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Not Guilty Verdict for Man who Murdered a Woman

Another day, another not guilty verdict for another perpetrator of violence against women (domestic homicide in this case). The world is shocked, shocked I tell you that he got off, in a fashion that echoed the acquittal of that other famous man who shot a woman partner dead; OJ Simpson. Except that was almost 20 years ago. I am confused that these are the comparisons being made when in the year 2014, 3 women a week have been murdered so far (just in the UK), because of their gender. What happened to them, why don’t we hear about those court cases, was justice even served?

I, like many others fighting to end this violence against us, am counting dead women. I have been every year since I started working in the field. This blog here does it for us. Bookmark it, familiarise yourselves with the work being carried out here and understand that these women aren’t valueless; at least not to those of us working to end gendered violence against women.

Each one of these women could have been saved. If we’d had the resources to reach out to them; through awareness work in the community and early learning in our schools and nurseries, around boundaries and consent. As a society we need to be teaching boys to respect girls, not encouraging violent play. We should already be teaching consent so that our boys do not grow up believing they can just take at will and by force. If that fails though, we need to provide a safe place for survivors to flee to but this is always being challenged by governments who don’t feel that 3 women murdered very week is worrying enough to justify funding for safe houses. In fact they have hacked away at the domestic violence framework with abandon since they came into power. We should not have to push petitions for this very basic provision supporting women who have been forsaken by the system already, existing as wives and mothers, forced into co-dependent relationships, unable to leave because of the many ways in which we judge women for staying (if it was that bad, she would have already said..) and leaving (so you’re hungry? Shouldn’t have left him should you?)

Her name was Reeva Steenkamp; I’m sure none of us will forget this now. We’ll never forget the way Saatchi strangled Nigella brazenly either, in broad daylight, without a care in the world. Of course, many of us learnt the name Janay Rice this past week, the partner of an NFL player who was brutally attacked in an elevator. I didn’t watch the video because I respect survivors and also, dammit, I get incredibly triggered being a survivor myself but I did follow the ‘debate’ on social media. #WhyIStayed was the sort of hashtag that makes me feel ashamed to be human. Despite the evidence the apologists were out in their droves explaining away any rights to privacy or dignity for the victim of the attack, why didn’t she just leave, etc? Well, we keep telling y’all but you never listen, society has made it impossible to leave. Every time a blatant incident of violence against women is dismissed by the people in power, for example the shooting of a woman by her partner in their home, the message they are sending out loud and clear is that it doesn’t matter if the very life is drained from us; the man responsible is not guilty.

I have come to the conclusion that, in a patriarchy, not guilty with regards to gendered violence means the patriarchs in power were unable to fulfil the criteria as they see fit. So if you were raped, it should be violent and committed by a stranger (or a person of colour) and is definitely not something ever perpetrated by national treasures. For victims of domestic violence, nothing less than a Raoul Moat character will afford you the attention and protection you deserve, if you can prove without a shadow of a doubt that the perp was violent not only to you but other people, especially other men, only then can you be a worthy victim.

I hope desperately that we are not sat in disbelief reliving Reeva’s case in another 20 years, reminiscing on how we all knew Pistorius was guilty but what can you do? No, we should see some change before that. Like, actually giving a damn about these issues when the victims are not famous, and signing these damn petitions if you’re unable to get involved in other ways. This shouldn’t be a thing that concerns only a few thousand of us, this affects millions and this fact should be reflected. Let’s start with the media and the way it portrays abusers as heartbroken and cannot even refer to the dead victims by name (property of man, even in death).

Stop thinking of women as wives and mothers and daughters and see us as people suffering violence.

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British Values for British People

As a member of my family, a friend of many circles and a citizen of the patch of land on which I made my entry into the world, I share a common set of values with the people I choose to have in my spaces. They’re old, young, black, white and brown. Some of them practice a religion but a significant number don’t. They come in all shapes and sizes, genders and sexualities. Oddly, they do not share the same political beliefs necessarily but they place the same values on the things we all think are important; like treating each other with respect, for example, and dignity regardless of borders and stereotypes.

Honesty also scores fairly highly in our value system. It takes courage and humility to admit when you are wrong or when you may have hurt someone, unintentionally or otherwise. Recognising humanity in others is something I need to see in the people I surround myself with. I can tell when people are lying, consistency is difficult to achieve, even for sociopaths after a while. I guess this is why I am having difficulties imagining what a British value looks like, when the atrocities carried out in the name of Great Britons are neither honest nor humble.

When David Cameron dictated that British values were not an option but a ‘duty’ did he mean we should all be a bit more like this? If so I’d like to take this opportunity to respond emphatically with good grief, fuck no, strip me of my passport and send me to Cyprus (or Hawaii). I don’t really mean the passport bit, I cannot begin to imagine the hell at Yarlswood and the stories the press will spin that justify making a person stateless (even if they are only suspected of being a domestic extremist) and if calling your prime minister out for bullshit is considered a terrorist offence, then I’m hoping the United Nations (for what good they are) are keeping an eye on things as they develop over here.

If equality (and I mean true equality) is not one of your values then you probably don’t know how to do the other values properly either. Empires are built on arrogance, deceit and bloodshed. Those are not values but traits of a corrupt Machiavellian core of elites manipulating the peasants into doing their dirty work for them (because they share the same skin colour, ffs), and the thing is, empire or not, they’re still at it! I’m being asked to perform these duties but they do not come naturally to the kind of person that I am. It’s my calling to point out these loathsome idiosyncrasies not perpetuate them.

For what it’s worth I think we should strip paedophiles and rapists of their passports but if we did that, the state itself would collapse. Instead, to keep the Great Britain functioning and doing things the British way, the way things have always been done, let’s lie about the truth and point the finger over there and stir up some shit occasionally so that everyone’s too busy fighting each other to notice they just sold their souls to the white devil.

You cannot tout your values as virtuous (or even values) when they include dehumanising people you don’t like through coercive power and control.

We see you. 

No2HLew

hlewwhat

I really resent writing about Helen Lewis but she makes it impossible to ignore with her unrelenting diatribe against whoever it is she wants to demonise that week. I get a lot of satisfaction from ignoring her but it’s dangerous to do that sometimes being as she is someone with an unhealthy influence however much she denies this.

Helen would like to know why there isn’t a UKIP of The Left. Not why isn’t there an alternative to the Labour party or why aren’t we supporting the existing leftists the Greens (not that I agree with any of these statements) but specifically, why isn’t there a racist immigrant bashing nationalist party white socialists can get behind? If her question reads differently to you then you’ve not been paying attention for the last decade at least.

“What on earth would a left-wing Nigel Farage look like?” Probably a bit like Hitler, even if I am Godwinning a bit. Why this sudden desire to imagine a Left where representatives reveal themselves as the racists we already know them to be on pretty much a daily basis, where we find ourselves in some kind of time warp aghast at white people calling non-white people things you hear in nature documentaries? It must be a helluva privilege having the space in your brain to imagine a solution to the travesty that is British leftism with suggestions of nationalism, safe in the knowledge that your white skin guarantees immunity against the more questionable policies say around immigration and the framing of what is and isn’t racist.

Despite the many attempts at Educating Helen on why The Left is a sham and how she contributes to it with her structural power and control, she is determined to get the message out there that it is not racism and erasure of people she thinks are unequal; trans women, women of colour etc. but the “esoteric economic arguments and in fighting” as suggested by an academic who has been following the rise of UKIP. Nowhere does it mention that the rise of UKIP is tied in very closely with the normalisation of othering people the able white majority cannot abide. Wherever fascism has thrived it has done so with the support of its moderates and liberals who ultimately affect the opinions of the lesser peoples via their blogs and columns. We KNOW that is what they have been doing these past few years. Not only do they not admit it but they carry on regardless which is why I find it difficult to believe Helen makes these inane statements out of naivety.

Let’s say for one tiny moment that she asked this question earnestly, that she is genuinely interested in the policies UKIP has to offer and believes that kowtowing to racist/xenophobic voters is just the thing this country needs, surely she should have at least mentioned UKIP’s objectives regarding the EU and how this is something that could potentially reel in those voters she’s so terribly worried about? Those people exist on The Left. It would have made sense to address this at the very least but she doesn’t even hint at it.

To top it all off, there is a UKIP of The Left, Hel; it’s called New Deal and was set up by Professor Alan Sked who founded UKIP. He did this because he felt that UKIP had become “a far right extremist and racist party”. Don’t tell me you hadn’t heard..

Polyamory in a Patriarchy (CN)

polyamory8Everyone’s childhood has a lasting effect. The decisions we make in the scenarios we face leave an imprint and they form the basis of our choices. I suppose this is why I can pinpoint when I decided I would be different from the rest, if only at that stage because I was sick of being told how to behave. I’d seen the effects of being worn down by your circumstances, every day in fact, from the minute I awoke, staring at my still snoring mum (we shared a bed, along with my baby brother), her face twisted painfully as she slept. She didn’t own the rights to her own body, she wasn’t a free person.

Her life meant nothing, she was a breeding, cleaning robot and she lost her mind, I’m sure of it, though nobody really cared. I wasn’t going to be like her. I fantasised about being a high flying exec with a stay at home husband who’d offer to act as surrogate because he was just so damn amazing like that. Kinda why I was madly in love with seahorses (and still am). I wouldn’t let a man treat me the way my father had abused my mother. I sort of stood by this as a teenager, never quite committing because I guess I still had some semblance of self-worth, if only because I was labelled ‘bright’. I suppose the trouble really started when we ran away. We were vulnerable but how many teenagers would admit to that?

Going from someone who’d vowed to take four husbands in protest at the belief some men are entitled to multiple wives I was suddenly monogamous and desperate for security and that, along with the toxic hardwiring courtesy of my parents (my dad mainly) I was pretty much doomed to the same fate. I went from one disaster to the next, the details slightly different each time but the script remained the same. Severe anxiety, feelings of worthlessness, self-loathing of my sex and gender, if only I wasn’t so nice, or hadn’t worn those clothes or got that drunk or let him touch me when I really did not want to be touched. Maybe everyone was right, maybe I was just asking for it. When you think of yourself as subhuman you let others treat you like that. You give in to the internalised toxicity and believe you’re a loser. Who’d believe you anyway?

Some women can accept second place. I don’t think I’ve ever been one of them and yet that’s what I got. There was the guy in the forces with whom I ranked a clear 4th, after queen, country and his dad. There was the one who chose God. The one with the ex and 2 kids didn’t even present himself as such, not at least until he’d introduced me to hard drugs. He also ‘slept at the office’ a lot. A friend I hold dear was once also my intended. Then his family forced him into a marriage and he went on to have kids and seems happy enough though who ever really knows these things? There was the arsehole who groomed me before any of this was a thing. He had a beautiful girlfriend and of course I just wasn’t up to scratch.

A lot of people are judgemental of girls who fall for bastards but they could just admit they understand that internalised object relations borne of violence and abuse (even torture) are the root cause of these toxic relationships. This is why pick up artists are deeply insidious. They tap into vulnerability that is hardwired in childhood and exploit disordered thinking. They are abusers themselves, carrying on the work of the fathers who wore down the innocence of their daughters, priming them for life in a patriarchy because that’s just nature. Except it isn’t, it’s just power and control and ownership.

I guess I was always going to end up poly, once I broke away and fell out with the whole system and everything. I don’t want an intense, do or die kind of relationship where I am dependent on another person having the time for me. I don’t want to feel all of those feelings ever again. I do however need companionship and intimacy from time to time and it helps if you spread that about a bit.

How can I expect all the things I need from just one partner? It’s impossible and also unfair to expect one person to understand all of those things in the way that you see them. I don’t think I feel more for one than the others, it’s just different. They also have other partners too and no, we don’t all sleep together. Poly means having private relationships, it does not equate to orgies and swingers (whatever floats your boat though). We all know about each other and that’s important, it means we can respect each other.

(As you all know) I’m quite fond of this concept of equality and what is good for the goose etc. So some people carry babies and *shock horror* how would we know who’d put the little one in there if there was more than one partner? This is assuming the people involved subscribe to the belief that lives amount to property and a child can only belong to one man, the patriarch, the sperm provider. It’s a good thing I don’t think of human life in this way, that any potential future offspring need not show me their gratitude for bringing them into this world, especially when they had no say in the matter. Also, not everyone wants babies. Relationships, especially monogamous ones seem to centre on the expectation that settling down means starting a family. Why must we ‘settle down’ even? Why aren’t relationships allowed to shift and grow in the same way people do? Is it preferable we maintain toxic relationships for the sake of the state and being normal, compromising the wellbeing of all those involved whilst conducting secret affairs where yet more lives are destroyed? It seems convenient that in these scenarios it is the women who suffer the fallout, whether she is the ex-wife or the temptress stealing all the husbands away.

It should be easy enough to understand; consenting adults reaching out to each other where there is a connection, being honest about those feelings, feeling free to explore them without the usual constraints of monogamy; obligation, jealousy, ownership, dependency. For the most part my relationships work well, especially within queer circles however, despite the best intentions of the people involved, patriarchal values and judgements are inescapable, especially when you’re a femme presenting woman.

I was 8 years old the first time I was accused of luring someone’s husband away with my tempting childlike qualities. I was accused of this because I’d been seen embracing a member of my extended family in his bedroom. Well what the fuck of it, I was a child, a small one and starved of affection in the home, I took cuddles wherever I could. In justifying this to you now I feel disgusted it even needs to be said but you have to understand where collages of shame begin if you have any hope of destroying them. Aged 10 I stayed silent about the sexual abuse I experienced at the madrassa because I was ashamed of the fact that I’d begun menstruating and perhaps this is why I’d been targeted, my horrid developing body betraying my innocent mind. Perhaps I was just that temptress getting what I deserved. I felt like this is in all of the relationships I mentioned above, looked down upon by the exes of my partners, their families, the church.  I felt like this again, very recently. Taking polyamory out of queer circles and expecting normals will be accommodating is pie in the sky thinking.

To the WAGs I say this; I am not about to steal your husbands and partners, I do still have standards y’know? Sure a couple of my partners are married and I’ve explained to them how the dynamic is oppressive for me, when we live in a system that rewards men for their maleness, so it doesn’t matter how many partners they have, out in the open or otherwise. I understand why people might feel this way; marriage indicates a primary partner, one who shares your name and grants you the respect of being a whole person doing life the way you’re told to do it with someone you will be spending the rest of your life with. That’s what marriage is and I still feel like the bit on the side. It’s not equal. The law says so. But I am poly not a ‘home wrecker’. I suppose these problems arise when your partners are (or at least immediately identifiable as) heteronormative white males. They are the patriarchy whether they choose to be or not. I’ve also admitted my own thoughts on marriage (to myself) and this has an obvious effect on the way I feel currently.

I choose not to be married because I haven’t really found the one I want to be married to (despite being engaged twice) and may never do this. That’s ok; I gave up ‘looking’ a long time ago, when I decided that marriage was for weirdos who couldn’t accept human nature. It’s taken a lot of strength to be honest with myself and admit I actually think quite highly of marriage, more than I’ve been willing to admit. It comes from disappointment at my parents for making these huge life changing decisions (giving up their desires, producing a load of kids for the sake of it) without enough thought for the consequences. Monogamy does work for some people but even they have the potential to stray. To make vows forsaking all others is a serious declaration and one that marrying sorts have hardwired in their brains. Any perceived threat to this dynamic, say a flirty unattached 32 year old performing femme ‘exotic’ woman of colour will be treated as such and made to feel all of the things I have always felt from all the women controlled by the patriarchy (that’s all of us). It’s not just me feeling this because I choose to; everyone contributes to this picture, intentional or not.

It’s impossible to feel like an equal in a poly set up when you are just a girl in a patriarchal world. It doesn’t matter if you change the things that led you to feeling insignificant the last time, and apply different labels, for someone with a toxic pattern it is those very feelings of inaccessibility that attracts you towards situations. The kind that’ll fulfil your script and leave you feeling like the needy unhinged person you’ve always allowed yourself to be, because they are absent. This is something that haunts me regardless of my intimate practices. I had hoped for better though.

Maybe polyamory is just a phase for me. I don’t want to label it as such cos I have no idea what the future holds. I’m happy with this indecisiveness for now but not so down with the judgement of the kind of woman involved in multiple relationships. I’m no more a slag than the men I’m involved with. I am not in possession of magical powers that endears all of the men to me like some testosterone magnet they cannot resist. It does not make me easy, just because I fancy some men does not mean I fancy them all. I am not going to pursue a polyamorous relationship with men in monogamous relationships. The mere suggestion of this recently provoked me into writing this 2000 word blog. I don’t really want to have to do this again so if you have any questions or concerns maybe you could google them instead?

Women Against the Feminist Backlash (CN)

lesbian

A few years ago, after a mental breakdown that had been a long time coming I made the decision that I was no longer a feminist because I felt so utterly let down and victimised by women I’d assumed were feminists (due to the nature of the work we’d done together). At the time I was going through another period of acute mental distress as a reaction to my father abusing his new family. I’d been as transparent as I could about it at work but I didn’t feel supported and eventually the toll of dealing with domestic abuse in my own life (along with a myriad of cultural oppressions) whilst trying to prevent it in the lives of many others manifested in a few very bad decisions that ultimately led to my seclusion from society.

Yes, I was guilty of dissociating when my triggers were at their worst. This translated into an anger that I found myself channelling towards other men, a problem considering the people we relied on for justice consisted of mostly men; police, courts etc. I had to bite my tongue when they conveniently forgot a client they didn’t like, or ‘accidentally’ disclosed details of a survivor’s safe house to the perpetrator who then beat her up, handing himself in when the job was done. When I tried to challenge the enablers of these incidents I was reminded of the fact that we needed to keep them on side and I needed to work on my personal and professional boundaries and not react emotionally. I agree that there has to be a certain level of professionalism and diplomacy in business where you’re trying to butter up a client you hope will give you a fuck ton of cash but I felt the public sector had a duty, regardless of their feelings about a person/situation. I was chastised for demanding this; somehow I was the one to blame not the incredibly misogynistic ‘allies’ who revelled in reminding me at every opportunity that they had the power to work well if they chose to.

It was shortly after I became medicated that I began a new relationship with a chap who, in hindsight, was drawn to the fact that I was vulnerable, the sort that proposes marriage before you’ve marked your 3 month anniversary. The kind of guy who’s been taken for a ride by every girlfriend he’s ever had, referring to them as ‘the ex’ (never by name), and somehow gets taken advantage of because he’s such a nice guy and you know how they finish last. Anyway, this dudebro focused on the fact that I was, as he saw it, an ex-feminist. I’d told him about the experiences I’d had with professional fems, how I ceased being a woman the second I set foot into the office and he reminded me of this whenever I expressed fem positive. I won’t deny it, I was angry at that time and agreed with everything he said about the movement and the kind of women involved in it. His fascist dad more or less humiliated me at the dinner table when they had me over for Christmas because he’d seen a bunch of feminist quotes on my Facebook profile and he’d thought I was ‘above that’. This was the man who’d slapped my bottom really hard and laughed raucously at my embarrassment. This was also a man who’d beaten my then fiancé’s mum for the course of their relationship, specifically when she was suffering post natal depression.

As I got better and gradually remembered my self-worth I started challenging the ideas he had for our future. Being in the forces it was expected of me to follow him wherever he was posted. I took issue with this; why was his life plan more important than mine? Frankly I was getting rather sick of feeling like a plug in to someone else’s life experience and was ready for my own script. He also thought it was funny to comment on my past and label me a slag as a ‘joke’. Yeah I’d had more experience than him and this made him feel inadequate but somehow it was my fault he had self-esteem issues. He’d said to me very early on in our relationship that he was only going to say it the once but he thought I was possibly smarter than him and we should never speak of it again. Except he did, every time he wanted to put me down for being a ‘know it all’ or when I scored 30 points more than him on an online IQ test or towards the end, whenever I offered an opinion on anything. I guess that’s why I challenged him as much as I did and why he, one day told me to fuck off, slammed the phone down on me and never called back. I was engaged right up until that phone call but it didn’t really mean anything. As a white cis man he had all the power in that relationship and he objected to any attempts at equality. It was a close shave for me, and the turning point in how I view myself, especially in the context of relationships within a heteronormative patriarchy.

I became a card carrying feminist again.

I felt duped and a little ashamed of the conversations I’d had with him. I’d written off feminism because of the actions of a few gatekeepers of the kyriarchy. With time I was able to separate the bunch of women who’d dismissed me for being culturally strange, for having the audacity to point out inconsistencies in their praxis and for demanding better and the rest of us, hesitant to label ourselves feminists because of the sorts of women most vocal in the movement; the white middle class feminists (and their token WoC).

I’ve written in length about this conflict within feminism. Now we have a counter movement (apparently) #WomenAgainstFeminism and they want the world to know they’re not like those other women haranguing men for rights to their own bodies. Sure these women have the right to identify in an which way they choose, a right feminists have protected but we have to comment on and understand the perspectives coming out of that discussion.

We have to face the fact that some women do believe themselves to be inferior to men and inherently different (biologically and spiritually) which is why they do not object to being treated less favourably. That self-hate is internalised and any woman demanding better is perceived as arrogant and self-interested. Whilst I feel sorry for these women I don’t waste my breath. Similarly there are the slut shaming body shaming /policing women who’ve survived by endearing themselves to the patriarchy, a place at the table as reward for navigating the tightrope to acceptance. If we go back far enough with any of these individuals we’d probably be compelled to show them compassion and empathy but who’s got the time for that?

Of course a huge number of women against ‘feminism’ come from those backgrounds that have been historically sold down the river. They may refer to themselves as womanists, they may refuse to label themselves but quietly continue doing the sort of work that feminists do; in their homes and communities, demanding better from boys and men.

If feminism had been more inclusive then maybe more women would ID as feminists. If patriarchy eased up on the backlash we might gain momentum but then we would win and the menz don’t want that. This is evident in the many ways men target and harass women online; making our cyber spaces unsafe and leaving us open to attacks and threats to kill.  They do this to us because they are afraid we are making an impact and they want to shut us up by using an age old tactic to silence women; the risk of physical/sexual harm. That’s the only real advantage, generally speaking, that men have against women, this fear of male violence that we internalise from a very young age that controls us for the course of our lives. Of course they would object to a bunch of women battling to end male violence; they enjoy the control it gives them. Sure they’re going to mock us for believing survivors of domestic and sexual abuse regardless of whether the disclosure fulfils the criteria patriarchy has set out on what it means to be a victim. They’re going to make fake profiles and bait other feminists in a bid to catch them out; causing ructions between opposing factions so we’re too busy fighting each other to fight them. Except I don’t think they’ve realised yet that we can multitask for reals.

We may not call some other feminists friends (or even ‘feminists’ for that matter) and we might fight them day in and day out but given a choice I personally would still take a TERF for my team than an MRA, if for no other reason than female solidarity pisses them off. So there’s a contingent of women hellbent on winning favour with the menz they prefer to those gossiping snarky women, it’s no different to the girl who liked to hang out only with the boys at school. The one who was not like all the others; she was witty and intelligent and pretty but also low maintenance and strong enough to carry her own bags. In fact that girl was me. I have been that female as a fully grown woman too. It’s a lonely place; one that exists because you’ve been forsaken and treated badly by people you thought would get you. It’s reactionary and childish. It makes you feel powerful, to set yourself aside as somehow enlightened and who wouldn’t want to feel like that when the message society is constantly drip fed about free thinking autonomous women is that they’re just a bunch of lesbians intent on ending the human race with their morning after pills and disrespect for the sanctity of marriage and ownership and obedience.

For the record, if I ever have kids I want to stay at home and look after them. As a feminist, this is my right to choose. I advocate reproductive rights and access to abortion but I probably wouldn’t have one myself now. I want to conceive the ‘old fashioned’ way; with a man whose job it will be to provide. I LIKE doing chores. Y’see it doesn’t matter what I think about someone else’s life choices (or what they think about mine) because I am not living that life for them (and it’s none of their business). I live my life and despite my experiences (and hopes for the future) am proud to call myself a feminist.

..The intersectional kind (for those who missed that memo).

secretary

CN: 50 Shades of Wrong

The first time I saw Mr Grey I knew it was the beginning of a queer little crush I knew most people would probably not understand. He was unnecessarily rude to his new secretary, but only to the untrained eye. Following a stay in a psychiatric hospital the female lead character Lee Holloway takes steps to reconnect with society and goes through the motions; finding herself a job and a man to settle down with. She’s invited to an interview for a secretarial post where she meets her new boss Mr E Edward Grey. Despite her limited proficiency for the job he employs her and over the course of the film their flirtations centre on her submissiveness and willingness to do practically anything he asks of her. He is initially perplexed and tests the boundaries of how far she is willing to go but quite quickly they are interacting with each other in what could be described as a consensual BDSM relationship.

Lee is also in a relationship with a childhood friend who bores her sexually. Her attempts to make him understand that she’s not strictly ‘vanilla’ end with frustration and a resignation to the role she must play within that dynamic. As he humps away for posterity, with his eyes closed and his hand outstretched from the sheer intensity of sexual congress with a seemingly consenting individual, she responds in a dull, monotonous fashion, oohs and aahs coordinated with each thrust. I found this scene uncomfortable because she is consenting to sex for his sake and not really considering her own feelings on what she needs from him. He doesn’t even notice she’s not into it and it is this detachment from the activity and from each other, the absence of mutual satisfaction that is worrying, that she allows her body to be used sexually because that is just what we do. Kind of like the dynamic between E L James’ Mr Grey and his victim.

It is no coincidence these two dominant male characters are both called Mr Grey when E L James’ inspiration comes from Mary Gaitskill’s Bad Behaviours on which the popular cult film The Secretary is based. However, the similarities end with their name. James Spader’s Mr Grey isn’t a self-assured perpetrator of violence against women; he controls her day to day movements with her consent because she enjoys the sense of belonging (having been lost and alone up until that point) and the strict parameters within which she can satisfy her impulsions (preventing another trip to a psych unit). Lee has a troubled past with eating disorders and self-harm that they explore in detail. Mr Grey controls her but in a positive way; for example making a pact that she won’t cut herself because she can find that release elsewhere, spanking with a paddle brush for example. She wants him to tell her what she can eat, making the focus of this behaviour sexual instead of dysphoric, not so much calorie counting but the notion that the two of them are in it together to the bewilderment of everyone else “one scoop of creamed potatoes, a slice of butter, 4 peas and as much ice cream as you’d like to eat”. He indulges her, it’s not about him. In fact he withdraws from the relationship when he fears he might have taken it too far and stresses that his perversions are not sustainable long term. He punishes himself, taking out his frustrations through physical exercise. It is then up to Lee to assure him that she is a consenting adult in it for the right reasons, because she enjoys their dynamic as much as him. A lot of the communication between them is unspoken. He recognises that she intends to prove her intentions when she storms in on him in her wedding dress (she is engaged to the boring childhood friend) and plays along, telling her to sit with her hands palm down until he returns. So she does.

E Edward Grey isn’t the type to beat a woman up and rape her without her enthusiastic consent. Christian Grey on the other hand revels in humiliating his victim. Whilst humiliation is a turn on for some people, again this is with their full consent; between two people who can legally consent (minors/vulnerable adults – drunk – cannot, in any circumstance). There are safe words and there have to be rules both parties are aware of before anything happens. Everyone, from victims of male perpetrated violence to practitioners of BDSM have reacted with outrage to this framing of abusive behaviour as acceptable sexuality because of how it has been wrongly presented as some kind of celebration of female sexuality when actually it is about the power and control of women by men through dominance and violence. If this book was as progressive as people like to make out then there’d be a whole dialogue around BDSM and other sexual preferences/fetishes but there is not because usually we condemn women for expressing their sexuality. Patriarchy can hyper sexualise whomever it chooses to but it will not allow a woman to present her own sexual identity as she sees herself because then she’s just a slag.

The key issue that raises concern throughout the 50 Shades series is this matter of consent. Why does he have to get her drunk in order to have his way? He even admits to it. Sex with someone who is too drunk to consent is rape, clear cut. Try and explain this to E L James though and you’ll get the stock response that you’re a troll and have no idea what you’re talking about. Yes, even if you have suffered those same patterns of abuse in your own relationships or happen to be a lifelong enthusiast of consensual BDSM, your feedback does not matter. James believes she is the authority on a subculture she has tarnished with her twisted misogynistic views. At the beginning of this month she even chose to brandish actress Mara Wilson a ‘sad fuck’ for objecting to her badly written trash. What kind of person calls another, a stranger and perhaps a victim of male perpetrated violence (it being a patriarchy) a ‘sad fuck’? This abuse is indicative of the kind of mind that believes women are to blame for the violence they experience, that they should just put up and take it like a woman.

I know a lot of people who practice BDSM and they are possibly the safest and most considerate people to be around. I have myself been curious and experimented and even considered things such as consensual cutting, a practice that many might consider to be abusive even with informed consent but might make a difference to my self-image if I do not self-harm when I am in a negative mood. I am also a repeat survivor of domestic abuse. I know there is a pretty fucking wide line between the two but that’s only because I’ve spent a while learning about consent and owning my rights to my own body as an autonomous individual.

In a world where many women do not even know when they are being raped (having sex with someone who does not want to/cannot consent is rape not ‘non-consensual sex’) is it really any wonder this book has been so successful? For something so badly written it’s sure been pushed as some kind of revelation and I guess it would appear that way in a society that is otherwise shamed and ostracised for having sexual desires that do not conform to the hetero missionary lights off acceptable form of making babies. Of course misinformation around a book which explores those taboo acts We Never Speak Of will be gobbled up by the sex starved masses who are just grateful someone went there in the first place.

Except it’s dangerous when it encourages coercion and manipulation of vulnerable people and you can’t criticise the fact that it does.

guerillafem

Farce

The A-Z of Illusion and Reality – Life in 21st Century Britain (CN)

A is for Asian Grooming Gangs

Illusion – In 2011 Jack Straw highlighted a trend where young white girls were being groomed for sexual exploitation by Pakistani men. He spoke of how white females were considered ‘easy meat’ and how this was reinforced through Pakistani cultural norms. Decent British Pakistanis all over the UK rose to condemn this practice and community leaders promised the culprits would be dealt with harshly. Adil Ray (British Asian of Pakistani descent) spoke for them all on a BBC documentary “Groomed for Sex”.

For Pakistanis who deny this is a cultural practice unique to people from that country alone, we must call them out for facilitating abuse. It’s only fair to assume they are complicit in their silence or calls for balance.

Reality – Sexual violence against women and girls is a global pandemic. Asian grooming gangs has a certain racist ring to it and so it is obvious why this term is so popular among the British however it’s a bit fucking rich considering the horrific scale of abuse perpetrated by the British establishment, and for decades, with the full knowledge of all the agencies involved, including the police, politicians (whose job it is to enforce the laws that bind the rest of us) and journalists.

Take Rolf Harris for example, or The Octopus, as everyone called him behind his back in the good old days. We don’t even know where to begin with the paedophiles in power but good old Tom Watson will let us know.

If you’re white, rich and male you literally get a ‘get out of jail free’ card. All of a sudden young white girls don’t matter. It’s perfectly fine for white men to rape and indecently assault children so long as those dark chaps don’t get away with it. When white men are accused of gendered violence, the victims ought to consider themselves lucky they were among the chosen ones. It is only a violation if the perpetrator is brown.

B is for Britain First

Illusion – “Britain First is a patriotic political party and street defence organisation. Here you can join forces with patriots like you”

Reality – Co-founded by racist (and rapist) Jim Dowson, a former leader of the BNP (he was ejected after being accused of rape), Britain First frighten not only the minorities they wish to terrorise but many white people who recognise the fascist element and many layers of bigotry targeting (apart from non-whites) women and LGBTQs. Dowson is famously anti-abortion and generally anti women’s rights. He does not believe that rape can be committed in marriage and wants to bring back this ‘right’ for abusive men like himself.

If a militant group of Muslims drove around Bexley Heath in an armoured vehicle and were forcibly handing Qurans to decent law abiding whites, the government would call a Cobra meeting and there’d be calls for the National Guard. It is also worth noting they publicise the organisation as a Christian army and fancy themselves on some kind of bizarre 21st century crusade. Some people really do never grow up.

C is for Cis

Illusion – Cis is a slur invented by trans people. The correct term for people who are not trans is ‘normal’. This is all a plot to enslave white middle class women even further. To call us cis when we say it is a slur is misogynistic and bullying. This is patriarchy.

Reality – Firstly, the notion that anyone has structural power over white middle class women (other than white middle class men) is in itself offensive and one of the biggest barefaced lies I have encountered in all my dealings with White Feminism™. Moving on, I am cis. This means I feel comfortable with the gender I was assigned at birth. I do not see what is offensive about being labelled cis unless you are the opposite of comfortable with your assigned gender. This is perhaps a thing people should bear in mind.

D is for Disability

Illusion – Disabled people are just after an easy ride. This country is a soft touch and we are only in this sorry state because of the welfare culture Labour encouraged amongst the lazy and unmotivated. Most people on disability benefits are lying; they’re not usually that unwell. Some of them aren’t even sick. We should cut their benefits to make up for the deficit they created.

Reality – It was only a few years ago most people were in agreement that the banks caused the recession. Instead of holding them responsible, Britain chose to bail them out and make up for the losses elsewhere, for example, leaving vulnerable people without any means of income whilst they are made to jump through a million hoops in order to prove their disabilities to medical professionals trained by the modern day equivalent of a Nazi Germany eugenics program; Atos Medical Services.

UK Uncut were onto something when they suggested that big business just paid its taxes (like the rest of us), then we could still take care of our sick and poor but of course, direct action would result in criminal proceedings. The government silenced any dissent, and continued to propagandise the view that the least fortunate are the ones to blame for all of society’s capitalist failings. The British public dutifully lap it up.

A flower for every person who died within 6 weeks of being declared 'fit for work'

A flower for every person who died within 6 weeks of being declared ‘fit for work’

E is for Empire

Illusion – Britain gave the Great Uncivilised culture and trains. It gave the world Lea and Perrins and PG Tips. Of course India was a brutal place to be if you were Indian (Africa for the Africans, and so on); the natives were positively crying out for liberation. They wanted to be civilised and it was the pleasure of our great nation to show them the way. We taught them how to play cricket and they reciprocated by giving us words for things we couldn’t describe. We also acquired a lot of wealth during this time, trinkets and souvenirs fit for a queen’s head and to this day, we enjoy the unavoidable spoils of war because, well, we won.

Our way of life is the only way of life, by any means necessary, for queen and country. So what if our people are poor and their country is broken? They’ve got white skin and ‘heritage’. God is an Englishman y’know.

Reality – Britain is perpetually yearning for the good old days of Empire when mad dogs and Englishmen ruled the planet and the rest of us licked their boots clean. How many of us were chilled to the core when we studied the holocaust for GCSE history? The thought of concentration camps in which humans perished was unbearable and yet, nowhere in the syllabus was it mentioned that the British were the first to deploy this practice (in modern times) during the Boer war. They invented it.

Great Britain is very proud of its minority world status, its relative wealth compared to the billions who cannot safely access clean water and food for basic survival. This is a nation of people happy to feed its own ego and desires, gorge on the finest foods, flash the cash on unnecessary fashions and ornate junk whilst other human beings with exactly the same internal organs and associated functions go without the bare minimum. Some humans have more rights than most. Large numbers of humans are not even thought to be human. It is those with the least humanity controlling the status of all other humans and this is a huge problem. It is social injustice.

F is for Forced Marriage and FGM

Illusion – Women and girls all over Asia and Africa are bought and sold like cattle, they’re considered subhuman for the mere fact that they are female, and this is in fact part of Islam. They are forced into marriages with much older men who keep them pregnant and barefoot. If the woman resists she will be beaten at the very least for disobeying the will of Allah, though most cases end in honour killings (see next entry). This tradition is barbaric and has no place in a civilised society. Islam is a brutal regime that punishes women.

Similarly, the practice of female genital mutilation is also about controlling women under the protection of their religion and it is violence against women whilst they are still girls. Many will die during and after the process with a significant portion suffering poor health when they begin menstruating and there is a high mortality rate for pregnancy and labour. It’s nothing like male circumcision. This is gendercide.

Reality – Most of the marriages thought of as ‘forced’ by the west are in fact arranged, a practice rooted in many cultures all over the world not especially exclusive to brown and black people. Take the British royal family for example. Princess Diana was not the love of Prince Charles’ life, we knew this whilst they were still married but there’s has always been some speculation as to whether it was in fact forced as opposed to arranged with the consent of both parties. Diana’s role as the incubator for the heir and spare has been explored in great detail and it’s no secret she had a tumultuous relationship with her in laws. What if she had not produced boys? Anne Boleyn was not so lucky. What could be more like a forced marriage than the one that was celebrated by white skinned people everywhere? Also, Diana is dead, let’s not forget that..

Joking aside, forced marriages are a problem for many not just for the usual suspects depicted in the mainstream western media. It is a problem in countries like Russia and Portugal among the peoples native to those countries. This framing of this method of violence against women as being a barbaric tradition associated with brown men alone (which therefore legitimises any wars against them) is outdated and racist and it ensures that many other victims are abandoned because they do not fit the stereotype. Also it is a fact among migrant communities that we would rather protect the people (who look like us) disproportionately demonised by the west than disclose the crimes perpetrated against us and give racists the satisfaction of being ‘right’. Every time a white person jumps to save one girl from a cruel Eastern practice, they silence many more. White saviours do more damage than good and often, this is the intention.

You should probably note the many ways in which racists specifically target women; whether they are murdered for wearing traditional dress or criminalised by governments for again, wearing the wrong clothing, women are easy targets for the brave white menz.

G is for Government

Illusion - We live in a democratic society where we get a say in the way our country is run. We, the people, are born free and our society sets an example to the rest of the world. We need the government to maintain our cities otherwise there would be chaos and all hell would break loose.

Truth – It doesn’t matter who you vote in, they all went to school together and their lives have lead up to their governments. They don’t care about us, they just enjoy the power. We can function without leaders, bosses, judges and Gods. We’re just being told we can’t, every time the government insists we need more CCTV, more police, more restrictions on our free will to ‘save us’ when actually we are being controlled because we are a threat to their power. Nothing more, nothing less.

H is for Honour Killings and Hijab

Illusion – The savages respond to female disobedience with extreme violence, in many cases they will kill the victims so as to preserve the family honour, or their ‘good name’ within the extended family and community. If females put a foot wrong they can be punished under the umbrella term ‘Izaat’ (meaning honour). The same cannot be said for male family members. This also goes for hijab which means ‘partition’ and boils down to segregation of the sexes probably because they believe females to be tempting and impure. The men, however, can behave in whichever way they please, so they target white girls they believe to be ‘easy meat’.

Reality – This is a subject I have often thought about, to try and dispel the myth and untruths portrayed by the west on all things not white. Most importantly one must recognise that words have a huge impact on perceptions and used in the right way can add to a collage of feelings around an existing issue.

Honour killings are used to explain non-white male violence against women, as though the 2 white victims a week of domestic homicide in the UK were murdered for reasons not pertaining to the ego, honour and respect demanded by white abusers. What’s in a word other than centuries of political history and propaganda? It is because hijabi women see this propaganda for what it is that they vehemently refuse to remove their (what the west has in fact enabled) symbol of freedom and resistance to oppression. No one truly believes the west’s attempts to liberate oppressed females by oppressing them and restricting their rights to religious expression and bodily autonomy. Wherever women choose to be a certain way, there will be men telling them they are not doing it right. The intention is to rile the men who ‘own’ the women in hijabs. “Their men target our women for being too easy; we’ll target theirs for being ugly, hairy and mannish. No wonder they need to cover up like that” cos women are property like that.

This report by Tell Mama confirms what I have been saying for years; racism is patriarchal violence, racist violence against women of colour which is perpetrated by predominantly white men. If this is not a feminist issue I don’t know what is.

I is for Immigration

Illusion – Britain is a soft touch for lazy opportunist immigrants who want to invade our country and bleed it dry of all its resources. They get preferential treatment for housing and British citizens are losing out on their benefits cos of all the immigrants claiming most of the money honest hardworking British men and women have contributed into the system. Asylum seekers are driving around in their flash new cars whilst British children are forced to beg food from food banks.

Reality – It was the European elections and the BBC was unabashedly promoting the prospect of a far right party coming into considerable power for the first time since the Nazis. Of course the BBC needed to justify its endorsement of real life fascists so there were infographics to cover the reasons for such a huge shift in the political paradigm. The words being spoken were suggesting that immigration was getting out of control and increasing year on year YET the chart shown actually demonstrated a reduction in immigration. This, for me, sums up the UK media and politicians and the tactics employed to secure votes for political power; barefaced lying and cheating.

Immigration is falling not rising. Students are choosing to study elsewhere for the first time in 16 years, people are not migrating here for work as frequently and asylum cases make up a fraction of the total number of immigrants. Asylum seekers are not even allowed to claim benefits. They get around £40 in vouchers a week, which they must spend on food. They are not allowed to work and so must survive on this meagre amount for an indefinite length of time. Nobody would choose this life as a cushy alternative. The only other real alternative is death and we as a country routinely send people who came to us for help back to this reality. Britain is sick.

J is for Jihad

Illusion – Extremist Islamists are preparing for the 21st century holy war. They have camps set up in all the brown countries and they are training agents to infiltrate our society and annihilate us from within. They pose a danger to our civilised way of life and we must do everything we can to fight this war against terror. Our home-grown terrorists should be easy to identify. Notice any suspicious behaviour from a Muslim neighbour? Perhaps they sit indoors with the curtain closed or own a suspiciously large number of backpacks? Do what’s right, make that call and help us help you win the war on terrorism.

Reality – Jihad is just another example of a word co-opted by the dominant culture to express something it doesn’t really mean, like Izaat for example. Jihad means struggle, and it refers to the control one must have over their own feelings and actions as a Muslim. Sure it includes holy war but the meaning is not restricted to that alone. Even in a holy war, you have the right to defend yourselves but there are rules of engagement. You’re not permitted to hurt a single innocent, an ant for example, or the surrounding shrubbery. Destruction is not part of ‘struggle’.

K is for Kill All Men

Illusion – This phrase is hate speech and incitement to violence against men, murder in fact. It’s dangerous and anyone using the term must be cautioned that they could be committing a criminal offence if it is intended to cause distress and alarm. In a tolerant society there is no call for such a statement and one can’t expect people to understand its political roots if the majority of people are apolitical.  It’s all Sam Ambreen’s fault.

Reality – Over 40 years ago Valerie Solanas wrote the SCUM manifesto (Society for Cutting Up Men) and ever since then women have been cutting them up left, right and centre. Joke, this hasn’t actually happened, we can barely cut them down without a huge drama. I got about halfway through hearing the manifesto (a friend read it to me) when I had to ask her to stop because of the violent transphobia and somewhat naïve understanding of biology (not everyone with a y chromosome is male) but then it was the 70s so I’ll give her that. Up until that point I had listened in rapture at the ways in which Solanas expressed her deep hatred of men, the people who control and abuse women in a society that enables and rewards them for doing so. I recognised her as a survivor; I saw the same wounds in her.

When you’ve been raped, beaten, harassed, stalked, manipulated and used all the ways you can be by men pretty much your whole life and you just do not have the physical strength or capability to give them back like for like, or defend yourself (and we’re always being reminded we’re not very good at this), it’s helpful mentally to turn to words. They can make you feel like you are not completely at the mercy of your abusers/oppressors. The more men whine about how harmful saying these three little words is, the more empowered we feel as women. We don’t need to kill all men, as if that was even possible, we just need to make them afraid that we might (although this might be a tad optimistic). They’re not afraid of those words; they just don’t like the fact that we have the nerve to say them.

L is for Lefties

Illusion – White middle class guilt is everywhere and dragging this country down from the great nation it once was. Under Labour, criminals were given more rights than victims. Lefties have destroyed the once proud and almighty Britain by opening its borders to the lazy and greedy we once ruled. Socialism is a vindictive plot by spoilt Oxbridge types intent on deconstructing the establishment because they’re just jealous.

Reality – They say you should judge a country on how it treats its prisoners/animals/poor. Whilst this makes sense, in recent times I’ve found a better way to measure the state of the collective conscience. You can judge a country on how screwed it is by the comparative wealth of its lefties/socialists and the gap between them and the poorest of the working classes. The disparity highlights the incongruence between what they say they’re about and what they’re actually about.

Champagne socialism is a serious problem in Great Britain. The leftie commentariat, the socialist academics and indeed the people supposedly representing our best interests in parliament have amassed wealth that the true working class proles amongst us cannot access even if we do as we are told. When you have a significantly better than average paid job and a reasonable mortgage, a book deal and at least 4 holidays a year, you lose the right to vocalise on working class issues. You’re too far removed from the truth to make cogent arguments in the interests of the least privileged in society. Your words and actions take on a vulgar tone. Instead why not use your relative privilege to redistribute some of that wealth and amplify those voices that have no chance of being heard? Perhaps resist the urge to opine on the lives and bodies of people you don’t understand?

The descent into fascism is historically enabled by those posing as socialists and it begins with othering, something most people who are not white cis and heteronormative have been subjected to the past few years.

M is for Men’s Rights Activists

Illusion – Protect the male and his interests from violent women who dominate in the boardroom and the bedroom, female harassment of males is at an all-time high. Who will make our sandwiches? Who will take care of our children? Who will do all the ironing? Where will we be without a woman’s touch?

Feminism is a hateful ideology created by lesbians who hate men and want to murder all of us. We must fight this depraved and unrealistic idea they have of equality. They say it’s about equal rights for all but then why call it feminism? Why not egalitarianism?

Protect the male and his interests from the sinister feminazis and their plans to exact revenge for all the ways mankind has allegedly hurt them. They make all those statistics up.

Reality – In the year 2014 it is estimated that 70% of the world’s population of women is or will be experiencing gendered violence and yet MRAs would have us believe that they are at risk of having their needs eliminated by those very women. Perhaps it is the 30% of women existing free from harm that control all men by harassing them in the street and docking their wages if they refuse to play the sex game?

When the menz are protecting their rights and it is that apparent for most people with an ounce of integrity to admit the menz actually hold most of the power, does this mean protecting the right to behave like an entitled dick? Are they fighting for the right to take up two spaces on public transport cos their balls are too big for a little courtesy towards their fellow passenger? Are they protecting their rights to exclude women from ‘gentlemen only’ clubs? Maybe they enjoy the right to control and manipulate women into serving them by chipping into their self-esteem and making them paranoid about other women. Perhaps they are afraid that we might relieve them of their right to cheat on their wives without fear someone might tell the wife if we no longer call those disclosures ‘gossip’? I’d like to do away with ‘bro code’ and rape culture as a transitional demand.

Make those men learn consent; take away their rights to anyone’s body or personal space so they have to work at attracting and keeping female company. I can see why they’re so afraid and why they are even a thing in the first place.

N is for No justice No peace

Illusion – The British justice system is among one of the finest in the world and if you have nothing to hide, you’ll happily allow the authorities to take from you what they need in order to establish your innocence, which goes hand in hand with conformity. We have an equal society where everyone has the right to exist free from harm and there are structures in place to allow for accountability processes. Justice is blind; it doesn’t see gender, colour or race.

Reality – Over 800 people have perished in police custody or following contact from the police. Not a single officer jailed since 1969. We have the IPCC whom we are told to approach if we feel we are denied justice but the revelation that a number of their officers are ex forces does not inspire confidence in the average complainant.

As (politically) black people we notice the stop and searches of young black people wherever we are in the country. We notice that white children are not treated in the same way. We protest at the media coverage when the perpetrators are believed to be black, presumed guilty for no other reason than the colour of their skin and when they are executed in broad daylight despite not posing a threat. Precedents are set when black people are punished in ways that do not even make sense; when they are denied justice because admitting a defenceless black man was murdered for no good reason is admitting that institutional racism led to his demise.

We are encouraged to report our rapes to the police but when we do they tell us we’re lying. Why didn’t we defend ourselves if we were being attacked? ..Why does the alleged perpetrator have scratches to their face? A real victim would be too afraid to fight back.

The tightrope to worthy victimhood is invisible. There’s no sure way of knowing how one must behave when access to justice is reliant on the officer in charge (and he might be racist, sexist, a homophobe).

O is for Oppression Olympics

Illusion – Gosh all these people obsessively disclosing personal details as a way to diminish any responsibility they have for their words and actions, no one cares. I have mental health problems too but you don’t see me going on about it. I wasn’t always this middle class either, y’know. Of course you don’t want to hear about my tragedies cos I’m white and I can afford to eat and heat and holiday. Life wasn’t very kind to me either y’know? I’ve got children and society just sees me as some kind of breeding chook. Who cares that your ancestors were displaced and you’re still feeling the repercussions? My family was Irish originally but the past is in the past.

Reality – Even when white people are poor, mentally unwell and female, they are still not as abused and consequently afraid, as women who are black and poor with mental difficulties. White women do not need to fear violence for their religious dress when they step out in the Home Counties.Working class white women are spoken to with a level of respect when they go shopping whereas brown women (for example my twin sister) are told they are “pushing it” when they politely ask for service. White women do not need to be told to reconsider what they are wearing when they take their child to A+E (after they got something stuck in their ear) in case the attending medics feel the hijabi mother has been neglectful instead of the mother of a lively toddler who just cannot be pinned down.

White people are free to navigate the world without having to plan their interactions within frequently changing parameters. They can just ‘be’. If the same white people calling intersectionality Oppression Olympics (and it is white people) were subjected to the abuse and scrutiny we face on a daily basis, well, actually, it is not even possible to consider what they might do because it’s an impossibility. There’d be white tears, I know only this much.

P is for Patriarchy

Illusion – Men are stronger, smarter, fitter and just better than women at almost everything. Almost because we cannot give birth but if we did, we wouldn’t whinge as much for a start. Patriarchal society has benefited us all in many ways. For example, where would we be without the male engineers, and the male architects, philosophers and law makers? Where would women be without the internet we made for y’all? Male scientists have given us a better understanding of the world. If we weren’t here to protect you, you’d be lost and starving within hours. Those men with tans would steal you away.

Reality – As women we know this is all bullshit. On the back of centuries of male domination where we were told we were weak and feeble, our brains unable to cope with the harsh realities of existence, we were quietly biding our time because witch hunts and being burned at the stake for being a free thinking woman was a surprisingly effective deterrent. Then came The Enlightenment and women’s rights eventually came to the fore. We were ready to die for our cause and that I guess is the turning point in any oppression.

Patriarchy likes to bash back whenever there is a monumental step forward. We are experiencing the latest wave in response to the normalisation of intersectionality. They initially tried to undermine the process by labelling it too academic. Most of us willing to understand understood it so they changed tactics and took to demonising the less privileged proponents of the ideology; the people of colour and those outside of the (very much western) gender binary. The kyriarchy is the contingency plan. White feminism decided that the people who had brought intersectionality to the mainstream didn’t deserve to call it their own and actually tried to steal it from under our noses.

White women can do a better job of convincing everyone they’re doing the right thing instead of doing the white patriarch’s work for them. White women want equality but they want the privileges of whiteness too. They’ll take a little less equality from white men if it ensures white supremacy, and keeps the rest of us beneath them.

Q is for Queer

Illusion – All these pretendbians and fun fems with their twisted views on feminism and womynly solidarity are harmful to the movement and we have no space for people like them. Stop the queerios and their bizarre attempts to have us recognise their humanity and the rights to do as they so wish with their own bodies. If you want to be noticed, fall into line, stop wearing that ridiculous get up and being so greedy; make your mind up and stick to the sex you fancy. Social justice isn’t supposed to be ‘cool’.

Reality – Queer is the radical notion that a person’s genitals say less about them than their beautiful personality. It means falling in love with a person’s virtues first and is less about getting laid than it is about loving fully and honestly. Often radical feminists will bully the queers who are also trans advocates by insinuating we wouldn’t be so supportive if we ‘had to fuck one’. This is a rather strange statement because it reduces love interests to a sexual organ and is kinda the issue radical feminists have had with the patriarchy since the 70s. I’m just seeing a cycle of abuse.

R is for Rape Culture

Illusion – India has seriously fallen from grace. The amount of gang rapes in the last few months alone is shocking and there is global condemnation for the law as it currently stands. Many people, at home and abroad are asking for a maximum penalty of death and this goes some way to show they are taking the matter seriously over there but what are they doing to prevent rape from happening in the first place?

We’ve asked our Indian correspondent to explain why it is Indian men are allowed to behave in this way and they’ve confirmed India has a serious rape culture. We also need to think about war rape and those men in the Congo.

Reality – Rapists are everywhere, from every creed, colour and race. Some places are worse than others though. Under the guise of western liberation and civilised society where “we don’t treat our women like that” Great Britain’s pervasive culture of sexism has raised concerns as far as the United Nations. Their report into the truth of sexual harassment and rape culture confirmed what I have been saying for years; that the illusion we have of women’s rights over here is far more damaging than a culture where rape is accepted, in marriage, for example (a practice only outlawed in this country during the early 90s). In foreign cultures the women being raped don’t think of it as a violation because of the antiquated belief they belong to their husbands. It’s no different to many places in the west, the many millions of cases that no doubt go unreported because of our appalling rape culture in which we make it impossible for women to come forward (for a current example of how victims of abuse are treated, see Vanessa Feltz).

Our rape statistics may seem impressive compared to a war torn far away land but that is because there is a focus on recording those cases because history (and perhaps racism too). Over here, we ensure they never speak of it. As long as we keep pointing the finger over there, the entitled of this island will continue to rape women and children (also men). Through their silence they become detached and cold from the hurt. The effect on wider society deepens; the war of the sexes will never end.

rape_statistics

S is for Social Justice Warriors

Illusion – Bloody do-gooders, what’s in it for them? They’re just a bunch of narcissistic, fame hungry whiny little nobodies. So your dad died and then you broke your back and your home was repossessed, happened to me and you don’t see me complaining do ya? Bring back National Service. A good clip round the ear never did me any harm. I do the same to my kids and they never put a foot out of line. That’s how you get respect. You don’t bleat on about making the world a better place; you shut up, get your head down, pay your way. Bring back hanging. Got no time for attention seekers and lily livered little whinge bags. Grow some balls.

Reality – Do-gooders as a word has always confused me (to do good is a good thing?) It suggests meddling and getting involved in things which shouldn’t concern anyone else. On the contrary we get involved because we are all human and what happens to one of us could happen to us all. It requires only a little empathy and compassion for even the things you don’t understand, but can in some way relate to the pain others are feeling. Doing good is humbling. It is the ones causing the pain that cannot abide by our attempts to change the status quo. The rapists, misogynists, abusers and narcissists; those who won’t be silenced by anyone, not even victims of cruelty; they must man up or switch off. For as long as we breathe, we will point out the unfair systems of oppression that hurt the ones at the bottom and make responsible the ones pushing down on them for laffs.

T is for TERFs Illusion – This term is used as a slur to make women feel inferior by men who are pretending to be women. This is patriarchy on steroids and the worse part of it is they’ve a load of women born women supporting them, like the ‘fun fems’ they are. They say that we are divisive or that we are leaving them out, actually, it is they who’ve ostracised and othered us. We are being excluded.

Reality –Terf is merely an acronym for trans-exclusionary radical feminists which, as the name suggests, means they are radical feminists who exclude trans people. That’s all, really.

U is for (Left) Unity

Illusion – Intersectionalists have ruined The Left with their bizarre identity politics, a consequence of capitalism and self-interest. It’s not like the good old days when were able to unite on the important factors and get things done. Labour may not be the working class party of our parent’s era but they still represent the proletariat and if we don’t get behind them then we get the government we deserve. Incidentally, that would be UKIP (which also begins with U).

Reality – UKIP have grown rapidly BECAUSE of the fact that white working classes of Britain do not feel adequately represented by Blue Labour. The worker’s party is made up of public school educated toffs entirely disconnected from the people they traditionally appeal to. There is no Right or Left in parliament, there are only rich white men. This trend continues with our rich and famous lefties; people like Billy Bragg who’s about as Left as my right elbow. They talk the talk but goosestep all over your urban projects.

V is for Voting

Illusion – We operate a democracy here which means freedom and liberty in a way it just doesn’t abroad, for example, in Afghanistan which is why we must give foreigners democracy whenever the opportunity arises. How else can people expect for their views to be heard and society to change for the better if they do not exercise their right to vote? It is political apathy that is the scourge of modern times, when those with extremist views are allowed a platform because moderates cannot be bothered to put a cross next to their name. People died for your right to vote.

Reality – It’s simple, vote Tory if you inherit a lot of wealth you don’t want the state to get its hands on. Vote Labour if you’re a worker of any class despite the fact they take home salaries that would take a decade for you to earn yourself, and of course the Liberal Democrats if you don’t want to take sides. Ignore the Greens, they’re just there for decoration and don’t worry about any of the Nazi parties, they’ve never been voted in before, it’s just posturing.

It doesn’t matter which party we vote for over here, rich white men will always occupy those seats of power. Rich white men who are only chasing votes and would slander their own grandmother in the same way they’ve scapegoated immigrants.

W is for White (Feminism, Narrative, Supremacy, Tears)

Illusion – White people have dominated the world for a reason; we’re just better in every respect. We’ve produced the best science, our economies are the strongest in the world and we are more attractive than people who are not white. The fact that they refuse to recognise this is preposterous and we’ll beat some sense into them if needs be. We gave the world capitalism, where would they all be without mobile phones and fashion? Obviously this means we also do the best feminism and any criticisms of our praxis are borne from jealousy at being inadequate or self-interest. We cry because nobody thinks about how we might be feeling, it’s hard being right about everything.

What’s the point of doing anything for these ungrateful non-whites if they throw it back in our faces all the time? So my ancestors gave your ancestors a hard time.. It’s not my fault, is it?

Reality – It would be nice to let go of the past and move on but that’s hardly an option when the past haunts us in the present. White people have not stopped enslaving non-white people; they just call it something else. They would have us believe success is the reward for anyone willing to put in the time and effort but only we know, from a lifetime’s experience that the opportunities are few and far between and intelligence and diligence do not go as far when your skin is the wrong colour, when your name has more syllables than white people can pronounce.

We change our names, we eat their food, we listen to their music and we learn all of their words better than most of their natives and yet, still, we can be abused in the street, at work and online with a single word (if we’re lucky) that brings back the centuries of subjugation at the mercy of our colonial masters. We feel the pain of our great grandparents who had even less of a voice than we do now. This infuriates us so we bash back but in doing so we are told we brought it on ourselves.

There is no recourse to safety for non-white people who object to the kyriarchal controls white society places on us. They seem to think that our defiance is indicative of a sinister plot to take over the white peoples in the same way they incarcerated us. This in itself is an odious allegation, being as we are fighting for the basic recognition of our humanity, nothing more. We just don’t do stoic like the great whites; our anger is raw from pain, not insane and uncivilised. When we cry, they mock us.

X is for Xenophobia

Illusion – When Brits are abroad on holiday, they’re reminded of what true patriotism is about, when all the other countries display their flags proudly and yet, here at home, you can’t wrap your house in the St George’s Cross without someone calling you a racist. Of all the nations in this world we should have the privilege of celebrating our national identity. We are after all better at sport than say, France. We smell better for a start. Don’t even get me started on the foods some of these people eat. Have you seen the lengths the Chinese will go to for a bit of meat?

I’ll tell you, I wouldn’t be anything else but British, we are somewhat a superior breed.

Reality – The St George’s cross is tainted by a past that is splattered with the blood of all the peoples raped and pillaged by the ancestors of the white people we challenge today. It reminds us that the people still holding those flags proudly have the same intentions for us as they did then, that they are proud of their murderous history and that they have no shame when they thrust it in our faces at every conceivable opportunity. The Empire left a dark stain on the nations’ flag, one that cannot be white washed even if they re-write history and frame brutal slaughter and looting as a positive thing for whites that enriched their lives, monetarily and culturally (leaving out the bit where it was to the detriment of the rest of us). fash Y is for You

Illusion – You are born in an NHS hospital, your birth will be registered with your local council. You have a place in a local school in your catchment area and attendance is mandatory from age 5. You will be assessed and graded at regular intervals for the course of your state funded education and if you study hard and put in the extra time, keep your head down as a model pupil and citizen, one day you’ll be rich and well-travelled and satisfied.

The onus is on YOU to shape your future though, don’t expect any hand-outs. If you are not very successful in life it is because you simply do not make the grade and trying to suggest it is anything but slovenliness you have no one to blame for but yourself, is nonsense and a cop out from someone who is not used to taking responsibility for themselves.

Reality – You were born an organism, not yet a person. Without your prior knowledge and consent you were signed up to a system you couldn’t yet understand. You went along with it knowing nothing else and for a long while believed everything you were told about the ways of the world. You swallowed the idea of YOU as a person in a wider society that boasted people with more talent, more grace and beauty than you could ever have wished for. Of course those people should be rewarded for their superiority but with time you started to resent the inferiority that came with this positioning. It suddenly dawned on you that if you’d had the same money, the same access to education and resources as those with inherited wealth, you’d have probably achieved a whole lot more than they did. You start to resent the demands society puts on you to perform when increasingly, you feel less and less like the person they say you are. With these thoughts, your whole persona changes and you even look different in the mirror. You’d never noticed the smoothness of your skin before or the contrast of your dark hair against your skin.

At first it upset you when people wrote you off as an academic who was just throwing fancy words around for kudos, not actually wanting to affect social change. Then you realised they thought you were educated beyond degree level when in fact you left school aged 16. Suddenly you realise they are afraid of YOU because you understand true liberation and you didn’t have to set foot in a posh university to learn about it. This makes you unpredictable. This makes you powerful.

This is why they go out of their way to abuse you.

Z is for Zionism A subject I do not feel I can actually comment on (in light of recent events). I will however blame everything on the BBC. Please feel free to comment with your suggestions.