Girls Trip – A Disgusting Yet Super Funny Chick Flick

girls night“Girls Trip” is a comedy you can currently watch in cinemas (at least in SA). Read my review to learn whether it’s worth the price of the ticket.

The summary of the plot doesn’t sound promising. Four female friends reunite after years to go for a crazy trip to New Orleans. Of course, each of the ladies represents a different type of a woman. We have Ryan (Regina Hall) who’s a successful celebrity, married to seemingly perfect Stuart (Mike Colter). Sasha (Queen Latifah) trashes celebrities for a living and is in deep financial trouble. Lisa (Jada Pinkett-Smith) is a single mother of two and this friend that’s always proper and can never relax, while Dina (Tiffany Haddish) is her complete opposite. A recipe for the most boring two hours of your life? Not exactly!

The movie is very entertaining! Let’s be honest, the jokes are not sophisticated at all and there’s a lot of toilet humor, but it made everyone in the audience laugh. The element of surprise is for sure how disgusting it is. At times you watch it and shake your head in disbelief. “They did NOT” you say to yourself, and yet they did! They went for it! This flick is a true journey in pushing the boundaries in a way similar to “American Pie” or “Hangover”. You feel ashamed that you’re laughing but you’re laughing nonetheless…

The comedic aspect of the movie is it’s biggest strength and it certainly makes it memorable among so many chick flicks with just a sparkle of humor. Unfortunately, the plot itself is rather weak and predictable. Friends have fights and make up to prove the power of female friendship. Everyone ends up staying true to themselves AND it pays off. You know this kind of moralizing cinema that’s trying to tell you that good things happen to good people and bad things to bad people. Let’s be honest, if that was true there would be no kids with cancer. Life doesn’t make sense in the way we would like it to and there is no karma. Things just happen and another movie trying to convince you otherwise won’t change it.

I must say I really enjoyed the soundtrack in the movie and I even noticed some members of the audience dancing a little bit when big hits were on. The acting was also good. Perhaps the actresses didn’t have an opportunity to show off their acting skills but they gave convincing performances. It was refreshing to see a movie dominated by females and even more refreshing for it to be so inappropriate. After all sexual comedies filled with males, it’s a nice change. Perhaps Hollywood has realized that contrary to the stereotypical view of a woman as a fair asexual being, ladies like sex, talking dirty and inappropriate jokes too.

To sum up, this movie isn’t a game changer. No one will win an Academy Award for it and you won’t be pondering about its message on your way home. It is HILARIOUS, though. Go watch it with your girlfriends and have fun!

Can a Bad Start Lead to a Good Relationship?

bad startThe ideal way to have a healthy relationship is to have things run smoothly from the very beginning. It doesn’t mean some problems don’t occur at a later stage (some always do), it only means that the relationship has a good foundation before they do. I do know people, however, who after a bad start ended up in long term relationships. Does it mean that a bad start can lead to a good relationship?

First of all, just looking at the statistics, it’s more of an exception than a rule. Think about all your girlfriends who were complaining about their relationships in the beginning. The complaints could refer to anything: lack of commitment from the guy’s side, too much of it, a guy’s jealousy issue, him not being entirely over his ex, his bad temperament, just sex no talk, bad sex, his unhealthy attachment to his mom… The list would never end. Most of such relationships end in no time after a bit of back and forth. The point is that because in the beginning of the relationship people tend to be at their best behavior issues get worse not better with time. If something is truly irritating you in a first few months when you still have a horde of butterflies in your stomach, it’ll drive you crazy a year down the line.

This is why you should be unapologetic about things that are important to you, of you want something serious that will last and enhance your happiness. This is, however, not always the case. Is your goal to be in a relationship because you’ve never been in one? Sometimes experience is worth the trouble! If you don’t know what is bad, you won’t know what’s good either. Perhaps having children is more important to you than anything else and you’re willing to settle because of it? Be honest with yourself about such issues. If for whatever reason you decide that a relationship is worth going for, you need to be able to accept whatever it is that constituted the bad start, as believing that you may “change him” is lying to yourself. If you’re a devoted Catholic and you start dating an atheist who gets angry every time you mention Church, where do you think this is going? At the same time you may still end up having a valuable lesson in whom you should and shouldn’t date. What you are willing to accept or settle on is up to you, but long term big incompatibilities mean big problems.

Compatibility is one thing and good chemistry (not attraction) another. Some relationships are difficult from the start. You and your partner just keep missing each other. You have misunderstandings, you don’t communicate well, you fight. You want different things and one of you has to be constantly compromising. In short, you’re not really having the honeymoon period as you should. Perhaps you’ve ignored the deal breakers or things looked perfect during your online conversations but when you met him in real life something was just off. Such situations are much easier if one of you will be honest with each other and just say something like: “You’re really nice but it’s just not working like it should” or just “I think something’s off and I don’t think more dates will change it”. It’s much worse if both of you really want a relationship or if attraction between you is very strong. It’s much easier to leave someone who treats you in a bad way. If they’re nice and do all the right things (even if half-heartedly), it may feel like you’re being too fussy. In most cases such relationships end somewhere further down the line too. The tears and drama could have been avoided on date three, but hey, at least you’re not a divorcee and/or a mother yet!

Some of “bad start” relationships don’t end up early, though. I know this one guy who was so committed to a girl, he chased her half around the world. Eventually after years of her half-hearted dating him and insisting on an open relationship, she did marry him and told people “What I was supposed to do? He loves me so much!”. I know another girl who caught her now husband cheating on her in the very beginning of the relationship. Eventually regular phone checks, epic scenes and fights tired him so much that he  stopped pursuing other female interests. The danger of such situations is of course the implications is can have on the future. Won’t the girl leave the guy, if she meets someone who she, herself, “loves so much”? Will the husband never cheat again? And even if they don’t, won’t the other partner always live in fear they could? Success is relative. All fairy tales finish the moment people get married, but real life carries on. Getting married is just a part of a journey. For instance, another couple I know used to have intense fights since very early days of their relationship. They would usually end up breaking up and then dating other people for a bit. By the time they got married they broke up at least 10 times. They seemed fine for a while and even had a baby. Soon after that she discovered that the guy was having an affair, but… wait for it… the wife wasn’t innocent either as by that time she was already pregnant with another man!

I don’t know whether there’s a remedy for relationships that started with someone being disrespectful, unfaithful or abusive other than a break-up for good. Going forward with is a bit like buying a rotten apple in a shop, hoping it will unrot with time. Common sense would say, you should have enough self-respect to move on. Why to waste your time with someone who doesn’t appreciate you, if someone else could love most of your little quirks? Do you want to be their second best? Nevertheless, there’s a difference between a slow start and a bad start. That you’re not saying “I love you” on date two, shouldn’t worry you. As long as the ship is sailing in the right direction, it’s all good. Just to give one example, for people who were single for a bit, some things may take longer than they would take serial monogamists. At the same time I do think that it’s important to have continuity. If a guy sees you once goes quiet and pitches again after three months, perhaps it’s not the best sign.

To sum up, bad beginnings can lead to good things but very rarely to good long term relationships. If your goal is the latter, you should try to look for things that work and not for what’s broken to fix. Last but not least, there’s a difference between a bad start and getting into a relationship slowly.

What do you think, Dear Rinser: Can a bad start lead to a good relationship? Do you have any examples? What’s your take on the matter?

Super Dates and My Weirdest Dating Experience

superman-1803165_1280Not long ago I started watching Aziz Ansari’s “Master of None”. As a single guy the protagonist has lots of dating (mis)adventures. One of them is a super date during which he takes a girl he doesn’t know that well to a different city for a night. A great way to bond? In my experience rather a recipe for a disaster. Let me share with you my own weirdest dating experience ever. Oh, how good it is to be sorted and not to be forced to have weird dating encounters with the opposite sex!

In my early twenties I met a handsome doctor in Rome. During my stay there we had a few coffee dates and we kept in touch when I came back to Poland. As we were getting on well, we decided to have a super date, which sort of seemed to make sense as we lived in different countries. The meeting place was Milan where we were supposed to spend the weekend.

The guy decently rented us two rooms and everything looked promising. After arrival we went to explore the city which was nice enough and we chatted over numerous cups of coffee again. Then we came back to the hotel where he kissed me and things started to get weird. Like 30 seconds into the kiss the guy pushed me away and asked me to please stop kissing him as he was getting too excited (?). He made a similar comment, what I thought was, a joke when he was seeing me off in Rome so a red lamp started to flicker in my brain. I listened to the instruction and after a few minutes of awkward silence we decided to eat something. That was an ordeal on its own for me as at this point I was well fucked in the head too and had serious inhibitions to eat food around people. Let alone, in the circumstances where I started to think there may be something wrong with the guy I spent two months chatting to. So there I was struggling to swallow (pun intended) when out of the blue he said “Fine, if you want to have sex we can but ONLY with a condom”. Wooow, can you have more of a mood spoiler than that? I mean, I’m a big supporter of safe sex and all but wasn’t someone getting a bit ahead of himself? I replied “Ummm” and he said “What? I don’t know how you do these things and I’m a doctor and I have to be clean!”. Right. As you can imagine the conversation stopped flowing after that (because what do you say?).

Fortunately, before the awkwardness started we planned a trip to the cinema and I welcomed with open arms, a place where no talk was necessarily. “Robin Hood” with Russel Crow helped me to take my mind of all the weirdness and there was something to talk about on our way to the hotel. Eventually he asked me whether I wanted to share the room to which I replied that I don’t mind but sex wasn’t on the cards (just to put it out there as this was clearly how he liked it). He didn’t seem to be taken aback or anything like that. I guess I was counting on normalizing things over the pillow talk. We tried sleeping in an embrace but the guy started a mini rage about how unnatural it is for his arm and eventually crawled to the other side of the bed. And there I was lying in the darkness, not being able to sleep, hoping to be anywhere else than where I was. I didn’t know how who I thought was a finally-normal-guy turned out to be this weirdo who says and does everything wrong. Of course, before I got there I hoped for the best. It was quite an elaborate plan between my studies and his work to plan a weekend away! And what was I going to tell all my friends at home cheering on my liaison with an Italian doctor?

This was probably one of the worst nights in my life. As soon as the sun started to show on the horizon we were more than happy to part and we ended the weekend earlier.  Weird fact: we still kept chatting for two months after that and we even saw each other once when I came to Italy to work during student holidays. Of course, that meeting was weird too so that was it. I did have a great time in Italy for the next three months, though!

If there’s any lesson in this story it’s that seeing someone for short coffee dates and staying in touch online doesn’t necessarily tell you that much about a person. They may be perfectly functional in a conversation and totally weird in other respects. Super dates seem like a great idea and I’m sure there are some people for whom they worked out. At the same time, in general, the slow gradual easing into a relationship is a better and more mature way of dealing with things than such an intense experience. Remember that slow and steady wins the race!

Thanks for reading, Dear Rinsers! Any diagnosis for the Doctor? Have you ever had a super date? Went away with someone you didn’t know that well? Did it work out for you?

Review: We Should All Be Feminists by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

IMG_7680.JPGIt’s National Women’s Day in South Africa today! There’s no better way to celebrate such an occasion than to ponder on the situation of women these days. That’s why I decided to review the essay “We Should All Be Feminists” published in a book form, summarizing how much there’s still to be done about gender equality. I’m so happy I’ve found this little gem in a bookstore. The book consists of not even 50 pages and can be easily read in a lunch break. Don’t underestimate its content, though. It really is worth reading.

Adichie starts her essay by enumerating misconceptions about feminism. Many people consider feminists to be women who are unhappy because they can’t find a husband and that they hate men. They’re also believed not to wear make up, shave or wear high heels (which is also something that some feminists consider to be the “proper” way to be a feminist). Last but not least, feminism is considered a “Western” idea and therefore an “un-African” one. This is the reason why Adichie half-jokingly proclaimed herself to be a “Happy African Feminist Who Does Not Hate Men And Who Likes To Wear Lip Gloss And High Heels For Herself And Not For Men”. You know, just to please everyone. There are indeed many expectations towards what a feminist should or shouldn’t be, when in reality no qualifications are required to support gender equality.

Expectations towards feminists are not dissimilar to those towards women in general. As Adiche points out, society spends so much time “teaching girls to worry about what boys think of them”. Girls are not supposed to be angry and tough but pleasant and agreeable. Women are trained how to be in order to please men (you talk too much, no one wants women who talk too much, my father would say) or how not to be to avoid upsetting them (you should never tell anyone that you’ve been with an Arabic man or no one would want you, my mom would threaten during her sexist/racist rants).

It’s not only girls who are taught wrong ideas. Boys suffer as well. They’re meant to be “tough”, they’re denied the right to fear and to be vulnerable. They’re taught that their value is measured by money they have. Masculinity is very strongly associated with money. It’s not only men who pay for women, already boys are taught that this is the right way. Because of such conditioning male egos get bigger (but are fragile) and consequently females are trained to “get smaller” in order to please such egos.

Women are meant to compromise in a lot of different ways. They’re expected to keep their virginity, while there are no such requirements for boys. Women are not allowed to express their own desire but they’re supposed to embrace the male animalistic nature. It’s up to a girl to cover herself up and not to tempt men. If she gets sexually assaulted, she’s the one to blame. After all, boys will be boys. It’s not only in terms of male attentions that women have to be careful with what to wear. They also need to think carefully about their looks in a professional context. They need to dress in a certain way to be taken seriously, while the freedom of being a man is to look as good as he wants to without having to worry about it.

We also teach girls to make marriage their aspiration, while boys aren’t taught the same. Women are subjected to a lot of pressure to be in a relationship. Whether it’s happy or not remains irrelevant. It is not easy to just free oneself from such expectations, as Adiche rightly points out, humans are social beings after all. That is why if we normalize certain things, there’s a point where they become “natural” (an issue upon which I touched in my yesterday’s post). Seeing only men in position of power for instance, makes us expect only men to be there.

Last but not least, Adiche explains that feminism is a part of the human rights movement but also a separate issue that needs to has its own voice due to its focus on upliftment of women to achieve gender equality. If we really want to see the change in the world, we have to question the status quo. To see a shift in the perception of femininity and masculinity we need to change what we put in head of new generations.

 

The Google’s Employee’s Diversity Rant Manifesto – A Few Words about “Biological” Differences Between Sexes

megaphone-2550737_1280Have you heard about the diversity rant manifesto published by one of Google’s employees? A man with conservative views states that the reason why women are underrepresented in the tech industry is because of biological differences between men and women.

I’ve actually read a version of the manifesto just to check whether the author is justly accused of sexism by the media. Let’s be honest, the moment something goes viral the actual story may fade away. Not this time! The guy puts it all out there. He enumerates “possible non-bias causes of the gender gap in tech” and quotes among them “personality differences”. Women, according to this specialist in our nature, are:

  • more interested in people than things
  • extroverted and gregarious rather than assertive
  • neurotic
  • more agreeable

According to him, instead of focusing on why there are so few women in leadership positions, we should focus on why there are so many men there. The reason for that is higher drive for status in males. The author suggest that the non biased-way to support women in tech is to embrace their “natural” characteristics.

I was shaking a little bit with anger and I was teary when I was reading it. Perhaps I’m being more “naturally” emotional as a woman and that’s why. Or perhaps we know shit about how men or women are. We can’t attribute to biology what’s in fact cultural. For centuries we’ve been living in a patriarchal society that told women they’re not as good as men. We’ve endured centuries of suppression of female intellect and stereotyping. The drill is: women are the caregivers, males the breadwinners. The success of a man is associated with money, self-expression and assertiveness. The success of a woman with obedience, homeliness and pleasantness. After centuries of such conditioning perhaps men may seem to be “naturally” more driven to achieve status and women more agreeable. It just seems natural, however, because that’s what we mostly see and this is because such characteristics are results of imposed social conditioning. We can’t possibly know how males and females would be if not for that! If in a hundred years of teaching women that they have the right to speak up and that their opinions matter, they’ll still be more agreeable than maybe (just maybe) we can start to talk about our natural inclinations to be in such a way.

As a kid I used to be a hardcore gamer and I knew a lot about computers. I could even fix small problems and if I couldn’t do it myself, I knew how to follow the instructions. I liked books and I liked computers. Informatics was one of my favorite subjects at school and I always had A’s in it. Then I went to high school and our informatics class got divided in two: boys and girls. For all I know the curriculum was pretty much the same and yet, there must have been a difference between us if we got divided in that way? I used to help others with various assignments as I just found them easy. I really enjoyed the class but I felt that whatever I did wasn’t going to get me recognition. And it didn’t. When the regional competition in informatics was happening none of the girls was encouraged to take part in it. I think that’s when I lost interest. Then life happened and I didn’t have time for gaming anymore. Slowly but surely I stopped reading updates about the newest gadgets in the tech world. Now, I need to ask my husband to sort things out for me, just like I’m “biologically” inclined to.

The guy who wrote the manifesto got fired. Justice has been done? Not really. Finger-pointing will just discourage people from speaking up and if they don’t speak up we’ll never know how many people believe such theories. We should find ways to make people understand why they’re wrong in their internalised sexism. They’re views are not “biological” and they’re not just like that. Such thinking is a product of social conditioning too and we should try to find ways to undo it. This guy is a Google engineer for goodness’ sake! We must ask ourselves: How do people with such views still slip through the cracks during their education?

 

Cape Town Dating Stories – How NOT to spend 180 rand

IMG_7652.JPGI’m writing this post from the emergency room where I had to take #englishrosiee after what looked like an innocent spider bite got serious. The good thing about this not such a great event is the fact that we were able to leave the below average show “Cape Town Dating Stories” earlier.

Valued at 180 rand for an early bird ticket, this show was one of the most disappointing ones I’ve seen in my life. Did I laugh? I chuckled once or twice and smiled a few times but that’s about it. The show’s host is a non-binary individual with an exaggerated Russian accent going by the name of Natasha. Her outfit consists of a Russian army hat, high heels and, of course, an animal print jacket. A few warm-up jokes and it becomes clear whether the show will be your cup of tea or not: some people have lots of lols every time they hear a swear word, others feel that there needs to be something more to a joke than to say the word “cock” or “pussy”.

The show is based on a bunch of crude and highly sexual jokes. I guess one would expect a little bit of it at a dating related even, but to build a whole show on it is a different thing. I’m really not much of a prude but I guess that for the price I was expecting more than cheap toilet humor. Apart from the host, there were stand up comedians involved in the routine. Perhaps they were slightly more subtle than Natasha. Last but not least, the show involved the audience and used their experiences to allegedly spice things up. What can I say? This part was mostly lame too.

Now, what surprised me was that apart from a bunch of stone faces like mine and #englishrosiee’s, belonging to people who honestly didn’t find the show funny, a big part of the audience was laughing and a LOT. I don’t know whether it’s because they’ve never given a blowjob in their lives and it’s so FUNNY to hear that someone did or perhaps in still reasonably conservative South Africa swearing and sex are taboos and hearing someone being so candid about it feels liberating. Of course, there’s also this option that maybe just MAYBE I’m a snob deprived of a sense of humor… Anyway, I know that the show reminds me of myself at the age of three, when I learnt the word “ass”. I kept walking around and repeating it. The more people laughed hearing a little girl say it, the more I’d repeat it. If only I knew back then I could make money out of it, my life would have turned out completely different!

To sum up, if you blush every time you hear the word “fuck” or just honestly find toilet humor funny, go for it. As long as you enjoy yourself, it’s all good! Tastes differ! If it doesn’t sound like your thing rather spend your money on a nice dinner, a present for a loved one or on a vibrator. All of the above mentioned will bring you more joy.

“Yo Girl, Send Nudes” – When a Guy Wants to Be In You and Not With You

condomSex does improve people’s lives. Many of us had a fling or two after a long sex drought that led us nowhere but to fulfillment of our sexual needs. Others like casual sex. That’s totally fine and so are any other arrangements as long as you’re getting what you want. Unfortunately sometimes women want a relationship and pursue a guy who’s only interested in them for sexual reasons. Let’s find out how to tell that he wants to be in you and not with you.

Firstly, it’s quite easy to tell what a guy’s intentions are, if we keep our eyes open. This is of course a difficult task when we like (= are attracted) to someone. Men can be the opposite of subtle with sexual allusions and jokes. For instance when I was on a first date once I was running late and sent the guy a message innocently telling him I’ll be there in “2 secs” (read aloud) to which he replied “I like the sound of that 😉”. I should have turned around then or at least stay more vigilant. But you know what? The guy was hot and I hadn’t dated anyone in a while so I didn’t. This would be okay if later on in our fling I wouldn’t start to treat it seriously… Anyway, long story short two months later we ghosted each other because of the obvious incompatibility of interests. Are you thinking now: Surely, there’s nothing wrong with a little bit of spice right in the beginning? Well, the problem is that the guy who’s potentially serious about you would probably chuckle seeing this message but wouldn’t say what he thought of, in fear of scaring you away. The guys who like you for the person you are show you respect and slowly ease into other kinds of jokes when you’re becoming more familiar. In the beginning, however, they’re interested in knowing you better not more intimately. They want to be around you first and foremost because they enjoy your company. The men who have different goals are heating things up too quickly because they’ll either get what they want (=sex) and quickly or they’ll go.

Very often women ignore such initial signals and just go with the flow, sleeping with a guy quite early. The right time for dropping your panties is an individual decision but you should be sure this is what you want because you feel comfortable with a guy and not because he’s been making things sexual and you feel pressurized. Another first date of mine after dropping me home asked whether he can count on getting into my house on the second date. Really??? I mean there could have been no doubts what they guy wanted and yet I still chatted to him for a bit after that till the whole thing fizzled out. The point is: the guy who’s interested in sex only will go anyway. Even the best sex can only last for so long. He won’t develop some sort of interest in your personality because of what you tell him during the pillow talk. If you want something serious and you feel that the guy doesn’t, don’t sleep with him. Otherwise, you’ll just end up with a heartbreak.

If you’ve already acted against your better judgement, you can still enjoy the fling for what it is. Don’t set yourself for a disappointment, though, by expecting something to come out of it. Some of these guys will lose their interest with you the moment you’ve slept together, others will keep you as a backpocket girl and occasionally booty call you. Don’t full yourself that a guys who sees you once in a blue moon at 12 o’clock when he’s drunk, is into you. He wants sex and you’re the source of it, that’s all there’s to it. Sure, you can try to convince yourself that he called you and not anyone else… But how do you know he wasn’t rejected by 5 other girls he called that night and you were just the last one he called who said yes? Rejection isn’t easy to swallow but it’s a necessary ingredient of moving on. There’s nothing you can do here but to stop seeing the guy. Chances are the guy is a player. He may as well be after something serious, though. It’s just that you two aren’t a match and he finds you attractive. If you’re sleeping with him given his half-hearted efforts, why wouldn’t he just go with it? He’s not losing anything in this scenario because he’s not emotionally invested. The onus of calling it quits is therefore on you.

Last but not least, PLEASE don’t send any nudes! The guy is clearly objectifying you, even when he’s with you. Do you want to go that low to become but a picture in his fap folder? As I mentioned before, chances are the guy is a player. If he’s he may not have enough decency to keep them to himself. Sure the horrific scenario when he publishes them on the web and tags you or something like that is rather unlikely unless you’re a superstar. At the same time he may be showing your pictures to someone else, which is even more humiliating than him using them himself. If you’ve done something like this in the past, there’s no point in crying over spilt milk. Just remember what it means next time you get a “Yo Girl, send nudes” message.

To sum up, if you’re on the lookout of a profound relation in a sense that has nothing to do with deep throats, remember these rules:

  1. Watch out for sexual jokes and allusions early on
  2. Be careful if a guy is making it all physical
  3. If you’re already in a sex-oriented relation either enjoy it for what it is or finish it but DO NOT lie to yourself it’ll turn into something serious
  4. Don’t send nudes for your own sake

Hello, Dear Rinsers! How are you today? Have you ever struggled with guys wanting just sex from you? Have you managed to break the pattern? Maybe you’re a guy who’s a player? The comments section is all yours. 

Now please enjoy one of my favorite music videos relating to the topic:

 

 

 

The Surprising Freedoms of Being a Man

man2We allegedly live in a world of equality when men and women have the same rights. Unfortunately, it isn’t so in reality. Apart from very obvious examples of sexism there are also more subtle freedoms that men enjoy and women don’t.

1. Going to a bar on your own

As much as bars are social places sometimes you’re on a work trip or for whatever reason feel like you want to go and have a drink on your own. As a man you can do it without much hassle. In fact, bars are full of men who come to have a beer or two and leave undisturbed. As a woman your one-on-one with yourself is going to be interrupted. No one will question your right to be there, but men will approach you to talk to you. You can also experience aggression if you express your preference to be on your own. After all, what are you really doing in this bar if not just teasing men? 😉

2. Looking good

If a man dresses up only once in a blue moon, perhaps he’ll have a colleague or a friend commenting on him looking smart. If he pays attention to his looks, however, and in general looks good, no one will comment on it. It will not be pointed out to him that he dresses up, no one will ask him who is he doing it for. A woman, however, is immediately expected to put an effort for someone other than herself. This is precisely the reason why men think they’re entitled to comment on a woman’s appearance if she visibly improves the way she looks. Other women either internalized this way of thinking or just feel threatened around specimens who present themselves better. They comment freely and often nastily on how other women look. The better the looks, the nastier the comments so feel flattered if it happens to you a lot!

3. Walking on the street

The intensity of catcalling depends on a country but let’s agree that it’s quite a widespread phenomenon. As a man you walk on the street freely, without being bothered (unless you’re asked for some money). As a woman when you walk on the street, you’re often spoken to. Some men just say “Hi”, others comment on your appearance, yet others are verbally abusive. The rule is that the better you look, the more attention you get. It has to do with the reasons I’ve mentioned in point 2. If you’re visibly dressed up, catcallers feel more justified in their behavior and more often, if ignored, they escalate their verbalised objectification of you to verbal aggression. It doesn’t matter what you wear, though. I’m sure every woman can recall numerous situations when her hair was oily, she was hangover and maybe even stank a bit of vomit. Yet, she still was catcalled. It remains unclear what a catcaller wants. I doubt they ever got a date out of such an encounter, let alone get laid. Perhaps the objectification of women makes them feel more manly?

4. Meeting a new person of opposite sex without being suspicious

Whether you’re single or not, there are numerous occasions to meet new people. Sometimes you have a passion through which you make connections, sometimes you need to do your bit of networking to make ends meet. In any case, these days people tend to meet a lot of new people of both sexes. The trick is that when you’re a woman, men very often have ulterior motives to talk to you that have nothing to do with innocent socializing. They’re counting on your attention in the biblical sense. Rise your hand, please, if you never had a guy literally dropping a conversation with you at the point he hears that you’re taken or let him know you’re not interested in him “in that way”! Such experiences make a woman suspicious and just to be on the safe side I’ve developed a habit of mentioning my husband almost immediately. Perhaps it seems obsessive but I prefer that than having a nice convo with someone and then them turning around the minute they realize they won’t be able to stick their dick in me.

 5. Going topless

There seems to be one moment in a woman’s life when she can flesh boobs freely and it’s the time when she’s breastfeeding. Other than that, women have to keep their bras and usually their shirts on at all times. Show a bit more cleavage and you’ll get judged too. Some guys have boobs bigger than I do and yet, they’re allowed to parade with their bare chest not only on the beaches but also in the means of public transport. Women get hot too so I really don’t understand why a female taking her shirt off is indecent exposure and a man doing the same isn’t!

I could keep enumerating forever. It all boils down to the perception of women as first and foremost, sexual objects. An object can be evaluated and commented on. Of course, if the object talks back or doesn’t want to comply with whatever is suggested that causes a surprise and even an outrage. Some people will try to convince you that by putting effort into your looks you objectify yourself, but if that was true good looking men would be getting the same sort of comments that women do. One could also point out that women wouldn’t make similar comments but this is just because they don’t objectify men in a similar way.

Hello, Dear Rinsers! Please tell me what you think about this issue. Any more surprising freedoms coming to mind? 

 

Review: In Bocca Al Lupo at Alexander Upstairs

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“In Bocca al Lupo” is a third show by Jemma Kahn. You may know her previous work The Epicene Butcher and We Didn’t Come to Hell for the Croissants or not (I didn’t before the show). Even more of a good reason to give her new thing at the Alexander Upstairs a go.

In “In Bocca Al Lupo” Kahn uses her own technique based on a Japanese art form kamishibai. What it means in practice, is that she tells her stories using cardboard story panels which are a crucial part of her monologue. The one woman show is very impressive: the artist talks us through her story at the same time showing us different images that go with it. Her coordination is very impressive (particularly to someone who, like yours truly, finds a Zumba class challenging).

The story Kahn shares with the audience is that of her experience  in Japan. She moved there to work as an English teacher and save some money to continue her studies. Life often doesn’t go according to plans, though. Japanese reality overwhelms Jemma and so do news from home. Last but not least, LOVE comes her way. Will the girl stick to her plan? You’ll have to see the show to find out! You can catch “In Bocca al Lupo” in Alexander Upstairs next week (24th – 29th July). The tickets are 110 rand online on Alexander’s website or 130 rand at the door.

The play is definitely worth seeing, even if it was just for the actress’s acting skills. She knows how to tell a story to captivate the audience. The show wraps up in an hour, which makes the experience adequately entertaining (there’s nothing worse than an unnecessarily extended play). Apart from the graphic side of things, the sound effects are also apt and complete the experience. It’s probably one of the best shows I’ve seen in my life from the technical point of view.

When it comes to the plot, the story was very entertaining but… I must say I was a bit disappointed. The story of a girl moving to a different country is just nothing new. Perhaps for a person who’s never lived abroad it can be interesting to learn that one experiences a culture shock. I also did laugh a lot but I did find her observations about Japan mean towards the country’s culture. “These Japanese people are so weird!”, we learn. Isn’t weird just what we don’t know, though? A bit of cultural sensitivity goes a long way. Also, is one really such a big specialist on a country and its customs after spending not even two years there? Just saying. The same goes for the stories of Jemma’s boyfriends which are slightly cruel. In order to give her audience a good LOL she forgets that they’re actual people, who won’t have any problem recognizing themselves in what is obviously a memoir. Her ex boyfriends become cartoons to serve her show and I wonder how she would feel if she became such a cartoon herself. Perhaps it’s just one of the dangers of dating an artist…

These considerations aside I did have a lot of fun and I was very impressed by Jemma Kahn’s talent. I’d definitely go to see her next show.

 

 

Anne (with an E) – a Reboot of a Classic Story

AnneWho doesn’t know Anne of Green Gables? The beloved character of Lucy Maud Montgomery’s children’s novels has been inspiring kids to keep dreaming for over a century. Perhaps it’s precisely because of the timeless value of this ugly ducking tale that the Canadian TV has decided to create a reboot of the redhead orphan’s story. The makers naturally tried to add something extra from themselves to spice things up. Is the result any good?

Yes and no. For those who don’t know the story “Anne of Green Gables” is a tale of an orphan who is adopted by siblings Matthew and Marilla Cuthbert. The girl is mistakenly sent to them instead of a boy but they decide to keep a stubborn redhead with extraordinary imagination. Anne quickly befriends Diana and they promise to stay friends forever and ever, she also even quicker starts to hate the most handsome boy in the village, Gilbert. The redhead has a true talent to get herself in trouble and the viewer will not be bored, especially given the added dramatic twists in the series..

Some attempts of adding more drama, realism and depth to the story were positive. It’s nice to have some more background into the story of Matthew and Marilla. In the book they were just unmarried and little was known of the reasons why. It makes them more real to see that the simple life of solitude wasn’t their first choice. I also really liked the additions about female emancipation, as even if absent in the book, they were very much with the spirit of it. At the same time, the lightness of the original storyline is lost in the attempt to make it more dramatic.

Yes, perhaps the novel was very innocent and idealistic but this was its charm. After all, “Isn’t it nice to think that tomorrow is a new day with no mistakes in it yet?” as Anne would say? Even if it’s not true, it’s still nice to think so….Anne’s been through a lot as an orphan but that could never kill her spirit. She had grit and resilience and her attitude was meant to be something that would help kids go through the darkness of whatever they experienced. It was always meant to be a feel good story about the power of love, friendship and dreams. The series transformed it into a trashy adaptation of a Dickens’s novel.

In defense of the series, let me just say that I may not be objective. “Anne of Green Gables” was one of my favorite books when I was a kid. As an introvert child I could relate a lot to her dreamlike nature. I also really liked the series with Megan Follows as Anne and rewatched it so many times that the VHS tapes stopped working. I’m not against reboots and remakes in general but one can’t redo perfection. We all remember what a pathetic movie the Psycho‘s remake was, right? The makers should try to enhance stories and not butcher them… Unless of course, the point is just to make money but then a new version of Anne Shirley’s adventures was probably not the best choice.

Having said all that, it’s still and okay series. The acting was definitely on the plus side of things and all in all I didn’t hate every second of it. I’m not recommending the series, though, and particularly not to fans of Anne. I will also be skipping season 2 if such is made.

Have you seen the series, Dear Rinser? Does the name of Anne of Green Gables ring a bell? What do you think about reboots and remakes? Any favorite or least favorite ones?