Boys Need To Support Boys

29 November 2017

My thoughts about this topic are messy and complicated and I’ve tried so many times to formulate my thoughts into sentences but I’m finding it very hard- so please bear with me whilst I do my best to write about this. I will start at the beginning (briefly) throughout my entire life I have always seen more sensitivity surrounding girl's feelings than boys feelings. Never once have I been told to ‘man up’ other than to mock the stupid saying. In Canada men are three times more likely to commit suicide than women. Obviously, we can’t generalise mental wellbeing to gender and what not but that is a statistic I need to support this argument. Please keep these things in your mind as you read this.

This is where I find it more difficult to express my thoughts. Please bear with me, I will use a story and in typing the story hopefully it will help put my words into constellations and then I’ll be able to type.

When me and my boyfriend broke up, he told me it was difficult as he could never talk about his actual feelings to any of his friends, as their 'comforting' words were mainly fuck that or that now he's free and can get with who he wants. My friends however, were sympathetic and listened as I wailed on- as I went from angry to desperate they stood by me whilst my emotions went sparked. Never once was I met with the phrase there are more fish in the sea, apart from to take the piss as they knew the importance in just letting me vent. Then Michael (my ex) spoke to my friend Sophia about how he had been doing and started turning to girls to talk about his feelings. That is not my issue. My issue is that all of his best friends have been through break ups. All of them have been through the pain yet no one was willing to listen to Michael talk about his pain or offer him some advice on how to get over it. When I asked about certain people he said it would just be uncomfortable to talk to them. Yet he is able to talk to girls.

The stigma surrounding men and talking about their feelings is prevalent in girls however,  maybe it’s because my friends are incredibly woke so my opinion is incorrect, but I think in our generation it is easier for boys to discuss their feelings with girls rather than to other boys. I think this is because we are labelled as the more sensitive gender- obviously not all girls are open about their feelings but please stick with me. Besides the notion our anger is due to our period, there isn’t much taboo around girls expressing their feelings. I think this surety that girls embrace emotion make us a beacon when it comes to boys discussing their feelings. Out of the select few I asked, no boys were able to give me an answer straight away who they would talk to when they wanted to talk about their feelings. When I asked Michael his answer was ‘um’ and I realised after the pause I would not get a sincere answer. Even if the answer was no one, it would still come out fast. I’m not sure how we’re meant to break the barrier between boys and their emotions- obviously debunking the stereotypes surrounding the fact men don’t cry and demolishing the commonly used ‘man up’ is a start. I think though a way to get boys to talk about their feelings more is for girls to emphasise the fact we are willing to listen. Obviously if you’re not then don’t offer yourself up but I think it’s important to not be awkward and just let your friends know you will listen. It’s hard enough to talk about your feelings, let alone when society insults you for doing so.

It’s easy to fall into the trap that some boys are unable to see beyond beer and football but let’s be real- that’s not true. Some boys are perceived to be emotionless but in reality they have never been given the chance to express their feelings as we are so quick to encourage boys to suppress their emotions in order to keep their masculinity in tact. Which is fucking dumb.

We need to be there for boys and eventually boys will be able to talk to other boys. I asked Michael as an experiment to ask his friends how they were doing and he laughed and said that would be too awkward. Even the thought of boys opening up is uncomfortable. Being uncomfortable can’t last forever though and it upsets me that even thinking of talking about feelings is off limits for boys. We need to let young boys throw strops and tantrums, we need to show boys crying on TV and true friendships between boys. Boys showing each other platonic affection is quickly labelled a bromance which is all fun and games but then the affection becomes farce. It’s important for true friendly interactions to happen so they can know their friendships are true which in turn will help communication become easier. Obviously I don't think the whole taking the piss in a friendship should be gone, but in my opinion there is a degree of sincerity that should be shown in a friendship. Sincerity helps us understand and accept our feelings which is what men need to begin to do puncture the outdated masculine ideals. We have such a long way to go in terms of our society and we need to recognise how vital it is that we abandon anything relating to emotions being a woman's weakness and anything that trivialises men's emotions.

I bought this ‘girls need to support girls’ in a £1 sale at work. Feminism is becoming fashionable and I appreciate that as it promotes a good cause. Girls are beginning to support other girls, but in doing this it’s important to not insult men as insulting them only worsens expectations for them just like it does for us. Girls need to support boys too as I’m not entirely sure who is supporting boys and their mental stability at the moment.

Please comment and let me know your thoughts on this because my head is just a whirlwind of thoughts and this was a nightmare to write.

'Hot Milk'- a strange novel

22 November 2017

I've been meaning to write a review on 'Hot Milk' for ages and I've struggled, because it's such a strange book. A beautiful book, but strange nonetheless. It's about a 25 year old woman  (Sofia) and her damaging relationship with her mother (Rose) as they move to Spain to find a cure for Roses unexplained illness with the help of Dr Gomez, an unconventional doctor. As well as exploring the relationship between parents and children, there's also a slight coming of age tone as Sofia floats through life, having a degree yet working in an artisan coffee shop and meeting her seamstress lover. 

Despite it being short, it's a very heavy book but that's not what makes it weird. It's the narrative that makes it weird, and often I enjoy when things are changed up but I've never read a novel before that's written like this. It's hard to put into words. It's slightly hard to follow the novel, as everything seems so whimsical and dreamlike. Sometimes you end up in a new part of the protagonist (Sofias) life and you're not sure how you got there, but it's not like the reader is just thrown in. You just kind of float through the novel. A review I saw said it had a dream like narrative and now I've read that I think that's the only way to explain the novel. There are also interludes in the narrative which aren't explained. It's just an outsiders perspective on Sofias life, yet you never find out who. It's creepy but just seems to fit with the whole curious tone of the novel. This is a train wreck. I just recommend you read the novel. 

Looking back at the novel there's a lot of symbolism and I think that it was really well written. As a reader we're never sure what's going to happen, and there seems to be no proper climax and the whole unsurity of the novel fits well with the main character. God I'm finding this novel hard to write about. I'm not even sure how to explain the plot. I'll tell you this though, the one thing I didn't like about the novel was that the dialogue seemed unnatural. However, the descriptions were so vivid- for some reason the image I have of Spain in the book is so solid in my brain. 

My reading has been slacking a lot lately, I'm not sure why as I can't say I've been overly busy. I hope in December I read more. It's ironic that this is the final month of the year, I've been four years into my gap year and I've hardly read anything. Please recommend me good books. 

Verging On Pyjamas

17 November 2017

Hey guys, sorry for the lateness in this post. I've been so exhausted lately, and it's hard to write with a sluggish brain- shocking, I know. The past week was a fun week. One of my friends came down from university and we went to the pub, then I went to see Kinky Boots the next day, then I went to see my friend in Coventry. A week full of friends! Also by the way I'm obsessed with Kinky Boots- I just love musicals! They get me so pumped up and this one was just full of so many bops. If you ever get the chance I definitely recommend that you go. It's annoying because I'm just so desperate to go to all these shows and all these countries and I'm just so determined to fill my life with so many wonderful distractions but money is holding me back.

I've been trying to be more of an ethical shopper lately, although I keep throwing myself pity parties and buying clothes. One of the clothes being this new fake leather jacket. Makes me feel so hardcore when I wear it, like I never knew how empowering a piece of clothing could be. I didn't even set out to buy a leather jacker but here I am! Being a bad bitch in a leather jacket.The other week when I was in Brick Lane I got these tartan trousers, which I am obsessed with. The only thing is I can rarely be bothered to wear makeup, but it's quite important to put a lot of effort in when wearing these so I don't look like I'm in my pyjamas. Honestly though these are my go to trousers, I wear them out clubbing, chilling you name it- I'm in them. It's a bit annoying because I like to wear them with a belt, but the trousers don't actually have any belt loops but it works. Also annoying because they're a tiny bit too small- like when I'm pulling them up I need to do a little wriggle, but they're definitely worth it.

I feel a bit conflicted about my gap year at the moment, as I feel like I'm not going to have the chance to go travel with my friend and do Camp America, but doing Camp America has always been my dream, but the time me and my friend can travel doesn't work well with Camp America. It's not that they overlap, but job wise and gap year aim wise they don't mesh well. I just wish there was something I could do for a two months in America during January, but there's not. I'd like to have the summer at home. The more I think about things the more stressed I get, but I know everything will work out and I have loads of time to create new experiences and that I can't squeeze everything into this gap year. Although I know it, it's hard to truly believe it.

A Rambling Post

7 November 2017

I have so many saved blog posts ideas but none are complete and for some reason the past few weeks I have found it so hard to write. I think I need to get the rambles out of me so that I can write something worthwhile. I also keep missing daylight- I leave for work whilst it's still dark and when I come home it's dark all over again. This is a strange feeling as the only moments of light I experience are when I go outside briefly during my lunch break, as I don't have much reason to leave the area of my office.

The past few weeks have been weird, but I blame the strangeness for last weekend on the fact me and my boyfriend broke up. I wanted to write a blog post about how to get over a breakup, but it would be like me trying to teach someone how to ride a horse. Fuck knows. But to be fair, I am getting there. I'm also struggling with the amount of hours I work, as it doesn't leave much free time for me to actually go about my gap year ambitions. I have been writing more, though not creatively. I think any form of writing is good though as it's good to capture emotions in the moment so that if I'm ever writing I can use snippets of these wanderings from my mind which are honest and raw.

I think in some way I have made some progress for my gap year as writing is getting somewhere and me and my friend are planning on travelling. Whether it happens or not is another story, but it's a nice thought. I want to do Camp America but time is slipping away- I need to get a note from my doctors but I have had no spare time. My days off are filled with me going to visit friends at university which is really lovely to be fair. I just really love my friends and seeing them in an environment which is only going to better them makes me happy. Funnily enough though it doesn't make me jealous seeing my friends there. University is weird to me as I want to go but part of me doesn't. I'm not sure if it's the fact I'm probably not doing the most worthwhile degree, nor am I overly good at English. I'm placing it purely on the fact I enjoy reading books and articles about books and that when I understand novels better I may be able to write one myself. Then I'm clouded by self doubt though and the fact that loads of people have this dream and what makes me any better than them? Not much. In fact- very little as I never write creatively. I'm a babbler, not a story teller.

My head is filled with so many things I want to do but something is always stopping me. Very minor things may I add as right now I'm too frustrated at the fact I have a messy room to do anything productive. I might write a list and write in my notebook, I bought a notebook to help document things- not act as a diary though. I find typing my thoughts more fun than writing because when I'm writing I begin to scribble and it becomes incoherent and my hand begins to ache. When I type though, my fingers can keep up with my thoughts, meaning nothing will ever go unsaid.

My plan for this week are to pick up my disposable pictures, get some photos printed, find either a Spanish or writing course. This reminds me someone commented on my blog who I never replied to. I usually do reply, I think it's just because I've been a lazy mess lately. But not for much longer. I think the first step to get over this is to tidy my room. Adios amigos!

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