Kings, Queens & Queers

I recently read this story about two girls in a same sex relationship who were crowned Prom King and Queen and my heart almost burst open with pride at how accepting society is becoming of the LGBT community.

But then, as always, I ruined these happy thoughts of how progressive we are by thinking. I’m now just wondering why two girls, two biologically female individuals who, as far as I am aware, both identify with the gender that has been deemed appropriate for women, have been crowned King and Queen? The term ‘King’ is the noun used to describe a man. Given that these two women are just that, women, shouldn’t they have been crowned Prom Queen and Queen?

Maybe the girls were more than happy to take on these titles because, traditionally speaking, that is the norm. Yet, that is the heterosexual norm. They are homosexuals and, I thought it was pretty obvious that neither of them is a King. If society truly is becoming more and more accepting of the LGBT community, and are more than happy to break a tradition in order to crown a lesbian couple, then they could at least do it bloody properly and allow them to rule the party under the correct nouns. We need to wake up and realise that it is called a same sex relationship because it is a relationship between two people of the same sex. I SAW NO KINGS AT THE PARTY!

I don’t want to belittle this achievement for the LGBT community as I’m still pleased that a lesbian couple won, however, it seems an awful shame that gay people are still being made to fit into tiny little heteronormative boxes when there is nothing hetero about us.

Morons in Mississippi

I have stayed uncharacteristically quiet on the recent passing of  the religious freedom bill in Mississippi which allows businesses to discriminate against the LGBT community.

This is partly because I’ve been rather busy and partly because I struggled to find words to discuss it that weren’t expletives.

By this point, I guess it is pretty old news and most people will be more or less aware of what’s going on so I won’t get wrapped up in the political aspects of it, however, I do want to take a few minutes just to think about the humanist aspects of it.

As a woman who is in a relationship with another woman, I find it so strange to think that there are people in the world who automatically hate me simply because of my sexual orientation. There are people in this world who harbour so much hatred and disgust for me, and the millions of other individuals who identify as part of the LGBT community, that they actively promote and encourage discrimination against us.

Perhaps it is because I’m not a narrow minded, idiotic bigot, but I just cannot comprehend how someone can have so many negative feelings towards a specific group of people for absolutely no reason other than who that group of people happened to develop romantic feelings for. Is being in a same sex relationship really so shocking and offensive? Why does my lifestyle cause people so much revulsion? I just cannot wrap my head around it.

People will argue that homosexuality isn’t natural yet it is found in almost 500 different species of animals across the world. People will argue that homosexuality is sinful because the Bible says so yet the Bible also talks about unicorns and states that you are not allowed to cut your hair.

Rather than spreading hatred we should be spreading love and acceptance. It is 2016 for fuck’s sake, let’s get a grip.

Image via Instagram.

Come On Cameron

syria fb

Image from the Unilad Facebook page

I’m sure by now everyone is aware that the UK, ( or should I say David Cameron), has made the decision to bomb Syria under the pretence that it is Britain’s “moral and military duty to attack Islamic State.”

He firmly feels that if we did not potentially blow thousands of unsuspecting people up then we would “betray British Muslims,” because, quite bizarrely, Cameron thinks this is not only the best defence of our country but also the best “defence of Islam,” a peaceful religion.

I don’t like David Cameron but I still don’t want my opinion of him to result in me automatically being against anything he thinks is a good idea. However with that being said, I cannot help but feel as though the argument that he put forward in favour of the airstrike was simply a mish mash of statements designed to confuse and scare the audience of MPs into voting to launch an attack. By no means did it seem like a rational argument.

Cameron seemed to rely heavily on propaganda and implied that those voting against the airstrike were being unpatriotic and going against the best interests of the UK. He even demonstrated how much of a douche he really is by labelling those who disagreed with him as a “bunch of terrorist sympathisers.”

So just to clarify, in Cameron’s opinion those who DO NOT want to endanger innocent civilians are the bad guys.

Amongst the scare tactics that Cameron used in his speech were the Tunisia shootings that tragically took the lives of multiple British citizens. It certainly isn’t my intention to downplay this horrific incident, however, after Cameron stated that this attack was “inspired” by ISIS I cannot help but feel as though he embellished and utilised this attack as propaganda to fight his cause.

Cameron also implied other plots had been uncovered and  told the room that these terrorists have “plotted atrocity after atrocity on the streets here at home,” and are “waiting to kill British people” yet provided no examples, leaving me somewhat sceptical of the existence of said plots.

I would hate to think that someone could embellish horrendous events and build on the fear the invoked to further their cause, however, I guess these are politicians we’re talking about here.

Image by Number 10 via Flickr under this Creative Commons License.

 

Refugees are NOT Immigrants

Recently the news has been full of stories about refugees fleeing Syria and seeking asylum in nearby countries. British headlines have been full of news about the refugees’ movements with some of them featuring unsavoury views which would imply that, not only are a lot of people in Britain racist, but many of them work for the media.
It seems that, rather than actually researching events in Syria and feeling so overwhelmed with compassion for these poor people, like any normal human being would, there are a few people who are instead choosing to jump to mindless, ignorant conclusions and label these refugees as immigrants with ulterior motives.
Let me break this down for you. In March 2011 a group of peaceful protestors were met with open fire by the government, four of the protesters were killed instantly. The following day, the same gunmen who work for the Syrian president turned up at the funeral of one of the deceased and shot at those who were grieving. This was just the beginning. From that point, the violence escalated and over 1000 different groups of people opposing the Syrian government emerged meaning that, by July 2012, civil war in Syria had been declared and the lives of over 200,000 innocent civilians had been taken.
Then, (yes there is more), an extremist group you may have heard of called Islamic State, (who, by the way, do NOT represent the views of Islam in any way, shape or form!), seize the opportunity to move into Syria and gain land and power due to the confusion and chaos that has ransacked the country. Then, as if shit is not bad enough for the people of Syria, the government supposedly begin to use chemical weapons against the people living there.
Eight million Syrian citizens have been left with no choice but to evacuate their homes and a further four million have fled the country completely in a bid to seek safely elsewhere. I think those poor people probably have a bit more on their mind than deciding on the best way to take your job, don’t you?

Volkswagen Fuel Emission Scandal

As many of you have probably heard, Volkswagen have recently come under fire for fitting certain models with software known as a ‘defeat device,’ which essentially enables their cars to pass strict tests determining whether they are deemed safe for the environment.
The number of cars that Volkswagen admitted to being affected by this has climbed from the original number of 482,000, which they claimed only affected vehicles in America, to a possible 11 million cars distributed worldwide. This means that millions of unsuspecting car owners have been emitting a harmful amount of nitrogen oxide from vehicles they were led to believe were environmentally friendly since as far back as 2008.
The use of these ‘defeat devices’ means that cars such as Beetles, Audi A3s and certain models of the Golf, to name just a few, appear to be a lot cleaner and more environmentally friendly than they actually are. Volkswagen have been knowingly misleading not just regulators, but customers worldwide, by lying about the amount of harmful emissions and pollution being released from their vehicles.
Quite rightly, there are now widespread concerns over whether the installation of this type of device is common practise amongst manufacturers in the car industry. It would be unethical to tar each company with the same brush, however, if it turns out that one large company has been cheating the system in such a devious way, it does call into question whether rival manufacturers have taken similar actions in order to keep up with the competition and increase the performance of their own models.
This recent scandal is particularly worrying when we take into consideration the fact that pollution is responsible for taking 12,000 lives per year in Britain alone. This number could be significantly reduced if only big names such as Volkswagen started being honest about the amount of harmful chemicals released by their products instead of simply being profit focused. The exposure of Volkswagen’s deceitful ways is also concerning as it makes you wonder how and why they have been getting away with using this software for so long and calls into question whether the regulations put in place regarding harmful chemicals being released into the environment are too lax.

Why I Feel Sorry for Paris Hilton

Although I did watch the TV programme ‘The Simple Life’, I can wholeheartedly say that I have never been a fan of Paris Hilton’s. In fact, I tend to categorise her with the rest of the terrible ‘role models’ who are famous for simply being famous. The whole dumb blonde routine has always grated on me but even so, I don’t think that she deserved what recently happened to her. I don’t think anybody deserves it.
This is something that I never thought I would say but I actually feel sorry for Paris Hilton. Yes, you read that correctly. I feel bad for her. Let me explain. Recently, I was scrolling through my Facebook newsfeed and came across a clip showing Paris Hilton appearing on a TV programme which I assumed would be similar to the American show Punk’d. For those of you who aren’t familiar with Punk’d, (where have you been?!), this is a sort of reality TV show that plays pranks on unsuspecting celebrities. Expecting a bit of a laugh I started watching the clip which shows Paris become the victim of a prank played by an Egyptian TV programme called Ramez in Control. I quickly worked out that the main difference between Punk’d and Ramez in Control is that the pranks on Punk’d are funny. This clip was not funny. It was cruel.
Paris is the unwitting celebrity who falls victim to the show’s latest extreme prank. The clip that I watched shows Paris aboard a small aircraft under the impression that she is going on a little outing to see an aerial tour of Dubai. Unfortunately for poor Paris, this isn’t the case. Hidden cameras show Paris sat on the front row of this tiny aircraft, happily chatting away to her fellow passengers, (all of whom are professional actors), when the plane suddenly nosedives towards the ground at the hands of the stunt pilot in control of it. Drinks get thrown around, people get thrown around and all hell breaks loose. At this point, not surprisingly, Paris has started to freak out a little bit. As if hurtling towards the ground wasn’t bad enough, after a few minutes the back doors of the aircraft open and a man, who unbeknown to Paris is actually wearing a parachute, appears to fall out of the plane. Cue Paris panicking and assuming that death is inevitable.
To me, a prank is a funny but harmless joke that is played on someone. The prank played on Paris was neither of those things. A prank is something that tricks you. It should not be something that leaves you crying and screaming hysterically. It certainly should not be something that tricks you into thinking you are about to die. I didn’t find the clip funny in the slightest. In fact, I found it disgusting. As I have already stated, I am not a fan of Paris Hilton. However, I don’t think that anybody, no matter how annoying they may be, deserves to go through the trauma of thinking that the plane they are on is about to go down. Death is not something we can be this light hearted about. It is not funny to fool anyone into thinking that they are going to die. It is unethical and just plain mean.
Once the aircraft lands, you can see a very shaken and still teary Paris say that she thought she was going to die. It has since circulated that she is planning on suing the company for emotional distress and I can’t say that I blame her. Reality shows are constantly trying to outdo each other by doing more and more outrageous things but this prank seems to have completely backfired. Instead of making me laugh at her expense it has actually made me pity Paris Hilton and, dare I say it, warm towards her a little. It has even made me feel a little guilty for enjoying the scene in the movie House of Wax where she dies.