When I was in school, there were the scandals and the taboos. Sex and drugs fell under the scandal category, there to be gossiped about in class, to be written about on lockers. The subjects of the gossip never wanted it to be there, but it was, everywhere, in secret pockets of conversation, on corners of the desk.
‘There are two types of girls this Halloween’, my newsfeed reliably informs me. Curious, I delve further. Do tell me internet, knower of all things, what are these two types? Well, according to Facebook, one type is a girl who enjoys dressing as a slinky cat, and the other is a girl who enjoys dressing as a hotdog. I think this is meant to mean something? This polarised depiction of girls has an implicit sense of competition - so, who’s the winner? Comments under the photo seem to suggest that the ‘cat’ is seeking attention, taking herself too seriously, and, even worse, only wearing what she is for male attention. The ‘hotdog’ by comparison - wow, what a woman. A breath of fresh air, shrugging off the manacles of a patriarchal society telling her to be sexy. This girl, this hotdog, she is fun and free. A clear winner.
You stumble into a kitchen at roughly 11 in the morning . Specifically, your kitchen after a night hosting pres. Bottles are strewn on the table, a few half empty cans are on every surface, polystyrene takeaway boxes flap open to present some half eaten cheesy chips. And you? Well let’s not mince words. You feel like crap.
I was working at a festival this summer, specifically V festival (I know, cool right?) when I happened to serve a security guard some breakfast. It was roughly 8am, the sausages were sizzling, the customers complaining, and to put it bluntly, this security guard looked shattered.
Two years ago, in my first year of University, I went to see a talk by Caitlin Moran. I settled down in my seat, still slightly damp from the drizzle of an October night with her new book, ‘Moranifesto’ perched on my lap. My head tilted to the stage as the lights centred on the silhouette of Moran strolling into the spotlight. Her opening line, although I may not remember this word for word, was something along the lines of: ‘I remember when I was 15 years old, frantically masturbating on the sofa…’.
Candle lit table in an Italian restaurant. The soft glow of the flame creates dappled shadows around our wine glasses - mine, half empty, his, near gone. His hand slowly glides across the table cloth, gently falling on top of my palm. He looks up at me, burning curiosity in his cool eyes, “so”, he says, “tell me about your family?”