It's still Autumn & that Santa hat is filthy! Image: MarilynJane
Do you know today's the last day of November? Yeah it's been November all this time! Did you think December just had 60 or so days in it now? Oh you poor lamb. Don't let the town centre Christmas decorations up since mid October fool you. If you've been writing down appointments on a chocolatey calendar with doors on then you have fallen foul of pre-pre-Christmas-Christmas. The build up starts earlier every year, with a brief break for Halloween, it's a wonder the shops bother to take down the fairy lights. The decorations have been up so long that by the time Chesney Hawkes gets to your town to flick the switch and turn on the lights the tinsel's all tatty. It is not surprising people are increasingly entering the month of December with early onset Christmas fatigue. We, at Squeamish Bikini, sympathise with you – here are our nightmares before Christmas...
Image: David Blackwell
The ever punctual Squeamish Sue is here to bring us tales of university life as a mature student. Make sure you're on time and have your papers, yeah? Or it could all end up down the plug hole.
I find it a little disconcerting that lecture attendance, whilst desirable is nonetheless optional and is not monitored, at least not in any discernible way. I guess if you don’t have a clue of the subject matter when you get to your seminar, it is a bit of a giveaway that you weren’t actually in the lecture. Yet seminars are compulsory and are absolutely monitored. A register is taken and your attendance details are forwarded to no less a body than the UK Border Agency. I feel I should carry my passport with me at all times just in case! 'Your absence has been noted, where were you?' 'oh yeah, sorry I was just having a nervous breakdown in the car park, but I’m here now.'
Image: Megan McMillan
This week's Geek Girl's Guide on how to live long and prosper involves spread sheets, Microsoft Excel, various charts and maths. This is not just about getting healthy, this is about adding a skill to your CV.
There are good foods, and there are bad foods, although not in the context we're usually told. So yes, some foods that boost health can also be bad for you. Take red wine, for example. It's good for the heart; it contains tumour-reducing chemicals; it's good for the stomach. However, combining it with driving is inadvisable, and one can become addicted to it. The key is moderation. Alcohol contains 4cal/g and is of little nutritive value for its calorie count; therefore, it counts in the 20% 'because I need comfort food' allowance. [sigh - Squeamish team]
Hypothesis spooling Image: Dave Fancher
Mythbusters at the Journal of Sex Research have published a study, entitled Pornography Actresses: An Assessment of the Damaged Goods Hypothesis that debunks the stereotype that all women who work in front of the camera in porn must be victims of low self-esteem. Research carried out by Pennsylvania's Shippensburg University, Texas Woman’s University and the Adult Industry Medical Healthcare Foundation found no evidence to support the “damaged goods hypothesis.”
Researchers compared data from 177 adult entertainment actresses with a sample of women matched for age and statuses. All the actresses had worked on one or more X-rated films and their ages ranged from 18 to 50. Of the actresses over a third were married or in a committed relationship.
Image: Morten Watkins
Reclaim is an interesting word; or rather the use of it is interesting. Baggage reclaim, reclaimed wood (for the new floorboards, so much more ethical darling – you know), reclaim PPI you never took out but you simply must have, why else would you be getting all those texts? Reclaim words you didn't know you ever owned. I assume you are all aware of brilliant women and men across the world taking a lazily worded warning from a Toronto police officer to task and reclaiming the word slut whilst getting some gentle exercise.
But can you reclaim something that was never yours? Not that anybody has a monopoly on the English language (strictly speaking...). I don't think slut has any kind of proud history. Unless you're really into insults, or misogyny. But I suppose you can turn it around. Now we can accuse those who imply a woman is some how to blame for a crime, or those who recoil at the idea of a woman discussing her sex life of slut-shaming. Is that a reclaim or a confiscation?
Are you wearing a hat?
Oh Hasbro have been through the old mail bag wringer lately. A recent correspondence 'twixt them and a 6 year old has had them rending their Hasbro garments and begging mummy not to throw out the game in which 2 people play shallow detective.
Jennifer O'Connell blogged the correspondence she and her daughter received when they e-mailed Hasbro to complain that: “it's not fair to only have 5 girls in Guess Who and 19 boys. It is not only boys who are important, girls are important too...if girls want to be a girl in Guess Who they'll always lose against a boy, and it will be harder for them to win. I am cross about that”
Hasbro, aware that they were conversing, via e-mail, with a 6 year old replied with an informative lesson in numerical equations. Something we don't recall the National Curriculum covering in infants. “Another aspect of the game is to draw attention away from using gender or ethnicity as the focal point, and to concentrate on those things that we all have in common, rather than focus on our differences.” We've translated that to mean 'suck it up and choose a male character next time' and come up with some gender neutral suggestions for Guess Who questions to use in future...
YEAH! Image: Venturist
Today we continue with our antidote to traditional slimming articles, instead Squeamish Bikini guest Bridget continues her guide on how to be healthy...
A bear, however hard he tries,
Grows tubby without exercise.
Okay, that's how to be thin. The secret was just hidden in a poem by A. A. Milne, and needed re-examining. I recently rode a bicycle the length of England, and can attest to the truth of Mr. Milne's statement. I ate what I wanted, when I wanted, and still managed to look less Winnie the Pooh-like by the end. The moral of the story being this: you can gorge yourself on almost anything, provided you exercise vigorously for around five hours per day. For those of you who don't have the time or energy to do that amount of exercise, let's continue with the Geek Girl's guide to being healthy.
Image: Duncan Hull
It was International Men’s Day yesterday. And we missed it. Again! Seems Squeamish Kate’s premonition that we’d probably spend the 19th “unwittingly ignoring it” was spot on. It’s a good thing the Guardian keeps paying people to write articles about IMD, or it might pass us by entirely.
Now, I will be clear. I am 100 per cent with my editor on this – if people want to meet up and talk about things that bother them, that is fine. Creating ways of supporting one another, safe spaces and places to talk about problems are all good things, and I’m happy to see men doing them.
Trigger warning - transphobia and violence
Between November 15th 2011 and November 14th 2012 265 trans people have been reported murdered around the word. Tomorrow - the 20th November - sees the 14th annual Trans Day of Remembrance.
The day of remembrance has grown from vigils for Rita Hester, who was murdered on November 28th 1998. Her murder, like that of many trans people, has never been solved. At the time of her death there was relatively little media attention, but the day of remembrance has grown with events now taking place all over the world.
You can see a list of planned events on transgenderdor.org. - there are currently 12 listed in the UK.
Creepiest whale yet.
Gah! Argh! Ew! Breastfeeding! Quick everybody cover your eyes/breasts! We can only deal with boobs, any notion of mammary glands grosses us out. Which is why the news that a new baby doll is on the toy market (just in time for Christmas) which encourages little parents to breast feed it is, like, totally grossing people out. Nobody is able to decide if it is “creepy or cute” for children to play 'breastfeeding' with a toy. This might give you the impression that part of the kit is a pair of comedy breasts to be strapped on to the little child before playtime suckling commences. In fact the breast milk baby kit consists of a baby doll and a rather matronly (though unpadded) cropped tabard with flower nipple pasties. Because feeding a newborn, we hear, is one of the Vital Things to do when bringing up baby is it much different from clothing and pretending to feed a baby doll? If we're going to get all creeped out and make comments on allowing children to be children about it then how come we aren't concerned with the very idea of giving under-age, nay pre-pubescent, people tiny wards to care for? Apparently we aren't going to go that deep, so instead we have come up with some more Baby doll ideas. Come on Baby, think it over.