Things we should leave in 2016: Get in the Sea

I don’t do resolutions. As we barrel full pelt into 2017 I’m fighting off a cold, snuggled up to my beloved dog and drinking ginger and lemon tea. I spent the first few days of the year catching up with good friends and stuffing my face. Fuck productivity. Today is my first full day back and I am somewhat unimpressed that I’ve being made to work on my puppy’s birthday. How rude. 

I didn’t want to make a list of goals I’d like to accomplish this year, or vices I think I should give up. Things change in my life at such a rapid rate that they’d probably be redundant by March, so instead I thought I’d share a few thoughts on what I reckon we should leave in 2016.

Thinly veiled weight loss resolutions

How many people who claim to be body positive have used the start of a new year to slip a little “I want to lose a few pounds so I can be a healthier new me” into conversation? People who would protest til they’re blue in the face the other 11 months of the year that they would never do this. It doesn’t matter how you word it. It’s still the same old desire to shed “excess” poundage under the guise of wanting to be able to walk a few extra yards without getting “tired out”. Seriously, if a person actually wants to lose weight, for themself, then that’s great. But using January’s notion of resolutions as an excuse? Really?! 

First of all, no one needs to lose weight to be happier. That is the biggest load of bullshit I have ever heard. Be happy with yourself if you don’t lose weight, if you do lose weight, hell even if you grow an iridescent horn atop your head that shines in the moonlight.  Happiness isn’t  quantified in pounds.

Cruelty to Animals

How many of us have had a wee sob to videos of puppies and kittens abandoned once their new pet smell had worn off? Seriously, when will people stop giving LIVING BEINGS as presents? If someone doesn’t know how to care for an animal, they need to read up on it. Google is your friend. Ask Twitter. Ask a fucking vet. It’s not ok to just assume that hyperactive new puppy will grow out of its biting phase, because it’s a dog, not a psychic.

Remember these fuzzbutts are family. Anyone who can’t commit to treating them with the love and respect they deserve should just stick to looking at cute kitten memes on the internet. Real cats, dogs, hamsters, guinea pigs, gerbils, bunnies and ferrets need fed, exercised, their poop scooped, and plenty of cuddles. Real pets aren’t toys. 

Passive agressive anti-Vegan jokes

Parroting that same tired old bacon joke? Ha ha, very good. So original. If the go-to response when they find out someone chooses not to eat animal products for moral, ethical, or health reasons is to make some recycled joke trying to put them down? Get. A. Life.

I don’t force my veganism down anyone’s throat, so why do some meat eaters think it’s appropriate to shove their views in my face? Leave me and my seitan burger alone. Oh and for the record, even before I stopped eating meat, I thought bacon was foul. If someone is so indoctrinated into the Borg collective conscience that they feel they’ve got to love to eat what they’ve been told to, then that’s their  problem. Oh and weirdly, it’s often the same folk waxing lyrical about the delights of the almighty bacon who look disgusted at the prospect of black pudding. How’s that for inconsistent?

Gendering “Objects”

I wrote about this awhile ago, but it still irritates the hell out of me. Rebranding and gendering of things like nail polish, hair buns, and eyeliner is just unnecessary. It feeds into this ridiculous patriarchal notion that women and men dare not stray too far from their narrow gender roles, and therefore the only way it would be acceptable for a man to then wear something traditionally “feminine” is to give it a new name. Male polishMan-bun. Guyliner. Get a grip.

It’s not helpful, it’s not clever, and it only teaches children unhealthy behaviours about gender “norms” that are basically a load of BS anyways.

Rape Culture

I genuinely can’t fathom why as reasonably sentient adults, people still feed into this toxic victim blaming bollocks. It’s 2017. Why is it such a difficult concept to grasp that it ISN’T what a woman wears, says, drinks, or who she chooses to sleep with? That there is no such thing as “consensual sex”, because by that very phrase, it is implied there are OTHER types of sex. What a victim does up to, during and following their assault is 100% not the cause of rape, RAPISTS are the cause of rape.

Whilst we’re here, could Lad Culture get into the fucking sea as well? Encouraging guys to go out, get shitfaced, and grope random women? How rubbish must your patter be to think this is a fun night out? Ugh. Get a hobby.

Non-intersectional White Feminism

Let’s be clear here, I’m not hating on white women who happen to be feminists. It’s the ones who are held as some sort of standard to be measured against, who have a huge platform, and yet who still don’t think before they speak that I’m talking about.

There are young women out there who are being fed the cleverly packaged lie that celebrities like Lena Dunham and Taylor Swift are painted as feminist idols. They’re loud, they’re famous, and they try to trick the viewer into believing they speak for equality. But only for cis white women.

In 2017, if your feminism isn’t intersectional, then it’s just not good enough. If your feminism isn’t inclusive for WoC, LGBTQA+, trans women, sex workers, disabled women, non-binary folk…your feminism is bullshit.

Cultural Appropriation as Fancy Dress costume

Can we please leave culturally offensive Halloween costumes like “Sexy Pocahontas” and “Sexy Geisha” behind this year? I’d suggest making a big ol bonfire but the pollution from all that polyester would probably choke us all.

There are SO MANY costumes and costume variations that can be “sexed-up” without taking a culture’s traditional dress and bastardising it. The assholes who think dressing up as a in a feathered headdress and a fringed skirt or a cheongsam with chopsticks stuck in their hair is just a bit of fun completely disregard the fact that these items of clothing are considered a part of the tradition for certain cultures. They are considered an expression of that culture and identity, and it is really rather offensive to turn that into a fancy dress costume.

Oh and let’s all take a moment to reflect on the statistic that 1 in 3 indigenous women in the US will be sexually assaulted in her lifetime, which is twice the national average. Having a culture diminished to a costume that is portrayed as “sexy” is hugely problematic, damaging, and actually dangerous.

What do you think should be left in the old year? What should we keep?

4 thoughts on “Things we should leave in 2016: Get in the Sea

  1. Okay I was coming here to vehemently disagree that the phrase “get in the sea” should be left in 2016 because I love it but all of these are valid and sensible. Carry on.

    (Also, I have only just now realised that “seitan” is an actual thing, and not just a clever username, sorry #veganjokes

    Liked by 1 person

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