3 secret places for a babe in Europe

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Hi blog, it’s meeeeeeee! Sorry I’ve abandoned you yet again, but for a good cause I promise. I’ve just got back (to England’s August winter?) from a 3 week trip around Europe, where we found some amazing, yet completely unnoticed places which need to be visited. Whether you’re just about to embark on a glam Eurotrip, or are planning a journey of adventure for next summer, I have a few recommendations which you babes should check out.

Spreepark: Berlin’s Abandoned Theme Park

Aside from underground clubs and visits to galleries and museums, if what you’re hoping for is to see all of Berlin, you have to go to Spreepark. The theme park which was unfortunately closed down in 2001 following a decline in visitors after the fall of the Berlin Wall, was a 29.5 hectare wonderland to those living in the 70s and 80s. It doesn’t look like your usual Thorpe Park/Alton Towers package of course, but you will be reasonably excitable/creeped out during your visit. The park is supposedly guarded 24/7, so the best time to go is at night, but really don’t do that because you might die. So go during the day and don’t wear your favourite heels as some climbing of fences and obstacles may be on the agenda. You will need to get the S-Bahn to Treptower Park, a short journey from central Berlin, and ask somebody how to get there if you don’t have the internet. There are occasional gaps in the fencing where if you’re not 6ft tall you will be able to squeeze, otherwise climb over the fence. Enjoy and take photos while you can before a man in a yellow car spots you.

Address: Kiehnwerderallee 1-3, 12437, Berlin.

How to get there: Get the S-Bahn to Plänterwald or Treptower Park and walk.

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SZIA Adomanybolt: Budapest’s best thrift store

It’s not worth attempting to bump into charity shops or vintage stores in Budapest, as you’ll probably end up walking in gigantic, hopeless circles. Instead you should cut to the chase and go to SZIA Adomanybolt, a shop with platforms of dreams and velvet so heavenly, you’ll think you walked into Net-A-Porter’s Hungarian equivalent. What’s the best part though, is the store is devoted to raising money for a children’s charity. You can also consider the prices before visiting - they don’t exceed 600 Ft (less than £2!!!!!).

Address: Budapest, XI. District Budafoki 17 / a

szia budapest

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Metelkova City: Ljubljana’s autonomous social centre

If you fancy a night out to a place on the other side of the spectrum from a venue you’ve been to before, come here. A former military barracks-then-squat, Metelkova comprises of a vibrant group of multicoloured buildings including clubs, bars, an art gallery, artists studios, designer spaces and offices of cultural organisations and concerts. When you first walk in you may reevaluate what the fuck you are doing there, given at first impression it’s kind of intimidating. But give it two minutes and you are overcome with a sense of comfort and indulge in what is the brilliant urban community of Ljubljana. I guarantee you will meet the nicest people here, so on any evening of the week, drink €1 wine and look out for Mike playing the african drums. Warning: this is not your typical heels-and-clutch scenario and their ‘Schnapps’ is not the Schnapps we know.

Address: Metelkova 1000 Ljubljana, Slovenia

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(Image: Wiki)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fat White Family are launching their own label!!!!!!

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To overcome pressures and figures offered from other record labels, Peckham’s hot gross-boys the Fat White Family have decided to start up their own label.

The band, which a lot of my friends will hate, featuring members Joe and Saul from the late 2000s ‘punk n roll’ band the Metros (who we all adored during school), has become increasingly in the spotlight of underground and mainstream labels, but PIS, a record label licensing division offered the band their own label.

“The band attracted a lot of interest from labels both big and small over the last few months but when I met with Craig Caukill and was asked if the band would like their own label this became the obvious solution,” the band manager Stuart Green said, according to Music Week.

“It means the band retain their independence and are in control of their own destiny. This is something I have always sought for every artist I have worked with and consider this to be the most exciting deal I have ever been involved in.”

Named after one of their early songs ‘Without Consent’, the label will feature a new single this summer and their next album following their debut Champagne Holocaust. Along with their own work they will release stuff from new artists they like and ’a selection of as yet unnamed classic blues rarities’. Mysterious.

If you haven’t listened before, listen now!

The Fat Whites are playing Field Day this Saturday and I reaaaaaally wish I could go :(

Women aren’t the only ones affected by gender pressures

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Something I’ve learnt through my experience of the girl to woman transition is that you just have to be comfortable with the way you are and look. You’re never going to have another face, another body, another brain, so you may as well make the most out of it. Obviously during our angsty teen years, we were full of anxiety, despair and love trying to figure out what the hell was going on and why my nose was so big, but there was always an overhanging kind of conduct floating around school: the girls had to be pretty and the boys had to be manly. That was pretty much it, give or take. God forbid we went to school not feeling attractive, without face powder, or you’d lost your umbrella and it rained on route. In your young mind you were literally screwed.

Obviously this is still the case. Lately I’ve been growing curious and frustrated why I can’t work out why I want to look sexy or nice or ‘womanly’. At first I was under the impression it was for myself. After all, there are dozens of self-appreciation articles and inspiring quotes about loving yourself for yourself and all that stuff. But when I really sat myself and myself down together in my head, I had to be honest. Was it really for myself? Or for my contemporaries and the strangers, both men and women. Have I been utterly and completely deluded? Am I sexually objectifying myself every time I go shopping, or wear a short skirt because I feel good wearing it? Can I enjoy fashion without objectifying myself? As you can see it’s been a pretty confusing time.

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And here comes that old chestnut. For as long as we have known, women have been objectified. Women are objectified to sell things. After all, sex sells, duh. Women are sold for sex and are seen frequently half naked in advertising campaigns and every fashion magazine. There’s the feeling we have to look a certain way or boys just won’t like us. But is it only the female gender pressured to look and be a certain way?

Simply, no. This started off as an article about the pressure women have to look fancy and sexy, but obviously, I realise these issues surround both genders. Forever boys are pressured to be more manly and muscly, ‘grow some balls’ or to ‘stop crying like a girl’. The pressure to like certain things, such as football. Go to football club, not ballet. And for girls, go to ballet, not football. But the thing is, we’ve been protesting about feminism, and it’s gaining a hell of a lot of new followers and admirers which is fantastic, obviously, but it’s easy to lose sight of the other problems surrounding gender equality, and it poses many problems for both genders, not just females.

Image via Pinterest

While I try and maintain my ‘all genders will be equal eventually’ (don’t forget transgender) mindset, it is easy to be swept away by how inferior or unfortunate it can be to be a woman. For example, I asked 34 girls about their catcalling experiences, and some, of course were tame and girls ‘should just get over it and be complemented’, but it’s easier said than done. One girl had experienced a passing car throwing a drink at her out of the window, and being called a slut. Another was asked to get in someone’s car and ‘complemented’ on her nice tits. The rest of the scary ones were scary. But street violence doesn’t end at girls. According to a report by the Center for American Progress, LGBT individuals reported high rates of discrimination in public spaces, as well as gay residents who took a 2001 survey.

There are other problems of course. Body shame and analysis, abusive pornography and sexual violence are amongst them, but nothing denies the effects this has on our society’s humans. While sexual objectification can lead to sexual violence, body dysmoprhia, anxiety, depression and eating disorders are real issues for those containing all types of genitals.

While eating disorders are statistically more common among young women, an estimated 10-15% of people with anorexia or bulimia are male. According to ANAD (National Association of Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Disorders), men are less likely to seek treatment for eating disorders because of the perception that they are “woman’s diseases”. How fucked up is this? Somebody is ill, yet because of the perception, doesn’t seek treatment. So what if more women are effected, does that mean a man should be more embarrassed to have an eating disorder?

The examples are endless: ‘Manly’ things include body hair, low voices, liking football, being a tough cookie, not having emotions, not talking to their friends about problems because that would be wimpy. ‘Girly’ things include being as smooth as a prepubescent child, wearing make up and nice lingerie, not holding up highly powerful jobs because we are ‘emotional’, being weak physically and mentally, ladylike, blah blah blah.

Ellen Lamont, a Sociology PhD student at New York University who specialises in gender, family, sexualities and power theories, has recently done a study on gender roles in relationships. Many participants believed that when it comes to dating, men are responsible for asking women out, paying for dates, determining when the relationship will shift from casual to committed, and proposing marriage. Other findings were that women feared rejection from men if they initiated a date, or other courtship activities. When I asked Ellen about the study, she said, “I definitely think the attitudes should change because men and women immediately begin relating to each other as men and women rather than as individuals and that is what reinforces these beliefs that men and women are more different than they are similar.”

I’m not calling for you to take up ballet, stop wearing make up and grow body hair, because I’m still wearing my pencil skirt and sxc pants. I’m simply calling for us all to take a step back and rethink when we judge someone based on a prejudice you withhold in the name of gender stereotyping. This is a sad truth that needs to be vocalised amongst all gender stereotypes to hopefully save our young growing boys and girls, because everyone’s different for God’s sake. It’s obviously not our individual faults, society can be a bitch. But the next time you think the guy should’ve paid for your dinner or the girl was gross for having fanny hair, remember none of us would be here if it wasn’t for the woman and the man.

XXX

Jim Stoten, a record cannot be skipped by hitting a button

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photo (1)Jim Stoten is the name of the ideal love child of an illustrator and a psychedelic rock n’ roll musician who let their child have free roam. Also tutoring for Brighton University among others, Jim received the pride of Cartoon Brew’s Artist of the Week. He’s a professional illustrator who’s worked for the likes of the New York Times, MTV and Urban Outfitters, however his talents don’t end here.

For the past decade, Jim had been recording songs secretly in his bedroom and bathroom, experimenting with many an instrument and taught himself to record, creating, what he says he couldn’t find in the music world before. “I knew what I wanted to hear in music, and sometimes, I would find it frustrating that what I wanted to hear did not exist, so I found ways to make the music I wanted to hear. Then I’d listen to it until I got bored with it, then I’d make some more.”

It wasn’t until February of last year Jim decided to post his music for all to see on Bandcamp. The first featured in the discography was ‘Bear Care’ where he borrowed an 8 track tape recorder from his friend, which he says he got completely obsessed with. Alongside his electric/acoustic guitar and organ, his form of percussion for the record was characterfully hitting the microphone or touching the input on his guitar. The second secret album was named ’Monday Night Special’, where he states he got really into harmonies, multi layering and arrangement. You can see his musical maturity blossom, considering the 6 year gap between this and the first.

It had been four years since the former however, that Jim decided to share his psychedelic delicacies with the likes of you and me. “I don’t know why I kept it to myself for so long. I think I was just making music for myself. Over 10 years, I just built up a big collection and when I was looking back through it all, I realised that the first recording I made was 10 years ago, and it just made sense to share it.”

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An image of Jim’s he did for the NY Times Sunday Review

Now that it’s been 5 years since he recorded ‘Monday Night Special’ in his studio in Ipswich, Jim made his way to Scotland to spend a week completely alone recording the new addition to his music babies ‘On A Flying Frog’. The week comprised of him hardly sleeping, preparing lyrics, learning the ropes of a proper studio and lots of whiskey and coffee. “It was a really good week and I fully recommend going away for a week and doing the thing you love most for the whole time, as long as what you love most isn’t something terrible. I wanted to go and do something that I could allow to take up all of my time and focus. It’s an amazing feeling to have nothing else to think about except a project that excites you.”

On first thoughts I thought it sounded a little lonely, but Jim said it wasn’t lonesome, but quite a strange experience. “I just enjoyed getting completely lost in the task I had set myself. I hardly ate, I didn’t talk to anyone, I just woke up early, made coffee and started writing and recording until I got tired in the early hours of the next morning. I’d go for a little walk and look at the sky changing colour. It was magical.”

You can hear, and tell, quite incredibly the level Jim has matured musically, when hearing ‘On A Flying Frog’ and looking back on his earlier tracks. This being the first album he actually wrote lyrics down for, the songs seem to have meanings deep and miscellany. This was also the first time Jim had to learn how to use a whole studio in one day. “I didn’t know what I wanted to make when I got there. The guy who owned the studio was amazingly helpful. He took me through it all and then the next day, I just started playing the drums a bit then over to the guitar, then the bass, then the vocal booth, and it all happened very quickly because whenever I picked up a new instrument, I was just responding to the bit that I had just played on the last instrument I had. It was a bit like building a house out of blocks that are all different shapes and sizes, and you have no idea what the house will look like at the end of it, or even if it’ll work, but it’s just fun building it.”

‘I Look At The Sky’, the sixth song in the album has just been accompanied by a video fit for a 90s acid art exhibition, whom Jim acquired the help of his friends; Ben Newman an illustrator and art director, Irene Fuga an artist and illustrator and the director Dave Brown, a photographer, designer and Bollo from The Mighty Boosh. “The man in the furry suit [in the video] is an excellent illustrator called Ben Newman. We do a regular podcast together called Newten’s Porcelain Panther, where we talk to creative people about their inspirations and favourite music and things. I have always loved the way Ben dances. He is a free mover. No fear. It’s hypnotic. So, I had an idea that I wanted to just film him dancing to my song, and the idea grew from there.”

I take a lot of joy from the lyrics to this song, and it’s a song where a lot of people can relate. “Why on earth are we here, it just blows my mind” is a lyrical stroke of genius, but what’s the best thing about expressing thoughts through lyrics, I ask Jim. “I guess the best thing about expressing thoughts in a song is that you can talk about things in a song, that might just be too boring or difficult to talk about in a normal conversation.”

I backtrack to Jim’s expression of making music because he couldn’t find his sound elsewhere, and quiz him on wether he would still have started making music if his music already existed. “I think I would’ve started to make music anyway. I started recording music when I was at university. I would make animations and then make the soundtrack for them. No words though. Just weird instrumentals. Then, when I graduated, I borrowed a friends 4 track tape recorder and recorded the first album on the bandcamp site (in bear care). So it started partly out of a practical need for specific music and partly out of an enjoyment of the creative process.”

Jim is an artist among many others who deliver their music via the internet’s many song hosting websites, including Bandcamp & Soundcloud. King Krule cited the internet has played a huge part in his success and this is the same for many artists now. It’s websites like these that make music just so accessible, but Jim thinks this is possibly a negative thing. “It is good to have somewhere that I can put my music that people can listen to. But I wish it was easier to get people to listen. I think the internet has changed the way people listen to music entirely. There’s too much choice and it is all too easily accessed. I keep an eye on how many people listen every now and then, and I can see how many people switch off before the end of the song and it is extraordinary how quickly people get bored and move onto the next free album by someone else just like me. It’s mad. I don’t listen to music on the internet for exactly this reason. I like that my choice of what I listen to is limited to how many records I have. It means that I make a choice, and I stick to it. I listen to a whole album because of how a record plays. It cannot be skipped by hitting a button.

“But luckily, I still make music primarily for myself. The only difference now is that I can share it too. If people listen, then that is excellent. But I don’t get upset if no one listens. Having said that, it would be a very nice thing to be signed by a big record company off the back of what I have put up on Bandcamp.”

Jim is also a guitarist and singer in the band Owen & The Eyeballs, made up of four illustrators, who have described their sound as ‘wrong pop’. When I ask him about the differences between making music alone and with the band, he says the decisions get made faster. “[This] can be both a good and bad thing. The control is equally split between the 4 of us when the band writes songs. Decisions get made by talking it out, everyone saying what they think and explaining why. Then we all decide together. But on your own you can just do more what you feel is right, and work from there.”

Clearly, though, Jim has shown he works incredibly alone, and you should totally get listening to ‘On A Flying Frog’ ASAP. You can listen below, but first I asked Jim some random questions to find out a little bit more about this multi-tasking coffee drinker.

What’s your ideal listener like?

Ideal listener is Pharrell Williams.

Sorry to be cringe but do you have any mottos you live by?

Mottos? It’s better to be busy than bored.

My questions have been pretty basic, so… What’s it like to be interviewed? Do you feel exposed? lolz

Yes I feel very exposed indeed. It’s good being interviewed. It’s good to be challenged by questions about things you make.

Listen to all of the albums on Jim’s Bandcamp and see his awesome illustrations here. Thankyou Jim! x

What is ‘intersectional feminism?’

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Last year saw feminism take a very positive turn, gaining more media mentions than ever, a ‘re-brand’, and even Ryan Gosling. But real equality is being overlooked and it’s perhaps not a re-brand we need but more understanding.

The word feminism to you may sound positive, cringey, outrageous, hairy, stupid, fabulous, sassy or even confusing. Until the last couple of years, the word ‘feminist’ meant to most an abundance of hairy genitalled, hairy armpitted, bra-burning women, probably lesbians, at least without a boyfriend. However, the modern human can see this stereotype is absolutely a stereotype. The phrase feminism is changing and the conduct expanding at an exceptionally rapid pace.

Last year alone, ELLE magazine had a meeting to ‘rebrand’ the word feminism, Beyonce released another profoundly empowering album, men began announcing they were feminists and feminism generally saw more attention in the media than ever before.

This is the time where feminism isn’t just about growing out your pubes. It’s the time where everybody gets involved – where everyone is aware of the sexism that has infected its way into our society today and everyone is defended. This is the time where feminism makes Pussy Riot look almost like pussies. This is the time where it’s about equality in every way possible. We cannot ignore anymore that from 300,000 women are raped every year, nd 1 in 4 have been sexually assaulted. We cannot sit back and let other women (and men) do it for us. We all have to come together to realise that gender equality is a myth.

A lot of us can get pissed off when a man in a van toots his horn and yells something mildly disgusting, but imagine then he makes a racial slur, points out your religion and calls you a lesbian. ‘Intersectional feminism’ is the crucial tipping point between just feminism and the minorities which feminism leaves behind. Intersectionality raises awareness of all oppression regarding also race, sexuality, class, religion, physical measures and anything and everything discriminatory. It has been seen that black females have not been represented by feminism properly, and as Lola Okolosie, an English Teacher and writer says, “Through [intersectionality] black feminists have been able to point out the failures of the wider feminist movement.”

It’s no use feminism being used to defend only middle-class, white females. We need to improve woman’s rights for all. Every man and every woman needs to be aware that it isn’t just sexism we are fighting against. There’s a whole lot of fucking discrimination out here.

Sadly, when asking my brother if he’s a feminist, the following two words were not ‘love’ and ‘you’, so I think we have some work to do.

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Image by Paula Cooke, Art Baby Gallery

 

You should be listening to: Ego Ella May

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If there ever was an absolutely exquisite singer, songwriter and beat maker, it would be Ego Ella May. Residing in South London, this month saw the release of her second album, ‘Breathing Underwater’ as divine as the first. Second track ‘Underwater’, produced by IAMNOBODI, feels like floating on (or under) a river of smooth dark chocolate. With a voice this soft it’s like she’s conducting magic when her voice spills out to be something soulful. As a self-taught guitarist, her homegrown ethic translates flawlessly into her music. She describes her sound as ‘future-soul’, fitting so perfectly it hurts.

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Talking about the title of her first EP, ‘The Tree’, Ego said “To me, trees represent standing tall, knowing your roots, being humbled by your surroundings, working hard to bear your fruits.” Ego said. “Some seasons they look so bare and other times they’re blossoming with colour. A bit like us humans. I pretty much live by that so thought it was a fitting title.” If this doesn’t make you fall in love with her, you’re destined to be alone. She’s a secret waiting to explode.

Listen to the recent single Love Hard, below, my favourite song of hers, and the video which is deliciously trippy.

Nate Hill, an artist using mediums gargled milk and nude women

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Nate Hill is the name of a man who has performed many a crazy art, for example, throwing McDonalds cheeseburgers from a bike in New York at people whilst wearing a McDonald’s uniform. This isn’t art? They each had a bite taken out of and rewrapped. Nate Hill is the name of a man making art in the form of pretty much anything. He’s done taxidermy, photography, websites, given ‘bouncy rides’ to members of the public whilst wearing a dolphin costume and loads more. He’s basically an artist of all mediums. But the ones that have stood out are ones concerning sex and race.

White Power Milk is a website where you could buy portions of milk gargled by white girls. REAL GARGLED MILK. When I first stumbled across the website, I thought it was horrible, horrible, horrible, eww, direct fucking sexism and racism. But the message is something hidden a little deeper. It meant something. Something important. And, unlike what a lot of people said, it was real. There was a guy actually selling milk gargled by white girls. Sadly the site no longer sells the milk but you can still view the photos and watch the videos. I decided to ask Nate Hill about what it was really about.

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A screenshot of the website White Power Milk

What was the main idea for the concept of White Power Milk? Where did this come from?

Nate Hill: I wanted to talk about white women and how special they seem to be.

Why did the site end?

I didn’t sell any milk and wanted to move on.

You’ve said you named it “White Power Milk” because you were ‘selling people that access to white girls from powerful families’, what do you mean?

White women have power when they are displayed as a prize by people with arguably less power or used by men with more power. I’m interested in their power when they are used not in the power that they have unto themselves.

Were your intentions to address racism and do you think it worked?

Yes, but at this point in my career I’m just happy people notice and talk about it. Many artists are obviously unknown.

Was it supposed to be offensive or was this merely a misinterpretation?

It’s supposed to be offensive.

Was it supposed to look ‘pornographic’? Or relate to that at all?

An image from the Trophy Scarves series

An image from the Trophy Scarves series

Yes it is supposed to look pornographic.

How many portions of gargled milk did you sell?

None, but I sold 1 video.

Did White Power Milk inspire your series Trophy Scarves (Nate took pictures wearing white women around his neck) in any way? And why?

Yes, both have to do with why white women are special.

You’ve said the mission statement of Trophy Scarves is ”I wear white women for status and power.” Why wearing women?

Because it is a satire for using them as a status symbol.

You’ve got a new performance on 16th February, can I have any clues as to what this may be?

Yea it’s about monogamy and marriage and my struggle with these things.

Thankyou Nate! 

Keep a look out at http://natehillisnuts.com to see what it might be and look at his other work!

Black Lips’ new video for ‘Boys in the Wood’ is scary

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Black Lips I love you but I’m terrified to go to your gig in London in June now, and I’m not afraid of many things. Here’s the video to the song ‘Boys in the Wood’, out on VICE Records, directed by Matt Swinsky. The video is something in between heaven and hell, a place so uncomfortable I can’t tell who I am anymore. Watch the video if you want to see the ATL twins, who co-directed, smoking what is probably crack, a rape scene, a girl’s butt and Cole doing a poo by a tree. :(

The new album Underneath The Rainbow is out March 18th.

Catcalling around the world

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red-dress-catcallingCatcalling: defined by Oxford Dictionaries as “a loud whistle or a comment of a sexual nature made by a man to a passing woman”. An infuriating thing almost all girls are used to by 19 and so normalised most just grit our teeth and bear it, however unacceptable and derogatory it may be.  Despite how flattering/weird/normal it was when we were younger, I’ve realised we didn’t have a full understanding of the matter and as I’ve grown older I believe there is no place for this in society.

En route to school at 8 in the morning, my friend and I would be carelessly chatting away when perhaps we were beeped at by an oncoming rusty car, and wether we were blushing or outraged, it didn’t matter, because it had happened. Now this is a tame example of the process and effect of catcalling, but there are stories far worse and more humiliating and offensive than are imaginable.

The fact is, if you are a woman you know this happens, despite how you feel about it. Why is it acceptable to be yelled at in the street ‘nice tits’ or ‘where are you going?!’? If you think it’s dramatic to call it an issue, ask any female and there’s been a time when she’s felt threatened on her way home, at some point or other. I have set out on a task to find out different experiences when it comes to catcalling and being objectified by a stranger in the street.

Celia Aniskovich is a 21 year old college senior who has been living in New York for the past four years. She describes herself as a “work-a-holic who consumes unpaid internships like candy” and hopes “to one day pursue a career in television news production”, but amongst all this finds time to contribute to American website Thought Catalogue. I came across her article named, shrewdly ‘My Favourite Catcalls: Bronx Edition’, which explains itself and includes my own faves of the bunch, “Can I sleep over at your place?…for the air conditioning” and “Screw the gym, baby, I’ll give you a workout.” Celia describes it as a ‘professional sport’ and I was intrigued about the similiar experiences of women in a city so far from mine and gladly, Celia took five minutes out of her day to talk to me about living with catcalling in the Bronx.

Hi Celia, what is your definition of catcalling and who does it? 

I’d define catcalling as a misguided attempt by men to get the attention of the opposite sex by whistling, calling out, singing, yelling, and generally objectifying women.

What catcalls do you remember receiving?

Oh there are so many. I live in a borough of New York City called the Bronx, which is highly overpopulated and not always the safest neighborhood. The catcalling here is a huge problem in my opinion. I can’t walk from the subway to my apartment alone, at any time of day, without something being yelled at me.

There are the common “dayum mammi”s that get thrown around, there are the ones that you cant help but laugh at: “How am I supposed to admire all your beauty when you walking faster than a fat kid who wants fried chicken?” and then there are the truly frightening ones. I once had a guy follow me for about 4 blocks begging me to let him come to my apartment.

I’ve ever been to a place where it’s more of an issue. Except for maybe Brussels – I avoided entire neighborhoods there because the catcalling was so pervasive. 

Did you reply/respond?

I make it a point not to respond and to put as much distance between myself and the catcaller, as soon as possible. About 90% of the catcalls I receive are when I’m alone. As a young female in a major city, I have to be incredibly aware of my surroundings and cautious about putting myself in a dangerous situation.

That being said, I have a friend who responds every time. I’ve been with her when it’s happened and acknowledging the obscenities seem to shut the catcallers up pretty effectively. 

How did you feel afterwards?

I always feel pretty violated after I receive at catcall. Some are pretty bland and harmless, but I’ve had my fair share that have seriously scared me. A handful of times the catcaller has actually followed me – which is something you’re never mentally prepared for. 

What do you think it says about the people who do it?

That they are either (a) desperate (b) an exhibitionist or (c) bored enough to make a spectacle of themselves.

New York, with its masses of people, virtual anonymity, and lack of accountability for public displays is the perfect place for this behavior.

Why do you think they do it?

To get the absolutely wrong kind of attention.  They’re like a dog chasing a moving car and barking. If that car ever actually stopped, the dog would have no possible use for the car. If a woman ever consented to what catcaller suggested, they’d be flabbergasted and utterly confused.

Thankyou so much, Celia and absolutely agreed. So many times people say it’s a nice chat-up line, or simply a compliment, but most of what is said would be outrageous to respond positively to.

A project you’ve probably heard of by now called Everyday Sexism takes submissions of examples of sexism from women, and catalogues it for all to see. They say this is to show ‘sexism does exist, it is faced by women everyday and it is a valid problem to discuss.’ View the website and Twitter to see most of them are truly shocking, even more so that it is 2014, a time where we’re supposed to be more equal than ever.

Here are a few examples of the submissions on Everyday Sexism involving catcalling:

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When has it ever been okay to threaten anyone with rape in the street? Or call someone a ‘fat slut’ when rejected. It truly baffles me. Luckily, Everyday Sexism’s twitter account has over 128,000 followers, showing there is hope for an end to sexism and catcalling, but the amount of submissions are truly horrifying. It’s easy enough to talk and tweet about it, but the real resolution means altering the minds within 21st Century society.

I asked a group girls in a survey about their catcalling experiences and some of them are truly terrifying. Out of 34, 33 had experienced it and 22 received comments about their appearance ranging from ‘nice tits’ to ‘you’re hot’ to ”I’d do her”. The rest received lovely car-horns beaming and wolf-whistling. As you can see, the men of England are quite charming, too. But when is too far too far? Somebody mentioned to me the light-heartedness of a catcall, and I completely see why you’d think that way. But how would you know if that girl had been raped or sexually abused before? How do you know that girl won’t be truly affected by your comment/car horn? One of my survey-takers described a scene in which she was thrown a drink at out of a passing car, as they shouted ‘slut’. This girl and a couple of others cried after their experiences. How is this okay? Is this a lovely complement and we should all shut up? Until there comes a time where all men respect women walking the streets and no woman feels threatened walking alone, I guess all we can do is avoid the Bronx.

(Images via and Everyday Sexism)

hottie of the week #3

by

I wish this week’s HOTW could be the sexy man that works in my favourite cafe, however it would be both creepy and impossible, unless anybody has managed to take a picture of him, lucky thing. Let’s forget the sad note and move onto a positive: HEATH LEDGER. I know he’s far away now, but he will never be forgotten, and in all honesty, you know you will never let your children live their lives without watching Ten Things I Hate About You and crying at how insanely beautiful Heath is, and because the film is a dream, of course.

I remember that frosty, horrible morning in 2008 when my mum broke the news to us over the phone as my BFF, Gemma and I were on our way to school. We genuinely cried for about thirteen minutes before we’d truly realised we would never get to meet him, or see any new films/photos/anything of his. However, in everything he did, he did with passion and courage. And sexiness. He even works the sexy as a heroin addict in Candy (btw you need to watch). And this, is why he will be forever a HOTTIE. Huddle in, fan girls.

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(This one was once my desktop background. Isn’t he BEAUTIFUL?)

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He also directed this amazing music video for Modest Mouse’s incredibly cutting canticle ‘King Rat’. He’s PERFECT. And will never be mine.

Love you forever Heath xoxoxox