Street Harrassment

Street Harrassment

Hi there, I realise I haven’t posted in a long time, but I am now turning over a new leaf and I fully intend on making more use of this blog!

I like to call myself a feminist, and yes, I have a boyfriend. I am in a happy relationship, with a man. So because I am a feminist, this doesn’t mean that I hate men.. Not at all. I never considered myself a feminist before I read Caitlin Moran’s book – How To Be A Woman. But she told me that we’re all feminists if we want to be. So I am. Anyway, as my first post on this blog of the new year, I would like to share with you, an article from Everyday Feminism, which really struck a few chords with me.

Street harrassment is something which affects everyone, no matter which country you live in. I’ve experienced it, and I could not be considered a “tease” in the way that I dress… Jeans, hoody, baggy tshirt, usually. Unless I’m going to a gym in which case the jeans are replaced with jogging bottoms. Definitely not teasing anyone there. The first time I experienced feeling uncomfortable, and harrassed, I was in town with my mum, I was wearing, as I’ve already said, jeans, tshirt and hoody. I think I was about 17 at the time. A guy rode past us on a bike, and as he rode past, he shouted at me, “NICE ARSE!” I have never felt so humiliated in all my life.

Anyway, that’s the first time it happened to me, it’s happened several times since, in different settings, but I don’t need to get into that. Without further ado, I would like to invite you to read this article that EF posted.

And thank you for reading my first post of 2014. This is the first time I’ve written anything in a while, so I know it’s not exactly the most fluid of pieces… Hopefully that will come back to me, the more I write over time :)

Happy New Year!

MandaSwaggie – A sign of everything that is wrong with the World

If you’re lucky, unlike most of the twitter population, you won’t know who the girl, going by the name of Amanda Bieber is. You won’t have seen any of her tweets, that are downright offensive and you won’t have been subjected to the incessant stupidity that comes out of her mouth.

I don’t have any problem with Justin Bieber; I will get that out in the open right now. No, I have a problem with his fans. I’m sure the majority of them are nice, normal girls, fangirling over him as I did when I was 12, over Justin Timberlake. Except now they are that age and they have Twitter and Facebook to push their views onto everyone else. Like I say, the majority just fangirl over him, fine. I have no problem with that either, I fangirl over S Club 7, I can’t say anything. But then we come to the likes of dear Amanda who happens, I might add, to be 13 years of age (bear that in mind when reading her tweets) . At the time of typing, her most recent tweet reads:

“Who’s the second most popular music legend in history after Justin Bieber in your opinion?” (@MandieSwaggie)

Doesn’t seem too bad does it? Just a girl who loves her favourite artist, a tad delusional maybe, but harmless. Then you start to see the replies that she gets, and that she gives back… and it switches from harmless fangirling to pure nastiness.

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Yes, the original tweet from millieb may have been offensive to her, but it wasn’t threatening, and there really is no need for that sort of talk. My main worry here, is that she doesn’t know anything about this user’s history, for all she knows, she could be suicidal, and this could be the tweet that pushes her to go and do the worst. But Amanda just doesn’t seem to care, it would appear she rather enjoys the confrontation and attention.

Moving on to another bout of stupidity on Amanda’s part, first she claims that she hates God, and Christians and religion, cool, whatever. But then….

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She says she doesn’t believe in the bible in earlier tweets, she makes it very known that she isn’t religious in any way at all, and yet she bases her beliefs on what the Bible and God (apparently) say. Logic, where art thou?

Now, wait till you see this, this is the best part. Wait until you see the way she talks about her parents.It completely disgusts me, I don’t understand how someone can talk about their parents like this.

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Because her parents “don’t understand” her love for Justin Bieber, she wants them to die in a fire. Really? How are you going to buy Bieber’s CDs and go to his tours without Mummy and Daddy’s money? Me thinks a certain little girl is VERY spoilt and needs to be taught a proper lesson. If I were her parents and I saw her twitter account and the way she speaks, I would be so ashamed. But scrap that, it wouldn’t happen in the first place. I don’t want to blame her parents, I’m sure that they’re just as confused by their daughters behaviour as the rest of the World’s population is, but they really need to start disciplining her, or she is actually going to be murdered for starting WW3.

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I’ll finish off with another stupid comment from dear Amanda:

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Yes, dyslexia, that crippling disease that makes you forget where you put things….Somebody needs to start paying attention in school instead of sitting on Twitter all day.

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The picture attached is this one of Jesse McCartney…

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Um. Awkward?

Anyway. I think I have gotten my feelings off my chest. I hope I haven’t scarred anyones innocent minds with the stupidity that is honest to God, taking place on Twitter right now.

Avengers Assemb…

Avengers Assemble – European Premiere

Location: Westfield, London

Date: April 19th 2012

 

On Wednesday April 18th 2012, at around 1pm, my dad dropped me off at the train station for my first official trip away, without a responsible adult of some sort (this includes parents and teachers). I was off to London with my friend, and colleague, Becca. The reason? The European premiere of Avengers Assemble of course! I shall start with a little background story.

 

I haven’t even known Becca a year yet, I started my work placement at a radio station, the radio station she happens to be the receptionist type of person at, in May of 2011. Given that radio is a very male dominated environment, I think us females stick together as much as possible. Anyway, we hit it off, and discovered our mutual passions for lots of things, including Glee, Harry Potter and… the Marvel Universe. Captain America: The First Avenger came out last summer while I was there, and we went to see it separately, and both came back raving about how awesome it was and, “did you see the trailer for The Avengers at the end?! Ohmygod!” This led to us talking about Iron Man and Thor, which at the time, I hadn’t seen, and her scalding me for NOT seeing it. Skip forward a few months, I’ve seen Thor now and fallen in love with Tom Hiddleston. I’d decided back when The Avengers was first alluded to that I wanted to go to the premiere, but the problem was finding a willing friend to drag all the way to London with me, so I could scream at Robert Downey Jr. Enter Becca. I mentioned how I really wanted to go one day at work, and well… She basically jumped at it and said she’d go and we immediately got the buzz about it and were all ready to start planning then and there.

 

Unfortunately it was about 4 months before the release date of the film, no premiere dates had been announced, and there wasn’t a lot we could do. So there was a frustratingly long wait, meanwhile I was stuck at University in classes I hated; daydreaming of the day I would at long last meet my hero.

 

Anyway, skip forward a little more, and we get to about a month before the film is due to come out. The title has been changed from The Avengers to Avengers Assemble, and the date for the UK release of the film is now April 26th, an entire week before our American friends get it! Heehee! (I apologise, this still makes me very gleeful, I love you all in the US of A but it’s not often we’ll get these mega blockbusters before you and it was a very happy event for me.) We’re desperately looking on a million and one websites for the ACTUAL date of the UK premiere and not getting a solid answer. It’s eventually PROPERLY, OFFICIALLY confirmed for April 19th at the Shepherd’s Bush Westfield, not the Stratford one, and so the frantic and exciting job of booking a hotel and trains begins.

 

Now let’s skip forward back to April 18th. We’re at the train station, and the excitement is unbearable. I’m also a little nervous, because it is, like I said, my first time away without a proper adult influence, and it is LONDON, what happens if we get lost?

We successfully get on the correct train to London Euston; we then successfully end up at London Euston. Yay! The hotel, I was told by the map on the Travelodge website, is directly opposite the train station, they really should say that it’s opposite to the left a bit. But we found that too, eventually. I won’t go into the details of the hotel and everything we did, that’s not what this is about, but you know if you are going to London for a few days and want a cheap, clean hotel, then you can’t really go wrong with Travelodge.

 

Morning of Thursday April 19th. We woke up with the plan already set to go to Speedy’s café, on North Gower Street. Yes, that Speedy’s, the one from Sherlock! I most definitely recommend it for breakfast. At that point I was CRAVING a proper cup of tea (the only thing wrong with Travelodge is that the tea you are given in the room is WORSE than dishwater – bleurgh) so the wonderful brew, breakfast and hospitality that we received in Speedy’s was absolutely wonderful. And it was my Sherlockian fangirl’s absolute dream.

 

After the wonderful full English, we made our way to Westfield, via tube. I had meticulously planned our journey out the night before, (my biggest fear of London was the tubes, but it was ridiculously easy once we got there) and therefore we arrived at Westfield at about 11:30am. After first going into West12, incorrectly assuming that that was Westfield, we managed to find the ACTUAL Westfield shopping centre. We walked in through the door, which had Avengers Assemble posters on them, adding to the excitement factor, and were greeted by the most magnificent display I have ever seen. The first thing my eyes were drawn to, was the humungous screen and stage with all of the Avengers team on it, REALLY BIG. Then the ropes and the red carpet, I was ready to run all the way up to the big guard type men and beg them to let me step a toe on it, but I managed to restrain myself. We asked one of the big scary men where we were supposed to go and received a grunt in reply which we interpreted. We got to an entrance through the ropes, at which another big, scary looking man was standing, this one though, was lovely and friendly and told us before getting stamped that we should go look around the other pens before getting a stamp, because once you’re stamped once, that’s it, you’re in that pen for life. Or for the premiere. We chose the red pen, apparently, and our stamp was on the underside of our left wrists, in a red colour, surprisingly. We found what we thought was a really great spot, right at the fence next to the red carpet but behind the stage. Within about 10 minutes the guy next to us requested that we watched his stuff while he went to the bathroom, at first I found this slightly weird that you’d ask a stranger to watch your stuff, but you sort of immediately trust each other, you’re all as nerdy as each other so why would you bother stealing someone else’s stuff?

 

ANYWAY (again) we shall skip forward to the actual start of the premiere. As anyone who watched it online will know, when the Avengers stars first came out, they were on stage with some blonde guy who was really crap as a host, (he still managed to be better than the girl who did the World Premiere in LA though, calling poor Clark Gregg “Agent Clowson” instead of Coulson. At least blonde man got the name right) and he did a mini interview with each of them as they came out of the doors. They then walked down the stairs from the stage to the red carpet on OUR side, right in front of us, but they didn’t come over and sign or speak to us at all. Cue disappointed on a mass level. When Chris Hemsworth came down the stairs he actually signalled at us that he would be back. So the smart ones of us deduced that they were doing press interviews first and would then begin to greet fans.

Before they came and did the fan thing though, Jonathan Ross appeared and called them all on stage one by one to do another little interview with them. After this they came to us, yay!

 

Mark Ruffalo was first, he was absolutely wonderful. His handler told him to stop signing just before he got to us, the handler said, “Okay, thanks guys. Come on Mark.” And started trying to pull him away, but Mark just continued signing, like the fabulous human being he is. He signed my magazine and I thanked him profusely, as did Becca.

 

Next was Scarlett Johansson’s appearance. Her handlers also tried to get her to stop, but she, like Mark, also refused and continued signing – my magazine got another signature. She looked absolutely beautiful and she was really friendly too.

 

And then, along came Tom Hiddleston. I got ridiculously excited at this point. I could believe it, that I was actually going to meet Hiddles! He came along and I got him to sign my magazine, which he did, he was absolutely lovely. As he continued on past us, I got this opportunity to take a really great clear picture of him, as I was about to press the shutter down, he chose that moment to sneeze. I’d be annoyed at him but it was absolutely adorkable. Everyone said “Bless you!” at him as he sneezed and he said thank you to us all after giggling a little. I thanked him a lot and at one point he looked me in the eye which obviously means he wants to marry me.

 

The producer then came along – Kevin Feige. This guy was absolutely amazing. One of the women in our pen recognised him as he walked past and called him over, which he did, and he said, “I’ll sign small so you have enough space for someone more interesting than me.” I mean, BLESS HIM. I couldn’t believe how humble he was. I told him he was just as important but I don’t think he heard. He signed my magazine and I thanked him and he said, “You’re welcome.”

 

Chris Hemsworth. Now, when Chris made his way over to us Becca got incredibly excited. Chris is Becca’s Robert Downey Jr. She had requested that I take a picture of her and Chris together but the handlers decided that we weren’t allowed to have pictures with them. So I handed him over my magazine to sign (touching his hand in the process, WHAT? It’s Chris Hemsworth, he’s a God) and then using Becca’s camera got the greatest picture of him ever, which I’m afraid I don’t have, as Becca is TERRIBLE at uploading the photos. I’m pretty convinced she was ready to cry with happiness when I showed her the picture I got of him for her.

 

Robert Downey Jr. Just in case you hadn’t yet guessed, Robert Downey Jr was the entire reason I went to the premiere. I went all the way to London, just for him basically, (eventually it became about Tom as well, and after seeing the film I am VERY glad I got to see the rest too) so he was my main target. I bought an Iron Man t-shirt especially for Robert to sign. He came down the stairs the first time round, after the interview with Blondey and by then we’d cottoned on to the fact that they weren’t signing that first time, so I didn’t get too upset. When Mark and Chris etc. started coming round again though, I got VERY excited. I was convinced I was about to meet this man, my inspiration, my hero and I was struggling to control myself. The rest of the stars came and went and I was starting to get concerned about why he hadn’t come over, but convinced it was just because he was held up with an interview of some sort. Anyway, the steady trickle of stars coming over stopped; there was still activity, but none of the cast of Avengers, and most importantly, NO ROBERT.

 

All of a sudden, they all filed out in a line of sorts from behind the stage and a curtain, right in front of us. There was Mark, Chris, Scarlett, Clark, Jeremy and ROBERT (and everyone else). Everyone in the pen started calling their names, particularly the ones who hadn’t come over to us, like Robert. And he ignored us. He was stood right in front of me. If I’d reached over and stretched as far as I could (and broken my ribs in the process) I would have been able to touch him. I was shouting his name, trying to get his attention, practically begging him and he completely blanked us all. All I wanted at that point was for him to just turn around and acknowledge us, the fact we were there, a smile or a wave would have been more than enough. But we didn’t get that. And in that moment, as overdramatic as it sounds, I felt like my heart had been removed.

 

They all proceeded to do the assembly thing on stage, and my last desperate ray of hope was that he might come down the steps off stage on our side again, but alas, he did not. The next time we saw him, he was on the elevator moving upwards towards the cinema. And there ended my hopes and dreams of actually meeting him, if only for five seconds.

 

Moving on, I’ve just about stopped moping about the fact I didn’t meet Robert, after nearly two weeks. It was still one of the best moments of my life.

After the premiere had ended, everyone started packing up and leaving and we noticed Edith Bowman walking past us, with her high heels off her feet and in her hand, which made her seem incredibly approachable all of a sudden. I sort of jog, walked over to her and asked her if she’d mind signing my t-shirt, she smiled and said of course she would, and Becca then asked if we could also have a photo with her, to which she agreed, her handler type person took Becca’s camera off her so we could all get in the picture which was lovely of him and we thanked her a lot and she was really friendly with us.

 After that we made tracks back to Euston and the hotel, in the pouring rain, and incredibly happy with the day’s happenings.

 

And that, in approximately 2000 words, is my Avengers Premiere experience. I apologise for how wordy it is and if you’ve stuck through to the end, thank you.

I hope to get some photos up soon, but that involves connecting a camera to the laptop and I’m insufferably lazy when it comes to technology.

Battleship – May 1st 2012

*Spoiler Alert Spoiler Alert Spoiler Alert Spoiler Alert*

Stacey and I decided to go see this film, mainly because we discovered a mutual “like” of ours – Alexander Skarsgård – was in it. For Stacey it was about the aesthetic, I’m sure! And to an extent it was for me, but I was also curious to see what sort of an actor he is away from True Blood, which is the only other thing I’ve seen him in.

I wasn’t sure what to expect with this film, I was put off immediately by the presence of Rihanna, but nevertheless, to the cinema I went and bought a ticket for it. I hadn’t thought to do my usual IMDB checks before going to see this, I have to do these usually to ensure that I’m not being tricked into watching a horror of some sort which will mean I don’t sleep for the month after watching it, but after checking with Stacey, ensuring she WASN’T lying to me (believe me, I can tell) I settled into my seat, happy in the knowledge that I was going to be watching something similar to Transformers, but better (better in the case of Dark of the Moon, being realllllllly bad, in my opinion of course).

As the film started with Adam Godley’s face in front of us going on about some space thing, I controlled myself and stopped myself groaning incredibly loudly. A sci-fi film? Please, god, no. I cannot ABIDE sci-fi films normally; I was expecting this to be some loud-ass, explosive, fighting war-based film, not alien shit. But I really did judge it too soon.

Once the film started to get going, it was entertaining. The main character played by Taylor Kitsch is an actor I’ve never come across before and his opening scenes with his brother (played by Skarsgård) were rather comical, almost as funny as Mark Ruffalo’s scenes as the Hulk in Avengers Assemble, but that’s another story. Anyway, onwards. The rest of the film continued very pleasingly, I was into it the whole way through, which is an accomplishment I think, because Transformers: Dark of the Moon bored me to tears, and sleep. There was a lot of the much anticipated (on my part) gun fighting and explosions, and on Stacey’s and my own part – Alexander Skarsgård’s body. The weird alien creatures confused me to begin with, I was uncertain about what they actually wanted if they didn’t want to kill the humans, but DID want to destroy all structures and … well, anything solid. That’s something that still wasn’t cleared up, because it all turned out to be about the communication? I think…

Anyway, Battleship entertained me, and I definitely enjoyed it. The only complaint I have is them killing off Stone Hopper – Alexander Skarsgård’s character about halfway through the film. They DID have him take his top off before he died though, for which I can only thank them.

I’m sure that if I watch this again when it comes out on DVD that I won’t enjoy it half as much, it’s just one of those films I think, but for a fiver, something to do with two hours and … well, a form of entertainment, I think it’s rather worth a look.

My rating: 7/10

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