The Meaning of Life: Part 3

“Have we got any biscuits? I’m feeling a bit peckish”

“You’re not peckish, you’ve only just had lunch. You’re just bored; you know you don’t like it when it’s too quiet in the factory”

“Look if I want a sodding biscuit………oh hang on a minute what’s going on over there…”

“Have we got any biscuits? I’m feeling a bit peckish”

“You’re not peckish, you’ve only just had lunch. You’re just bored; you know you don’t like it when it’s too quiet in the factory”

“Look if I want a sodding biscuit………oh hang on a minute what’s going on over there…”

“What? Where?”

“Over there look, someone’s making a declaration of some sort; this should be interesting….wait…oh no, that’s torn it!”

“hmmm? munch, munch, what?”

“Where did you get that biscuit?! Didn’t you hear what he just said? It’s a disaster”

“Sorry, no, it’s the biscuit, it’s really crunchy……”

“He just said “All Men are Created Equal”

“He didn’t?!!???”

“He bloody did! Will you stop spraying crumbs all over my desk”

“He can’t say that boss, there’ll be chaos!”

“Well duh, you think?”

“There’s no need to be sarcastic………what are we going to do about it?”

“Not a lot we can do is there, the words are out there now. Go and put the kettle on and I’ll see how much essence of sheep we’ve got left”

“I told you that free will would give us a problem…..more sheep essence I said….can’t go wrong with sheep I said……”

“Stop muttering, I’m trying to think”

“I was just saying………you’re just in a bad mood because I ate the last biscuit”

“The last….??? Look forget about biscuits for a minute, I’ve had an idea. Why don’t we give them a template”

“What do you mean, a template?”

“You know, we’ll take all the best bits of the ones that are down there now and make a template so they’ll know what they all need to be equal to, otherwise they’ll just be squabbling about this for ever more. You know what they’re like ‘your mountain’s got more trees on it, it’s not fair’, ‘our deity’s bigger than yours’, ‘he’s got more cows than me’, honestly, it never stops! Nope, we’ll give them a template and they’ll all want to be like that and everyone will be equal. It’s brilliant!”

“When you say the best bits what do you mean? Really good hair and a nice bum? I did a great bum the other day, round and peachy, perfectly symmetrical….I was proud of that bum…”

“What are you rambling about? No, I’m talking about kindness, understanding, compassion, intelligence, honesty, determination….the good bits”

“The bits you do you mean?”

“Well, I suppose so yes…”

“Typical!”

“Oh don’t get all huffy, you can do the bum alright?”

“Yay! Let’s get cracking!”

“Yes ha ha, ‘cracking’ very funny”

“What?”

“Never mind, just get on with it”

Time passes………..

“Finished!”

“How can it take so long to do one bum? No don’t answer that, just stick it on….no, other way up…..right good it’s ready to go”

More time passes….

“How’s the template going boss? Did they get it? Are they all feeling nice and equal now?”

“I don’t want to talk about it”

“Why? What happened?”

“………..they shot him”

“Bugger! Oh well better luck next time, fancy a biscuit?”

“I’m not hungry”

Ghandi quote

 

Have a great day everyone

Lisa x

 

 

 

 

If in the Name of Equality…

Do you sometimes come across something in the news that you get a bit miffed about but you don’t like to say anything because you know that your views might offend some people? Do you really enjoy free and open debate, even on the thorniest of subjects like politics and religion, but find that it’s increasingly difficult to avoid the minefields planted in the name of political correctness?

Do you sometimes come across something in the news that you get a bit miffed about but you don’t like to say anything because you know that your views might offend some people? Do you really enjoy free and open debate, even on the thorniest of subjects like politics and religion, but find that it’s increasingly difficult to avoid the minefields planted in the name of political correctness?

I find myself miffed this morning and I’m hesitant about saying anything in case I inadvertently offend someone but, if I don’t say something, it will irritate me all day so here goes.

I love inspiring words! You know the sort, they just uplift everyone, they are not specific or targeted, you don’t have to have suffered to be able to relate, they were just written to motivate. One of my favourite examples is IF by Rudyard Kipling, you know the one, it goes like this:

    Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
    But make allowance for their doubting too;
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
    Or being lied about, don’t deal in lies,
Or being hated, don’t give way to hating,
    And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise……
I suppose, if you want to be picky, you could say that the last line ‘And you shall be a man my son’ is sexist but you’d have to be pretty bloody picky after reading all the lines that preceed it.
Anyway, these words were painted on a wall in a Manchester University, I assume to act as inspiration for the students. However, they have now been painted over and replaced by the words of Maya Angelou. Why? Well, some of the students decided that Rudyard Kipling “stands for the ‘opposite of liberation, empowerment and human rights’.”
Kipling died in 1936 so he doesn’t ‘stand’ for anything if we’re going to be pedantic about it but isn’t it his words that are important and not the fact that the opinions that he may or may not have held (that point is debatable) are not ‘acceptable’ in today’s (100 years later) society?
That aside, the students claimed that it was their job to “uphold our principles of inclusivity, fairness and empowerment”. Ok, fair enough, so what did they replace ‘If’ with? Another poem that would be an inspiration to others regardless of their faith, colour or creed? No. They replaced it with a poem about people of colour breaking the bonds of slavery; both literally and metaphorically.
Now, while I would agree that we can all take something from this work as it is powerful and beautifully written, it is not inclusive.
Out of the huts of history’s shame
I rise
Up from a past that’s rooted in pain
I rise
I’m a black ocean, leaping and wide,
Welling and swelling I bear in the tide.
These are not words that will resonate with everyone because the vast majority of us can have no concept of what it is to be enslaved but they were written over words that all of us can relate to in the name of ‘inclusivity and fairness’; frankly I do wonder at the irony…….
Is it wrong to think this way? Have I reached an age where I am out of touch with ‘modern’ sensibilities or has political correctness trapped us to a point where we are afraid of critical thinking?
What do you think? Agree or not, I’d love to hear from you.
Lisa x

Feminism is Doing Nothing for Women

….am I only here because I’ve got breasts and not balls?

Harriet Harman (should that be Harperson???) has said today that the next leader of the Labour Party should be a woman. Nothing particularly controversial in that you might think but she goes on to say that ALL the candidates should be women and that the men in the party can “jostle amongst themselves to be deputy”. She admits there are some men who would be great leaders but insists that only women should be considered for the role.

If I was one of those women I’d be up in arms against Harriet for wilfully trying to take away any sense of achievement and pride that I might have had should I have secured the leadership on my own merits! Any woman who gets the job now will always have it in the back of her mind “am I only here because I’ve got breasts and not balls?”; she may not phrase it quite like that but you get the point.

The same applies to the delicate little flowers who are offended if a man winks at them, wolf-whistles them or puts a hand on their lower back or shoulder. This may sound harsh but, if you don’t like it, say something to the person who has offended you, don’t say nothing at the time and then plaster your outrage all over Twitter or other social media. By doing this you are:

  1. Trivialising actual physical or sexual assault
  2. Putting yourself and other women into the role of ‘victim’ completely unnecessarily
  3. Creating a culture that separates men and women rather than integrates them

Feminists claim that they want women to be seen as strong and independent but by constantly bemoaning the fact that they are ‘offended’ by every little real or imagined slight they are achieving quite the opposite. Articles like this are being seen more and more often – women who have worn revealing clothing in whatever their profession may be and then claim that their industry is ‘sexist’. Surely there has to be some element of personal responsibility here? If you don’t want to wear a bikini, don’t wear one but then don’t complain that your earnings from sponsorship have dropped because promoters find the image of you in a full body wetsuit less marketable than pictures of you in a bikini. Try as we might, we cannot change other people’s ideas of what they find attractive.

A really strong woman doesn’t need other women to fight these little battles for her; if a man pats her on the backside and she doesn’t like it she’ll tell him so in a very loud voice and, if necessary, introduce him to the the sharpened side of her elbow! Men are just people, they are not the enemy and surely it’s better to work towards genuine equality through discourse rather than trying to force them into the subjugation that the original feminists fought so hard to liberate women from?