Monday, 2 January 2017

2017: Letters for Boys & Girls

ladies and gentleman, please read ahead before starting 2017. set aside your brexit anxiety, and try to forget about trump for one minute, and allow yourself the air of opportunity this new month has given you.

i'll allow you to play 'heroes' by bowie throughout though, because that shit still runs deep.

ladies. i'll start with you.

2016 was a strange one for us. one laden with knocks and turns at every corner, and it felt increasingly like we were heading back in time to an archaic time of just being a body with a mouth attached. the line of the year, 'grab her by the pussy', will be etched into our gorgeous hearts for some time, and unfortunately we cannot do anything to remove the man from power (although, there is a lot of us, revolution amirite?) but...let's try and focus on the positives.

we were spoiled for choice with feminist tv, literature and films. from the all-female 'ghostbusters' to the absolutely incredible 'fleabag',  and let's not ever forget the gift of lemonade, we were finally presented with real women on our screens, flawed and complicated, with lumps and bumps, talking about shit we want to hear. we poo. we fart. we swear. we do things that aren't pretty, and let's hope that this continues into 2017 (although, please don't take this is an official instruction to poo and fart everywhere 24/7. whilst we are liberated, we are still human beings.)

2017 presents us with the opportunity to continue this education. the notion that shouting at us in the street is not ok, the thought that asking us to smile as we stand waiting for a bus is not going to be tolerated, and no longer will we simply shrug when our behinds are touched as we try to get our funk on to beyonce in a club. we must continue to say no. to say fuck off. to say excuse me, when did i say you could do that? we must have confidence in ourselves to ask for that pay rise, to go for that job you've always wanted and be bossy when you need to be. don't stand back and reserve yourself to behaviour you think is what is expected of you. be authentic, and be honest. you've got this.

also, please don't worry about not being a 'basic bitch' - a term which should die in a room somewhere along with 'millennial', 'brexit' and 'dab' (although the latter is quite amusing to watch in action). you don't need to fit into that pale pink branding with unicorns, donuts and dollar signs. you don't need to wear bralets, leather jeans and fur coats 24/7 to be cool. it's fine to also wear your bobbly uni jumper, a pair of leggings, french plaits and your old gym trainers - you're still slaying. none of us are basic. can we help it if we all like an instagram of a starbucks cup every now and again? nah. embrace yourself and be whoever you want this year, bralet or no bralet. 

and finally - before this turns into Ulysses, whatever you do, do it because you want to do it. take a day if you need to for your mental health, book that mini break, take that chance. don't worry about your overdraft, and please don't think taking laxative tea will make you thin. it'll just make you shit. happy 2017 babes, you're the best xo

and now onto the boys...

let's hear it for the boys! i'm really sorry that you were let down by some of your kind in 2016, it must be pretty rubbish sharing chromosomes with some truly moronic people. but on a lighter note, you also have james corden, who brightened up a lot of peoples days in 2016. so, you live and learn.

i've only got a few things to say to you, and firstly i'm going in with the smack down. yes. i'm going to talk to you about mental health. cor. she's hard isn't she? well yes, i am. and so are you. even if you cry, even if you have depression, even if you admit to someone that you're not sure you can cope. you're made of hard stuff, and your masculinity (or whatever you perceive that word to mean) will never be tainted by you admitting you're ill. i've seen how mental health can affect the men in my life, and how it can build up and build up because of this societal view of what a man should be. well, hear this boyz - men do cry. a lot. and feel free to cry on my shoulder if you need to. whenever. 

also, let's start noticing the everyday sexism a bit more, shall we lads? let's not smirk or shake off a bit of harmless banter when one of your mates yells names at a girl innocently wearing a dress in the street, and let's not keep quiet when the words 'bitch, whore, slut and slag' are banded around the friendship group. it doesn't make you a bore to stand up for what's not right, it makes you a bit of a legend, actually. you've got mums, sisters, cousins, best friends all sporting different parts to you - and feminism needs you to be on our side. he for she, and all that. so what do you say? (if your answer is: don't tell me what to do, you whore. i suggest you block me from your page).

and lastly, keep waving the flag for the good fellas out there. the men who fight for equality, who help the diversity struggle, and continue to just be decent eggs all round. love you boys. oh, and please, please don't ever grab someone by the pussy. be it female or feline, it's not on.

happy 2017! 

until next time xo 

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