david walliams what the fuck
thoughts

4 Things Wrong with this Anti-Gay Marriage Ad (other than the obvious)

I generally try to have lowkey Sundays. You know, sit in the sun. Have some green tea while listening to Spotify and reading Time or The Economist. But sometimes the universe conspires against you to make sure your Sunday just tests you – case in point, the following ‘ad’ that was printed in MaltaToday:

gay marriage in malta

Let’s just take a minute to let this one sink in. Ready? Okay, time to break this down and take a look at what’s wrong with this ad – other than the fact that someone actually felt inclined to make an ‘ad’ like this. 

1 | It’s Total Bullshit

We’ve known each other for a while now, ladies and gents. You know I’m not one to mince my words (as hard as I may try for the sake of propriety). I’m a big reader, and I have to say that it’s truly a rare thing to find such a strong, pungent concentration of murky toilet-water as this. I don’t think this ad homophobic rant is representative of all the Catholics in Malta – just the ones who like to use the faith as something to hide behind while they’re peddling their existing hateful views.

homophobia in malta

Oh, and a word of advice to the wannabe Donald Draper who typed this thing out: saying ‘we respect everyone’ followed with ‘but’ a couple of sentences later is basically a way of saying, “forget everything I just said, it’s time to get to what I actually think. F*ck all of y’all.”

2 | It was Printed

Someone actually received this nonsense and said, “yep, this is something I think my publication should print. I like what this says about my newspaper. This is totally fine. Giving these people a platform for their hate-mongering is exactly the kind of thing I can do to make the world a better place today.”

gay marriage malta

What is wrong with people? Are we that greedy and so hard-up for cash that printing something like this is a fair trade-off? Isn’t there some sort of ethical issue here? Isn’t it irresponsible of a publication like this one to print something that just makes hateful people feel justified in their venomous views? I have a lot of questions.

3 | Marriage is…

Who the actual f*ck gave you zealots the right to decide what marriage is? Why can’t we just celebrate love instead of concerning ourselves with the gender of the people doing the loving? The world can be a dark, dank place, so excuse me if I think we should just be happy about the fact that people still have the hope and romance to believe in a ‘happily forever after’. Marriage is a promise two people make in front of their nearest and dearest. It’s a celebration of love and an oath symbolising that those people standing up in the nice outfits are going to do their damnedest to love each other like Kanye loves Kanye (and maybe even more). Your personal views on what marriage ‘is’ should never be imposed on anyone else. So mind your own business.

giphy (5)

4 | The Other N-Word

And by that I mean ‘natural’ versus ‘unnatural’. My coffee is in desperate need of a re-fill so I’ll make this one super easy to understand:

Natural (adjective)
existing in or derived from nature; not made or caused by humankind.
Examples: The Niagara Falls; Widnet il-Baħar; a beautiful sunset; my love for gin and tonic; heterosexual as well as homosexual relationships between living things.
Unnatural (adjective)
not existing in nature; artificial; man-made.
Examples: My make-up’d face as it appears on Instagram; the colour of my nails right now; the institution of marriage; the law; the Eurovision; Kinnie. 
Sorted? Sorted.
giphy (1)
Oh, and on the off-chance that the person who penned this full-page piece of garbage happens to come upon my distinctly unnatural blog, here’s another word I’ve taken the liberty of finding for you:
what does salty mean
Used in a sentence: “Stop being a salty bigot and let people love other people, get married, and have a damn party. Preferably with a considerably strong open bar.”
giphy (4)
Happy Sunday.*
-Kelly
*Only applicable to those who don’t go around chastising politicians while trying to take the moral high ground via a full-page homophobic rant. Grazzi. 
Standard
Funny

10 Things Women in Malta are Sick of Hearing

While I’m pretty sure there are more than 10 things that women on this little bit of the Mediterranean are tired of dealing with, we needed to keep things concise for the sake of practicality. And for the sake of my own sanity.

This post was inspired by some ridiculously sexist comments made by a certain Maltese “blogger” who thought it was a good idea to ridicule a woman for having body hair because, well, she’s a member of the opposition. Yes – body shaming is now a tactic being used by a blogger on our “feminist” government’s payroll. Using our taxes. Anyway, on to the post!

1 | “Women should shave their [insert body part here].”

things women are tired of hearing

Why? Why is someone else’s body hair your concern? Why do you think it’s okay to ridicule or judge a person for making a personal choice about their own body? It’s basically like going to someone’s house and insulting their choice of decor because it’s not to your taste. By all means, do whatever you want with your body, but keep your feelings about other people’s body hair to yourself. It’s plain rude.

2 | “Ladies don’t swear.”

Why the fuck not? Does it clash with your established and antiquated notions of femininity? Does it displease you? Does it reduce my chances of finding a man? WILL I LOSE MY DOWRY? Shit, I seem to have wandered out of the kitchen again. Sincerest fucking apologies.

things women are tired of hearing

3 | “Aw koxxa! Aw gisem!Aw sex! Very nice eh swijt! etc.”

Translation: CATCALLS OF ANY KIND

I wish I knew who invented The Catcall. What do they expect? They call us something gross and we’ll turn around, pink-cheeked and feverish with desire, to say: “Yes! This is the man I have been looking for! Get out of that passenger seat and ravish me, good sir!” THIS. NEVER. HAPPENS. Sometimes, they even slow the  car down and drive  alongside you as you try to ignore them. Yeah, that’s not creepy at all.

things women are tired of hearing

4 | “U iva, take it as a compliment.”

I’m sorry, what? If being catcalled on my way  to work was a compliment, I’d take it as one. This, however, is harassment. Being told to take that sort of thing as a compliment is the same dangerous mentality that gets drummed into girls when they’re still in primary school: “Oh honey he’s being mean because he likes you!” This is not what we should be teaching girls because it increases the risk of them accepting unacceptable behaviour later on in life. “He’s being mean because he likes you” isn’t that far away from “he hits me because he loves me”. Cut that bullshit.

things women are sick of hearing

5 | “Jaqaw it’s that time of the month?”

Are we still saying this in 2017?

things women are tired of hearing

6 | “You look prettier when you smile!”

And you look cuter when you stop giving me tips on how to be more visually appealing to the masses. If you want me to smile say something funny so I can ugly-laugh and make that snorty noise while I do it. Also this is how my face is by default so I can’t help it.

things women are tired of hearing

7 | “That’s way too much make up, I prefer a more natural look.”

Why didn’t you say so? If that’s what you like, we recommend a nude lip, some BB cream with SPF in it, a hint of blush and a dash of mascara. Oh, you were talking about how you prefer your women? Never mind.

things women are tired of hearing

8 | “You look like a slut./Qisek qaħba.”

I wrote a whole article entitled What Does a Slut look like? recently. If you don’t have time to read that, just refer to the gif below.

mean girls slut

9 | “Well, what were you wearing? How much did you drink? Did you lead him on? Did you say no? Why were you walking home alone?”

These kinds of questions are often hurled at rape victims or victims of some kind of sexual harassment in rapid succession. Unfortunately, this victim-blaming culture and refusal to understand the notion of sexual consent is still going strong in Malta. If a girl gets raped, why is she being asked about what she was wearing? Are there clothes that allow or justify rape? The answer is ‘fuck no’. Rather than ‘don’t get raped’, the message needs to be ‘DON’T RAPE’.

things women are tired of hearing

10 | [Any sort of attempt to control women’s reproductive rights]

Especially when that attempt involves refusing to sell or stock emergency contraception based on bullshit ‘conscientious grounds’.

things women are tired of hearing


-Kelly

Standard
difference between bachelors and spinsters
Adult Life, thoughts

The Difference between Bachelors and Spinsters

difference between bachelors and spinsters

For as long as I can remember, the words ‘bachelor’ and ‘spinster’ were universes apart. A bachelor is this cool, good-looking guy who can be in a relationship, but chooses not to. He probably lives in a penthouse with a lot of leather furniture and blue-grey decor, and a turntable playing smooth jazz; a different woman stays over every other weekend a la Charlie Sheen in Two and a Half Men. The charming, eternal bachelor (never a slut) looks at his monogamous friends and sighs; attends weddings and mourns the loss of another brother in arms – after fully enjoying the Stag Night. Being a part of Bachelorville is a magical thing brimming with slick hairstyles and chiseled jawlines – sharp suits and naughty nightcaps.

But Venus help you if you and your uterus are single after a certain age, because you’re this strange creature with scaly green skin, three rows of teeth, and a gnome where your lady-business should be, frantically searching for a mate before those all-important child-bearing years are over. A wild Homo Innupta Tristis – a sad spinster, thrust out into the wild armed with little more than a DVD box set of Bridget Jones’ Diary, a pack of tissues to wipe your salty tears, and your pet cat, probably named Morris, there to keep you company.

difference between bachelor and spinster

Oh, and you’ll have already noticed that the world of bachelors and spinsters is completely heterosexual and cisgender, too. Add that to the list of questions.

Wait, what?

I always felt that there was something not quite right about this uneven split, even though I couldn’t always articulate it. I’d scratch my little head and wonder what exactly the right word would be for a lady who was quite happy to be single (like Charlie Sheen or otherwise). Defeated, I just stuck to an un-imaginative ‘not married’. Or ‘single lady’ (my inner-teen was very excited when Beyoncé released her hand-twisting hit into the world). But once I’d come to terms with that one, my next question was: what do we call a man who’s a spinster? Cue frustration. Enter exasperated tween. Give up and play video games ad nauseum. Give it a couple more years, and I’d soon start asking why we felt the need to assign names to people based on their sexual/relationship status or levels of perceived desirability – that bit came a fair while later.

We’ve tried to sort this out by coming up with the word Bachelorette – which actually isn’t a bad one, but doesn’t solve the problem of double-standards on its own. We need to dig a little deeper into the ideology behind the words. The problem is that with or without those all-important signifiers, males and females are judged differently once they reach a certain age and happen to be single and – yes – childless. And that’s where the biological matter of sex fades away, and the cultural issues of gender and, more specifically, gender roles, come into play. Yes, I’m dropping the G-bomb. Don’t panic.

gender roles

The mental knee-jerk reaction we experience when we hear words like ‘bachelor’, ‘spinster’ or ‘bachelorette’ is based on the way we’ve been taught to perceive and understand the world around us. Before we’re even old enough to mumble one-syllable words like ‘no’ and ‘ka-ka’, the world around us starts to build us into boys and girls, men and women. Blue for boys, pink for girls. Boys play with cars and wear super-hero t-shirts, girls play with Barbies and toy babies, and wear dresses. This might seem absurd to some, but I promise you that that’s just how early it starts – and it just continues, over time, in the subtlest of ways.

Human beings are uncomfortable with anything that can’t be identified, categorised, and slotted into a box for convenience – genres, animal species, men, women, spinsters, bachelors, sluts, players, nerds, geeks, bimbos, and so on and so forth until the end of time. We like clear-cut lines and definitions. We like naming things. When you disrupt this black-and-white division of the world, you cause some serious turbulence. You’re a scary thing that broke out of your category. Where are we going to put you now, weirdo?

Re-definitions

Spinster (noun)difference between bachelor and spinster

An unmarried woman, typically an older woman beyond the usual age for marriage, without children.

The gender problem I outlined earlier is captured quite neatly in this straightforward dictionary definition. This word defines a woman based on two key assumptions:

  1. All women should aspire to be married to a man by a certain age
  2. All women want to have children and be married to a man by a certain age

The view that women are essentially baby-factories waiting for a dapper prince charming to roll up and woo them into oblivion is supposedly convenient for society in the wider sense, but is vastly out of touch with reality. Some women want children, some don’t. Some women get married, some don’t. Similarly, some men prefer staying single, others would rather like to get into a relationship, raise children, et cetera. There’s no good and bad about it, however there is a massive misconception surrounding the subject of singledom. The driving force behind the words ‘bachelor’ and ‘spinster’ is the notion that a man can choose to be single, promiscuous, and not want children, while a woman is single because of some intrinsic flaw that marks her as ‘undesirable’, on the shelf. If she also happens to be promiscuous, then she’s called a slut, by the way.

difference between bachelor and spinster

So perhaps, like many things, it boils down to the question of choice. The fascinating thing about language is that it reflects the culture that creates and uses it; if we look a bit closer, there’s that small suggestion that the word ‘spinster’ is a pretty good snapshot of our society. The word captures this blurred image of a nameless woman, deemed undesirable, who can’t choose to be single or without children. It’s something that happens to her, a melancholy condition she has to ‘cope’ with.

Unless, of course, I’ve missed some critical part about being a human being who happens to have a uterus. Do I not get to level up if I decide not to have kids? Is there an exclusive Femininity Club I can’t be a part of if I don’t have a significant other? Will my ovaries explode if I don’t need to be desirable to men to have a good sense of self-worth? So many questions. 

Anyway, this is a little ramble that came up when I was sipping my cappuccino. What other pairings do you think are total bullshit? Hit the comments and let’s talk about it!

-Kelly

Standard
Adult Life, thoughts

The Importance of Being (Okay) Alone

11054408_10152725945288316_3559715961945688164_n

Over the last year or so I’ve probably written and re-written and deleted this post a dozen times; maybe that’s because I know the whole subject of being alone versus loneliness is quite a sensitive one to many. I’ve been away for a while, busy flitting between work and a trip to the UK to visit family, but I’ve had some time to myself to think about this. Let’s give this a shot. 

The world is saturated with quotes and films which lead us to think that we’re perpetually in search of some other half, implying some sort of lack on the part of the single person. There’s a sense that you should be looking for someone to complete you because as things stand you’re incomplete. You need to go out and hunt that ‘other half’ down before all the available men and women are taken by more fortunate parties. If you’re alone, then you damn well better be feeling lonely because that’s just how things work. Right? Wrong.

Now before I start to sound cynical, here’s a quick disclaimer to let you know that I’m all for the romance and the fluttering feeling you get when that guy you like looks at you, talks to you, or likes your latest selfie on Facebook. And don’t get me started on when the date happens – I’m a sucker for all of that good stuff (especially if said date involves excellent food).

What I’m not a fan of is perpetuating the idea that a person isn’t complete unless they’ve got a significant other. The anxiety and misery that this type of thinking creates is not just unfair but bordering on the ridiculous – and I regret not having realised this sooner (which explains why I’m writing this, hoping that it might help someone else realise this earlier on in life than I did). If you’re constantly in search of an ‘other’ to complete you, you’re walking around feeling like you’re not good enough, like there’s a big hole in your chest; that’s just not right and definitely not healthy. Instead of embracing the notion that you should be out there looking for ‘the one’ why aren’t we helping people realise that being okay alone is what comes first, before getting into a relationship? Why aren’t we helping people value themselves as whole, complete human beings who don’t need someone else to function on a day-to-day basis?

tumblr_new7kvdJ461qzdhexo1_1280

When that special person does come along, then what you’ve got is a really great partner to go on adventures with. I don’t mean Indiana Jones style adventures (but I’m not discouraging that) – I mean life in general with all the possible experiences waiting at every turn, whether it’s trying out that new Indian restaurant or planning your next trip together.  What we need to look for isn’t another half, because we’re already whole. What we’re looking for is another whole to complement your own complete self. And when that happens, it’s beautiful and you are ridiculously happy.

But don’t forget that you are okay in solitude. Your time alone with yourself is valuable – use it well. We spend so much time giving our energy to the world out there that we need the down-time to recharge and build ourselves up as individuals. It’s about having time to read a book, do something creative, exercise, unwind, or simply reflect on the week’s events and write a few lines in your journal. Invest time in yourself. Be kind to yourself and be okay alone because you deserve to feel whole and there’s nothing wrong with it. At the end of the day, you might end up giving yourself the space you need to see that you’re not really as alone as you felt in the first place.

That’s my 2 cents, anyway.

Kelly

Standard