Why We NEED Feminism

 

I would like to start off by saying I am a proud feminist. As its gender equality week in UCC I decided to give my reasons on why we need feminism. Feminism isn’t a dirty word as many people think. It doesn’t mean man hating. What feminism means is equality between the sexes. Greater emphasis needs to be placed on feminism in 21st century Ireland.

Woman still don’t have full control of their bodies which are being sexualized at every turn. Little girls are still discouraged from joining fields such as science and engineering. More horrifying is the fact that rape victim’s are still being blamed due to their clothing choices. It’s  (unfortunately) a mans world and feminism can help. There are some of the reasons why we need feminist.

As a society that is described as liberal and progressive the truth is far from it. Women face cat calls on an almost daily basis. On night out women are always checking their drink as they face threat  of assault or worse. Women are always protecting themselves from the unseen dangers. Women are always protecting themselves against men.

On a more national level only 16% of Irish politicians sitting in the Dáil are female. In terms of education only 15% of engineering and manufacturing students are female. Now this is primarily due to unsafe and unfair gender expectations. ‘Typically’ females are expected to aim for places in education/arts courses (3/4’s). As mentioned above girls are told that the science and engineering sectors are for boys.

These gender roles that are embedded into our mind set’s tell us that:

  1. Pink is a girls colour and blue is a boys colour.
  2. Men are supposed to provide while Women are forced to stay at home.
  3. Women are emotional and Men are strong.
  4. Men are perfect and Women always have to improve themselves.

There are flaws in this mindset though. Take for example the stereotype that women should stay in the kitchen and cook. Now put this against the job of a professional chef. For a hobby that is seen as feminine the majority of those who work in that area are men.

The wage gap is another reason that explicitly shows that feminism is needed. Women in Ireland in 2011 only made 94% of the wage men made. During the recession there was an estimate 12% drop in a couples wages. The woman’s wage drop was 14%.

Finally we need feminism because feminism isn’t for white, attractive, wealthy women. Feminism is for all women. If your feminism doesn’t include women of colour, trans women, curvey women, poor women, et then it isn’t feminism. Feminism is for all, not just the media’s poster girl.

 

Advertisements

Why it’s time to embrace sustainable technologies and a green lifestyle

We live in an age where climate change is a reality and not a dystopian science fiction plot point.The simple truth is that climate change is getting worse by each year. Last year has reportedly been the hottest year on record according to NASA. Following on from this 14 of the 15 hottest years have occurred since the year 2000

Climate change is effecting every part of our world. Iceland, for example, is being lifted 1.4 inches every year. This can result in more and more volcanic eruptions. These eruptions greatly effect airline paths across Europe. This in turn effects the economy. This illustrates the power climate change has over our society. We can’t control the climate but what we can do as a society is create a better more sustainable community by embracing sustainable technology.

Sustainable technology uses less energy and does not waste the planets natural resources. These technologies can also be recycled or reused by the end of their use cycle. Sustainable technology doesn’t have to be expensive or complicated to use. Take transport for instance. Solar powered high speed trains are way more sustainable than cars and buses that spill out high carbon emissions. The new program by Coke Zero in Cork City follows similar ones run in Europe – to encourage people to cycle rather than use cars. Not only is this good for the environment, but also your own health.

Biofuels, fuel made form natural and living organisms, is an renewable energy source. Biofuels can be used instead or petrol and diesel. They have increased in popularity in the past few years due to the rise in oil prices and the fear we don’t have proper energy security. In recent years the EU has come out on top as the biggest producer of biofuels world wide, which accounts for more than half of biofuel production. There are studies being conducted by the US EPA aiming to make biofuels more cost affective and sustainable.

Many people are afraid to engage in a green lifestyle at home. Many people think it’s a difficult movement to engage in. Due to this there are many myths surrounding a sustainable lifestyle. This can be clearly illustrated in Leyla Acaroglu’s speech on “Environmental Folklore”. There are many ways to life sustainable at home. One should buy bag’s and objects that are reusable. As well as this you should recycle as much as possible, from plastics, to paper, to food. Recycling can help the planet and also certain areas in a city where landfills are located. Clothes and electronics can also be recycled. Traveling wise people can easily take public transport or walk instead of driving.

Further Reading

Environmental Protection Agency

Sustainable Ireland

Earth Easy

TED Talks on the Environment

It’s himself, George Boole at 200

 

Wondering around UCC for the past few weeks I found one thing different. Was it the new students? Maybe. Was it the cold weather? Again not really. Was it the constant reminder of the George Boole* 200 celebrations? Yes. With Boole’s face flying high in the sky from street lamps and even looking at me while I drink my coffee I thought to myself, what did I really know about the founder of Boolean logic, the former professor of math’s, and the name of our lecture halls? The answer as it seemed was nothing. Que a frantic Google search and a double espresso mocha.

Born in England in 1815 George Boole was named as the first lecturer of mathematics at UCC (the Queens College, Cork) in 1849 despite not having any formal college education himself. Two years earlier in Boole published a pamphlet, the Mathematical Analysis of Logic, which expressed his most famous idea, Boolean Logic. Boolean Logic allows for variable values to be assigned a true or false value.

This logic allowed the processing of logic in all modern computers. Boole as a result found the grounding to the digital age. This is pretty groundbreaking yet very little people know of him. Boole is the reason we have modern digital computers. It seems strange that for a generation who are revolutionizing the world through the internet and computers very little of us know of the forefather of digital computers.

Lecturing in UCC till 1864, Boole died the same year after rushing two miles in the rain to teach a lecture. He soon died and was buried in St.Michaels cemetery in Blackrock, Cork. This year UCC celebrates the bicentennial of George Boole. Celebrations will be held around campus with re-inactments happening around campus. More information on Boole’s life and work can be seen on the George Boole page by UCC.

The Importance of Education

Education, whether people like it or not, is important to our society. Without it we as a society wouldn’t know basic language skills, mathematics, or science. Our society as a whole is built on education. Imagine how different your life would be if you didn’t have a proper education. Now understand that in a 2010 report by the Guardian newspaper  it was estimated that 70 million children are without an education. Education is vital to our society and our world. Here are a few illustrated examples to show this.

Health

In a developed country our doctors and nurses are all educated people with a college degree. Without them the mortality rate would be ever on the increase. On a macro level doctors help us when we get sick, whether short term or long term. Without them we would be nothing. On a micro scale ordinary people can understand signs of illnesses better and better thus saving lives. Without education how could be know the signs of a stroke? Or a heart attack? This information could potentially save a life. Basic first aid education could also mean life or death to some individuals. All of these skills and knowledge come out of education. We can clearly see this importance when we realize that there are 270 million children in the developing world without access to medical services and 2.5 million children die each year due to lack of vaccines. In a report issued by the millennium project it is stated that if a woman in a developing country receives six or more years of education childbirth survival will drastically increase. At the moment 1,400 women die each day from childbirth related causes.

Politics and Economics

In a worlds riddled with economic hardship and political outcry, education could allow politicians and business men to make the right choices that would result in a positive long term effect. On a local level first time business owners or investors would more likely know their legal rights and be more wise investing money if they have received an education of some sort, again this would have a positive effect on the local economy as it results in more indigenous business. In a report by Concern it is estimated that every year a person spends in education results in 10% of their potential earnings. Looking at politics on a local level education helps the electorate to understand political issues and what the individual politicians are offering. This helps voters see through smear campaigns. With “controversial” issues such as abortion and same-sex marriage, voters can (if educated) make up their own minds by seeing through bias or prejudice related to the issue in question.

Inequality

Education can stop in some cases stop the rise of inequality and create a more just and equal society. People who have the right to an education are shown to be more open minded and more likely to vote for LGBT and female rights. When fighting for a more open and equal society education is important to bridge the gap between social classes, genders, race, and sexuality. If people are educated they are aware of their legal rights. This can help cure inequality in some ways. If one is educated they are aware of different attitudes present in society. This can help them be safe in some respects.

Conclusions

To conclude education is an important factor in our society. As a result of proper education people can make proper and informed decisions on important political debates. A societies health system and mortality rates are also influx due to the influence of educations. Finally improved and strong educational institutions can create a more equal minded society.

Further Links and Readings

Poverty Facts

Poverty Statistics

Why Education is Important

15 Reasons Why Education is Important

Education as a Protective Factor Against HIV Infections Among South African Women

Brand New Day

I never understood the New Year New Me attitude. Not at all. You don’t need a new year to kick start your life. You can change it right now if you want. Theres nothing stopping you. Right this second you can change your life. Start eating healthy, giving up smoking, whatever. Do it now.

By waiting for a new year there is a pressure that you must start and if you don’t start you will only put it off and off. Take each day as it comes. Everyday is a brand new day. Everyday is a brand new start. Surround yourself with positivity and don’t take shit sugar from anyone.

Listen to your favourite song, drink water, and get out there. Every second is a new start. Fuc Forget the New Year. Embrace yourself. You know what you need to change, if anything. You know when to start. Don’t let anyone influence you. Besides if you’re going to change yourself for someone it’s not going to work. It will only work if you want to change.

The best advice is to . .

    • Drink plenty of water
    • Get fresh air everyday
    • Exercise
    • Feel good in your own body
    • Think positive thoughts and SMILE

Remember you know your body. You are the only person you has a say if you change yourself. No one else can make that decision. If you are perfectly comfortable with yourself then you don’t need to change. End of story.

Review of a Digital Tool – Tumblr

Link To My Tumblr

This is a review of Tumblr for my Digital Humanities module DH:1002 Digital Tools and Methodologies. I have chosen to review Tumblr simply because I have used it for a personal use previously. I tried numerous times to use it for academic uses. In order to challenge myself I made a new blog for an academic use.  I have broken it in to three main parts – a quick review, comparison with other micro-blogging sites, and an evaluation . . . . .

(more…)

Raised by the internet: Good or Bad?

tumblr_mwdzb6EI4H1qg8nb6o1_500-786

The above image contains a quote from musician Lorde taken from her song ‘A World Alone’. Being the first generation to be raised by the internet we are now at an age where we ask ourselves if this is a good thing or a bad thing. In my opinion it is a good thing. If I hadn’t discovered the internet I wouldn’t have discovered the knowledge and beliefs which I hold dear now. Without the internet I would be close minded and without any knowledge of the injustice in the world.

The world is changing for the better, people are now rebelling against the corrupt ideology which they have lived under. From police brutality in the US, to LGBT* rights in Russia, to feminism in the Arab world people are changing their ideologies. Without the internet I would not have known about these changes. I would not have known about the racial injustice in America the supposed “Land of the Free” and I certainly wouldn’t have been aware of the terrible homophobia present in modern day Russia. The internet has allowed me to question the current ideology and see that there can be change. Without the internet I would have labelled the people who are trying to change the world thugs. But with access to primary sources, first hand accounts, and a wealth of knowledge I can see that these people are not thugs. They are the people who are so often praised in literature and cinema but in real life when they are actually trying to make a change they are labeled as looters, and thugs.

Being raised by the internet has allowed me to get an education and knowledge that I would have never gotten otherwise. Online education providers allowed me to study subjects and modules in my own time and for free. Due to this I know have a knowledge of STS (Science Technology and Society), Feminism, World Politics, and Economics. If I never had the internet I would never have had access to this types of education. Going hand in hand with the first point the open access of education allowed me to gain my own ideology and political view which has shaped the way I see the world.

As well as helping me form my own political and social ideology the internet has helped me come to terms with myself. Thought the internet I found help and resources that allowed me to combat depression and helped me come out to family and friends. Without the internet I wouldn’t be able to come to terms with myself as a person. The internet allowed me to embrace myself and be who I wanted to be not who society wants me to be.