The Problem with Double Standards

First thing’s first, I’m an equalist.

I have given up on the term “feminist“. I’ve now decided that I will label myself as an “equalist” because that is exactly what I want; total equality in all human beings.

Sure, women have it hard in the world where they aren’t afforded the same opportunities as men in some circumstances because of their gender – which is total bullshit – but, as liberal as a human being as I am, men have it hard as well in a different way than women do.

This is where the double standards issue comes in.

Does anyone else want fairy floss after looking at this picture? (Screenshot from "All About That Bass" music video)

Does anyone else want fairy floss after looking at this picture? (Screenshot from “All About That Bass” music video)

Take this picture I saw floating on Facebook recently; in the top half is a cartoon of a regular bloke talking to a heavyset woman, and the man says “Sorry, I prefer to date thinner women,” and there are a bunch of girls in the background saying “BOOO! Typical man!” and “Every woman is beautiful, no matter the shape” and other such things.

In the bottom half, however, is a shorter guy talking to a taller woman, and the woman says “Sorry, I prefer to date taller men”, and the same bunch of girls in the background are saying “Yeah! You tell him girl!” and “I prefer dating taller men as well!”

What makes it okay for a woman to dictate how she would like her man but all of a sudden it’s wrong for a man to do so? Fair enough, most women would not want to be called fat. But most men wouldn’t want to be called short. Men can’t help their height as much as women can’t help their weight (most of the time).

It’s not even just genders that suffer from this.

Take Meghan Trainor’s All About That Bass song (pictured above), where she’s basically singing about how large she is and she’s happy with it. Good on her. But the issue I have is when she says “I’m bringing booty back, go ahead and tell them skinny bitches that.” How is that meant to be empowering to women? What if those “skinny bitches” were actually very lovely women and the men that they have loved them for their great personality and/or gentle soul instead of being “skinny”?

And to put it doubly into perspective, swap the roles around: if a thinner woman, Selena Gomez for example, were to sing a song saying “I love being so thin, tell those fat bitches to back off my man”, shit would be thrown at her something chronic for criticising bigger women. Yet, it’s totally okay to criticise thinner women.

If you want a male example of double standards, then I have one for you.

Gay men and straight men. A gay man says that he doesn’t like a straight man for whatever reason, and I’m assuming most people would be like “Yeah, he doesn’t know what he’s missing out on” and “Good on you! Stand up for yourself!” A straight man says that he doesn’t like a gay man for whatever reason, people would be absolutely slamming him, calling him “homophobic” among other things. If that were true, that would also make the gay man “heterophobic”, wouldn’t it? Why isn’t the gay man criticised as much as the straight man?

The same could be said about black people and white people. Black people make a joke about white people, it’s generally okay. White people make a joke about black people, and you are automatically racist.

Now, I get it. I truly get it. The “minority” groups in these situations have it hard and have had it hard for a very long time and that shouldn’t be the case anymore. I get it. But if we’re striving for equality – and I mean truly striving for equality – then criticising the “majority” groups should not be okay. It isn’t okay.

All humans are born different, raised different, and grow up different. But they all deserve to be treated the same.

Get on the real side of this fight. Not the feminist side, or the misogynist side (if that’s the male form of feminism), or anything like that.

Be an equalist.

– by Noah La’ulu

My Very Specific View on Marriage

Marriage isn’t for everyone. If anything has been made clear in the 21st century, it is that.

In today’s society, it is rare and almost a huge a shock if a celebrity couple get married and stay married. Divorce isn’t a weird concept anymore and rough figures suggest that almost half of marriages end in divorce.

In my sweet and humble opinion (IMSAHO, for future reference), I attribute this to one simple thing (or two if you really think about it). One thing that nearly every couple does. One thing that has been customary so no one really thinks too much of it. One thing that, when you really think about it, is not necessary to marriage at all.

This one thing is weddings (and honeymoons).

What problem could I have with these two lovebirds? Read on and find out. (SOURCE:  Andrew Morrell's Flickr photostream)

What problem could I have with these two lovebirds? Read on and find out. (SOURCE: Andrew Morrell’s Flickr photostream)

Watching wedding shows like Don’t Tell the Bride and Say Yes to the Dress have me draw my own conclusion: people are way more focused on the materialistic things of the wedding that they are forgetting the most important of any wedding… getting married to the person that you love.

In these shows – and from my other observations – it’s evident that couples care way too much about what other people think about them; therefore, they spend all this money on having the best venues and the best food and the best gowns and tuxedos that they forget that they are eternally binding themselves to one person for the rest of their lives because they are in love. Forking out thousands upon thousands of dollars for a 2+ hour ceremony celebrating two people is, to me, ridiculous and unnecessary.

Sure, there may be other problems in the marriage that may cause a couple to divorce: adultery, a different view on the future, or my personal favourite, “irreconcilable differences”, but I think that if two people are getting married for the right reasons – binding yourself to the love of your life because you want to spend the rest of your lives together – then they will last longer than the couple who are looking forward to their honeymoon more than their future of growing old together and rocking on wooden chairs holding hands.

Think about all the money that goes to weddings and honeymoons that could go to better use somewhere. A car? A house? Savings? These TV programmes that show women forking out up to $250,000 for a wedding and honeymoon are, excuse my French, fucked up.

If I were to ever get married, should I choose to, there will be no wedding. No honeymoon. No reception. No food. None of that crap. We will go to a small chapel with only the priest and a witness (if necessary), elope, and then go home and sleep in our bed as if nothing special happened. Then, and only then, will we tell our family and friends the next day that we got married.

I get that your loved ones want to celebrate your marriage and your love and that’s fine. They can just do it in their own time.

As for me, if it were to be my dream scenario? I would get eloped in a onesie. With ug boots on.

And I would be the happiest man alive.

– by Noah La’ulu

You Know What Sh!ts Me?: Office Politics!

Can I get a like out there from everybody who has ever had to deal with a douchebag of a manager? A manager who makes your already crappy day at work, crappier.

Come now, don’t be shy. I can guarantee that at some point in EVERY person’s life, they’ve encountered a manager who micro manages them, acts like a creep, does absolutely nothing but takes credit for EVERYTHING, or is in a management position because they’re the world’s biggest kiss ass and not because they’ve earnt it, which is more often than not the case.

If this is you after work, you get the feels. (SOURCE: PSY Gangnam Style)

If this is you after work, you get the feels. (SOURCE: PSY Gangnam Style, edited accordingly)

You come into work on any given morning, say hello to everyone and sit down at your desk with a cup of coffee, a smile on your face, and you’re ready to give the day a good hard go. Then it happens. You peer over the top of your desk (or cubicle) ever so slightly, unable to control the desire that’s festering inside you, forcing you to look over at your manager to see what they’re doing… that’s when you see it. They’ve got their mobile in hand, food in the other and their feet are crossed upon their desk. They’re clearly working so very hard.

No matter what you do, or how hard you try and concentrate on your task at hand, your eyes continuously watch. It’s like a train wreck. You can’t help but stare despite the fact that the more you see, the more your insides burn. You continue to watch on to see what unfolds. Now they’re lighting candles, their wireless ear piece attached, pacing their office whilst they’re no doubt conducting a “business” call… yeah right.

ARE YOU KIDDING ME?!

Slowly but surely the day continues on. You’ve shaken away the bad thoughts and given yourself the little motivational speech that you need to make it through your day – “I’m here to work. I cannot worry about what everyone else is doing. I have a job to do and I’m going to do it to the best of my ability and someday I will be manager, and when that day comes I won’t be like them”.

Hahaha. You idiot. Who are you even trying to kid right now? Yourself? No one else is being fooled. Everyone else knows that you’ll never get there, you’re just hoping and dreaming – which by the way there is nothing wrong with – everyone needs a little hope in their life. But you my friend, you will never rank higher that the office slave. Why you ask? Because you’re too good at what you do. Whether your boss asks you to make them a coffee, file their paperwork or even proof read one of their emails, you do it to the best of your ability. Why the hell would anyone pay you more to be in a higher up position when they can continue to pay you abysmally knowing that you’re still going to perform?

As if you couldn’t possibly feel any worse, your manager then pops up like a ninja behind you. “Melissa, what are you doing there? Are you writing and email about me?” (that was totally just my personal input there because I’m sitting at work whilst writing this article and on total ninja patrol). But seriously, out of nowhere your manager appears asking 21 questions:

What are you doing?
Has this been done yet?
When will that be finished?
That one will be on my desk before you go, yes?
Why did such and such call me?

GIVE ME A BREAK WOULD YOU?! Your task list will be completed promptly and efficiently, alongside my own tasks that I’m making no progress on. Don’t worry though, I’ll work back if I have to and not at all be recognised for it, or compensated. It’s totally cool. I don’t have a life at all outside of work, so please, run along and enjoy a beer on me while I work through all this bullshit!

It’s absolutely ridiculous. You seriously do question how these people get their jobs, but how can we? Every one of us who actually goes to work and does their job are enabling this. We’re all enablers. Isn’t it great? How does it feel knowing that whilst you’re sitting there working your butt off, your Manager is off texting their significant other, painting their nails or having a snooze, all at your expense. Heck, they might as well take daily yoga classes on you.

What makes it worse thought is when your employer thinks it’ll be fantastic rearranging your seating positions on a regular. Seating you next to the office slob, or someone you cannot stand because their personality clashes with yours. You try and try to keep a level head, but no matter what you do, the very sound of their voice sets you on edge. They rock up to work dolled up, eager to talk about what their after work plans are, not concerned in their slightest about work, while you sit there, insides burning envisioning the fan above their head falling down on top of them. You wouldn’t wish anything bad upon them of course, it’s just a subconscious thought that makes listening to their shit bearable. This all takes a toll on your performance.

Do people not realise that productivity levels will only increase if we’re working in a happy place?

Don’t sit me next to the bimbo who would jump the boss for a raise if she could. Don’t sit me opposite the girl who reports EVERYTHING and ANYTHING to HR, even the name of your cat, because it’s apparently offensive, and definitely don’t sit me next to the office sleaze. I will not work like that. I WILL however make my discomforts known.

Please employers… make your employees happy. Studies show that if you’re working in a happy environment, productivity will soar. That means that you’re overworked, underpaid, non-recognised employees will continue to work harmoniously while you continue to sit on your butt and make an absolute fortune. What’s to lose?

– by Melissa Tonitto

Kindle… Schmindle

I don’t trust you Kindle users. I’ve seen you around and to be honest, I look at you askance. Askance, and with something akin to pity in my eyes. Or maybe it’s just thinly veiled contempt.

Books come in all shapes and sizes, they have nice covers, you can flick through them and even write in them. Unless it’s a library book… you can’t write in a library book. Book rhymes with “nook” and “cook” and “rook” unless you happen to hail from Yorkshire in which case it rhymes with gobbledygook.

Kindle… dwindle… swindle… schmindle.

The word Kindle, meaning “to set light to” or “to set on fire” seems an ominous sort of  name. Are they suggesting some metaphorical book burning is in order to clear the way for their electronic witchcraft? I remember another chap who didn’t like books and in fact used them as kindling for other books and by all accounts he couldn’t write worth a shit either.

There are books out there I have searched for years to find and to no avail. I’ve trawled through bookstores and op-shops with the vain hope that I might find a second-hand copy of some Kurt Vonnegut title or other. And when I found it, away I would steal, like Roald Dahl’s BFG off to the Land of Dreams… Surely you’ve seen the Quentin Blake illustration of the famous giant? Ah, you read it on a Kindle. Tough titties.

'You is never doing anything unless you tries' BFG (SOURCE: Global Panorama's Flickr photostream)

‘You is never doing anything unless you tries’ BFG (SOURCE: Global Panorama’s Flickr photostream)

When I arrive home with my brown paper bag crinkling against my tweed weskit I slide my papyrus trophy to nestle against her fellow brothers and sisters of the printing press. And there may she wait in silent, bookish contemplation until finally reanimated by human curiosity.

“Do you accept Kindle’s terms and conditions before you continue?’

“Nay, damn you I accept neither. Nor your right to demand any such acceptance, you swine.”

You may laugh at me moving house, weeping with the effort of dragging box after box of words. Me, forcing the unyielding bastards into the back of the car, whilst you charge your Kindle with the cigarette-lighter in the front. Your laughter will turn to bitterest tears when your flimsy Kindle is trapped between a box of my literary heavy weights and a George Foreman grill (he’s so proud of it he put his name on it).

Have you even considered the humble librarian? Proud literary custodians since days of yore. Where’s your sense of mystery, your sense of occasion? Where’s your sense of common human decency? Have you even considered the librarian at all? For shame…

The librarian is a bibliophile first and foremost. They care for all the books from Douglas Adams to Markus Zusak (who wrote The Book Thief not “The Kindle Swindler”). They care for them all without passion or prejudice whether it be Jane Eyre or Edward Cullen, Harry Potter or Beatrix Potter, Dorian Grey or Christian Grey. The librarian abides. However I like to think that when the stoic chronicler is confronted with the image of you squinting at Dan Brown on that spineless auto-cue you call an “e-book”, they shed a single tear. What was it J.M Barrie said? “Every time a child reads a Kindle there is a little librarian somewhere that falls down dead.” Something along those lines anyway.

Before you try to get smart with me, I wrote this on a type-writer before sending it by pigeon to an alchemist who transformed it into this format. You may well call me a Luddite and  I very well may be but were I alive in the days of Neil Ludd I’d be on the side of the workers and you’d be a “Fat Cat” trampling us and starving our families in the name of profit and progress. You’d probably have gout.

Bloody kindles…

– by James Andrews