Are we human?

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In my mind I wonder about the sort of reaction I should have to the news of our dehumanisation. It’s not a case of just reacting to life as it comes anymore, within the parameters of acceptable behaviour and what it means to exist together peacefully. Freedom and respect are awarded to reflect economic success in a system which disproportionately favours white people and not the ways in which we nurture and develop each other and the world.

If you’re reading this and you voted Tory, before you start gloating about your win, think on this; you voted to keep the others out because you actually did fairly well under their last term, financially they were just the ticket to sort out YOUR money woes, and renewed YOUR prospects with all the flashy cash they’ve amassed from the selling of OUR public amenities, and whilst this is no doubt a brilliant thing for YOU and YOURS, you did this without batting an eyelid for those people who were not born with or have access to your privileges. It’s not like you didn’t know, we’ve only been banging on about intersectionality ever since the Tory filth were first elected.

It tells me that you saw the letter from the 100 disabled people pleading for compassion and scoffed at all our bleeding heart stories. You’re so cold you don’t even think of the disabled as properly human so mustering up any empathy for our plight is a bit of a stretch. You just want to end this something for nothing culture, you work so damn hard for your champagne and chips, you should have the prestige of being in the minority with the privilege to ponce about like it matters. Without hierarchy and nepotism, where in fact would you be? It helps to maintain this divided society if you let some of them believe they are God’s special little snowflakes sent from heave to bless us all with a protestant work ethic and to criticise them at all must mean we’re jealous we cannot magic money out of thin air. Each and every single one of you is an accident or sickness away from a similar fate. You might have savings cos you were taught to be money wise but the people will still think of you as subhuman scum.

Following the second world war in which six million people belonging to a single belief system were summarily executed all over Europe in a coordinated genocide, delegates from 50 nations convened to establish a charter in the hope that such brutally grim atrocities would never be committed again, their mission clearly stating

“We the peoples of the United Nations are determined to save succeeding generations from the scourge of war, which twice in our lifetime has brought untold sorrow to mankind.”

They acknowledged the horrendous suffering human beings were capable of inflicting and vowed they would do all they could to promote peace and avoid conflict. The universal declaration of human rights followed 3 years later, highlighting the belief that “all human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights”.

ALL HUMAN BEINGS ARE BORN FREE AND EQUAL IN DIGNITY AND RIGHTS.

This is a statement of fact enshrined by international law for over 65 years, which the population and political representatives of Great Britain have chosen to reject. Britons don’t believe in equality. Ask a human rights critic why they choose to dehumanise other humans and they’ll all spin you a tale about the cat and his rights to family life. Every. Single. Time. The home secretary really was making it up but the infinitely superior British public don’t need to seek the truth for themselves, they’re happy to believe everything they see and hear on the BBC. Like how the travellers are picking up £2k a week in rent, or the Muslims cancelling Xmas from way up high on their Trojan horse, or the trans people out to steal your gender from under your noses. These people with negative power, that is those who relinquish the little power they have in order to prove they’re not like all the others (in order to survive) are deemed such a threat they must be stripped of their human status so they can be whipped and deported in crates like cattle if they piss a white person off (at least that’s what Mr Smith misguidedly believes, ignorant to the fact he is also human). That is really all there is to it, this bloodlust among the natives of this land, to prove they have the structural power to hit us where it hurts, even now when we are pushing internationally for recognition of our humanity. Probably especially because of this.

I said YEARS ago Britain was full of racists and hypocrites. The hypervigilance I acquired in my violent childhood has left me always guessing what’s to come 10 steps ahead. In its early stages ethnic cleansing can be halted and reversed but the longer you leave it, the more difficult it becomes. It’s a stark contrast with events in some parts of the world. At a time when our humanity is being deconstructed, chimpanzees are being recognised as having all of the rights we inherently afford humans. That’s because science has finally begun to prove that animals are sentient and capable of far more complex processes than we previously gave them credit for. Given that non-white humans were initially thought of as animals, it explains the arrogance and detachment from reality white supremacists demonstrate in their conquering and colonisation of the world’s resources and living creatures.  Science also recently figured out that babies do in fact feel pain in the same way that adults do. These scientists could have asked any one of the billions of parents out there. Instead we’ve had decades of children suffering and being told to shut up when they scream out in pain. The people in power treat the peoples they oppress in the same way.

I am a person but before that I was born a human. I had no choice over the location of my birth; it was an unfortunate accident at best. Had I any say over where I’d be birthed I wouldn’t have picked the UK. I’m sorry, what was that? I should be grateful I was born here and not in some mud hut where Akbar could slice off my nose?

You mean the UK where 3 women a week die at the hands of an intimate partner? Where 1 in 4 will experience rape and sexual violence (this is an official statistic and nowhere near the truth. I believe it is close to ¾ from my work as a domestic abuse and sexual violence worker). Where thousands of severely sick and disabled people are silently executed by the state for being too weak and feeble to get a job when 2 million of their able bodied peers are struggling to survive in a system that actually works for them (on paper)? A country the UN decided has a pervasive culture of sexism in which women are bombarded by unwanted sexual attention at home, at work, on the streets. A country that in fact denied the UN entry into a concentration camp because making those abuses public would foster condemnation from the international community. Perhaps we’d quite like our spot on the axis of evil? As a nation we are denying severely disabled people the dignity of an independent life by making them dependent on the state, institutionalising them if they really can’t cope alone or instead leaving them to die, destitute and alone. Really rich people get to opine on our life chances without ever asking us how it is for us and what we think would improve quality of life for all and they get away with it by pretending to be the labels we are born with. Don’t call yourself a socialist and piss away £100 on champagne in my presence, I will be tempted to bash you over the head with it. What are you, a lord? Let’s not even get started on the establishment and the way they have systematically tortured raped and murdered those children society forgot about but who cares if they were unwanted right, God is just happy they didn’t get aborted.

This is a mere skim of the surface on life in 21st century Great Britain. I am exhausted listing the things that make this rainy fascism island a living hell for all those dragged here by the empire. They came for the others these past few years and the people who were supposed to protect us (I’m looking at you Guardian readers) enabled it. They denied they were oppressing us by making out we were oppressing them. The resultant chaos is a right wing dystopia where they’ll deny it was ever their fault (in keeping with tradition). Not even when there are thousands more dead, which there will be now they’re taking away the very basic right to life. When you do not have this right in particular, you can be exterminated like vermin. It was the single most important article I used in my work to prevent women of colour being deported to their deaths.

Without the right to life states can kill people without acknowledging the loss of life.

Genocide just became a whole lot easier.

Virginity is a patriarchal construct

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(Originally posted here)

It’s difficult to call but I often wonder about the worst places to be a woman on earth. It’s easy enough to point the finger at those oddballs who don’t look like us but there are some issues that pop up wherever one might be based. For some inexplicable reason a woman’s worth is based on the thin membrane near the entrance to her vagina. Some people are born without a hymen, and for those people I fear the worst. How do they prove they haven’t engaged in premarital sex?

An Islamic college in Australia is under investigation for excluding girls from running competitions because it may damage their hymens. They call this ‘losing your virginity’. Do they have a similar ruling on tampons, or is that an icky women’s subject no one wishes to discuss? This concept of losing something taboo isn’t necessarily Islamic in nature, we use this phrase all over the world to indicate that a person has finally had sex and cannot be classed a virgin anymore, or ‘pure’ and ‘innocent’ as many cultures in the east and the west seem to suggest with all the focus on virginity, and slags; women who choose to sleep around in the same way men feel entitled to do so. Men are not judged in the same way when they have sex for the first time. The female partner, even if she is more experienced, will not be taking his virginity in the same way patriarchy takes virginity from women. This is a construct. Males are not taking anything, if anything, they are throwing their own genitalia into the mix.

For patriarchy to maintain power and control, through shame and judgment, they applied destructive emotions to an act to make it seem unequal, to place a value on a human body part that will dictate the level of respect you afford not only the person it belongs to but all the members of their family. Bizarre, no? This is why I brought up the example regarding those born without a hymen, just like there are some assigned male infants born without foreskins, are these people born untouchables, impure and unchaste? Have they been sent here with instructions on how to treat them as people unworthy of honour, being as there is nothing to ‘break’ or ‘take’? Perhaps it is permissible for such people to run to their hearts content, safe in the knowledge their genitals will not be torn asunder from the strain of a relay race.

Rules and regulations on what is deemed acceptable behaviour for females, posited by males is a time honoured tradition that is as batshit as it sounds, especially when considering the dishonest notions applied to our bodies. In some cultures, the hymen is irrelevant compared to the ‘gaping sleeve’ a vagina poses. To protect these women’s honour, they are butchered and stitched together again, leading to infertility and fatality for many. These arbitrary cultural practices are borne from the same twisted minds (not God) that blame women for being temptresses and witches for beguiling rapists into committing sin, by ‘taking’ and ‘breaking’ a thing they believe controls them, and their access to honour in a man’s world. It has no place in the 21st century when so many of us are standing up for the rights to our own bodies; rejecting the controls patriarchy and in some cases the state, has on our bodies. Why is it anyone else’s business what sits inside your pants?

Perversion and deviance in young people isn’t something you can prevent by being a perverted deviant in your beliefs about vaginas you have no business poking around in. Perversely, by administering a virginity check, a practice employed even by the British Home Office in the late 70s, you are actually ‘taking’ and ‘breaking virginity’ as it is defined in your head. It is the people with designs on the contents of your pants who maintain patriarchy and allow for rapists to rape, and get away with it. For as long as we place the burden of chastity and decency on a tag of skin, we allow for violence against women to flourish.

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Self awareness isn’t a cure

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It’s been almost 5 years since my breakdown and in that time I know I’ve come a long way. I know who I am and where I stand on things, I no longer fret about what strangers think of me. I can interact with some people and just go with it instead of watching myself fuck up from the outside. I can own my fuck ups and learn from them. I am present in myself but I feel empty and at a loss.

What are the options when you’ve finally accepted it was not your fault but you still resent having to be a part of this world? Although there is no intention to act on impulse, the thoughts dominating my mind centre on existing at all and whether it’s worth it. Sure my life has improved beyond my expectations, I have mended relationships that were shattered, I can be mindful of my actions and admit when I am wrong but I have no hope for the future and I feel more and more numb as time drags on. It makes me wonder if suicide occurs when you finally feel nothing, not even fear of the unknown, the only emotion keeping me alive.

I have pondered the reasons for my declining mental health and there are many, a safe space being somewhere at the top on my list of priorities. I know that I crave the feeling of the sun on my skin so some of my symptoms may be related to a deficiency but unsafe spaces make the sun inaccessible to me. Even procuring the use of a family member’s private garden has the potential for stressful negotiations; I am not the only mentally ill person within the unit. We are each other’s biggest triggers and if only one of us is acting out the overall effects are devastating, as with a rogue domino that wasn’t lined up properly. The triggers are many and I am the only one seeking external help to identify them. It doesn’t help my case when I am the only one pointing out scripted scenes and it’s easier to blame the black sheep than it is to admit you are governed by hierarchical patriarchy and violent capitalism. It’s easier to point at a single chip on one person’s shoulder than admit your idols are rapists and racist. In this respect the reactions I get from most people are dishonest and nothing short of gaslighting. I know what I know and what I said and saw so why do so many insist I perceived it wrong? There are too many people like this and I want no part of it.

These are violent times. The horror is unrelenting. Greed infects each and every one of us; capitalism has made it a virtue. We are killing the earth and each other and yet somewhere I’m supposed to find the inspiration and motivation to stay alive and do it well? Every cell in my body refuses to do so.

Don’t sound the alarm just yet though. I haven’t self-harmed in ages though I think about it most days. I have thought of ways to die but I haven’t stocked up on supplies. I’ve made mental lists of pros and cons but I haven’t been keeping score, perhaps a part of me believes this slump will pass as the others have done.

In just over a week I turn 33 but I’d rather not mark it at all. I’m not anxious it’s coming, rather a tad annoyed that it’s here again, so soon after the last one. I’ll have to pretend I’m happier than I am and toast the chance to fail spectacularly at another year in a system that despises my very being. I suppose it’s been set up to make me feel like this.

Anarchy in the UK

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What is anarchism and why was I so afraid initially to vocally identify as one? Perhaps it had something to do with the image I’d had constructed for me, angry Sex Pistols spitting into their microphones as they rasped menacingly about the queen (fair enough, actually), the same sex pistols I’d associated with racism cos punks were as scaring looking as the skinheads when you’re a brown girl trying to make sense of white subculture but are too afraid to ask just in case they do turn out to be a paki bashing neo Nazi.  There was Vyvyan from The Young Ones who frightened the life out of me as a small child (this was largely due to the metal in his face) and the response “there’d be anarchy” in every discussion regarding the breaking of rules painted a nightmare scenario where we’d all regress to a primitive state, raping and looting and bashing each other to death for larfs. Of course I would be afraid to say the words “I am an anarchist” when I did not want to be associated with such carnage and destruction (plus it also sounds a bit like antichrist).

Then I met some anarchists and they were thoroughly awesome people. I wondered where they’d been all my life as I reflected on all the people I’d made do with, accepted, despite their shades of bigotry because I’d felt there was no other choice and I was alone in my thoughts. Here was a bunch of people who just got it and didn’t need it spelling out. Anarchism is the antithesis of every social structure maintained by authority, disproportionately represented by white men. To call oneself an anarchist means to reject the ways of white men, and to challenge those perpetuating oppression whenever we personally witness it, affecting these changes wherever we have the power and influence to do so. I didn’t go to a posh university to learn all these fancy words and expressions; I was just born this way (in my rundown brown Muslim ghetto). Meeting others like me just helped bring everything in focus, and I was pleased to find they came in all colours, genders and beliefs.

To question the reason for everything is at the core of every true anarchist. Why do we do things in this way? Who benefits from it? Is it to any other person’s detriment, on purpose or inadvertently? How can we ensure justice? If these questions do not matter to you then how can you say you are an anarchist?

Anarchism isn’t about behaving like a dick or actively promoting self-interest cos you’re a libertarian who don’t-listen-to-no-one; it shouldn’t be done for the kudos or kicking back at the state cos you’re angry with your dad (although there is nothing wrong with that). Anarchism is taking a radical approach concerning all things and doing them differently. In this sense, most religions can be compared to anarchy (at the point of inception). A new way of being becomes possible, tired of the old (and often violent and oppressive) way of doing things, seeking to change things radically for the betterment of all, because you need to be inclusive if you’re going to spread that gospel far and wide. I believe Jesus was an anarchist, and Mohammed too. Feed the poor and stop raping/murdering your children are worthy (and radical) causes whichever millennium you’re from, and then, just like now, the people in power persecuted those seeking to end power and control by making a violent example of them.

We’ve all heard the ‘let’s fix class then we can entertain feminism’ orders. They come from primarily white men. There are some women socialists using the same tactic with regards to class and race but that’s another blog post. For anarchy to work, I’m sorry not sorry white men, you have to stfu. It’s not like you don’t already have your say right? White supremacy is a social construct as is patriarchy and when you refuse to shut up and listen you are doing both of these things. You’re simply maintaining the status quo and that as you’ve probably already guessed, is not anarchy. Me telling you to do this right now is not exerting power and control or authority over you but punching up at historical oppressors in a bid to be heard so you can stop being so abusive. I do not have any control over your opportunities but you certainly do mine.

The other huge difference between our arguments is the intention behind them. When I say “stop doing that” it’s because you’re hurting somebody. You bash back because you don’t like being told what to do, because you are entitled and used to getting your own way. When the context is so wildly different you cannot apply the same reasoning/survivor language we use to label us as hypocrites. The truly anarchist response to being called out, if you have the self-awareness to regulate your thoughts despite being bombarded by messages on how we must behave in a white cis heteronormative patriarchy is to reflect and think about why you’re being called out not hit back with abuse or dig a deeper hole with your defence. That is the sign of an anarchist, someone who appreciates their privileges and place in the world and seeks to redress the imbalance, however uncomfortable that might be.

Being an anarchist means having the humility to recognise the impact one’s own existence has on others. In a world where we ask people what job they do in order to ascertain their social standing and bank balance before we know anything else about them, we are an anomaly. It makes perfect sense to an anarchist to be preoccupied with the often murderous actions of governments and their followers, and usually for monetary reasons. It is more shocking that most individuals are not bothered. People are more inclined to follow a world sporting event religiously than protest the hundreds of children murdered to make way for it. I am an anarchist because I object to this way of thinking and being. In the pursuit for self-gratification we have allowed for atrocity. We’re convinced it’s not our problem.

If you are not an anarchist (or a true anarchist), you are complicit. To be an anarchist is to be without rulers, not rules (the rulers have created this cruel uncaring world for personal gain). When the rules include treating all living creatures with respect and always questioning your prejudices, you have to question the sort of anarchist who would object to that.

Being a dick is the norm; a true anarchist would know this.

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Anarchists, this is why

Anarchy seemed like the natural way for me to go. When you’re convinced reform is not the answer and the world needs tearing down and rebuilding; to be free from rulers is a state I’ve always wanted to be in. Like all of the good things I’ve looked forward to, I perhaps had an overly optimistic outlook of what passes for anarchy, in this day and age here in the UK (and Europe).

The same structures exist within the anarchist left as they do in wider society. White men are still maintaining patriarchy and rape culture. That’s not anarchy, that’s white supremacy. The sort that reacts aggressively to adjectives describing the tone of their skin, or uses gendered slurs and even flat out denies words that actually came out of your mouth and replaces them with what he heard you say instead, all the while confirming just how much of a bigot he really is.

thorcunt

Psychosis: a severe mental disorder in which thought and emotions are so impaired that contact is lost with external reality.

thorcunt1

Asian grooming gangs are The Worst. The establishment didn’t rape and murder children alright? Our anarchist leader has some thoughts on my class credentials.. Surprise!

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‘EVIL’. White people love referring to the savages as evil (see Clarkson fans).

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*spits dummy out*

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Really helping your case there, pal.

thorcunt5

Name dropping ONE token person of colour is all it takes for WHITE SUPREMACISTS to convince themselves you’re wrong and they’re right. I don’t delete abuse or my response to it, I think it’s crucial for me to publish it and for you to see it through my eyes.

Anarchists need reminding what anarchism really is.

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Mother, do you think they’ll drop the bomb?

“Your mother, your mother, your mother”. That was the premise of one of my favourite Islamic children’s books as a kid, referring to a hadith (kinda like the gospels) where the prophet responded to a follower that mothers take not only first place in our hearts but second and third also, with fathers coming in fourth. I may have been 8 years old but I believed in those words more than I appreciated at the time. I simply did not have a relationship or bond with my dad, I couldn’t understand the point of him to be honest but I clung to my mother and she favoured me out of the four of us, her right hand Sam, always eager to please and whip the rest of them into line.

I can’t remember exactly when we drifted apart, it was more a collection of events that drove a wedge between us until we were so estranged from our relationship as mother and daughter, we forgot how to speak to one another. I was determined to fit into the white western ideal of acceptable behaviour and presentation which at the time translated into wearing very little and getting wasted and of course this would actually frighten my very traditional mother from a village in a remote part of Kashmir, especially when daughters who go bad are often attributed to a mother’s loose morals, regardless of the actual circumstances – violent father, violent household, cultural and religious demons and attitudes, societal pressures and expectations of brown girls in a white world.

To preserve her own honour she had to reject my behaviour by turning her back on me. She was probably disgusted by me to some degree. I did fry up a load of pork sausages in her kitchen once, out of defiance which made her promptly throw up in the sink. I felt hella guilty as the severity of what I’d just done dawned on me but I had a point to prove that I was an individual with the right to self-expression, however much my mother’s stomach flipped at the thought I was destined for hellfire.

The cause of the rift between us was largely down to the society we found ourselves in. These days I see you coming, suss out your intentions within the first few sentences but as a young person, microagressions had a different effect on me. I bought into them and believed if I was more like my white peers I wouldn’t be targeted for the colour of my skin. I wore a cross, I did goth, changed into hipsters and crop tops on the bus into school or town, joined in with the paki this, paki that, keen to make the distinction between them and us but it meant denying my very being, the people who brought me into existence and the way we are perceived by the ‘natives’ of this island. They tolerate us as long as we toe the line.

In the process of rejecting all the labels required of me, and finding self-love I remembered what it felt like to feel close to the woman who had given birth to me, 2 months premature, having carried my twin and me carefully in her 5ft frame up until then, and how I could still love her after so many years apart. I reverted back to using my ‘mother tongue’ with anyone who could understand it. For years I struggled to communicate effectively in my first language, perhaps because I didn’t have the comfort of just speaking without being judged on my grammar. Like anything, you become rusty without practice and of course I was busy showing off my English language skills to demonstrate how much I really belonged here. It’s like riding a bike though, as I discovered when I sat down with my mum, for the first time in almost decade, neither of us expecting the other to apologise for abandoning one another, just two women with an understanding of the lives we’d been forced to lead; violence being a feature whether in the home or on the streets.

It was nice. She was older but less stressed and receptive to me, as me. I felt as if we’d glued together the gap in our relationship, and we could continue from this point forward without having to look back; an unspoken understanding that there was no agenda only life reminding us how painfully short it is. I was thrilled to feel at home and close to her once again. She seemed genuinely proud of every little thing I could do, without the usual expectations one has of an individual in a white western patriarchy. She doesn’t care about my lack of a job or mortgage or husband. I had surpassed her expectations by coming back to her and apologising for choosing this country over her.

When I was a kid I sneered I had no idea how I had come from her body and was composed entirely of her and my dad. I looked down upon them, thought them unintelligent and unrefined. Whilst I cannot say this has changed about my father, I take back the judgments I made about her. I judged her through the White Gaze™ and it doesn’t treat women like my mother very well. It considers them weak and unattractive, an easy target, and she was targeted, even when she had four under 5s in tow. I blamed my mother the victim for the abuse white people subjected her to. I am ashamed I put her through this.

My mother is a highly intelligent individual. She has a self-awareness that is missing in most people. She taught herself English by reading our textbooks over the years. I wasn’t even aware of her level of comprehension until one day she flipped at me for lying about my whereabouts, because she’d actually been reading an email I’d sent to my friend over my shoulder and I hadn’t bothered to cover it up assuming she didn’t have the first clue.

Never underestimate a woman of colour. We haven’t had an easy ride of it so we’ve gotten good at adapting to our surroundings. I know where I got these skills from now and it was a joy to talk politics with her over a cup of tea. I wondered what she could have been if she wasn’t a housewife and mum of four at the age of 21. What could she have achieved if she hadn’t been abused by my father and abandoned by her own family who lived thousands of miles away? They thought they had done their best by her, 1 of 8 daughters, by marrying her off and to a young man living in England too. They hadn’t anticipated the power and control that would govern her life.

This Mother’s Day, the first for me in almost a decade is a special one. I’ve bought her some comfortable shoes, biscuits for diabetics and a posh card to make up for all the ones I never sent. I’m excited about it, and looking forward to wishing her a happy one. For a while it was a day of triggers and self-hate, because under the defiance and stubbornness of underlining my grievances I actually felt unworthy of her love. I felt abandoned. I had burnt that bridge by rejecting who she was for some fake promise of acceptance if I assimilated with the white people of this land.

I was wrong and I am sorry. Happy Mother’s Day, Mom (I’m a Brummie by birth, alright?) x