Female musicians, Noel Gallagher and the problem with dude listeners.

This post was originally inspired by a conversation a good friend of mine, the lovely Rosalie (tumblr/twitter), was having on twitter regarding Noel Gallagher’s shitty, sexist music opinions. To nobody’s surprise, Rosalie immediately got replied to with comments about Noel’s exclusion of women being totally right. For the whole conversation, see here. And then, naturally because bad things come in groups (applications open for Dickhead With Musical Opinions #3, let’s round this out), this horrible A.V Club thing with Kurt Braunohler about Taylor Swift exists.

I’ve been meaning to start talking about music on here, if only as an outlet for all my weird boyband feelings (coming soon to a post near you) or about how much I love male/female duets. Naturally, I put these things off for months and months until something happens to crystallise the situation for me.

Continue reading

Follow Up: A Survey on LGBT+ Representation on the BBC

Sorry everyone, I swear I will stop talking about this research report at some point. However, I need one last favour of you all. If you remember my previous post I’m doing a research report on LGBT+ representation on the BBC etc etc. What I recently realised is that I might need some data on people’s experiences of these programmes given that the last quantitative study was done by Stonewall in 2006.

My survey covers: geographical location, general opinions on BBC representation and then your opinions on the list of comedy & drama programmes I put together (with your input). If being named is a concern, this survey is totally anonymous. If you wouldn’t mind filling it out for me, I would be immensely grateful.

Click the link below to open the survey:

LGBT+ Representation on the BBC between 2006-2013.

Quick Question: The BBC and LGBTQ+ Characters.

I put the call out on Twitter earlier but, for some context, I’m writing a research report for my MA on the BBC Television and LGTBQ+ on-air representation from 2006 onwards. In between looking at various reports commissioned by the BBC Trust and Stonewall, I want to see if I can gather a list of programmes featuring LGTBQ+ characters  myself. Naturally, it’s not possible for me to see everything the BBC puts out (though I feel like sometimes I must do). The list I’ve got so far includes: The Night Watch, Lip Service, Doctor Who, Torchwood, In The Flesh, Heading Out, Consenting Adults, The Line of Beauty (thanks Tam!).

 If you can remember any others, could you comment below with the name of the programme in question? Remember, it must have aired in 2006 or later (so sadly neither Tipping the Velvet, nor my personal revelation Fingersmith count) and it must have aired in the UK. 

Please feel free to share this around as I’m sure we’re all likely to forget something. Thank you so much!

An educational note. (tw: mentions of rape, domestic and sexual violence)

To veer off-topic for a post, I’d like to have a bit of a chat about teenagers, SRE & PSHE education. A couple of weeks ago now, the Children and Families Bill was up for new clauses in the House of Parliament. Admittedly, I’m not as up on the political home front as I am elsewhere (so please excuse the lack of correct terminology and feel free to correct), so when I heard about Rt Hon MP Stella Creasey’s draft of an addition centred around the requirements for Personal Social Health Education in the curriculum I was thrilled. I work in the Education system in a state secondary school with recent academy status, primarily with students with Special Educational Needs1. Part of the campaign to get it voted in involved letter writing to your local MP. And so I did. Sadly it didn’t pass, and my local MP voted against.

However, I did receive a letter yesterday from said MP, which left me more confused than satisfied. Continue reading

A Series Of Fortunate Interests: Teen Drama

For the first few some weeks of 2013, I’m going to be doing a series of posts about the things I’m taking with me through adulthood. My no-longer Guilty Pleasures. A Series of Fortunate Interests.

Can we all agree to pretend that this post was posted in timely fashion and not been trapped in my drafts since the 8th February? Fabulous, thank you. The last few months have been buried under a variety of work crises and panicking about academic standards. But, like a chastened and stressed out phoenix, I rise from the ashes of my intentions to begin anew. So basically: sorry. Part of my absence was down to having to write a 5,000 word essay for my Quality TV module. The brief was very open and, seeing as I care an awful lot about television genres that are unfairly derided, I spent those 5,000 words discussing how The O.C deserves a seat at the quality table. So naturally I bring you the first of my Series of Fortunate Interests: Teen Drama

Continue reading

Welcome 2013, I have plans for you.

Hello and a happy new year to you all. 2013 has begun with a slightly inauspicious start but, I have plans folks. Plans that mainly involve posting here regularly. (It’s my one resolution, I’m aiming high.)

If there’s one thing I hate most in the world (aside from war, violence, and the oppression of minorities), it’s the way we as a culture talk about growing up. Whenever I talk to someone at work or friends of my parents, there is this sense of adulthood being staid and stuck and serious, of ‘putting away childish things’ and moving on with your life. Listen, I am as much for adults not having temper tantrums in the aisles of Sainsbury’s and maybe we would all be better off if we actually communicated what we wanted instead of employing the passive aggressive techniques we learned as kids. But I am not up for letting go of the things that make me happy, adult or not.

Like most people I went through that awkward stage of adolescence where the pursuit of ‘cool’ was pretty much your goal. Admittedly, what I considered cool may well have been far from the zeitgeist but, it mattered to me. I wanted to be an adult, a cool adult with an ear to the underground and a thorough understanding of the Shakespearean canon. The things that brought me unadulterated, utterly un-serious joy began to form my list of ‘Guilty Pleasures’. I stopped talking about how much I liked Girls Aloud and how teen movies shaped my core personality because that didn’t seem adult.

Many people cleverer (and funnier) than me have already talked about how the idea of ‘guilty pleasures’ are bullshit. I’m not really here to unpack. What I am here to do is air that list in public. I may have forgotten most of Shakespeare’s history plays, but sometimes I listens to boybands and have a one person dance party in my bedroom. Sometimes I watch sitcoms on endless repeat because I need cheering up. And now, you’re going to hear about it. A lot.

For the first few weeks of 2013, I’m going to be doing a series of posts about the things I’m taking with me through adulthood. My no-longer Guilty Pleasures. A Series of Fortunate Interests.

Because, I don’t know about you, but I’m feeling twenty-two. And quite frankly, that means whatever I want it to mean.

2012: A Year in Retrospect

It is early morning on Christmas Eve and as I sit surrounded by reams of articles & chapters for an essay I have yet to start, my natural tendency for avoidance strikes again. I’m writing this from the cold exile of the spare room, the annual holiday tradition of handing over my room to visiting relatives for the Christmas period well and truly revived. As a result of all this festive nostalgia, it’s got me thinking about the past year and everything that’s come to pass. It’s maybe a week early for a retrospective but since I intend on being oblivious between the dates of the 30th and the 2nd of January, I feel this is my only shot. It’s been a long year 2012 and an odd one at that. But of all the post-2000s, I feel like finally I’ve had a really solid year.

You see, by comparison the latter half of 2011 was really difficult. When I moved back home after university pre-graduation, I wasn’t exactly in the best state. My anxiety was hitting critical mass, my self-esteem had taken various academic knocks (almost all entirely my own fault) and I was primarily existing in crisis mode. I’d like to think I put on a pretty good show of seeming on top of it but in reality I was ever so quietly freefalling. Would I ever get a job, would I ever figure out what I was going to do with my life, would my grandparents ever stop making pointed comments about my love life? Whilst the latter two still remain relatively unresolved, against all the odds, I got a job. And with that the tide began to change, little by little. By the time New Year’s Eve rolled around things were getting to an even keel. I also made myself an idle, unofficial promise: to love myself just a bit more.

At the risk of sounding vain or self-involved, I have always liked myself, both for my physical and personality attributes. I’ve always considered myself ‘alright’, nothing spectacular but generally positive. But I’ve never been hugely confident about any aspect of myself. For me, 2012 has really been about a good year for my confidence.

Continue reading

Top Five: Poems

In honour of National Poetry Day (which is swiftly drawing to a close), I decided to restart the blog with poetry. As you do. Seeing as how it’s nearly 11.00pm, you can tell exactly how long it took for me to whittle down my favourites to just five. These are in no particular order and totally subject to change. But, for now, here are my five of my favourite poems.

Continue reading

The Blogger Also Rises

Like many young people, during my teenage years I had the unfortunate habit of trying to keep a diary. At the time of buying the notebook and selecting the pen, I always had such ambition: I would become a real diarist! A keeper of journals! I would have a meticulous emotional record of my youth, bound in neat writing and a lovely cover for biographers to pore over with intrigue in years to come.

Of course what actually happened were entries like:

“I TURNED 14 TODAY!!!!!!!!!!”

Truly, the mind boggles faced with such brilliance. Despite these illuminating entries every single one of those notebooks ended up abandoned within about three months – sporadically written in at best. Much like this blog. It has become something of a ghost town, tumbleweeds rolling gently across the front page as previous posts gather dust. I’ve never been good at sticking to promises I make to myself, especially not ones that involve writing. I tend towards forgetfulness or sheer laziness, unable to motivate myself to leave a record. This is not much of an excuse. So starting with this new(ish) academic year, I am not letting myself off the hook. I will put this place to use. I will have something relatively worthwhile to say. And instead of crying about television on Twitter, I will come here and use real paragraphs. Capital letters and everything.

All of this is to say: bear with.

normal service will resume shortly

On faith and the lack of it.

So, earlier this evening I reblogged something on my personal Tumblr and added some tags about my feelings regarding atheism and faith.

#this is why i dislike about 70% of other atheists#YOU MAKE ME LOOK LIKE AN ARSEHOLE #I’M NOT! #I JUST DON’T BELIEVE IN GOD #having faith in something greater than yourself that cannot be quantified is one of the bravest things you can do in my book #so tearing that shit down because it doesn’t work for you is just fucking bullshit #our lack of faith or belief in an omnipotent being does not make us more intellectual #it does not make us more compassionate #it makes us nothing other than people who do not believe in god #that’s fucking it #end of #wine me the strength #sorry i have a lot of angry atheist feelings #BECAUSE AS A GROUP THERE IS A TENDENCY TOWARDS ELITIST DICKHEAD BEHAVIOUR #AND I HAVE NO TIME FOR IT OKAY #NO #FUCKING #TIME #i haven’t believe in god since i was eight years old and sat in church and realised it didn’t make any sense to me #but that’s me #and my disbelief #my absence of faith #does not qualify me as a better person than someone of faith #it says nothing about me other than i do not believe #it’s not hard #people having religious and spiritual faith is not stupid or offensive #the things that surround it can be #but the faith? #the act of believing? #is brave

My greatest mistake was probably a) putting it in the atheism tag over on Tumblr but also b) capslock. I’ll admit, that was down to some vodka and tonic. But for the most part, I still think that’s pretty dead on. A couple of people reblogged it with tags and I’ve actually been talking to people about it and it’s fostered discussion that I love. As someone who has not had faith for a very, very long time but whose friends are 90% religious/of faith, I do talk about it a fair amount. Mainly because I am always anxious to prove that not every atheist is going to be militant or knee-jerk aggressive, but also because I find faith fascinating especially as someone who does not have it. Sadly however, some people just like to show me up.

Continue reading