White Feminisms

West Midlands Police don’t care about rape threats against women of colour

West Midlands police have launched an investigation into UKIP candidate Carl Benjamin aka Sargon of Akkad (a persistent and odious troll rooted in Gamergate, he was a champion for that other misogynist Elevatorgate) for saying he’d rape Jess Phillips if he were under pressure. He had previously said he wouldn’t even rape her, in 2016 when Jess discussed men threatening rape on social media.

Prior to this, in 2014, I had approached West Midlands police with a dossier of tweets aimed at me threatening to rape me, in sick detail, and death threats, suggestions to kill myself, a calculated effort on the part of gamergaters and various chan types to silence the most vocal social justice activists. They were sicced on us by the liberal leftie media (led by Helen Lewis) when we challenged their outrageously bigoted takes on minorities whilst excluding us from the conversation. At the time there was a surge in radical feminists taking a stand and ‘kill all men’ was a hyperbolic retort to the escalating harassment and stalking of women activists online. This phrase caused more of a ripple at my local plod office than the reams of threats and attempts to dox me. They said they could not prove rape threats were outside the realms of taste and decency in the context of international law and if I was so threatened I should log off the internet. Furthermore I was advised I could face criminal prosecution for my use of said phrase. I was victimised again by the very people who are supposed to keep us safe. I wasn’t going to make the same mistake again.

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I said as much on social media, and challenged West Midlands police on their Twitter account for failing to do even the most basic of their duties and they blocked me. So self assured were they, that someone as insignificant as me would go unheard, they just turned their backs. I approached Jess about it on Twitter and she told me to talk to my own MP, but only after a slanging match. I tweeted Stella Creasy as well and she just ignored me. Now we’ve got everyone bending over backwards to condemn the nazi rapists who went largely ignored by the authorities for YEARS until someone ‘important’ was targeted.

I will reiterate what I said then, as pertinent as it is now; you might have more in common with them, they may share your political leanings, your skin colour, or your mutual dislike of opponents but you let them brutalise even one of us and you’ve allowed for society to take a nosedive in standards and made the world a little colder and crueller with your indifference. Doing the right thing isn’t a commendable thing really, not when we find it so easy to help the people we like. To stand for people who can do nothing for you, against injustices that have a knock on effect on us all, that’s a true measure of one’s character; to be principled in complex scenarios, and sadly we just haven’t had the leaders in place to ensure this.

It has allowed for perpetrators of ‘unpleasant comments’ to legally stand for public office.

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Consider the way in which Bahar Mustafa was targeted amid calls for her to lose her job for saying “kill all white men”. Or the way Sarah Jeong was mercilessly harangued, for remarks such as “dumbass white people” by the very same Gamergate incels who no doubt informed her opinions. It’s very easy to mount campaigns to uproot and destroy the lives of women of colour yet white men can LEGALLY make threats to rape serving women MPs and the electoral commission just shrugs, minimises criminal intent and says “what can you do?”

As a society we have rewarded the worst in human traits. In the pursuit of white supremacy, a thing all white people even the ‘not racist’ ones must protect, it was easier to pretend we didn’t exist perhaps in the hopes we would succumb to threats. We haven’t and the abusers have only been empowered by the authorities’ tacit approval, so much so that they can threaten rape and stand for public office.

5 years on we haven’t killed all the men or even one, but the number of women targeted by rapists and the far right has grown out of control. Our free speech came under question but the criminal activities of rapist nazis were enabled because they are actually all on the same side.

This country has gone to shit and it isn’t because of immigrants, it’s raping paedophile nazis platformed by the mainstream media and government. Jess is perhaps best placed to change this.. FOR ALL WOMEN.. but will she?

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Nazi sympathisers on Mumsnet?

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When I first started this blog I affiliated myself with the Mumsnet brand and even had a couple of posts selected to feature on their forum, driving the sort of traffic to my work that I wouldn’t have managed by myself in the early days. I thought it was a reputable front dealing with the sorts of issues I was interested in. Then came the feminist wars when intersectionality finally broke through to the mainstream and white cis middle class feminists were sidelined for the first time in over a century. There were black feminists, trans feminists, sex workers and many other shades and persuasions standing up and demanding their dues. White feminism doubled down. They had no time for our oppressions and claimed our pleas for liberation were oppressing them (and the mainstream media backed them up).

Mumsnet prides itself on being a forum for all women, but it didn’t escape anyone’s attention when a large number of their users used this as an excuse to platform anti trans bigotry under the guise of womanly empowerment. I distanced myself from their brand, and questioned their practices publicly. I fell out of favour with most of the white middle class cisters and this was fine with me. I had never felt the requisite bile towards my trans sisters in order to qualify as a ‘real woman’ with important opinions. No, being a handmaiden of the patriarchy, it was easy enough to silence me. ALL women they said, but only if you toe the feminist party line.
 

(Robert Webb is a fine icon for feminist Mumsnetters even though he is a prize bigot and thinks rape jokes are hilarious)

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It boggles me that Mumsnet would allow their users to link to nazi hate site Kiwi Farms when they are mums, apparently, with dear children to protect. Nazi forum Kiwi Farms is concomitant with paedosadism, rapists who’ve expressed a desire to harm women and children. Here, a bunch of them discuss raping me.

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‘Be a real man’ it says. I suppose the ‘real women’ of Mumsnet have no objection to sexual violence if it is targeting unsavoury types they don’t like.

But this isn’t the first time I’m making a connection between Mumsnet and Kiwi Farms. A short while ago Gnasher Jew linked to Kiwi Farms in an attempt to dox me. One of my attackers likened Mumsnet to Kiwi Farms.

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When she says brutal does she mean rapists? Does she mean nazi incels who’ve goaded vulnerable adults to suicide and even been linked to a fatal school shooting? Did Mumsnetters, like Kiwi Farms, hound Jo Cox’s widower after she was murdered by a nazi? Do they routinely out LGBTQ people in countries where they can be put to death? These are a few of the things Kiwi Farms have done. 

Of course when you try to demand accountability for these worrying links, everyone’s favourite feminist cis male comes galloping to the rescue.

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To clarify for our Graham, Mumsnet is enabling nazi site Kiwi Farms by linking to their content and legitimising it. They may or may not be a hate site, depending on your perspective. ‘Gender activists don’t go after Kiwi Farms’.. I know who is and isn’t going after Kiwi Farms. ‘Gender activists’ have been amongst the bravest and most committed in this battle, because they are targets (in this respect they are the same, Kiwi Farms and Mumsnet). Graham hasn’t done a helluva lot, if anything he has allowed for bigoted abuse of minorities to go unchallenged. He could have, with his massive platform, given this issue the attention it needs years ago but he didn’t, because his enemy’s enemies etc.

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*looks to camera*

This dudebro with his 100s of 1000s of followers is snarking at people with a much smaller reach, suggesting they are to blame for some conspiracy theory cover up in a plot to attack white cis women. So the people who are being victimised by Kiwi Farms have a kind of Stockholm Syndrome and have allied with their abusers just so they can slander Mumsnet? Can someone please change his Twitter password? Take him for a walk, go feed the ducks or something?

This revisionism won’t do any of us any favours. Now that Kiwi Farms is being thrown about in everyday parlance, perhaps someone will do something tangible about it? No excuses now Glinner, you’ve made a point, what are you going to do about it?

‘Gender activists’ and even cis women like me have been systematically targeted, silenced, covered up and erased for as long as rich cis white Glinner and pals have cried oppression at our hands (since 2013). Meanwhile we’ve been housebound, medicated, just trying to stay alive. Too many have already succumbed. Don’t let Glinner’s bigoted ignorance and wilfully obtuse meanderings fool you, he knows exactly what he’s doing. He’s very much a part of the white cishet supremacy that has enabled full-blown nazism today.

 

Interview on the Headscarf ‘Ban’

Penny Sized Thoughts

As a short Asian woman (5ft 1in) belonging to one of the largest demographics on this here planet of ours, representation matters. We’re an easy target, we’re smaller so we can’t get away quick enough, or we’re more visible because we are child sized in an adult world, frequently fetishised by orientalists and predators who think we’re easy pickings. Everyone has a go, and I mean EVERYONE, because we’re traditionally submissive and scared of most people. The penalties for deviating evident on this very blog, as a notoriously small yet unusually loud and ‘aggressive’ south Asian woman I’m a shock to most people’s systems because I refuse to play to type, not that it matters, people only see what they want. We never have legitimate concerns, we’re merely acting out, throwing a tantrum.

Perhaps this logic can be applied to some people, just not all. The equally diminutive Laurie Penny has since deleted the offending tweet but I gather it went something like this:

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fetishising yes

Here’s the thing Laurie, there isn’t a niche market for little Asian lady clothes, we live in a society that almost exclusively caters to white people, with their big bones and flat bodies. We are masters of the wunderweb or else we have our clothes professionally altered, it’s always been more expensive to be a little Asian lady on Rainy Fascist Island, unless you manage to find a child sized garment with enough room for woman sized boobs and bums.

We’re the same size more or less, Laurie and I, in height that is. Our bodies are completely different, as you would expect. I suspect Laurie, whilst similar in stature, has a fetishisation for bodies she would deem exotic, the curvier silhouette of a woman of colour for example. It is perhaps why, when she overheard me bemoaning the severe lack of smoochable comrades at a party, she offered her own mouth. What was I going to do, put on the spot like that? I couldn’t exactly reject her (I’m much better at saying no these days, beware)  so I obliged. It was nice enough but I couldn’t shake off the feeling it was a bit awkward and entitled and she walked away straight after, if it wasn’t already weird enough.

Thinking on it now, with my more rounded view of Laurie and the world she inhabits, she probably did it just so she could say she’d kissed an Asian girl and she liked it. It’s not the first time she’s gotten into trouble for saying inappropriate things about woc, specifically small Asian women.

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Or you could just be a white woman with an orientalist fetish, and enjoy the relative privileges being white gives you. You can dip into short people’s oppressions when it suits, and also the ways in which you are perceived, for instance, I think you play on the infantilisation people impose on you. We’re expected to forgive the awful things you say because you haven’t eaten, when people like myself are expected to never make a mistake even when we’re on opiates for ill health.

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Frankly, I’m sick of this petulant brat. She is beyond reproach, schmoozing Nazis, helping to rebrand white supremacy for the 21st century and her sycophantic audience laps it up, time and time again. Laurie has many opinions on womanhood and how we use performative femininity to attract men, completely ignorant of the various cultural reasons non white women have for keeping their hair long. She thinks of herself as enlightened, almost Godlike (a white supremacist trait) in her analysis of other women.

I don’t care what she meant, or whether she thinks her words are being taken out of context, every interaction Laurie has with the wider world speaks volumes about the kind of person she is; irresponsible, self absorbed, entitled and ultimately, a predictable bore.

 

We need to talk about the commentariat

I write this not for the Brexit ate my braahn baby crowd but for those of us who are willing to admit harsh truths in order to effect change. To know what it is we must do for the future we learn about the past and study trends so we can be better prepared for what’s coming. You don’t need an academic record in order to observe how the world is affected by narratives however, especially if you are burdened by unspoken rules placing you at various intersections of oppression, you experience them through social inequality. Speaking for myself I have been a keen observer of all things social and have been since I studied sociology at high school. It informs my interactions with the world. I never anticipated the backlash though, I had expected some resistance but not on the scale I received and not from the people I thought I could trust, the Guardian types keen on saving us all from ourselves.

When you learned about the Holocaust did you stop to wonder as I did, how so many were organised and in such a short period of time, carted off to their deaths without so much as a whimper from their white German neighbours? Did you marvel at the breathtaking ignorance of the allies who were allegedly unaware of the camps until it was almost over anyway? Perhaps now you know, given the ways in which truths are erased in our supposedly post truth world, and how narratives are framed, by those who claim to know better, those publications considered ‘leftie’ or socialist in some respects are squarely to blame, along with the perhaps deliberately embellished version of war we were taught on the national curriculum where Britain saved the world, and the Jews.

It could be true that some of us have a monumental chip on our shoulder, that we make excuses for our inadequacies or we might just be telling the truth. Recently the Guardian featured a story regarding the inhumane treatment a Dutch woman had received following Brexit when she applied for a British passport and was subsequently turned down because she had failed to include her original passport because *reasons*. There was outrage on social media not least because this mother of two was going to be ejected from the country minus her children, who did have British citizenship. How cruel the system was under Brexit, how devastatingly inhumane. Except this is the system and has been for as long as I can remember through my work with women who have no recourse to public funds. You won’t hear about them even if people like me blog about it. Where’s your outrage for women like Meena* and her toddler? She came over on a spousal visa from Pakistan and only just fell short of the then 2 year rule which stipulated residency in the country for at least two years under the supervision of a sponsor, in this case her husband, before she could make an application for indefinite leave to remain giving her full access to British benefits. He was violent. One day she made the decision to leave, because it was no longer safe enough, the violence was escalating and she feared for their lives. She’d endured his violent episodes but there was a limit. I’m only explaining this because she knew she had nowhere to go and so had suffered many months of abuse before she made the final break, potentially being faced with homelessness but that threshold had been crossed. Homelessness was preferable to certain death. Think about the hell she endured all on her own, without a clue. In fact she was one of the lucky ones and had a kind and thoughtful doctor, one who’d spotted the signs and knew of a culturally sensitive refuge that had a single room set aside for women with no recourse.

Subsidies for these women who, almost every time, fall through the net and get disappeared by the state or their abusive partners are practically non existent. There has never been adequate representation or provision for these women. When Meena traveled the two hours to the home office every time they said ‘jump’, baby in tow, she came back a sad shadow of her usual chatty self. I saw the state chip away at this personality, this woman who had every right to exist free from harm and to be supported in her darkest moments but instead she was yanked around like cattle to the slaughter. I can’t forget the way she cried as she prepared for the final hearing and was advised by her solicitor to bring all her valuables with her, if the home office denied her extenuating circumstances (despite the reams of evidence) she would be remanded immediately and sent to a detention centre. When we pleaded for the baby’s sake the home office, along with social services and even our own legal advisors said the state was obliged to provide for the little one and take her into care but Meena would still have to go. I was a temp and I left before her case was closed but I think about her even now and where she might be. When I read about privileged white women bemoaning airport queues, I think about Meena, and all the others the Guardian overlooked through indifference and probably racism, until Brexit provided the sacrificial king upon which to pin all of our woes.

Even more recently the Guardian published a lament from one Lindy West who left Twitter because it serves best the trolls, bots and dictators. I hear she wrote about the Nazism that Twitter is now famous for and also about all the ways she personally was sick of it and to be fair, this wasn’t regular trolling but a sustained campaign of abuse, harassment and stalking. I feel for her, absolutely, but I’m also a little pissed off. Anyone who knows what I and many other woc have been forced to endure the past few years will tell you the gigantic role journalists had in directing that abuse, harassment and stalking our way. When we protested the Guardian and New Statesmen ghouls for their hot takes on our lives they said we were bullying them and they as white middle class people with all the top jobs were being oppressed by us. What effect do you think that had on wider society? At a time when the far right mobilised in the wake of the killing of Lee Rigby these allegedly leftie papers were saying women of colour, queer people, trans people were bullying them and making false allegations of racism that were just unacceptable, oh, and intersectionality was just an elitist buzzword whilst poc had sinister undertones. You want to talk fake news?

Do you see where I’m going with this?

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This guy is an editor for the Guardian. When we called out the racism his girlfriend, who works for the New Statesman, was subjecting various people to, in her actions if not so much her words, this is how he responded.

His girlfriend later went on to ask:

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It is the middle class liberals and lefties citing Brexit as the root of all evil who have enabled the rise of fascism. Virtually every last one of them is white, plus a few tokens on hand to massage their egos. They did know, we tried to tell them a million times. They didn’t just do as they were told, they were the ones doing the telling. These are the facts we must remember.

It doesn’t matter what we think, as grandchildren of immigrants, and legitimate citizens of rainy fascist island, where our lives are scrutinised and twisted beyond our recognition. We are not permitted to defend ourselves or to react from a place of fear and vulnerability. When we react to these privileged white people’s assessments of our lives they double down instead of listening to us because they cannot believe we would have the audacity to talk back. We are bizarrely hostile, not understandably so. We should ask nicely, with our heads bowed and exult upon our colonial masters how special and superior they are, if we are to be given a voice, otherwise we simply do not exist.

 

READ NEXT: Part Two – Comments on the Commentariat

JK Rowling and the Order of the British Empire

In this capitalist world where celebrity is everything, endorsements from the rich and famous can win or lose an election. Part of the reason Brexit was such a shambles was the utterly confusing mix of ‘idealist’ lefties and unapologetic bigots all on the same side. This is not to say I believe Galloway is an idealist or even a leftie for that matter but he says he is (even though I had some trouble reconciling this idea with the images of him sharing a platform with Nigel Farage). Whatever the leftie Brexiters thought they were doing, they weren’t prepared for the violent backlash against anyone deemed not English enough and in the weeks that followed there were some heartfelt retractions and apologies. Turns out if you ally with right wing fascists you only lend credence to their cause.

Perhaps this is why people like JK Rowling believe hard left and hard right are one in the same; they saw some of them mingling together for good ol’ Blighty and imagined the need for independence was unifying, they can work together so long as they kick back at the uber state. Personally I couldn’t understand how anyone could claim to be left yet relish the idea of having a national identity, separate from the rest of Europe because we are Englanders and we should be proud of such greatness. Nothing leftie about that if you ask me. Nationalism is not socialism but I can see why it could be so confusing for so many, this theory that the far left and the far right come together like a horse shoe. I can see why people would think in this way but I have to add, it is a bit of a reach and sounds like the opinion of people who repeat truisms parrot fashion. It sounds like the brain fart of someone who has never attended a counter demo against a far right rally for if they had they would know that the far right are always the first to attack and it is on the far left to defend. The far left resort to violence because it has been proven through history fascists only respond to this kind of protest; you can ask them nicely to leave and see where that gets you.

Far right knuckle-heads repeatedly threaten communities where the population is majority non white. Far left comrades; black, white, brown, Jews, Muslims, Christians, Hindus, Atheists, LGBTQ, disabled and many others defend these communities because we know an attack on one group is an attack on us all. Do not tar these very distinct groups with the same brush, JK and friends, it only magnifies your political ignorance and detachment from reality.

Neoliberals, Blairites, Red Tories etc would like for us to accept this idea they know what’s best for us, even though they haven’t the slightest interest in what makes us who we are. I want to talk about JK Rowling specifically because she was presented as their ace card – surely no one would dare question the almighty creator of Hogwarts, they assumed. With such a huge following I guess they thought we’d listen to her. Well, actually, a bunch of us were going to notice JK making false equivalencies between antifascists and fascists especially when she has a track record of ignoring minority voices pleading with her to honour their cultural practices and not misappropriate native ideas. This white lady with immense privilege routinely blocks brown people for saying she is stealing their culture and not compensating them for it. Heck, she isn’t even acknowledging it. It does feel suspicious doesn’t it, when we say it out loud and join the dots? A white lady picking and choosing how she would like to represent ethnic minorities, ignoring their protests at being misrepresented, hinting at the fact they and their supporters are just as bad as the white supremacists who would have us all wiped out.. It’s not just me, is it?

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Couple this with the fact that Blairites seem to glaze over whenever you bring up the Iraq war and the devastatingly harrowing legacy we left behind, choosing instead to vote for more bombs then gushing sycophantically about how much richer they got under Blair.. We cannot lay claim to greatness as an island until the war criminal has been held to account. We cannot claim to be a democracy when up to 2 million people were silenced when they marched to Stop the War. We cannot turn our backs when generations of Iraqi children are condemned.

When racists mock non whites for having a chip on their shoulder, for rinsing their oppression dry with the excuse “it was all a very long time ago and I wasn’t there, don’t blame me” they are choosing to ignore the ways in which non white cultures are still being carved up for mass consumption, rewarding the Columbusing white purveyor whilst various ethnic majorities struggle to ensure our basic survival. All she had to do was listen and come to an agreement with the people she is using to propel her successes; to give back what she took from them, in a manner befitting the native tradition. She actively chooses to ignore them. It’s why I had to interject when I saw JK conversing with an old time hero of mine, Sanjeev Bhaskar, in response to a Twitter user asking how he felt about JK supporting racist Blairites. His response was in earnest but coupled with the subsequent tweet from JK it presented Sanjeev in the light of a token brown person, his testament erasing the many voices who feel JK has profited from our ideas and stifled debate from the very people it concerns. Kudos to Sanjeev, I appreciated his frank replies to me, and the exchange prompted me to write this post, something I have been avoiding this past week, partly due to the inevitable white knighting from scary dudebros if they chance upon it but also because it would be ignorant of me to leave out the bit where I admonish the usual suspects for their erasure of the important points being made here. Of course Helen Lewis and Laurie Penny were going to circle jerk their support for this beloved children’s author of whom we’re all just jealous, for being so smart and original. The same faces who’ve systematically erased and silenced poc protesting erasure and silencing have propped each other up to the exclusion of everyone who is not rich, white and not famous.

They can’t have Sanjeev Bhaskar, not when already they have Panju.

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Further reading:

National Geographic – Native Americans to JK “We’re not magical”

Magic in North America Part 1 – Ugh

Natives in America – Dear JK Rowling: We’re still here

We are, none of us, beyond hope

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I didn’t read the xojane article doing the rounds, I found myself reeling from the headline as I tried to process what the author, Amanda Lauren, was saying. “My former friend’s death was a blessing – some people are so sick, they are beyond help”.

It kind of speaks for itself, the author believes there are people who are a lost cause and they should die because it will make it easier for everyone else. She feels justified in saying this, reassured enough to publish her thoughts on a global platform. I am perturbed by people who make these controversial statements, unconcerned by how they might be perceived, either possessing the hide of a rhinoceros or else feel that public opinion will sway their way (another painful reminder of the growing inhumanity we’ve normalised against anyone considered ‘other’).

I have CPTSD, a condition I am stuck with for the rest of my life because it is as the name suggests, complex. I didn’t ask to be repeatedly put in harm’s way, with no chance of escape, it’s just the life I was born into. I have explored in great detail the reasons I broke down, so that I can understand it was not my fault (when you’re mental you’re convinced you deserve it) and so that I could hope for a better future, one where I can have a fulfilling life, where I won’t be immediately at risk of a violent death.

My efforts to at least appear normal for the sake of ordinary people exhaust me, as anyone who suffers from a condition which impacts on their day to day dealings will tell you; how to not only stay alive, but to live well, to be fun and interesting and relevant. There can be no stone left unturned, no door chained and bolted in the recesses of my fragile mind, triggers must be neutralised as they arise. I frequently say things that make other people uncomfortable. I don’t do it intentionally, it’s just my experience of the world is so far removed from the norm, I come across somewhat intense and affected. When people try to cover things up, or downplay the truth, I consider that to be gaslighting because it messes with my sense of reality. When I told the truth as a child I was disbelieved and punished.

My childhood was violent, my teens isolated, my 20s split entirely from reality. Amanda Lauren would probably say my life wasn’t worth living. I believed that too, until just a year or two ago, when I suddenly remembered who I was before I became unhinged, a state I found myself in through no fault of my own. I remembered the things I was good at, the hopes I had as a pre teen, for university and beyond. This brought with it confidence and self esteem, qualities I’d mislaid following my failings as an adult in a cishet white supremacist patriarchy. When I think back to the lowest period of my life, the monotony of anhedonia and how utterly convinced I was that my time on this earth was rapidly coming to an end it frightens me to think people like Amanda believe in the legitimacy of their own bigotry.

I never thought I’d have the confidence to write my own blog, or weather a twitter storm. I didn’t dare dream of friends and lovers who hear me, even when there are no words. Even when I was a bordering on psychotic, withdrawing from SSRIs, they kept me supplied with valium and kitten pics. That’s what friends do, Amanda, they love you despite your flaws. They understand there is nothing inherently wrong with you, that you’re a product of an unjust society and that to feel depressed or disconnected from the world is a sign you’re actually (most likely) a decent sort. I don’t reject the mental ones, I welcome them with open arms, as they have me. I want to offer Amanda’s ex friend my condolences and wish for her to rest in peace. I am sorry you were stuck with people who didn’t deserve you.

“It is sometimes an appropriate response to reality to go insane.” Be wary of those who pretend they haven’t a care in the world, more so the ones who genuinely don’t.