Over the weekend many of those who are against same sex marriage have no doubt found their nightmare come true. They've had to explain that when two people love each other and want to spend their lives together and make it incredibly complicated and expensive to break up they can now get married. Even if they are two boys or two girls. Ew! Sounds horrifying right? The kids will never understand! That's going to take, like, a whole sentence to explain. On the other side of the coin many LGBTQ campaigners have the difficult task of explaining that this is not the end. This is a small triumph for those who want to marry, but itâs not quite the tip of the equal rights iceberg. Cis, straight and gay people we urge you not to wipe your hands and say done and done triumphantly. Those fighting for equality still have more work to do and those suffering from inequality are still suffering.
Happy April Fools Day! Hah! fooled you, no, you haven't massively overslept or bought a faulty calendar. It's not until next week. Maybe a day where it's acceptable, if not encouraged, to play jokes on people should have lost it's shine at around the same time that we stopped scratching band logos into our pencil cases and tippexing slogans onto our rucksacks. But there's something charming about the way everyone from international newspapers to search engines join in. And there are worse ways to spend a morning than tracking down the joke stories in the papers (WARNING: playing this game with the Daily Mail or similar can lead to crushing depression when you realise that the story you thought was hilarious satire is actually completely serious) But just like the scouts we like to be prepared. So let's take a look at some of our favourite April Fools...
Between watching my Daria DVD collection, My Mad Fat Diary and reading Bim Adewunmi's recap of the 1999 film 10 Things I Hate About You (watch the film, read the recap - both are highly amusing) you could say I have been having a trip down memory lane. Combined with a commute that featured a group of teenagers discussing an absent classmate's "weird fingers" (apparently they bend funny and his tongue is big and he definitely once tried to digitally probe the anus of one of the boys present - with the weird bendy fingers! True story) I have been appreciating my escape from teenhood in which both parents, politicians and peers scrutinise your every move and physical development.
A survey has revealed that women who have reached the age of 51 feel invisible to the opposite sex. Far from ignite an opportunistic crime wave it seems, from a pool of 2000 women over 50 (the number of women who participated in this survey) it appears this has resulted in a group of women of a certain age being sad and dejected. Considering on average women have an extra 5 to 10 years of living to do compared to these men who fail to notice them past a certain point - apparently due to an immune system that ages slower and probably because of that jolly saying used in the medical profession regarding men and their ability to visit doctors: 'women get sick and men die' - it's a long time to feel that you are going unnoticed.
It is a secret fantasy of mine, usually after a Sunday watching too many Miss Marples (Geraldine McEwan episodes, please. At a push maybe Joan Hickson) and Midsomer Murders, to become a country village vicar. With a Baptist/Athiest upbringing and Catholic school education I'd have no idea what was going on and therefore my congregation would be most confused by my slapdash ways. In my fantasy, however, it is always sunny at my old countryside vicarage and I can garden as I solve mysteries and make it no concern of mine that the village has an awful high murder rate. I spend little to no time counselling my flock or writing services. I think it would be a lovely quiet life. In reality it would no doubt be more Father Ted than Vicar of Dibley. More c*nty parish thancountry. The reality for woman vicars (woman vicars who don't see vicaring [technical term] as a righteous opt out scheme) is apparently a life of abusive comments, being spat at and receiving pornographic letters.
Recently your social networking sites have probably be inundated with bare faced selfies for cancer awareness. You know what your reaction was to the scrubbed smiling faces, my guess is your first thought was - how many goes did they have at taking that selfie? And secondly how does this help cancer? Rather like the mysterious trend that occasionally reappears in which all the girls post tweets or Facebook statuses in which they share the colour of their bra or pants (always pink or black, never 'mixed wash grey' or 'caught short shit stained') to 'raise awareness' the current trend for the bare faced selfies has caused confusion about the importance of awareness and donation. There's no charge (yet) for posting selfies. Of course joke's on the cynical - as ever. There's been a massive surge in donations as people were prompted to include the number to text in order to donate to raise both awareness and funds for cancer charities.
After the open auditions in November the cast of the latest Star Wars film is still a mystery, even though it is due to start filming soon. Hints have been dropped abut "familiar faces" but that could just mean the film is going to be overrun with ewoks and storm troopers. Yeah they're tricky those casting directors. Lena Dunham recently let slip that Girls cast member Adam Driver was in the running as a villain of the new Star Wars but we have put our heads together and decided on the cast we'd like to see in the new Star Wars film.
The Walton sextuplets are 30. Having caused a media stir at birth beating the odds given to their mother Janet Walton who was told at 16 that conception was unlikely anITV documentary is due to air soon covering the sextuplets' lives as adults. So! What are we looking at. Usually when documenting larger than average families we like to know things like...are the family on benefits? In which case what will the destiny of their scrounging kids be, how big is their telly and why are they allowed to live? Just asking because we're sincerely concerned, yeah. Or for a more highbrow documentary we investigate the parents and their belief in the rhythm method and Catholicism perhaps or maybe they just didn't get enough love in their own childhoods, or are they holding out for a girl/boy. With the Walton sextuplets, because of the nature of their conception and birth we might be interested in how Ma and Pa Walton coped, but now the girls are 30 and it's 2014 what we really, really want to know is... are they married?
While those who have misunderstood or simply not discovered feminism might think it is a group of hairy women with hemp dungarees in their wardrobes and bras to burn who all love each other in some kind of imagined commune (or real commune) in which they plait each others armpit hair whilst railing against patriarchy with man-hating poetry, we know different. I happen to know for a fact not as many women know how to plait hair as you might think and I also know that most feminists love men. You can love men and dislike the patriarchy. The bra burning thing is a myth made up by newspaper staff and in spite of the best intentions feminists don't love each other. Whether in a commune or not.
As the tragic news of L'Wren Scott's apparent suicide sinks in the media is switching from breaking news mode to eulogy mode, with friends and colleagues invited to air their grief, ideally in very quotable sound bites. We know how the media covers stuff. They have papers to sell, audience figures to up. On some subjects I can forgive a little sensationalism. However a peculiar thing has become apparent with the deaths of Reeva Steenkamp and L'Wren Scott. Being a girlfriend is, according to the media, a job. If you're girlfriend to a celebrity then that is a full time job, a career and clearly how you wish to be remembered. A time will come when we will wander about cemeteries full of headstones engraved 'Girlfriend of'. Who knew all those girls who seek out footballers as partners weren't searching for fame and fortune but anonymity.