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Hasta Siempre!

The revolution will be blogged

Senza Di Te

Lived
21 years
Without your smile.

Survived
262 months
Without your touch

Existed
1138 weeks
Before your kiss

Slept
7966 days
Without you.

191184 hours alone

 

 

Gender Equality – 100 years on from the right to vote

As we reach the centenary of women’s right to vote (and all men over the age of 21) I wonder what people’s opinions are on how far we, as a society and nation, have come in the past 100 years. There is undoubtedly more gender equality than there ever has been, but is it a level playing field yet, is there still a lot work to be done, or have some aspects of equality now gone too far with the recent Grid Girls and Women’s England Team debacles?

My personal opinion is that there is still a way in many aspects. It still seems, to a certain extent, that to be successful in many industries as a woman you almost have to ‘think like a man’, in the Maggie Th*****r or, a more modern reference, Karen Brady mould. Whilst I am far from a supporter of hers, I strongly suspect that Teresa May wouldn’t receive quite as much criticism if she were male, particularly those aimed at her appearance or even some values.

Furthermore, we still live in a society where the gender pay gap remains quite a substantial issue, along with catcalling and more serious crimes towards women.

I do however believe that some issues have gone too far and the perception of ‘feminism’ has been damaged as a result. The ‘witch hunts’ aimed at certain people and industries are beginning to question freedom of speech and expression which is a very dangerous precedent to set, and elsewhere in Europe countries have even looked at/implemented a reverse burden of proof of crimes such as sexual assault whereby the accused must prove his/her innocence; again a very dangerous precedent.

On the whole however I do believe that we are at almost certainly at the forefront of gender equality but, at the same, I think some use that as a stick to beat ‘feminism’ with and try to turn it into a dirty word. We are far from balanced and the need for protests and change is still very relevant today.

Gender

Genuinely baffles me how angry people get over companies, phycologists, schools etc whom are trying to break down the walls of gender for the benefit of children/or anyone for that matter.

It’s not about chopping off the penis of young boys and forcing them into a dress. It’s about helping young boys to develop their emotional skills to help prevent future mental health issues and a lack of outpouring of emotion. Helping boys to accept them being sad, lonely or just generally not well is OK. That it is OK to accept other emotions than just happiness and anger.

It’s not about forcing sexuality on young girls or turning them into young boys. It’s about helping them to grow confidence and not associated words like ugly at the age of fucking 7. Telling young girls that they can be whatever they want to be. You can lead your country one day, if you want. You are not destined to be a second class citizen.

I do not understand how headlines like ‘John Lewis to remove gender labels on kids clothing’ is greeted by outrage and despair because we will no longer know whether a child is male or female. That is not the point you dense shithead.

Pink is not a ‘girls colour’ it’s a colour. It is just marketing that has lead to that association. Mechanics are not always male, dancers are not always female. Wake the fuck up and smell the coffee you ignorant arseholes.

Almost There

Started the year with a goal of running 2017km for International Animal Rescue and I’m almost there :D!!

justgiving.com/fundraising/markhardy2017kmrun

Blinded

I look back now at the old me,
Asleep at the ignorance and hypocrisy.
Intelligent enough to see,
Naive enough to turn away.

From a cave of deceit and flesh,
To a sanctuary of life and wellness,
There is still someway to go for fulfillment,
The path is now at least clear.

I chose to ignore,
To turn my back on what I knew to be true,
It was easier that way,
Easier than to accept the barbarism.

Now I see,
I see the change I wish to produce in the world,
The difference one can make,
I will not turn my back again.

Veganism

I’ve finally got around to watching Simon Amstell’s Carnage and I think it’s the final nail in the coffin of my occasional milk chocolate, fish, goats milk and eggs. It’s not worth it; it’s just a lazy excuse. It’s disgusting, nothing is worth that.

I’m not entirely sure why it has taken a bizarre, yet fantastic, mocumentary to finally convince me to make the plunge. I guess, if anything, it shows how ridiculous the arguments of meat eaters, of pescatarians, and even vegetarians are. An example line from the show ‘If we’re all sipping on a beetroot juice and somebody is sucking on a cow’s teat then who is the real weirdo?’. It’s utterly ridiculous but it’s absolutely spot on. Veganism isn’t a dirty word, it’s completely bloody natural.

It’s going to be difficult, I’ve tried over and over again, but the suffering make it worthwhile.

I can do it.

‘No one of us can be free until every one of us is free.’

In the Wake

In the wake of it all we stop.
Bringing us together, yet further apart.
Our differences now more bold than before.
For many revenge is the answer.
Peace can wait for now.

In the wake of it all we speak.
How best to self portray.
Be the one of wisdom.
Be the one of promotion.
We all parade our feathers.

In the wake of it all they spin.
A chance for personal advance.
Be it radical or liberal, blame is branded.
For we seek not answers, nor reason.
Forgotten are the victims.

When they are advancing but not near,
We cowardly pretend.
It’s not our problem, for now.
Sneaking home and pray,
The troubles will not reach us.

As days pass by we move on.
Our lives must progress.
Until next time we hide.
Only then do we show who we are.
For in times of universal chaos,
Our blank canvas’ are coloured.

The Journey

Two men on the tube
Both provoke intrigue
Silent as they sit
Journeying home

Middle class and well dressed
One man is approached
Beaming ear to ear
Accepted and adored

Bottom of the ladder
The other man is feared
Ignorance follows his every step
Empty and hollow

Both men leave the tube
A single journey between them
One left unaccompanied
The other left alone

The Price of the Free World

I have and always will support and be thankful for all that the Human Rights Act has given myself and others. In my humble opinion, the fundamental rights and freedoms that the act helps to maintain and protect makes it the most quintessential legal doctrine in existence. Those individuals and states that abuse the fundamental human rights are the lowest of the low, and to restrict any person of their humanity for me is unforgivable. Perhaps the most controversial, or at least hotly debated, of these fundamental rights however would be freedom of speech.

Freedom of speech – The right to articulate one’s opinions and ideas without fear of government retaliation or censorship, or societal sanction. Seems pretty fair, right? Then why, every single day, do we seek to sensor someone’s opinion because we do not agree with it, him or her. I wouldn’t for one second agree with just about anything that comes out of the traps of the likes of Trump, Farrage, the Tories or Katie Hopkins, but I would never, ever, dismiss their right to say the nonsense that they come out with. Destroying the opportunity to take away somebody’s voice, somebody’s opinion, is inhuman. In the 71 years since the conclusion of perhaps humanity’s lowest point, you would have thought that we could see past a difference of opinion. Be able to live side by side with our foes, as well as our friends. Debate, discussion and disagreement is healthy; it is part of what makes us sentient  beings. Censorship and societal sanction is never acceptable, not for me anyway.

Perhaps one of the most extreme examples of this would be during the Paris attacks in January 2015 on the offices of Charlie Hebdo. Those attacks bought to fame and mass public viewing the work and artistic impression of the illustrators at the controversial satirist cartoon, and much to the displeasure of many. The cause of the attacks on Charlie Hebdo, according to voices for the terrorist organisation whom I will not name, was due to the offensive and hateful cartoons printed in the magazine of the prophet Mohammed. The cartoons soon became spread all over social media and greeted by comments along the lines of ‘I would never condone the murders, but those cartoons should be banned’ and even ‘they had it coming with drawings like that’, and yet, the very same people would declare themselves #jesuischarlie in support of the French.

Now I, of course, would never even begin to participate in something that can be considered so hateful, but I will always defend their right to do so. Controversial perhaps, but why? You cannot say that you are a believer in freedom of speech if you are only willing to believe in the freedom of ‘most speech’ or even 99.9% of speech. Freedom of speech is all encompassing.  We are lucky enough to live in a free world. A world that allows us to declare our opinions openly, regardless of how ridiculous or abysmal they may be. I for one am grateful of that. To begin to sensor freedom of speech is beginning to sensor being human. We are better than that.

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