Tag Archives: lifelonglearning

Hit (like) a girl

So, a friend posted a series of memes. I won’t give the originating page any credit. They don’t deserve it. It is just another page bashing feminists, or rather the idea of feminism and what is wrong, apparently, with being or identifying as a feminist. 

Now, of course, it is everyone’s right to both freedom of speech, and freedom of thought. It is not my place to tell someone they are wrong. They need to reach that conclusion by themselves. 

meme2

Now the memes that were posted, the first is the featured image. It was reposted by my friend in an effort to highlight double standards. There are better ways of doing it. Frankly because what you have here is NOT what feminism has every been asking for. At no point did (or should) anyone state that they want equal rights, but they want them to be a little more equal. 

In this particular meme, it is very important to me, I have discussed violence, domestic abuse and self defence. So what am I supposed to take away from this?? Look at the wordings firstly, ‘women are brave if they hit men’ – yes, if a woman is able to STAND UP FOR HERSELF and DEFEND HERSELF she is brave. She is doing something that defies gender stereotypes, she is facing an attacker. You are damned right we should be commending that! Now, the second ‘Men are evil, brutal perverts if they hit women’ .. yeah sorry I am not sure how I can argue this. Why on earth is anyone being hit? What reason is there? Violence should never be the answer. Period. I certainly am not sure that ‘pervert’ is justified but it will depend on what the reason for the attack it?

Okay, now let us look at the image, in the first image, we have a ‘male’ stick figure in a prone position on the ground, with the ‘female’ stick figure standing over with the left arm drawn back, to punch? How is that okay, on any level. How would that image be okay reversed, both men or both women? It wouldn’t. And the second, we have a woman on her knees with the male stick figure standing over. Again, this is not okay. Of course it isn’t. 

meme7

When you put the images with the wording, it jars, for obvious reasons. There is no correspondence between the first image and wording. How would anyone feel that beating down on someone clearly in a vulnerable position is okay? And the second, well… I am going to just say, it is not helping the ‘anti feminist’ cause. By suggesting that a man who pins, kicks and holds a woman down is brutal, and evil? Sorry are you suggesting otherwise? 

This is a case of 2 wrongs not making a right, abuse, violence, attacks. They are NEVER okay, it is not okay to use force, or surprise, to hurt or someone. It doesn’t matter whether it is animal, mineral or plant. Using superiority over someone or something is NOT OKAY. 

meme9

I really hope that people understand, that fundamentally, feminists, me, we, I want equality. I want a woman to feel safe, I want a woman to know that she can walk away if she feels she is in a bad situation. I want her to have the tools to defend herself. I want her to know that it isn’t her fault. But you know what else I want? I want men to stop thinking women are weak, that they should be cowed, that a man who is unable, unwilling to defend himself is less of a man. That he is … a girl. That a man becomes emasculated with he admits he is in a situation, physical or mental, that he has no control over. I want that man to know that he can get help, that he knows where to get help. How to get help. But most importantly, that he won’t be laughed at, that he will be believed. That people, is what I am striving for. That is what feminism is about. It is not about double standards.

No feminist has ever stood up and said, suggested or implied, that they want to be able to hit men without reprisal. It isn’t a case of what is good for the goose, is good for the gander. It is more simply, looking that what is wrong with society, and addressing them so that they are fairer. Does that sound so bad? Does it sound like double standards, like feminists hate men? 

I have more of these memes to look at, so please stick with me!

meme1

Revising Childhood

So it is that time of year, we are over the last year and all the trauma, we have either completely ignored or already forgotten our resolutions. We are realising the fresh new year is already nearing the end of it’s first month.

Have you noticed the nostalgic posts gathering steam? First FB photo versus current profile, memories, anniversaries of albums or lists of albums? I will freely admit I did a round of albums that meant something to me as a teenager. Which lead me to the following conclusion. I have really great taste in music. And I am old.

child2

You see, I totally understand looking back at what was, what might have been, could have been. And we are now far enough removed from 2016, but still close enough that we are reflective. We look at where we are, what we have managed to do, what have we changed in the last 12 months. Did you do anything we meant to do?

In our show this week (17th Jan) we were looking at age, and the question on what you would tell your teenage self. And what is age?

child3

One question that was asked on the show – perfect age. I mean you can totally over think this, look at your experiences at different ages or project where you wish or expect to be at a certain age. Me? 25 – I always default to being 25, I know, I know – you are all shocked to hear I am even that old. But why do I default to that age? Well to be perfectly fair it used to be 21, but I realised that I really couldn’t pull that off any more. I mean is there an age where you can honestly, hand on heart state that everything, EVERYTHING – and I mean the fucking planets aligned and angels sang a chorus, was perfect? Guessing the answer is no. But it isn’t really the question Audrey was asking. It wasn’t directed at our own experiences, but rather at the perceived age that we need to or want to be to gain what we need/want. So yes, I still stand by 25. Because it is long enough to get an education, and have experience. Although when I reflect at being back in a minimum wage job, I wonder at my life choices.

child6

Now when we look at what we would have liked to have known as a teenager, what life, experience, wisdom, age and reflection has taught us? Well.. nope. I wouldn’t. I may well be in the minority in this. But as much as there are several missed opportunities in my life, both work and love. I have moments, I am sure we all do, where we think about what might have been. But that is a fantasy and not reality. Because… and my not so inner hippy coming out now – life if a journey. The person we are today is a product of everything we have been through up to this point. So to change even one thing, will have a massive consequence. It sounds simple enough to say ‘be more confident’ ‘you will do the thing’ ‘don’t go out drinking instead of studying’ but actually… that all leads you to the person you are today. And by dwelling on what might have been, or what you should have done, you are missing a very important point. You are the only person who is responsible for your journey. And you need to realise, accept and understand this.

child4

Now something that I want to round this out with, perceived age, what you needed to or should have done, and actually dating. For me to say I will date someone younger than me. at my age? Not an issue. I have got to an age now that I would say that there are much more important things than age when looking at a partner. When you are say, 20 the issue is slightly more … obvious. So while we could white wash age, and state it is just a number, I think the point that we miss is that we need to have LIVED to be able to do that, and no amount of soul search, reflection or wishful thinking will help that. With age comes wisdom. We are able to make informed choices, we are basing them on experience not just our own, but experiences our peers have gone through and that we are able to critically analyse.

child1

What I am slowly getting at, in a way so round about you probably didn’t see it coming is that we need to stop assigning such importance to age. Age, like maturity, is not something easily assigned. There is no right time, no end time, no cut off point.Equally there is no point in looking back and wishing. All we can do is be flexible in our approach to all things and know that we are the architect of our destiny and journey. Blame can be placed no where else.

With that in mind – be at peace with what has been. It is in the past and has become part of the person you are today. But you can do nothing to change the past. You are though, in control of your future – ENJOY!

child5

Learning to be flexible

Life long learning

An ongoing, voluntary and self-motivated pursuit of knowledge for either personal or professional reasons.
The concept of Lifelong learning was
 introduced in Denmark 1971 and which is, formal learning, informal learning and self directed learning.
A result of curiosity, good humour and self-motivation, leading to personal wellbeing.
learning
is intrinsic and we engage in learning from cradle to grave.
Does not necessarily link
 to attainment of formal qualifications.
Particularly those aged 45+, remain far below the target of 12.5%.
Implementation of adult learning remains weak and has not gained recognition it deserves.
It is essential to ensure that older people’s skills keep them active and meeting functional demands of life. Much more needs to be done and achieved in this area.

 download (1)

I guess this isn’t the article you are looking for 🙂 This week on the show we looked at lifelong learning and it is something that I have always been surrounded by from a young age. But it is also something that links in with the other aspects of getting older. Maintaining flexibility – both mentally and physically. I remember my elder relatives commenting on limitations when getting older and many doing what we would now call braining – crosswords and puzzles.

With that in mind, I have always made sure that I keep a degree of flexibility in my body and mind, even though for various reasons I am not at the healthy weight I would like – a gym buddy exclaimed ‘you are really flexible’ mid training session a couple of weeks ago. I was pretty pleased with this as I don’t think I am exceptionally flexible but we all have our strengths.

Anne Martlage agreed to share her experiences on lifelong learning with us, and here is some what she wrote for us on the matter.

 knowledge-is-power-higbie-415252362-thomas-higbie-flickr-ccbyncsa2

As a young adult I travelled , perhaps more than was usual in those days. This exposed me to direct contact with different cultures and languages.

Working in the Embassy of India in Stockholm, made me learn Hindi by distant learning. In the meantime I had also obtained qualifications in the Swedish language.Alongside, I assisted a journalist to translate the news Headlines into English, which in turn he sold to the various embassies in Stockholm. These contacts and influences accounted for a steep learning curve.
I started a university course in Stockholm, never finished as once again I was on the move.

After several more adventures, I landed in the UK and was offered a job at an educational agency. First priority was to learn all I could on the British Educational system and write a short handbook on the subject for the embassies and parents who were looking for schools and further/higher education for their children in the UK. My learning curve went straight up during those years. I also went to classes for a proficiency cert in English.

Lifelong-Learning

When I started working at a College of FE as European project co-ordinator and manager, I was on a constant learning curve, courses in the evening (Spanish, Italian, French conversation). I was the first at the college to complete an NVQ in business at the workplace, when this was first introduced. My work also made it possible for me to study the educational systems in the various EU countries I worked with, their cultures, languages.

The young people on the programmes I organised, taught me even more, understanding, staying young in spirit, looking at the world and history around us more closely. I attended other courses relating to the Hospitality industry and had the privilege to visit and learn about the workings of many prestigious establishments.

Since I retired, which was far too early at 65, but..,.I have taken up book restoration, volunteering ( a really good way to meet people and make friends and get immersed in history) and various other crafts and trying to update my knowledge of languages on a regular basis.
It is very easy to just remain at home, read a book, watch a film and ignore the rest of the world, when you don’t have to get up at 06.00hrs and be alert all day long.

keep-educating

I find it very important to get out, (some days I have to kick myself in to action) meet people ( I have membership at a gym, I try to go to 3 or 4 times a week), took up Nordic walking. The gym especially is a social hub and an incentive for many to leave their home. (Many of the day time regulars are middle to old age) It is important to find the motivation to undertake activities, meet people, especially when you reach a certain age.
I try to catch exhibitions in the local area, even after all these years in the area, I constantly find more to discover about the local history, geography, language etc I also try to visit at least one garden, historic house in easy reach of the town I live in, on a regular basis.

Travel has been part of my life so far, the best way to to keep mind and body active.