Speakeasy: Gypsy Weddings, Adoption, African Caribbean Leukaemia Trust, Weaves vs Coloured Contact Lenses, and Oral Sex

The March edition of Speakeasy was a slightly more intimate affair, but the discussions were still as lively as ever..

What did you think of the Channel 4 show ‘My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding?

One lady commented that, as a Catholic, she thought their lifestyle was a contradiction, because she has never known fake eyelashes, fake tan and fake fingernails to be a part of a young girl’s attire for her Holy Communion.  I have to agree. I’m not a Catholic, but I completely agree that their lifestyle seemed extremely contradictory, and as I was watching the series that’s all I kept saying.  On one hand they have the very Christian morals of no sex before marriage, girls don’t mix with boys unsupervised, respect for elders, and divorce is not allowed, among other.  But then you see the young girls dress very skimpily in the daytime, gyrating at parties at night in ways they shouldn’t know how, and then the so-called ritual of “grabbing”, where boys literally and forcibly grab a girl to try to snag a kiss, which at times seemed a little violent.  It was fascinating television, and every week Twitter was awash with hilarious and sometimes offensive comments.  But one thing I disagreed with was those who said that some of the offensive comments were racist, and that everyone would be up in arms if the word ‘gypsy’ was replaced with ‘black’ or ‘Asian’.  No.  From what I can see, ‘gypsy/traveller’ is not a race, it’s a lifestyle.  You can not look at a gypsy and know straight away that they are a gypsy, but the same can not be said for a black person.  Their skin colour is the first thing you would notice, maybe before you acknowledge their sex.  So I don’t think ‘racism’ is a valid argument… prejudice more like.

What do you think?

Channel 4's 'My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding'

A couple were recently refused the right to adopt because they stated that if a child in their care were to have homosexual tendencies, they would try to talk them out of it. Discuss.

One person responded asking why sexual morals are even part of the agenda when interviewing for adoption, and another responded that being a parent and being an adoptive parent are two different things.  Unfortunately adoptive parents have to be perfect, and sometimes they’re damned if they do and damned if they don’t.  Another participant remarked that just because the couple said they “would not encourage it”, does not mean they are homophobic.  I agree with this.  I also don’t understand why a question of a child’s potential sexuality should even yet be an issue.  Is it not more important to know that they will rather love and care unconditionally for the child?  The worst thing is that this couple had previously adopted and were re-applying to adopt again, so why didn’t those in charge take a look at the previous adopted children, or even speak to them to gauge what the couple are like as parents.  If a child’s future sexuality is so important, why not question EVERY parent-to-be, biological or otherwise?!  This couple has been rejected for a situation that has not even happened yet. 

What do you think?     

Is the campaign for the African Caribbean Leukaemia Trust (ACLT) to raise £80,000 by the end of March or face closure a futile exercise, because in six months time they will need to raise those funds again?

The first person to speak said that they felt the ACLT should have hired proper PR to continually spread the word and keep them in business, but that the problem is people percieve it to be an organisation only for black people, when really it is for non-whites.  Another commented that charities and organisations are always looking to we the poor folk to donate our sheckles, when those in high positions with their six-figure salaries could band together and raise the money in no time.  One of my friend’s was working on t he fundraising campaign and she said she was shocked at how little was donated by celebrities.  On one hand they preach about giving back to their community, but when they are actually approached, all they care about is the face value of it all – as long as they are photographed appearing to be doing good, without actually doing much.  The ACLT have managed to reach their goal and beyond, and hopefully it would not have been in vain.

What do you think?

African Caribbean Leukaemia Trust

Can a woman with a weave make disparaging remarks about a woman with coloured contact lenses?

I seriously have something against coloured contact lenses, especially on black women, and even more deeply against men.  It just doesn’t look natural on the women and I don’t think the men look manly while wearing them (and I do like a manly man).  One lady at the discussion said that before Facebook there were never so many negative comments made about women’s appearances, and another said that people only put others down to feel better about themselves.  The comment I agreed with was that it is pretty much to do with fashion trends and coloured contact lenses are so old school.  Granted, I didn’t like them in the 90s when people were wearing them, but at least back then it was pretty much the in thing.  In 2011, I just don’t get it.  The basis of the argument is that women who wear weaves and women who wear coloured contacts are both displaying signs of being ashamed of their race, but this argument is so tired that I’m not even going to go into it.  I look at both in terms of style, and in my opinion a good weave looks better than coloured contact lenses.  A bad weave deserves to be dissed right back.

What do you think?

Is oral sex a taboo – yes or no?

One person commented that it is a taboo depending on how you are raised.  It is generally believed that bad girls do and good girls don’t.  I think it is still taboo, because it is not something that people freely admit to doing. Simples.

What do you think?

Guest Blog: Female Role Models by Ondo Lady

 In honour of the fabulous beings known as ‘Women’, Ondo Lady has kindly written a guest post to share with you…

Last week we celebrated International Women’s Day, and to celebrate the 10 year anniversary, The Guardian published a list of 100 inspiring women.  Amongst them were Oprah, Hilary Clinton, Germaine Greer, Venus Williams and Madonna.  A wide range of women from different ages from a variety of fields.  The timing was ironic in a way because just a few days before I had been having a conversation with my mates about great female role models.  It got very heated as our opinions were quite divided, but it made me sit down and think really hard about what exactly it is that makes a good female role model.

Ok let’s start with a few criterias.  In order to qualify a female role model must fulfil the following requirements:

Excel at their chosen field

Be strong, assertive and confident

Be acknowledged in their own right for using their intelligence, business acumen, sporting prowess

Here are six women who I admire:

Ondo Mama
Well for a start she gave birth to me which is quite a feat in itself. She may be small but she is certainly tough and despite enduring a lot of hardship and heartbreak, she is still standing. One thing I do admire is her ability to forgive others.

It is hard not to love Oprah, she has done it all.  In fact Oprah has lived several lives, from rags to riches, from abused to empowered and from wannabe journalist to owning her own media conglomerate.  Add that to a lot of kindness and a bundle of charm and you have an amazing woman.

Oprah Winfrey

Winnie Mandela
Yeah she killed people, I know, but where would Nelson be without Winnie? In jail or dead.  Mrs Mandela’s endless campaigning, determination and fighting spirit kept Nelson Mandela’s name alive and ensures that he was released from jail after 27 years. 

Winnie Madikizela-Mandela

Michelle Obama
Who would have thought we would see a Black lady in the White House and a chocolate sister for that matter?  Not me.  The Princeton and Harvard Law graduate who is a successful lawyer, has charmed everyone’s socks off and has proved to be a real asset to her husband. 

Michelle Obama

Billie Jean King

Now this woman single-handedly changed the face of women tennis by fighting for equal rights for women players.  Billie Jean kicked ass on and off the court. Who can forget the famous ‘The Battle of the Sexes’ match that she had against Bobby Riggs?

Billie-Jean King

Harriet Tubman
This brave lady not only escaped slavery but she made 13 trips to rescue her family and other slaves.  She used the Underground Railroad to get slaves out of the state of Maryland.  She also became involved with the women’s suffrage and travelled round the country to promote their causes.

Harriet Tubman


So there you have it, my female role models in a nutshell.  Who are your female role models?

You can read more of Ondo Lady’s musings at: http://themusingsofondolady.blogspot.com

My Blogging Tools

As a writer, I love the fact that someone thought to come up with the idea of a Web log.  Blogs are like owning your very own magazine, where you have free reign to make it however you choose, in whatever voice you want others to hear.  There are so many blogs available to read online, over 156 million apparently, and they cover the most informative to the most random subjects you could think of.

Today, in conjuction with my blogging buddies at The Musings of Ondolady and Let’s Go Deeper, I’m going to share my blogging tools with you.  I’ve previously spoken about my blogging space over on Ondolady’s blog, but this time these will be the things that help me create these posts you so lovingly read on here.  I mean, I don’t just magic them from the air, do I?? 

My Eyes and Ears

You probably expected it to just feature technological gadgets, but think about it – how would I know what to write about if I hadn’t seen or heard things around me?  Exactly.  These two, that I am extremely thankful are in full working order, are the starting point for ideas on what to write here or anywhere I’m asked to.

My HP Probook 4510s Laptop

I don’t know why, but it took me years to finally purchase a laptop of my own.  Beforehand I was using my Dell PC to do the work I had or just surf the net or download music.  I still have it, but it has been relegated, because of this new gadget. I’ve had it for less than six months, so it still feels quite new to me, and I’m still learning new things.  My only gripe is that this particular laptop didn’t come with Microsoft Office already installed, but I soon sorted that problem out.

My Blackberry 9700 (White)

I LOVE my Blackberry, and it’s something that Let’s Go Deeper doesn’t understand.  I’m not that much of an ‘app’ driven person, so in this day of Blackberry vs. iPhone, I’m Team Blackberry all the way.  And it’s so pretty too.  With blogging, my Blackberry comes in handy, because I have the Wordpress application installed, so if I randomly come up with an idea for a post while on my travels, I can quickly jot it down using my phone and edit it when I get home to my laptop. 🙂 I also use it to take quick photos I might need, because it’s a lot more convenient for me than using my actual digital camera, because obviously I can upload pictures a lot quicker.

My Notepad

I am such a loser when it comes to notepads and notebooks, and when I am in a stationery shop I get so excited!  All I think about is what I can use them all for.  This particular one I’m currently using was one I got free with a magazine, and even though you can see it looks slightly battered in the photo, what you can’t see is exactly HOW battered it actually is – the pages of the book itself have come apart from the cover, that’s how much I use it.  I write down any ideas I have, day-to-day lists, seminar/networking notes, etc.  No one can say I don’t use it!

And there you have it!  Fellow bloggers – what do you use?  Are they similar to what Ondolady or Let’s Go Deeper use?

Bloggers Delight Live – 27 March 2011!!

Do you remember when I told you about the radio show I participate in called Bloggers Delight?  Yes?  Good!  Well my fellow bloggers and I will be doing our thing in a live setting, and I’m inviting you all to join us!  Here’s the info:
The next Bloggers Delight Live event will take place on 27 March 2011 at Cottons restaurant, 70 Exmouth Market (near Farringdon Station).

You are invited to come down and meet the “bloggers” who chat it up live on Bang 103.6FM, every Wednesday.

Join in with the sometimes heavy and often laugh-out-loud debates, as you get to hear the real thoughts of the fastest growing “bloggeratti” crew to hit the net.

Opinions come thick and fast with these guys, so be prepared to laugh, cry, be amused, be moved, be shock, be amazed, it all happens when we start chatting about anything and everything!

Come and eat, drink, participate, network and catch some serious jokes.  Its gonna be an event not to be missed!

With £5 entry, we will start at 7pm with a networking session and then into the live show.

A Caribbean buffet can be purchased for £8 provided by Cottons Restaurant

Looking forward to seeing everyone at BLOGGERS DELIGHT LIVE

” Critically honest conversation for the more discerning cultural conversational individual.”

Come down even if it’s only to laugh at me and my nerves!