20.4.14

The Eye Candy That Music Videos Can Be {ONE}

Hey Readers!

 In the world of feminism, music videos can tend to get a pretty bad write up: glorified masculinity, highly misogynistic portrayal of women  and all emphasized by the patriarchal bullshit soaked lyrics. But equally the music video is becoming one the most creative, beautiful and experimental modern art forms. Not that I need to tell you guys about how pretty music videos can be; the likelihood is that you are a blogger, and therefore by definition super indie and interesting with a music taste to match. Therefore we can celebrate this wondrous art form together, through what will hopefully develop into a little regular thing where I just share my favorite eye candy from the realms of music videos.

'MAIDEN' BY MØ



'FANTASY' BY MS MR


'FANCY' BY IGGY AZALEA FT. CHARLI XCX


'SACRILEGE' BY YEAH YEAH YEAHS

Gwendolen

15.4.14

Let's be honest guys: this is a pretty terrible outfit post

Hey Readers!

 Because of peer pressure and blogger's influence and stuff, I've done an outfit post. But the pictures are pretty terrible so, like, erm yeah.



Feminists on Tour T, DIYed


Gwendolen

11.4.14

Badassery and Charity

Hey there.
Here is a DIY of a barbed wire bracelet, something I have been looking for for a while (two "for"s next to each other in a sentence, weird). You may think I am some form of twisted, masochistic being for wanting a barbed wire bracelet (although its not actually barbed wire, as that is the point).
Slightly off topic, I think I use too many parenthesis when I write.


Back on track, I was hoping to stumble upon a barbed wire bracelet, although ideally it was a headband, because, not only does it look badass, but because of its symbolism in my mind of this thing called:


For those of you who have not heard of it, Amnesty International is a large human rights organisation which you can read more about here. I think it is a great cause and call out to you fellow humans to join and help stop stoning (yes, it is legal in some countries to stone people to death, FOR ADULTERY), forced evictions, torture and many other atrocities that take place in this world. You can just sign up for the emailing list to be notified when big actions could really use your help to put on intonational pressure, but if you get a membership you get a t-shirt ;) Plus, if you are a young person I think the membership is only around £5 a year, AND THE MONEY GOES TO A GOOD CAUSE!
So please go and help the world! (And make a badass bracelet. See what I say about overusing  parenthesis?)

Cecily

7.4.14

Gender equality and violence


This image was posted on my school's Feminist Society facebook page. It was then proceeded with a short debate, which was nicely free from mindless sexist arguments, and covered the usual ideas surrounding the debate on gender violence. Then I posted a reply I was so proud of I thought I would allow myself a small bit of indulgence and share it with y'all:

The whole gender violence debate is a really grey area for feminists, as yeah, in a gender equal society violence would be a problem in itself and people's gender wouldn't come into it. However, we do not live in a gender equal society - we live in one with historical patriarchal structures. This is why violence against women by men tends to be seen as a bigger problem for feminism, as violence (inc. rape) are tools for oppression and therefore reinforces the perception of men as dominant. There is also growing concern for male victims of domestic violence who are equally damaged by the issue, but have been ignored by both society and feminists (until recently). But the real heart of this issue is domestic violence and abusive relationships which are hugely damaging to the victim, regardless of gender. It is this that feminists are really trying to stop, I know at least for myself I really don't care about the gender of either the victim or perpetrator.

Thoughts?

Gwendolen

5.4.14

Now I have a chance to breathe

Hey Readers!

 I am finally blogging. After months of begrudged silence, my fingers are finally tapping across the keys talking to people who maybe care a bit more than most of the people I see everyday but in reality still not that much. My show is over, my English coursework is in and my physics ISA is successfully retaken. I'm doing ok in German*. But the foot high pile of books by my bed remains untouched. It's one of the most depressing/exciting sights in the world.

MØ - Slow Love

 So what has happened in my life? Jeez. Where to start? Well, we have had three meetings of my school's new FEMINIST SOCIETY founded and run by yours truly (plus Fleur). Our last meeting was a talk on "Militarization and Patriarchy", which was our best attended (24 humas/uncountable numbers of bacteria) yet, and also longest (didn't actually leave the school building until quarter to six). As my school's Prof of Arts and Humanities likes to say - "we're beginning to shake things up around here". I've even been asked to interview the potential new physics teachers as a sexism scout.

 What has basically been my life


 I also got Head Girl! Sort of yay. I never really got the high that you normal get after something like that. It was probably partly because I was feeling disgustingly ill, but it wasn't even that kind of neutrality of an anti-climax, if anything I was just feeling a bit down. Whenever my life has been crazily busy and stressful, when it finally stops and I can have time to bond with sofa, the next day I'll always get into this introverted mood, where my thoughts seem to continuously compete with the external world to be the main part of my consciousness. But this time it was so intense and persistent. And it lasted for days, until I just ended up having a really horrible day on Wednesday.

Prinzegeorge - Victor

 Despite the fact exams are next month I managed to swindle doing nothing yesterday. It was the end of term so my school had Dong Chen (Sixth Form football competition where the lower school get to goggle at sixth form girls running about in almost nothing**) to raise money for Leukemia research. I'm now wearing my "Can you handle this Dong?" T-shirt. Then I popped down into town with Max and Fleur, the latter of whom we discovered as a phobia of topless men. In the evening it was Fleur's 17th party, which was most enjoyable and teenagery.

Claiming my brother's wall

Gwendolen


*88% IN MY GERMAN MOCK. EIGHTY EIGHT PERCENT. LIKE WHAT.

**Year 12 and 13 choose a theme each along the line of slutty-[insert generic predictable theme here]. We had sports, so Fleur and I rocked the Gothic Lesbian Cheerleader look.

18.3.14

At the third hour of the twentieth century.

 

As the first day blood was spilled in open conflict, the 18th of March marks the start of the revolution in Syria.

I am privileged to have had a classmate telling us all this, reading the below poem in assembly and organising a workshop I will be attending this evening on the conflict in which over 150 thousand Syrians lost their lives in the conflict, and left over 2 million refugees, and 4.250,000 IDPs (internally displaced persons), a student from Syria who keeps telling us nobody is a number or photo or advertising piece for the media. Think about that last one –newspapers care about being sold, they decide what they publish based on what we want to read.

I know we can’t really do much ourselves, but at least we can try to learn.

 

Tattoo

By Muhammad Al-Maghout (1934-2006)

 

Now

At the third hour of the twentieth century

Where nothing separates the corpses

from pedestrians’ shoes

except asphalt

I will lie down in the middle of the street

like a bedouin sheikh

and will not get up

until all the prison bars and suspects’ files of the world

are gathered and placed before me

so I can chew on them

like a camel on the open road

Until all the batons of the police and protesters

escape from grips

and go back (once again)

budding branches in their forests

In the dark I laugh

I cry

I write

I no longer distinguish my pen from my fingers

Whenever someone knocks or a curtain moves

I hide my papers

like a prostitute during a police raid

From whom did I inherit this fear

and this blood

scared like a mountain leopard?

As soon as I see an official paper on the threshold

or a hat through the door

my bones and tears tremble

my blood runs away in all directions

as if an eternal patrol of ancestral police

is chasing it from one vein to another

O darling

In vain I try to reclaim my courage and strength

The tragedy is not here

in the whip, the office, or in sirens

It is there

In the cradle. . .

In the womb

Surely I was not tied to the womb with an umbilical cord

It was a hangman’s noose

 

28.2.14

Fancies: Daniela Edburg's Drop Dead Gorgeous Photography

Daniela Edburg is a Mexican-Ametican photographer I rather like. With playful images that have a more sinister underlying tone, as well as colours and imagery that make me think of Rookie, I've had to cut down my post on her because there was so much I wanted to say.
For now, I'll just mention her Drop Dead Gorgeous series, where each image depicts a young woman being attacked or killed by some consumer good. Morbid-sounding, right? Here are my favourites:

Death by Life Savers
Death by Sweetener
Death by Cake
Death by Bananas (my mum thinks the girl in this one looks a bit like Gwendolen)
I've had the fortune to stumble across this great interview, from which I have picked the quotes which I found most interesting.

As an imagery and colour fanatic, and an avid (but infrequent) creator, I liked seeing her thought process behind this:
"I usually take my color palette from the product that consumes her. I start putting aside everything I have in those colors. I’m not selective at first, I just start filling my studio with all the stuff I have, or I find, or my friend has that might work. I find the clothes the same way and I start this growing pile of orange and brown, or pink, or rainbow colored clothing."

This was a point I thought was very interesting when it comes to photography:
"The medium itself has a glamorizing effect, and through color, composition, and humor you can create the illusion that something is aesthetically pleasing when, in reality, it could be horrible or gross."
Photography does rather seem to romanticise things and make them appear desirable, even when they might not usually be so (ample evidence to be found on Tumblr)— it has the wonderful power to make seemingly-mundane incidents or items more interesting, but sometimes I wonder whether this warps our perceptions in a more dangerous way.

Moving onto message-like contemplation:
"I really don’t consider my work a critique [of advertising], although I like that many people do. Many times how the work is seen is more interesting than how it was conceived."
Mostly, this stood out for me after watching a speech by Tavi (which cannot possibly be addressed within this post). I find it hard to put into words and can't re-watch the video this instant, but, using the example of how the more interesting part of the whole One Direction equation is the fans, Tavi discusses how the significance of liking things is what the things you like say about yourself.

Now, on the deeper and more sinister-seeming tones:
"That which gives me pleasure one minute, causes guilt the next. I am surprised at how much I like the products I consume, but, if you stop for one second to think about it, it’s absurd. Yet, you can’t stop. [The work] is not a criticism it’s just an exaggeration of my own reality."
"There’s only your own dark side. The cake is not really to blame. It’s not really about the products, but the relationship of love and then hate that we have with them. When you look at a beautiful package of Oreos everything is new and shiny and attractive, and there is the promise of the sweetness and the pleasure, and then you go and open it and eat it and all you have are a stomachache, crumbs and garbage."
I see it as a bit of a criticism of our consumer culture (in which it is not the poor cake that is to blame), and the culture that makes people feel guilty about eating/putting work into their appearance. Yet this is confusingly balanced with the willing, self-imposed side of it, where that consuming can be fun (common', even the stingiest of morals can eventually go "f*** it, I'm going into to buy a whole tub of ice-cream just for myself" from time-to-time), even though you later lie about groaning that you want to puke.
However, I think it also has some influence from Mexican culture, and how death can be celebrated— Day of the Dead is decked in marvellously bright tissue-paper and flowers, with altars covered in items the dead individuals liked (almost always Whiskey, for some reason -probably that it doesn't go off-, but also sweets, photos of cars, magazine cutouts, their favourite sweets, etc).
The latter part makes me conclude that, despite being powerful in seeming like a criticism, I think that is because it looks so much like consume culture and consumer culture has so much to criticise, it's playfulness makes me think it is rather saying "give in to your desires, they may have bad consequences, but enjoy them."

And look! What a surprise I get when I go back and read the description of the series given on her website!
"Intimate scenarios of indulgence and falling victim to the seductive objects, rituals and pleasures of everyday life. With references to art history, cinema and advertising, this series offers a look at today's society with all it's endearing flaws and it's self-centred search for self-satisfaction."

If you've liked it so far, please please have a look at the full set of Drop Dead Gorgeous.

Can you spot the references to Sylvia Plath and The Birds in the images above? What other bits do you spot in the full series?
What do you think of her work generally?

Cecily

Procrastinate...

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