Standing with victims of assault

This week the news has been focused on the allegations against Hollywood bigshot Harvey Weinstein, with scores of women coming forward to state that he has sexually assaulted, or in some cases, raped them. While the sheer amount of women coming forward is shocking, what was more so was the reaction of people around the world shaming the victims.

There was a variety of reasons why these women were set upon, claims that they had ‘waited too long’, that they were ‘asking for it’ or wanting attention. Some questioned whether these women were telling the truth. There was something missing, however, the trauma these women will have gone through and the outrage at Weinstein.

The fact that, yet again, women speaking out have come under fire when they have faced assault, to me, shows why we need feminism still in modern society. Rather than believe that these women have encountered a sexual predator. Their stories match up again and again. A young actress invited to a meeting about their career by a powerful man at a hotel, lead to his room where he attempted to get sexual favours or assaulted them.

With names such as Angelina Jolie, Kate Beckinsale, Cara Delevigne and Gwyneth Paltrow all speaking about their own encounters we should be celebrating them for speaking out. Assault is incredibly difficult for a person to overcome and as these women speak out, and many more as the days pass, we shouldn’t be shaming them.

Unfortunately, we may never know the extent of this. This was a blatant act of using power to cause fear in young women. Knowing he was an incredibly successful figure, Weinstein, appeared to see himself as untouchable and able to treat these young women as he liked. At the time of writing, he is not working and has checked into a rehab centre. I’m hoping that in the coming weeks a police investigation will take things further.

If this case highlighted anything at all it’s that we need to think about the way we treat victims when they speak out. Instead of instantly questioning and trying to guess if they are guilty or not or if they ‘just want attention’. To imagine what they have gone through and the courage it must take to go to the police. We need to stand with victims of assault, and not to forget men can be victims too, and show them that they can speak out without fear or judgement.

Feminist Friday: Standing With Our Sisters in 2017

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It would be easy to say that, so far, 2017 hasn’t been a great year for women around the world. With the new President often making sexist comments, wanting to shut down Planned Parenthood, make abortions illegal etc, we thought we’d seen a bad hit. We came back with marches around the world. Later Russia were happy to decriminalise domestic abuse in the first instance, another hard pill to swallow for women. Every day we hear more and more stories in the news of girls being the victims of honour killings, acid attacks and the like. It’s easy to feel overwhelmed, scared and confused about how things have gone so, so wrong when it’s only February.

Of course, we’ve also seen women and men speaking out against such injustices. Speak out against the governments letting women down and continuing to do so. I worried, when writing this blog that I was talking about the USA again. I feel like I think and write about it a lot, this isn’t because the UK doesn’t have it’s problems, it’s not because I don’t care about women who have it worse, it’s because I need to process what’s happening in what is supposedly one of the most forward thinking nations on the planet.

In these times of darkness, uncertainty and, quite frankly, madness, we need to be there for each other. We need to remember what has come before, that we prevailed. Now that we have social media we can show our support to causes all over the world, let our sisters know they are not alone, that we are thinking and campaigning alongside them. We don’t know what is going to happen, I wish I could say this is all a nightmare that will be over soon, but it might not.

All we have in this fight is each other, fighting amongst ourselves is what they want. Instead of tearing each other down or judging one another we need to lift each other up. We need to let men be our allies if they are willing to stand and fight with us for equality and against the government (hating all men won’t get us any further, it just won’t).

We will stand with our sisters in 2017 and beyond.

Feminist Fridays: Can Women Ever Really Win?

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Today the French High Court ruled that the ‘burkini ban’ as it has been dubbed is illegal. After images of a woman being forced to undress on a beach in France made headlines around the world, it lead me to think about whether a woman can ever really win in terms of what they wear. So, when seeing this image I don’t think anyone else has quite summed it up in better way. It’s apparent that women from all backgrounds and walks of life a judged and/ or deemed unsuitable by someone.

Women are told that they should cover up, have respect for themselves, because they need to have pride, but not too much. You need to look attractive for work, but not too attractive because otherwise you won’t be taken seriously. If you don’t put on make-up or style your hair you’re lazy and don’t want to make an effort. And hair on your body? Do you have no pride? As for breasts, don’t even think about feeding your child in public, get to the toilet it’s too vulgar, but if you want to show them online or in a magazine you’re more than welcome. As long as you’re thin enough that is. You want to cover up? Why would you want to do that are you fridged? Of course you are with a skirt length like that. Covering your face and your hair for a religion? You must be oppressed, stand up to them. You want to cover up on a beach? We can’t allow that, it’s illegal here.

There are so many contradictions and expectations upon women, of course there are also issues for men in terms of what is expected of them, that I’m not denying. The Burkini ban, however, shows the extent of the ridiculousness that we have found ourselves in. The swimming costume was not offensive and didn’t do any harm, instead it allowed a woman to feel comfortable while enjoying time with her family. Feminism, after all, is about women having the right to choose what they do with their bodies. It’s not different to someone wearing a swimming cap and wetsuit. There is so many more problems that police and law makers should be focusing on, instead of alienating women simply for what they chose to wear.

 

A HUGE thank you to @LaSauvageJaune for letting me use this image.

 

10 Free Apps I Use Every Day

Now, don’t try and tell me you’re not addicted to your phone. I think almost all of us (especially bloggers) are tapped into our phones for more time than we’d like to admit, I know I am. I ALWAYS get family and friends teasing me that I use my phone for oxygen. So what are 10 free apps I use every day ? I thought I’d share them with you!

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Facebook 

99% of people I know are on Facebook, constantly talking, sharing, commenting. I like having Facebook on my phone partly because I’m nosy and because it’s a way of keeping in contact without giving out your number.

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Instagram 

All hail Instagram. Now, I’m not a wizz with a stunningly beautiful page but I love seeing the world through other people’s lenses. There are some seriously talented people on Instagram and their photos are breathtaking so that’s always a way to spend 10 minutes of your lunch break.

Follow @chloemetz_ for my pictures

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Whatsapp 

I don’t really use this for talking but I usually get sent a lot of pictures and videos of the cat and dog from my Mum. Yes, daily photos and videos.

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Twitter 

It’s no secret that I’m obsessed with Twitter, mainly because I get to connect with thousands of people that I otherwise wouldn’t. I’ve gotten to speak with some of my favourite authors thanks to Twitter.

Follow me on @chloemetzger on Twitter!

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Canva 

I’ll let you into a little secret, this is the favourite tool for thousands of bloggers. Canva lets you edit pictures using shapes, text, transparency.Sometimes I’ll do it through their website (www.canva.com) just to see how it’s going to fit.  It makes it easy to make headers, images and inspirational posts.

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Comic Geeks 

This is just for fellow comic lovers. The app lets me know what’s coming out this week. I can search by lots of different filters and add in what I want to look out for and it will let me know as well as emailing me every wednesday.

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Fitbit 

I’ve been big on fitness in my spine recovery which meant I picked up a fitbit. It works with my fitbit to track exercise, sleep patterns and food and it’s SO much easier to use rather than the website dashboard.

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Layout 

This is an app for creating collages of photos which you can then post onto Instagram and Facebook, or just save to your phone. I mostly use this for pet collages or to show all the photos I’ve taken on a day out.

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Google Authenticator 

Now I’m working in Cyber Security I’m super aware of being secure online. This helps me set up two step authentication, meaning to log in I need a password and then a code too. I’m online so much this was vital to keeping my information safe online.

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BBC News 

I like knowing about any breaking news and what’s going on in the world, I always make sure my news app is active.

What are some of your favourite apps or some that I should try? Let me know in the comments below!

Love is Love

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I’m writing this with a heavy heart, as a lot of people are around the world. You can’t have missed the terrible news that yesterday a gunman entered Pulse nightclub, murdered 49 people and injured 53. Pulse is a club for LGBT people, this was a planned attack on a community and has since been named the worst attack since 9/11 and the deadliest shooting in the United States. I could get into so much in this post, about my anger about the scum that did this, about my anger towards America’s gun laws but I won’t, because the last thing the world needs right now is more hatred. I refuse to think about him, his twisted ideas. Instead I want to know the names of those who died and those whose lives have changed forever.

I watched the coverage from the moment I got up, when I was first aware, to now. There’s still a tab open on my laptop with BBC updates. What I can say though, and something that hasn’t surprised me is the reaction from the LGBT community, because around the world they have stood together, they are mourning but they are strong. People will attempt to dismiss this, to take away from the fact that this was an attack on the community because of who they are, who they love, but they can’t. The LGBT community and all of us allies are going to follow their lead and do what they do best, we’re going to fight back with love and stand united.

fc07286ab26e248feba026f71c9b8c57I’ve never understood ‘homophobia’, which FYI isn’t a real thing, I’ve never understood people hating anyone for who they love. I have friends who are gay, know a lot of people in the LGBT society and you know what, they’re just people. So what if they don’t conform to some bullshit social norm, most of us don’t nowadays anyway! I sat yesterday and just tried to understand, asking my boyfriend why? Why would someone do this to innocent people?

We all need to stand up and be counted now, show our solidarity. Hatred will not silence the wonderful, brilliant community. We must stand up and give support to those affected and to every LGBT person, we need to show them we will do whatever they need so that they can feel safe again. We’ll attend Pride, we’ll write blog posts, we’ll tweet our love, we’ll support them and go against anyone who wants to take away their rights. We will be there for them.

Let’s not shy away from that this attack was. This was an attack on the LGBT community, call it what it WAS, unlike the Sky News presenters this morning.  I write while holding back the tears and thinking about each and every person lost in this tragedy, wishing I was in Orlando, that I could donate blood and that I could help. I will say though that you will not be forgotten, your deaths will not be in vain. I’ll continue to stand with the LGBT community, as I always have, defending their right to love whoever they want to. I stand with you. We’re all human and Love is Love.

 

 

Images from Pinterest

Why YOU shouldn’t be worried about Kim Kardashian’s selfie

The internet exploded a few days ago after Kim Kardashian posted a naked picture of herself on Instagram. It’s not the first time Kim’s dared to bare all on her Instagram but this time a Twitter row caught the internet’s attention. Bette Midler, Chloe Grace Mortz and Piers Morgan all jumped in with either ‘witty’ or catty remarks about Kim. Scouring the internet it seemed everyone seemed to have an opinion on Kim’s post or her body. People got so invested in this and wrote comment after comment about what THEY thought Kim should be doing and what THEY thought it would do to her kids in the future.

Now, I know that the Kardashian’s have a lot of friends but I’m pretty sure all of the people leaving comments on a facebook page don’t personally know Kim. People were spending their time bitching, whining and trying to tell her off. I couldn’t help but feel that these people, some of whom were incredibly rude could have had something better to do with their day than be a keyboard warrior and spread even more hate in this world.

I thought she looked great and if someone is comfortable enough to do that on their own social media channel then who are we to judge? No one is putting your body up there or asking you to copy, so why get so worked up? People were saying she’s a disgraceful mother for doing this. From what I can see her children are loved, cared for and provided for. Whether or not she wants to show off her body is her business but it doesn’t mean she is a better or worse parent.

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Picture posted on Kim Kardashian West’s Instagram 

The point I’m trying to get across this that obsessing over what another woman is doing is literally pointless, especially when you don’t know the person. If we focus a little more on our own lives and our own bodies we’d probably all be a little happier, hell we might even be as confident as Kim seems to be! To combat the haters Kim wrote about her experience that yes she was a wife and a mother but she is allowed to be sexy too. I think she has a point, you don’t just wither and die when you get married and have kids, my Mum has a (sort of) grown up daughter and another teenage daughter and still looks hotter than some 20 year olds I know.

We need to stop judging other women on how they present themselves and what they want to do with their bodies. I know for a fact that if an attractive man of the same age as Kim had done this there would have been no fuss, no nastiness, just appreciation for his body. I am going to call out sexism because that is what the media and most people are playing at, some without even knowing it. So we shouldn’t be getting over a woman showing off her body and if I looked like that,  I’d probably show mine off too because I’d be damn proud of myself for feeling that confident in my own skin.

A little less hate can go a long way, in the words of Ellen Degeneres, ‘Be Kind”

My Big Mouth: How about No means no Carter.

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Scrolling through my Twitter feed tonight I come across the trending list to see what’s going on in the world. Something that caught my eye is the #westillloveyouCarter trend, there seemed to be a lot of anger so naturally I followed the story up. Carter, 19, is big on social media for his vines, as is his 16 year old ex girlfriend. This week a video was leaked of Carter trying to force the girl to not only give him oral sex but to also let it be filmed. Feeling sorry for himself after the backlash against him he created his own hashtag #weloveyouCarter about the situation which he insists has been ‘blown out of proportion’ on his twitter page. Ha, ha, no.

As a human being I’m disgusted and think that as there is VIDEO EVIDENCE he should have been arrested by now. Sexual abuse is not funny or something to defend as many of his followers have. As a woman I’m shocked and concerned at the sheer amount of young girls that are using the hashtag to support him. The kind of worship he has from these young girls is terrifying and it may lead to some of them accepting that this kind of activity is ‘normal’ from their boyfriends, partners, future husbands and not something that they can say no to.

Basically no means no. End of. No deal. The majority of young men understand this and respect it but there are some who feel that they can do whatever they like to a woman, that women are there for them. They feel that they can slap their bums in a club, make a sesxist comment at work or during sport, look at our boobs and not our faces and the absolute worst touch a woman in a place she does not want to be or force and act upon her.

I feel truly sorry for his ex girlfriend, he filmed her whilst she was saying no in a vulnerable position. That video is all over the internet and I’ll bet there are still some lowlifes saying it in some way is her fault. This will follow her for the rest of her life, how do you think she feels when her friends, her family know about this? It’s wrong. So my question is WHY are so many people supporting him and not her? Why is there not a hashtag #westandwithMaggie because that, after all, is who we should be supporting. That is who I as not just a woman but also as a human I am supporting her because no means no.

image from here.