestly, not saying curse words, not watching anything bad *cough like Game of Thrones cough* ……That’s the level I’m at right now. I already dress pretty modestly, I don’t swear, don’t touch anything I shouldn’t (like wine or pork). The only thing I had to change was not listening or watching anything that included things that included excessive swearing/steamy scenes. That’s half why I rushed to finish my binge-watching of How To Get Away With Murder before Ramadan started. Now the third level is the like ultimate level and it’s that you pretty much think of nothing except God. I’m not totally sure how far that goes but it’s typically scholars who get to that level so I say ask the internet AND the Imam in a nearby mosque what that third level means…

Okay that’s it I believe. If y’all have any more questions, feel free to tweet/DM me! If I don’t know the answer, I’ll send you to someone or something who can hopefully help you. I also suggest you discuss any questions you may have about Islam with someone in a mosque or look it up in the Quran. Thank you guys, have a great day/night and tata for now!

~ Angel, Avid Reader

If you want to see/hear more from me, check out my Find Us page and follow me on the social media listed there! See you!

Guest Post – Marginalization in Mainstream Movements

Hey guys! Today we have a guest post from Luna Cooler. As with all posts on here, this is just personal opinion, however feel free to discuss (calmly) in the comments! Here we go:


What happens when social justice movements become the face of pop culture?

We live in a time when social justice movements are doing exactly that. Take feminism. While society still has its fair share of people who think the ideology of feminism is built on a vision of female supremacy, more and more people are willing to adopt feminism, including celebrities. Benedict Cumberbatch and Taylor Swift are two examples of celebrity feminists, and the Feministas blog you’re reading right now wouldn’t exist had Emma Watson not endorsed the UN movement HeForShe. There’s also a saying, “Feminism is for everyone.” I think this level of support for a cause is amazing.

However, I find there is still so much we can do to ensure that feminism truly is for everyone.

When we talk about why people should adopt feminism, usually the conversation is geared towards those who think feminism’s against men or those who believe feminism to be obsolete. What we usually don’t try to address are the people who do recognize the problem of inequality everywhere and feel that feminism in its current state is an insufficient remedy; a movement that perhaps means well but fails to reflect their needs.

In any marginalized group, not everyone is at the same level of power; the people with the most privilege within the marginalized group are the ones whose voices are amplified the most. Their issues (which might not be everyone’s issues) are often prioritized. So when it comes to mainstream feminism, the ones who benefit the most are straight White Western able-bodied women. They’re oppressed in the sense that they’re women, but they’re endowed with systemic privileges in all other aspects–such as ability, gender orientation, and race.

This is causing feminism to drive away people who don’t fit this mold.

Mainstream feminism has a habit of doing things that unintentionally (sometimes intentionally) oppress others. First-wave feminism had White suffragettes marching for the vote and pushing women of color to the back. During second-wave feminism, there was this idea of sisterhood in which everyone could relate to each other because they experienced the same kind of oppression (when women of color were not oppressed the same way as White women), which caused Alice Walker to create womanism for Black women’s struggles. There’s little to no discussion on disability; Caitlin Moran uses the word r*tard, an offensive term for disabled people, in her book How to Be a Woman. One could point out Taylor Swift’s colonialist “Wildest Dreams” video and culturally appropriative “Shake it Off” music video. Miley Cyrus, another problematic mainstream feminist, appropriates Black culture when she twerks and wears cornrows. Mainstream feminism loves to make bastardizations of cultures into fashion trends for White folks while ignoring the oppression faced by people of those cultures for participating in them, defending White celebrities “because choice!!!!!1!!!11!!!” Well, it’s not choice if it hinders another person’s freedom.

And then there’s the more complex side of LGBTQIA+ ignored. Mainstream feminism today is definitely working on gay and lesbian rights, waving around their rainbows and all the colorful attire. But again, the gays represented are systemically privileged in every aspect except their sexuality: white, cisgender, able-bodied, and usually male. Most of the conversation around LGBTQIA+ issues is something along the lines of “It makes me so mad when people say they’re not for same-sex marriage. They’re not for equal rights.” How many times do you hear about a queer person criticizing the argument behind same-sex marriage (with reasons different from those put forth by conservatives)? Not that much. If you observe on a day-to-day basis, how many times do you see a nonbinary, genderqueer, genderfluid, intersex, or ace/aro (that’s the A in LGBTQIA+) person speaking up compared to the number of times a gay or lesbian speaks up? Not that much either. Even HeForShe needs improvement here; while it features more people of color from different countries other than those in the West, no one’s doing work for those who don’t identify as he or she.

Many times, social justice accomplished a lot of things, but it also tended to go the way it shouldn’t go: assimilation. As social justice assimilates more and more into societal norms instead of dismantling them, its version of equality only benefits a certain group, leading to the replication of the same oppressive structures. This is what has been going on in mainstream feminism for a long time: all feminists are equal, but some feminists are more equal than others. As a second-generation Filipina on the ace spectrum, I hardly ever see people like me represented in the feminist movement. We can never achieve true equality if we don’t make women, along with nonbinary/intersex/etc. folks equal to each other as well; if we only represent one group’s struggles. We need a broader, more intersectional vision for our diverse world.


Luna Cooler is a biromantic second-generation Filipina on the ace spectrum, born and raised in Southern California. She likes drawing, writing, and playing the violin; she also has a memory that creeps people out. Luna mainly blogs at Luna’s Imagination Igloo, and her feminist blog is Notes from the Female Odyssey.

Luna E.G. Cooler

 

Scouting vs. Periods

Hey! Today the lovely Em has written a brilliant guest post for us inspired by a topic that we’ve been discussing a lot as a group – the stigma around periods and how boys often just don’t get it. As a scout myself for several years, I really enjoyed Em’s post and hope you enjoy it too! – An Overthinking Teenager


Hello! I’m Em from Adventure’s of a Lost Teen and the lovely Feminista’s are kindly allowing me to guest post on their awesome blog!

Today I’d like to talk about the epic war between Scouting and periods.

For those of you who don’t know me, I’ll give you a brief bit of background information: for the past 8 years I have been a member of the Scout Association and have loved every second of the adventure. However, as well as being a Scout, I am also a teenage girl. So, as you will know, I am also subjected to rather unwanted and inconvenient visit from good ol’ Aunty Flow once a month which, when you are an adventure-addict like me and absolutely love being outdoors and taking part in the adventurous activities that Scouting has to offer, can be very irritating.

So, as you can imagine, there are a lot of instances where I have to miss out on doing the thing I love most (aside from blogging of course) because of being a teenage girl and all of the joys that brings with it.

The great thing about Scouts is that we take every opportunity to be outdoors and enjoying the beauty of the world around us, so many of our activities are planned to incorporate and harness the great outdoors and all that it offers. This could be as simple as going out to the local woods or beach (as my Explorer Scout group often does) to do activities such as fire lighting, cooking and shelter building to name a few. The first thing that crosses my mind when I think about these types of activities is: no toilets. Generally, to get the best experience of being outdoors, you have to go quite far away from civilisation (and therefore toilets) which is something we do quite a lot in Scouting. The fact is, if I am on my period, I simply cannot be away from toilets for a whole two hours (which is how long my Scout meetings last for) – I mean, anything could happen in those two hours and without access to toilets it could get very messy to say the least! So, sadly, most outdoor activities where I don’t have access to toilets are a definite no-no whilst I am on my period.

Next up: physical activities. So that means any type of sport that involves lots of movement, especially hiking as this is a key part of Scouting and in my Explorer Scout group, it is guaranteed that there will be at least 5 or 6 hikes per year, sometimes more. As my fellow females will know, doing physical activities whilst on your period isn’t exactly the best idea as it usually results in pain and high amounts of stress due to worrying about the state and quality of your sanitary products. The thing about Scouting, however, is that you’re expected to jump right into every activity and put in all of your effort. Unfortunately, due to 75% of Scouts (and leaders) in the UK being male, saying ‘I need to take a break’ or ‘I can’t do this right now’ earns you nothing but a few odd looks and sometimes even accusations of you being a ‘wimp’ and ‘giving up too easily’. Alright, the motto of Scouting is to ‘be prepared’ so perhaps us girls should just struggle through our periods and get on with it, however – and every girl will understand this – sometimes we have ‘code red emergencies’ where we need to be excused to run to the nearest toilet as quickly as possible, which, in my experience of Scouting, isn’t something that is easy to do as generally men do not understand this. Although doing physical activities would generally not be a good idea during my period, I did once decide to go mountain biking with Explorer Scouts during that time of the month, purely because I was fed up at having to miss out on things just because my period decided to show up at the worst possible time. Let’s just say…I’m never doing that again! The mountain biking was fun, yes, but it was soooo uncomfortable and there was no time for us to stop and have a break, let alone any toilets nearby! Therefore this is an experience I would definitely not like to repeat, so unfortunately strenuous physical activities such as this will have to be avoided whilst on my period in the future.

Along similar lines to physical activities, the next candidate for ‘Scouting’s No.1 anti-period-friendly activity’,  is watersports. Living on the coast, my Scout group has always had considerable access to beaches and rivers –  and just water in general – which has always been taken advantage of when planning our meetings. As you will know, periods and water generally do not mix which means that during my period, I can’t comfortably take part in activities such as canoeing, surfing, kayaking, raft building – you get the point. These are the types of ‘more adventurous’ activities that we do in Scouts and are often the ‘treats’ we are given at the end of each term. Also, as per tradition, we hold an annual water fight on our last meeting before summer which often ends up with Scouts being dunked headfirst into barrels full of icy water which, as you can imagine, is unpleasant at the best of times, let alone when you are on your period. So, for me, all of these events have to be missed during my period as I am certainly not comfortable with going in water at that time of the month.

Finally (as this post is getting rather long now) we have Scout camps. Scout camps are notorious for their rigorous itinerary, packed full of adventure with hardly any time for breaks, their culmination of outdoor, physical and water activities – which, if you have read the rest of this post, you’ll know can be a nightmare whilst on your period – and their poor toilet facilities (which usually consists of nothing more than a dozen portiloos which are not exactly practical for a girl on her period and tend to get blocked up after the first day at camp, which is rather grim). So, as you can imagine, Scout camps certainly aren’t the best place to be whilst on your period – they are a culmination of the three other problematic instances within Scouting for girls on their periods but even worse as they lack the promise of a nice warm shower and comfy bed that evenings outdoors or doing physical activities can at least offer.

Throughout my Scouting journey, I have been on countless Scout camps, but have luckily (or rather not so luckily) had to experience the struggles of being on my period at a camp only once. And guess what? My activity schedule for said camp included both a kayaking trek along a river (water – ugh) and a days hiking through the countryside (countryside = NO TOILETS). Fortunately, as my mum is a Scout leader and was also on the camp, she was able to cut a few strings and swap my rota around a bit with another Scout who sadly had to go home. Therefore I ended up doing shooting and backwards cooking instead of kayaking – which meant I had a full day of shooting and cooking as I was supposed to be doing that in the morning anyway, so by the end of the day, I was practically an expert shooter (not really, I can’t shoot to save my life plus I managed to shoot myself twice as the pellet ricocheted off of the target and hit me…oops) – and snowboarding instead of hiking (which I guess was slightly better as at least I would be near toilet facilities). In the end, everything worked out fine, although I am definitely not signing up for any more camps in the near future unless I am certain they won’t coincide with my period.

So, those were a few of the battles I have had to face when my desire to be a Scout clashing with my uninvited monthly guest. But don’t think that just because you are female and have periods, you can’t be adventurous and have lots of fun within or outside of Scouting – there are so many more amazing things I have experienced and participated in within Scouting than I have missed out on because of my period! And you don’t even have to miss out on these activities I have mentioned above if you don’t want to – it’s all about what you are and aren’t comfortable doing during that time of the month and for me, I am not comfortable doing these activities, but you might be! Having periods is definitely not a reason to be put off of joining Scouts because we need to show our periods – and ourselves for that matter – that we can achieve anything we want to – whether that be an adventure within Scouting or outside of. And what about those times when your period prevents you from doing adventurous activities? Well, my fellow females, the next time you are able to spend time outdoors, exploring and having fun, you put 100% effort into it, have tonnes of fun and make as many memories as possible so that even just the thought of all of the adventures you have participated in will be enough to keep your adventure-addiction at bay (for now) whilst mother nature is having it’s own way.
Thank you for reading this, I hope you have learnt a bit more about the struggles of being a female Scout now but also why our periods don’t always have to stop us from doing what we love. I strongly believe that more girls should get involved in the Scouting movement as currently we only make up 25% of Scouts in the UK alone. Scouting has helped me develop as an individual so much and taught me countless life skills as well as given me amazing memories to cherish forever. If you want to read more about being a girl in Scouting, I have written about “Scouting for girls, Scouting for all’ on my own blog.

An Emasculating Relationship

I am sure at least some of you are at least familiar with the name Matt Healy. I am sure that at least some of you are fans of The 1975, and the rest of you I am sure for those few months had the song Chocolate on their playlists, claiming that they were now into “alternative”‘ music (yes, I was part of this crowd).

I am also sure that all of you – unless you have lived under a rock, or are just seriously in denial – have also heard the name Taylor Swift pop up at least a few times, maybe you have even had one of her songs on repeat, or if you are like me, all of them on repeat since the day you discovered her.

Now, you wouldn’t think Matt Healy – the lead singer in the alternative band The 1975 – would have any correlation with the queen of pop herself, Taylor Swift. But, before there was any rumours about Taylor Swift and Calvin Harris, there was rumours about Taylor and Matt possibly being a new item on the rise. This all – presumably – started after she mentioned his band a few times and was seen at on of his concerts. 

With Taylor now into her second year of what seems to be a very stable relationship, you wouldn’t think these rumours would be addresses. But, in a recent interview with NME the singer was asked about the rumours, and not so gracefully debunked them. He started off on the right path, stating that he finds it funny how these rumours are only still being addressed because of the fact that she is Taylor Swift, but then things took a very sharp turn for the worse when he was asked if he was scared he will lose himself when/if he enters a relationship. 

“Yeah. Absolutely. And the reason I mention that is because if I had gone out with Taylor Swift I would’ve been, ‘F***ing hell! I am NOT being Taylor Swift’s boyfriend’. You know, ‘F***. THAT.’ That’s also a man thing, a de-masculinating, emasculating thing”. 

Yes you read that right.  He truly believes that having a girlfriend who is more successful then him, would have taken away from his masculinity. As if we are back in the 1800’s when it was only the men who could work and it would be embarrassing for the man in the occasion that he couldn’t work, or if  – when women were eventually given the opportunity to work – his wife’s salary was greater than his. 

All I have to say, is that if this is how he sees women and this is how he would have treated her, I am glad she found Calvin Harris and didn’t end up dating him.

Sydney Xx

What is International Women’s Day and why do we need it?

Yesterday, the 8th of March, was International Women’s Day. The day was first organised in March 1911 and officially started being celebrated by the United Nations on the 8th March 1975. In the past 105 years so much has been achieved for women’s rights globally, but we’re not done yet.

For those of you that claim feminism and International Women’s Day is no longer needed, it must be considered that gender inequality is a global issue. Even if you think that you are in the privileged position that you and everyone in your life is completely equal regardless of their gender, there are billions of women across the world who aren’t that lucky.

It is predicted to take 118 years for the gender pay gap to close and only 55 of the 500 richest people are women. Only one fifth of parliamentary seats are held by women and only 19 out of 196 heads of state are women.

If this isn’t indicative of a problem, then I don’t know what is. However this problem isn’t just global, it’s personal. It affects every women who is told she can’t or she shouldn’t or she won’t simply based on her gender.

So, why do we need International Women’s Day?
To celebrate everything women have already achieved despite the adversity they faced and to remind where we’re going and what we’re aiming for.

Why I (Kinda) Gave Up Social Media For Lent

OK, I am so flippin’ annoyed right now because I had a decent 50% of a post written and I ONLY ACCIDENTALLY DELETED IT ALL.

Hmph. #FirstWorldProblems. 

Oh well. Anyway, I *finally* have reappeared on here to explain why I am quitting some social media for Lent (or, in the case of Instagram, why I’m not). I’ve only ever given something up for Lent once before (Facebook the year before last) – I’m not religious, but I think it’s a good chance to try and cut down a bad habit while having a specific length of time to focus on. I wouldn’t say I’m addicted to social media, but I do use it to procrastinate quite a lot and as I use it to promote my blog, I’m on more platforms than most of my friends. So this year, I decided to follow the school chaplain’s advice and try cutting down. (My friends and I are also giving up swearing by trying to replace swear words with pomegranate and donating 20p to charity for every swear word, but that’s for another post…)

I’ve decided to quit Facebook (excluding automatic WordPress posts and Messenger), Twitter (except automated IFTTT/WordPress tweets) and Snapchat. I was going to get rid of Instagram too, but then I was talking to a couple of friends about my favourite accounts and I realised how much I actually like it – good photos make me happy and, as Hannah Gale mentioned in a post that I annoyingly can’t link because I’m on my phone, it makes me appreciate the little things in life more – a pretty sunsent, the way the bare branches of a tree look against a bright sky, a pretty shop display. And don’t even get me started on how much more I appreciate book covers now I’m aware of bookstagram…

 

That accidental colour coordination though.


The point is, Insta has made me appreciate the beauty of everyday things more, and has inspired me to put effort into taking pretty photos. Facebook, however, was just sucking me into a bottomless pit of funny photos and procrastination. So far, I’m doing OK cutting it out. I still reach for my phone when I want to kill time or am trying to procrastinate, but now I’ll either go on Instagram, which often provides genuine enjoyment and inspiration, WordPress, which I’d rate as much more worthwhile, or I’ll reach for a book. In fact, maybe I’ll start carrying a book around with me more…
So overall, to conclude this long, rambly and fairly pointless post, I’m cutting out *some* social media because although I wouldn’t say I’m addicted, I do think it’s taking up too much of my time and if I’m going to procrastinate, I may as well do it in a way that makes me happier – by reading a good book or looking at pretty photos. 

There’s just something about this that makes my soul happy.

 What, if anything, are you giving up for Lent, and what are your thoughts on social media? 

An Overthing Teenager

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The Gaps In The Road

Somewhere In America

The video above is one that has been circulating the internet for the last few years and recently made a major reappearance – meaning I (and probably you too) saw it everywhere.  The first time a saw this video, which was a while after it first surfaced on the internet a few years ago, I didn’t have a blog so I never got the chance to talk about it, but now that I do – and that I am a part of one where we all talk about things like this – I wanted to take the chance to talk it over with you guys.

The saddest part of this video? How true it is.

Education is meant to teach you everything you are meant to know and set you on the path to success in life. It is meant to answer all your questions and prepare you for anything life might throw at you.

So how come the most important lessons you will ever learn will probably not be in a classroom?

How come I learned to measure and graph porabola’s but never learned how to protect myself against a predator?

How come I was never taught self-confidence, but was instead told to cover up because my body is a distraction?

How come I learned how to read and analyze Shakespeare but never learned about the importance of equal rights?

And while I must admit, Canada does have less gaps in the road than some other countries, we still do not learn all that we should in school.

Our education is supposed to teach us everything we need to know and more. It is supposed to tell us the truth, and all of the truth. It is supposed to leave no questions unanswered, except for those that are left for our generation to answer. So why, with something as important as learning everything we need to for a successful future, are there still so many gaps in the road?

Your thoughts?

Sydney Xx