Posted in tips

3 Thoughts Against Structural Sexism

  1. Watch your language– it’s an old video, yet it speaks volumes. Men, boys and women are asked to “run like a girl” and suddenly they walk ridiculous and slow. Later, girls are asked the same question and they run normal, full speed ambitious. It doesn’t matter if you are a fast runner or not, but don’t undersell you or a whole gender just because of the gender. We all have it in us to train, to run and to be fast – it is our own decision and not the decision of our gender if we make something out of it or not. I understand, that most of the people know that girls can run fast, too, and that it is just a saying, but by manifesting those sayings in our language stereotypes won’t go away and will always leave us with a bitter sweet taste impacting lives subconsciously.
  2. Don’t judge because it doesn’t fit your idea – I love the saying “live and let live”, yet I think this isn’t practiced enough. We judge people around us all the time and maybe it is not avoidable, but we should all stop judging because somebody does not behave the way, we think he or she should behave due to its gender. This is especially the case in our idea of “real men don’t cry”. We teach boys and men to hide their feeling, because it is unmanly. And heaven forbid, they shed a tear. On the same side we expect girls and women to be overly emotional and if they are, we blame it on their periods. But everyone should be allowed to have a bad day, to express their feelings and to live their own live – despite their gender. If you feel like crying, go for it. If you feel like hiding your feelings away, also go for it. Just focus on yourself and don’t judge others, especially regarding their gender, because it is none of your business what others do and if they fit your idea of the right behavior as men or women.
  3. Be critical– TV, movies, radio, family, friends, school; there are always things that just play into structural sexism. You might cannot change it, but it does help being aware of it, so you can do it better. If you have the guts, even point it out. Ask yourself why a company only has male CEOs? Ask yourself why in movies women most of the time need saving from a man? And ask yourself why there are so many jokes about women belonging in the kitchen? This should be something that should not be easily accepted by no one – no matter the gender. If you don’t like the term feminism that is fine but consider it as equal rights. And as soon as everyone starts asking themselves those questions and sees stereotypes that are socially accepted critically, we might can change something. 

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Posted in general, Movie Review

The Favourite

Why you should see it and what you can learn from it

It’s been now almost a week that I’ve watched Yorgos Lanthimos’ amazing movie The Favourite and I can’t stop thinking about the movie and its message – and here’s why:

In Short:     The period drama, mixed with good comedy and laughter, tells the story about two cousins Sarah and Abigail, competing with each other over the heart of Queen Anne. Though their reasons do involve love for the Queen (in a romantic way), it is mainly about their own positions in the kingdom and power gained over Queen Anne’s political decisions.

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What we can learn

About love:   In the movie both, Sarah and Abigail, try to convince the Queen that their love for her is real. While Abigail does so by complimenting Queen Anne and never asking for a favour, Sarah is brutally honest and uses the trust of the Queen to support the Whig Party. Sarah does not back down and tells the Queen when her make-up isn’t right, when the Queen is acting “mad” and, to the chagrin of the Queen, Sarah shows little to no interest in the 17 rabbits, Queen Anne keeps as a replacement for her 17 lost children.

Yet, in a heart moving scene Sarah claims that this is love. That she might seems unfriendly, but she would never lie to the Queen and will always be there. Unlike Abigail, who would only say things that please the Queen, but do not have any deep meaning.

Queen Anne, however, chooses Abigail over Sarah, later realizing that this was a mistake and that Abigail certainly does not love the Queen as much as Sarah did.

Despite her blackmailing and influencing Queen Anne to support the Whig Party and the ongoing war with France, I think Sarah teaches us a valuable lesson about love.

In my past relationships I experienced that either I or my partner expected to have a fairy tale relationship. A relationship that is filled with compliments, harmony and only good words for one another. A partner, who unconditionally loves you and only sees your good sides. A love, that survives distance, jealousy and mistakes. Yet, this hardly ever represents the real world. Though the honeymoon phase gives you this amazing feeling inside, it’s a phase that cannot and will not last – thankfully. Humans are flawed and so are their relationships- and that is totally fine. Because truthfully, would you rather have your partner tell you when you look like a butcher because your makeup is all over the place or would you rather not know, even get a compliment and go out looking like that?

A good relationship builds on honesty and trust. And you want someone you can trust to tell you the truth no matter what. This doesn’t always have to be negative, but it is also true to compliments. I’d rather receive one honest compliment than thousands that do not mean a thing, because they were just said to be said.

Further, it is not fair putting your partner up to a responsibility to always represent a happily ever after. You’re not a prince or a princess living in paradise with singing birds – and as you can see, even Queen Anne wasn’t granted a fairy tale.

About self love:    Reading other reviews of The Favourite, I came across a lot of people disliking Abigail – which I cannot understand. Even though she is the Queen of intrigues, I completely admire her. She’s the younger cousin of Sarah, yet, due to her fathers mistake, she is not a lady but just a maid. But Abigail isn’t satisfied with what she has become and is ambitious to work as hard as possible and, yes, to scheme and plot, just to be a lady again.

At the beginning she was very thankful towards Sarah for granting her a chance and providing Abigail with a job, so when she was asked by the competing party of the Whigs, she denied any help due to her unconditional loyalty to Sarah. Yet, she soon had to realize that her loyalty was not appreciated by Sarah and that there is no one to be trusted – except for herself.

As she approaches the political competitor of Sarah in order to make a deal, he asks if Abigail changed her side. Her answer still resonates with me: „I was always on my side, it just happens that what I want aligns with your needs“ (freely quoted). She later states again that she’s on her side, while shooting pigeons and blood drips on Sarah.

And this is power and self love perfectly combined. Something that everyone needs to remember. You have to be on no ones side, except for your own. Surely, this is no excuse for doing bad things and it should also not motivate you do bad things, just as Abigail poisoned her cousin, but it should be a reminder that in the end you should act and do things that are good for you. If you’re in a toxic relationship or in a situation, you’re not feeling well, you are allowed to change it – for your own sake. You should always cherish your own health and act in order to benefit you. Again, this does not mean that you should be egoistic and careless about others, but don’t grant people or things unconditional loyalty if it is toxic for you or even is holding you back. You should always strive to become better and satisfied with who you are, and in order to do so, you need yourself on your side. Don’t let people bring you down because they want you to be on their side, even though this would affect your success or health. Put yourself and your well-being always first and remember self love equals power to be the best version of yourself.

In conclusion:   There is a lot to learn from these strong women portrayed in The Favourite. We learn that it is in our hand to determine our path, to reach our goals and to take care of ourselves. It is in our hand to be on our side. We learn that love is more than a fairy tale. Love is messy, love hurts, but it is honest. If it is only sunshine and flowers, it probably isn’t the real deal. And lastly, we learn that even a Queen isn’t granted a happily ever after since she was blinded by compliments and never trusted in herself but others.

For those who admire a strong female lead, (to a certain degree) role models, a great movie that leaves a lot of room for interpretation and is a masterpiece cinematographic-wise – just do yourself the favour and watch the Favourite!

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Posted in general

New Year, New Me?

Why I chose no New Year’s Resolution 2018 and why I’ll never do that again

I used to be a big planner: I had my life goals, my 5-years-plan, my daily and weekly To-Do-Lists and never missed writing down a New Year’s Resolution. Sure, this didn’t mean that I always achieved what I have planned (losing seven kilos has been on that list now for quite some time – I’m only fifteen kilos away from reaching that goal by now…), but I needed that structure to reach goals that were important to me (as you can see, losing weight is not my highest priority).

Especially in 2016, I was very successful holding on to my plans – or at least so I thought. I got the internships I wanted, I worked hard for amazing grades at Uni, I produced short movies, and I successfully pursued my passion of writing. It was a great feeling: It seemed like everything I wanted, I was able to reach.

Then – right before the New Year 2017 things came crashing down. I was really devastated, yet, I tried to keep my head high. I made new resolutions trying to build up on my success of 2016. But no matter how hard I tried, I couldn’t seem to reach any of my goals.

I ended up being frustrated thinking that this “new year – new me”-thing was just not my style. Why would I need a new year to start my success? What would really change between the 31stof December to the 1stof January?  It’s not like my brain goes: “Oh, a new year – let me be more discipline”. The same goes for Mondays: Why would I be more sportive just because a new week started? So I decided to quit. Quit writing to-do-lists, quit pursuing my 5-years-plan and definitely stop making New Year’s resolutions. Just because it’s 2018, nothing would change anyways.

And it actually did not. The new year came, and nothing had changed: I was still successful in pursuing my plans and ideas, even without a ‘game plan’.

But it was the worst. It felt like I was rushing from one deadline to another, without a minute to breathe. Having no structure made me procrastinate and I just felt lazy not being able to tick a little box off, after I had accomplished something. 

Maybe I was bound too tight to my To-Do-Lists, but I felt like running and running without reaching anything. And that made me realize: I might don’t even need the structure of plans, but I need to visualize what I actually accomplish.

And for sure, I do not need a new year to determine if I will be successful or not, but why not go with the flow? In January everyone is still motivated to pursuit some goals and it might helps being in an environment of motivation to keep your own resolutions alive. Yet, it is important to not forget that seemingly failing to fulfill all of the resolutions does not mean a whole year was a failure. You are not competing against your plans – because no one knows what could happen during that year and sometimes some plans are just not meant to be – at least for now. So this year one of my resolutions is: take it easy! Even if I don’t change myself completely, that might be good. Maybe I don’t accomplish this or that one goal, but maybe I’m succeeding in something else – something that is not on my resolution.

One thing is for sure, this new year will not determine everything, but my resolution will be kept dynamic and can be changed over time – making some adjustments here and there, so when I sit down end of 2019, it be easier for me to realize and visualize that some goals I thought I wanted to reach in 2018 were not meant to be and others, I couldn’t even think of in 2018, are represented on my New Year’s list.