Sunday, 23 March 2014

It's not Just About Girls... /Love146

His Name Was David. from Love146 on Vimeo.

I chose this weeks Love146 video because I think that sometimes it is easy to associate and stereotype particular genders with particular sexual crimes and acts. For example causing the stereotype that it is only men selling girls for various trafficking reasons. In reality this is not the case, as females can also participate in trafficking children and males and young boys are also targeted by trafficking for the same reasons as young girls; but for some reason awareness of this seems to be limited in the general public. 

I remember watching a documentary, years ago, about street urchins AKA homeless children in a European country, (which unfortunately I have forgotten the name of), that told the story of young girls and boys who were targeted by older men and women and would often accept propositions of sex just so they could have a warm bed to sleep in for the night. When these young people were interviewed it could be seen that accepting an offer once, made them targets of unwanted harassment by these people propositioning them night after night and in some cases resulting in rape and abduction. Most of the children and teenagers interviewed about this were boys.

This is why I chose this video as I think it is great that they were so readily and willing to accommodate the needs of the young people requesting help, without discriminating against gender. Although to be honest I don't think that many organisations like this would actually discriminate against gender...

Anyway I think it is great that they are helping young boys as well. I haven't had the chance to do any extra research this week so if you, my lovely readers, know of any other wonderful organisations that fight against human trafficking, I would love to hear about them and check them out as well.

Till next time!

Maisy xxx

Saturday, 22 March 2014

Doki Doki Manga // Mishounen Produce

It has been a long, long time since I can last remember reading a doki doki manga!

Last night I started to read a shojou manga by the title of Mishounen Produce written and drawn by Kaoru Ichinose. I may have "accidentally" read it in one sitting instead of actually sleeping... but I guess that means that it's not too long of a series, there's really only 18 chapters that make up the whole story.

The story is about a boy (Kousei) and a girl (Ka-ako), who have been best friends since they were young children. (It is made clear several times in the manga that they really didn't have much choice in this as they were the only two children living in their small country town.) Growing up in such isolation it's only natural that they bring their interesting and colourful personalities with them as they enter high school, (as boarders of course), only to be met with teasing and criticism on their first day. Ka-ako, a self-confessed lover of a shojou manga about a Prince called Lawrence, vows to show up their bullies by transforming/producing her best friend Kousei, a 'country bumpkin' with a wild side, into the most popular guy in school. She does this by modelling Kousei into the mold of Prince Lawrence including his princely charms and feminist ideals, only for it to start getting out of control when Kousei finds inspiration from other sources and starts creating more characters to play and appeal to more girls. The humour pursues as Ka-ako constantly tries to keep the reigns on an obviously out of control Kousei and his even more out of control increasing popularity.

This wasn't the best manga that I've read. The plot was predictable, (if you read lots shojou manga you soon learn that there are particular formulas and stories which get used and re-used quite a lot), the characters were pretty standard shojou and it felt like the manga abruptly ended in a spot where there was potential for the plot to really start developing some interesting story arcs. However despite that I really enjoyed the story, the characters and artwork. It's cute and the manga is chock full of doki doki scenes that will actually make your heart go doki doki~!

STUDY NOTE: For those unfamiliar with manga or the Japanese language: the term "doki doki" is Japanese onomatopoeia for one's heart beating. I guess in English it would kind of be similar to "ba-dump ba-dump" only with romantic connotations attached to it.

It has been such a long time since I last remember reading a manga that constantly had scenes and situations that make you smile or swoon, your heart beat or whatever it is you do or feel when you read a doki doki manga. For me it's like a tugging sensation somewhere deep in my gut and feelings of excited anticipation for what happens next or wondering how the main characters are going to respond.

I guess this is the kind of thing people refer to as a guilty pleasure/read? Something that's not particularly sensational or spectacular but still deliciously enjoyable!

If you have some time and would like to try something a little bit different give Mishounen Produce a try. If you google the title I'm sure you'll be able to find something that will lead you to it. *wink!

I'd love to know what your experiences with doki doki-like manga are, as I'm sure it's not just me who has experiences like this. If you have any recommendations for manga to read or would like to let me know what your favourite doki doki manga is leave a comment below.

Till next time!

Maisy xxx

Saturday, 15 March 2014

#Remember The Girl / Love146

"...As we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others..." Marianne Williamson

This is a little bit of a different post to my usual ones... I don't normally share viral things, however I feel that this is something worth sharing.

As I was packing and cleaning my room today I was watching various makeup tutorials on Youtube and came across this video by Michelle Phan.

It reminded me of my first experience being confronted by the reality of human trafficking. Before your imaginations get ahead of themselves, no I wasn't kidnapped or anything but I was young and naive. Maybe it's something that comes with age or maybe more education I'm not too sure myself but I know that when I started high school, as each year went on I would gradually discover that the world is not always the host of lovely wonderous things, that people can do cruel, terrible things and that even for some of my friends, school was a safer place to be than their own homes.

This "awakening", call it a gradual lifetime learning experience if you will, only intensifies when you move out of home, start going to university/college and are taught to questions things, challenge more things and to change your way of thinking.

It was during my second year of university, I had a friend who wanted to change the world and was determined to start off that year by actively participating in clubs that would help her do that. I was invited along with my Japanese language partner, to attend one of the clubs events with my friend. I only had a vague idea what would be happening and that it involved free pizza an outdoor movie and something about human trafficking, little did I know at the time what human trafficking actually involved. 

The movie shown was called The Jammed, (<--- Click on the name for the link<---). Based on actual events it follows the story of a girl named Crystal as she was travels to Australia under the impression that she'd be working as a dancer only to arrive at the airport and be handed over to a hmmn I can't remember what it's called but we shall call him a 'prostitute handler' as I don't intend to watch the movie again. The movie follows her and two other trafficked girls as they are forced into prostitution and kept as prisoners in an illegal brothel, which looks a lot like an abandoned building, in the city of Melbourne. There is a lot of swearing in the movie as well as nudity, graphic sex/rape, humiliation and abuse. It is definately not for the feint of heart and I could only really recommend it for those who wish to be shocked or see something gritty, dark and 'real'. THERE ARE THINGS IN THAT MOVIE THAT CANNOT BE UNSEEN!!! Such as the when Crystal gets 'broken in' by her handler when she first arrives in the country. For those of you who don't understand the lingo, when people talk about 'breaking in' a girl/sex slave it involves that girl being raped multiple times, sometimes by one person and sometimes by a group of people, until all of the fight in her has fled and she submits. It is a painful horrible thing for someone to go through and horrifying to watch, even though I know it was actors playing a scene in a movie I will probably have the imagery haunt me now and then for the rest of my life.

 "A choir is made up of many voices, including yours and mine. If one by one all go silent then all that will be left are the soloists.
Don't let a loud few determine the nature of the sound. It makes for poor harmony and diminishes the song." Vera Nazarian

Watching The Jammed was like a slap in the face. It is all too easy for many people to associate serious issues like this with something that only happens overseas, far far away in a distant land. This is simply not true, it happens everywhere, hidden in the most unsuspected of places.

And while we can't all go running around saving escaped prostitutes, (the movie makes you want to do that), we can be informed and accept the reality of this issue. 

We Are Love146 from Love146 on Vimeo.

I felt inspired to write this post because I believe that by not turning a blind eye to this issue, by being informed and by sharing this information with others, is a way that we can all help to improve the lives of others, regardless of whether you have skills, money or time to donate. I know I certainly don't have those at the moment but it doesn't mean that I don't care! My heart really does go out to those affected by human trafficking and literal tears were shed in the lead up to writing this.

Please check out <<LOVE146 HERE>> as they have a really great and informative site.

If you don't have too much time to spend on the site I would recommend <<THIS PAGE>> and the story written on the home page; it sheds some light on the video - take say 5 to 7 years off the girl in the videos age and the impact becomes a whole lot more powerful! 
I think that the reason Michelle Phan made the hash tag "Remember" the girl is because when the raid was conducted they tried to look for 146, the girl with the piercing eyes, but were unable to find her. No one knows what happened to her, all she left was her memory and a strong impression of what she stood for.

In support for Love146 and spreading awareness, I have decided that I will post a Love146 related video every week for the rest of the month!

Remember that you each have a voice, that you can use for good if you allow yourself to.

Till next time,

Maisy xxx

Tuesday, 11 March 2014

Little Things That Make Me Happy...

Here is a random list of things I like, in no particular order.

Why??? I dunno, I just feel like it and maybe it's because I have pajamas on my mind!

      • Pajamas
      • Rain - Heavy rain when I'm inside / Light sprinkles when I'm out
      • Lanterns
      • San-X plushies - my ultimate favourite is Mouton-san!
      • Baths
      • Books
      • Scented Candles
      • Small Puppies
      • Coloured pencils
      • French styled furniture
      • Glossy magazines
      • Music
      • Foreign films/TV
      • Perfume
      • Crisp White shirts, walls and curtains
      • The Internet
      • Make up
      • Stylish Stationary
      • Konpeito (A type of Japanese sugar candy)
      • When book spines just seem to go well together on the shelf.
      • My new Fuji Instax Mini
      • Small sized language classes
      • Handwriting
      • Happy snapping - even if I don't know how to use all the settings on my camera
      • Afternoon sunsets
      • Balloons
      • Cake
      • Friends
      • Trying out new things
      • The warm tingly feeling your muscles get while doing the after work out stretch 

It's not a complete list of everything that I like but I think there's enough to leave as is.

Let me know what some of the things are that make you happy!

Till next time!

Maisy xxx