Food for the mind

These posts range from quotes, exercises and quirky thoughts to tickle your brain on anything to do with fiction, reading, books or creative writing.

A character review of Mr. Stevens

When I discuss The Remains of the Day, I’m going to refer to the film version. Emma Thompson plays a brilliant supporting role, and her character truly shines in the movie. Let’s dissect and compare to period dramas about servant life.

The Remains of the day: a depressing story

Stevens is an exceptionally strange man. He reads sentimental romance, is very solitary and expresses no outwards emotions. I’m quite convinced he’s a sociopath by his portrayal  in the film adaptation. And then there’s Miss Kenton, his confidant and housekeeper, who tries her best to connect with him. She’s very much the opposite of Stevens; heartfelt, kindhearted and sincere. Their relationship is most unfulfilling whilst they inhabit Lord Darlington’s manor together. They argue over anything and everything, from Stevens Senior’s ability to work, to the German maids’ ability to work because of their Jewish heritage.

Eventually, she goes off to marry another man because Miss Kenton cannot bear her unrequited love for Stevens any longer. This is in part because the under-maid gets married to her sweetheart, despite being naive and poor (qualities which she dislikes). Eventually, Mr Stevens realises his mistakes; not just about serving Lord Darlington too loyally, and about the German Nazis. He meets his comrade, now Miss Benn, for lunch and then a stroll around the beach pier. They talk, about how her life has changed, highlighting the lack of change in his life. Mrs Benn remarks how her life became better once her daughter was born. As he says goodbye to her on the bus in the rain, Stevens comments that he was “too busy serving to notice” any discussion that happened. Even at that point, after his employer’s death, Stevens never once reaches out to Mrs Benn. Historically accurate? Maybe, but it lacks the passion that stories such as War and Peace has.

Downtown Abbey: the recovery of a lost plot line?

Let’s talk about Anna and Master Bates in this series. There are hints of Jane Eyre in this romantic subplot, because Master Bates is married before they meet. Like Miss Kenton and Mr. Stevens, they work together. Their marriage is shadowed by the fact that Anna is late in getting married, and could be past the age of childbirth (with many miscarriages in her  marriage). Fortunately, their ending has a more satisfying outcome, with understanding employers and starting a family. Downtown Abbey is set up like a happy family, as Anna is close to Mary and Edith, whilst Sybil married the chauffeur Tom. Carson and Mrs Hughes marry as well, much to the celebration of the family and staff. With Edith as an editor of a magazine and Mary in charge of the household without the need for a husband, it’s a more modern take on aristocratic life.

The conclusion? Downton Abbey places more emphasis on the lives of the noble family living there, without detaching from human emotions. Whilst Remains of the Day uncovers the secret lives of servants, whilst removing them from current household affairs (to a degree).

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Social media explained: the revised edition

There’s a meme explaining how social media works, mostly with donuts. Let’s try expanding this simple analogy. I feel as though I should include a social media post; because even though this has absolutely nothing to do with fiction or writing, we are all in some way defined by our online presence.

Youtube – I got internet famous by doing a donut challenge.

Whisper – I have a fetish for donuts in the bedroom.

Instagram – Here is a picture of my tequila doused platinum coated donut.

Snapchat – Here is a krispy kreme sponsored lens.

Facebook – This donut is delicious and I feel great about eating it. I like donuts.

Twitter – @KrispyKreme I’m not happy with my donut.

Pinterest – here are some inspirational donut recipes I pinned

Reddit – what’s the weirdest thing you have ever done with a donut?

Vine – Haha, look at this clip of a guy with a donut stuck to his face!

WordPress – This is my blog about donuts

Tumblr – I believe in social justice for demigender, asexual, black donuts trapped in white bodies who are Pagan. I also think the government is lying to us.

LinkedIn – My work experience is being a cashier at Dunkin’ Donuts.

Tinder – I’m a skinny latte, you’re a donut. We’re a great match, we complement each other.

Foursquare – This is where I buy my donuts from

Google+ – I’m in a community where everyone talks about donuts.

if you think there’s a platform I have missed, just comment below.

The Arts &Humanities appreciation post

EQ matters just as much as IQ

Employers and universities are starting to understand how emotional and Social intelligence are just as important as intellectual intelligence. Physical strength has been attributed with spots and performing arts, but not EQ. A recent study showed that Arts and Humanities students had higher empathy, more creativity and self awareness. We all know the typical STEM nerd archetype; super brainy but too logical and callous, whereas the poet speaks from the heart and engages with feelings in words.

Drama clubs help Autistic adults

Many disabled adults benefit from a special theatre society. Young people on the Autism spectrum attend a drama class to learn social skills. The situations in plays simulate real life scenarios. It could benefit teenagers as well, giving them a useful way to act out their thoughts.

Information means nothing if you can’t express it

Googlilion existed at the age of Google. Sorry Mathematics students, but this number just did not exist before. We need the arts because they hold up a mirror of reality (or sometimes fantasy) to the world. How many people are willing to admit most of the science they love and learned was from Doctor Who or Star Trek? Most geeks swear by them as gospel.

Without Archaeology and History, we would know nothing about the past

Everything has a history, and we learn everything from history. Unfortunately not all forms of history are 100% reliable, because there were less secure ways of preserving facts (which would explain why the sciences are not so keen on history). However, because historians are becoming much better at correlating facts, we can find out more about what really happened.

Linguistics and Psychology are kind of grey areas

Linguistics because it involves language, human geography, environmental factors and cultural differences. Psychology because of human behaviour and psychoanalysis. It’s true that subjects overlap between disciplines, and the STEM and Arts are not as black and white as most people assume.

What if I told you, science isn’t part of everything?

Religion is one, which is why all the nerds will never like the Quran or Bible. Literature is another (an exception for science fiction could be made here though). Art doesn’t really involve science, even if physiology can help with sculptures and drawing. You don’t need much knowledge of physics to enjoy The Big Bang Theory, just a sense of humour.

Are there any Arts and Humanities people out there who think I have missed any points? Share your thoughts below.

Science fiction is not science fact

Keyboard warrior rant: Round Two

People often believe that gamma rays, hover cars and alien life forms are possible. Then there is the grey area of time travel, telekinetic communication and the human zombie virus. State, however, that dragons, gods and magic are just as plausible as aliens and the “hardcore science” fans glare at you (before returning to watch The Big Bang Theory whilst chatting with their virtual/Facebook girlfriend). Nobody has, to date, suggested that dragons may well be aliens. The people who believe that science fiction is truly educational probably also believe that the world is about to end.

1. Brainiac: teaching kids that dangerous chemistry is fun

I am not sure how the BBC managed to air myth busters for kids with science, but it happened. Maybe it’s that the Brainiac cast used goggles, or that some of their explosions had to be enhanced – most notably, the alkali metals experiment.

Admittedly, not all of the experiments were dangerous, and the crew (probably) knew what they were doing. But, nearly every stunt performer says “don’t try this at home”, and it’s never been said on the show. Let’s not mention the scantily clad attractive women on the show – Remember Thalia Zucchi from “How Hard Is Your Thing?”? What about John Tickle’s busty nurse? If you’ve never seen the show, or don’t remember, here is a brief montage:







Anyway, Brainiac was 1/3rd boobs, 1/3rd explosions and 1/3rd actual science. For this reason, it may as well be science fiction.

2. Doctor Who

Don’t  get me wrong, I LOVED this show (especially with David Tenant as the Doctor). And, considering the large number of crappy science fiction out there, there’s definitely been worse. But there are some concepts in the show that are just plain ridiculous. The sonic screwdriver has a few flaws, namely being that it can open any door…..except a traditional one with a doorknob. Also, the TARDIS defies the laws of physics in just about every way – the reason scientists believe that you can only travel forwards in time is because of the speed of light, and there are no wormholes in space to take you back to the past (which is the only hypothetical way you could get there).

3. Star Wars

I’m probably going to get hate mail for this, but here we go. I honestly believe the mass appeal from Star Wars comes from two things: physics students’ geeky desires to build a light saber and spacecraft, and mass marketing. In the original films, I had a bit of a problem with Han Solo’s attitude towards Leia. As for the more modern films, the main thing wrong with them is their over-dramatic plotlines. So Anakin Skywalker was actually once a good guy and became evil, so what? Othello and Hamlet both do the same damn thing. Then we have Kylo Ren, who is not actually evil but instead is living a narcissistic fantasy after idolising his granddad.

4. Jurassic Park

Ever since this film was made, the planet went nuts for re-creating dinosaurs from amber tree sap. So, dinosaurs are fascinating because they’re extinct. But absolutely nothing is scientific in the movie whatsoever – if  it was, we would’ve already done it. Sometimes I think that movie was only created so someone could make an actual theme park.

5. The Draenei in World of Warcraft

Yes, because satyrs and fauns are actually aliens from outer space – not dissimilar from Scientology logic about divine deities. I’ll admit that the WoW franchise is less sci-fi and more fantasy, but the Draeni are not their strongest race. I’m going to classify the Draeni as sci-fi because they’re alien beings with advanced technology. Why I don’t like them? They’re more original than the other races, but their design as extraterrestrial fauns bugs me.

6. Digimon

So, this is virtual pet; a Tamagotchi combined with Pokemon evolution. How original, just combine two Japanese franchise from competing businesses and merge them into a single toy. Admittedly, Digimon wasn’t anywhere near as popular Tamagotchi or Pokemon, because there’s nothing original about them. So, why is Digimon classed as sci-fi? Apart from the apparent use of gadgets and digital world (just like in The Matrix and Spy Kids) in the anime, I really have no idea.

7. Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy 

I’ve heard far too often that dolphins are sending warning messages by cackling, and it’s all thanks to Douglas Adams. Infamous for coining the answer to life, Everything and the Universe as 42 (from a mathematical point of view). Adams was only joking, but scientists have insisted on proving the phrase to be true. In all fairness, i don’t think Adams was trying to make his book sound like actual science fiction, but the readers have taken it far too seriously.

So, what do you think of all of this: is my pronounced judgement too farfetched, or does this post have a point? Share your thoughts below.




The commercialisation of books 

This post is going to explore how books are commoditised by the media (regardless of their genre or literary status). Because, nearly anything can be advertised – and if it raises an author’s publicity profile, then that’s even better.

The condensation of words goes something like this:

Oral speech > written word > visual medium

Reading books is extremely unpopular, largely because they’re viewed as academic/literary. This means that they’re unappealing to the masses, and that too much brain power is required to read a book. Whereas you can watch a film or TV show regardless of your IQ, and still enjoy what’s happening.

How does merchandising happen?

So, we have big blockbusters, and we have serious art films. Then we have merchandise. Merchandise combines everything – spin-off to shows, dolls, costumes, toys, albums from songs sung, musicals, and just about everything else. The more heavily franchised something is, the more financially successful it becomes. The prime target audience tends to be children, because children are often dazzled by sparkly dresses and don’t have to worry about money.

The first commercialised film: Star Wars 

Star Wars is said to be the first  merchandised movie – with prequels, sequels, lego toys, action figures, and the Star Wars motion simulator rides in Disneyland theme parks. Since then, nearly every film series has done the same thing. Targeting children and young people does seem to be a recipe for success. Let’s look at a few popular franchises and see how they’ve gotten famous.

Some good examples:

Harry Potter 

Harry Potter has just about everything you could want to merchandise a series – quirky sweets, famous film locations such as Alnwick castle, Quidditch broomsticks, odd facts about Hogwarts for Top Trumps and Trivial Pursuit, and there’s even 4D motion rides and Butterbeer served, and you can even travel between parks on the Hogwarts Express. Universal Studios can make money out of just about any movie, such is their huge influence.


There are many reasons why Twilight has become very successful. Firstly, at the time it was released, teenage vampire and dark fantasy fiction was all over bookshelves. Secondly, its cast is fairly high-profile thanks to Robert Pattinson. And thirdly, the romance genre appealed to the masses.

The Lord of the Rings

Like Twilight, LOTR had Orlando Bloom to raise the status of the films with his sex appeal. But fantasy is something people can really get on board with – both geeks and ordinary folks love it. After a large following due to books, the films took off due to their wonderful special effects, GCI and graphics.


Loosely based on Hans Christian Anderson’s The Snow Queen, Frozen is the highest grossing animated film of all time. The Little Mermaid film, by Disney, had bouts of success with a Disney theme track, Ariel costumes and dolls, also by Hans Christian Anderson. But Frozen outdoes The Little Mermaid  100xs. The last time I visited Disneyland Paris, there were outfits for both Anna and Elsa, Frozen parades every 30 minutes, and the logo on every object with a price tag on it.

Frozen, Harry Potter and Twilight have three selling ingredients: social triangles, magic and a troubled past (Lord of The Rings is a bit of an odd one out). First, a trio of characters usually adds drama in either the form of a romance or a third wheel friend. Magic usually comes in the form of either costume or mystical creatures (usually both) that can be eventually sold on as plush toys. And a troubled past – whether it’s the death of parents, bullying or just being different – plays on the sympathy note.

Other fictional formats: comic books

Good grief, in 2016 there is absolutely no way of escaping the adaptation of comic book characters (much to the delight of cosplayers attending Comicon). The latest version of action movies, these films have witty side humour, actors and actresses oozing sex appeal and plenty of CGI.
An unusual middle ground: Alice in Wonderland 

I’m going to use this story over Greek myths like Hercules and Cinderella, because Alice in Wonderland has one clear author: Lewis Carroll. I’ll admit that perhaps the novel’s adaptations have been more faithful than other tales, but this is in part because French Surrealists have snapped up the story, as well as Tim Burton.

Once again, after Disney snapped up the movie, the teacups ride in the Magic Kingdom, Alice plush toy and movie soundtracks came running along with the franchise. However, niche markets such as the Steampunk community, cosplayers and followers of the lomita fashion movement have seen its appeal – leading to Victorian and Edwardian clothing stores, independent teashops and even Alice-themed alternative events. The trouble is, though, that Alice doesn’t have a pretty factor; most of her appeal lies in her personality, and it’s usually adults who want to cosplay as her. The point being, that Lewis Carroll’s book has turned into a hybrid platform between niche and mainstream.


Why are featureless characters assumed to be white and male? 

In a cartoon, the male character is often very basic, sometimes just a stick figure. Often they have no eyelashes, visible lips or even hair. Female characters, however, have bows, ponytails and skirts. Even the toilet sign distinguishes the ladies with a skirt, assuming men wear trousers (despite women being allowed to wear trousers for quite a few decades). The simplest answer is probably that White, straight males are assumed to be the norm. This makes sense, since many characters are often white, and thus are assumed to be caucasian. Thus, the artist has to use a distinguishing feature to set nonconforming characters apart. Considering no features should mean gender neutral, the association of decorated characters with being female is unusual. 

One author, Dorris McComics has tried to combat this trope. Many of the characters are featureless, and stick figure types are usually in unnatural colours. If there are any distinctively human characters, later drawings are often androgynous. Dorris even refuses to give many of them names, whether to avoid gender labelling or due to artistic license. The illustrator, Alex Norris, has frequently chosen to deliberately not state the gender of many of the characters  who appear in the panels. 

Webcomics are a great way to convey simple, but funny, sketches in an accessible format. But there’s by no means any less politics than in any other meme form – just look at what Garlic Bread Memes did with their comment on the number of genders on Facebook. And trying to either reaffirm that there are only two genders or that genderless characters aren’t a good idea just causes trouble on either side. 

Commenters on social media are the new literary critic; as readers, they might enjoy the story. But as soon as you find one who thinks they know about how to write a plot for a comic, they’ll tear you to shreds. Nearly every bad article about a  movie, classic author or artist is usually written by some crappy writer on Buzzfeed, a journalist on the Guardian or a tumblerina picking apart plotholes. Any merit a piece of work has, a savage critic can transform into a negative (also known by its more PC version “room for improvement”). So maybe it’s best to ignore the void of negativity and save it for the experts instead. 

Carey Mulligan and Eddie Redmayne as actors 

These are two very talented, but not particularly well known, actors. Both Mulligan and Redmayne tend to star in either critically acclaimed or memoir genre films. These actors are in the middle of indie, art cinema and mainstream  movies. Whilst the BBC tries to bridge the gap between serious and pop culture films, there are a few actors which run a fine line – Naomi Watts could be a prime example of how surreal cinema and the mainstream collide in Mullholland Drive. 


First gaining popularity in biographical romantic drama The Theory of Everything, Redmayne  played Stephen Hawking during his early life as a PhD student and young professor. Later, he played Lili in The Danish Girl, another biographical film about the first transsexual woman. Both these films have similar proponents with their themes about complex romantic relationships, and true stories. Having won a BAFTA, Golden Globe and an Oscar, two of which for Best Actor, Redmayne’s charming, posh persona has led him to be a rising star. In future, Redmayne will star in more mainstream movies, but still retaining his eccentric image. 


In films such as An Education and Never Let Me Go, Mulligan is typically cast as a teenage schoolgirl due to her youthful appearance. Her reputation as an actor in critically acclaimed films has meant that she has not appeared in any blockbusters. Her initial choice to remain in independent cinema has meant that she perhaps sees film as an art, rather than as commercial product. In Never Let Me Go, her appearance in a novel adaptation set the stage for The Great Gatsby 2013, with a more famous cast, but still under a high  profile industry with Baz Luhrman’s dramatic style. 

What do you think, are Redmayne and Mulligan more serious actors? Or do they just choose unique film genres? Tell me in the comments below! 

Web mania 


Combining memes with traditional comic books, webcomics are images which illustrate humorous topics in short panels. Whilst traditional graphic novels, comics and and manga are surely kept alive – albeit either help of ebooks – webcomics are easy. Cyanide & Happiness, The Awkward Yeti and Cheer up Emo Kid are just a few artists who are trying the movement.

Webseries: Netflix and YouTube 


The Annoying Orange originally started as a series of mini clips on YouTube in 2009. Because talking fruit with human faces was rare, it was intriguing (which also made the scenes fairly easy to animate). The orange in question was more of a recurring character rather than a central one, because there was no plot. The basic story shops originally set out with videos around a minute and a half with Orange trolling a new fruit or vegetable, before they were cut up in a mock horror movie ending.

Over time, as DaneBo gained more popularity and views, the Annoying Orange gradually expanded with more characters who originally had cameo appearances. In turn, the characters orange met were not just fruit a veg, but other foods too – sometimes even objects like footballs and iPhones. There were even special spoof episodes of Mario, PacMan and Saw.

Eventually, Cartoon Network snapped up The Annoying Orange, and made it into actual TV show. The cast of  characters include Grapefruit, Passionfruit, little apple, marshmallow and Pear.

Twitter: Six words story

This trending movement  involves quote pictures and tweets telling the shortest story possible, in just six words. The short sentences often pack a mighty punch, and can sometimes have a depressing tone. Sometimes, in the comments section of a social media post, commenters write their short replies in response to either a post which says “you’re driving along in the back of a cop car. You turn to your best friend and say….” or to another commenter.

What do you think of the new web medium, has it killed the book? Or is the book dead because it’s old fashioned?


We Need to talk about Feminism: 15 reasons why Gender Equality is not a joke


The very definition of what feminism is supposed to be

Feminism is considered dirty and disrespectful, because of its hijacking by feminazis. Therefore, there is often negative stigma about there being multiple genders, and being a feminist. Empowerment has been twisted into an excuse for riotous, hypersexual behaviour; Miley Cyrus, Kim Kardashian, Rihanna and Nicki Minaj are examples of this.

Ok, let’s clear one thing up: Gender Equality, aka Feminism, is not about oppressing anybody. Feminazis are after world domination, not equal rights. What “chauvinist, sexist pigs” were to 1960 and before, Feminazis are now. 

First and foremost: why are there so many waves of feminism?

Second: why isn’t it called Gender Equality? 

Feminism was about equality for the sexes, because it believed women were oppressed. And they were, in a formerly patriarchal culture which dominated, suppressed and punished women. Now, it’s about sustaining the equality by wiping the slate clean from older generations. Basically, men need to be respected too if women think they’re getting equality. 

The simplest answer to this question is that gender, like sexuality, is a fluid, psychological state that is constantly being shaped and understood. One does not simply “wear” a gender, but thinks it instead. People have a harder understanding gender than they do race, because you cannot see gender, only its manifestations. Most people can look at a black person, and see that they behave no differently to another person. In the past, people believed that being a woman was a personality flaw because of behaviours associated with it (such as insanity). It is because some people still believe there are “fundamental biological differences” that go beyond genitals that there is still a debate.

1. Post-feminism and third-wave feminism overlap

Post-feminism believes that femininity should be reclaimed, instead of demonised. It follows on from Second wave feminism, which shunned feminine behaviours such as wearing makeup and shaving. Post feminism believes that the emphasis is on people, not just women. A lot of postfeminists believe that sexuality is power, and by being a stripper, burlesque model, sex symbol celebrity or porn star, you use your sexuality to earn status. Postfeminism re-eroticises women by asserting that these women are erotic subjects, not objects.

2 The different eras: 2nd wave- 4th wave

The 2nd-4th waves of Feminism are considered “modern feminism”.2nd wave Feminism is the plotical protests, riots and campaigns for abortion, divorce and equal pay. Third wave feminism is about equal rights for people of different sexualities, ethnicities, religions,

3 Feminism is about masculinity and gender-neutrality too

Third-wave feminism acknowledged that not just white western women can be feminists. There are at least five genders: masculine man, masculine woman, feminine man, feminine woman and agender. Transgender is identifying as a gender different to their biological sex; for instance, a person born male would identify as a  woman, and have masculine or feminine traits. Cis people can have masculine or feminine traits without being trans, since masculinity and femininity are behaviours, not necessarily gender identities; in the LBGT community, there are Butches and Femmes, used to indicate gender attraction preference (both terms are applicable to men and woman). Likewise, there are straight girls who are tomboys, and boys who are “effeminate”, to describe gender nonconforming people. Someone who has both masculine and feminine traits is androgynous.Gender is a spectrum, so genderqueer  and gender fluid people are somewhere in between. Other terms, such as Lipstick Lesbian and hypermasculinity describe extreme forms of masculinity and femininity.

Genderqueer is any gender nonconforming person, and can be someone who is a gender bender, genderfluid, a tomboy or who is androgynous. Crossdressers, drag queens and transvestites may be considered genderqueer, but they are often excluded from the definition because they only perform a gender, rather than identify with the gender they perform.

In order to understand and challenge stereotypes against women, we need to define what is masculine. 

5. Feminism is about awareness and history

Everyone knows women are treated better than they used to. People still celebrate Black History month, right? Even though slavery no longer happens, people are still taught about the treatment of black slaves. It’s the same with Hitler and the Jews, there is still a generation who can remember what happened to them, either first-hand or from their parents. Heck, we learn about Henry VII and his revolutions with the War of the Roses and his son starting the English Revolution.Women may have the right to vote, shed light on rape, highlighted the hypocrisy of religion  History leaves footprints in the path of life, and they cannot be erased. Those who fail to learn the lessons of history, are doomed to repeat it.

6. Feminism is not about oppression anymore

It is not necessary to insult someone based on their sex to be sexist; ignorance plays a part. Every time you tell a woman she’s “bad news” for having male friends, or man for saying he’s being an idiot for “mansplaining”, you are contributing to ignorance.   If women believe all they can be is a housewife, whore, princess, fashion model, wife, mother or have a “pink collar job”, then men believe all they can be is a soldier, sailor, pilot or strong man. And these are idealised, unrealistic images of gender culture still holds.

7. Sorry, but rape culture is still around

“She can be my Sleeping Beauty/I’m gon’ put her in a coma” is a line from Katy Perry’s Dark Horse. Who would want to be put in a coma? Regardless of gender, rape can affect anyone; women can rape as well as men, because consent has nothing to do with having a penis. It’s about force, dominance – and that’s why people think only men can rape, because dominance is a masculine trait.

8. People are still forgetting about the  LGBT

Most people assume that feminism still relates to straight women, which is a lie. One such assumption is that Feminists are lesbians, because they hate men……

This shouldn’t be the reason the LGBT community is linked to Feminism. The LGBT community often traverses traditional gender roles; for instance, a man might be a stay at home dad if he is gay, how invisible asexual women can feel because women are defined by their relationship status in movies,  that Trans men and women still don’t get full recognition because they were born in the wrong body. All the female culture, about “dating rules”, wearing makeup and  choosing clothes, are still about male desire (just pick up Cosmopolitan).  Imagine how many women have been told “the modern woman sucks, you’re a crazy whore who sleeps with men on Tinder!” and they’re not even straight? Phyllis Schlafly once said that if men and women got equal pay, women would be out of a husband. As if that’s the least of women’s problems…..

9. Telling someone they are a moron has nothing to do with their gender

It’s true, sometimes men are morons. But then, women can be pathetic too. Focusing on the former, men com it’s more socially acceptable to insult men, and be disrespectful. This has nothing do with them being men, it’s culture. As for women, it’s well acknowledged that women are thought of as being unable to handle serious topics of discussion. Both of these ideas are highly destructive, as it puts up barrier between the genders.

10. Fergie basically reinforces the sexualisation of women as gold diggers in “my humps”

As if women cannot be financially independent. Women should not need to rely on men for money if they have well paying jobs. A lot of people think women should not need to work, since they should be able to take care of the house and children. However, women should not be encouraged to think that their boyfriend is a personal wallet, since it’s downright stupid and disrespectful.

11. “A schoolboy’s dream, you act so shy” Mary Jensen and the shy “girl next door” image

Mary Jensen is your classic, ideal female: sweet, shy, innocent, polite, never gets angry. She helps her disabled brother, helps out as a volunteer, is intelligent as a dentist and always sees the good in others. However, there is something about Mary nobody talks about: her shyness. Shy girls are often characterised is being seductive, coy vixens waiting to seduce others. 


I’m not referring to characters such as Snow White. These girls are distinct from the shy girl type, with one main difference: these girls are aware of the power they hold to charm. As soon as any nice, quiet, feminine characters gains self awareness that others are attracted to her, she is instantly a “bad girl”. Whereas stereotypical shy girls have kindness, never call out others’ faults and tend to blush, the “bad vixen girls” are cocky, have husky voices, are often sarcastic, and instead of being sweet, are instead candied to look like a sensual feast. Typically, the shy and pure girl is favoured as being better than the coy girl.

12. Twerking is bad, but shouldn’t be shamed

Okay, so twerking is very sexualised and is quite vulgar. Unfortunately, shaming the dance will not drive people away from it. In rap, hip hop and R&B music, twerking is a common practice. Miley Cyrus was one of the main culprits for making it popular, and her image of going off the rails has contributed to the poor image of twerking.

13. Slut shaming is destructive – teaching boys about good sexual morals is more important

It’s more important to teach young teens about abstaining, good code of conduct and respect regardless of gender. It’s also more important for them to understand that films are not usually good examples – When has there ever been a movie scene where the girl gets the pill, or a man puts wears protection? (if any commentors can think of any, post them below).

14. Gender equality doesn’t demand heteronormative marriage, because it breaks down traditional barriers

Before we go further, I’d like to note that I am not advocating or shaming open relationships, polyamory or cheating. This is also NOT a jab at any particular racial or religious group.  thing is, marriage is the traditional way of thinking for how relationships should be. But casual sex, gay marriage, single parenthood and domestic partnerships aren’t wrong either. Polyamory is fine so long as the feelings are all mutual, whereas polygamy and polyamory is often portrayed as unequal – with one man and several wives/concubines who act as servants.

15. Stop feeding the trolls

Give me £1 for each time social media spreads a crazy message and I’ll be a billionaire. This isn’t just limited to gender, but to everything. Trolls are probably the admin who run joke meme pages, not just the ones commenting on posts. This is how UniLAD gets their money, through clickbait. Yes, I would say the same if the poster was male, please go away keyboard warriors. This person is likely suffering mental derangement, which is nothing to with gender. Anyone who thinks this crazed human is a feminist probably thinks ISIS are true Muslims and the KKK are true  Christians. Come on people, you know they’re as fake as plastic cheese, surely? 

If I see another Meninist page calling feminazis feminists, I’m throwing my keyboard at them 😉

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20 things you should know about English

Grammar, spelling, punctuation and style are interesting components of writing. For some, a sense of good English is innate, like intelligence. For others, it’s an acquired skill. But, if there’s one thing most of us can agree on, it’s that there is no universally accepted definition of “good” English. Even the best grammarians would struggle to find the right synonym for an essay 100% of the time. Here’s a quick guide explaining some handy hints, and helpful pointers. Instead of laying down the law, let’s look at some quirks of English. 

1.  English is fluid

A lot of people imagine the rules of English to be carved in stone, like the ten commandments. This works very well for 5 year old children learning how to read and write in school, or non-native speakers of English. However, like the ten commandments, there are contradictions in the rules of grammar. Language is like water; adaptable, flowing and frequently changing shape. Words are added into the dictionary every year, and some people disregard the old school ways of grammar in favour of the more common. 

2. Grammar and style sometimes contradict each other

This problem happens a lot for poets. Slang, enjambment and archaic words contradict what many writers consider “good” style. As many hopeful Facebook philosophers know, it’s hard  have an on-point argument if there is a lot of bad spelling, misuse of words or homonyms. Not necessarily typos can defunct speech. 

3. Punctuation is originally based on breaths in speech

Technically, we speak in punctuation. In the Renaissance, when most people were illiterate, people had to guess the full stops and commas in sentences. They did this by listening for pauses, inflections for exclamations and questions, and tone of voice. Drama is a good example of how punctuation is employed, since the characters often speak in verse.

Nowadays, punctuation for the written word is different from the spoken word. This is because things like commas are used for more things than lists, pauses and asking questions. Most people do not necessarily realise this, and punctuation that you use to write is an acquired skill. 

4. You can never be the best editor because you can’t turn off your mental autocorrect

Everyone has a mental autocomplete in their mind. That’s why it’s very hard to spot your own mistakes on a page (it’s also the reason why your brain blends terrible + horrific = terrific). Like the algorithms used in predictive text, your subconscious squirrel brain is looking out for what it thinks the next word will be, learning individual preferences. If you really want to make sure it’s perfect,get someone to look over it. And no, your spellchecker does not count

 5. There is no such thing as perfect grammar 

Some people still use the word “homophone” for words that look or sound similar. In reality, it’s much more complex than that. Syllabuses can be used instead of syllabli, and with things such as a ghost subject existing, it’s impossible to have the perfect clarity all the time. 

Best books to read:

Collins Improve your writing skills

A back to basics guide to English grammar and punctuation. Each function is described in depth throughout the volumes, including commas, cliches, nouns, abstract content, sentence functions and the nine parts of speech. Utterly essential to cut down on excessive proofreading. 

The Art of Fiction by David Lodge

Lodge devotee each chapter to a plot  device, in chronological order of the sections of a book, and attributes an author who effectively employs this technique. Ideal if you have not attended a creative writing class (although there really is no substitute). 
The Little book of Clarity

This book proves that  clarity begins at home, and without a clear mind, your writing will be cluttered. Graphologists who study handwriting can detect the writer’s mental state by how wobbly the letters are, whether the ink is smudged. So, in order to make use of the creative creature in you, you must first gain zen and mental clarity.