advice, philosophy, strenght

Save the Planet While Feeding Strays

Who says recycling doesn’t pay/is a scam/ doesn’t benefit anyone?

Well, no one can doubt it now, with Turkish organisation Pugedon’s new vending machines in Istanbul feeding stray dogs in exchange for recycling plastic bottles.

Huffpost states:

The Pugedon Smart Recycling Boxes operate at no charge to the city, and the recycled bottles cover the cost of the food.

The video, linked below, depicts the machine and its humanitarian ventures in heart-rendering scenes, and, with the escalation of economical stress in cities and the continued abandonment of animals in these highly populated areas, we can only hope to see more of them pop-up in further cities.

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literature, philosophy, strenght, writer

Gabriel Garcia Marquez Passes Away

Aged 87, the famed writer and Nobel-Prize winner Gabriel Garcia Maquez has passed from this world.

Writing primarily about the passions of his own ethnic background, Marquez published works depicting Latin-Americans. After accepting the Nobel prize for literature in 1982, Marquez said of his kin:

Source of insatiable creativity, full of sorrow and beauty, of which this roving and nostalgic Colombian is but one cipher more, singled out by fortune. Poets and beggars, musicians and prophets, warriors and scoundrels, all creatures of that unbridled reality, we have had to ask but little of imagination, for our crucial problem has been a lack of conventional means to render our lives believable.

[…]

His flamboyant and melancholy fictional works — among them “Chronicle of a Death Foretold,” ”Love in the Time of Cholera” and “Autumn of the Patriarch” — outsold everything published in Spanish except the Bible.

– Heffington Post.

Known as the most popular writer of magical realism – the mixing of the common and everyday with magical, imaginary and fantastic – Maquez, himself, was somewhat magical and today, truly, the world has lost a piece of that magic.

advice, feminism, feminist, misogyny, philosophy, race, racism, sexism, strenght, women

Ingrid Michaelson’s “Girls Chase Boys” and its Satire

Ingrid Michaelson’s new video “Girls Chase Boys” satires the hypersexualisation of the female form perfectly – by displacing it onto a male physique.

 

 

Michaelson’s video first introduces us to a make-clad, hypersexualised male face swaying sensuously to the music; then slips to an image of Michaelson singing with a troupe of racially diverse, and notably ripped men behind her in pink tops, loud make-up, and purple pants. Later, the song incorporates a selection of female dancers to join their male comrades in their own hypersexualised costume and make-up.

Essentially, the music video highlights the sexist and misogynistic connotation associated with the female form and the standards of perfection women are expected to exude; by alternating and re-positioning these ideals onto a male form.

Michaelson had this to say of the fun and bright video:

“Girls Chase Boys started out as a break up song but took on a deeper meaning as I continued writing. More than just being about my experience, its focus shifted to include the idea that, no matter who or how we love, we are all the same.

“The video takes that idea one step further and attempts to turn stereotypical gender roles on their head. Girls don’t exclusively chase boys. We all know this. We all chase each other and in the end we are all chasing after the same thing: love. I hope you enjoy it! AHHH!”

advice, feminism, feminist, misogyny, philosophy, poetry, sexism, women

“Pretty” Katie Makkai

Makkai’s live poetry performance “Pretty” is an incredible rendition of the insecurities and pressures which women face regarding their appearances and image. Popular media and current culture sustains these insecurities and pressures with a constant swell of unnatural advertisements and photoshopped models which Makkai performance decries; it is these precise images which encourage women to concern again and again over that timeless, superficial question “will I be pretty?”

When I was just a little girl, I asked my mother “What will I be? Will I be pretty? ” Will I be pretty? Will I be pretty?

What comes next? Oh right, will I be rich which is almost pretty depending on where you shop. And the pretty question infects from conception passing blood and breath into cells. The word hangs from our mothers’ hearts in a shrill of fluorescent floodlight of worry.

“Will I be wanted? Worthy? Pretty? But puberty left me this funhouse mirror dry add: teeth set at science fiction angles, crooked nose, face donkey-long, and pox-marked where the hormones went finger-painting.

My poor mother: “How could this happen? You’ll have porcelain skin as soon as we can see a dermatologist.” “You sucked your thumb. That’s why your teeth look like that! ” “You were hit in the face with a Frisbee when you were six, otherwise your nose would have been fine! ”

Don’t worry; we will get it all fixed she would say, grasping my face, twisting it this way and that as if it were a cabbage she might buy. But, this is not about her. Not her fault, she, too, was raised to believe the greatest asset she could bestow upon her awkward little girl was a marketable appearance.

By sixteen I was pickled by ointments, medications, peroxides. Teeth corralled into steel prongs, laying in a hospital bed. Face packed with gauze, cushioning the brand new nose the surgeon had carved.

Belly gorged on two pints of my own blood I had swallowed under anesthesia, and every convulsive twist, like my body screaming at me from the inside out “What did you let them do to you? ” All the while, this never ending chorus groaning on and on like the IV needle dripping liquid beauty into my blood.

“Will I be pretty? ” Will I be pretty like my mother, unwrapping the gift wrap to reveal the bouquet of daughter her $10,000 bought her? Pretty? Pretty.

And now I have not seen my own face in ten years. I have not seen my own face in ten years, but this is not about me! This is about the self-mutilating circus we have painted ourselves clowns in. About women who will prowl thirty stores in six malls to find the right cocktail dress, but haven’t a clue where to find fulfillment or how to wear joy, wandering through life shackled to a shopping bag, beneath those two pretty syllables.

This, this is about my own some-day daughter. When you approach me, already stung-stayed with insecurity, begging, “Mom, will I be pretty? Will I be pretty? , ” I will wipe that question from your mouth like cheap lipstick and answer no.

The word pretty is unworthy of everything you will be, and no child of mine will be contained in five letters. You will be pretty intelligent, pretty creative, pretty amazing, but you will never be merely “pretty.”

– Katie Makkai

feminism, feminist, misogyny, philosophy, sexism, women

Women Need to [Insert Text Here], Should be [Insert Text Here], Shouldn’t be [Insert Text Here], Cannot [Insert Text Here]

To this day, self-identified feminists are still asked why they associate with what is commonly mistaken as an outdated movement: ‘why are you a feminist?’; ‘why do we need feminism?’; ‘why is feminism important?’

UN Women’s latest ad campaign provides a series of shocking and telling images answering these questions.

womecannot...unwomen

The campaign, devised by Memac Ogilvy & Mather Dubai, uses search engine Google’s autocomplete feature to reveal just how potent and present sexism and misogyny is in contemporary culture. The autocomplete feature mentioned is a platform which provides a list of the most popular and common queries pursued on the popular search engine; and these are the results which we are presented with by UN Women.

womenshouldnt...unwomen

The team behind the images are voiced their own outrage at the hostility and prejudice behind these blatantly sexist prejudices. Art director, Christopher Hunt commented on the process of working with UN Women and just how deeply these the existence of these searches affected him and his creative team:

“When we came across these searches, we were shocked by how negative they were and decided we had to do something with them”

Copy writer, Kareem Shuhaibar, also, expressed how shocked he was at the archaic and backward nature of these beliefs:

“The ads are shocking because they show just how far we still have to go to achieve gender equality. They are a wake up call, and we hope that the message will travel far.”

womenneedto...unwomen

With regard to Memac Ogilvy & Mather Dubai’s design it is rather genius in its simplicity: depicting women of different age, ethnicity and race being silenced by these unpopular – and yet still disturbingly popular – searches. The Google searches were cataloged on March 9, 2013 and recent searches provide similar – if not more disturbing – queries and opinions.

womenshould...unwomen

In an experiment of curiosity I begin typing “women deserve to be respected.”

As far as “women deserve to” I was greeted with several disquieting suggestions: to be abused; to die; to be loved; to be pursued. 1 out of four of those suggestions is acceptable; the others prove that, yes, feminism is a desperately required and needed movement in our current culture, especially if these posters are any indication of how majorities regard women.

Let’s try putting this in perspective: website Statistic Brain details that in 2012, Google was hit by approximately 5,134,000,000 searches a day; and these are examples of the most popular searches regarding women. But, hey, who needs feminism?

advice, feminism, feminist, philosophy, women

Powerful Woman Motto Mug

I was never one of those “favourite mug” people. So long as my tea/coffee was piping hot and sugary, I was a happy camper.

That’s all changed now; thanks to this beauty.

powerfulwomensmoto

Such a small thing really – with some glaring punctuation and grammar issues to boot – but with every morning cup of coffee, every night-time sup of tea, and the occasional hot chocolate treat, I remind myself to live by this philosophy; the take-no-prisoners, fierce, powerful lifestyle.

Maybe it’s a little chauvinistic, a bit over-the-top, and completely competitive in its message; but maybe it’s also a doctrine more of us should live by. Our society – especially – expects and praises the quiet, polite, conforming individual (it is an especially desired quality in women, unfortunately…) but by this stage in my own life, I would prefer to be disliked for being a little too outspoken, rather be a topic of tabletop gossip for not taking anyone’s crap, and delight in pissing off a person or too for defending myself in the face of any adversity. These things always provide great discussion topics during a night out with the people who like that side of you!

I spent too many years the quiet little lady trying to keep everyone else happy; this little gem reminds me to be better than that. To be myself in every manner possible, as loudly as possible (I’m afraid!).

Remind yourself, everyday, and you’ll make everyone else shudder at your feet too.

But if you feel that you, too, need to see the message in front of your face every day, find the mug on amazon and enjoy that hot beverage. You deserve it.