cis

Shout your abortion

Following the campaign to defund Planned Parenthood services in America (state funded), abortion activists took to Twitter with the hashtag #ShoutYourAbortion to counter the arguments made by zealous anti choicers. If you’ve ever followed the ever present attacks on family planning or been involved in actions to support your local abortion clinic you’ll have been confronted by some very strange people indeed. With this in mind I knew that tweeting in solidarity would provoke a backlash, I just wasn’t as prepared for the kinds of things completely random people on the internet would say to me (and me, a seasoned survivor of trolls).

I tweeted:

I didn’t say I’d had an abortion or that I agreed or disagreed with termination (for the record, it’s your body, your choice) but I knew it would reach those people whose lives it had saved, at least those who acknowledged the established life within the pregnant person carrying a promise of potential life (20% of first time pregnancies end in spontaneous abortion, 80% of those before 12 weeks gestation), which is in no way a baby or a person (person being a societal construct). When a foetus is squatting in your uterus it does not cancel out the life already in existence, without which the foetus wouldn’t exist at all. Bizarrely this fact seems to have escaped these people.

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Nope, not what I said at all

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Logic clearly evades you for refusing to accept there is life in the person carrying the foetus.

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This tweet is particularly interesting because it feeds into the idea that pregnancy is essentially a woman’s fault. By opening my legs I am consenting to a foetus being installed in there. If this person could acknowledge the sperm provider and the condom issue many men have (yeah sure, they’re ‘too tight’) and spread that responsibility about a bit I’d be less inclined to believe they were woman hating scum.

For example all these people with their righteous war on people who carry foetuses (I doubt very much any of these people has even considered the fact that other genders are also capable of pregnancy, this is a specific hatred driven at cis women for not being masculine/male/patriarchal).

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The idea that all unwanted pregnancies can be attributed to selfish promiscuous women is entirely misogynistic and anti woman. These people would probably accuse a woman of entrapment if she happened to get pregnant and wanted to *keep* the foetus. Similarly there is no sympathy for women choosing to abort because their life depends on it. Going back to my original tweet, I said it because I used to work as an advocate for women in abusive relationships and have seen firsthand the violence inflicted on women for being pregnant in the first place. 30% of all domestic abuse begins in pregnancy. This is because the pregnant partner is suddenly vulnerable and dependent. Controlling abusive people use this to their advantage. It’s not uncommon for perps to threaten forced miscarriage, the idea that they put the foetus in there and they can also take it out should the victim refuse their every whim. There are people who cannot grasp the complexity of human relationships, and crisis points, relationship breakdowns, never mind the systems we have created to control people according to kyriarchy so it is a bit of a reach on my part to expect compassion.

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You are not representative of almost 8 billion people worldwide.

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76% of women faced a further incident of violence for having the audacity to leave. The period after a survivor leaves the perp is the most dangerous, “if you leave I will hunt you down and kill your kids”. 

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This guy thinks we should run all decisions by him because it’s all about him. It’s not and he is nobody.

This assertion that complete strangers have of themselves as the saviours of the unborn would have more merit if they were willing to consider the life of the pregnant person but they cease to be human from the point of conception instead acting as a vessel for the precious new life everyone’s going to forget about once it moves out of the uterus. The pregnant person will be left with the foetus they did not want.. What’s that you say?

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Complete strangers think it’s ok to tell me to sacrifice my body and wallow in the guilt of my unwanted pregnancy which I’ll then have to hand over to a stranger, the system, uncertainty. Pregnancy can be life threatening, from the phsyical difficulties to the mental strain it can put on a person, no one has the right to torture you for having the misfortune of being born with a uterus. If pregnancy doesn’t kill you then labour might. Cis men have no say in the abortion debate because they will never carry a foetus or suffer the fallout if things go wrong. The reason they are so vocal on the anti-choice scene is because they are redundant if they do not exert patriarchal power and control. They won’t ever create life so they control it.

From the frightening to the downright ridiculous, opponents of bodily autonomy reveal more about themselves than the people they target, they’re nosy and perverse, poking around in strange uteri.

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Ah, Americans.

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I keep looking for the illegal thing I’m supposed to have said but to no avail.

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If a person is feeling suicidal cos they’ve been forcibly impregnated, an abortion is life saving and I would go as far as saying therapeutic in terms of their recovery, and regaining control of their own life.

Every single one of these people and the many I didn’t document failed to see the hypocrisy in their words. The life of the foetus cancels out the life of the person carrying it, without whom the foetus wouldn’t exist at all. Personally I’m not here to change your thoughts on abortion or bring you round to my superior way of thinking – something anti-choicers may want to examine in themselves – but to ask you to cast the first stone only when you can say you are completely sin free.

Also, this stance on abortion seems to be as far as they’ve got in terms of a world view and how that actually works in practice. They’re all ‘save the foetuses’ but how many of these advocates shared the same enthusiasm for the precious lives of Syria’s existing children, rejected by Europe, asleep in the freezing cold, barely surviving? Or the fully formed babies with given names blown to pieces in Palestine? How about the severely disfigured infants of Fallujah? Selective outrage makes a mockery of the whole pro-life movement. The planet is exhausted by our reproductive efforts, live viable children are treated as though vermin, domestic abuse blights the lives of some of those foetuses saved by those ignorant of life in its entirety, yet hellbent on power and control. That’s all it is.

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OITNB and Islamophobia

It’s rare to find a piece of popular culture that isn’t hugely problematic in some way. The mainstream media caters for the mainstream, an audience that finds humour in human suffering. If this sounds a bit far-fetched, consider the ways in which comedians hit back at victims of abuse when we have asked them to stop giving rapists the green light with their rape ‘jokes’, those witty bantz where the punchline is like a blow to the stomach, knocking the wind from unsuspecting victims of abuse further victimised by those extracting joy from their pain and calling it comedy, and then some more, by defenders of free speech but only the sort of speech that maintains existing structures of power and control and hierarchy; hate speech most often espoused by the white middle class commentariat, framed as genuine concerns for the maintenance of society, for the betterment of us all, yet translates into violence against the most vulnerable; women of colour, trans people, Muslim people.. Those voices we never hear because they are so marginalised, the ones who cannot defend themselves against the charges made against them because the white middle class heteronormative media controls our perceptions on all.

This is why Orange is the New Black was such a resounding success. Women in prison as a genre is a sure fire way to pull in the viewing numbers; if you’re old enough to remember Prisoner Cell Block H (or have been watching Wentworth – a 21st century spin off based in the same Australian prison), this has been a winning formula in reaching a specific audience because they are so frequently overlooked; those working class women doing time for survival in a patriarchal world. There are the shoplifters; women criminalised for stealing food or nappies, serving disproportionate sentences when comparing with males because women are not supposed to commit crime and are therefore punished more harshly to serve as a deterrent, but there are also those women encumbered by their acts of resilience, those who finally snapped and stabbed their abuser to death. We may not have served time at her majesty’s convenience but we do know what it is to suffer a woman’s lot in life, and this exploration of hardship and injustice keeps us hooked.

It should be easy to maintain focus on the inequalities women face without resorting to microagressions; however I was disappointed to find that my latest fave is threatening to be just as problematic as the rest. Before I begin to take it apart I feel it is relevant I make a full disclosure about my beliefs because I am frequently told I have only reacted in this way because I am a Muslim.

I am not a Muslim. I was once but I ran away as fast as I could. It took many years for me to come to the conclusion that I could not blame every last Muslim for the horrendous ways in which God was used by some of them to control me. It is not God who demands murder and rape, rather humans using the authority of God to justify their abusive practices. God, in any religion, acts for peace. It is with this fair conclusion I judge the writers of OITNB for being so disingenuous in their not so subtle reinforcement of the mind-set that Muslims are there for the ridiculing.

SPOILER ALERT – The prison is infested with bedbugs, all soft furnishings and books must be incinerated to prevent the pests from spreading further. A small gathering discusses the books that were burned, the Catholic nun character is on hand to correct Morello when she states all of the books were gone. “Not true” she asserts “there was one book they were afraid to burn” which Sister Ingalls immediately follows with a dramatic sigh as though she was suggesting that even she, as a Catholic – with all their pomp and ceremony – thinks it ridiculous to consider it a sacred text exempt from the rules to which we must all adhere. Morello responds “I stand corrected – there is a bug infested Quran.”

If this was the first mention of the Quran and a bonfire in western history you may be forgiven for thinking I am seeking issues where there are none, but you’d have had to been living on the moon to deny the continuity of this theme, especially when it’s a bunch of Americans alluding to it. Not a week goes by without another story of some Yankee yahoo threatening to buy up all the Qurans and burn them, a flagrant attempt at fanning the flames of bigotry, because those sorts of people actively seek war and know which buttons to press. Burn a bunch of poppies and see the calm Christians and even secularists fired up for vengeance because burning a book or a paper flower isn’t the random inconsequential act antagonists profess it to be.

Later on in the show, Vause is seen reading the Quran and makes an unnecessary statement about how she is probably forbidden from touching/reading the Quran but she washed her hands and figures an omniscient God would appreciate this. Just a suggestion but perhaps the show’s producers could have asked a Muslim queer for the lowdown on what is and isn’t permissible? They could even look into the positive things Islam does and encourages in its followers, for eg, recognising that trans people have a right to state funded surgery because Allah has made it our duty to save all people and treat them to good health if it is within our power to do so. This doesn’t fit western narratives though.

Yes, the Quran is a sacred book to its followers. Yes, it is given the respect one affords to a sacred artefact, it is kept in a safe place and one must be ritually cleansed in order to touch it. This is a fact. Similar could be said for the Bhagavad Gita or even the bible. That’s the thing about religious texts; they are sacred to their followers. Just because that Catholic nun thought it preposterous the Quran was given special treatment doesn’t mean there aren’t evangelical Christians who’d justify killing you for disrespecting their holy bible. Again, it is people who are fundamental in their interpretations of religion and like there are some Christian fanatics murdering abortionists yet failing to see the incongruence between their beliefs and their actions there are Muslims who will use God to justify misogyny and violence. There are also atheists demanding the culling of religious sorts because they allegedly cause war and stuff without an awareness of how ironic their solution to dehumanisation and depravity is to mirror those things we protest in extremists.

This is the crux of my ill feelings towards the framing of social narratives in the 3rd season of OITNB. The Quran and its followers have not only been posited as these people who consider themselves above the laws governing everyone else but also as the worst offender. Consider the makeover given to Pennsatucky. Be reminded that she was actually a homophobic bible bashing snitch who was employed by prison staff to rat out inmates suspected of lesbian activity. Suddenly she’s a reformed ally and lover of all things LGBTQIA, supporting Boo in her butchness? Don’t get me wrong, I like the fact that Pennsatucky isn’t so violently racist and sexually shaming as she once was, I just object to the fact she’s elevated to a human position where she is capable of empathy and being part of a system even if it means completely demolishing her belief system and replacing it with an idea of what an acceptable human should be; the two are too far removed from each other for it to be a natural process, especially when they’re driving home the message that Islam is the one to watch. Instead I believe this to be an intentional move in which the writers, or whoever, get their childish jabs in at something they don’t understand or care for, in a bid to improve their ratings, reaching out to the mainstream they’re appealing to by confirming prejudices, showing solidarity to those on the same side (because Muslim queers don’t exist and therefore won’t be offended because they wouldn’t have seen the show cos it so full of sin or something).

I loved OITNB for its portrayal on the diversity of women and sexuality. For every racist, sexist trope the show explored there was a positive character to speak out for that way of life but as time goes on the characters fall into lazy racial stereotyping; homophobic Latinas and white queers, as though queer women of colour do not exist in equal numbers. Trans women for eg found a beautiful representative in Laverne Cox, she gives as good as she gets (the transphobia doesn’t let up much, even in the 3rd season) making her a perfect role model for those seeking out idols. The same cannot be said for Muslim women, perhaps because in reality they’re immediately shipped off to Guantanamo without trial, whatever the offence.


Only four episodes in, but this new series is way worse so far. The points you mention seem symptomatic of it reaching out for some mainstream populism which is totally diluting what made it great. I find it quite bizarre that we’re supposed to want the prison stay open, and cheer when it survives due to privatisation! I don’t want the prison to stay open, I want a work strike which unites everyone against the authorities, or I want the place to burn.

Adam Ford

(Since writing this piece I have seen a little more of the 3rd season and it doesn’t get any better. Soso makes an entirely irrelevant reference to stoning women in Iran and various characters join in with antisemitic remarks, no doubt triggering for some considering the nature of the ‘jokes’, and later on we get a reference to a Somali pirate thrown in for good measure. The disparaging comments against Jews don’t let up either.)

Happy International Emancipated Womanist Day

Every year I think about what I’m going to do for my international women’s day post and each time I spend far longer than is necessary thinking of a suitable introduction. Wishing you a happy one never seems right, it doesn’t feel like a day for celebration rather one where we honour those who’ve died at the hands of the patriarchy by never forgetting their names and the authorities that failed them, and the struggle that continues for many more women just like them; the ones who suffer in their homes (never mind the sexual harassment in the work place, educational institutions and streets).

Over 2 years ago I wrote a piece where I pleaded with white feminists to acknowledge the rape culture on our own doorstep and whilst it received positive attention initially, certain white women became overly focused on the word ‘white’ than the double standards I was intending to highlight. That was the last time Caroline Criado Perez said anything nice to me before she proceeded to explain away my concerns as though I was just being sensitive to an otherwise sound ally who wasn’t just fishing for cookies.

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It was when I had my first run in with Helen Lewis too, she’d read my blog and agreed I’d made some good points but she’d already commissioned an Indian woman to talk about the rape problem India has as a nation. They failed to see how they were being racist by contributing to the narrative of eastern savages whilst erasing the truly brutal incidences of gang rape in the UK. They refused to acknowledge me as a woman with a foot in both worlds, belonging in neither, brimming with criticisms of patriarchy whatever the colour of his skin. Perhaps this is why Lewis chose to stamp me out before I could do any real damage to her superiority.

If my experiences of physical and sexual violence were inadequate (how, I don’t quite understand, am I not a fucking woman?) then surely my experience as a women’s worker assisting victims of male violence would be all the qualifications I’d need?

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No, even when you have the expertise of a career, training in awareness and advocacy and almost a decade’s worth of professional experience you can be dismissed and discredited as someone with a chip on their shoulder because you dared challenge the status quo. I challenged white supremacy and the same women (and men) castigating us for speaking up about abusive women (cos cisterhood) then made a very public example of me and the violence they enabled hasn’t relented since. You all know this story.

At any time any one of these white media ‘feminists’ could have advocated for me. But y’see they responded that it wasn’t about me cos I’m not a woman? People like Laura Bates freely admitted to not even knowing what feminism was before they were discovered online yet her feminism is more valid than mine; a queer disabled femme presenting woman of colour with working class roots and historical abusers intermittently threatening my personal space and sanity. Laurie Penny lends her support with the caveat that Helen Lewis is an inspiration (she uses the same words every time) for all similarly minded ignorant arrogant white feminists and we should stop bullying her cos her fragile mental health never once hearing the agony we express at their treatment of us. The ways in which these women have personally silenced me, having once been ‘comrades’ on the same side, triggers the same PTSD response in me that I feel whenever I run into an old abuser. My blood turns cold and I get a stabbing pain in my chest. The room sways. I feel the tears prick my eyes and the sinking sensation in my gut that the privileged will never face the consequences of their cruelty and hypocrisy. The fact that I know, and they know but no one else seems to care or notice.. It’s the same physiological reaction in me.

Tell me, what space should I occupy? At one time I was an operational asset, recruited to represent the ethnic division of the ill fated Feminist Party but picking that apart was the beginning of the end when I realised I could no longer ignore the injustice for my own place at the table. Pariah I may be, but I live each day with integrity, truth and humility. I have been accused of believing my own hype (cos I let men abuse me so that I could build a career on it later) and also of not being very intelligent or worthy but also super smart and privileged when they pretend they don’t believe your story (we exemplify rape culture in this country).

So it is with this in mind that I want to emancipate myself from a movement within which I have no voice. It’s not for my lack of trying, look, I told you 3 years ago the movement was fractured and we’d lose it if we weren’t honest with ourselves. I’ve had enough of feeling my heart break whenever a feminist I looked up to comes out as a transphobe or a polarising token. I cannot say there are more good feminists than there are bad. I cannot in good faith ally myself with a corrupt, vindictive subset of women wearing their £45 ‘this is what a feminist looks like’ t-shirt on behalf of us all, for all those who cannot access the internet and seek their own truth. I realise now that many of the reactions I’ve had for identifying as a feminist comes from the image the world has of feminism; white women behaving like entitled white men to the detriment of us lesser beings.

Happy International Emancipated Womanist Day from me, an ex-feminist who finally gets she can never be a feminist, not like they want me to be.

(I dedicate this post to all the Muslim women suffering at the hands of white men and feminists claiming race is not a feminist issue)

Femme and Proud

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Gender is something that is very personal to each and every one of us. It can’t be written off as a binary with two distinct identities or dismissed altogether as a construction of the patriarchy, it is often complicated, as it should be in a world we share with billions of other people. Culture influences our perceptions of gender and what we deem acceptable from other people. Except it really shouldn’t be about what other people think, our bodies are our own. If someone is more concerned about the contents of your pants, if determining your sex is the most important thing in their mind, then you are reduced to their idea of your primary function, which is to procreate. We think of our babies having babies as soon as they are born (even if we’re not consciously thinking it) and in many cases months before they make their entry into the world. Isn’t that odd?

I was inspired to write this piece after reading a friend’s disclosure regarding their gender identity. They have been empowered enough to state what has been a constant for them but couldn’t before because of society’s expectations of men and the way they are to interact within a patriarchy. It’s a brave step and one that has become possible because of the many ways it is becoming more acceptable to talk about, and our awareness of the rest of the planet and their attitudes towards gender. It is becoming clearer that the binary is predominant in western societies and those nations generally deemed backwards tend to be more relaxed with the idea of a spectrum of many identities. It is with this knowledge and support I now feel able to make my own statement.

I am a cis femme woman and a feminist and I adore my femininity. There, I said it, judge me all you like. I did the tomboy thing, when I thought that was the path to true feminist nirvana, when I bought into patriarchy and behaved as my male peers did so that they couldn’t treat me like a woman (that just made me a bit of a prick tbh). I became that manic pixie dream girl, girly but with enough blokey humour to ensure my place with the lads. All of that sucked for me. I’ve spent my whole life trying to be everything anyone could ever want me to be and it didn’t feel right. I noticed the looks from my feminist colleagues, the comments about my clothes or the ways in which white women just have to write about your hair and your desperate gender performance because you’re not so enlightened and don’t know any better. I’ve tried to be something I’m not to fit in with others ideas of what it is to be x but I’ve never felt more empowered since I embraced the femme within.

I LIKE looking after people. I prefer dresses and skirts to ambiguous clothing. I’ve had my hair cut into a million styles, even a short back and sides yet the only one that feels comfortable is the one that covers my breasts. I also LIKE being looked after. I LIKE the idea of staying at home and looking after any children I might have. Heck, I love babies, most of them, in fact. I know some people find it difficult to handle, but they would, it being a patriarchy, where femininity is judged and mocked by both men and women alike. It’s weak to be feminine or sexually coercive, the mere sight of your curves drawing unsuspecting predators to you like a moth to a flame. Yet all these judgments, these insinuations come from the feelings your body provokes in them (and their tiny little minds). The men hate you for having any control over them and their trouser snake (what are they, 2 fucking years old? Nobody MAKES you do anything. You have to work for that privilege not demand it as your birth right) and the women hate you cos the men are looking at you and not them. They think you’re a strumpet dancing to the tune of the MRAs who believe they deserve a real girl except they get to define what is and isn’t one, something they also have in common with TERFs. Those women who deny gender completely, who seem indistinguishable from power tripping white middle class men.

So there, I’ve said it and I’ll say it once more out loud; I’M FEMME AND I’M PROUD.

I know who I am and I couldn’t give a stuff what you think about it.

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.

Still I Rise

I have been seeing a therapist coming on 3 years. That’s how long I guess it takes to fix a breakdown. I’ve had cognitive behavioural therapy to unwrite the pathways in my head and process life in a way that means I won’t just stop breathing. I used to do that quite frequently and without realising. It’s only when my head would swim or I’d get hit with pangs of nausea that I’d notice I’d been sat holding my breath. The resultant sensations would make me want to self-harm and that was my life for a couple of years until the therapy started to take hold.

After the Mary Beard incident, I was really excited to see my therapist. I wanted to tell her how well I’d coped. Coping is something I’ve been learning to do. Years of being silenced, of being disbelieved left me unable to deal with the most basic of situations. Without therapy, the mistake I’d made would have finished me. I would not have been able to admit that I had done something wrong because the toxic shame that feels like internal bleeding would have rendered me incapable. Instead I would think of all the worthless valueless things I’d been called and would take it as confirmation that I must be those things. I wouldn’t have thought to apologise because I would have believed that my apology would be of no consequence and instead would be used against me as a sign of weakness. I really believe this is why Caitlin Moran finds it so impossible.

But I did apologise. Admittedly I experienced the initial gut churning realisation that I had made a monumental mistake but I also knew that I could overcome it. I understood that I could learn from this. I acknowledged we all make mistakes, sometimes catastrophic. It is how we deal with them that makes all the difference. I’m not infallible. I do my best to empathise and I want to understand everything, that’s why I have this need for transparency. So I steeled myself for the fallout. I hadn’t, however, banked on being made an example of when privilege politics gone wrong in a move orchestrated to discredit our progression as intersectional feminists striving for equality for all, not just the white cis commentariat.

I apologised to Mary Beard because I had offended HER. I wasn’t ‘called out’; I was jumped on by someone with their own nasty agenda. Weeks of being shown for the bigots they are and the first time once of us slips up, it’s time to take us all down. I didn’t wait for someone to point out my mistake, I realised it myself and did what I could to make amends. First and foremost, I immediately apologised on Twitter. I also blogged it. I started following Mary because I wanted to learn more about her, and she followed me too. I wanted to learn from this experience. I thought about it many times in the weeks to come, that old cringe that creeps up on you just as you’re about to fall asleep. But it also made me think of how I’ve always felt uncomfortable calling out racism, because of the way it can be turned back on us. In this instance I’d got it so very wrong. But it reminded me of the time a workmate would sing “there’s a brown girl in the room” whenever I’d walk through the door. Or the white ex-boyfriend who told me it didn’t matter how much white people allied themselves with non-whites, most of Britain is the Daily Mail variety. In doing so he’d further compounded the paranoia that brown people like me feel whenever we are in white company. It could be anyone.

Helen acknowledged that I had made an error due to ill health. She would have made this decision because, before the incident that day, I had actually been tweeting the pain I was in. I have a spinal injury and complex PTSD. There was no excuse for my false allegation which is why an apology was made in full. Understanding privilege does not give people the right say and do what they like but it does give people some idea as to WHY something happened. And it provides the platform for respectful discussion. It doesn’t take away the harm perpetrated which is why I wanted to ask for forgiveness. I didn’t do a Caitlin and block my critics, I listened. When the brain fog takes over I try not to succumb to it. I want to understand and compartmentalise what happened and so I take it apart. I realised then that Helen was going to make a show of me. But I also knew it was a very tenuous link she was making and that I was an easy target. This isn’t the first time I’ve been scapegoated. In fact, it is a part of my disorder!

To randomly come across a Storify that I was assured would be deleted was disheartening to say the least. I didn’t understand why it was back up. I thought it was underhanded and kicked myself for trusting someone who had clearly wanted to vilify me. Why was it still there? Only I couldn’t ask Helen because she’d already blocked me. Through dribs and drabs of incoherent tweeting, I saw that she was unhappy about a blog I’d written. I wracked my brain thinking about where I might have offended her. I’d mentioned Mary in a couple of blogs but no real link to Helen anywhere. And then, I saw someone mention the post “There’s no point in online feminism if it’s not intersectional”.

I don’t talk about her at all. In fact her name is tagged on the post but I don’t specifically mention her. I do take objection to the author of the Mean Girls post though. In a debunking of her outrageously misogynistic piece in where she admits to wanting to behave like teh menz, she wrote some very damaging things about the feminist movement. It is my right to debunk a piece which is given a platform like the New Statesman. Did Helen take offence because she was the one who published it? Whatever her reasons, how can she justify republishing something she said she would take down because of the circumstances of that particular day? Am I not allowed to have an opinion now? If, in the future, I am racially abused, can you all discredit me with this one example of when I got it wrong? I’m not super human; I will probably make more mistakes. But I will damn well try to understand why they happened and how I can prevent them from happening again.

Why aren’t we allowed to learn and grow from our mistakes? When is it ever ok for a woman in Helen’s position to falsify a set of events and present them in a way that will encourage people to abuse me? There’s a set of people eager to point out how stupid I am and also the ableist bunch who think I am lying about my health. Or if I’m not lying about my health, then I should refrain from having an opinion. Move over Harry Potter, I need your cupboard under the stairs.

This is why we’re doing the intersectional thing folks. We’re giving those people you wanna shut up a voice. I’ve had enough of silencing. That’s why I’m ok with Helen leaving her skewed version of events up. This incident has strengthened my belief in the cause more than ever before. These are the people we are fighting. They are not our allies. If they were any good at feminism the last time round, i.e. including women like my mother and trans women like my many wonderful friends, we wouldn’t still be in this shit heap of a patriarchy.

When the patriarchy attacks my female critics, they have an ally in me. When their allies attack me, they call me a ‘cunt’. My feminist critics make an example of me.

WE ARE NOT ON THE SAME SIDE.

Dredging up a 3 month old incident is not good journalism, it’s desperate.

Whatever you do, don’t make a mistake, and NEVER trust a cister

Helen Lewis once storified a set of tweets but left out the connecting bits that made a bit more sense of my very senseless allegations of racsim against Mary Beard. She reassured me at the time it would be deleted because unfortunately I am a spoonie and take 3 different meds that can have an affect on the way I’m thinking some days. She acknowledged my health. She acknowledged my apology. She also left out some of the tweets which was part of the argument I had with her when she first published it. The published set of tweets look they’re from somebody deranged (any yes, I’ve totally been there) and because of who she is, she can now undermine ANYTHING I have to say about feminism. I made one mistake that didn’t even fucking concern her and she can now use it against me when she PREVIOUSLY SAID SHE WOULDN’T.

Don’t you think I felt humiliated and enough of an idiot on discovering my own mistake? I dunno about Helen but I try not to be a shithead about things. If I hurt someone, I apologise. If I need to learn a lesson, I damn well will. But Helen doesn’t believe in restitution. She’d rather hang me in the stocks and leave me there forever.

Just because you’re having a hard time accepting your immense fucking privileges, how can you then use them to shit on someone far less privileged like me? I wish I had your platform Helen, I fucking do.

Leave it up for all to see Helen, don’t be the bigger person even though society knows your name over mine. And you know the privileges that affords. If people want the truth they can read it here.

In my world, we make up for when we did wrong and resolve conflict with respect. I thought I had done so with the person I’d hurt but apparently it was Helen Lewis who deserved to be so pissed off about it. Not lovely kind Mary who accepted my apology and should never have had to deal with what I said to her. No Helen, this is all about you. Sigh. It’s really not though is it?

Don’t hijack this to cover your anti intersectional sins.

You can make an example of me all you like, you’re still a shit feminist.

bully