Tag: equality

“Lady doritos?” Twit of the Day!

It’s been ages since I’ve done a Twit of the Day post – not because there aren’t any twits about; mainly because very little shocks me at the moment in terms of the amount of stupidity in the world.

But I couldn’t let this story pass without comment. The CEO of the manufacturers of Doritos – PepsiCo –¬† has publicly announced that they’re looking into creating “less crunchy” crisps for women, that “fit more easily into a handbag”. Apparently women don’t like to crunch too loudly in public, or get their fingers covered in flavouring and have to lick it off, or tip the almost empty bag up to filter all the last bits of tastiness out of the corners (the best bit, IMO).

I have two questions here.
1) Who are the idiot women who responded to this survey? (presuming this is based on actual research and not some hair brained idea from someone within the company)
2) How patronising are the Doritos people?

I know there are certain unspoken rules around food consumption, like don’t order spaghetti bolognese on a first date (although I say stuff that, if you want it have it – food before dudes every time! Then again it’s easy for me, as a smug married, to surmise how I would behave, when in fact the world of modern dating and it’s throw away culture scares the bejesus out of me).

But really, crisps for women?

At a time when female equality is probably receiving the most media exposure of recent years?

At a time when the UK has just marked 100 years of women being allowed to vote?

What’s worse, PepsiCo’s CEO is a woman…

I do hope they’ll be in a pink packet.

Indra Nooyi, you’re my Twit of the Day!

What are your thoughts? Are you a loud and proud eater? Or would you welcome more discreet snack options? Let me know!

Thanks, as always, for reading. x

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Transgender children are not degenerate perverts!

Donald Trump has created yet another hoo-ha; no surprise there. The targets of his bullying tactics, as usual, a minority group who need protecting rather than denigrating.

But then again, this is Donald Trump.

By undoing President Obama’s bill allowing transgender people to use the gender bathroom with which they identify, Trump knows he’s condemning a portion of society in certain states to a life of being ostracised, outcast and embarrassed. Or, more accurately, that’s more ostracised, outcast and embarrassed than they already are. He knows that there are states that will relish the opportunity to once again impose a transgender bathroom ban, so that kids who are already tormented by their feelings, hormones and emotions will once again be constrained by what’s in their underwear rather than what’s in their brain.

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My main issue with this is the arguments that are put forward for segregation. Parents who don’t want their daughter/son being preyed upon by a transgender person.

For god’s sake!

Do people really genuinely think that a young boy would go to the trouble of living life as a girl, looking like a girl, identifying as a girl, being teased and bullied and vilified for wanting to be a girl just so that they can prey on “real” girls? Or that a girl would act like a boy, walk like a boy and talk like a boy in order to use the boys toilet? Not even the same cubicle, just the same room! Really? I’d love for these people to say it out loud and realise just how ridiculous that sounds as an argument.

We’re not talking about young boys in dresses and make up trying to look like girls here. Or teenage girls binding their breasts to hide their femininity. We’re talking about kids born in the wrong body. Kids for who everyday might be a struggle, and who really don’t need to be made to feel different for something as simple as taking a pee.

Transgender kids aren’t seeking attention, special treatment or a look inside the other kids pants. They’re seeking acceptance, recognition and understanding of a proven condition.

There seems to be way too much concern from other people about what goes on below the waist, rather than what goes on inside the head. A penis does not make you a boy. It might make you look like one, but it doesn’t make your brain feel like one.

And, for the most part, transgender kids do a really great job of looking like the gender they identify with, so isn’t it going to be more weird for a female to male trans kid – who looks every inch a boy – to go into the girls toilets? Isn’t that going to cause more alarm?

Oh, and one more thing. People who blame parents of transgender children for “making them that way”. What would you do? Imagine your young boy is threatening to cut his penis off with scissors? Imagine your young daughter is crying hysterically and asking when her boy parts will grow? What would you do? This isn’t a Mom who wanted a girl instead of a boy. Or the opposite. This is fucked up biology.

I’m tired of people of all ages, races and genders butting in to things that don’t really affect them. Making a big deal out of trivial things when there are way bigger fish to fry. Me? I couldn’t care who has what in their pants! If I need a wee, I need a wee! I’ll go into the toilet, shut the cubicle door, and do exactly what everyone else is in there to do, regardless of what hole it comes out of.

Still not convinced? Watch this video of Gavin and his 83 year old Nanna.

By her own admission she’s “learning”. But her acceptance is beautiful and a true example to anyone who ostracises a family member. If you don’t have time to watch the whole thing, skip to 4 minutes¬†40 seconds. If only all transgender people had an Elaine in their life (she also chose Gavin’s name).

Proof, yet again, that love wins!

Thanks, as always, for reading! x

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Marriage equality in America – the best bits

Common sense has prevailed in America. Brilliant.

Brilliant for the couples who can now cement their love for each other when they’ve previously been forbidden.

Brilliant for the couples who will now enjoy equal rights around insurance, welfare and health in relation to their partners.

Brilliant that a few rogue states with delusions of power have been firmly put in their place and over ruled.

Brilliant that the Whitehouse was bathed in multi-coloured lights to celebrate such a momentous decision.

Rainbow Whitehouse marriage equality

Rainbow Whitehouse marriage equality

Rainbow Whitehouse marriage equality

Brilliant that Niagra Falls followed suit.

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Brilliant that President Obama tweeted about it.

President Obama Twitter

Brilliant that Twitter had a hashtag with a rainbow heart.

Twitter rainbow heart

Brilliant that Facebook had an app to change your profile picture to a rainbow version.

Facebook rainbow profile picture

Some great stories about bigoted pastors who vowed to set themselves on fire if same sex marriage became legal…

…who then furiously backpeddled because he didn’t really mean it (roll eyes).

Americans who planned to move to Canada if the law changed (Canada legalised same sex marriage in 2005)

But this story here, with pictures, sums up what it’s all about – marriages that took place immediately after the ruling that would have previously been impossible.

Who can deny love like this?

Jack Evans, 84, left, and George Harris, 82, right, show their marriage license after being the first couple to receive it from the Dallas County Clerk Friday, June 26, 2015, in Dallas. Evans and Harris, who have been together for 54 years were the first couple married after having their license issued. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)
Jack Evans, 84, left, and George Harris, 82, right, show their marriage license after being the first couple to receive it from the Dallas County Clerk Friday, June 26, 2015, in Dallas. Evans and Harris, who have been together for 54 years were the first couple married after having their license issued. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)
Jaque Roberts,  left, and her partner of 31 years, Carmelita Cabello, right,  show off their marriage license at the Travis County building after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that  same-sex couples have the right to marry nationwide, Friday, June 26, 2015, in Austin, Texas. The court's 5-4 ruling means the remaining 14 states, in the South and Midwest, will have to stop enforcing their bans on same-sex marriage.(AP Photo/Eric Gay)
Jaque Roberts, left, and her partner of 31 years, Carmelita Cabello, right, show off their marriage license at the Travis County building after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that same-sex couples have the right to marry nationwide, Friday, June 26, 2015, in Austin, Texas. The court’s 5-4 ruling means the remaining 14 states, in the South and Midwest, will have to stop enforcing their bans on same-sex marriage.(AP Photo/Eric Gay)

Of course the fact that a decision got made by 9 individuals in the Supreme Court is ridiculous. But that’s a whole other story. Had the decision gone the other way then I’d have been more vocal about the process.

All that matters is that love wins.

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Transgender equality – Bruce Jenner and all that Jazz

So Bruce Jenner has undergone gender reassignment surgery. Fantastic news.

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And I say that not as a fan of Bruce, or the Kardashians (seriously, who would even admit to that!) but as a fan of people living their life in a way that makes them happy. Yes, changing gender is probably as extreme as it gets. But if that’s what it takes then it’s no-one’s business apart from the person suffering.

And suffering must be exactly what it feels like. Living every day as a lie. Imagine, whatever gender you are and feel happy with, that someone makes you act out the opposite gender every day. So for me, as a woman (and perfectly 100% happy with that), if someone told me I had to dress as a man, and go to men’s toilets, and look like a man, and answer to a man’s name – it would destroy the hell out of me. It would strip me of my identity, of my true self, and feel like I was lying to the world and myself (which, of course, I would be).

I don’t understand why that’s so difficult for many people to understand. Our mind is what makes us who we are – not our body. Our body is just a vessel. And bodies sometimes don’t develop quite as they should. People are born with physical disabilities because of how they developed in the womb – would you tell those people that they’re wrong? That they have the body they “should” have? Of course not.

And so I believe it is with trans-gender people. Whenever you read their story, they always say they were born with the wrong body. Bearing in mind the difference between male and female during development is just the splitting of a chromosome, its not hard to comprehend. It’s not their mind that is in the wrong. It’s just their physical vessel.

There’s a lot of vitriol and trolling on social media and chat forums from people who are either so narrow minded that they can’t comprehend anything different from themselves, or people who are just looking for a rise. Sometimes it’s hard to tell the difference (the unfortunate thing about the anonymity of the internet is that it gives people a mask to hide behind, and that there are some weird people who enjoy being mean to others). Unnecessary, horrible, vile words – the likes of which I wouldn’t say to my worst enemy. And I always think to myself, “imagine if it was you or someone in your family”.

Back to the celebrity side of things. Bruce Jenner is part of the very successful money making Kardashian brand, so a decision like this – going public – can’t have come easy. As an ex Olympian with grown up children – she’s lived the life of a “real man”. Her children are on TV. Her son-in-law is a rapper. These are all judgemental areas of life that she could jeopardise by finally being herself. But, however long it took her to get there, she obviously couldn’t live the lie anymore. And, based on news reports of how they’ve handled it (and this is something you will probably never hear me say again) I respect the Kardashians. Kim has been vocal about never having seen Bruce look happier, and how she will help her with styling. Even Kanye is reported to have been the one to help Kim come to terms with it (I still think that’s a PR stunt to make him look like less of a douche, but that’s another story). Kris has said Bruce is “her hero”. These are all beautiful reactions to a person that they love. Before all this, they might have had negative opinions of transgender people; not believing that it’s a mental issue, or even real. But, when faced with it, they have embraced Bruce as the person she is.

I know that people all over the world go through these kind of experiences day in day out, and don’t get the coverage or support or celebration that celebrities get. They may have to fight harder and longer to get a diagnosis, or treatment. But that doesn’t mean we should chastise the celebrities. In some ways it’s harder for them, as their struggle isn’t localised – it’s all over the media. Their every move, every look, every fashion choice is judged globally. Imagine the first time Bruce is seen, post-op, in women’s clothes. It will be everywhere.

I recently became aware, via the internet, of a little girl called Jazz Jennings.

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When Jazz was born, she was physically a boy. But from a very young age, Jazz identified as a girl. Her parents have supported her, not pigeonholing her into being a boy or girl, but letting her make her own choices. There’s even more controversy around transgender children, purely because many people say they’re too young to know their own mind, that they may change as they get older. Again I would say that a feeling – a knowledge – as strong as this isn’t “just a fad”. But of course there are rules in place around surgery and such like that are there to protect children and avoid any mistakes being made (I have to say I’ve never read a case where a child has identified with an opposite gender and then “changed back”).

Jazz is now growing up, in her teens, and is a very vocal activist for LGBT rights and for transgender children. She’s appeared on TV, co-wrote a book aimed at children to promote understanding and is to star in a reality show. Clean & Clear have featured her in an ad campaign – groundbreaking move by them, and so important in “normalising” transgender people.

Jazz and her family have put themselves out there to increase understanding and acceptance. They could have kept it under wraps, done it quietly, let Jazz have a normal girl’s life. But she felt so strongly about her rights, and the rights of others like her, that she’s out there making a difference. Campaigning for equality. They established the TransKids Purple Rainbow Foundation, to support other children in Jazz’s position. She isn’t unique – there are thousands more like her. Unfortunately not all of them will have the same happy ending due to misinformation, stereotyping and lack of compassion.

It’s heartbreaking that, in the 21st century, people should still have to carry a title .

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Who cares if you’re gay, straight, transgender? What it comes down to is this. We’re all on earth for a relatively short time. If happiness is within your grasp then you owe it to yourself to pursue it. The journey may be hard, but the result will be worth it.

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Same sex marriage – the Irish referendum

I don’t often get political on the blog, usually because I’m too self centred talking about me and my life, but I’m compelled to talk about the gay marriage referendum in Ireland. I was shocked to read that ex pats aren’t allowed to vote unless they’re in the country. Bearing in mind that the majority of people who have left Ireland are likely to be younger and therefore open to the idea of gay marriage and equality, and older people still in the Emerald Isle are perhaps more traditional (a sweeping generalisation I know, and of course there will be exceptions), this smacks of the powers that be trying to influence the result.

All hail then the people who are travelling #home to vote, which is trending on Twitter. People who realise the importance of being part of history, of exercising their individual power, and of not being controlled by the politician’s who are trying to dissuade them from getting involved. Not just those who want to vote yes (although, as is obvious, that’s what I believe the result should be). But, even for those who are voting no, it’s wrong to try and silence the voters’ voice by changing the rules and insisting on physical geographical voting. It is giving the message that you’re not really Irish unless you’re in the country, and that your voice shouldn’t be heard if you’ve dared to leave the homeland.

The vote is ground breaking as it’s the first time the issue of gay marriage has been voted publicly. Whatever the result, there will be outcry from the “losing” side. Ultimately some people are going to be upset. I suppose its the most democratic way of deciding (certainly better than politicians making the rules) but, ultimately, why should it be down to a vote at all? Why should it even be up for debate?

The truth is that all adults should have the same human rights. If two people are in love and want to express that love by committing to each other – publicly, privately, whatever – then who are other people to judge? What gives anyone the right to exert power over another group and decide what they can and can’t do when it comes to loving someone? We’re not talking taboo like incest or bestiality. We’re talking consenting adults who want to spend their lives together.

Most people are horrified and appalled by the thought of apartheid and black people being segregated and treated as second class citizens as they once were. Preventing gay marriage is such a similar thing. It’s treating people differently because of who they are; something they can’t even control. Black people don’t choose to be black. Gay people don’t choose to be gay.

Love is love, and love is beautiful.

And, to prove it, here are some photos from Gay Pride in Los Angeles 5 years ago – such a fun day full of laughter, good energy, and acceptance.

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