Sport Relief VS KONY 2012

Before you start reading this, please look at your clock and make a note of the time.

I’m sat here watching Sport Relief 2012 in the comfort of my lovely warm flat, having a glass of coke with ice, sat beside my fiancé whilst he writes some information down from his laptop, and all I can think about is how lucky I am. The videos have been flashing on-screen about children across the world and issues that they have and the country is phoning in and donating their money – the first total of the evening is in and it starts off at a hefty £15.4 million. I’m always really supportive of Sport Relief, Comic Relief and Children in Need but not only because they help causes that I’ve been a part of and that I’ve helped to fund as well like Young Carers, but because of all the work that they do in Africa as well. Watching this and looking at the stories in Africa undoubtedly reminded me of the Kony 2012 campaign and it made me want to finish this blog that I’ve been working on for two weeks. I’ve put a lot of time and effort into researching this and finding out all the facts about the Kony 2012 campaign and the efforts of the Ugandan government.

I’ve noticed that a lot of people have been jumping on the Kony 2012 bandwagon without knowing the facts about the situation and have been seduced by the viral video. This really does sadden me. I’m fully aware that people may disagree with me on these matters and that it is a bit controversial, but this needs to be said. The storyline initially focuses on the storyline of Jacob and how he was part of the Lords Resistance Army (LRA) and it eventually progresses to the fundraising and lobbying route to raise awareness and fundraise for Invisible Children, the campaign’s mother company. However I don’t think this is right. They want the public to target US politicians and policy makers to use their power to influence the government and to do more about the Kony situation. Why though? It isn’t within the United States’ jurisdiction, but the Invisible Children are now trying to make it be, that isn’t right. Now, what the Kony 2012 film did not tell you, is that the reality is that there has been a six-year effort to find and capture Kony, but it hasn’t happened. It isn’t that people haven’t been trying to find him, there have been repeated attempts to get Kony but none of them have paid off. It is easy for me to sit here and judge this campaign and the way that it is being led, but it’s just as easy for you to say that you’re part of the Kony campaign because you agree with a video when you’re ill-educated on the situation in Central Africa and what’s actually happening. I could agree with a video that states that violent films are brilliant and that they should be available to people of all ages, I don’t, but that doesn’t automatically make me part of a campaign to legalize violent films for young people. The United States has been getting involved in the issue with Kony recently – Obama told congress that he had agreed to send 100 troops to Uganda to help with the effort with Kony. Sound like a small amount for the ’30,000’ members of Kony’s LRA? You’re wrong, but I’ll tell you more about how later on. I don’t like how you have to buy a bracelet to be part of the ‘Kony Army’ and raise awareness. Once you receive your bracelet you’re meant to enter a code online and then, and only then, you’re part of the Kony Army. What I don’t understand is why you have to pay to be a part of something which is meant to purely be about raising awareness. Why do they feel the need to tell you that you should contribute by spending $30 on a pack of posters you put up over your town and canvass everywhere (which is illegal) and two bracelets with your unique codes? I don’t think it is right, especially when there have been discrepancies over the organisation’s finances.

Issues and inconsistencies in the records of finances for the organisation (Invisible Children) have been highlighted and raised. They have accepted money from far right political groups and anti-gay rights groups as well as oil companies. It is incredibly naive to think that these companies would donate millions of pounds to Invisible Children without having their causes promoted or helped in some respect as well. There are many issues with right-wing politics and anti-gay rights groups, and I think that Invisible Children should listen to the saying – You should deal with the problems at home, before fixing others. They’re picking and choosing what is right and what is wrong. The majority (70%) of money that is gained through people donating to invisible children is used to fund travel costs, salaries and film making costs – things that could be done free of charge or with less costs, instead of funding towards programmes to help people in Africa and prevent this. People that have given money to the Kony 2012 campaign now want their money back and are turning their backs on this cause due to the financial information coming to light. (More detailed information in the links below). The latest Sport Relief total has just come in. It now stands at a massive £29.1m but that is still pennies in comparison to the amount needed to help all of these children.

As it is mentioned in the Kony 2012 film, although very briefly and not very clearly, the LRA has left Uganda and is other parts of Africa now like Southern Sudan and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. It seems to be a common misconception when I talk to Kony Campaign supporters that he is still in Uganda due to the primary focus on the country from the documentary. If you ask a lot of Kony Campaign supporters where he is, they’ll either say Uganda or not even be able to name a country, let alone point to where it is on a map. It’s a bit ridiculous. As I said earlier, I said that I would cover the issue over the claim that there are 30,000 children still in the LRA. The reality is that there is only believed to be a few hundred people left in the LRA after numbers have transpired negatively over years, unlike the number mentioned in the video. The LRA have been on the run for six years and it would be impossible to still have such high numbers. The LRA is also much more dispersed now across these countries, and a lot of them lack leadership. For the past six years the Ugandan government has been after Kony with military forces, multi-national organisations and an army under a single central command now formed of military personnel from the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Central African Republic, Uganda and Southern Sudan with other international support as well – but there is still no result. How can people with a biased view, who don’t even know where most of these countries are, really help? Invisible Children say it’s to raise awareness and to encourage the capture of Kony, but awareness is raised in Africa and Kony is a concern for the governments who are already trying to fight it.

Screenings, in northern Uganda, of Kony 2012 left some people outraged, hurling rocks, starting fights and it called for some of the screenings to be cancelled. The Ugandan people said it was like a political campaign for Kony with people wearing t-shirts with his name and face on. They thought it was disrespectful and insensitive to Kony’s victims. There was an estimated 35,000 people jeering and upset during screenings of the short film – more people than the director of Kony 2012, Jason Russell, said that there supposedly still is in the LRA let alone the actual number. When the Invisible Children found out about screenings of the film in Uganda and the negative reactions to the film, they said that the screening was not conducted appropriately and they were not aware of it. Now I’m sorry, but how can a screening be conducted incorrectly? I mean, these people all gathered wanting to see this film, open to the ideas and concepts of it and they were disappointed. If the feedback had been positive there is no doubt in my mind that the Invisible Children would have celebrated the success and revelled in the glory. A new total is about to be announced on Sport Relief. James Cordon and John Bishop are about to announce it before they leave the stage. John Bishop managed to raise £3.4million doing a triathlon for Sport Relief, I think that’s the most that a single individual has raised so far tonight. The flashing white numbers now stand against the red background. The total is now £45.9million.

Last year I took a module in Globalisation and Development and part of this made us look at the millennium development goals – goals set for third world countries to achieve by ‘realistic’ dates – even though many of these dates were highly unrealistic and countries are still nowhere near reaching them. Two of these were Education and Healthcare. Now, I think that people forget that Uganda is still a developing country, especially with the whole Kony Campaign. They don’t have electricity like we do, there aren’t many computers, and there certainly isn’t much internet. Things that we take for granted are the highest end luxuries over there. People forget that. It’s a daily struggle for a lot of people to stay alive and fight disease, get clean water, food and have an education. The Ugandan government is spending money on finding the LRA instead of putting more funding into those areas. 65% of pregnant women in Uganda are HIV+ and instead of spending money on drugs to help those women, they’re spending it on fighting Kony. There are many different angles to look at. There can be as many as 300 children to one teacher in classrooms in Africa, and those children still see themselves as lucky despite not getting an intimate education like we do in the UK. I don’t understand how raising awareness in Western countries helps to find Kony when so many people are already looking, and there is a lot of money being spent on this that really should be allocated elsewhere as it’s needed more urgently. I don’t understand why Invisible Children don’t spend more than 30% of their funding on ground work in Uganda. They spend a lot on tours across America, raising awareness for the cause but they do not make the money back for it – they make a loss. Maybe they should spend more money on causes rather than publicity? We should stop imposing our westernized views on African countries. It isn’t right. Who are we to tell people what causes they should be fighting and how funding should be spent?

As I’ve previously said, there are more people in need of healthcare throughout Africa. I’ve been watching Sport Relief all evening and there have been lots of different stories about Children who have been ill and died from across Africa, but right now I want to talk to you about the stories from Uganda. Drains are not common place in Uganda like they are in the UK, Ireland and the US, and we take them for granted. You’re probably thinking that I’m an idiot for talking about drains, but they really do save lives. A woman was talking about her six month old baby Christine and how when the floods came, her house was completely flooded. Her daughter was thirsty and wanted a drink so she fell off the bed to find one. As she did this, she ingested sewage from the flooding. Her daughter died three days later from diarrhoea, something that can be easily cured if the right medication is given or it can be prevented if people donate and give money to the charity to help them build ditches for the sewage to go into instead. The next film showed how a £5 vaccine could stop a little girl from having to spend a week fighting for her life in hospital. Another film showed Mohammed, a 6 week old baby, he had preventable pneumonia that the £5 vaccine could have stopped him from contracting. Sadly, he died an hour after the initial filming of him. His father was distraught. In countries like Uganda, a child dies every 20 seconds from a preventable illness. This is the real fight. This is the war that needs funding. We need to keep these children alive.

The Kony story isn’t as simple as it seems – and even then it doesn’t seem simple. It’s a sad story. It’s a global campaign that looks unlikely to succeed despite the uneducated support. It’s hard for people to accept that things don’t always go how they want, and I know that. But at the same time, I think people need to look at the background information and what’s actually been done to try to get Kony in the first place.

Myself and my fiancé have just seen a very sad clip on the show. A little boy was brought in by his father after having a preventable illness. His heart suddenly stopped. They worked half an hour to revive him. It was a success and the smile that the medic gave almost brought me to tears. Then he flat lined again and was sadly pronounced dead seven minutes later. His father was inconsolable. This is wrong. This shouldn’t happen. Millions of parents shouldn’t have to go through this – over 1 million children die in Africa every year from a preventable illness.

I think it’s wrong for people to sit in their rooms supporting the Kony cause and not getting actively involved when the whole thing is to catch a guy. The internet only goes so far – especially when it comes to countries that lack the capability to access this information. To pay $30 to get leaflets to post around a western town is wrong when really it’s needed in Uganda and the issue needs to be raised there. You’re not really supporting a cause if you’re only actively supporting it in a westernized environment. This is a perfect case of armchair activism – You do it online because you can’t be bothered to outside. I know that I’m being partially hypocritical there when I’m telling you all about Sport Relief, but hey – It does more good than it does harm. The Kony Campaign seems to do the opposite. It gives people a twisted view of reality by exaggerating the facts to ‘sex it up’ and make it more interesting to people. I think that it’s distracting people from other more important and pressing issues, not only in Uganda but in the whole of Africa. It’s negative publicity and people need to be reminded of the major issues that, as bad as it sounds, affects hundreds of millions of people, rather than no more than 300. I think it’s absolutely idiotic to allow the whole country to suffer at the hands of a few. It’s horrific and the Kony Campaign is promoting that. My fiancé, Stephen, said a really good line the other day when we were discussing this, which I think sums up this whole campaign. ‘Kony is a problem, but the Invisible Children are not the solution.’ And I completely agree with that. The tagline to Kony is ‘Nothing is more powerful than an idea’, so I suggest this. If you want to help thousands and millions of people by donating money to a charity – donate it to a trust worthy one – Sport Relief, or just raise awareness across the world for it. Invisible Children will make your money disappear; Sport Relief will ensure it gets to the people who need it.

Please donate money if you can or try to convince your parents to if they can – I’m sure that if you get an allowance you could give up part of that to help save a child’s life or help save hundreds of people.

Want to really help children – not just in Uganda, but other third world countries? If you’re in the UK, you can phone: 03457 910910. If you’re from somewhere else in the world, or want to you can donate online here:http://www.sportrelief.com/ Alternatively you could buy the Sport Relief single (Proud – JLS) on iTunes for less than £1, or head down to a Sainsbury’s store and get your hands on some Sport relief merchandise!

I don’t usually encourage people to spend money on things or plug causes like this, but if people really want to make a difference without actively getting involved, this is the way to. I hope that this blog has left everyone a bit more informed on the whole situation and the best way to fundraise, I just thought that it needed to be said. If you want to read any more information on the ongoing Kony situation then please see the links below, or if you want more information on Sport Relief, then please click the link above.

I asked you at the start to make a note of the time that you started reading this, now make a note of the time that you finished. Remember that one child dies ever 20 seconds, that’s three children a minute. How many children have died from a preventable illness in the time you’ve taken to read this? It’s shocking, isn’t it? Thanks for taking the time to read this.

Want to learn more about the Kony situation:
http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/reality-check-with-polly-curtis/2012/mar/08/kony-2012-what-s-the-story
http://www.smh.com.au/world/the-warlord-versus-the-world-20120309-1upv4.html
http://allafrica.com/stories/201203151055.html
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052702303863404577283531931361326.html

Engagement of the heart or mind?

Some people throw the word engagement around like it’s a heavy word to be feared and act as though it is one of the most complex decisions in life, others act as if it’s nothing and get engaged to their boyfriend of a week at the age of 15, and then a brief minority of people have the same approach as me. The word engagement, in my opinion, can mean whatever you want it to. It could mean that you’re invested in someone completely – mind and soul, or that you’re doing something because you think it’s the right or logical thing to do, or because people are asking you when you’re going to get engaged. I think the word is more powerful than the gesture of engagement in complete honesty. I remember a time when I spoke with my boyfriend about marriage and engagements and I remember the terrified expression on his face, like I’d just suggested that he’d get a castration, thankfully he doesn’t act like that now though!

I think that there are a lot of factors that people consider before getting engaged to one another – age, distance, time together and compatibility being some of them. Frankly, I don’t understand why time together should be an issue, maybe I’m biased but if you’ve lived with someone (which I think is important before even considering getting engaged – if you can’t handle that then you’re going to fail at that marriage), then you get a taste of what it’s like, and you know more about the other person than say a couple that have been together for a year or two. I mean, you could be in a relationship for three years and be great with one and other and then take the decision to get engaged because it seems like the next logical step – rather than thinking “Do I want to spend the rest of my life with this person?”, “Do I want to get married, get a mortgage, wake up every morning with so-and-so and maybe have children with them?”. Those are a lot of things to consider. You shouldn’t move onto getting engaged simply because of the length of your relationship. I don’t think it matters how long you’ve been with someone if you know in your heart that you only want them and how it’s all the stupid things that you love about them. I think age is slightly important, if there’s a large age difference then it can lead to both people being in different places with what they want in life. One person could want a long engagement, and another could want a quick engagement and then starting a family straight afterwards. I think age is important in that sense – it can also mean that you’re in separate places when it comes to knowing what you want in your life. It’s important to talk everything through about what you want from life – whether you want a big or small wedding (a lot of engagements that end in that stage usually stem from wedding problems or differences in what you want in life), or if you ever want kids, where you want to work and the distance from loved ones. There are so many factors to consider. You have to look at the person that you’re with and think about what you want and what you know they want and discuss it all. It doesn’t do any good assuming things or leaving them because it isn’t a subject you want to breach yet. I think this is a given from what I’ve said, but you need to be compatible with the person or at least know how they work. You need to know how to cheer them up, how to tell what they’re thinking, you need to be able to look at them and think about how you want your future to be and you should instantly think “this is how it’s going to be for me and so-and-so”, not “I’d like this and it’s be nice if they were there too.” Nice isn’t enough to get engaged on. You should feel like the other person is your entire world, like you can’t imagine your life without them.

The proposal is meant to be the most important thing. A lot of women spend years thinking about their perfect proposal, and some guys spend months planning it. I’ll let you guys into a little secret – it really doesn’t matter as much as you think. I think that a proposal should be personal. It should be something that means something to you and the person. I’m a bit of a commitment phobe and sure, I’d love to spend the rest of my life with my boyfriend – but if he took me to Paris, under the Eiffel Tower and popped out an engagement ring then gave a sickeningly sweet romantic declaration of his love for me, I think I’d either burst out laughing or I’d be a bit embarrassed and scared. I’m one of those people that likes to think things through and work out every possible scenario and unfortunately when it comes to love that’s quite a lot harder to do. I don’t think that you should limit the amount of times that you tell someone how much you love them and how you want to be with them and that is what annoys me when it comes to proposals. You should tell each other how you feel quite often or at least that’s what I feel. I like nothing better than to be curled up in our lovely double bed with my boyfriend, his arms wrapped around me as we lay right in the centre of the bed and he spoons me, and for him to then kiss my neck and tell me all the little things he loves about me, how he feels being with me and just how happy he is to be with me. I love that. I’d take that any day over a sickening proposal. Back to my original point however, a proposal should be between you and the person. It should mean something to you both and you shouldn’t need a romantic gesture to show that or to make it more special. Romance is romance, love is love and they shouldn’t be two separate things really, they should be combined in a relationship.

Okay, I’m almost finished. I promise. I think that an engagement is literally an announcement to your friends and family as to how serious you feel about someone (and to the other person of course), and really I don’t get that. I mean, I like the comfort of knowing that the other person feels how you do, especially when it comes to getting a commitment phobe to commit, that’s a major thing! But I don’t understand why it has to be so… traditional. Why does it have to be the man that asks? Why do men feel emasculated if women ask? Why do women get one day every four years to ask when it’s just a normal day? Why does it have to be romantic? Why does everyone have to know? I just don’t understand. I mean, I feel like an engagement is an announcement of your plan to marry to announce to the world that you’re spending the rest of your life with someone. It seems a bit silly, but I guess that’s the society that we live in.

You may be wondering why I’ve written this, or you may have made the link to the 29th February passing and you may have thought that I was merely commenting on that, but I’m going to be a bit hypocritical here. I’ve been thinking about it a lot since the 26th February, mainly due to the fact that myself and my boyfriend got engaged. I’m not going to disclose how it happened or what was said other than that we’d discussed it thoroughly for weeks before finalizing it. It was personal and quite fitting for us as a couple with how we are. I know that despite how he butchers and forgets to butter bread, likes burnt mushrooms, leaves the toilet seat up all the time, spends endless hours on Skyrim, breaks my mini-fridge, causes more washing up and wakes me up snoring sometimes, whenever I look at him and his crystal blue eyes, listen to him and his midlands accent and when he walks around without his socks on (that’s a major thing to him), I know that I’m spending the rest of my life with him, and I know that he’ll do whatever it takes to make me happy, and I’ll do the same. That’s how I know that I’m sure that I want to be with him and how I’m happy at the thought of marrying him in a few years time.

Size does matter

The size of your heart I mean. When it comes down to the size of your body it shouldn’t really matter as long as you’re not overweight by a vulgar proportion or so it’s damaging to your health. I know a few people that want to lose weight because they think they’re larger than they should be, but I don’t think that’s the case at all. Take my boyfriend for instance, he used to be very badly underweight but recently he’s been drinking a lot more sugary drinks, having proper meals instead of small snacks and he’s been gaming a lot more which has led to him gaining weight. Okay I say gaining weight but despite the fact that he’s gained a little bit (which I much prefer and I’m happier with the size he is now), he’s still underweight for his height and build and yet he wants to lose weight to go back to the size he was, this even led to him wanting to miss a few meals so he could do that – which I told him straight away wasn’t going to happen. I wouldn’t have a problem with him losing weight if he was doing it to either be happier with himself or because his weight was unhealthy for him, but that certainly isn’t the case. In fact I think it was a bit unhealthy with how thin he was.

I have a few friends wanting to lose weight as well – all for the wrong reasons though. None of them are what I see as being ‘fat’, in fact I think I’m the largest out of my close group of friends and I’m not exactly overweight or ‘fat’ – I’ll talk about my size later on. I think you should lose weight if you want to be more confident in yourself but you shouldn’t do it for other people. If people make comments about you being larger then they’re the ones with the problem, and the same goes for people who are ridiculously skinny and wanting to gain weight. I think that if you change because people make silly little remarks then it’s a bit idiotic. You should only change if you want to. At the end of the day, people are always going to find faults in who people are whether it’s physically, emotionally or personality wise. You can’t change something as big as that because other people have a problem, that isn’t right. If you want to change your size because you’re not happy with how you look or because you want other people to like you, then I think that’s a bit stupid as well. It shows that you’re lacking confidence in yourself and you need to embrace and love yourself either way before other people will, no matter what size you are.

I remember how thin I used to be when I was younger (see picture below) and I was a bit underweight, but despite how I look here (minus the hideous hair) I used to think I was the fattest person on the planet. I remember when I would look in the mirror and see someone with ridiculously fat arms, stomach and thighs stood before me. I can also remember how when I was a UK size 10 I broke down crying because I thought it was too fat. That was the mindset that I’d had. I couldn’t see how thin I was. Ironically, after I eventually gained weight and went up a dress size or two, I felt much better and much more confident in myself. Not because I’d gained the weight but because other factors around me had changed and my outlook on life had changed as well. I used to have extremely low self confidence and now I’m one of the most confident people that I know. As stupid as it sounds, gaining weight and being able to see myself for what and who I actually am has helped me a great deal. Yes, I’m curvier now but I love it and I embrace it. I’m confident in my size, my boyfriend likes it and he loves my confidence as well. And that’s what sells. Not your body image (unless you’re a model or a prostitute), but your confidence. If you’re extremely low in confidence or if you have a low image of self worth then others may start to see the same thing or they may feel like they can treat you badly when that should never be acceptable.

Confidence is much more important than your body size. I only became happy in myself when I gained weight – which is the opposite to what people think. If you have a negative self image then you’re going to think that every ‘negative’ aspect about yourself is much worse. I wish I could go back to my fifteen year old self in that image and tell them that they’re not fat (I was wearing a UK size 6 dress there which is the smallest size), and tell them to embrace who they are. I remember thinking I was horrific and worthless in every way and that wasn’t the case at all. Once I gained confidence and became happier in myself I was able to change my image and become comfortable with it. That’s the important thing. I’d also go back and give myself some make up lessons though, and probably confiscate all my black eye shadow, mascara and eyeliner from that time. Majorly cringe worthy!  But the moral of this blog is: Forget the mirror, forget how you look. People don’t usually fall in love with the size that you are, they fall in love with you as a person. Your confidence and how you embrace yourself. It’s how much love you have to give and what outlook you have. Like I said at the start, it’s the size of your heart that matters, not your jeans.  

Skyrim - Curse or Cure?

At Christmas I asked my boyfriend what he wanted and without hesitation or a seconds thought he said that he wanted Skyrim, and I thought ‘Okay, that’s a good idea. We have two weeks apart over Christmas so it’ll keep him entertained.’ We both parted for our Christmas holiday about a week before Christmas, and he started playing the game a few days before Christmas. At first it was cute, he kept playing it and updating me on his progress and it was… interesting. Well, it wasn’t. But it was nice seeing him visibly happy talking about it on webcam and all the stuff he’d been doing. Then a few days passed and the BBM’s and phone calls got less and less which I thought was understandable because I thought he was busy doing Christmas related things. I was wrong. I’d been rejected for Skyrim. Now I know that I should be annoyed, and in truth I was for a little while, but then I started watching him play it, and I got intrigued and created my own character. Big mistake.

I’m currently a level 16 Dark Elf werewolf focusing on my two-handed abilities and progressing very well at a steady rate. Wow that sounded far too geeky for my liking. I’d just like to reiterate that I’m not a geeky gamer girl – not that there’s anything wrong with that, but I couldn’t be further from that as I barely play video games. And now I’m going to contradict myself further, great. I’ve been playing for about 22 hours now and I’m better than my boyfriend when he was this far in or at least that’s what he says. He keeps getting frustrated whenever I progress a bit more or I get a really cool item as he doesn’t understand why I’m getting it before when he did. He’s a level 36 Imperial with just over 100 hours of game play and he keeps getting slightly disheartened now when we compare our progress. Despite what he thinks or how he feels, he’s doing really well and he’s given me quite a few tips and hints that came from his experience and has allowed me to achieve more.

Anyway, that’s enough of our progress of the game and back to my original point. Normally when a guy gets a game like Skyrim, Battlefield or Fall Out 3, they disappear from reality for not just a week or two, but months on end. My friend has this problem with her boyfriend. Whenever a new game for PS3 comes out, he disappears into it and you can’t contact him or see him. I think I have it lucky in the sense that me and my boyfriend pretty much live together (he goes to his flat about twice a week just to pick clean clothes up), it means that we spend pretty much all of our time together so when we game it isn’t as much of a problem than when you’re living apart and want to play video games instead of hanging out. Video games can curse a relationship – of course it isn’t the video games fault, but a lot of guys are as obsessed with gaming as women are with other hobbies or whatever they like doing. However I feel like Skyrim’s brought me and my boyfriend closer together as stupid as it sounds. I sometimes ask for his advice and we can have long conversations about it, we both understand the jokes or game references and we both love playing it. Of course sometimes we want to play it at the same time but due to having one Xbox and one TV it’s a bit implausible, so sometimes I take advantage of my feminine charms and take my clothes off and play the game whilst naked. He loves that. It’s good watching how each of us do – not for competition or anything, but so we can give advice to each other and warn each other if there are any incoming enemies or the best way to handle them, like the Giants for instance. I was a level 4 and I almost ran straight into its path. That wouldn’t have ended very well.

Skyrim was a bit of a life saviour for me. I would have had absolutely no clue as to what I should have gotten him for Christmas if it wasn’t for that game, and it kept him preoccupied when we were apart over Christmas. As annoying as it was for me when he was busy playing it over Christmas, it made me happy knowing that he was enjoying it. And when we both returned to university we were under a bit of stress due to outside reasons and it allowed him to escape away from reality and find something he had control over. Video games can curse a relationship if one of the partners is heavily immersed in the game, but it can also make a relationship stronger and give you something else to encourage and support each other on (I make it sound like we have a boring relationship, trust me when I say that we don’t though). I’m not saying that Skyrim is the saviour of my relationship, I’m just saying that it’s genuinely a good game and I didn’t understand how good it was. I’m not usually into video games but Skyrim is certainly an exception to that rule. I also know that there are several more negative aspects of how much of an impact video games can have on hurting a relationship, but at the end of the day it depends on what the individual does. If you spend a majority of your time in the realm of Skyrim then your real life is bound to suffer, and don’t even get me started on how much your eyes will hurt after 5 hours of playing… sadly I can say that isn’t a pleasant feeling.

Sex is a woman’s most powerful weapon

Guys, imagine that your ideal woman is in front of you right now, she’s beautiful and exactly what you want in every way. She gives you a wicked little smirk and her eyes hold a playful look. You know right at that moment that you’re putty in her hands; the same hands that you wish were all over you in that instant. She has the power and she knows it. And as for the girls, can you really say you haven’t done that or at least tried to? I thought so. Sex or the idea of sex is the ultimate weapon in a relationship but it is also a common ‘power’ that women have. When a woman goes on a night out, she is usually the one being pursued by the males and we like to make them think that it’s them in control when that rarely is the case. We like to give the impression that men are the alpha-males but let’s face it, women usually get far much more attention than men do on nights out and the women have a wide range to choose from.

In a relationship women have the best line to win an argument – “Well I guess we know who isn’t getting any sex tonight, don’t we?” Now, I know that I’m probably giving the impression that I wholeheartedly agree with this or I’m one of those girls that follows through with it, and to some extent that’s true. But at the same time, I can barely just have sex once a day without needing it more, I’ve been told that I’m an addict on numerous occasions but I’ll address that on a later more self-loathing note. I am however guilty of doing the one thing that I think all women to do their partners – using blowjobs as currency. If my boyfriend does something really nice or if I want him to do something then I usually use the phrase “I’ll give you a blowjob if you…” and if he declines (which is a rarity) then I increase the number of blowjobs. Three is a definite win – no doubt. Women are very manipulative in nature, I think all men will agree and to the women that don’t – you’re kidding yourselves. I don’t think that this is a bad thing though. Sometimes offering sexual favours is the only incentive to get a guy to do something that he doesn’t want to do. Women make the rules. We know how to make men do what we want them to. And how do we do that? Through sex.

If a woman is just in her underwear and stockings, a man will be complete putty in her hands, and sometimes other stuff too. Women can be sexy and seductive to get what they want from a man and sometimes it’s easier than actually talking to them and convincing them to get you something or to do what you want. For example if I want to convince my boyfriend to do something or give him an incentive and the other currency doesn’t seem to suit it or seems overplayed I’ll give him the incentive of coming to Ann Summers with me (like Victorias Secrets for any Americans) and allowing him to choose underwear that he likes for me to wear as a type of treat for it. No expense spared but I still get the final word either way. We like to allow men to think that they have control, mainly to give them confidence and make them feel more in control but I’m sorry guys, that couldn’t be further from the truth! Women decide when to have sex, they decide what happens, they decide if you get a blowjob, if it’s a quickie or a full length session and they decide the positions and tempo.

Now, for anyone disagreeing with me or thinking that this is an exaggeration, I can assure you that I’m right. If sex or even the suggestion of sex is deemed available, men forget everything rational and become mindless drones. All it takes for me to get a back massage or to win an argument is for me to take my top and bra off and that’s it. My boyfriend forgets everything and just sees the semi-naked girl a bed and wants to do whatever it takes to get in there. Men think with their penis’ to a high extent and women exploit that for their own gain. I’m sorry men, but you have no say in what happens in any aspect of your life as soon as a woman stands before you, especially if she’s wearing a front-zip down corset that teases you. You’ll always lose.