This is a longer and substantially less polite version of an article I wrote for an internal publication in a labour rights organisation (not in Ireland), where I am currently (lol) an intern (but a paid one!) But also not lol, because JobBridge is a trainwreck and needs to be scrapped immediately.
What is this bridge you speak of?
JobBridge is a national internship scheme set up by the Irish government, in response to high levels of unemployment caused by the spectacular crash of the Celtic Tiger economy in 2009. To qualify for the scheme, you must have been unemployed and receiving state welfare benefits for at least three months. If you secure an internship, you will be paid an extra fifty euro per week on top of your current benefits. The employer pays nothing, and may even be eligible for financial incentives. The total time you could potentially spend on the scheme is 18 months, divided over two or three internships. Which seems like an awfully long time considering that internships, by their nature, are intended to be temporary learning experiences that aid transition into real work.
I have not been blogging much recently because I have been living in the small but comfortable hell that is trying to finish up my MA before I move to Geneva IN LESS THAN THREE WEEKS HOLY SHIT DON’T THINK ABOUT IT THE PANIC. Life is comfortable because I have moved back to my lovely clean warm family home in the west of Ireland, where my mother does my laundry and keeps me well supplied with tea and hearty dinners and all I have to do is stay hunched in front of my double screen set up, flicking between spreadsheets with manic intensity. Like Gollum, only fatter and better at making graphs (we can assume).
Anyway, because life is a bit erratic and I am feeling erratic, have an erratic series of links of things I have been enjoying on the Internet recently!
Stop Telling Women To Smile(video, image, text) This is one of my favourite anti-street harassment campaigns, because it addresses the micro-aggressions (as opposed to the outright aggressive aggressions, which tend to get more airtime.) Micro-aggressions are small incidents of sexism that do not seem significant when viewed in isolation. However, when they begin to accumulate and become constant feature of your daily life, it starts to wear on your mood, your energy and your sense of worth as a person. If you have a few spare cash monies, consider using them to help Tatyana Fazlalizadeh make her public art project go nationwide in the US.
Are you afraid of tampons?(video) Because these guys…like, they’re definitely not… but they’re still not going to like… help a lady out by purchasing them for her or anything. I mean, c’mon. That’s gross.
Cliteracy 101(image, text) New York artist Sophia Wallace wants to dispel all the ignorance surrounding that most mysterious of sex organs… and she’s doing it with street art, clitoris-themed swag and a GIANT GOLDEN CLITORIS THAT YOU CAN RIDE LIKE A FREAKING RODEO BULL.
Lady, You Really Aren’t “Crazy”(text) This article is an oldie, but I stumbled across the other day and remember how much it resonated with me. “Dudes of the world – if you do not return your girlfriend’s calls for a week, and she shows up at your door yelling, she is not crazy. She is angry at you. There’s a difference. “Crazy” would be if you did not return her calls for a week and she decided she was a lighthouse.” Which in turns reminds me of…
Two Sides To Every Story(comic) A great little strip from Kate Or Die about how the “crazy” narrative often plays out in relationships.
Scenes From Majora’s Mask That Brought Me To Tears (article) If, like me, you are part of the subset of Zelda fans who maintain that Majora’s Mask is best game and kind of like… really deep and important art even though you can’t articulate quite why… well, this article is for you!
Ladies’ Brunch(article) Also, more from The Toast, because The Toast is fast becoming my favourite feminist humour site. Fact: Party Brunch is a real thing that happens in New York. Other fact: My browser will not accept that bachelorette is a real word. MISOGYNY.
What About Teh Boyz?(text) The ever excellent Jem Bloomfield on why society is so keen to separate the men from the boys when it comes to sexist behaviour.
What Not To Wear(text) Do you guys remember Trinny and Susannah and What Not To Wear? Well, The Vagenda does and holy shit, were those ladies ever peddling some toxic gender norms under the (admittedly thin) veil of helping ladies improve their self-esteem.
A Guide to Cat Colours and Patterns(image) A friend sent me this insanely detailed and TOTALLY DELIGHTFUL guide to figuring out the precise colour of your darling kitty, created by artist Joumana. The Kitten (pictured above) is a lilac cap-and-saddle torbie and white. OR SOMETHING. Also, your cat could be a “theoretical fawn-based caramel” in which case, you should probably put it on the Internet so everyone can make theoretical cat memes. HOURS OF FUN.
When I read this article for the first time, I was just finishing up an internship with a prestigious Chicago theatre. It had been an intense five months, with many excellent moments but also some stressful-to-the-point-of-tears ones. Looking back, it was a positive experience. At 24, I vowed it would be my last internship. That I was too old for this shit. I was going to go back to education. Get my Masters degree. Get a real job with a real income. Start all that actual life stuff.
So here I am, on my intensive practical hands-on Masters course. And guess what we are strongly encouraged to pursue outside of teaching hours? That’s right! Internships!
As the above article points out, while internships have long been a feature of film and non-profit organisations, they have slowly spread out to cover the entire gamut of the Non-Specific Media Career world. The job climate is abysmal, it’s an employer’s market and bright-eyed young graduates with no skills except Twitter and Starbucks are falling over themselves for that ever-elusive Experience with a capital E.
How much Experience do you need before you start getting paid for the work you do? How many internships is enough? One? Three? I’ve done five so far, and I’m about to start my sixth.