The Best Way to be More Confident – a link

I can get whiny on this blog. Here’s something positive:

The Best Way to be More Confident by Jeff Haden

Thanks to Vince Favilla for sharing this on twitter. It was good timing from my point of view.

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On Robin Thicke’s Blurred Lines

So. A lot of fellow feminists have been saying the ‘blurred lines’ in this song are those between a ‘yes’ and a ‘no’ in terms of sexual consent and the lyrics promote rape culture. And it’s easy to see why when the line ‘I know you want it’ is repeated several times. And when you take certain lyrics out of context and compare them to things rapists have said, the similarities are worrying.

Thing is, though, in context, the ‘I know you want it’ line is actually about the fact that this other man doesn’t know ‘you’ want it because he has a stereotypical view of ‘you’, thinking that as ‘you’re’ a ‘good girl’ ‘you’ don’t want to have sex, which is why he ‘tried to domesticate you’.

Now, I agree with Robin Thicke in that women want to have sex. And I agree that men shouldn’t try to domesticate women (or vice versa, for that matter). If a woman is domesticated by choice/nature that’s great – I’m happy for her that she knows what she wants. But if a man assumes all women want that or that’s how women should be, we have a problem. So, in terms of ‘blurred lines’ of gender roles – yes, I hate them, too.

Thing is, though, I’m not so sure about the need for the ‘good girl’ label. It’s creepy and, worse for me, patronising, especially when he applies it to his wife, as he did when ‘justifying’ the song by talking about her:

“Even very good girls have a little bad side. You just have to know how to pull it out of them.”

That is a worrying statement. This is a statement that promotes rape culture. It’s worse than the lyrics. In fact, if it weren’t for Robin Thicke’s attempts at justifying this song I’d be much more inclined to see it as a misguided attempt at empowering women and overcoming gender stereotypes. Misguided because, yes, a lot of the lyrics are questionable but, more importantly to me, it is patronising.

Before we get on to the patronising nature of this song, let’s take a look at some of the questionable lyrics. We’ve covered ‘I know you want it’ but what about ‘The way you grab me/ Must wanna get nasty’. For me, it’s more of the same. Why? because it’s followed by ‘Go ahead, get at me’ rather than anything about him getting at her. If a guy grabbed me I’d assume he wanted to have sex. Does that mean I’d force him into it? Of course not. Can that not go both ways? Is it possible for a woman to be a tease? Yes. Is this acceptable behaviour? No. It’s not fair to the guy. Does that mean she’s asking for rape, that it’s OK to rape her or that if she were to be raped itwould be in any way her fault? No. But does Robin Thicke suggest he’s going to force her if she doesn’t give consent? I don’t think he does.

What he does suggest is that the ‘good girl’ secretly likes it rough. Which happens. Some women do like it rough. And maybe that’s his point. In which case, it is more of the overcoming gender stereotypes thing. However, while we hear a lot about what he ‘knows’ she wants, we don’t know whether or not he’s right. I guess the rape culture interpretation of this song works on the basis that he’s lying. And, in fact, I’d be inclined to believe that what he says she wants is actually what he wants and therefore wants her to want. Good on him for wanting her to want it, rather than just taking what he wants, but it’s still really about what he wants. I mean, whose fantasies are these? His fantasy of the ‘good girl gone bad’ or hers of the sex she’s always dreamed of but never managed to get?

Either way, I have a problem with this song. You see, what really pisses me off is the fact that all the way through he’s telling her what she wants and that she can get that with him. It’s beyond patronising. At one point, he offers to liberate her. Wow, thank you, Robin Thicke, I’d never be able to liberate myself! I need a man to do that for me!

Honestly, to me this song sounds like one long chat-up con: I want to have rough sex with you so I’m planting that idea in your head with the suggestion that rough sex is empowering because it’s against gender stereotypes while  calling you a ‘good girl’, which serves to both flatter and enforce the empowerment concept by reminding you of how patronising those gender stereotypes really are, and painting myself as your sexual liberator/hero. You’re welcome!

(Or: I see women as girls I can control and it turns me on to turn ‘good’ girls into ‘bad’).

Overall, Blurred Lines is disrespectful because it’s patronising, and the fact that he tries to dress it up as empowering – maybe he even believes it is – makes it even worse because that’s manipulation. And his other claim that it’s pointing out the ridiculous, laughable nature of rape culture? Really? Come on. It’s too blurred a line for that joke to work and you know it. Makes you think it might be deliberate. After all, I’m sure all the controversy hasn’t harmed the sales.

Oh, and one more thing. Nobody wants their ass torn in two – they’d need immediate medical attention. They’d probably bleed to death in excruciating pain, and can you imagine the mess? Can you?? That’s just a terrible idea. Not hot. If you tried the whole con in this song on me, which might have a slight chance at success if I was drunk and single, that line would definitely make me come to my senses.

I don’t know why I blog

I don’t know why I blog.

I haven’t worked on the novel since 5th September.

Other than a short story I wrote for a competition which took about four days, I haven’t written since 5th September.

Now I don’t know why I wrote that short story or why I entered that competition. It all seems rather pointless. Obviously if I win, that would be amazing, but it’s not going to happen. The story’s OK. That’s pretty good for me – to say it’s OK – but in reality it probably isn’t. I mean, right now I think it is but I bet if I read it in a year’s time I’ll hate it. Which is good, it means I’ve improved. But it also means the story’s crap.

I also don’t know how I managed it. How I made myself write that story and enter it. Doing something like that now seems impossible.

If everything I write today I’ll hate in a year’s time, what’s the point? But if I write something and still think it’s good in a year’s time, that’ll mean I haven’t improved in a year.

I don’t know which is worse.

Some people say they love writing. I just don’t get that. I used to – when I was in school. I don’t know when I stopped.

I like to think it makes me a better writer – to not like writing – but I probably just tell myself that to feel better about it.

I feel superior to people who say they love writing. Like they’re amateurs and I’m a real writer because I hate it. But who’s the real writer – the person who does it everyday and loves it or the person who avoids it for months? Maybe I’m just jealous.

I don’t know who I am or what I’m doing or where I’m going.

And I don’t know why I blog.

Footsteps

I’ve always loved the sound of footsteps. My own footsteps, to be exact. Not that I don’t like other people’s; they just don’t mean the same to me.

I was in one of those pretentious moods that makes you over-think everything as I walked home from the bus stop this evening and I discovered that I love the sound of my own footsteps because it’s proof of my existence. It’s the sound of your body touching the earth – it says ‘I’m here and I’m real and I’m part of this world.’ I think that’s why people like making footprints, too – in the snow or the sand. It’s your imprint left on the surface of the world.

Which is important because we all feel lost from time to time.

And I guess that’s also why people blog.

That and to share – to reach out in the hope that someone will understand, will have experienced the same thing or thought about it in the same way. Or perhaps they hadn’t but now that you’ve said it, it makes sense to them.

Here’s hoping.

Just a quick one…

…to say I’m still alive and had a breakthrough on my novel today.

No, I hadn’t written since the last time (25th July). Yes, that’s terrible. I’m a terrible writer. So what’s new?

But I’m excited again and that’s the main thing.

Sometimes you need a break, you know? I knew something was wrong. I even knew what was wrong. I just didn’t know how to fix it.

And part of me is thinking: this won’t fix it. You’ll just hit another brick wall. And it’s probably right but you know what? That’s just how writing goes. It’s essentially problem-solving, always with another problem to solve . I wonder, do you ever get to the end? Do you ever reach a point where there are no more problems? I guess not because then it would be perfect. Maybe you just get so worn down by all the problems that you just can’t solve any more and you give up and throw it at an agent to deal with.

And then they point out more problems and this time you have to solve them because a professional pointed them out to you.

That’s how it goes for me at work, actually. I draft and I edit and then I get bored and I go ‘huh. Close enough.’ and pass it on to my boss who reads it and says ‘NO’ and points out all the things he wants changing. And sometimes they’re simple like ‘add a comma here’ but sometimes I have to think of a new word or a way of phrasing a sentence, just so it ‘works’, because even though I knew it didn’t work before I passed it to him, I wouldn’t actually do anything  until he underlined it and told me to. And so it gets a little better and then we both give up and that’s that.

Makes you wonder about self-published books. I guess the writers just pay an editor. Or have more staying-power.

Oh right, the breakthrough. Should I tell you? It might jinx it. Nah, it won’t jinx it. What a load of nonsense. It may make me look foolish when it turns out not to be the answer I’m looking for but hey. We’ve covered that. Mistakes aren’t stupid, they’re human and they enable you to learn and grow so nuuuur.

The Breakthrough

What is currently the prologue will be the epilogue. This means I can start with the dream as the prologue and then end the first chapter with Diana’s arrival. Boom! Straight in the story, cutting all the boring crap right out of there with a knife so sharp, it doesn’t even touch it.

Yeah? Yeah?!

I’m tired.

Goodnight.

Thoughts?

Dog in a hat

So I’m back. I haven’t written since whenever I last wrote. Apparently that was 25th July. Pretty long time ago. Croatia was hot. But I saw a dog in a hat. Here, I’ll show you:

Dog in a hat

Look at his grumpy face! Grumpy face! It’s too hot for hats, that’s what he’s thinking. And it was. It was.

Holiday!

Apologies for my lack of blogging over the last few days – I was swallowed up by The Hunger Games trilogy. If you’ve read them, you know what I’m talking about. If not, you should. They’re not literary masterpieces but when the action gets going you won’t care. You won’t even notice. The ending was very abrupt – I wanted more on life after – but hey. They were still cracking books. So if you’re being a snob, get over it.

Right then. I’m also sending my apologies for my lack of blogging over the coming days, due to the fact that I’m going on holiday. Whoop whoop! But I’ll be back. In just over a week.

Try not to miss me too much!

LB