Monday, 22 May 2017

Reasons Why I Will Not Vote Tory

(I am currently half way through another blog post, but my god this needs writing).

I'd like to tip my hat to Theresa May, this evening. Why, you ask? On the basis that I didn't think she could stoop any lower or miss the point even more than she already has. Lady, you are laughable and you disgust me.

Right, I'll point out once more than I am not politically minded. Before last year, I didn't bother taking notice. But oh my god. I am shocked by the number of people that do not vote, and the sway they have over the election. It is appalling. It is two minutes out of your day, to really make a difference.

In case it wasn't already obvious, I wanted to list the reasons I will not be voting Tory in the general election on June 8th.

I'm going to start with something I read today. I found it on facebook. But it came from Theresa May's official facebook page. I link you to the post, here. Whether you read it or not, I found it disgusting and is full of reasons not to vote conservative. This was my favourite paragraph, though:

'Labour’s plan – with its fantastical promises and utopian vision – would drag this country back to the past. It would undo all the progress we have made, return us to the days when the trade unions held sway, and put our economic security at risk'.

Did anybody else feel the urge to laugh at this? I, for one, do not feel as though we have made progress at all. We are putting the vulnerable at risk in this country. Today, I read an article regarding May's ideas surrounding the elderly and health care and its limitations! I can only see the ways in which she and her leadership are targeting the vulnerable. The Fat Cats remain 'strong and stable' whilst the rest of us are on a steady decline.

She continues to state that they will fund schools- including new waves of 'selective schools' to ensure that young people have the best start in life. At this point I started wondering if she could hear herself. Education should not have the word 'selective' anywhere near it. Education should be universally accessible. I don't feel very supported, as a young person, in my journey toward a good life. Under her government, my tuition fees have gone up. The interest rate on these fees have gone up. And my stress levels have gone up with them. Oh, and it's worth mentioning that the threshold for paying your loans back was twenty five thousand pounds before this year. I reapplied a few weeks ago; and this has come down to twenty one thousand pounds. I will be now paying my loans back sooner than I thought and I'd be lying if I said that this thought didn't scare me. If I said that this change didn't have an impact on my wanting to do a masters. In comparison, Corbin is promising to abolish tuition fees. I don't think this is either possible or going to happen at all but you know what? The incentive is pretty damn good. The fact that this guy gives a shit enough about students to benefit them.

Theresa May wants children to have the best start in life, and yet she has announced that she plans to remove free school dinners for thousands and thousands of school children. Who in the hell does this benefit? This is madness.

Following this, May has proven herself to be a liar time and time again. Did she not campaign for 'remain' during the EU referendum? She argued that Brexit would 'risk Britain's future'. Yet now she is the face of Brexit, with her infamous slogan 'strong and stable' driving us all crazy. Do we all remember her saying that there would be no 'snap-election', yet here we are with the deadline to register to vote looming over us. Now, she introduces what the public are calling 'dementia tax'.

"Andrew Gwynne, Labour’s election co-ordinator, branded the Prime Minister “weak and unstable”, adding: “She is unable to stick to her own manifesto for more than four days".

Strong and stable is fine. But I want a strong and stable leader. A leader who does not refuse to participate in debates with other politicians and yet insists she is capable of leading us through Brexit and negotiating with something like twenty seven other countries. I want a leader who does not make so many damn u-turns. A leader with a clear vision that she is dedicated to. A leader with the best interests of this country at heart. Theresa May is not that leader. Sure it would be fantastic to have a strong and stable leader that was female; a elected female prime minister. I'm sure there will be those that argue this. But I am voting who I think is the strongest and the most stable leader. I am sure as hell not voting for a woman who voted against gay marriage, not just once but ten times. So on June 8th I will be voting Labour. I have no regrets.

There is so much uncertainty right now. I can only hope that the right choice is made.

Friday, 12 May 2017

Here's to tough weeks and perseverance...

Okay, so this week is mental health awareness week. You're probably thinking 'oh no. Not another post on mental health'. But I love weeks like this. Weeks that highlight mental health make me happy and comfortable. It's as though there are these days and weeks throughout the year where it is more socially acceptable to admit that you're struggling with anxiety, depression, and similar conditions.

I cannot stress enough how important raising awareness of these issues is. There is so much stigma that still surrounds them and I do not know why. I am sure that a lot of people would consider themselves to have a good standard of awareness of mental health issues. But I very much beg to differ. If we were as aware as we needed to be, then the world would not need shows like Thirteen Reasons Why. I have been so many pictures, tweets, and posts this week, and I started writing this post on Monday. I have read so much that the world has posted in support of this week. And it has made me feel so very happy and supported and I wanted to join in. I found Matt Haig the best at putting things into words.  This particular tweet was my favourite. It really sums me up as a person and I was very grateful for it. Matt Haig has a wonderful habit of making me feel very normal (I still hate this word).

I am much more open about my mental health than I used to be. When I was younger I couldn't even imagine being in a position where I wasn't hurting myself on a daily basis, never mind being able to reflect upon this so positively. Apparently being this open is a tad unusual and my lecturer informed me that I am much more open than he was at my age. But I had a teacher in high school that used to tell me that my experiences would one day come in useful. I don't know whether they are useful, per say. But I am not ashamed anymore. So why not write about it? I see no sense in hiding something that has contributed to my character. I would like to note that they have contributed, not defined, however.

I suppose you could count what I did this week as research. And I discovered something that I know I am very guilty of. I often separate my mental health from my physical health. But I think we all do! Okay, so if I get a cold it's a physical condition and it's just a cold. But if I'm having a day in which panic attacks are frequent, even though they physically affect me, I refer to it as a 'bad mental health day' or something alike. I wish that it were socially acceptable to state that 'I am having a bad anxiety day'. However frequent, or extensive these periods are, I would sure as hell be grateful for the opportunity and room in which to say it. Mental Health is more important, I think, than the majority think. In some places and situations, I do feel comfortable sharing. I have a wonderful group of friends at university, and I know I could turn to Chelsey or Lauren at any point and inform them of my anxiety. I am grateful for this. I just wish that I could do this more widely, and that other people could.

I have a friend at work who suffers with small bouts of anxiety. A couple of weeks ago we started to refer to these sudden, sometimes unexplainable, bouts as 'having a Walter'. Now, having a Walter can refer to anything from the smallest feeling of anxiety to the biggest panic attack one can have in the middle of a shift. Even if this friend and I do not share what is bothering us or what's caused the anxiety/panic, it is very helpful to be able to share what I am feeling and have somebody understand. More often than not, we hug and go about our shifts. This definetly makes me feel better and makes things more bearable. I know that it seems silly that the smallest acts of kindness can have the most impact, but it's true. It's the little things.

I know that I talk about self love and care a lot these days. But not so long ago I realised how important they were to prolonging a period of good mental health. Right now, self love for me is binge watching some series on Netflix in my room and eating some good food. Tonight, my poison is Pretty Little Liars and iced buns. I understand that it isn't always easy to provide love and care for your body, especially with a mental illness. But I also understand that because of this, it's important that I recognise my own small victories. I know that I am way too hard on myself, all the time. I am my toughest critic and I had another high school teacher that used to say that I was guilty of catastrophizing situations. This was my biggest problem. But now, at twenty years old, I would like to think I am better at being rational.

I know that I do not give myself or my body enough credit, and weeks such as these remind me that I am wrong for this. My body does a great job in keeping me going, and after the shit I have put it through it really deserves some love. As soon as my exams are over in six days time, I will be exercising regularly and eating properly and maybe even sleeping a bit better. I can't wait.

But I wish that more people knew that healing is the furthest thing from linear. I wish I could have planned out my recovery from self harm. I wish it had been smoother. It sounds clich├ęd but life does not work like that and recovery doesn't either. Some days are always going to be harder than others, whether you are recovering form something or coping with anxiety and/or depression. But the best advice I can give to anybody is to be gentle with themselves. Any mental health condition can make a person feel alone but it is so so important to remember that you're not. I think here is a good time to drop in one of my favourite Jennifer Niven quotes:

“Dear friend, You are not a freak. You are wanted. You are necessary. You are the only you there is. Don’t be afraid to leave the castle. It’s a great big world out there. Love, a fellow reader” 

If you're into poetry, then Rupi Kaur has a hell of a lot to say about self love and in some ways has inspired me. Also, I wholeheartedly recommend The Mighty! It has so much on there including personal accounts of experiences with mental illness and that help me feel a little bit more normal. (A few paragraphs down, still hating that word!) I know that I suggested Rupi Kaur and The Mighty but I wanted to share a picture of helpful books. Of course I am going to recommend both of Jennifer Niven's young adult novels. But there are books such as Liz Gilbert's Eat Pray Love, Gayle Forman's I Was Here, Matt Haig's Reasons to Stay Alive, Holly Bourne, The Bell Jar and even The Catcher in the Rye.

I guess what I've been trying to say in this post is that I am not okay. I am not okay more than I care to admit. But that is okay. I am not a failure, or a mess, or crazy because of it.

This week is tough for me and full of varying degrees of Walters for a number of reasons. But most deadlines and a lack of sleep. I am getting there though and every day that I do a little bit of prep for my exam is an achievement. I was really happy with my Shakespeare essay. Who knows what it will come back as though. Honestly the terms feel so so short these days and that does not help with anxiety.

Okay, last couple of things before I return to my university work. If you can do one thing consistently, then be kind. It can save lives. If you can remember one thing, it should be that you are not alone and you are worth more than you think.

We must step away from this sickening ignorance and stop the stigma.

To all of you having a tough week, students and beyond, you can do this.

Saturday, 29 April 2017

On turning twenty and practising self love

Good evening folks. It's my last few hours of been a teenager, so I thought it warranted a blog post of sorts. I'm a little bit excited to be turning twenty, and yet a little scared. I feel as though I should have, for want of a better phrase, my shit together. I feel as though I should be more together. I don't know. Twenty just suddenly seems very adult, and very real. Instead of getting my life together, I am drinking a mango capri sun in the aftermath of a pizza and cheesy fries. I've always been told I am an old head on young shoulders, but drinking juice from a carton does not seem very mature.

I've finally finished a book! I started re-reading A Court of Mist and Fury whilst I was writing my last post. I had forgotten how much I loved that book and had actually confused the endings. I, for some reason, thought that Rhysand had almost died or something. Turns out Feyre is trapped in the spring court with Tamlin. Who knew, right? Anyway, A Court of Wings and Ruin is released in 3 days! I repeat, 3 days! I finish work at four that day and am planning to boycott any of my responsibilities in order to read it in one sitting.

I've also been intermittently reading some Rupi Kaur. Milk and Honey is one heart-wrenchingly beautiful collection of poetry. I have her collection in Kindle edition and was reading it in Waterstones this morning. If reading Milk and Honey has taught me anything, its about self love. I am learning sometimes things are simply beyond my control and the best thing I can do for myself is to put myself first. Sometimes I will have to respect and love myself enough to walk away from things that are no longer causing me to grow. I think more often than not I mistake self love for selfishness and the two are so different.

My twentieth year will hopefully see some more self love.

Right, it's only a short one for tonight as I have some more essay work to do, a short nap to take, and some make up to put on before going out to celebrate. I hope you all have a week filled with happiness and books.

Good night guys, and let's all pray that I don't wake up with the mother of all hang overs tomorrow morning.

Monday, 24 April 2017

April Fairy Loot

Happy Fairy Loot unboxing guys!!

I have been beyond excited about this box for the last few weeks. Partly because last months box was so wonderful and because I am really struggling for something to read at the moment. I'm not sleeping very well and I'm very stressed about university assignments. It is not that I am struggling for something to read but rather I am struggling to read. I cannot get invested enough in a book to get past ten percent. I am hoping that this book will get me out of this rut. Fingers crossed, eh?

Anyway this months theme was Dreams and Wishes and only had two literary influences that were Sarah J Maas' A Court of Mist and Fury and Samantha Shannon's The Bone Season. Naturally, I was beyond excited given the named influences!

Okay so I knew that this box was going to feature a mug and this was the first item that I pulled out of the box. It came in a cube shaped black box with the Fairy Loot logo on and the box was adorable on its own! But then I pulled out the mug. It features possibly one of my favourite quotes from A Court of Mist and Fury: 'To the stars who listen and the dreams that are answered'. It is a really good quality and is so so pretty! I think it is possibly my favourite item in this months box. A Court of Mist and Fury is one of my favourite books and Rhysand is one beautiful character.

Okay, so the next item took some digging amongst the signature purple curls. A candle by Meraki Candles. This one is called Reverie, referring to the action of being lost in thoughts and daydreams. It smells absolutely beautiful and has pink glitter blended in. Like everything else I am now building up a collection of bookish candles which have mostly come from Fairy Loot and Owl Crate. The tins are always absolutely beautiful too. I really don't know if I'll ever light them but I do like having them.

There were a couple of promotional pictures in the box, one of which was Spindlefire. Oh my god I cannot wait to read this book. My student loan just came in so I think I might have to invest. Though I am still trying to persuade myself to read Long May She Reign by Rhiannon Thomas, purely because I am waiting for an ebook version. I have some reservations about it, and I am rapidly running out of space for hardbacks, or books in general.

The next item I came across was one of the most beautiful A6 notebooks that I have ever seen. It is purple and has the word 'ruby' printed on the front and the inside cover was red and sparkly and pretty. Again, I don't know if I will ever actually write in it. I have a terrible habit of buying notebooks and not using them, because they are too beautiful!

 The next thing I found was folded up. It was a beautiful purple colour and I was fascinated. It turned out to be a tote bag. Okay, so anybody that knows me well knows that I have an unhealthy obsession with bookish totes. I have so many Pride and Prejudice tote bags of all different designs. I have a Virginia Woolf penguin tote bag. My most recent tote is one designed by Johanna Basford; the lady who illustrates the Enchanted Forest colouring book. It is absolutely beautiful. But this one? Came with a quote on from Samantha Shannon's The Mime Order. I think I squealed! I absolutely love this item. It is perfect. I couldn't not share a picture with you guys.

The second item in this picture is a fridge magnet. My fridge is like the most impersonal item in the house. Very few magnets or anything. I actually only have one magnet; a big bang theory inspired one. It has the lyrics from Soft Kitty on it and is so cute. This one is so sweet! I am once again saving it for a new flat but I cannot wait to put it on the fridge!

Okay, the third and final item is one that I missed the first two times that I went digging in this box. I only realised it was there when I read the summary card in the box. For the first time ever, Fairy Loot included a pin! It's a little jar of dreams and wishes and it is cute. It has gone in my box of bookish pins. One day I want to decorate a tote bag in them.

 This months book was one that I had never heard of before. It was called Given to the Sea by Mindy McGinnis. It has a beautiful cover and you can see what its about here. Whilst in the middle of writing this post I decided to reread Sarah J Maas' A Court of Mist and Fury as the third book in this series is released on May 2nd. I have missed these characters so so much. But I cannot wait to start reading this book.

A pile of books is growing up to reach my bed. I am seriously running out of room. But I am still counting on books for my birthday on sunday. I am a little excited.

I apologise for the mess that is my bookshelves too!

On a side note I had two assignments back today, and I had been convinced that I was going to fail them. I managed two firsts and I am so so very happy. It's shaping up to be a good week. Congratulations to everyone that passed today. Especially Soph who literally couldn't get over the shock of her grade.

Have a good week guys. I'll be back soon!

Saturday, 15 April 2017

Thirteen Reasons Why review (...part two)

So last night I finished Thirteen Reasons Why. It has taken me about a week. You can find the first here. I was incredibly grateful for Chelsey being here whilst I watched it.
part of my review  At this point I'll post a spoiler alert. Like if you haven't got beyond episode six of this series, do not carry on reading. I will ruin it for you and you will hate me.

The tone became so much more sinister as I continued to watch from episode six. We went from sexism to sexual assault. To brutal, horrifying scenes of rape that made me cringe. To violence, and we watch as Bryce beats Clay to a pulp for asking the right questions. The second half of this series was even more painful to watch than the first.

There were so so many controversial scenes in these last seven episodes. Like why does Justin practically let Bryce rape his girlfriend? Justin lets that b****rd into the room, knowing that Jessica is drunk and vulnerable. Okay, so bro-culture?! Justin made it sound as though he had given Jessica to him, briefly, as a thank you for all that Bryce had done for him. For all the shoes he had bought him to play basketball in. No amount of shoes, or free lodgings, in the world could make me sell a loved one out in such a way. Then to deny it to Jessica? The transition in Jessica's character was astounding and she was played amazingly well. From the minute she is told that she has been raped, she starts to wear baggier clothing. to wear short skirts less and less. And she pushes Justin as far away from her as he can get. I would have liked to know what happened to Jessica.

I began to like, and have so much sympathy for Hannah Baker. I cried for her. I wanted the end to be different. I wanted her to not die. I also found that I had a favourite character; Tony. Tony was intent on carrying out this final act of distributing the tapes, for Hannah. It is Tony that aids Clay through processing his own tape. Tony is probably the only good person left alive in this series.

Did I hate anybody? Bryce. Who thinks that every girl in school is asking to be raped. Courtney. Ashamed to be gay. It was so easy to hate Courtney when female characters such as Sherri were facing up to their crimes. Sherri reports herself to the police, and faces a sentence! While Courtney conspires against a dead Hannah Baker in order to prevent her two homosexual parents from finding out that she might be, wait for it... gay! Good god. Courtney Crimson is one of most ridiculously disgusting characters I have ever come across. I also reserved a special spot for Mr Porter, the school counsellor who ignored the signs.

Mr Porter is the last person that Hannah Baker confides in and attempts to ask for help. Hannah opens the last episode, and her final tape with the statement that she has decided 'to give life one last try'. And even though I knew she had 'failed', as she put it, because we are listening to these tapes, I began to hope.

Instead, Mr Porter questions her about whether or not she asked her rapist to stop, or told him no. Then he states: 'maybe you consented and then changed your mind'. A young girl is sat at his desk, after being raped. And this is where I began to understand why these teens are so close knit. Why they insist on dealing with things on their own. Because either the adults don't understand, or don't want to understand. Before asking for the name of her attacker, Mr Porter questions whether or not Hannah has been around alcohol or drugs at the party. Okay, why is this relevant?! If a young woman is telling you that she has been raped, then you should be doing your best to help her. Not questioning the credibility of her statement. The victims are never 'asking for it' and to imply otherwise is damaging and a disgusting attitude to have. The victims are never to blame.

Both rapes that occur, those of Hannah and Jessica, are significant with regard to their cinematography in that they both prevent the male gaze. We see the true effects of Hannah's rape in extreme close ups of her clenched fist, that slowly releases itself as something dies inside her eyes. We see her face in a close up, with her eyes wide open as if they are taped that way. She is stuck, and does not move an inch. I am disgusted to think that the words 'no' or 'stop' are the only way a woman can express a refusal to have sex. She must verbalise these thoughts otherwise she has given consent. I'd say the fact that she tried to run away, and literally lay there motionless pretty strongly implies a lack of consent. Wouldn't you?!

Jessica's rape is shown from Hannah's point of view, and then from Jessica's point of view. The opportunity to see this as sexy has been removed and the brutality of rape shines through. I guess a lot of people are questioning whether the graphic nature of these scenes is really necessary. Jay Asher has admitted that they are quite graphic, and a little severe. But he does believe that this is necessary, because the very discussion of rape makes us uncomfortable. This, among many other reasons, is why victims are hesitant to come forward following an attack. I couldn't agree more. Maybe it is about time society stopped being so squeamish.

Thirteen Reasons why also handles the subject of self harm, very well I think. Skye, when talking to Clay, states that the rest of the teenagers handle their lives and get on with it, instead of killing themselves. Clay grabs her hand, and reveals her bloodied and scarred wrist. He declares that self harm is not coping. This made me smile a little bit. Thank god, finally somebody said it! Like rape, we are funny about issues of mental health. There is a hell of a lot of stigma still floating around, so to have this very clearly on camera was refreshing.

Episode Thirteen was an interesting one, for want of a better word. Ill warn you that it is graphic. Really graphic, and comes with a warning before the episode. I thought I'd cry. At first I covered my face with my hands, only to peak through my fingers. Not because I wanted to see Hannah's demise. But because I felt like I owed it to her, after all that I had seen. I felt as though, in a weird way, I needed to see it. As soon as she made that first cut, my body seized up. I drew my legs a little bit closer to my chest and everything locked. It was a pretty strange feeling at the time. I didn't know whether I wanted to cry, throw up or laugh awkwardly. Why would I want to laugh? Because I felt so uncomfortable, as if I was entreating on a private moment. I don't know what it was. But I know my entire body went through an experience whilst seeing Hannah Baker commit suicide. And I know that I never want to relive it. I will never rewatch this series, though I will reread the book after this.

My eyes only started to fill up when Mrs Baker finds her. She kids herself that her baby girl is still alive and it broke me. A literal blood bath.

I questioned in my first review, whether or not these kids were to blame. I think some of them are, yes. But not all. People like Sherri, who were just worried about saving their own skin. She did not mean to hurt Hannah. But Courtney Crimson, who even after Hannah's death is still willing to sell the girl out and blame her for her own suicide? She isn't even mature enough to accept that she might have been in the wrong somewhere along the line. Of course I blame characters like Bryce. I felt sympathy for characters like Clay.

But you have to question where they're skewered ideas come from. They are growing up in a world where women are 'asking for it' and slut shaming is very very difficult to avoid. I read this article from The Huffington Post today, and it discusses the effects of slut shaming. To call a woman a 'slut', a 'whore', or whatever, is to make her a target for sexual assault. Tanenbaum states that 'slut shaming is really just a catchy way to signify old-fashioned sexism'. It's wrong and one list declaring that Hannah Baker has the 'best ass' in her class ends up making several male characters thinking she is fair game. It ruins her high school experience and results in something very severe. I'm not suggesting that slut shaming drives people to suicide every day. But I am stating that it is a very dangerous concept. It just warrants some thought, I think.

There were so many unanswered questions at the end of the episode. But I find myself comfortable with these questions. I do not want them answering, and I feel I have seen enough. Though I can't help but wonder about the people that are stating, on social media, how much the show has touched them and had an impact on their opinions. I wonder how many of these people have said self harm is attention seeking. I wonder how many of them are the people I shared my break with a couple of weeks ago.

Thirteen Reasons Why is brutally honest and captures our wilful ignorance on camera, for once.

Friday, 7 April 2017

Thirteen Reasons Why... (I'm only on episode six but I'm going to review anyway)

'You can't stop the future.
You can't rewind the past.
The only way to learn the secret . . . is to press play.

Clay Jensen returns home from school to find a strange package with his name on it lying on his porch. Inside he discovers several cassette tapes recorded by Hannah Baker--his classmate and crush--who committed suicide two weeks earlier. Hannah's voice tells him that there are thirteen reasons why she decided to end her life. Clay is one of them. If he listens, he'll find out why.

Clay spends the night crisscrossing his town with Hannah as his guide. He becomes a firsthand witness to Hannah's pain, and as he follows Hannah's recorded words throughout his town, what he discovers changes his life forever'. (Taken from

So I read Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher many many years ago. One of my oldest friends lent it to me when I was about thirteen or fourteen, and it was quite possibly the first YA books I ever read. At the time, I would have been self harming (okay, I said it. Bye bye readers! Oh, and hello to the people I had to sit with the other day at work whilst they deemed self harm attention seeking. This is for you guys). So this would have been of a comfort to me, and something I would have liked to think that I understood properly. Boy, was I wrong! Watching this again, six or seven years later is simultaneously the best and worst decision I could have made with regard to my viewing habits. I know so much more about the world now, and this has really affected by viewing experience of the series.

Thirteen Reasons Why is packed full of so many controversial topics. Sexism, the perils of social media, suicide, self harm, homosexuality, and teenagers in general. I think they get a bad rep in this novel/series. But on the other hand it is about time we got to see something hard hitting. We can't keep sticking with the idea that they're not all bad. Technically, I am still a teenager. But the teens presented by Jay Asher resemble more of a high school cult. All of the adults are presented as over emotional, protective and yet half assed outsiders. It is quite terrifying and made me a little uncomfortable. These teenagers are of the opinion that they can handle things alone, and refuse to consult an adult on issues of rape, sexual assault, and bullying.

I find Hannah Baker quite terrifying and always have done. I fear her and I am not entirely sure why, because I feel an immense about of sympathy, for her, simultaneously. She is subjected to a whole variety of rumours and labels including 'slut', 'whore', 'lesbian', 'crazy' and 'best ass' in the sophomore class. When Hannah Baker explains to Clay why she is upset about being put up against her best friend on the list for best ass, he presumes she is ungrateful. That she doesn't understand how much of an honour it is when there is some pretty stiff competition. I was outraged by this, as you can expect. Hannah Baker points out that teenage girls are much less likely to make a list like this about teenage boys., But what she neglects to point out is that the reason for this, is because the same teenage girls are too busy objectifying other teenage girls along with the teenage boys. Nobody gives a shit which teenage boy has the best ass. These labels are only applicable to young girls,apparently. This is so disgusting. Even Hannah's friends are of the opinion it is okay to fuel these labels, because she already has them. She is consistently betrayed in the worst ways. Slut shaming is not okay, ever and neither is subjecting anybody to this kind of objectification.

I wonder what other viewers think about the questions I have. Are these kids really to blame for Hannah Baker's suicide? Or are they simply just acting in the way that has been demonstrated to them. These teenagers can only at in the way that has been prescribed to them. They conform to expectations. God only knows what their role models were like. And is Hannah Baker really a reliable source, is she a liar? Nobody really knows but I do consider her to have some credibility. Perhaps that's because of her circumstances, because she killed herself. Maybe I believe she is more genuine because of this. Because I don't believe that people kill themselves over lies.

I think my problem with this novel/series is that I feel a great distance with regard to the characters. It's a distance, though, that I think I have put there myself rather than Jay Asher deciding I needed to remain at a distance from these characters. I don't find any of them endearing. I feel sympathy for each and everyone one of them. Especially Hannah and her parents, and clay. I wondered if their flawed nature is what makes them so appealing. What I mean to say is that I don't root for any of these characters. Not even Clay. Maybe this will change as I reach the end of the series.

The events of Thirteen Reasons Why originally took place in one night. However, I enjoy that it takes place over a time period. It is impossibly unreasonable to expect somebody to play tapes that are as traumatic as these in one night.

There are quite a few trigger warnings online for this series, and apparently it's not difficult to see why. Chelsey has been sending me updates, as she's much further ahead than me, identifying where the triggering bits may be. (Thank you so much Chels!) I had to sit back and really consider if I find this show triggering. Erm I think there might be a difference between finding something uncomfortable and finding it triggering. I think it makes me feel uncomfortable and very sad, but not to such a severe degree. Though I can see why other people would consider it triggering. I am somehow dreading her suicide scene.

So I found this little message on facebook. I really appreciated that such an important thing was being shared online. But it broke my heart a little bit, all the same. How many people have to die before we understand this, truly? Before we comprehend how serious words are, and how much power is behind them. It should not need spelling out that you could seriously hurt somebody. How many more people (including fictional characters) have to die, and be subjected to such carelessness.

I still hate the label 'crazy'. And slag and slut.

I'm trying not to preach. I'm just asking for you to remember to be kind, always. Words have a bigger impact than you think.

Night night guys.

Wednesday, 5 April 2017

Paradise Lost...

Okay, first of all I wanted to start with an acknowledgement. A friend asked me to put this here, last week and as I haven't been blogging much this week, I thought I'd post it now.  I laughed so much at her inventive cover of Paradise Lost. Eve has never looked better, and she even has underwear on when you lift up her dress. Eve is one interesting character, and I am reading a whole book about her representations at the moment. The artist that reinvented this cover is completely crazy and drives me nuts during lectures most weeks. But I did appreciate this, a lot.

Anyway, this week has been a good week, guys. I finished my forum post on Paradise Lost in time. But it was excessively over the top with regard to my word count. If my lecturers read this, I am sorry I wrote so much! I have two more to do by tomorrow. This is exciting.

I have more good news! I had my interview at work yesterday, for a managers position. It went very well and I am now a trainee manager. I am very excited.

Okay, so this is only going to be a short one due to the fact that I am currently in between lectures. But I'm currently reading three books at once; I am still reading Laini Taylor's Daughter of Smoke and Bone. I am half way through and I am in love. It is beautifully magic and definetly embodies characteristics of Pan's Labyrinth. Karou is so candid, to the best of her ability. We are just as much in the dark as she is. I cannot wait to finish reading this book and continue you with the rest of the series.

I am also reading Fowles' The French Lieutenant's Woman for my class on the realist novel. Fowles literally breaks the fourth wall and it made me physically uncomfortable! But I am enjoying this book immensely! I will try my best to remember to post a review afterwards. I'd just like to finish a book first.

And finally I am reading Paradise Lost for my Shakespeare and the renaissance class. Interesting book, but I am not planning on reading the whole thing. Satan is very endearing, and that's something I never thought I would type.

What are you all reading this week?