Category Archives: Opinion

Female Crossing Lights? Really?

If you live in Australia or keep up with what’s going on over here, you’re probably rolling your eyes continuously.

As part of a new initiative, ‘female’ crossing figures will be replacing some ‘male’ crossing figures at traffic lights. You know, the ‘males’ that are just a generic body figure to represent a human being? Yeah.

Apparently it’s vital that these changes be made because equality is very important. But there are so many better things that the time and money spent on this project could have been used for. 

I saw a great news story about it where the reporter was in the streets of Melbourne and said himself that the resources could have been better used, for example, to help the 12 homeless people he could see from where he was standing.

I understand the idea behind this project but could they really not think of a better way to express equality and try to support feminism?

Putting a stereotypical female outline, with the dress and shoulder length hair, is bound to offend a lot of women anyway. Not all women wear dresses, or have long hair. 

There’s no real reason to make these changes. It’s just a minimal effort by the government to appear as though they give a shit about feminism. If they really cared, they would be fighting for equal pay and equal opportunities for both genders. 

I also think it’s important to remember that men can be discriminated against too. 

So let’s ride out this ridiculous project and get used to seeing ‘female’ figures telling you when to cross the road. Because apparently ‘men’ can’t do that.

Also, just to be clear to all those feminist hating people out there, literally every single woman I’ve spoken to about this thinks it’s just as ridiculous as I do, and I assume you do. 

Feminism means equality, not female superiority. 

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Why I Hate Driving A Manual Car.

I turn 18 in a couple of weeks. This is an exciting thing. However, I’m also taking my driving test in a couple of weeks. This is not an exciting thing. In fact, this thing is absolutely terrifying for me.

I have been driving for almost 2 years now in both my dad’s manual and my mum’s auto (said auto is now my beloved car). Most of that driving has been in an auto which is great because I think they’re a lot easier to drive. Obviously.

In preparation for my driving test I’ve had a couple of lessons with a driving instructor around my hometown. I’ve done these lessons in a manual which has renewed my hate for manual cars. So I’ve put together the top 4 things that I hate about driving a manual car.

1. The Gears.
Obviously being a manual car, this means you have to change gears. That’s fine, except for when you’re driving around in the middle of town and have to stop at LITERALLY EVERY SET OF LIGHTS BECAUSE APPARENTLY RED LIGHTS HATE YOU. I absolutely hate having to change down gears then take off again and change gears again and again. It drives me insane. (Ha, get it?)

2. Stalling The Car.
In my two driving lessons I’ve managed to stall the car 4 times. While I’m not a bad driver, I’m just not very good in a manual. There is a fine balance between the release of the clutch and the intensity of the acceleration, a line that I am not very good at spotting. Now, stalling a car on your first few drives is normal, no one can judge you on that. But stalling it after 2 years of driving is pretty embarrassing. Especially when there’s a bunch of cars behind you. *Self high five*

3. Hill Starts.
I literally can not do hill starts. They are the work of the devil, I swear. Once when I was driving my dad’s manual, I had to stop at a roundabout and do a hill start to get going again. The problem was, there was some idiot driver that pulled up right behind me and I had no space. I started freaking out and tried to do the hill start and just rolled backwards. Luckily dad pulled the handbrake on before we hit them but I’ve been traumatized ever since. Hill starts are bad.

4. The Unnecessary Fact That The Car Is A Manual.
Seriously though why are manuals even a thing anymore? Automatic cars are everywhere so I don’t understand why all cars can’t just be automatic and be done with it. It seems unnecessary and a waste of time when we could just be getting the car to change its own gears. I mean come on car companies, get with the times.

I hope you enjoyed my little rant about manual cars, hopefully I can figure something out for my driving test. Fingers crossed!

Thanks for reading today, bye 🙂 x

The Ugly Truth Behind The Attractive Profiles.

About a month ago, I re-downloaded Tinder. Since then, I’ve been thinking about the whole concept of Tinder as an app. Through my deep thinking in the shower, I’ve come to the conclusion that Tinder, as it seems, is as addictive as a drug.

Okay, so maybe it isn’t purchased off the streets or in a dark alley, but it does have some similarities. Thousands of teenagers across Australia (and within 100km from my current location, might I add) are sitting up ’til the early hours of the morning while their eyes turn dry and red from inspecting profiles on Tinder, searching for ‘the one’.

People seem to have become addicted to the self esteem boost that we all get when we see that we have a new match from the hot guy with the washboard abs, who, let’s be honest, probably has hundreds of other matches. Whether we like to admit it or not, we play the game of Tinder as just that; a game.

We swipe to the right for people that are even remotely attractive to us and if we don’t see that ‘all empowering’ bubble that translates into “Hey! Congrats! Someone in the world thinks your profile picture is somewhat pretty!”, we become saddened. How ridiculous is that?

I mean, what is the actual purpose of Tinder anyway? To meet your soul mate, get married, build a house, have some kids and live happily ever after? No, because Tinder is not a dating app, it is a game. It’s a game that allows us to judge each other on the way we look. It’s a game that encourages girls to post pics of themselves with as much cleavage showing as possible. It’s a game that only wants guys to post pics of their muscles.

I myself have been sucked into this addiction. August last year, after a failed attempt at  relationship, I was looking for validation, for something or someone to make me feel like I mattered and that I was attractive. So, I took the best looking photos of myself and made a Tinder profile. Within an hour I had a heap of matches.

However, I was surprised to find out that I didn’t really want to talk to any of the guys that I had matched with. Many of them sent me a message and of course I replied but I was soon bored by the small talk because, the problem is, all I wanted was the most matches.

When my best friends also got Tinder it became a silently bitchy competition and the worst thing is, we didn’t even realise it. When we got ourselves an attractive match, we would subtly brag about it. We’d screenshot all the ridiculous sexual pick up lines and laugh it off but in reality, we wanted that.

What I didn’t realise then but what I realise now is that when these guys asked for nudes or for a hook up, it again boosted the idea in our minds that we were what society deems ‘desirable’. And honestly, that’s the real purpose of tinder.

The people that designed and created tinder have made so much money off the fact that teenagers in today’s world are constantly seeking physical approval from anyone and everyone they can. Tinder just happens to be an easy way of getting that.

So teenagers download Tinder and we make small talk with our matches and we complain to our friends that there’s no decent guys or girls out there when we know that Tinder is never going to be the place that we find our Prince Charming. So why do we keep coming back?

About a month or so ago my best friend was talking to a guy she had met on Tinder and she had started to like him. What I noticed though, is whenever someone asked where she’d met him, she was always mortified to tell them that it was Tinder. Why? Because Tinder is not a dating app. It’s a game.

We keep coming back to this addictive app time and time again. I have re-downloaded Tinder about 4 times in the last year. Every time I do its because I am seeking that all consuming validation that can apparently only be filled from an attractive guy on Tinder liking my profile picture.

I’m addicted to Tinder as are thousands of teens around Australia and the world. Why? Because like a drug, using Tinder gives me a temporary fix to whatever is going on in my life. It’s like taking a stimulant drug. It’ll boost you for a while but once it starts to run out, you’ll be even worse than you were before.

We don’t need Tinder to make us feel beautiful. All we need is ourselves.

Why I Have A Blog!

I made my blog in November 2014 because I’ve always loved writing and sharing my thoughts with people. I wanted somewhere that i could share my creativity and writing with people who are interested in the same thing. I wanted somewhere public where I could feel connected to people all around the world. I made my blog while I was on the phone to my best friend talking about how much we’d love to be a blogger like Zoella. And now, here I am, 51 posts later. I love being able to put a little piece of me out on the Internet.

I write about multiple topics. Sometimes I like to do opinion pieces about whatever issue is relevant in the world or my life in that moment. I also love sharing parts of stories that I’ve written and doing monthly posts about what I’ve been loving that month. On top of that I also like to make posts that help you guys to get to know me and who I am a little better.

The aim of my blog is not to get the most followers or views but to spread the word of important issues and to have some fun while connecting with people around the world. I’ve had people view my blog from the US, UK, Romania, Germany, and so on which to me is so crazy that something I’ve written in my room on my phone or laptop has reached people half way across the world. I think that would have to be the most important thing to me. I want to share with the world.

So this post today is just a little bit about what I want from my blog and why I created my blog in the first place. Thanks for reading! 🙂 x

Animal Cruelty and Puppy Farms.

Animal cruelty. What do you think when you hear these words? Do you think of inhumane treatment of dogs and cats? Do you think about pain being inflicted upon innocent animals? Or the act of withholding food and water? If you thought any of these then yes, you would be correct. But I bet you didn’t think of puppies in pet shops. Or, more specifically, the dogs that have given life to these adorable cuddly puppies.

Today I wanted to talk about animal cruelty, or more to the point, cruelty against dogs and puppies that are bred into puppy farms or puppy mills. This issue has been overlooked and often ignored by the government for years and as a result has been left up to animal activists to make a change. So what is a puppy farm?

A puppy farm is a commercial dog breeding facility that is operated with an emphasis on profits over the welfare of the dogs bred, with inhumane conditions often present. It is defined on the RSPCA website as “an intensive dog breeding facility that is operated under inadequate conditions that fail to meet the dogs’ behavioural, social and/or physiological needs”.

These puppy farms are only operating for one purpose. They are not run to bring happiness to families and individuals by supplying happy and healthy pups to them. They are run to make money. Puppies that are born in filthy and disgusting cages are being sold for hundreds of dollars in pet shops or online where no one can see the trauma that they and the other dogs around them have been through.

On the 19th of January, 2015, a puppy farm in northern NSW was investigated by the RSPCA after animal activists claimed they’d found evidence of dogs living in appalling conditions.

Bodies of deceased dogs were found around the property, left to rot away after being viciously and heartlessly killed. Debra Tranter, an animal activist who also founded the animal rights group Oscars Law, said “One dog had been placed inside a dog food bag and left there to rot.” The dogs from this puppy farm were advertised online on popular trading websites with the titles “Beautiful labradoodle puppies” and “All our puppies are raised on our family farm with children and other pets”.

This evidence prompted the local Nationals MP Adam Marshall to demand an investigation. The media reports that Marshall is unhappy that the responsibility for uncovering these kinds of operations are left to animal rights groups like Oscars Law, rather than the designated authorities. He said “It is a task that should be addressed by the authorities, the RSPCA, the Police and the Animal Welfare League.”

A spokeswoman for the animal welfare league also said that, “sadly there are no ways of being able to properly check the origins of the puppies that are bought online.” And this is the problem. We can’t know for sure whether the puppies we are buying are bred in a humane way or whether they’ve been mistreated.

That puppy that your neighbour brought home a month ago or the dog that your grandparents bought from Buy Swap and Sell could have been born into a cramped, dirty cage before going to a pet store or being advertised online. Debra Tranter was among the animal activists involved in this particular case.

She has a great deal of experience with this sort of situation and puts this knowledge and information to good use. In 2011 she founded the ‘Oscars Law’ organisation after adopting a dog who was mistreated and abandoned. This dogs name was Oscar.

Oscar was a small dog kept for breeding on a property in remote Victoria. He was found by Debra cowering in the back of a small dark cage, fur matted, fleas and mites in his infected ears and his teeth were so infected he couldn’t eat properly. Debra rescued him from this. After being treated by a vet, shaved and de-sexed, he weighed only 1.6 kg.

Then, in the middle of the night Debra’s house was raided by police, Oscar was seized and returned to the puppy farm where he was taken from. He was returned to the hell he thought he’d escaped. Debra was also arrested. Months later, Debra returned to the puppy farm where they were selling adult dogs.

The puppy farmer considered him no good because his breeding days were over and sold him at a discounted price of $400. Oscar was finally able to go to a safe and loving home after being taken away from it due to the current system. Debra said on the 7th of February that “the current system has failed animals”.

Stories like this are far too common, however majority of them end with the opposite result and dogs are left unhappy and unsafe in the farms where they are used for breeding and are then tossed in the corner. Now I want you to picture a simple metal cage, roughly 1-1.5 metres squared.

Now imagine some torn up newspaper on the floor of the cage, maybe a scrap piece of fleece. Now imagine all of this is coated in a thick layer of muck. Poo, wee, any other liquid that finds itself on the floor and walls of the cage. Now imagine touching the cage. Reach out and run your finger nail along the muck. Imagine how it would feel to have that under your nails.

Imagine how it would feel to have it matted in your hair, on your face. Now imagine you’re forced to live in this cage with little food and water. You’re forced to sleep in this cage. You’re forced to poo and wee on top of your only bed. You’re forced to cry out for help in this cage to a person who will never listen. This is an image that hopefully you will remember. This is the image I want to leave with you today.

This image is what thousands of dogs have burned into their memory for their entire lives. They live this image as their reality. So what can be done?  We can adopt dogs from the RSPCA instead of buying them online or from a pet shop. We can give that older dog a chance to win our hearts instead of looking for a puppy.

We can be humane in the way we treat our own dogs and set an example for those around us. We can spread the word of puppy farming. We can stand with ‘Oscar’s Law’ and help push the government to see the unfairness of what is happening to these adorable dogs who are inhumanely bred to make money, who aren’t given a fair chance at life. So please, go and like the Oscar’s Law facebook page, do some research and share what you find with others. Thank you.

How To: Move Through A Breakup.

1. Cry.
The first thing you want/need to do is cry or grieve for your relationship, and that’s perfectly fine. It doesn’t matter how long your relationship was, you have every right to be sad about it ending, even if you were the one who instigated the break up.

2. Talk about it.
The worst thing you can do is bottle it up. Find someone you trust and just vent. Try not to be unreasonable about your ex boyfriend or girlfriend but at the same time you need to get your sadness/anger out.

3. Have time away.
Although the only thing you might want to do is talk to your ex, the best thing to do is give each other space to think and start healing. Don’t completely ignore them if you can help it but try not to depend on them.

4. Talk to them.
You need to have a conversation about why the relationship ended and how you both feel about it. While having this conversation, it’s good to express your feelings but try not to apply blame to the situation. Be rational and reasonable and hold a mature conversation with them.

5. Be friends.
Obviously this isn’t going to work straight away. You need time to get over it. Work slowly towards being friends again. However, if they decide to move on to someone else before you have moved past the break up, don’t feel bad if you need to shut them out of your life for a while. The last thing you want is to be uncomfortable and sad everytime you see your ex. If they have a problem with this then calmly explain to them that it’s not good for you to watch them be together. After some time you’ll be able to be friends again.

Break ups are difficult and this is just my opinion on how to get through a break up. Everyone is different. But i think that talking about it is the best way to move through it and with some luck you’ll still be able to be friends with your ex boyfriend/girlfriend.

I hope you liked this post today, if you want to see more then you can follow my blog or head on over to my twitter account @ElloFrancis97 to get updates when I post again. Thanks! 🙂

Why I Hate The Current Education System

I’m a 17 year old girl currently in Year 12. I study Psychology, English, Art and Legal. At the start of the year I dropped one of my subjects due to my anxiety and stress levels. I was able to do this because I completed unit 3 and 4 Further Maths last year as a year 11.

Today I wanted to write about the education system. As a year 12, and therefore someone who is drawing near to the end of my 13 years of compulsory education, I feel the need to rant a bit about my schooling.

As I’m constantly told by adults and my parents, I’m about to enter the mysterious and terrifying “real world”. I feel somewhat prepared for this adventure as I’ve had a job for the last 2 and a half years and have seen some of what it’s like. However, I still find myself in the dark when it comes to how to apply for loans, how to apply to uni, how to buy a house or how to do any of those kind of things.

School does not teach you life skills as it so expertly claims. Yes, I may know how short term memory is transfered to long term memory. I may know the strengths and weaknesses of courts as law-makers. I may know the elements and principles of the formal analytical framework. But I do not have the life skills such as how to claim insurance, what taxes are and how I can claim things on my medicare card. Where is the class for that?

While I do learn valuable information from certain subjects like english and maths, there is also a hell of a lot of information in those classes that is completely useless and irrelevant in my life. When am i ever going to need to know how to analyse a persuasive editorial piece or how to apply the pythagoras’ thereom in my head? If I decided to further my studies at uni in relation to one of those subjects then I would be taught the information I needed for the job that I want. Why cram our brains full of information when we’re likely to never use 98% of it? School does not teach us the skills we need to enter the strange and complex “real world” that we, as teenagers, are constantly reminded in a condescending way that we know nothing about.

The education system needs to up its game. It’s spitting out thousands of kids a year with knowledge about how to write an essay and how to construct a hypothesis and yet only a tiny minority of these youth actually know how to do basic life tasks. Perhaps there should be a new class that teaches us the things we need to know about the world, a class that gives us a glimpse into this “real world”. A class that will actually help me in my day to day life.

Thanks for reading today guys, if you liked this post then give it a big old thimbs up and if you want to see more simply follow my blog or head on over to my twitter account @ElloFrancis97 to get updates when I post again. Thanks! 🙂