To get straight to the point: I feel like I am not smart enough. I am 28 years old and feel highly un-knowledgeable. When I’m reading the news or listening to people talk about politics I don’t know anything. It is so frustrating!
I don’t know why I don’t know these things either. I read a lot and have done from a young age. Although I’m unsure of the intellectual content of the Babysitters club it can’t have been too awful to have a 10 year old with a reading age of 15. I have a University degree and am generally intelligent. However, perhaps the problem is that I’m intelligent enough to know what I don’t know.
With talk of politics I really don’t have a clear idea of the difference between left-wing, right-wing, republicans, communists etc. I understand the basic arguments when I watch debates, but I always feel as though I have missed the base of the conversation. The route of all arguments and discussion.
Details in history escape me too. For example, I know there was a 100 year war. Since living in France I believe that it was between France and England but that is it. I know quite a bit about the 2nd world war from my Nan, school and movies. But very little about the 1st world war.
I guess, the questions I want answers to as a fairly intelligent adult is…
Do I need to read more and make my own effort? Should I blame my schooling and parents? Is it society’s fault for not making this information more accessible or simple to understand? Am I alone in this? Am I stupid?
No, don’t worry, this is absolutely not a post about how to put a t-shirt on. I wouldn’t and couldn’t do that. It is more about the standard of dressing occurring these days.
I have thought for a long time that society dressing has taken a deep nose dive in the past 100 years. If you think back approximately 100 years ago I’m sure that leaving the house in sports clothes would have been only if you were about to participate in a sport. Certainly not to eat in a restaurant or do the food shopping.
I realise that there are more important things to worry about in the world, and this certainly does not affect me on a daily basis. However, recently when I have been out in the evenings I have put on a nice dress but been confronted by a sea of jeans and t-shirts. I like jeans and t-shirts but… not for a night out. If you have something else to wear, please wear it. Even jeans and a shirt, blouse or other description of top. Even a giant fancy ‘statement’ necklace over the t-shirt.
Generally I believe people can wear what they like. If you are comfortable then it shouldn’t affect how people think of you, to a certain extent at least. However, general laziness and carelessness I don’t like.
If everyone could dress as though they gave a shit that would be great. When I watch old movies or see pictures men are often in shirt and trousers and women in smart dresses or trousers. I don’t recall seeing people in the 1920’s out in sports clothes or wearing onesies. It’s too tragic.
Just imagine in the years to come when fashion and people in general are studies from the years 2000-2020. Jeans, trainers, tiny dresses, onesies. What will they think of us? And, more importantly, what do we think of ourselves. It’s worth thinking about.
Clichés. A way to group people based on random shared qualities. To me it seems both useful and completely outmoded. Useful because there must have been a small merit to a stereotype (not all of them though). It also helps you to identify in a small way with people you don’t know at all or know very little about. It can be an interesting conversation starter, unless of course you are just being downright offensive. I don’t recommend this at all.
However many are just ridiculous. I don’t see how people can be defined just by nationality/religion/hair colour/job/sex. Which idiot decided this? I have an inkling that it started with angry people. For example, if you have a terrible break up with someone you could proclaim to hate everyone from that gender. Well done, you have just insulted approximately half* of the world. That seems smart.
Everyone knows the classic stereotypes that exist:
- Blondes are dumb… really?!! In fact this one is mainly aimed at women which is dumb in itself.
- All men always think about sex, all the time. This in no way can ever be true. Lots of people think about making love or having sex often. Many don’t, whatever floats your boat.
- English people all drink tea at 5 o’clock with cakes. Too many BBC old fashioned dramas are to blame for this. Although maybe we should bring this into normal society again. I’d like a good coffee and a slice of victoria sponge everyday.
- English people go for after work drinks… every night. We’re not total alcoholics, and this is also expensive!
- English people like and are used to the rain and cold weather. Why!? I dislike intensely cold weather, winter is only good for Christmas. And in any case the weather is not hugely different from many countries in the same region.
- American people are obese and stupid. Obesity is a growing problem in many first world countries and stupidity in relation to who and what exactly?
- American people all hang out at malls and drink shakes. Maybe they do, maybe they do sports, go to parks, or cinemas or their friends houses. Who knows? The problem is that the United States is a relatively young country and historical monuments are hard to come by. Maybe in a few hundred years time they will be marvelling at the oldest mall in the world.
- Chinese people eat cats and dogs. Maybe some do, we eat other animals so if they’re edible it’s not too much of a problem. Maybe some don’t, my Mum won’t eat a rabbit because it’s cute but a lamb with mint sauce – yum!
- Japanese people are obsessive picture taking tourists. I have personally seen a large array of nationalities with cameras, go pros, smartphones and the worst one yet… selfie sticks. But I have known some Japanese people to automatically hold up the peace v sign and smile as soon as they saw a camera…
- Italian men are amazing lovers. I haven’t done the groundwork so I can’t possibly say.
- African people are poor. Some are some aren’t. Like the rest of the world. Well I realise every country is different and that Africa is in fact a continent. Some parts of the world have lots of big problems, there are some that have a few small difficulties. But not everyone in every region/continent/country has the same wealth, or indeed the same notion of wealth.
- Australian people are constantly having BBQ’s or killing snakes. The first sounds fun so if I ever visit I’ll cross my fingers. The second is less inviting. But these people have jobs and, as I’m led to believe, a fairly decent economy so it simply can’t be true. This is just how they spend their lunch breaks.
- Russian people are vodkaholics. Maybe only in the winter to warm up when it’s minus -1000 outside.
- Spanish people sleep all afternoon. They have siestas but it can’t be everyone. The English tourists in Benidorm would rob everywhere whilst the Spanish were sleeping if this was the case. (No judgement on English tourists in Benidorm intended.)
- French people are arrogant. There are arrogant people everywhere, I expect.
- French men are romantic. I’m sure some are, but this is highly objective. One person’s box of chocolates is another’s plate of frogs legs.
- French girls are sexy and or hairy. I’m sure there is a mix of both, half and neither. As I’m sure there is everywhere, I can’t imagine that Gilette have a lot of business in poorer countries for example.
- Scottish people are drunks. Well, they do have a large amount of whiskey knocking about.
- Irish people are drunks. They have whiskey and guinness…
- Welsh people have sex with sheep. They have a lot of sheep, but these sheep are not having half human babies. At least not that I know of.
*I tried googling “percentage of men and women in the world”. With googles auto fill it came up with “percentage of men who cheat”. Good stereotype Google. Bravo!
Gender equality is, according to me, becoming a more spoken topic at the moment. I am reading articles about how women are now having conferences to support feminism. The government are debating whether tampons are a luxury or an essential. And sex changes and homosexual relationships are entering into open society and not behind closed doors. Here I would like to give my basic thoughts on gender equality.
Firstly, for want of a better word I am a feminist. I don’t believe that the word is accurately used though… so maybe from now I should be a gender equalitist. Although on second thoughts that’s a bit of a mouthful.
I believe 100% that women should be treated the same as men. For that matter all adults should be treated, to an extent, just as all other adults are treated. The same for children, teenagers and even OAP’s. People are people to me. End of discusssion. Like in To Kill a Mockingbird (Harper Lee) – “I think there’s just one kind of folks. Folks.”
You can judge people because of their personality and actions but because of their gender, race, age or religion is just bizarre in my opinion. If someone treats you or anyone badly then you have every right to dislike or disagree with them. However, if you have decided that all men are arseholes just because 5 men were aresholes then that’s just silly. Treat people nicely and how you wish to be treated. But don’t be a doormat if someone is horrible to you.
I see no reason why we are different apart from a few small areas. I realise having babies means women need a little time off work. But men would too if it was the other way round and we have no control over it. If women don’t have babies then eventually the world would cease to exist. So sorry gents but time off is needed. Also our bodies are different generally but not all the time. For that reason I think it would be interesting to have mixed gender sports, for example. Why not a mixed gender football team? (I have no immediate intention to organise this but it’s an interesting thought.)
There are many issues to the gender/race/religion/age debate and I’m hoping to visit them as a topic arises in the news or in my life. However I hope that I have given you a taster on what I believe on these issues.