I've been caught wandering alone
With nothing to guide me but the sound
of trickling water
which surrounds me and fills me
with unexplainable joy as I follow it
into the woods and away from the open
expanse of the field I slept in

I push past branches still young and green
and feel the weight of my body compress the leaves
on the ground and listen to the sounds
of all the different species of birds
Singing together in one perfect melody

I finally find the stream
and as I watch it flow and spill
I have found myself

A xxx

Stop Policing Our Language

Women’s language has always been a subject for debate. It’s easy to dismiss criticisms that come from old white men but what happens when women are correcting other women’s speech?

I went to an amazing talk the other day by Debbie Cameron called ‘The Problem With Women’s Language.’ Refreshingly, the focus on the talk was not telling women how to change their speech, but asking why they should have to?

The examples Cameron focussed on were instances where women are seen as either less assertive or less intelligent than men, through their word choice. She used the example of the ‘Not Sorry’ app for emails which replaces ‘weak’ and ‘ineffectual’ language such as ‘sorry’, ‘can I just…’ and ‘I’m no expert’ with more assertive and ‘masculine’ phrases. Intended to help women, and actually developed by a woman, this app seems to be well intentioned. The problem is that the edited emails came accross as rude and antisocial. Sometimes replacing words just didn’t work gramatically, and the tone was changed dramatically.

The problem goes deeper than this though, and becomes a problem for women rather than with women. Why is the solution to make apparently femisised traits more masculine? Is it always appropriate to be more assertive? And are women even more demographically responsible for these speech trends than men? Cameron has done extensive lingustic research which can be found in her book  The Myth of Mars and Venus.

One of the most striking parts of this talk was when she mentioned the prejudice against ‘uptalk’ and ‘vocal fry’ in women’s speech. This is when the pitch goes up at the end of a sentence? Like you’re asking a question but not? Thought to be a characteristic of ‘valley girl’ speech, Cameron’s research found that men were just as guilty of this as women are.

So is it, like, even fair that we’re telling young women how to speak? Why are polite emails and different inflexations seen as feminine? And most importantly, why is it wrong to be feminine? Young women were also found to be the innovators of new language trends. I’m no expert, but I think we should just leave young women alone and let language evolve.

Alice xxx

Photos From Another Era

Photos From Another Era

I thought I’d start my blog by posting some pictures I’ve recently recovered, and some new photos. I wrote this cryptic title as a way of introducing these pictures.

Recently I got a new phone and a new laptop, which was a big deal for me. I’ve always had slightly cheap and crappy technology, and feel that I benefited a lot less from technical advancements because of this. It’s not that I’m ungrateful for the gadgets my parents have bought me over the years, or that I think throwing away electrical waste for new toys is a very ethical thing to do, (I mostly have very fond memories of eagerly awaiting my laptop to finish its five minute start up so I could watch YouTube videos). Instead I’ve been appreciating the new ways technology has helped my life.

Part of the reason my old laptop was so crappy is because I overstuffed it full of large files, mostly images. These weren’t even important photos, I just get very clingy over things I’ve created. One of my hobbies is editing photos and making pictures out of photos I’ve cropped or edited together, which is why I like to have a large stock of un-copyrighted images of textures, trees and flowers. Of course, back when my internet was reaally slow it was quicker to just do things in files, so I’d just save everything to my hard drive. But one of the biggest benefits of having a new laptop is that it can save things on ‘clouds’ and internet based storage! This means no more lugging around of 5gbs of pretty similar tree pictures! And it doesn’t really matter to me if this storage gets hacked, or only gives you a limited amount of free space – I’m getting a lot better at just deleting stuff.

As well as deleting old pictures, taking new ones is so much easier! I used to have a fairly clunky 8mp digital camera. It was so basic that I think you can get more advanced ones from V-tec now (a kid’s toy company). Anyway, it was clunky, and needed 2 AA batteries to be inserted into it to work. This meant that I had to plan when I was going to use it, as I’d usually need to bring spare batteries. But now I have a camera 3 times as good in my phone? This means I can finally start taking pictures when the sky looks nice or when I see a cute dog!

The next post will be a collection of images, some very old and recovered from 2004, and some very recent and taken with my camera. If people like them, I might post more pictures that would be good to use as backgrounds or textures.

Yours aesthetically, AM x