Thursday, 7 April 2011

Flashback - The Tale of the NaziFem

A little wander around the interwebs always amuses me, especially when I don't know where I'll end up. I've learned many a little known fact, gossiped over stuff I have no real care for, found great music/movies/people; generally, had a great time.

But every so often, there's a real WTF moment - and recently there was one I couldn't pass without comment.

So, I was on TvTropes (yes, thank you Maffu - bastard) and ended up finding some ultra Nazi Feminist's blog.

Let's call it the online version of a car crash - bloody disgusting, and shaming to stare at it, even though you can't help it. And no, I'm not linking it.

The woman (and I baulk at calling her that, so lets call her NaziFem) was so twisted, so convinced her way was the only way to be, and even though she stated she would welcome open discussion, she banned certain comments from appearing, if someone was to have a different opinion than hers.

But there was one post in particular really really, offended me. She was getting all uppity about Firefly, and the fact she didn't think it was a female-friendly story. Now, that opinion doesn't bother me, not everyone will like the same things I do because they're stupid, obviously, but she went on to state that the way Joss Whedon writes his women characters obviously means he is a rapist.

I'm serious.

She outright said he rapes his wife.

I wish I was kidding.

NaziFem goes on, after some apparently non offensive (to her) prodding, to state that she believes in the radical version of what is considered rape. Which is to say that if a man (of course) tries to initiate sex (with a woman) it is rape, since the woman didn't ask for sex. Even if she consents, it is still rape, because the man pressured the woman into agreeing.

NaziFem is a lesbian, of course. The worst kind, who give the other, normal lady-lovin' ladies a bad name.

When someone asked NaziFem if a woman tries to have it on with another woman without her prior consent to try, if that was rape, and she admitted she hadn't considered that theory.

Of course.

Another woman commented, and told her that as a rape survivor  (she quite rightly doesn't want to consider herself a victim), she found the blogger's "crazy notion of rape offensive". Said NaziFem "your opinion isn't welcome here".

Such a great feminist.

In truth, I've no idea what I'm more angry about. Calling Joss Whedon a rapist is definitely batshit crazy, not because I know for a fact he isn't. But the reason (and I loathe to say reason) behind her thought process, which led to this proclamation on such a public forum, is exactly why innocent men can and have been accused of  rape. It also belittles Joss Whedon's wife, a woman whom I have no doubt is in a normal, healthy relationship. There is no proof she is a cowering, scared, and abused woman whose husband forces himself upon her emotionally and physically. And yet, NaziFem would point blank refuse to consider the very real possibility that she was wrong, and anyone who questioned her was either ignored, deleted, told they were obviously stupid and brain-washed by the evil man, or all of the above.

Is this feminism? Taking extremely biased and hate-filled opinions and using them to blast people as stupid and ignorant? Or worse, rapists? No. These "feminists" are not feminists.

Women who want equal rights are feminists. Women who are true feminists don't hate men just because they have a penis.

Women like NaziFem don't want equality. They're guilty of the worst kind of hypocrisy. Just as they assume every man in the world wants to belittle women and "keep them down", if they had it their way, the I AM WOMAN brigade wouldn't seek equality, but would just simply switch the gender roles as they see it and claim superiority over the men. They're guilty because they assume woman who don't agree with their views are stupid and brainwashed by the men, not that they might just hold different and no less valid opinions. And yes, just because I really don't agree with NaziFem's opinion doesn't mean I don't consider it valid. It is, to her. I pity her the same way she pities us poor little brainwashed women with minds of our own.

I want equality. True equality. I want a world that doesn't base opinion on gender, sexuality, race or creed - but personality, talent and worth. I want people to respect, and respectfully agree or disagree with, everyone's else's opinions.

I don't think Joss Whedon rapes his wife. I don't think Mrs Whedon would appreciate the fact anyone would implicate her husband like that.

If that makes me brainwashed, then so be it.

Sometimes, I love it when my boyfriend takes the initiative too.

Suck it.

Wednesday, 6 April 2011

Red (and long) hair care

As you probably know, I've got red hair. Long, thick, red hair. It's difficult to manage at times - but it's worth it. I've been a redhead more often than not for about 6 years. Every time I consider cutting/dying my hair another way, I'm very quickly told off!

So, I'm asked pretty often (and often by complete strangers) how I manage to deal with my hair. Well, this is how!

1. I only wash my hair once a week.

Ok, this sounds gross, I know. But red is a notoriously difficult colour to keep, and the colour fades very easily. I wash  it with either Aussie Colour Mate Shampoo or Herbal Essences Ignite My Colour, then squeeze out the excess water before using conditioner from the same ranges. After rinsing, I blast the cold water (good for closing your pores too!) so it shines. Only occasionally do I use any other product, if I feel my hair is needing a pep up, I'll use either leave in conditioner or olive oil as a hair mask. In between washes, I use dry shampoo, usually Batiste, although I'm looking at trying new brands to mix it up a little :D

2. I dye my hair every 5-6 weeks. 

I've recently went back to basics, and started using Ion products from Salon Services (aka Sally's). I personally use 006 Red Performance Colour with Ion Creme Developer, either 9% (30vol) or 12% (40vol) if I want to go even brighter! In between dye jobs, I also use Directions temp colour in a mix of Poppy Red and Pillar Box Red to keep the colour looking fresh without adding more bleach. Before I started back on Ion, I was using Schwarzkopf Live Color - and frankly, it were shit. I got into the habit of buying it because it was cheap and always on special offer. As I need two boxes for my mane, I got used to picking it up. Newsflash though - it's cheap and always on special offer because, I repeat - it's shit. It weakened my hair and was NEVER even remotely close to the colour on the box. Don't get me wrong, if you have great success with Live, fair enough, but for me - it were shit.

3. Especially for long hair, it's important to trim it regularly.

I've not had my hair cut in a while, and it shows. With such thick hair, it's important for me to cut some layers into it to make it more manageable. When your hair is long, it's a false economy to not cut it. Everyone, no matter how diligently they keep their hair will get split ends and the longer you have them, the further up they go. I had a REALLY bad haircut from an inexperienced hairdresser that caused horrible split ends and when I had my hair rescued after two weeks of putting up with it, the hairdresser had to take another two and a half inches off! Goodbye long hair, for a while :(

4. Use heat protection when using heated hair tools.

Should be a non brainer really, but so many people use hair dryer, tongs, heated rollers and straighteners without protecting their follicles first. After taking every care with the previous steps, it makes sense to follow through and not undo all that hard work! I spritz my hair with heat protection spray (personal favourite is VO5 Tame & Shine) before I blow dry my hair, then a little more if I straighten it. Blow drying, I try to leave my hair as longer as possible before turning the dryer on, so I don't need to use it too long. I always finish with a blast of cold hair if I'm not using the straighteners later, to seal. Pretty much the same theory as the cold water trick. When I straighten my hair, I first go through the length of my hair, missing the roots and tips at first, then when I've done that, go from root to tip quickly.

5. Don't be tempted to overdo it on the hairspray/mousse/whatevs.

Your standing at the mirror. Your hair is gleaming, bright and perfect. So you want to keep it *just* the way it is, right? Don't grab the hairspray and start spraying til you can't anymore. Hair products have come on leaps and bounds in recent years, but that doesn't mean you don't have to be careful in it's application. With hairspray, don't spray direct on to the hair. Instead, spray above your head and let the mist fall and settle on your hair. A few short bursts should set your look. With mousse or curling serum, the trick is to use a small amount and rake through your hair, gently squeezing, then use tongs to create your curls. With shine serum, I use a teeny tiny amount, rubbing it over my hands, and focus on the tips of my hair before using the flat of my hand to smooth it over where light naturally hits my hair.

Go forth,and enjoy your hair!

Monday, 4 April 2011

Joan on Holiday

Flashback - 14 August 2010

More than a few of my friends have commented on my usually successful trips to the charity shops in my area (I live in the mecca of charity and vintage shops :D), and often ask how I always come away with at least one thing. Any time I wear one of my new treasures, someone always asks where I got it and most are surprised when I say the charity shop!

But, surely, they no doubt wonder, that's where bad clothes go to die, after languishing at the bottom of the wardrobe for years - unloved, unwanted?

Well, no. Not always. Don't get me wrong, I usually have to rake through an awful lot of crap to find a diamond, but there is always items that have simply been donated out of the goodness of peoples hearts (or they ran out off storage and were forced at gunpoint to get rid of some stuff they loved but hadn't worn in ages - who, me?) , and they're there to be had.

Today, I was only supposed go to the bank, then the doctors, but walked back into my house with a skirt, a pair of jeans and a pair of shoes. All from charity shops.

I can't find my camera, so I'll describe what I bought.

One pair of black oval toed patent and snakeskin "look" courts with three thin straps, originally from Nine West. A snuggly, but not fluffy baby pink v neck 3/4 sleeve cotton jumper, originally from Debbie Morgan. A pair of bootcut blue jeans, originally from New Look, and finally, a black A-line skirt, originally from Wallis.

In fact, I'm wearing the skirt right now!

So, I started thinking - what are the rules I stick to when I go shopping? Charity and vintage shop finds account for over 80% of my wardrobe, so I must be doing something right if I'm constantly complimented!

So far, here they are.

1. Never buy anything originally from Primark. If you didn't buy it in that place, you're not likely to really want it now, are you? Plus it's so cheaply made, everytime!
2. On that point, look out for labels and brands you know and trust, or that have been recommended.
3. Know your colours. That neon green halter might look fun and kooky on the hanger, but is it really something you'd enjoy wearing if you usually wear pastels?
4. Sizes ALWAYS vary, so don't be depressed if that size 12 fits more like an 8.
5. When you do have a potential diamond in your hands, check stitching, for any flaws, frays and discolouring. In shoes, check the heel tips, inside the shoe and for any scuffs.
6. Yes, I know you like that black cardigan, but you have 12 at home. Do you really need another?
7. No matter what style you lean towards, every woman needs a little black dress, a white shirt, good fitting pair of jeans. 
8. The more of an idea you have of what you're after, the better. There's less of a chance of coming away with either nothing or something just to buysomething.
9. In saying that, be open to something amazing to appear out of the blue (and bargain bin!)
10. Don't spend more than you intended to. My rule of thumb, especially with vintage is asking if I would be happy paying double the tag if it was brand new. Mostly, it works out!

Go forth, and happy shopping!!!