Posted by Viktoria Michaelis on September 23, 2013 in Personal with Comments closed |

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Rape Culture: Protection, Guilt And Controversy

Posted by Viktoria Michaelis on September 2, 2014 in News & Opinion |

Who is to blame when a woman is raped, the attacker or the victim? There seem to be various thoughts on this, varying from loading blame on society through men in general right down to the woman herself. Our society, we are told, breeds such crimes. If women didn’t dress in such a provocative manner – regardless of whether they are school children or grown adults – there would be no rape, there would be no sexual assaults. The fact that women in all cultures are subjected to rape – including Muslim societies where very strict dress codes are enforced – belies this claim.

Viktoria Michaelis: Rape, Rape Culture, Protecting Women
Since schools insist on educating young women to dress so that they do not tempt younger men towards illicit thoughts, and accept that ‘boys will be boys’ and need no such education, four (male) students at the North Carolina State University have come up with a method of protection for women: date-rape reacting nail polish. A woman wearing this protective nail polish merely needs to dip her finger in a suspect drink to see whether it has been tampered with or not. When yes, the color changes. This further means of protection, amongst many which women sadly need today, has come in for some scorn.

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All Dressed Up And Somewhere To Go

Posted by Viktoria Michaelis on September 1, 2014 in Absolute Hot! |

Once again the celebrity news sites are full of it, something to really get your teeth into: the leaking or attempted sale of intimate, erotic, nude and compromising selfies by prominent female stars of stage and screen. Someone is offering photographs for anyone who cares to pay in Bitcoins, or through PayPal according to some, which, apparently, have been garnered from the iCloud. Which brings all the tech sites into play – even Fox & Friends managed a reasonably acceptable report – with details of how it is possible, who is behind the whole thing, where you can get your own copies and how to stop hackers from getting their grubby hands on your most private recorded moments.

Viktoria Michaelis: Fashion Selfies, Women

Photo Source: unknown, via Tumblr

To be honest, anyone who takes a selfie which might be considered compromising – whether rising starlet, accomplished celebrity or simply Aunt Betty from down the road – and then uploads it anywhere is asking for trouble. And here we should differentiate between those who share, and those who simply store for the memories. Sharing a photograph to all and sundry is completely different to having your special images stored somewhere completely out of your control, just the same as sending the most revealing photographs to that special friend is considerably more dangerous – as far as trust goes – than keeping the results of a few moments fun safe and sound on your smart phone.

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Women Programmers in Their Underwear And….

Posted by Viktoria Michaelis on August 31, 2014 in Immoral Conversations |

Women are fighting back! Well, admit it, there is nothing unusual about such a statement, women have been fighting back against one form of inequality or another, against sexism, against being allocated and forced into a role with precious little by way of recognition or thanks for centuries. Now, it would appear, the latest method of fighting back is to be photographed in your underwear, to show that women are just as good as men in the tech industry. Which seems to be surprising, at least to me, since underwear, lingerie, that sexy black number, has always been a female thing and there are few men who would consider themselves to have a lead in the ratings for sexy underwear photographs.

Not that the clothing on display is overwhelmingly sexy, more utility. We don’t get to see a range of naughty lingerie on paper-thin models, but normal underwear on ordinary women who happen to have made it in the Tech industry. Happen being a word for those who have worked hard, overcome many obstacles, and proven that they are capable of doing a job many consider reserved for male geeks.

Viktoria Michaelis: Tech Sticker
I wonder, though, whether those taking and approving these photographs took a moment to peruse more than the shapely form of these executives. Clearly they were distracted from completing their jobs by the sight of so much naked flesh, by the sheer extravagance of beauty on display. This would hardly be the first time that someone has been distracted by a semi-nude image which, perhaps is the point of the whole. And, as my crop from one of the photographs shows, that distraction has led to a small embarrassment, an overlooked faux pas, you could say.

Some people like to show themselves off in their underwear, some through a computer logo – which would fit far better in the highly competitive tech world – and others through individuality. I’m not sure, though, that having such a sticker on a laptop would necessarily be the sort of message a company might want to send out, especially one involved in sales. Perhaps it will disappear after a while. If so, well, you saw it here first…

Love & Kisses, Viki.


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What Your Fashion Statement Says About You

Posted by Viktoria Michaelis on August 30, 2014 in Immoral Conversations |

We all make some sort of statement about ourselves when we go out, through our clothing, our make-up, our general attitude and appearance. It’s something we cannot stop, cannot avoid, simply because people read our character according to what they see, what they imagine we are showing of ourselves.

There are, though, some statements which tell anyone in the know considerably more about a person than simply our style of dress. One is this wearing of the trousers almost around your knees, as a male, or having a certain color handkerchief in the left or the right hand pocket of your pants. If you know what it means, can interpret it, then you’re on to a good thing!

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Is ALS A Fraud?

Posted by Viktoria Michaelis on August 29, 2014 in Immoral Conversations |

If you haven’t caught it on the news, on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Google or anywhere else and don’t know what the Ice bucket challenge is, then I will be very surprised. Depending on who happens to be pouring water – or bundles of cash – over their heads, the promotion to raise cash and donations for the ALS Foundation has hit the news big time. If you’re not sure what it is Wikipedia has a very good article on the disease.

In an article published in Political Ears, it is shown that of all the money raised through the Ice Bucket Challenge, a mere 27% finds its way towards research. This is the main point of the article but, if you look at my illustration – to save you time reading the large print article – you’ll see that there is considerably more to it than that. A further 32% goes towards public education on ALS, and 19% for patient and community services. That’s a total of 79% used for further education, care and research, which is what the money is intended for.

Whilst the salaries listed towards the middle of the article seem to be high, considering what managers receive these days, these salaries still only account for 7% of the donations and are well within acceptable margins.

Aside from the sheer audacity of the article – trying to rile people up over something which has been doctored to show false figures – I found it more than amusing how the website places its adverts, which hardly seem to suggest a serious article or editorial policy. Techniques to gain any woman through seduction are more spam than anything else and rightfully earn their place in the trash can.

A serious website? Possibly, and possibly a serious article, if only the facts had been properly highlighted rather than the author attempting to create a scandal where none exists.

Love & Kisses, Viki

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Getting To Grips With New Words

Posted by Viktoria Michaelis on August 28, 2014 in Immoral Conversations |

Has the Internet brought a whole new form of language with it? Is it possible that the evolution of our mother tongue, whichever one it may be, is being pushed on through the manner in which younger people express themselves online, through status updates, through the need to abbreviate what they have to say on Twitter?

In recent months several of the leading dictionary companies have announced new words which they are accepting for publication in their works, which they believe have become part of our daily language, and many of them seem to stem from the Internet, from people trying to find new ways to express themselves. Although, reading through hundreds of updates, Tweets and sundry web sites, many are perhaps not really suitable for your everyday dictionary.

Sites such as the Urban Dictionary are well ahead of the printed versions, and tend to be more in touch with some of the language being used, and defining it in a clear and often unmistakable – adult – manner.

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Books: Getting Things In Order

Posted by Viktoria Michaelis on August 27, 2014 in Personal |

There are stacks in the bedroom, on the side table in our living room, along one wall in the small hallway, right when you enter the apartment. Behind the couch are more, just growing there as new titles are added every few days. My small library, those few choice books I brought with me to Germany all those long years ago, has grown.

Not that this is a problem, but someone – who shall remain nameless – has been looking at me out of the corner of her eye as if to say it’s about time I did something with all these books, which seem to litter although there is some form of order. It’s about time that I moved them to better places, so that we can vacuum without risk. It would be good, her gaze seems to say, when we get to see a few table tops again, when there isn’t the risk of everything falling over.

Photo Credit: Maarten TakensCreative Commons

This week I took things into hand. I began sorting through the titles, arranging the stack anew, getting some form of order into the whole. We invested in some new bookshelves, although probably not enough to accommodate every single work, and I began trying to see exactly what I have. Each opened book, each book which I even rest my fingers on, has its own story, its own history. None of them are leaving this apartment, none of them will be banished, given away or sold. But there has to be some form of order and so I have begun listing them properly. I’m nowhere near complete with the work, it will take a long time and I still want to be able to read, to write, to do other things. In between all the other pleasures of life, I note their names, the author, in which language they are written. I don’t know when, if ever, the task will have an end but, at the moment, there are one thousand two hundred and forty-three books listed.

And all she says, as space begins to appear once more, as order comes back into our lives, as the risk of an avalanche of paper recedes, is that she can hardly believe I have enough time to read so much.

Love & Kisses, Viki.

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Selfies: Looking Into Her Eyes, Honest!

Posted by Viktoria Michaelis on August 26, 2014 in Absolute Hot! |

Maybe I should cut back on the selfies a little, I seem to be posting one or two sets every single week although, thinking about it, I’ve not had any complaints yet. The thing is, I consider selfies to be a photographic art form. We have seen so many different styles and schools of art over the centuries, everything gets classified, so why shouldn’t selfies be the photographic art form of our generation?

Viktoria Michaelis: Beauty, Boobs

Photo Source: unknown, via Tumblr

What I like about this one – assuming that the second photograph is the same person, of which I am not sure – is that you can almost sense something in her eyes, in the way that she smiles into the camera – or whatever she’s using to take the shot. There is, you might think, much more there and, of course, some people will imagine that ‘much more’ to be, well, the lower half of the selfie.

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Breaking News: Top Story Of The Day

Posted by Viktoria Michaelis on August 25, 2014 in Internet |

There are some posts I write where I think: this is it, this will get people talking. Others seem almost to be place-fillers, something which was on my mind or which happened to interest me for a moment or two but no more than that where I imagine they will be seen but hardly noticed. My expectations are seldom right! It is really strange what interests people, what makes them stop and think, what gains the most views during the day or over a longer period of time. Perhaps it is just the luck of the draw, just chance that one or another post rises above the rest and arouses interest, wakes people out of their Internet slumbers and entices their fingers to caress the keyboard and leave a written reaction. Or perhaps we are so used to the media hype, the millions of newsworthy stories, posts, status updates and Tweets which appear or have appeared, that there is nothing left which inspires, and we are just wandering through whatever is there without a real thought in our minds.

Viktoria Michaelis: Breaking News

Photo Credit: Just NoraCreative Commons

When I scroll through the various news sites on the Internet, or check out the ones which appear to have attracted the most clicks, the most interest, I often wonder why so many people have read what is there. Is it really from interest, or just because it has been seen by countless other people and, therefore, must be important? Or is there something special about the story, some draw on the mind, which brings people to spend their time reading? Does Breaking News or Exclusive even mean anything these days, when so many news sites manage to get their information at exactly the same time, manage to publish it almost immediately for all and sundry to gasp over?

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The Land Of Equality: Defining Sub-Cultures

Posted by Viktoria Michaelis on August 24, 2014 in News & Opinion |

Did you know that the phrase Land Of The Free is not just a line in the Star-Spangled Banner? It is the title of the national anthem of Belize, and the text was written by Samuel Haynes who, in the 1920s began organizing the Universal Negro Improvement Association there. As many already know, Belize was a British colony until the 1980s, and suffered under their powers for centuries with slavery and oppression being the order of the day. Even today, many years after independence from the British, there are separations within Belizean society, with areas of Belize City still referred to as the former slave quarters and other areas only populated by white people and the richer blacks.

This, of course, is a foreign country, it is not the United States of America where everyone is free and has an equal chance. At least, that is what some people in the United States would have us believe. Yet, with the continuing race problems in Ferguson and elsewhere, we see the reality on our screens every single day of the year. That reality is reflected here:

where it is easy to see that some appear to believe that those living in Ferguson, those thousands of people are not American and of less value than one white American.

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