Descent into Chaos

What the hell are we doing? What is happening to society? Is this the hyped up version of the Instagram world where people need to commit acts of violence and atrocities to get their 15 minutes of fame? It can’t be. It must be something more.

I blame capitalism and the social fabric it has woven over the last few decades. Too many people are being left behind, too many people are being marginalised. Add to that the advent of social media, and the ease by which we judge others, and we’ve got a lot of people with messed up minds. We all fall victim to the feeling of shame, degradation, and hopelessness (unless you’re a wealthy white male, then you’re all good). It’s how we get out of that that truly defines our actions and, but sadly, people aren’t being equipped with the ‘hop out of this hellhole that I call my mind’ tools that they desperately need. Unless you have a stable childhood full of love and affirmation, chances are you’re going to turn out pretty screwed up.

Thanks to capitalism, we are pushed around a cycle of trying to find happiness elsewhere- in iPhones, alcohol, material things and quick highs. But when the happy wears off, we’re left with a lot of darkness to contend with, and oftentimes, it gets spelled out in violence. It can be as simple as swearing at the whole street because your parking coins don’t work, roughing up a fourteen year old kid for wearing the ‘wrong’ sneakers (sorry I mean trainers), or smashing beer bottles at a wall in an abandoned parking lot. It can also get more complicated, and I don’t need to imagine anything because we’ve seen well-covered violence happen all over Europe (particularly Germany and France), especially lately.

My one steadfast response to this is: WHOLESOME EDUCATION, and very few countries in the world, let alone education systems, actually do this. I’d say no country in the world focuses on personal growth alongside academic growth but there’s so much praise for Finland and Denmark I’m not going to be quite so outlandish. Children need to learn from a young age what responsibility is, how their responsibility affects other people. They need to learn the impact of their work and actions, as well as gain mediation tools and self-reflection. Constructive criticism goes a long way, as does being able to let negative emotions go, or work through negative emotions rather than let them grow and create a harmful environment for themselves and everyone around them.

For me, if you can help nurture a society in which people are able to deal with other people and most importantly, deal with themselves, then already we will deflate a lot of conflict. The one thing that I learned in three years doing Peace Studies is that peace is cheaper than war. Peace is cheaper to instil than it is for us to wage a war. But you know what? Capitalism profits from war, which is why we are being kept pushed down, stifled. Because Capitalism would rather we foot their fat pay checks than for us to actually live out peaceful happy lives.

In order for us to have meaningful change, we need to stop hashtagging prayers and actually start changing the system. Let’s start with education, let’s start by giving ordinary people the tools to help themselves from themselves. Let’s start by making society an easier place to live for everyone, by actually instilling social change rather than listening to Jeremy Corbyn go on about it. Let’s educate children, let’s give them the tools to advance themselves and improve themselves. Let’s slowly chip away at this war-hungry system that we have somehow gotten ourselves into (not by accident, I’m sure).

Yes I’m idealistic but so was Nelson Mandela once upon a time. As he says, ‘Everything is impossible until it is done’.

 

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Being Woman

I am a woman in 2016. I am scared to walk alone at night, because I don’t know who or what will try and violate me- verbally or physically. I am proud to exclaim ‘girl power’ in the office because the admin girls get shit done. I’m ashamed of my cleavage when a new dress droops down more than I thought. I am uncomfortable when people stare at the ladders in my tights from a faulty desk at work. I am fiercely proud of my heritage and the cultural understanding it helps me promote.

Men, the poor souls. They have to put up with so much, they get told so many things- how to act, what to wear, how (not) to pick up women, changing gender roles where their masculinity and power is being taken away from them, with nothing to replace it. We talk about women shattering glass ceilings, but maybe we should be careful of the men falling from said ceilings? We need to catch them too.  And what about working daddies? The latte papas? They need space and time to grow into their new roles co-parenting, but society keeps implying that they aren’t allowed, because while traditional female roles are evolving, the male roles feels stale and stagnant.

 

Ok, now that men feel good about a feminist having fought for their cause, let’s get down to the touchy feely woman-y stuff. There are so many different issues in the fight for equality, oftentimes, it’s hard to know where to look or what to fight for. I’m coloured, but I’m not, because even though I have small eyes and brown skin, I am curvy AF and hold a very powerful burgundy passport. I am not living up to my full working potential because of my gender, but also because of the current political and economic climates that have clashed to create an uncertainty that not even men can really comprehend or survive. I am sick of men on Tinder just saying ‘boobs’ and expecting me to reply in the positive. I dress nice and put on make-up because I like the power it gives me, not because I’m looking to impress everyone on the street with my great fashion sense. And yet, I do wear cute clothes to work because as a temporary receptionist you’re expected to just smile and look pretty, and that is a lot that I advertently, and inadvertently, choose to accept.

And don’t get me started on marriage. Everyone wants you to get married and have babies and you know what? Having a boyfriend is lovely. It really is. Someone to make you tea and share in the household work. Someone to complain to and take your anger out on, and most importantly, to cuddle you in bed. But it doesn’t mean anything if you can’t do those things for yourself, first. I am a woman and I’m learning to be independent. I can travel the world and go anywhere, and yet, if I can’t stay home alone on a Sunday without seeing anyone, then who am I, really? I put that pressure on myself and I over-analyse and suddenly I’m no one, I’ve made myself feel yae big. But then I cook an excellent meal for one and I’m a bit more human.

It’s the little things. It’s what we let ourselves do, it’s the flaws that we accept. Yes, I really hate mopping. I’ll hoover, I’ll sweep, but it’ll take a lot to get a mop out. But maybe that’s okay. I should give myself a break, I should give myself more breaks. That’s when I turn on the TV and see the beautiful woman who has it all and always has her legs perfectly shaved (OK this problem doesn’t apply to me, Eurasian genes) and suddenly I’m back to struggling with my feelings of inadequacy and self-doubt again. It has been a while since I shaved my legs. I should probably hop in the shower now and shave them. Or you know what, to hell with it. Not only is no one going to notice, but the biggest reason is: I CAN’T BE BOTHERED.