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Monthly Archives: July 2015

Feminism today

I read a lot about this subject these days. There seems to be a lot of fuzz going on about the subject. Celebrities are telling women to empower themselves, to take control, to decide what’s best for us, women.

And yet what some of these celebrities do, doesn’t seem like empowerment for women at all. At least, not to me.

In the olden days (yes, I’m sorry, I can’t help digging up some history here) women trying to make rules, values, things in general, better for women all around, were rarely seen doing anything other than publishing a paper, stating how smart women were aswell. They pointed out how these values weren’t charished all that much in women. Some of these women gained some kind of awareness, but mostly men would just get credit for these women, as they were still reckoned to have done the work that the women had actually accomplished.

In the sixties and seventies of 1900, it was, apparently, considered to take back control by burning your bra as to tell men to fuck right off. Well, there’s one way.

What seems most odd to me now, is that some of the women who have big influence on young women -so that’s young women who are the experts of tomorrow in ANY kind of workfield, which is a right that has been faught for quite fiercely before these bra-burners- use this as an excuse to move in sexy ways on a stage (Miley Cyrus), or pose nude for some fancy magazine (Kim Kardashian) in hopes of getting the message through AND gain respect from all around. I’m sorry to the above mentioned ladies, but not only does your music suck, Miley Cyrus (this is a personal opinion only, so don’t fret), but telling girls to act as you do, has nothing to do with empowering women.
Because Miley Cyrus seems to forget: not everyone is as assertive as she might be. Nor so extravert. Girls who act like her, might not get away with it. They DO get sexually harassed. For looking like her. For wanting to be her. For not having her same way of acting. For not being able to say ‘no’, when a boy/man wants to have his way with a the girl that wants to be sexy and has no idea what it means. So in a way, you’re making them victims before anything has even happened.
Because Miley Cyrus so strongly believes that what she does is the only way to sell those records. My advice: learn to sing. You don’t need to walk the stage naked if you can actually sing. Singing, the creation of music by any instrument, should be left to those with talent. That way it sells.

Back to Kardashian: in what universe do you think that being famous for a sextape, having absolutely no talent whatsoever (everyone can appear in a reality soap, don’t even try that one, and your make-up is so fully applied that I’m sure one cheek alone -pick which ever- could feed an entire starving family for an entire week) gives her any rights to tell other women about objectification and feminism?
This actually made me laugh out loud. A women taking control of the world by just letting her boyfriend-turned-husband pay every magazine on the globe to have her on the cover? Yes, oh, you’ve convinced me now! I’m sure you got that far with your brains. I’m sorry I couldn’t even type that without pissing myself from laughing.

There ARE quite a lot of women out there who actually deserve respect and who will do a great deal more to make the position of women better on a daily base.
Such as Sandi Toksvig, the Danmark born comedian from the UK who recently turned into politics to be able to actually make a better place for women possible from a political angle, just as Hillary Clinton is aiming to do, though not with the same perspective.
My own relatives who have setup a project in Brasil (SHE MOVES) that makes it possible for young women to study so they can have a better life elsewhere (the project reminds of the former Foster Parents Plan, where people could financially adopt a child in a poor country so the child could have a better life). Angelina Jolie, who visits refugees and makes their story heard. Ok, I admit that not all of it is specifically aimed at women, but still; these women make their stay worth while. They actually empower, not just for themselves, but to serve others. The position of women and of other human beings in general. Because to make a change, you’ll have to go out there and make the stories of others heard.

This is what makes feminism important. To make sure women with brains and able to make the world a better place for others, find their stage and can do good.
You don’t just DO that for you. You don’t show naked parts of yourself because you so firmly believe this will make the world a better place for other women around. OK, so you have a lot of fans, but what do they want? To get into your panties.
How is this helping anyone, please?

 
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Posted by on July 31, 2015 in Daily life, Opinion

 

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Cecil the Lion

On social media, it’s the news of the day, and far beyond its borders also: the killing of Cecil the lion. It’s like watching The Lion King and seeing how, instead of Scar, a way too good looking bastard in the person of Walter Palmer, has been killing both Mufasa AND Simba.

I am against hunting, but I am not a vegetarian, let me be clear about that from the start. So many who read this, will think I’m hypocritical when I state the following:

I do think that a man going on a killing spree with a bow and arrow, to pose afterwards with his prey and brag about who’s life he took now, is incredibly disgusting. It gets more disgusting to know he paid a huge amount of money for this occasion. It gets more disgusting if you hear him say ‘I thought it was legal! I’m sorry about killing it, but I thought it was OK!’ like he just stole a cookie from a jar. It gets more disgusting if you read he used that same excuse when he illegally shot a black bear a few years ago. It gets more disgusting if you see all of the pictures that show him posing proudly with all of the animals he once killed, and that you know this is a piece of filth who gets a kick out of killing animals with his bow and arrow. He wants those animals to suffer. He wants his prey to make up for his perfect teeth-life. The life that makes it possible for him to kill. To be proud of his killings. To hang the heads of those who have suffered on his behalf, on his wall and to make his own little kingdom be more bearable.

He is, quite simply, a huge fucktard. Had the lion attacked him because of rules of the jungle reasons, we would have cheered for the lion. ‘Hurray, another hunting motherfucker died, woohoo!’ but no. Man lived. Man lived and removed the collar that was there to indicate this was, quite frankly, a huge housecat. Walter Palmer was asked to ‘look the other way, you haven’t seen this, or you’re in trouble’. Now claiming he thought the killing was legal, pretending he wasn’t there when the famous lion was lured away from the place that made the killing illegal from the start. With such a fake smile as a business card, you just know the man is lying. It’s easy to say you didn’t know. It’s harder to ignore the signs that surround this man. The man that paid to have his way with this lion.

In a way it’s like a he paid a prostitute, but instead of doing regular business, he decided that because he paid, it was OK to rape her. This is a man who truly believes that payment gives him the right to do whatever he likes. Including killing animals that aren’t exactly widely spread on this earth. So my advice to him? Next time, shoot a bunny or a rabbit. Those reproduce far easier and won’t get you the label of being a huge fucking bastard. Unlike now. You have to hide. Feel like Cecil the lion who you hunted down, please. This time, the target is on you. Live with it. So did Cecil.

 
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Posted by on July 30, 2015 in Opinion

 

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Jongens kleren/ Boy’s clothes

Af en toe wil ik het uitgillen. Rekken leeg plukken, over de vloer verspreiden en het desnoods aan stukken scheuren. Ja, ik overdrijf. Ik ga er vooral heel diep van zuchten. Denk ‘waarom worden jongens toch zo als tweederangs burgers gezien?’. Waar ik het over heb? Kinderkleren. Stap een willekeurige Hema, Zeeman, H&M of wat dan ook binnen, en de kleertjes springen je vrijwel tegemoet van hun hangertjes, zo gezellig zien ze d’r uit. Die voor de meisjes dan. Hele muren hangen er vol voor deze kleinere soort van onze vrouwelijke medemens. De keuze voor jongetjes is aanzienlijk minder. Saaier ook. Met vaak de typische voetballetjes en hijskranen, vrachtwagens en vooruit, hier en daar een superheld of wat kosmische sterren en manen.

Zodanig dat ik denk: wordt op die manier soms de bodem gekweekt voor jongens en mannen om toch vooral minder dol te zijn op shoppen?

In een tijd waar meisjes het lijken uit te schreeuwen (‘neem mij verdomme SERIEUS!!’) lijken jongens zich qua kleding nog steeds te moeten richten op de voor hen typerende beroepen. Brandweermannetjes en superhelden. Er is genoeg op tv wat zich leent voor applicaties op shirts, broeken en truien, toch? Zet ook eens een gezellige minion op zo’n shirt, of Pingu, of het prinsesje dat haar potje niet kan vinden. Maak roze shirts met planeten en sterren en blauwe shirts met poesjes en zonder die verrekte roezeltjes. Of maak poezenshirts ook eens legergroen, blauw of geel. Poesjes zijn alleen voor meisjes? Beetje typisch, niet?

Alle gekheid op een stokje: ik begon dit stukje over kinderkleren. Dat er hier en daar kleren zullen zijn die meer aantrekkelijk zijn voor meisjes en op hun beurt voor jongens, dat zal best.
Maar zorg er eens voor dat zaken die niet per se sekse-gebonden zijn (poesjes en katten bijvoorbeeld) niet alleen in fucking roze te krijgen zijn. Jongens zijn ook dol op die beesten. Beetje jammer als ze dat alleen in roze kunnen krijgen. Och, er zullen er heus zijn die dat WEL leuk vinden, maar niet allemaal! Kom op, Hema, kom op Zeeman en kom op H&M, doe eens leuk! Voor de jongens.
De ouders kopen echt veel meer als je het ook voor jongens leuk maakt.
Echt.

 

Sometimes I’d like to scream. To empty racks, spill its contents over the floor and rip it apart, for all I care. Yes, I exaggerate. It makes me sigh with a vengeance, most of all. It makes me think: ‘why are boys so neclected? How did they deserve that?’ What the heck I’m on about? Children’s clothes departments in the bigger stores. Step inside one of those and the happy clothes nearly jump off their racks to show you how cute they are. At least, the girls’ clothes. Entire walls are covered with options to dress this mini version of the female human being. For boys, not so much. It’s less, and most of it is quite boring. At least, in The Netherlands. Mostly with your typical truck, soccer, maybe a superhero here or there and some moons and stars. But that’s it, really.

It’s done in a way that makes me think: is this where the grounds for men usually not being that keen on shopping, is grown?

In a time where girls’ clothes do seem to become more various to adjust to the wish of ‘take me SERIOUS, dammit!’ this isn’t the case for boys. They are still stuck in the regular job variety of firemen, doctors and superheroes. There’s enough on tv and popular books that would suffice for being applied on a T-shirt, no? And why does it have to be so masculine? In a time where transgenders are more and more an issue, it should be normal to print shirts for those boys aswell, given that this is practically being done for girls with their change of wardrobe. Print a male nurse on a T-shirt, and print more recognisable book figures on clothes. Makes them curious for books, and nobody every got worse from that (if you read a lot of books, not just the one).
And stop making shirts with cats only in pink, please. Lots of boys love these feline friends just as much, and not every single one of them likes a pink shirt with ruffles. Make ‘m in blue, army green etc. It’s too typical to have shirt with a puss just for girl, OK?

Go on, do it. Their parents will buy more if you do, I promise. Really.

 
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Posted by on July 15, 2015 in Daily life, Opinion

 

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Ripper, Isabel Allende (review)

Een totaal ander boek dan ik van Allende gewend ben. In het nawoord valt te lezen dat ze het plan had opgevat met haar man samen een detective te schrijven. Dat kwam het huwelijk niet ten goede, waarna ze solo verder ging.
Wie Allendes’ schrijfstijl kent, kan zich daar, waarschijnlijk, geen detective bij voorstellen. Ik in elk geval niet. Ik kan me eindeloos in de burchten die haar verhalen zijn, verliezen. Relaxed meerijden met een figuur wat ze neerzet, waar praktisch geen concrete geografische ¬†informatie voorbij komt.
Dromerig. In zekere zin, tenminste.

Ripper is in dat opzicht totaal anders. Het combineert Allendes’ gave om een verhaal te vertellen met de elementen van een detective.
Een groepje Ripper-spelers (het is een spel op internet, maar van wat de lezer ervan meekrijgt is het niet zozeer een spel, meer een soort online forum) hebben zich verdiept in een serie ongebruikelijke moorden.
De informatie die ze daarbij krijgen toegespeeld is ongekend groot te noemen. Zelf ben ik niet bekend met dergelijke informatievoorzieningen voor mensen die in principe niks met een politie-onderzoek te maken hebben. Geen idee of dit inderdaad normaal is in de VS, maar mocht dat zo zijn: wauw….geen wonder dat de schreeuw om recht op privacy zo groot is dan?!
Als dochter van een politie-agent snap je nog wel dat Amanda Martin wat meer informatie dan gebruikelijk is, ter beschikking zou kunnen hebben, maar ze heeft niet zomaar info. Complete dossiers. Waarvan ik dan zou denken: doen de collega’s daar niet moeilijk over dan? Of haar vader? Overigens krijgt ze de dossiers van haar opa, maar Amanda’s vader weet dondersgoed dat ze toegang heeft tot die dossiers en ook dat ze die deelt met haar medespelers.

Hoewel de karakters zoals gewoonlijk goed zijn uitgewerkt, krijgt het verhaal als zijnde een detective pas echt op het allerlaatste moment een dosis spanning mee. En dan eigenlijk nog niet echt, omdat het vertellende karakter van Allende haar nog steeds in de weg zit.
Of, om het anders te zeggen: een pageturner zoals Dan Brown is het niet. Dat is de stijl van Allende niet. Ze kan dat kennelijk ook niet. Het blijft haar manier van schrijven die je leest, maar ineens met de elementen van een thriller erbij. Die vooral misplaatst voelen. Want het leest niet lekker weg. Als een trui die er goed uitziet, maar teveel kriebelt.

 

A completely different novel than I’m used to from Isabel Allende. In the back of the book, she explains she’d planned to cowrite this with her husband, but they changed their mind after their marriage was starting to feel unsafe because of it. She continued solo.
Who is familiair with Allendes’ writingstyle, possibly has trouble thinking of a detective to go with that. Well, at least not me. I can loose myself completely in the castles that are her stories. Endlessly drifting away with the characters she puts on display, where hardly any geographical details are given.
Dreamy. In a way, at least.

Ripper is different in that way. It combines Allendes’ gift to tell a story with the elements of a detective. A group of Ripper-players (a game on the internet, but as far as the reader can tell, it’s basically not really a game, it’s a sort of forum) has gathered to solve the mysteries of a series of unusual murders.
Their sources are -I hope- quite unusual. If you’re not involved with a criminal case directly or indirectly. I don’t know if this is how things work in the USA but if it is, I no longer wonder why the rights of privacy are so faught for!?
Being a daughter of a policeman you kind of understand how Amanda Martin can be close(r) to the source, but still: she doesn’t just have ‘a bit of info’. She has access to the complete case file?! Handed to her by her grandfather, but her father (who is the actual officer of the family) knows Amanda has it and also knows she shares it with her peers. I kept wondering if none of the police colleagues were wondering where the files went?¬†

Though the characters are worked out well, the way the story develops is quite slow. There’s no real tention until the very end. And still it has trouble to take off by then, as Allendes’ writingstyle is simply not like that. Or, to put it differently: it’s not a pageturner the way Dan Brown writes it. Allende is a completely different author of course, and she apparently lacks the ability to make it a real thriller. So it’s her writing style with some elements of a detective. It feels odd to read. The thrilling part never becomes part of your brain. It’s like wearing a sweater you like the look of, that itches like mad.
All in all not a bad book at all, but not as thrillling as you might hope for.

 
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Posted by on July 7, 2015 in Books, Opinion

 

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