My Problem With Taylor Swift

Here goes nothing.

Taylor Swift’s stance on feminism bothers me.

Taylor Swift smiling at the crowd
By Jana ZillsTaylor Swift, CC BY 2.0, Link

There, I said it. I know she is an inspiration to many but she says things like the quote below and then tries to tear down other women like Kim Kardashian and Katy Perry. I don’t know where the saying comes from but it has always stayed with me: “Women shouldn’t tear down other women”. Okay, yeah there is a lot of controversy around the whole Katy and Taylor feud and I believe a lot of it is just media play but sometimes it feels like T.Swift uses it to gain popularity with songs like Bad Blood and LWYMMD,

Other women who are killing it should motivate you, thrill you, challenge you and inspire you rather than threaten you

And then lyrics like “boys only want love if it’s torture” and song names like ‘Look What You Made Me Do‘ are very reminiscent of domestic violence and victim blaming. I think that part of the most recent wave of feminism is trying to highlight domestic violence against men so I don’t think that she is helping feminism with that.

I understand that she recently donated a large sum to The Joyful Heart Foundation after winning a sexual assault case and I really respect that, but perhaps her words just aren’t speaking as loudly as her actions.

I actually do like Taylor Swift  – I like some of her music, even Look What You Made Me Do despite its unfortunate name. I just wanted to get this little gripe off my chest.

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“You have been granted a licence for three years”

I used to be excited for the “freedom” that would come with being 17-18 but really all that entails is burdening responsibilities, e.g. learning to drive. I got my provisional driving licence recently, along with a stern warning that it will be revoked if I have any blackouts (not while driving, just in general). Yeah, because of my diabetes the DVA only allows me to have a licence for three years at a time after which I will have to undergo more medical examinations at my own expense as punishment for being inflicted with a chronic disease. I understand that the DVA have a responsibility to ensure that diabetics are fit to drive however the evidence shows that we have no more accidents on average than a normal driver. To be honest this makes me scared to report any abnormalities to the diabetic consultant because regardless of whether or not it affects my driving ability it could result in my licence being taken away. 

And then there’s the financial aspect to driving. I think it was £80 just to apply for the licence, which took four months to arrive. Driving lessons will cost about £20 per lesson and I have no idea how much it costs to sit the theory and practical exams but I can tell you that the money from my savings account is draining quickly. I don’t even want to imagine how much insurance will cost if I ever pass the test. Money has always made me feel very anxious. Going to a school where everyone else seemed to be rich whilst having parents that are neck deep in all types of debt does that to you. I honestly don’t even see the point of getting of getting my licence now when I have no job to pay for a car but my parents insist that I get it now.

Strangely enough though I not worried about the actual driving part. I’ll probably struggle with the gears but I can sail tall ships in the Atlantic ocean, so how hard can a car be in comparison?


Plans

Amazingly I managed to get a place on my dream degree course despite not meeting entry criteria nor being 18. Unfortunately my parents won’t let me go to Dublin until I finish my BTEC so I had to defer. In September 2018 I will be studying BSc Computer Science (International), the “International” bit meaning that I will study a language alongside it and do global citizenship and business. It was the only sensible course I could find that would let me study both computers and Spanish. The university that I’m going to takes part in Erasmus and has links with Chinese, Tanzanian and Korean universities so who knows? Maybe I’ll spend one semester in a Madrileño company and then the other in a Seoul university learning Korean. 

All of this seems so far away but it’s important to plan, especially the financial aspect considering how expensive Dublin is. For now I’m just worrying about driving lessons – I was granted a driving licence for three years since I’m diabetic and my provisional license came yesterday. I can sail tall ships through the North Sea so a car couldn’t be that hard to drive, right? I think the worst bit will be getting insurance because who the hell will want to quote a reasonable price for a diabetic with a history of blackouts?

I know this is all very mundane stuff to blog about but it is what it is. I don’t have the desire to blog about kitsch recipes or global politics right now so it’s just about me. I don’t know where I’m going with this blog, but I’m glad that I have it.

News

Results Day was terrifying. I got a C and spent the morning feeling so angry with myself, but then I pulled myself together and went into town to get a haircut and began to feel marginally better. When my dad picked me up he told me the news about the terrorist attack unfolding in Barcelona and it really put everything into perspective. There was me moping around over a perfectly good pass grade while people had been brutally murdered.

I spent a lot of the day after that watching the BBC news and recognised the little shops that I went to on a school trip when I was 14. One girl bought a penis shaped lollipop and 14 year old me thought it was the funniest thing ever. It’s just so bizarre how a place I once stood and laughed became the place of someone’s death.

So yeah, while I’m not overly happy about my AS result it’s not the end of the world. I’m going to get one paper remarked and resit another which will hopefully bring me up to a B, maybe an A if I’m really lucky. I said that I wouldn’t do A2 if I got a C or below but I’m not so sure now because I don’t want to give my Spanish studies. I’ve studied Spanish for 6 years now and this is the first real setback but for a girl who only had 2hr30min of class each week and was buried in assignments for my other course the week of my AS exams it’s probably a miracle that I passed.

Results Day Dread

Note: I wrote this last week but didn’t publish because I forgot that our modem wasn’t working 

A Level results day is looming nearer and nearer and I am terrified. I only sat one AS this year but I’m more scared than I was about GCSEs. This is why I like BTECs – I knew if I passed each module within days of submitting it and I could always resubmit if I didn’t get a distinction on my first attempt. But with AS/A2 you get one shot. Considering that I spent £370 altogether for my Spanish classes, books and exam fees I literally cannot afford to fail. 

I have no way to gauge how well I did until 7am on Thursday morning when I log onto the CCEA results website. In a way I don’t “need” this AS Level since I’m already doing a BTEC Extended Diploma but this has been my personal vanity project this year to prove that I am cable of sitting A Levels. 

To be fair the BTEC course is also keeping me up at night but for other reasons. You see, I thought I had successfully re-enrolled myself for the second year of the course but it turns out I accidentally enrolled myself on the first year of the course since the option for second year wasn’t available because my tutor forgot to send confirmation that I passed the first year. I phoned the college and they said that they would get back to me once it was sorted out – but three weeks later I haven’t heard anything. So at the minute I’m in limbo. I don’t think I’m in the wrong because my tutor made the mistake, nor did the college send me re-enrolment instructions but at the same time I didn’t phone them until after the re-enrolment deadline so I’m going a bit crazy here.

Despite all my academic woes I’m keeping it together quite well for a person weaning off fluoxetine. So at least I have that going for me.


Busy Summer

I’ve spent a total of 8 days at home since the start of July, which is unlike me but a good thing I suppose. I spent two weeks in Spain and then two weeks sailing around Scotland for sail training (lot’s of love at Sail Training Ireland). Next week I’m doing a Cloud Computing camp just because I can and I have an audition for a theatre youth group coming up. Despite being an introvert being surrounded by people makes me happy.  I’m still on a half dose of fluoxetine, taking tablets on alternate days, but I’ve had no major relapses so keeping busy seems to be working for me. 

In other news I’ve decided to defer any university offers I get from CAO until next year. I was really set on going in September but I’m only 17 and it would be more fun if I’m 18. I’ve got nothing to lose and can’t wait to start my final year at college. I got Distinction*Distinction* in my BTEC (the top grade) and I’m feeling positive about the AS Level results next week. 

So yeah, my goal for the summer is just to keep busy. Things are good right now.