Tag Archives: teenage

Personal Philosophies

23 Jul

I get told I’m strange a lot.

Or weird.

Or different.

Or told to be quiet.

And you know what? Sometimes it hurts, especially when those people are my friends. Sometimes, it makes me pretend not to care, pretend I don’t know, pretend I’m not me. Sometimes it makes me shut up.

And that’s a human reaction. It’s a teenage reaction especially. But deep down, I know that while on the surface it may affect me,  my heart stays the same. Whatever they throw at me, they can’t touch me really.

This I attribute to one small but powerful philosophy, that’s been brought to the forefront of my mind with news of the recent shootings in Denver, Colorado (RIP). I’m not Hindu, or Muslim, and the remnants of the Christian faith I once had vary in influence and strength. I don’t believe in reincarnation, and I find it hard (and occasionally unpalatable) to believe in an eternal afterlife.

But I do believe that we have to live every day. Not just let ourselves pass through it, not just let it happen, but live it. Forgive others, because there isn’t time to hold grudges. Let yourself love, because love causes more beauty in this life than anything else. Let others love, because you are not living their lives and you do not have their hearts. Read, write, watch, listen to, be with, do what you love. Don’t care when others criticise you. They will always criticise you. There will always be someone who doesn’t like what you’re doing, always someone who thinks you’re strange. Do it anyway. Be yourself anyway.

Because life is more than a gift. Life is a blessing. We can feel so much, be so much, yet we set limits on ourselves so we can fit in with what others feel we should be, or we let them limit us.

Well, let them limit themselves. I want to fly.

And if I was going to be the light-hearted person I sometimes pretend to be, I would finish this post with a jokey sentence like “Sorry about all the depth, but I was feeling it!”. But you know what, no.

Fly free, be yourself. Don’t ever let anyone clip your wings.

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The Oxymoronic Rape Joke

12 Jul

I take no small amount of pride in calling myself a feminist.

The last few days have been very hectic, hence the lack of time to post anything (sorry), but this is a topic that’s been on my mind a lot recently. It’s also popping up in the media more and more, and after an overheard conversation a few days ago, I decided I needed to write my own feelings on it.

The topic is, of course, the prevalance of sexism today-and particularly the use of rape jokes in society. Now, to any sane person that should itself be an oxymoron. How can there ever be anything funny about rape? How could anything to do with rape ever make anyone laugh? But somehow it does.

A few years ago everyone was using them (“the wind just raped my hair”, “I’m just raping the chocolate off this biscuit”, “you raped my make up!”), but thankfully this has died down. Not the use of “gay” before anything considered vaguely uncool (which I also hate passionately) though.

But I realised how common the thoughts are on the bus the other day. The conversation in turn was from a group of 17 year old boys on a bus. Now, brief context-these boys go to an all boys school, and all have since the age of at least 11. They all have girlfriends (and the conversations they have about sex, how “needy” their girlfriends are, and what they’re going to do to their girlfriends routinely turn my stomach). But in this case, they were talking about raping each other. I can’t promise an exact transcript, but I’ll do my best.

A: Oh yeah, I totally find you really hot. Come here and we’ll do it now, in front of everyone.

B: Ah, no, I don’t want to, I’m not feeling it.

A: I’ll just have to go over there and rape you, you know you want to really.

(Cue hysterics)

And there was more (which was worse), but I can’t remember it exactly. Suffice it to say I wanted to punch them by the time I got off.

But those boys (there’s no way they can be descirbed as men, despite their age), are meant to be the next generation. They’re not stupid, they’re not uneducated, and they’re supposedly not unaware. So why do they look at something as horrific as rape, and find it hilarious? I’m a seventeen year old girl, and whenever I go out late at night in the dark, I get prettily easily spooked. All you ever hear on the news about 17 year olds are horror stories about attacks (and prejudicial stories against them). So it’s no wonder that the sight of a man standing on a street corner alone late at night scares me. And it shouldn’t; that man is in all likelihood completely innocent of any thoughts I might suspect him to have. But I feel like you can’t be too sure. It’s not even that bad for me, I don’t live in a particularly crime ridden city. But still I feel I fear. If I do, what must it be like in cities like London or New York?

And those boys, who spread the jokes about rape, who act as though it’s hilarious, have no idea. No concept, and no imagination to even try.

It would be wonderful if I could feel reassured that not all 17 year old boys think that way, but sadly the misogynists on the bus are my only point of reference. And they scare me more than anything else.