Friday, 21 September 2012

Why Romney's comments matter:

Many republican or conservative people are blowing off what Romney said to a group of rich business people, or saying that he's right.


Romney said: 47 percent will vote for Obama "no matter what"--those who are "dependent upon government, who believe that they are victims, who believe that government has a responsibility to care for them, who believe that they are entitled to health care, to food, to housing, to you name it." Article 25 section 1 of the universal declaration of human rights.


Article 25.

  • (1) Everyone has the right to a standard of living adequate for the health and well-being of himself and of his family, including food, clothing, housing and medical care and necessary social services, and the right to security in the event of unemployment, sickness, disability, widowhood, old age or other lack of livelihood in circumstances beyond his control.
In short?

Romney believes that 47 percent of Americans are not entitled to human rights. That somehow being too poor to pay income tax, being out of work, being retired, being a child, being disabled and unable to work, being a soldier in the military, means that someone does not inherently deserve human rights as if people could somehow become not human by losing their job, by retiring, by being younger than 18, by serving in the military to protect everyone, by being poor, or by being disabled often because of having served in the military.

It is not being entitled to expect healthcare, food and housing, it is not being a victim. These are things we all should have because they are basic human rights. There is no bit that says "unless you're an American and don't pay income tax because you're in the military/disabled/out of work/working poor, retired, a child", but in Romney's world he thinks there is.

What kind of a potential leader thinks that nearly 50% of the people he claims to represent do not deserve human rights? What kind of potential leader thinks that it is unreasonable of people to expect their human rights to be fulfilled based on the fact they are human and not what taxes they pay? What kind of person thinks he can divide the populace into deserves human rights and doesn't deserve human rights?

What kind of person is Romney?

Ask yourself this, what kind of man begrudges food in the mouths of children, a roof over their head and healthcare for them when they're sick because they don't pay income tax? If you would still vote for someone who thinks like that, then what kind of person are you, that you would vote for someone who thinks that human rights aren't for everyone?

Saturday, 15 September 2012

Dear "feminist" men:

Okay, so you love your mother/female relatives and have a boatload of respect for women, or so you say.

Good, however?

Don't claim to be a feminist man and then pull this bullshit:

1. Telling a woman how her oppression works.

You are a man, you do not experience institutional sexism, you can listen to us describe it but you do not suffer it on a regular basis day in and day out, thus you do not have the experience to tell any woman how her oppression does or doesn't work and it's very paternalistic and sexist to presume to do so.

2. Claiming that what you did wasn't sexist after you've just done something very very sexist.

 You are a man, even if you were raised by feminists, you live in a society that is deeply steeped in misogyny and sexism. You will have absorbed that and thus will need to guard against it surfacing. If you find yourself claiming you didn't fuck up to a woman who criticised something you did? You probably did fuck up. Any men who proclaims that being a feminist makes it impossible for him to fuck up is far more likely to be a sexist ass repeatedly than one who realises that his privilege and socialisation lays traps of sexism for him to fall into and watches out for them.

3. Telling women and feminists how and when to fight sexism.

It's our oppression, we've been fighting it for a very long time, surprisingly you as a privileged person are typically not the font of knowledge on how to fight against it. I find men who argue this are typically arguing for their right to use sexist tropes and terms to "remove the power of these words", except using them doesn't remove their power, it adds to them and to societies sexist attitudes.

4. Using your self title as a basis for how you are better than any other man and you deserve extra kudos and dates for not being a sexist asshole.

Your self title of "feminist" is not a magic get women to date me card. Also you shouldn't be not being a bigot just for dates and cupcakes, you should be doing it because you don't want to be a bigot.

5. Claiming any woman who disagrees with you is "mean", "rude", "unreasonable", or being "atagonistic".

 Frequently I've found men will do something horrifically sexist, deny it, and then blame us for being pissed at their sexism and their denial of it. Don't fucking do this, if a feminist or women is pissed off at you, there's probably a reason for it and to paternalistically denigrate our anger as being unreasonable or unfair is misogynistic as anything.

6. Pulling "you don't know me" and arguing that your female family members who you claim are feminists like you so therefore you're a good person.

I don't need to know you to know if you just said something dreadfully sexist and you don't need to be "bad person" to say something dreadfully sexist. If we were life long friends or relatives, it would not change the fact that you just said something dreadfully fucking sexist. also your family? Are probably way more willing to overlook your flaws and love you despite them. That doesn't make you a good person, just a person who is loved by their family.

7. Acting superior/assuming the privilege of your voice being taken as the right one because of your gender.

There's nothing more annoying that a guy basically acting like he expects me to give him his gender privilege, then getting pissy because I know and point out that rather than his gender making him have special insights on sexism it actually makes it so he has less of an insight into sexism.

8. Demanding "respect" aka privilege in our spaces.

You're a man. You are not entitled to privilege in feminist spaces, that you would expect it much less demand it is highly inappropriate.

9. Don't whine that calling you on something is sexism.

Seriously... That this even has to be said, says everything.

In short, calling yourself a male feminist is not a free pass to be a misogynistic asshole.

Saturday, 1 September 2012

On having an eating disorder and having a disability:

Trigger warnings for fat shaming, eating disorder descriptions and abuse descriptions:

"You need to lose weight, your weight is causing your disability"

"You're fat"

Two throwaway sentences said to me by doctors who had never even read my file or considered that they were facing a patient who had recovered from an undiagnosed eating disorder thanks to their disability. I've never told anyone before that I had an eating disorder and recovered, I'm telling now because I think it's important that people know you can get better and that you can have them without people knowing.

When I was 15 I weighed 5 stone nothing. I was a size 6, size eight clothes hung on my body like balloons off of a clothes horse. None of my doctors thought this alarming just like they didn't consider the fact that a 15 year old was in so much pain that she couldn't bear the touch of fabric on her legs was alarming.

This was due to a combination of an abusive parent starving me and because I was already in the grip of Anorexia. I was listless unless exercising, I was depressed, and I had no idea how I looked. I thought I was fat, all I could see was my "disgusting wobbly thighs" and the tiny portion of my belly that was supposed to stick out, I treated it like it was a pot belly a mile wide. I hid behind clothing as baggy as I could find. If I wore anything other than baggy clothes people made negative comments about me, either saying I was a whore (I was first called a whore while wearing shorts as an eleven year old) or saying I was fat out of jealousy.

I was in pain due to my undiagnosed EDS, but people thought I was healthy just because I was skinny. Anorexia took a grip on my life, My meals were so few and far between that I lost the ability to recognise hunger, I exercised despite the pain because everyone was saying:

"It's growing pains" (I was way too fucking old for growing pains)

"It'll go away in time".

Eventually I collapsed, the stress I was under combined with the increasing levels of pain from my still not diagnosed ehlers-danlos syndrome finally took me down, and the weight followed.

I am now overweight, and doctors blame my disabilities on it. My disabilities saved my life in a very real way. I was killing myself because of the belief that skinny is healthy. My disabilities actually stopped me from exercising and starving myself to death.

Everytime a doctor tells me I'm fat like it's some kind of crime? I want to drop kick him. Fact is my body now looks like I thought it looked when I was dangerously underweight, and I'm happier with my body now than I was when I was a skinny starving anorexic. I might have "looked good" because I was skinny, but in reality I was dying.

I can lose weight and in fact am working to lose the weight healthily and realistically, if it wasn't for my disabilities though, I wouldn't have that chance because anorexia would have killed me.

My weight didn't make me disabled, my disabilities made me overweight and in doing so, they saved my life.

If you're a doctor and you feel the need to comment or make assumptions about a patient's health based on their weight? Don't. Same goes for everyone else.

1. If we're overweight, we know it. You saying so is not some massive relevation.

2. Weight does not cause disability, it's typically the other way around or they may have nothing whatsoever to do with each other.

3. People do recover from eating disorders and go on to gain weight. You have no idea if the "fat" person was starving themselves to death a decade ago, so before you open your mouth consider the harm you could do if they are prone to EDs and keep said mouth shut.

4. Skinny =/= healthy. Skinny people can be disabled or ill just as easily as anyone else can be.