Monday, 26 March 2012

Sex Tapes

                                                        Sex tapes

This week, against my wildest expectations, N-Dubz’s Tulisa Contostavlos has become my new favourite person.

I’ll be the first to admit I don’t really know who Tulisa is, or what she does. I have a vague idea that she sings in N-Dubz and does something on the X-Factor, but beyond that, I know nothing about her.

And I was quite content for it to remain that way until my Tweeter feed informed me that she was the latest in a long line of celebrities involved in a leaked sex tape scandal. Many Daily Mail readers have breezily asserted that this was just a matter of time given her chavvy roots and whiff of an accent.

My own thoughts on the matter proceeded something like this. Firstly, making a ‘private’ sex tape is not some abnormal, monstrous act - and it definitely doesn’t necessitate a barrage of abuse including ‘silly bint’ ‘chavvy whore’ and ‘sket’. Making said tape does not consign the participant to the hellish realms of eternal slutdom, and secondly that releasing such a tape is a disgusting betrayal of a person’s rights. I’d even suggest that it parallels rape in its lack of consent and invasion of privacy.

Sex tapes and naked pictures certainly aren’t novel; we’ve seen blowjobs, boobs and bouncing around galore from Paris Hilton, Kim Kardashian, Vanessa Hudgens - even Paramore’s Hayley Williams - in fact, they’ve become part and parcel of celebrity culture, but sex tapes have permeated even further than that. Every other fourteen year-old owns an iPhone, and instead of being a mere consumer of pornography, can now actively and easily create it - with or without their partner’s consent.

But what differentiates Tulisa from her numerous predecessors, women who I’ve not been compelled to publicly extoll? A few days ago Tulisa did something which made her my unexpected feminist idol of 2012. She stopped apologising.

Some bloggers have proclaimed her video response to the sex tape as a kickass feminist moment, a sentiment with which I wholeheartedly agree with.

“I don't feel I should be the one to take the heat for it” she said. “This is something he took upon himself, to put the footage online... I'm not going to sit here and be violated or taken advantage of."

Instead of the orthodoxy of the all too familiar scenario of hyper-remorse and apologising for being a bad role model, the naming and shaming of her pig of an ex-boyfriend, Justin Edwards (laughably also known as Ultra) and her frank statements regarding shame, intimacy, love and consent should be lauded as a positive first step against the prevailing victimisation and blame culture which surrounds the women caught up in such leaks.

It also makes a refreshing dent in the rather American model of capitalising on the video and embracing their typecasting as a sex object, so adored by Hilton, Kardashian et al.

I’m certain that a large number of people reading this article have participated in some form of amateur video-making or taken some risque photos, or so a standard game of I Have Never indicates. The issue is when such ‘private’ moments become public. For the average student, the dangers of a released nipple picture or thong shot, or even a shaky two minutes of post-Pop! coitus filmed on a phone are unlikely to end up on the front page of the Sun, or set up as a £3.90 download on the internet, yet it can be every bit as humiliating and painful

So following by example, I can talk about the time where a guy that I utterly adored, and had been in a relationship of sorts with for a number of years, thought it was completely appropriate to film me against my wishes and permission when I was horrendously drunk. The video inevitably still exists. Our relationship doesn’t. I know several men who have kept videos and explicit images of their ex-girlfriends after break-ups, prepared to whip them out for their friends after a beer or two.

Maybe Ultra has done the world a favour. If he did consider it acceptable to release an intimate and private video of a woman who clearly loved him, for fame or for money, he has simply highlighted the fact that such men are disrespectful, opportunistic morons. Hopefully Tulisa’s actions can turn the tide on a decade of male back-slapping and female embarrassment.

If you wish to watch Tulisa's side of the story, here's a link:

Sunday, 25 March 2012

Tarifa, Spain

I recently went to Tarifa in Southern Spain on tour with Riding society, and it was definitely one of the most amazing places I've ever been to, time for some obligatory pictures. 

Enjoyed too much jugs of Sangria, far too many caramel vodka shots, and even squeezed in a cheeky trip to Tangiers, Morocco. 

I also managed to cross off a few items on my 'to do' list, including riding a camel, horse trekking on the beach and visiting Africa.

I'd definitely recommend Tarifa to anyone looking to visit Spain.

I've finished university for the Easter holidays, so hopefully I'll get back into blogging. I recently went back and deleted all my old posts, so there'll be some new context coming soon.

Sunday, 15 January 2012

80 New Year's Resolutions.

Start Date: 15/01/2012
End Date: 15/01/2014

Purple text - Fini

Started last year looking this this.


Started 2012 looking like this.


But no, I like drastic change. (My hair was even shorter, but I look like a turnip in most of those pictures) So I wanted 2012 to be a year of enormous change. So far that's going fairly well. If you're so inclined feel free to read away the 80 things I want to achieve between now and 2014. I will be posting on this blog regularly now, and hopefully making a success out of it.  

1. Pass my driving test
2. Get an internship at a magazine, preferably Company.
3. Get an internship at a national broadsheet, looking at you The Independent and the Guardian.
4. Become relatively competent in Spanish.
5. Learn to play Horse Ball.
6. Go to an exercise class - Boxercise or Zumba, once a week.
7. Visit Tallinn.
8. Get a high 2:1 or a 1st in my undergraduate degree..
9. Find the perfect day perfume.. 

10. Do another 30 novel challenge.
11. Travel South East Asia, mainly Thailand, Laos and Indonesia. .[Booked! going July 26th -September 17th]

12. Learn to make chocolate brownies.
13. Do something drastic with my hair again.
14. Get my thigh tattoo done.
15. Play polo in Argentina.
16. Ride a camel.
17. Get accepted onto a Masters degree at Nottingham.
18. Go to the Edinburgh Fringe Fest.
19. Get 150 followers on this blog.
20. Become News Editor at the Boar
21. Write for Nottingham's student magazine.
22. See the Eiffel Tower.
23. Visit Budapest.
25. Get my first 'adult' job.
26. Buy a pug and name him Pugsley.
27. Get my first apartment/flat share.
28. Move to an entirely new city.
29. Go to a Full Moon Party.
30. Visit Venice.
31. Go to a music festival abroad.
32. Go to a music festival in the UK.
33. See a film/play every month.
35. Stroke a tiger cub.
36. Ride an elephant.
37. Interview someone famous.
38. Visit Tarifa with Riding Soc.
39. Save £5000. [Up to £2000]
40. Buy a car.
41. Buy a cat and call him Faustus
42. Visit Rome.
43. Learn how to use InDesign properly.
44. Get better at polo.
46. Have a fun 21st.
48. Apply to Teach First.
49. Write 50 articles for The Boar
50. Go tubing in Laos.
52. Buy a Moleskine diary.
53. Find an amazing cocktail bar.
55. Make the most out of my final year.
57. Go to my Graduation Ball.
58. See 5 new cities in the UK - Liverpool, Leeds, Newcastle, Dublin and Edinburgh.
59. Volunteer.
60. Spend the next New Year's abroad.
61. Work on my public speaking.
62. Visit somewhere in Africa.
63. Buy my mum and dad a random present.
65. Visit Machu Piccu.
66. Visit the Rio Carnival.
68. Do something very out of the ordinary.
69. Get a part-time job.
70. Do something I always thought I'd hate.
71. Learn a new (non-horse related) sport.
73. Become more confident.
74. Work really hard for the summer exams.
76. Spend less time on the internet.
77. Finish Skyrim.
78. Try Thai street food.
79. Go Scuba diving in Thailand.
80. Get a piercing - I have none at all.

I'll add more when I think of them. I don't want to put down things for the sake of it, so as it stands, I'll leave it on a weird number.

Tuesday, 13 December 2011


01. I haven't posted to Blogger in a very long time. I think I may have actually quit. I wasn't inspired or motivated by what I was writing. Well the news is, I'm back. If what I post isn't to your taste anymore, feel free to unfollow. I want this to be more personal, more representative of who I am, and just all around more stimulating.

02. I'm working on the design skills, maybe this place will look semi-decent soon!