You will be missed 

There are some stories that stick in your mind. Years later, when you’ve transitioned from child to adult you’ll still remember that novel you read with a flashlight late into the night. For me, it was Harry Potter. When I found out today that Alan Rickman had passed it felt like two people had died. One, the actor, the other the beloved character we’ve known and loved for over a decade.
 
It’s not an easy task portraying a well-known personality especially when the story is as much loved as Harry Potter. Making the transition from words on a page to a real human being, Alan Rickman was more then up to the task. I think I speak for everyone when I say that he surpassed all expectations, he gave life to Rowling’s words in a way that will never leave us. More than that, he loved the character and the story in a way which not all actors do. Maybe, it’s because so few have the opportunity to follow their character for such a long period of time or maybe it’s the magic of the story. Regardless, Alan Rickman will be missed, it’s fitting that his most memorable persona, Professor Snape, someone who personified love and sacrifice will be his greatest tribute.
  Photo credit : tumbr 

Gloria Steinem and Las Vegas

Vegas wears glittery eye shadow, expensive clothes and is friends with everyone. Who doesn’t love Vegas? You go to Vegas to get lost and there’s an expectation that Vegas is willing to take you and love you. In the minds of men Vegas is a willing women, but for women? Vegas is a pimp in the eyes of women, just another man in a garish purple coat, driving a Cadillac and selling sex for money.

I went to Las Vegas for the first time this past weekend and it wasn’t what I expected. I knew it wound be glitzy and glamorous but I didn’t think of the sex appeal or just how much of a focus it is not just on streets but everywhere. I saw signs for orgasm clinics and strip clubs, I saw billboards with half naked women that would supposedly be “delivered” to you. I saw women young and old dressed as pin up girls selling everything from sex to pizza. It made me sick. I felt worthless, violated and dirty walking the streets of Vegas. Where was the empowerment for women? Where was the equality?

Maybe I’m being harsh, maybe the reason I’m hating so hard is because on the plane to Vegas I started to read Glora Steinem’s, My Life on the Road. Some would say I went to Vegas with my feminist glasses on but they would be wrong. I went to Vegas with my human glasses on and what I saw made me take a step back and think about what we value as humans. If Vegas is any indication, humans value sex, money and expensive clothes. 
There were two moments that stuck out the most for me. The first was while strolling towards the Bellagio fountains, much like everyone else we were stopped by club promoters. Since it was our first time and we didn’t know any better, we stopped to talk with one young man.

“Listen you bring your girls, they free and you get $10 off”

He was a young guy, well dressed but speaking in the clichéd way that men of this generation speak; quickly and without much thought.
No thanks we said and walked away. I wanted to turn around, I wanted to talk to this young man who thought he was just like any entrepreneur and tell him that the message he’s sending out is wrong. Why am I as a woman free? Why am I not worth anything? Or wait, is my presence in a club my only worth because it guarantees that the men will have someone to ogle.
But what would have been the point of dressing down this young “entrepreneur” he’s speaking a truth that society is teaching him, that women are sex symbols and little else.
On our way home after dinner one night, we came across a young man talking to a women dressed as a police officer. I say police officer because that was the intent but of course no officer wears fish net stockings and short shorts.

He asked, “Can I take a picture with you for free?”

“We’re not standing here half naked for free” she said and the grim disapproval on her lipstick smeared mouth was enough to scare away the man.
Life in Vegas isn’t for the faint of heart. It’s a cemetery of dreams that never came to fruition. It’s a depressing hell hole of hope that will go nowhere. Mostly, it’s a place where all of the hard work of the feminist movement goes to waste because the human instinct for survival wins. This instinct in this world teaches us to sell, exploit and to keep on keeping on. Welcome to Vegas.

I joined Emma Watson’s book club…

And I feel it’s a life changer already. As some of you may have noticed (or not because I’ve been neglecting my blog recently) I have changed the name of the blog. The reason is simple, I’ve changed so the blog changes. When I first started this blog I wasn’t as interested in ground breaking novels, it’s been almost two years now since I first started the blog and my tastes have changed dramatically. I find myself wanting to write about change, politics and the state of the world. So, when I found out that Emma Watson had started a feminist book club I knew I not only had to join but I needed to get my voice back. So here I am. A changed blogger with a new repertoire of books. Hear me roar and expect more changes to the blog. It’s going to be something beautiful, I hope.
 

Why don’t you like me?

We live in a world where social media is everything. We document what food we eat, what clothes we where, who we love and where we go as if the only way we can feel good about ourselves is if we recieve validation from someone else. We yearn for the “likes” on Instagram and Facebook and Twitter because somehow it makes us feel like we’ve accomplished something but the sad truth is we have not. 

I’m ashamed to admit that up until today I spent countless hours on Instagram looking at fitness pages, skinny girls, clothes and make up. The thought “damn I wish I looked like that” crossed my mind probably a thousand times. I’m in my mid twenties now and although I have my insecurities I know that I’m not going to starve myself or go broke trying to look like the insta famous girls on social media, but what about the man, woman or child who will? 

When I was thirteen I hated how I looked but I was lucky because 12 years ago social media wasn’t a thing. Yes there were magazines that were photoshopped that we all crooned over but we didn’t have the monster of social media lurking in our room. Now, young generations have Instagram, Facebook and all sorts of other platforms to make them feel insecure, to make them feel that validation only comes in the form of social media likes. 

This needs to stop. We need to create change. We need to teach our children that the things they see on social media are not real. We need to talk about the definition of contrived and fake. We need to be more reactive to how social media is shaping our lives. 

This post was inspired by the lovely and inspirational Essena Oneill. She was an insta famous entrepeneur and now she’s spreading the word about the social media lie. Check out her Instagram page for more details  

A blurb about change 

Next week I’ll be leaving an office that I have been a part of for just shy of three years and it’s left me feeling slightly unhinged. 

I started at CP when I was a student. I was driven, hungry, ambitious and I wanted more. I found myself doing presentations and research, always trying to be one step ahead of the game. I didn’t realize it at the time but I was taking the first steps into becoming the woman I am today. I also didn’t realize that it was the people that I worked with who drove me, inspired me and changed me.

This office shaped me; the people, the work, it made me want to be something more. I found myself here, I found my passion for books, for writing, for language, for dedication and the need to live a life unencumbered by stress that didn’t matter. It’s funny because the job itself had nothing to do with any of these things and yet they are what I learned the most.

I shared milestones with these people; graduation, marriage and now I am moving on. I feel woefully unprepared to leave my extended family. I think that probably on my last day, when the clock hits three, I’ll be sitting in the parking lot trying to take it all in. The last time I’ll leave the office, the last time I’ll be one of them.

It’s a short coming humans have, we care too much. The caring brings us down and we often make decisions based on the heart rather then the head. If life were different, I would have stayed at CP forever but sometimes change is the kick in the ass we all need.

It’s hard you know…

To put at risk the thing you use the most; your eyes. On Friday I am going in for laser eye surgery and I am terrified beyond belief. Beyond the superficial fear of not being able to live a normal life, I fear that I’ll miss my husbands smile, the pinkish orange tinge of a sunset, the look of laughter on a loved ones face. Have you ever noticed how when someone laughs, really laughs, their eyes crinkle? I used to think that the worst thing that could happen is not being able to look at the words I love the most, transcribed on brittle paper that for years I held with such reverence but I’ll miss the people more, the ones whose faces light up my life.