Tuesday, February 20

Harmless email or ignorant misanthropy - 2/2

And from Emily we move on to today.
Women's magazines shriek out the fact that women need not men but the Raging Rabbit for sexual satisfaction. Broadsheets reveal that women exceed men in every subject at school. Internet sperm bank offer an alternative form of father, for as everyone knows, fathers are always absent anyway. Political correctness prohibits the opening of doors and going dutch is the accepted norm for restaurant etiquette. Machismo is wrong and 'being in touch with your feminine side' right. Wherever men turns it seems, they are being told that to be a man is wrong because being a man is violent, selfish, insensitive, power-hungry, emotionally-stunted and the list goes on.
It's the eighties turned on it's head, women shouldn't be wearing suits but men should instead wear skirts.
And so, it's is not the female part of the population who feel ignored, undermined, side-lined and unappreciated, but the men.
Some say this is fair pay-back for centuries of patriachal rule, Eve's reputation must be restored and this is part of the road to recovery. I'm not so sure I believe this. Or even if I do believe that restoration or rebalancing needs to take place, this is the best way to do it. And anyway, isn't it highly hypocritical that those who lambast men for their contentious/over-lording tactics utilise similar tactics to defeat them.
I can recall reading a feminist law books which stated at the outset at the book that 'This is not a forum for debate. Debate is a male form of interactions, we will be utilising the female alternative of 'consciousness-raising'. What the hell is that when it's at home and when was 'consciousness-raising' ever ascribed to females? They went on to pronounce that the 'consciousness-raising' exercise would be in some senses futile from the start as 'we have only a patriachal vocabulary with which to express our ideas and will so will be limited in our expressions to male-bias concepts'. It is at this stage that I begin to lose my usual solid respect for academics and ponder on whether all forms of learning or research are indeed useful for society.
It tires me that what this comes down to is our apparent need to always differentiate between sectors of society and seem to only ever be able to accept the one model or type from which all others should be judged. Deviation from the norm is not acceptable, whether it be because of race, religion, sex, culture, waist size, music taste, political opinion. Why is it that variety and difference is so distrusted and why are we always striving to amalagamate everyone into the same form of being?

Monday, February 19

Diane Fossey's Gorillas


We've all seen Gorillas in the Mist and know about Diane Fossey and her lifes-work trying to save the endangered Mountain Gorillas - of which there are about 650 IN THE WORLD left. I defy anyone to not worship these beautiful, intelligent and gentle creatures.

Unlike most Hollywood stories, there has been no happy ending for the gorillas of the Virunga Mountains and they are still be slaughtered.... Only last month two silverbacks and one female were murdered by the resident poachers who terrorised the Parks Rangers so that they were unable to remain at their positions protecting the gorillas.

Please go and check out the site - the blog is written by the Head Ranger who tries to report on a daily basis the events in the Park. If you can link your blog to theirs, pass details on to your friends or raise some money we can all do our little bit to raise awareness and support the Virunga Rangers/the Dian Fossey Foundation's ongoing effort.

I am hoping to go to the Virungas next year and see the gorillas - will keep you posted if anyone is interested on my travels plans and if I'm lucky I might catch a glimpse of one (or two) and take a picture.

Friday, February 9

My breast friends

Can someone help me? I've got myself into a bit of a pickle……

I'm too scared to wear deodorant.

In fact, I'm so scared of deodorant, I haven't worn it for about two years.

It all started about two years back………..

I read an article in a silly woman's magazine that described the links between deodorant and breast cancer. Deodorants and anti-perspirants have aluminium. The aluminium is what actually stops perspiration. The mineral sits IN your hair follicles/pores and clogs them so that perspiration (no sweat you note - ugly word) can't get out. The thing is of course, you have not only glands under your arm, but direct veins etc to your breast. It is a fact that most women get breast cancer first in their left breast. Why? Because most people are right handed and so we all tend to put more deodorant on under our left arm. More deodorant means more aluminium which means more carcinogens into the armpit/breast area.

I spoke to one of my health-freak friends who stated she had know this fact for years and herself had stopped wearing deodorant aeons before. It's a problem because, like most people, I do need to wear it. I've not got some hideous odour problem you understand but, like most, I don't perspire rose water and deodorant/antiperspirant masks this fact.

Since the day I read the article, I haven't worn deodorant since, not in usual Nivea/Impulse type anyway. One of the few body parts I'm actually content with are my generous assets. If one disappeared, I swear I would have problems walking in a straight line. I just can't risk that kind of subsidence.

I've tried several organic, aluminium-free versions which are about as capable for their intended purpose as blue-biro rubbers are.

Summer is fast approaching - do I risk social ostracism or my left boob?

Thursday, February 1

2/357 things that annoy me

Was disturbed yet again on the train to work this morning by a selfish commuter.
This selfish commuter sniffed every 2 - 7 seconds. Every 2 to 7 seconds for the entire forty-five minute journey. I kid you not.

I counted at sporadic and random periods and not once did the gap in-between sniffs exceed seven seconds. Several came thick and fast in a 2, 2, 3, 2, 4 formation. I tried to catch the eye of a commuter to do the old 'flicking-eyes-to-the-ceiling' look to convey my annoyance. that same look that I hate so much when other people do it to me. I succeeded but felt in a hole when five minutes later I realised she was a friend of the sniffer.

I suppose if you haven't been exposed to sniffing when trying to sleep you may think this is not that much of an inconvenience and how can I become in anyway annoyed sufficiently to share it with you.

Well, let me tell you, unrelentless sniffing is as bad as it gets. It's on a parr with some of the most famous irritants of our time.

Remember the creaking pipe that wakes you just as you are about to drift off into sleep. They went to the same school.

The period when you are nodding off in front of the TV and suddenly your ears zone in on the audio which seems to have leapt in volume although no-one has touched it and you can't turn it down as you would disturb your relaxed pose but you can't leave it on as it is stopping you falling asleep. Best friends.

The nagging need for a wee when you are wrapped up warm and don't want to get out of bed. Teacher.

Why the hell didn't she bring a tissue?

I tried to quench my anger by imagining the various caustic remarks I could attempt at the girl had I the gall and nastiness to make them. I couldn't try to sleep it away could I? I did sincerely consider leaning over and saying 'Could you turn the sniffing down please'. I figure if it is accepted that it is socially-unacceptable to play ipods loud so that tinny music escapes into the ears of passengers, what's the difference with constant sniffing berating my ears?