Lately my passion for politics has just come flooding back to me. As you may or amy not know, last year I stuided AS Level Government & Politics, and unexpectedly fell in love with it. Whilst studying for my A Levels this year, I’ve had to push politics to the side and focus on the subjects I’m currently studying, but I think the recent political events in the USA, France and now the UK, my love for politics has returned, as it were.
Today at dinner I was discussing the French election with my family, as you do, and suddenly remembered That Time I Organised a Mock General Election at Scouts™ with my sister. After doing a bit of digging on my old blog, I found the post I’d written about it, so I thought I’d write about it again, because it’s something I’m really proud of (and yet another sign that I was in love with politics without realising??? Seriously for the past few years I’ve been like ‘oh yeah history is my favourite subject and I want to study it at uni’ and somehow completely missed all the signs that I was actually really enthusiastic about politics WELL DONE EM). Funnily enough, I can still remember where the idea came from. Basically at my Explorer Scout group we had to take it in turns in organising the meetings, and as we met on Thursdays, our weekly meeting would fall on the 7th May 2015, which just happened to be polling day for the 2015 General Election. I noticed this when we were at the planning meeting in January to plan the meetings for the months ahead and as our Scout hut is used as the local polling stations, it meant we wouldn’t be able to meet at the hut on that night. it was n’t a problem, because as our leaders said we would just have to meet outside of the hut that night, but it got me thinking. Despite the fact that i wasn’t even studying politics in 2015, and had never studied in school, I remember being really enthused about the General Election, and the fact that our Explorer meeting coincided with polling day was just too good an opportunity to miss in my opinion!
So, I talked to my sister who was also part of my Explorer group, and we came up with the idea of holding a ‘mock’ General Election in which the explorers form their own political parties, come up with a manifesto, present their ideas to the group and then have a secret ballot. So we claimed tha evening as our night to organise and got planning!
As we couldn’t meet at the hut, we decided to meet at the local woods instead (which in hindsight wasn’t The Best™ idea because GNAT BITES ARGHH) and instead of getting the ‘parties’ to right a whole manifesto, we just asked them to come up with policies on the EU, the environment and education. I ended up being part of a party as well, because there was an odd number of Explorers there, and our party was called ‘UK Dependent on Immigration Party’ or ‘UDIP’ for short (political pun intended – I think you can probably guess our politcal standpoint). Overall, the evening went really well! I mean, we came up with some whacky policies that probably would never get us elected, but it was thrilling to feel like we were actually engaging with politics.
The result of the ballot was 6 votes to The Bush Party (don’t ask), 5 votes to UDIP and 1 vote to The Fromage Party. Instead of forming a minority government, The Bush Party opted to form a coalition with The Fromage Party.
I think organising and running this mock election is one of the things I’m most proud of doing in Scouts, because I actually felt like I as helping fellow young people to get involved in politics and to the help them understand more about the way the govenrment works in the UK. Thinking back on it now, I think this could be something I want to go into in the future – educating young people about politics. Whether that be through teaching or campaiging or what, the advocacy of politics in education is something that I’m very passionate about (you can read my post about why politics should be taught in schools here), but we shall see where the future takes me!
This weekend I have been studying Thatcher’s 11 years in power in considerable detail, as I came to the realisation that my teacher hadn’t actually taught us the whole of the Thatcher unit in our course book and so set about teaching it to myself. For those of you who don’t know Margaret Thatcher was a Conservative party member who became the first female Prime Minister of Britain in 1979. As a woman myself and a strong believer in the importance of politics in the empowerment of young people, women, and other misrepresented and minority groups, I was keen to investigate Thatcher’s impact as a role model for young women like me and why perhaps she is still viewed negatively by British society nowadays. Was she really as bad as people make out?
So I started with learning about what Thatcherism actually meant, as despite studying politics last year and learning about Thatcherism as an ideology, I feel like I never fully understood it. Thatcherism is basically the key political ideas that Thatcher stood by and from what I can tell, they were given their own ideological term as at the time, they were considered to be radical compared to the traditional Conservative ideas of preserving individual wealth and private ownership. To give you a bit of background, what Thatcher stood for was the rights and interests of individuals over that of the nation as a whole, promoting individual enterprise, rewarding hard work through low taxes, the importance of law and order to maintain a democratic society, that law, freedom and justice was provided for all by British democracy and she was a conviction politician, believing that as prime minister, she should stick to her own principles rather than trying to reach a consensus which always required compromise. Although I pretty much have the opposite political standpoint on most of her key ideas, I could see the logic behind Thatcherism, so at this point had a fairly positive view of Thatcher, although I was a little skeptical as to how she could have transformed her political beliefs into policy that would have benefited the political and social environment at the time.
Then I went on to learn about Thatcher’s economic policy, which I won’t go into detail with as it is quite complex and long-winded, but overall her attempts to lead Britain out of recession – although they broke the trend of past governments – and her way of economic thinking interested me, despite their limited success. Generally though I am quite sympathetic towards economic policy as it must be so difficult to manage such a vast, fluid concept as a countries economy and it’s impossible to benefit everyone at once, so her economic failures in my opinion were no worse than past governments.
After going on to reading about her intentions to “roll back” (reduce) state intervention in the economy and increase the size of the private sector, I started reading into how Thatcher’s policies caused political and social division within Britain. This aspect of analysing her time in office really interested me, because instead of reading all the complex detail of which policies she introduced to do what, I was actually learning about the impact of her policies and how they affected real people living at the time. What stood out to me most, was a statement saying that Thatcher felt “threatened” by diversity within society. This is what got me thinking about if Thatcher really is a role model and an inspiration to young girls like me because even though she managed to fight her way to the top level of politics – something that would have been unheard of 50, 20 or even 10 years before she became Prime Minister – I certainly don’t agree with some of the things she did whilst she was in that position of power.
Firstly, Thatcher’s viewpoint of homosexuality was that it was a symbol of ‘moral decline’ and that heterosexual families and relationships were the norm which should be promoted to young children of the time as the ‘right’ way to live. As a member of the LGBT+ community myself, I was saddened by this. Don’t get me wrong, I wasn’t ignorant to the fact that discrimination and attitudes towards the LGBT+ community in not-so-distant decades were on a different scale to they are now, but it still upsets me to read about the fact that the government who sets the law and code which the public should abide had a role in stigmatising homosexuality as late as the 1980s. As a result of Thatcher’s beliefs about homosexuality, she introduced a law called the Local Government Act 1988 and in Section 28 of this law, it was stated that discussion and promotion of homosexuality within schools was to be banned. This is something I really disagreed with, because even during my school education I haven’t learnt about homosexuality, in fact i can’t even think of one instance throughout my primary and secondary school education where homosexuality was even mentioned, other than Christian views on homosexuality that we had to study at GCSE, but even then we only briefly touched on it. As a result of this, I didn’t even know that there were other sexualities until about two years ago and only discovered my own sexual identity thanks to the help of my internet and my wonderful blogger friends, so I definitely think education about LGBT+ issues and people is vital in helping the LGBT+ community, especially young people, feel accepted by society and to help others to learn about us and the issues we face. So going back to Thatcher, I an’t imagine what it must have been like for LGBT+ young people back then to live in a society where your sexual identity is repressed in every aspect of society.
Furthermore, as Thatcher was in favour of advancing individual rights over collective rights, she was also against feminist movements of the time. Feminism is also something I am passionate about as a young women, because I believe that nothing: race, gender, sexuality, ethnicity etc should stop anyone from being treated with equal respect and having equal opportunities in life, so naturally feminism is a cause that I am in support of. It sort of shocked me a bit to hear that Thatcher was against feminism, to the extent that she stated that a group of women campaigning against the positioning of American cruise missiles on British territory should be ‘eradicated’, because as the first female Prime Minister, she was in a position to empower young women and make a step forward for the rights and attitudes towards women within British society at the time. Those women that she said needed to be ‘eradicated’ had every right to campaign and what sort of message would Thatcher’s attitude towards them have sent to young girls at the time? That they should remain passive and that their opinions aren’t worthy of expressing?
Honestly, although I could accept some of Thatcher’s early beliefs and policies, I struggle to accept her attitudes towards homosexuality and women. I know I must take into consideration the context of the time in which she was Prime Minister when attitudes towards same-sex relationships and the roles of women were still very traditional, but form the viewpoint of a young 21st century LGBT+ girl, I can’t really see Thatcher as an ideal role model for people like me to look up to. I mean yes, it is inspiring that a woman managed to achieve such power in a time where women were very much expected to be wives and home-makers instead of pursuing careers for themselves, but I think there is so much more that Thatcher could have done as Prime Minister to inspire more young girls to take up careers in politics. Of course, I still think it is important for young girls and women to learn about Thatcher but I hope that one day the stereotype of female politicians and Prime Ministers as being ‘just another Thatcher’ will disappear and the new generation of female politicians will forge their own identities and success stories that will act as a better inspiration for young women of the future.
^ Basically how I feel right now when it comes to think about the future 😂
But on a more serious note, I feel like I need to have a bit of a ramble about my indecision over what to do in the future and more specifically at uni. For a while now I’ve had my mind set on studying geography and history joint honours at university, because I enjoy both of these subjects so it seemed sensible to carry on with my academic journey down that route. So naturally I had been doing my research and had narrowed it down to five university that do that degree and we’re located in areas I’d be happy to live in, booked open days to go and visit them in the summer and was content with the fact that for once in my life I’d actually managed to make a decision. On Tuesday, the college took us to a UCAS convention at a local-ish uni (I say local but it took like an hour and a half to get there…in a coach that had a hornet/giant wasp thing buzzing around…FUN) where there were representatives from nearly 200 university from around the UK for us to talk to about the degrees they offered. As I’d already been researching universities beforehand, I knew (or thought I did) what degree I was interested in and knew what universities I was considering, so headed straight over to those and found out more info about their geography and history joint degrees, picked up a prospectus and various freebies and then went off with my friends whilst they looked at other unis and courses. I came back from the UCAS convention feeling quite happy with myself as I had had a good chat with some of the unis I was interested in and felt like my future was actually planned and in order.
However, due to the fact that some of the unis I’d previously picked out no longer offered geography and history, yesterday my dad said he wanted to sit down with me and research other unis that were perhaps a bit far away for me to have considered at first that did the degree I was interested in, but dads being dads, I started googling and researching waiting for him to come and help and he went off and did some gardening for ages so once I’d exhausted what I was originally researching, I started looking at other degrees just out of interest. Which was – hence this post – a fatal error. Or was it? I don’t even know 😂
Basically, I started questioning why I wanted to study history and geography in the first place, which isn’t an unusual thing to be asking myself because when I write my personal statement to apply to unis I’ll have to explain to the unis why I want to study that course. However when I thought about it, I realised I didn’t actually know why I had my mind set on studying that. I mean yes, I do enjoy geography and history and the overview and understanding of the world they give me, but am I really passionate about it? Is it something I’d want to work ridiculously hard for for the next three years? Do I even want a career to do with geography and history?
The truth is, I may be enthusiastic about geography and history – I’d defend their importance in the education system to the ends of the earth if I could, because I think it’s really important to have an understanding about the wider world and the past world which allowed us to be and live the way we do today, but having enthusiasm for a subject is different from being passionate about it. Passion is more of a feeling, a thrill and a thirst to learn more about that particular thing, and if I’m being honest with myself, I’m not really passionate about history or geography. I do work hard, I do extra work and background reading when I have time, but that’s just because my teachers advise me to do it. I’d work hard at anything, even if I hated it, I think before I’d been a bit oblivious to that because I just assumed because I worked so hard at those subjects, I must really really love them. But then I thought back to my GCSEs and realised that although I worked extremely hard for each subject, I didn’t like everything or enjoy everything – science didn’t interest me, neither did maths or English – so came to the realisation yesterday that it’s more the desire to do well that drives me to work hard at history and geography, not my passion for them.
So then I though, what’s the point of studying those subjects at university when I’m not really passionate about them? It would just be illogical, I mean I enjoy history and geography now but I don’t think studying them in intense detail would interest me at all, I think by the end of a levels I might have reached my limit with them. Also, although I’d had it set in my head that I wanted to study geography and history, I had absolutely no idea where that would lead me as a career or what I even wanted to do as a career. Hence I changed my mind. Again. For like the 50 billionth time.
The other subject I am studying at a level is French. Before yesterday, I’d never considered seriously studying French after college. I mean, I knew I didn’t want to gradually lose my French skills after college so I didn’t want to finish it completely, but was just going to carry it on in my spare time at uni or choose a language module if the course allowed it. Then yesterday, for some unknown reason, I randomly googled language degrees and found one called European Studies (or varients of depending on which uni it is) where you basically study one or two European languages, cultural and social ideas within that country as well as European politics and history and honestly, it was like a light bulb was switched on in my head.
If you didn’t know, last year I studied government and politics at school and it was unexpectedly thrilling. I loved learning about the way the government and the UK’s political system worked because it felt like I was learning something useful about the mysterious world of law-making and governance and political stuff, I almost carried on the subject at college but it wasn’t possible because of different exam boards so I would have had to retaken the year which would have been a bit pointless considering I did well in the exams. Since stopping politics, it’s still been in the back of my mind – I mean how couldn’t it have been with Brexit and Trump in the news every other day – but as with French, I hadn’t given it much serious thought, mainly because I didn’t know where it would lead me other than becoming a politician which wasn’t what I wanted. But then, the European Studies course just sounds so fascinating! We studied one module about the workings of the EU last year and it was my favourite by far, so I started thinking about maybe a career working for the EU – maybe as like a political advisor or the EU equivalent of the civil services (I’m not really sure if it would be possible now the UK is in the process of leaving the EU but who knows) be wise if there’s one thing I do feel strongly that I want to do with my life is to make a difference to the lives of others,so maybe this is the way to do it?
The more I’ve been contemplating this degree, the more I’ve realised that maybe French – or languages in general – is my passion. I mean, something must have made me decide to take French a level after 5 years of learning it (badly) in school with classes full of people who weren’t even interested in French and teachers who didn’t actually teach us properly,so maybe that was passion? Even now, I’m finding French hard and so so demanding, but still finding myself wanting to put in the effort and wanting to immerse myself in French culture by listening to French radio or watching French TV or reading French news, and I wouldn’t be doing that in my spare time if I didn’t love it would I?
When I think about it, I am very passionate about the importance of languages,especially in education as it’s a well-known fact us British people are reluctant language learners. But I strongly believe that if the way languages were taught and examined in schools was reformed, more young people would be encouraged to take languages, and this is a change I want to campaign for and make a difference towards. And because of this, I think it’s important for me to consider a language degree and not dismiss it on the grounds that I’m not confident enough or don’t have the ability because I have fought too hard for too long to get to even this competency in French which could barely be described as intermediate to give up. I want to keep fighting to become fluent in French and then help others to do the same in a far less stressful environment that students have to learn languages in today.
Although it may sound like I’ve got everything figured out now, I really don’t. Not many universities in the UK actually offer European Studies, and most of them are in Scotland which is miles and miles and miles from where I live. In addition to this, none of the universities I’ve already booked open days for under the pretence of doing geography and history at offer that course so I’m going to have cancel all my plans and start all over again. Finally I’m still yet to convince my parents – and myself – that I’m capable of making the right decision and that languages/politics is a viable career path for me. I mean don’t get me wrong my parents know I’m indecisive better than anyone – the only reason I’d managed to narrow the universities offering geography and history down to five was because they were the only ones within a reasonable distance (of which I mean about 150 miles) of home,and even then I couldn’t find a favourite but that wasn’t too much of an issue as I could figure that out once I’d visited them on their open days in the summer. So when I dropped the bombshell that I don’t want to study that anymore and wanted to change the course completely, they probably thought I’d gone mad. It took me long enough to decide to do geography and history – prior to that I wanted to do just history – so because I keep changing my mind, they probably think I don’t have a clue what I want and will get to uni and change my mind after a few weeks. And honestly, I’m struggling myself to trust myself to make the right decision. It’s hard, and I’m sure there are many other people my age going through the same thing. It’s drilled into us that what we decide to do at uni will set us in a particular path for life – as we progress few education, we gradually make our options narrower and narrower by going from studying 10 GCSEs, to 3 a levels, to one/two subjects at degree level – but that’s not the case, because many degrees lead to a wide variety of careers and sometimes you don’t even need a specific degree for a job, so really unless you do something very specific like ship building, then you should be fine. I’m gradually coming to terms with the fact that my choice for university degrees won’t ruin my future, or limit me too much, but I feel like the next week or so are going to be very hectic trying to persuade my parents and myself that European Studies is what I want to do.
Anyway, that was a bit of a long ramble so congratulations if you made it to the end. If you have any tips for choosing what to do at uni or are in the same situation as me, feel free to comment below. 🙂
A few weeks ago the wonderful Gracie from Gracie Chick’s Blog came up with the idea of writing haiku’s (short three-line poems, the first and third lines having 5 syllables and the second having 7) and using our blogs as a platform to spread the message – and our support – of anti-racism. As Gracue explains in her post about her campaign, words can be very influential and powerful tools and, if used in the right way, can make a positive difference to people’s lives. So I’d like to share a few haiku’s I have written with you and hope that you’ll join me in participating with Gracie’s campaign and taking a stand against racism. 🙂
Languages are beautiful; the way the same group of letters can be arranged in a different order, said in a different way, and mean something completely different depending on where you are in the world, is honestly fascinating. The fact that to each letter of every alphabet, a certain sound is assigned and when you connects series if “sounds” together, a longer sound – or word – is formed and it means something to someone somewhere, never ceases to amaze me.
Languages are not just form of communication, but a key to the culture and values and history of a country. By learning a language, you’re learning a way of life and gaining an understanding of how the hundreds of billions of other people on the earth live and breath.
Sometimes, when learning or reading about another country, I find myself daydreaming about how there are people living their lives completely differently to me, on another part of the world, speaking another language and am in awe of how diverse a planet we live on.
How different languages came to be also intrigues me, like how there is so much variation – or similarity – between two different languages, or how languages are all interconnected, taking leaves from each others branches and tweaking them a bit. Languages remind me of patchwork quilts, formed of different words and phrases from different countries stitched together to create something that a whole population of people can use to make themselves understood, and yet is still different to the voice of a neighbouring nation or community.
Since I started learning French in school about 5 years ago, I’ve been gradually falling in love with languages. Languages are part of who I am, or who I aspire to be. I’ve always had a curiosity for the world and it’s people, and how things came to be the way they are today, and languages is just another part of that, another adventure.
The more I’ve become invested in studying languages – and the more my language skills have developed – the more I have discovered about the world we live in and about different cultures. Languages really do open doors, the are the key to civilisations past and present and possess a wealth of knowledge and history and roots that help tie down communities to the ever changing world.
It’s no surprise that because of this, languages are difficult to learn. Hundreds of years of generations of people have shaped and remade each language into what we know them as today, and in order to learn them – to truly understand them – we have to respect the fact that languages are constantly growing and changing. From the moment a means of communication is established, however primative, the seed of a language is sown. And as more and more people use words, phrases passed in through generations, the seed grows, branching out from it’s stem and developing into a language, a tongue.
The rewarding thing about languages though is the constant journey of discovery they lead you on. With every word and rule you learn, you uncover more and more about a country and it’s culture, and, most importantly, the power of words. And the feeling you get when you are able to speak in another tongue is worth all the hours and years of hard work.
And that’s why I love languages. They are as much a part of me as my emotions and thoughts; they are my voice and the voice of millions and billions of others. Sometimes, we just need to take a step back and admire the beauty of our languages.
It can seem impossible at times to master a language and encompass the culture and nature of a country within it’s words, spoken or heard or written; shared. To unlock the door into another world, another life, that languages offer can seem but a distant dream. The real key to language learning for me is not being able to speak or write fluently, or understand every single word belonging to that language, but to be able to feel the language. To feel the weight of centuries of generations of speakers roll off my tongue with each word I say or to feel the buzz of another culture make the hairs in my skin prickle at the sight of foreign words, that’s really understanding a language. And that’s the best feeling ever.
Bonjour tout le monde! Aujourd’hui, j’ai décidé d’écrire quelque chose un petit peu différent – c’est probablement clair déjà parce que je écris en français, qui n’est pas normal pour moi. Par explication, je suis une étudiante de français depuis environ six ans et je pense que j’ai besoin de plus pratique donc je peut être (plus) facile en français. Alors, je vais écris une poste de blog en français. Pour mes lecteurs anglais et non-francophone, au bas de la poste, il y a une traduction anglaise pour vous.
J’ai voulu parler sur l’élection américaine 2016, comme c’est probablement les plus grandes actualités dans le monde en ce moment et après j’ai étudié le gouvernement et la politique l’année dernière, je m’intéresse à le sujet. Comme tout le monde les sait, le résultat de l’élection était pour Donald Trump et pendant que j’ai mon avis propre sur ce, je veux discuter des tendances d’électeurs différents, comme, par exemple, le pour cent des femmes et des hommes qui ont voté pour chaque candidat.
D’abord, une analyse des tendances des sexes différents et comment ils ont voté. C’est vrai que plus de femmes ont voté pour la candidate démocrate, Hillary Clinton – 54% des femmes se voté, comparé de le 42% qui ont voté pour Trump. Cependant, cette résultat était une surprise car Clinton reçu moins de votes des femmes que Obama dans le deux élections dernières.
Quoi est plus intéressant, c’est le fait que Trump a reçu la plupart de votes du gens qui vivent dans les régions rurales – 62 % – et Clinton a reçu la plupart de votes dans les grandes villes. Je ne sais pas beaucoup sur L’Etats Unis, mais je trouve ça intriguant comment les gens qui vivent dans les régions différents ont opinions différents et si j’ai le temps, je voudrais rechercher pourquoi.
Une autre analyse peut être rendu sur l’effet de l’âge d’électeurs sur leurs tendances. Les statistiques mettent que 55 % des jeunes qui sont âges entre 18 et 29 voté pour Clinton tandis que 53 % des gens qui sont âges plus de 65 ans voté pour Trump. Ce n’est pas une surprise pour moi parce que le résultat est similaire à ça de le référendum de l’UE en juin par le fait que c’était principalement les plus âges qui ont voté pour l’option “plus extrême”.
Et finalement, Trump seulement a reçu le vote de 8 % du gens noir comparé de le 88 % que Clinton a reçu. Je ne suis pas choqué puisque Trump est connu pour son opinions racistes. Trump a aussi gagné la majorité des votes protestants et catholiques, pendant que la plupart des juifs, et des gens de l’autre religion ou non religion, principalement ont voté pour Clinton.
De conclure, c’était une élection de beaucoup de controversé et il y a un grand nombre de gens qui ne sont pas contents de le résultat. Même si je ne suis pas entièrement d’accord avec le résultat moi-même, j’ai trouvé ça intéressant apprendre sur comment les Américains ont voté et les tendances du électeurs.
Hello everybody! Today I decided to write something a little different – it’s probably already obvious because I’m writing in French, which is not normal for me. By way of explanation, I have been a French student for about six years and I think I need more practice so I can be (more) fluent in French. So, I’m going to write a blog post in French. For my english and non-francophone readers, at the bottom of the post, there is an English translation for you.
I wanted to talk about the US 2016 election, as it’s probably the biggest news in the world right now and after I studied government and politics last year, I’m interested in the subject. As everyone knows, the result of the election was for Donald Trump and whilst I have my own opinion on this, I want to discuss the different trends in voting, for example, the percent of women and men who voted for each candidate.
First, an analysis of the different gender trends and how they voted. It is true that more women voted for Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton – 54%, compared to the 42% who voted for Trump. However, this result was a surprise as Clinton received less votes from women than Obama in the last two elections.
What is more interesting is the fact that Trump received most votes from people who live in rural areas – 62% – and Clinton received most votes in big cities. I do not know much about the United States, but I find it intriguing how people who live in different regions have different opinions and if I have time, I would like to find out why.
Another analysis can be made on the effect of the age of voters on voting trends. Statistics show that 55% of young people who are between the ages of 18 and 29 voted for Clinton while 53% of people who are over 65 years of age voted for Trump. This is not a surprise for me because the result is similar to that of the EU referendum in June by the fact that it was mostly the older people who voted for the “more extreme” option.
And finally, Trump only received the vote of 8% of black people compared to the 88% that Clinton received. I’m not shocked since Trump is known for his often racist opinions. Trump also won the majority of Protestant and Catholic votes, while most Jews, and people of other religion or no religion, voted for Clinton.
To conclude, it was an election of much controversy and there are a lot of people who are not happy with the outcome. Even if I do not completely agree with the outcome myself, I found it interesting to learn about how Americans voted and the voters trends.
(P.S. I know this probably seems a it random to be writing about voting trends in the recent US election, as there are many other aspects of the election that I could be writing about that are perhaps more important. However, I just wanted to write about current affairs to help me practice my French and thought analysing voting trends would be an easier way to go about it than going into a full-scale rant about how I feel about the election, which I’m sure is what you all hear all the time these days. But if you do want to share your opinion on the election results, please feel free to leave a polite comment and we can discuss our views if you wish 🙂 Also, appologies for any incorrect French, I’m still learning!)
Earlier on this week, Victoria wrote an important post about bisexual myths in aid of supporting #BiWeek. Before reading her post, I didn’t even know bi week was a thing (being relatively new to the lgbt+ community) and as soon as I heard of it I just had to get involved.
As part of #BiWeek – co-created by GLADD – today, 23rd September 2016, marks annual Celebrate Bisexuality Day so I though it would be fitting to talk about my feelings towards bi-erasure which is something that, sadly, often goes hand-in-hand with bisexuality.
Bisexual erasure can be defined as:
the tendency to ignore, remove, falsify, or reexplain evidence of bisexuality in history, academia, news media and other primary sources. In its most extreme form, bisexual erasure can include denying that bisexuality exists.
As you can probably guess, bi-erasure can take many forms. The one I have come across most, however, is the misunderstanding that sexuality is determined by the gender of the person you are in a relationship with. For instance, if you are in a relationship with a member of the opposite sex, it is automatically assumed you are straight, and if you are in a relationship with a member of the same sex, it is automatically assumed you are gay.
I think the basis of this misconception boils down to lack of awareness as to what bisexuality actually is. So here’s a quick definition:
Bisexuality – being attracted to both members of the same sex and the opposite sex but not necessarily equally or at the same.
Therefore, a bisexual person can be in a relationship with a member of the same sex, knowing that there is the possibility of them being attracted to a member of the opposite sex in the future and vice versa. When bisexual people enter relationships with members of the same sex, they don’t magically ‘become’ gay, the same as they don’t ‘become’ straight when they’re in a relationship with someone of the opposite sex.
Although it’s great that society is coming to accept lesbians and gay men more, we need to clarify that there aren’t just gay people and straight people, that there are many other sexualities in between, bisexuality being one of them.
So, when a bisexual person is in a relationship with someone of the same sex, they are bisexual. And when a bisexual person is in a relationship with someone of the opposite sex, guess what? They are still bisexual.
I understand the concept of bisexuality can be confusing to some people, but I hope my post has helped to show you just how straightforward it is, or should be. 🙂
By spreading the word and helping people understand bisexuality, the issue of bi-erasure will (hopefully) be tackled. Because it’s hard enough trying to figure out what your sexuality is, then find the confidence to identify as that only to be told that your sexuality ‘doesn’t exist’ or is ‘just a phase’. So to all my fellow bisexuals, lets spend today celebrating our sexuality and fighting against bi-erasure and the various forms it can take. 🙂