I subscribe to the idea that it is the small things in life that are meaningful and make us happy. But over the past seven days, I have also found that the small things make us angry and frustrated. It is stuff seen on the news, little nuisances during the day, and utterly unimportant things that haunt me for days.
So, here is an exhaustive list of what made me angry this week.
Sunday, 13th August
It is always nice to realise in retrospect that you should have been angry about something. After the UCI World Championship was over, I thought about how nice of an event it had been. The sun was out, people gathered everywhere to cheer on the cyclists, three good days of sport and spectators in Stirling.
Except that the turnout of fans on Thursday for the women’s cycling was marginally lower than when the men’s elite rolled around on Friday. Blame it on the weekday, the weather being warmer on Friday, or what have you, but the fact was and is that people care less about women’s sports.
Monday, 14th August
By now, we have probably all heard that, for various products, the test group is usually just men. Seatbelts, for example, have been tested based on the measurements of an average man. This in itself should be enough to make me mad. On Monday, I learned that manufacturers are testing menstrual products with water or saline. Earlier this month, BMJ Sexual & Reproductive Health published research (the first of its kind) on the absorbency of blood in tampons, pads, period underwear and menstrual cups. It turns out that the blue liquid poured on pads in commercials is not for the sake of censorship – that is how products are actually tested.
It goes without saying that blood is thicker than water, and any person who’s experienced a period will know that it is not all liquid. Unsurprisingly, the study found that there is a disconnect between the absorbency stated on the packaging and actual absorbency. It all comes down to inaccurate (and frankly ignorant) testing of products used by half the world’s population at some point in their lives. You wouldn’t test a screwdriver with a nail either!
Tuesday, 15th August
Tuesday was okay.
Wednesday, 16th August
At 2:45 AM on Wednesday, I woke up to the howling sound of our smoke detector going off for no reason. An electrician inspected everything in the flat on Tuesday and told us the smoke detectors should be switched to a newer model. And then they went off in the middle of the night, no fire. While waiting to see if it would go off again we waited in the kitchen. Very tired, disoriented and my body pumping with adrenaline, I started sobbing. Just a little and mixed with laughter. It didn’t make me angry, but I wasn’t exactly happy.
Thursday, 17th August
Representation is everything. So is who you choose to put on major magazine covers. On Thursday, British Vogue posted the September cover on their Instagram. Sporting a trench coat is Coleen Rooney – the other half of the Wagatha Christie libel case in 2022. Now she speaking out about going to court with Rebekah Vardy.
British Vogue had the best opportunity to represent women’s sport when the Lionesses are about to play the finale at the women’s world cup in Sydney instead of a male footballer’s wife. Once again, women’s sport doesn’t get the same fanfare.
Friday, 18th August
On a trip to Bridge of Allan, I discovered, to my dismay, that bus fare prices have increased by 35p. it doesn’t sound like a lot, but to any student, especially those not eligible for the Young Scot free bus travel, it is a lot. The price of a student day ticket is now £3.20.
The clever part is that the price increase was introduced in April when students stopped using the bus services as the academic semester came to an end. Too long ago for anyone to notice or complain. Meanwhile, the owners of McGill’s Bus Service saw a £62 million increase. This puts them in place at no. 345 of the richest people in the UK, with a fortune of £1.425bn.
Saturday, 19th August
And then there’s the immigration and visa changes which have been on my mind for weeks. Sunak and the government are making it more difficult and expensive. And now a Stirling student, Muhammad Rauf Waris, has been detained for 2 months on grounds of violating his visa, but with no evidence presented in support of that. The treatment of the case and the individual is appalling and it should make everybody angry.
Featured image credit: Freepik