Tuesday, 2 September 2014
I self manage in an effort to stay off medication (I'm largely treatment resistant anyway) so that the shorter life I will live will be as meaningful and wonderful to me as possible. This self management means constantly being selfish, constantly having to put myself first so that I can live rather than survive. My very disinterest these days in a normal life (let's face it, anyone who knows me since childhood knows that was never really me) is exactly what drives people to manic pixie dream grrl me.
But that very trope is dehumanising at its core. It makes you into a character in a movie and nothing else. It strips you of being anything deeper than fun, quirky and colourful. But I am more than those things, I am strong & assertive. I am many character traits that were they in a man they would be lauded rather than shamed. I will not be made to apologise for who I am, you do not know what it took for me to get here.
I do not exist as a footnote in men's lives so they can reach their goals at the expense of my humanity.
Monday, 1 September 2014
This idea paints everyone in a terrible light does it not? There are men that have done awful things to me and though they may have taken something, they did not take my worth. There are also other men & people where we've done nothing but enjoy ourselves, so why is society telling us that that interaction was a give and take of personal worth? Why do we continue to paint men as some kind of sexual beasts and anyone else as victims of their sexual prowess? What of the men who have little interest in no strings attached sex, are they less of a man? What of people who are not men who's sex drive is incredibly high? Will we really buy into some of the ideas of radical feminists that women and non men can't possibly enjoy sex, that it's a lie told to us by the patriarchy? I believe telling anyone, not just women, what they can & cannot do or feel is the ultimate form of kyriarchy.
Whatever your personal attitude to sex is, remember this, how many or few people you have sex with does not determine your personal worth. This idea also only holds up in heteronormative discourse, what on earth happens when two women have sex with each other? Do they both loose worth? Both gain?
Let's stop this flawed logic. Let's stop shaming people for how much or how little sex they want to have & with how many or few people they want to have it with.
Thursday, 24 July 2014
Being poly or practising ethical non monogamy is different for everyone, there is no one set narrative. I am still finding my way with it myself & so is my primary partner.
So here's my deal, I have a primary partner who is male, yes I am in love with him & I do still fancy him very much. Outside of this I date other people, I primarily (but not exclusively) date people who are not men. And no, my sex life is none of your fucking business. Do not ask me intrusive questions, I will however answer respectful questions that do not seek to dehumanise me.
Some of the following are things I do not do:
I do not fancy everyone.
I do not have sex with everyone.
I will not ask out everyone (in fact I'm quite selective).
No, straight women, I am NOT HITTING ON YOU!
I respect your monogamous relationships so please respect mine not being monogamous.
If you don't want to respect this, you know where the door is.
Friday, 6 June 2014
Friday, 2 May 2014
The horror of horrors has come true, I can't feel the strings of my Mirena Coil. The most likely thing that has happened is that it's moved or is missing. All of this can be solved, when looking at it outwardly, relatively simply. I arrange an appointment. Arranging an appointment is the first step in what proves to be not only an unprofessional experience but one that will leave me with more emotional scarring. It is difficult to get through, when I do it's hard to communicate to them what I need. As instead of listening to my worries about it going missing they tell me I only need a brief consultation. They later call to confirm that I've asked for a removal and fitting of a new coil. This is where I first become confused and state that I thought I was only coming for a consultation. After much back & forth I still don't know what's going on so I hang up confused. I call back the next day where the person on the phone clearly states "This is a consultation only, you will not be examined". I say that if I am to be examined I want to bring my partner & I want to be examined by a woman ONLY. The person on the phone clearly states again that it will only be a consultation & that she will write this information in my notes.
Let me explain why I need so much clarity, why I want to be examined by women only and why I need someone with me. I am a rape survivor & an abuse survivor (although I sometimes refer to myself as a victim). I have no interest in going into detail, years later I can barely even utter the words. That these are experiences that have scarred me & shaped my life are an understatement. Everyone's reactions to their own trauma is different and all are valid. Please don't police how I deal with mine.
The day of the appointment comes and I am still anxious. I arrive early & try to relax. My previous experiences have been good with understanding & kind nurses. Even my first smear test which I was very worried about went well. The nurse was brisk but kind and I felt at ease especially as it was over so quickly and painlessly.
The person who eventually calls my name is a man. They are running late and the male consultants have started taking files out of the "Female Specialist Only" pile. I feel worried but assure myself that they told me they would only be consulting me not examining me. I mean they stated clearly on the phone that I would not be examined this evening. I was wrong.
I sit in the room feeling utterly helpless, with an inner knowledge that I will most likely be reprimanded if I push for a female specialist now. I undress and lie on the table. I start crying before he's even done anything. I don't know if he's not noticed or if he doesn't care. He is forceful and uncaring, the speculum used is metal and slightly too big. I feel a surge of pain as he examines me roughly. When he's done swabbing and looking for the strings of my coil he confirms my fears that my coil has indeed either moved or gone missing. I will be scheduled in for a scan followed by a removal and re-fitting. The examination is not over however, he presses on my belly without much warning causing me great pain. He goes on to examine me internally with his fingers. This includes pressing in various places as well as moving my cervix about harshly. I cry throughout my examination. I leave the room numb, wiping away my tears I rush through the clinic. I burst through the exit doors for cold air to hit me and I finally feel awake. My only saving grace is knowing that my partner is on his way to meet me. The partner who was clear in always being there when I need him, who would have taken time off work had I known to ask him. He would have been there with me, had they told me what was actually going to happen. If I had been prepared I could have taken steps to prepare myself and ensure that I would have felt safe throughout.
I know many people reading this will feel that the onus is on me to have had my partner there regardless. That I should have pushed more for a female specialist. But I rarely have the strength these days to fight and I don't believe that the onus lies with the survivor, victim, patient but with those who will be treating them to treat them with respect and compassion. It states clearly in my notes what I wanted, if I can't get it when I ask for it clearly why even bother asking or pushing. There are countless more people like me, who though they have access to sexual health care are scarred by it. Are frightened to go and have terrible experiences when they do.
The NHS is stretched and constantly facing more cuts. This means clinic's can't employ enough staff, they can't train their staff well enough for these situations. They can't run on time so shortcuts need to be taken. The more the NHS is cut the more pain vulnerable patients such as myself will experience. I will continue to seek the help of Sexual Health Clinics because I have to. But I know that it will become increasingly more rare that I have a safe experience when doing so.
Wednesday, 30 April 2014
We forget that behind the screens, behind people's tough exterior they are often vulnerable. People have a lot of power to do good but we have just as much if not more power to harm.
Harassment, shaming, bullying are these really traits of your humanity that you want to be proud of?
Tuesday, 29 April 2014
So in essence, I refuse to answer any more questions such as the above. They are not important, they just seek to further the status quo. Start asking me serious, genuine questions & you might find my responses a lot warmer. Start showing me you genuinely care & again you may find me a lot warmer. My personal feelings about men, whatever they may be are none of your business.
Saturday, 26 April 2014
I get told that I'm difficult or difficult to talk to on a relatively regular basis. The source of these comments is 90% of the time, well you can guess by now can't you? I presume that they find me difficult because I won't just listen to them chat shit without speaking up when they say something I disagree with. I presume they find me difficult when their "jokes" are met with a blank stare & me proclaiming that I don't think they're funny. I presume they find me difficult because it's never crossed their minds how what they say could possibly affect others. Especially how much their words could hurt someone. They are so used to their dominant position in society that they don't expect anyone to express their disagreement. Oh oops I've gotta stop I can hear an incoming "not all" argument followed by " but I'm a NICE GUY". Here, borrow my phone, call someone who cares. Because I am proud that my words, deem me threatening enough for you to call me difficult.
Would the ideal for them being people like me staying quiet? Probably. Does this mean I'm going to be quiet? I'll let you guess ;-)
Wednesday, 26 March 2014
Tuesday, 25 March 2014
Absolutely anyone can be femme/feminine. Femininity is not a performance any more than masculinity is. There are of course times when both can be such but I wouldn't assert one as more so than the other. Nor would I posit either as intrinsically performative. Even if it were a performance, unless it is negatively affecting you & your mental health would it still be correct to argue that the performance in itself is a bad thing?
We laud strong female characters and of course we should, but we should not laud them over feminine (or as society reads that word, weak) characters. People are nuanced and can be strong & feminine, weak & masculine & everything in between. Neither weakness nor strength are inherently negative characteristics & we can all benefit from a bit of both. Strength and weakness also come in many different forms & aren't always the way society views them.
Femininity is just as valid, just as important & just as real as anything else. Of course it is problematic that toys & items are constantly gendered. But it's no more problematic labelling things "for girls" than "for boys". Toys, colours etc. should be for people & people should be free to like whatever they like. When we don't rage the same way about something being "for boys" we are simply relenting to the idea that boy/man = default person.
Until we stop positing femininity as performance, not valid & lesser we really aren't fucking getting anywhere are we.
Tuesday, 4 March 2014
Homosexuality in Africa
How Wests attempt at helping LGBT people in Uganda could actually hurt them
A great personal post on why they stopped identifying with white feminism
Sam Ambreen on unity
I went to this talk and it was quite interesting.
Creepy men being creepy
On Perez Hilton's recent display of racism
100 black bisexual, queer and transgender women you should know
I leave you with a pant moistener
Monday, 24 February 2014
Friday, 21 February 2014
What many people are not aware of is that it is often an oppressive thought, one which forces itself into your head without asking permission first. It is not rational and pointing this out is never helpful. But please also do not make us feel ashamed for some of the things we feel we MUST do. Try to listen & understand us, don't make us feel worse for things that already do not make us feel good about ourselves.
Here are some things that have helped me through in the past. I am by no means a trained mental health professional these are just personal things I have figured out. These have helped me through not only compulsion but also low cycles.
For anyone who is near me at the time, please ask permission before you physically attempt to comfort me.
Have a bath with something in it that smells nice. Bubbles are great too. Pampering yourself in any way you tend to enjoy can help too. If you are with someone you feel safe with ask them if they will give you a foot rub or a massage.
Attempt to distract yourself. Try to do something easy that you enjoy. Play a video game, read a book, watch a TV show you love, cook yourself something nice & simple (if you can). Tidy your room and do a clear out (again only if you can). Listen to music & pretend you're the one on the stage screaming your heart out. Screaming into a pillow can also be helpful.
Take a walk. This I find better if someone is with me as being outside can sometimes be a bit too much.
Don't do too much, cancel plans you can't manage. People will understand, if they don't well then they're the shitty ones, not you. (This one is much harder to do as inevitable practising what you preach can be very difficult)
Alternatively see people you know you feel safe with. Ask if they can come to your house & bring with them something they know you love (a film, food stuff, nice drink etc.). Or go to a place you're 100% sure you will feel safe. Of course public transport can be too difficult so keep that in mind if you are low on spoons.
Call a friend you feel safe with or text if speaking to someone is too much.
Most importantly however, it's ok to fail. I inevitably feel full of shame and angry at myself for not being able to do what I want to do or giving into compulsions. Of course I'm saying this as someone who's never been able to accomplish not beating myself up about it. However I at least want you all to know that I am someone who will never judge you.
Monday, 17 February 2014
A good comic about slurs.
The fallacy of the Just world
Creepy white knight body hair enthusiasts
Very interesting I thought, although has had mixed reviews from others
It's me! ME!!!!
Adorable and awesome!
Thursday, 13 February 2014
Don't pull me onto your lap
Wednesday, 12 February 2014
Gender a fun guide
How to interact with sex workers
9 ways to be in solidarity with sex workers
When Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie Met Sweden
In response to world Hijab day
Dylan Farrow (TW)
American rape statistics but holy fucking shit
Janet Mock calls out Piers Morgan
Hate Lena Dunham? This is a good read
Not guilty means nothing in a rape culture (TW)
So you care about Sochi, here's some other shit to care about
Woody Allen 10 undeniable facts (TW)
The history white people need to learn
Mind your language
Storify Avery Edison detained at Toronto pearson airport
THIS IS AMAZING!!!
Thursday, 6 February 2014
I feel like writing about my anxiety though more specifically. Partly because it's been worse recently and I thought this might help me and others but also because well, I just feel like it.
Recently it's been particularly loud up in my brain. I struggle to get to sleep and when I do I nearly always wake up at 5am. This means I am constantly tired, this in turn makes my pendulum of mood swings swing harder and faster perpetuating a rather dangerous cycle. I often wake up with stomach aches and feel sick. I tend to get these feelings off and on during the day. I also have a near constant headache, shoulders & back also ache tremendously.
One of the worst parts of my anxiety is social anxiety. This is in part perpetuated by the street harassment I get pretty much daily as it makes me not want to leave my house. I have a near constant voice in my head telling me that everyone hates me even though of course I know this isn't true. I know this isn't true because I have wonderful friends who I see regularly. I have a lovely boyfriend who does thoroughly enjoy spending time with me. I also have a mother who is very supportive and we are in contact every day. See they don't hate me. So why do I keep telling myself that everyone does?
This voice does however tend to make me quite an intense person to be around. I am often on edge. I am so worried about saying weird things that well I end up saying weird things. I make odd jokes that aren't funny at all. I can also be very shy and difficult to talk to because I'm not always 100% sure how to do human interaction. This means sometimes people think I hate them. Actually a lot of people seem to think that at first which obviously makes me feel terrible. People reading this, I don't hate you!!!
I'm not so great at being touched (for many reasons we shan't delve into) which means I occasionally flinch when people touch me. I can hazard a guess that it's something that's quite confusing for many. Honestly speaking I switch fast between loving being touched by people to in the next moment absolutely hating it.
There are certain places I can't go because it makes it a lot worse. If somewhere is incredibly busy and I'm already on edge I will struggle. Certain kinds of places makes me very uncomfortable. You'd probably guess which ones, the Tiger Tiger's of this world. The kind of places frequented by bankers etc. I don't feel safe in places like that so my anxiety levels shoot up.
Unfortunately my anxiety doesn't really make any sense so I can't always know when and how it's going to hit. Such is life in this package deal of mine.
Wednesday, 5 February 2014
Now the anger you are feeling is good. Hold on to that. But please make sure you direct it at the right people. Do not be angry at the people who work on our magnificent London Underground. They are striking because of 500 jobs being cut, much longer working hours and closure of ticket offices. They are striking for very important reasons. Because everyone deserves to be treated with respect and dignity at work. Everyone deserves to be paid properly for the hard work they do. Everyone deserves reasonable working hours. And all of us deserve ticket offices. There are a lot of lies about stations having more staff when the ticket offices close. They will not. I travel on routes daily already without ticket offices and there is hardly ever any station staff around to help.
Show them solidarity because over these days you will see how vital our tube is. Be angry, but be angry at the right people. Be angry at Boris Johnson, David Cameron, Nick Clegg and the bosses who refuse to listen to their workers.
Monday, 3 February 2014
Reni Eddo-Lodge "a word to white women"
Pulling my hair as a media strategy
A great take down of the misogofeminists bull crap
Balancing without a net
Rudy Bleu & Beth Ditto
I was a teenage serial killer!
Thursday, 30 January 2014
No hey's, no babe, no wow look at those tits
Don't "compliment" me, I already know I look good.
Don't look me up & down like you'd devour me whole
I am not a tasty snack, I am a person.
And yes I've done the victim blaming bullshit
But no I do not bring it on myself.
My hair is not the damn problem
My outfit is not the damn problem
You are the goddamn problem
Monday, 27 January 2014
The same people now call me beautiful
Forgetting that I'm still the same person
My growth was stunted
I look the same but perceptions changed
Who's to say they won't again
I was once called stupid
The same people now say I am so well read
Forgetting that I'm still the same person
My growth was stunted
I think the same but perceptions changed
Who's to say they won't again
I was once broken into little pieces
The same people now laud my strength
Forgetting that they damaged a person
My growth was stunted
I'm not the same
That person bleeds out
I can't keep them in
Melissa Harris Perry on becoming aware of the plight of trans people
Queer critique of Blue is the warmest colour
To all women who have ever been told to quiet down
The trouble with Violeta
Tilly Grove on Sexting
Breaking up with white people
Suey Park on Not Your Asian Sidekick
The politics of skin lightening
Good comic about white privilege
Stop fawning over male feminists
Monday, 20 January 2014
Thousands in court over Bedroom tax
Double standards & racism in how we judge music
Immigration detainee died in handcuffs
Russell Brand deserves no praise
Anti Blackness in high street fashion brands
Turns out Tina Fey is kind of anti women
5 things more likely to happen to you than being falsely accused of rape
Oh Stonewall =( =( =(
Great piece on the SoHo raids by Rupert Everett
The names they gave me
Saturday, 18 January 2014
The irony being of course that the post does not reflect on the fact that both toys posit white skin as the highest beauty standard one should aspire for.
It also misses the fact that though hyper masculinity is indeed harmful, Barbie's life that is pushed on women is one of being pretty so to get the man and live in their big pink house with their big pink car. Whereas He-Man gets to go around saving the world and be considered a hero. Nothing wrong with women living in nice houses and being pretty at all but I'd rather that not be pushed as the one and only thing we're allowed to aspire to.
Men must give up the notion that they must always be the centre of the narrative. The fact that they insist on being so in FEMINISM (the clue my friends is in the name) is quite frankly ludicrous. Feminism should at all times centre women. Feminism does fail in many cases. It fails WOC, Trans women, non binary people, sex workers, working class women and disabled (both visibly and invisibly so) women. I am not concerned with whether it fails men as it is NOT ABOUT YOU!
But you know, soz you're butt hurt about not looking like He-Man.
Monday, 13 January 2014
This is a few years old but always relevant.
Just go ahead and read everything on this list.
and this list too!
The closing of Fire stations in London is such a bad idea.
For your protection
Okwonga poem about privilege
Explaining white privilege to a broke white person.
Next up are a few links on the Mark Duggan verdict.
Some spoken word.
A great interview with Reni Eddo - Lodge
And finally some cats where they shouldn't be
Monday, 6 January 2014
A hetero extremely sexual boy.
A boy who claimed to love me.
Without ever having spoken to me.
He was sweet and I thought loyal.
I gave him my friendship and treasured what I thought his.
Until he told me he loved me and I declined.
His sadness was apparent and everyone blamed me
I owed him....me.
He was a nice guy.
We stayed what I thought friends until....
one night I kissed him in inebriation.
And I did indeed love him.
As a friend.
But apparently I owed him.....me.
When he met a girl who would give him everything he was owed
I was pushed aside and non existent
even though his friendship meant the world to me.
My heart broken.
My soul broken.
My trust broken
but that did not matter.
Because I OWED HIM....ME!!!!
I OWED HIM MY SEX
Regardless of what I felt....I owed him.
Drone strikes in Yemen
Trudy on Beyonce's new album.
Stavvers on her white privilege.
After Womans hour.
White feminists rejecting intersectionality.
More thoughts on Beyonce's new album.
Forced deportations in Sweden
Nazi activity increases in Sweden
Louise Mensch and her gross display of white privilege
Laverne Cox creating a documentary about CeCe McDonald
A year in review.
The trouble with passing privilege