Sunday, May 06, 2007

Which Way Would You Go?

Yep, I'd be going for Segolene...

Saturday, May 05, 2007

Rapist For Sale.

Oh - where is your sense of humour - it's only a toy!

Amazon is selling a rapist.

Rapist Number One is a character from Quentin Tarantino's Grindhouse. The toy demonstrates the extent to which rape is taken seriously in our society. Sexual violence is a subject of play and entertainment. Amazon is obviously on the quest for rape-profits through this surrender to male porn culture. No doubt they will accrue much male approval, particularly from the little tikes who want to play at rape with their Barbies on the lounge carpet, giving them the enormous relief of being to act out in play, the vulgar and brutal little fantasies that roam around their peanut-sized brains.

Of course the arguments will be that it is just a toy and that even graphical depictions of rape and violence do not lead to actual violence. We don't accept the premise of such 'WeirdWorld' justifications because EVEN if that were true, it still ignores the fact that rape and sexual violence are being used as something to enjoy. Their arguments do not acknowledge the pure weirdness of someone who wants to think about rape and contempt of women as a way of enjoying themselves - HELLO, WAKE UP, THIS IS WRONG WRONG WRONG.

Living in a world filled with images and products which are all aimed at the titillation of the lowest, most base, males in society tends to grind us all down. Toys like 'Rapist Number One' operate below the level of language and act to normalise the sexual domination of women. Come on Amazon, you really don't need the profits from this rape-doll, so do humanity a favour and stop selling it.

"Grindhouse - designed as a tribute to the ultra-violent B-movie programmes of old - the trend officially reaches the mainstream. Made up of two films plus a clutch of trailers for non-existent movies, Grindhouse bombed when it was released in the US last month. American audiences were said to have been put off by the three-hour running time, and last week it was announced that Grindhouse will be released in a different format in the UK, the two films sold as separate features. Whether either film is any good is still up for debate - I, for one, found them both suicidally boring. What isn't in question is the disturbing attitude towards women in these films". (See full article The Guardian, 1st May 2007)

from Truth About Rape.

Contact here. Now.

Thursday, May 03, 2007

Pigeon Chicks Day 2.

100_3755, originally uploaded by incurable_hippie.

People keep telling me they're cute...

I still think they're really ugly. I do, however, wish them no harm and am quite interested to witness their growing-up progress.

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Pigeon Chicks.

Baby pigeons are really, really ugly.

And there are two on my balcony.

The eggs were small and white and perfect, and I was kinda hoping for cute little things. But no. REALLY ugly.

Ah well, you live and learn.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Blog Against Disablism Day 2007.

Blogging Against Disablism Day, May 1st 2007

This post is mainly a republishing of an earlier post, to mark Blogging Against Disablism Day. Unfortunately, things haven't changed since February 2006 when I posted it originally, and some areas seem to be getting worse.

I wish this post could be celebrating the reduction in disablism when it comes to mental health treatment, stigma and support, but with the Incapacity Benefit fiasco, and mental health care services being slashed (no pun intended, maybe) this government's so called 'priority' of mental health care is clearly either a huge lie, or they have really fuckin weird ways of prioritising things.

Self-Harm and Medical Treatment
The National Institute for Clinical Excellence (NICE), in 2004 issued some guidelines on

The short-term physical and psychological management and secondary prevention of self-harm in primary and secondary care

These include instructions such as,

People who have self-harmed should be treated with the
same care, respect and privacy as any patient. In addition,
healthcare professionals should take full account of the
likely distress associated with self-harm.

If a person who has self-harmed has to wait for treatment,
he or she should be offered an environment that is safe,
supportive and minimises any distress. For many patients,
this may be a separate, quiet room with supervision and
regular contact with a named member of staff to ensure

Always treat people with care and respect.

Take full account of the likely distress associated with

Offer the choice of male or female staff for assessment and
treatment. If it is not possible to give people a choice, explain
why and write it in their notes.

Always ask the service user to explain in their own words why
they have self-harmed. Remember, when people
self-harm often, the reason for each act may be different on
each occasion; don’t assume it’s done for the same reasons.

Involve the service user in clinical decision-making and provide
information about treatment options.

Always offer necessary physical treatments even if the person
doesn’t want psychosocial or psychiatric assessment.

Always use proper anaesthesia and/or analgesia if treatment
for self-injury is painful.

Offer sedation if treatment may evoke distressing memories
of previous sexual abuse, such as when repairing harm to the
genital area.
• Don’t delay treatment because it is self-inflicted.

There is an awful lot of info in the report, but some of the pertinent points I have listed above.

I have heard endless stories of people in A&E being refused stitches to a self-injury cut, on the basis that 'You've got so many scars already, one more won't make a difference', or 'There's no point - you'll only do it again'. Similarly with people who have been refused anaesthetic before being stitched or having other painful treatments.

These situations appall me. People who have caused their own injuries deserve just as good (physical and psychological) care as those whose injuries were accidental or caused by others. People do not self-harm for no reason - it almost always occurs within a context of intense distress and desperation, and can frequently prevent the person from further harm (for example, suicide attempts) by releasing some of the pressure before it boils over.

People who need treatment for self-harm injuries are likely to be feeling dreadful, full of their own inner guilt for needing treatment, and very possibly feeling quite vulnerable. They do not need doctors or nurses or ambulance staff to reinforce their own feelings of self-hatred or to imply that they are wasting people's time.

I cannot talk for everyone who self-harms, and I also do not want to downplay the incredible sensitive and appropriate treatment offered by many medical staff. There are people who self-harm who won't relate at all to what I say, and there are doctors, nurses and ambulance staff who do brilliant work. There's no doubt about that.

However some people are treated appallingly, and this only leads to the person who has self-harmed to feel even worse about themselves, and further self-harm feels more appealing because they have had all their worst fears and feelings confirmed.

So, where am I going with this?

Well, there are cases of blatantly bad treatment (being refused stitches when they are needed, not using local anaesthetic where it normally would be used, derogatory comments by staff etc.), and these are easy to criticise. But there are also many, many occasions when someone who has self-harmed gets bad-mediocre treatment, but it is hard to know what the motivation behind the not-really-caring is.

I needed treatment the last couple of weeks for a burn. I went to a GP, who asked the Practice Nurse to dress it. The nurse's treatment was, well, lukewarm to say the least. She dressed the burn very badly - using inadequate dressings and suggested no follow-up at all. I needed to go back 2 days later because of the state of the dressing and the injury and although she dressed the injury better than the first time, it was still very careless, unnecessarily painful and there was no plan for follow-up again.

I came out of both of these encounters very upset, especially the second one. I was spinning between 'I deserve better treatment than this' and 'Why on earth should I expect decent treatment? It's my own stupid fault anyway'. On top of that, I really didn't know whether the nurse didn't treat me well because my injury was self-inflicted, or whether she was actually just quite incompetent and not very interested in general.

I still don't know the answer to that, but the following week I saw a different nurse at the practice, who dealt with my injury competently, and was actually nice to me. It made a huge difference to how I felt when I left the surgery. I didn't feel full of self-hatred, full of self-loathing, full of self-directed anger.

I have that age-old double standard. I believe, without a doubt, that people who have self-harmed deserve and require treatment which is as good as people who have injuries which were accidental or caused by someone else. However, when it's *me*, I of course don't deserve a single nice word or a dressing which actually deals adequately with the wound. I am stupid and a waste of time, though noone else is!

I really don't know if I got sub-standard treatment because the nurse wasn't up to speed on burn dressings, or on 'bedside' manner, or whether it was because she didn't want to deal with a self-inflicted injury, or didn't think it deserved time and treatment, or indeed deal with someone who could self-injure.

All I know is that I came out of the appointment with the second nurse feeling much more positive and capable and listened to. I'm no expert on dressings, but even I knew that the first two were inadequate. I came out of those appointments feeling disgusting and loathsome.

I do believe that in terms of avoiding future self-harm, feeling positive and capable and listened to is certainly a better place to start!

Some other relevant past posts:
Blogging Against Disablism 2006
Who Are The Mad Ones?
Information Release: Sheffield Welfare Action Network
The Difference Between Self-Harm and Suicide
Self Injury Awareness Day
National Inquiry into Self-Harm Report
Trial and Error
Time For More Health Awareness
Psycho Babble or Psychic Healing?
Alcohol, Coke and Oil
Volunteering Lunch Expenses Campaign
Lunatic Enters Number 10
Things You Need To See
I'm Not Ok
and plenty more!

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Funerals and Words.

Where's my banner gone?!

Z and I went to Helen's funeral this morning. It was pretty harrowing, and the minister talking of new hope in God, and of Helen's demons was really not, NOT, appropriate for me. I actually wanted to shout at him several times, but of course didn't.

It wasn't just him, of course, that made it awful. The fact that we were at the funeral of such a good friend was the worst thing. She was too young, too kind, too funny, too... And she's gone. There's nothing like a coffin to bring that home with a punch to the stomach.

A few cans of Stella, too many cigarettes and a film have helped me through the evening. I just want the day to end now really.

In other news, according to Gender Genie, my Le Pen blog entry is female, my entry about Helen is female, my entry about Charliegrrl and bullying is male, and my sexual violence is terrorism entry is male. My entry about the Park Hill murder is male, my letter to John O is male, Sheffield women, avoid this man! is female, and Visit from Auntie Flo was male (obviously! Complaining about his period pain!).

It's all about the words you use in your writing, and whether those words are more likely to be written by men or women. My results are clearly ambiguous, to say the least!

I think what this tells us is that their algorithm isn't quite up to scratch, that longer entries tend to be written by men, and that women aren't allowed to be angry. I'm so often angry! And I'm most certainly a woman.

Potentially interesting experiment there at gender genie, just a bit flawed in practice.

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Dieu Merci!

Le Pen came in fourth. There were worries he'd be in the top two, but Sarkozy got 30%, Segolene Royal 25%, and Le Pen dragging with 11.5%. While it is horrifying that 11% of French people voted for him (and on the news earlier this week, it was said that 8% of Muslims were going to vote for him! Argh!), it is very very good that he's nowhere near the top two who will be going to the next stage.

Incredibly high turnout too, which I hope was because people realised Le Pen might have a chance if they didn't turn out.

I do see that voting sometimes doesn't result in a hugely democratic process, but I do think that with evil bastards like him standing, sometimes it's vital to be tactical.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

You Know It's Not Good When...

your GP gives you antibiotics for sinusitis, and the instructions say,
Take two on the first day, then OD.

Friday, April 13, 2007

One of my best friends has died. She was found on Monday and probably killed herself some time last week or at the weekend.

I am devastated and stunned. Don't know what to do with myself.

I found out on Wednesday, after much detective work by me and others, when we were really worried at not having been able to contact her for a while.

Rest in peace, Helen. I hope where you are now is better than where you were then.

Saturday, April 07, 2007

Bullies Defending the Patriarchy.

Charliegrrl has been getting a lot of abuse online after voicing her opposition to a workshop at the upcoming Ladyfest Leeds, which is to be based around
criticising the recent legislation to criminalise the possession of extreme violent porn, and considering if this contributes towards women’s liberation or women’s repression..?

A thread at a pro-BDSM forum has been set up to 'encourage' people to respond to Charliegrrl's views and actions, and I read most of the posts on this thread. It's nothing new, it's nothing we haven't heard a million times before, and it made my eyes glaze over.

I *know* the pro-BDSM arguments and they are very loaded, and are packaged in a way to make it look really bad to oppose them. If you oppose them you are censoring people, or oppressing valid alternative sexualities, or anti-sex (that good old!), or anti-free will! There is also lots of talk about allowing women to choose to work in the empowering sex industry.

This informed consent message board thread also serves another purpose which is blatantly a personalised attack against Charliegrrl. In fact, in one of Verte's posts, she writes,
I have changed the title of the thread so it's the first item that comes up in google when you type 'charliegrrl'.

Charliegrrl has been widely criticised on these forums for 'censorship', in that she is refusing to allow pro-SM / pro-BDSM / pro-porn / anti-Charliegrrl comments to be published on her blog. Charliegrrl is more than entitled to choose what does and doesn't go on her website!

She is absolutely within her rights to keep her blog as a safe space for radical feminist women, and women survivors. Why should the pro-BDSM peeps be able to hijack her own safe space on the web with their arguments and criticisms of her, personally?

Charliegrrl is being blatantly bullied, singled out and humiliated in a way which is entirely unacceptable. I hate to see women doing this to women, yet I guess it fits the pattern, in some ways. If it's ok to hurt women if it turns them on, then is it ok just to hurt women? If it turns you on perhaps?

There are many arguments and statements on amazing feminist blogs, around this discussion. See my 'GRRRLS' section in my 'Blogs I Like' section to the right for some amazingly good feminist reading. I am not currently up for writing these arguments out myself, because I know what I'd say, I know what pro-porners would say in response, and I'm sick and tired of having the same discussions and rows, which lead nowhere and frustrate me intensely. My energy is needed elsewhere!

However, as a brilliant sum-up of a lot of the issues involved in BDSM sex, 'rape play', pornography, prostitution, lesbian S&M and abusive sex, I must send you on to read, How Orgasm Politics has Hijacked the Women's Movement" by Sheila Jeffreys.

Just because it makes you have an orgasm, doesn't make it ok.
Think about *why* you might have an orgasm that way.
Put it in a political and gendered context. Think.

Go read it now.

Thursday, April 05, 2007

Sexual Violence is Terrorism.

Blog Against Sexual Violence logo

2 women a week are murdered in Britain by their male partner, or ex-partner. The most dangerous time for a woman who has experienced domestic violence is when she leaves, or tries to leave.

The police in Britain receive 500,000 calls a year from women who suffer domestic violence.

Domestic violence is the major cause of death for women under the age of 44 - more than cancer.

Women are assaulted an average of 35 times by their partner before calling the police, according to the Home Office.

On average, the police in Britain receive a call every minute of every day regarding domestic violence.

And what are we doing with this information? This is a national crisis! An international crisis indeed, because it's not like this doesn't happen outside the UK.

You want to talk about terrorism? THIS is terrorism. The terror that millions of women are facing in their homes, from men they live with who control and bully and batter and rape and kill them.

Being raped in your home by the man who will do it again the next night, and the next night, and the next night, along with being punched, kicked, scratched, abused and humiliated, is the situation for too, too many women. Think about it, the most conservative statistics state that 1 in 7 women experience domestic violence in their lives. One out of every SEVEN women forced to live with this. Why isn't there an outcry? Where are the banners, the protests, the emergency legislation, the national and international committees resolving to sort this problem by the end of the year?

Why is this not being taken as seriously as it needs to be? It couldn't be anything to do with the victims being women, could it?

Read those statistics at the start of the post again. And again. Until you have begun to really absorb them.

You might wish you hadn't, or that you could bury your head in the sand because the reality is terrifying. You might have nightmares. You might realise you can't pretend you don't hear what goes on in your neighbour's house any more. Or that ignoring those bruises on your sister's arms is no longer an option.

Or that you can't see a way out of your own situation. If that is the case, call 0808 2000 247, which is a 24 hour helpline from women's aid. They can actually help. If you're in Yorkshire, here is a list of organisations that can help.

Violence against women is terrorism, do all you can to make it stop.

Teal Heart Award logo

Blog against sexual violence day.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Justice, For Once.

I used to live on Park Hill flats, a somewhat notorious council estate by Sheffield city centre.

There is always a lot to say about Park Hill, but for now I won't be going into that. I just need to talk about one incident, and today's long-awaited update on it.

In June 2002, I was woken by the smell of smoke. I leapt out of bed and went all the way round my flat, trying to find its source. When I couldn't find anything, I looked out of a window and saw the very clear cause. One of the flats opposite was very much on fire.

There was a huge amount of smoke, and I watched as one of the windows shattered with the heat, letting yet more smoke out. I saw that there were people around the flat door, and for some reason I presumed that the flat belonged to one of the women standing there. I grabbed my phone to call 999, when I saw firefighters arrive.

I was very frightened and disturbed by what I could see, and did not want to be part of that weird voyeuristic thing which happens to the best of people in situations like this, so I moved away from the window, and hoped the firefighters could get it under control quickly.

I was mainly relieved that the flat's occupant had got out.

Later that day I went down to the Co-op, which as well as being the local shop, also seemed to serve as social centre, marriage guidance, community news spreader and gossip centre of the estate.

Of course, all talk was of the fire. When I got to the till, I asked if anyone knew what had happened, and the woman serving me said, 'They're saying it's murder'.

I was stunned. Totally and utterly stunned. I had been convinced that that woman by the front door of the flat lived there. Why on earth had I thought that??

I was given more information - a woman was killed in the fire, she had had a stalker, one of her kids had seen the fire from the school playground, presumably not knowing their mum was dying in it. The thought was that the stalker did it.

Over the next few days, information began to be confirmed and denied. The situation was that this woman, June Bond, had 7 children. A man had been stalking her, and the flat which had been on fire was actually *his* flat. He was prime suspect, her death was being treated as murder, and he was being looked for.

The firefighters had struggled to get inside the flat to put out the fire, and once they had they were slowed down by the sheer heat and smoke. June Bond was dead.

I was terribly traumatised and disturbed by this whole event. Having seen the fire, I couldn't stop imagining how this (unknown to me) woman must have felt, dying in a fire. Unable to breathe? Burning? Worried about her kids? I had indirectly witnessed a murder and I couldn't get it out of my mind.

And then, after a few weeks, there was nothing. The flat remained boarded up, but talk got onto other matters and I learned nothing more.

This event comes to my mind still regularly, and I occasionally search the web for details of any kind of conviction or anything to follow up this woman's awful murder, but I found nothing.

So today, to read that the guy, Vincent King, had been convicted and sentenced to life, serving a minimum of 16 years, I felt so glad, so relieved.

It seems he had actually killed her with a claw hammer, and then set the flat on fire to cover his tracks. He'll be in there until at least 2018 which I'm glad about, but it doesn't seem half enough. He was stalking her, and had previously been in a relationship with her.

Yet again, a violent man kills their partner or ex-partner. Two women a week in Britain are killed by (ex-)partners. At least this time there is a conviction and something of a sentence.

16 Years for Murderer of Former Lover

A BRUTE who beat his ex-lover to death with a hammer and then tried to cover his tracks by arson must spend at least 16 years behind bars.
Vincent King, aged 59, of Norwich Row, Park Hill, was found guilty at Sheffield Crown Court in November 2002 of murdering mother-of-seven June Bond.

He had already pleaded guilty to arson being reckless as to whether life was
endangered. He was jailed for life.

Now his tariff - the minimum number of years he must spend in prison before he can seek parole - has been set at 16 years by Mr Justice McCombe, who was reviewing the case at the High Court in London.

Even taking into account the time he spent on remand, the ruling means King will not be able to even apply for his freedom before 2018.

Mr Justice McCombe said he had taken into account the fact King had been left in a "distressed mental state" when it emerged Ms Bond had begun seeing a neighbour, Oswald Darmudas.

But he also observed that King had a number of previous convictions for violence, including one against Ms Bond.

The judge also said he had tried to cover up the murder by starting a fire.

The court heard King met Ms Bond, who was 14 years younger than him, in 2001. In May 2002 she began seeing Mr Darmudas and split with King, but he 'stalked' her and discovered her new relationship.

On June 12 2002, he lured her to his flat by saying he had money for her, said Mr Justice McCombe, before killing her with a single blow to the head from a claw hammer.

At around 6.50am the next day he bought petrol from a filling station and set fire to his own flat with Ms Bond's body inside.

Monday, March 12, 2007

The Difference between Self-Harm and Suicide.

Dear John O,

Thank you for your emails, which I always read with interest and concern, and usually respond as best I can to calls for action.

I had to respond to this one, though, because of the way you are classing self-harm and attempted suicide as one and the same thing. This is just factually incorrect and very misleading.

There are many reasons why people self-harm, but it is most frequently a coping mechanism, indeed something which people can use in an attempt to *prevent* themselves getting to the point where they may end up attempting or committing suicide.
Some info:

There are probably as many reasons for self-harming as there are self-harmers.

Some people find that when they self-harm they experience a "release" which they cannot achieve in any other way. This can be a huge relief if feelings of depression, anger, self-hatred, fear or anxiety are becoming overwhelming.

Others find that when emotional pain becomes unbearable, if they hurt themselves in some way it transfers the pain to physical pain on the body. For many, physical pain (e.g. from a cut or a burn) is much easier to deal with than deep emotional pain.

On a similar note, some people find that hurting themselves physically gives them more control over their pain and their lives. Whereas it is difficult to control the emotional pain you may feel, if you then take charge of the pain and are in control of it, this can seem easier to deal with.

On the surface it could appear that self harming is similar to suicidal behaviour, especially if people are cutting their wrists, or overdosing. However for an awful lot of people, self harm is known to prevent suicide. By the means I mentioned above, self harm can take the edge off overwhelming feelings, and thus make someone less likely to attempt or commit suicide.

Some people self harm as a way of punishing themselves. If they feel guilty for something they have done, said or thought, they may then cut or burn or otherwise harm themselves because it is what they feel they deserve. Often the "punishment" is much more severe than is warranted, for example someone slashing their wrists because they overslept.

Self harm can also be anger turned inwards. For women in today's society, showing outward signs of anger is a socially unacceptable behaviour so if someone angers them, instead of shouting at them or taking their anger out in other ways, they may self harm to get rid of the supposedly unacceptable angry feelings.

There is also a scientific theory which could explain some people's self harming behaviours too. This is the theory that when we are in physical pain, endorphins ("happy" chemicals) are released into the body, leading to something resembling a "high". So when someone is feeling especially down or depressed, self harming could lead to a boost of endorphins which could make them feel better, albeit temporarily.

I would actually be surprised if incidents of true self-harm were not higher than those you quoted below. The disgraceful number of attempted suicides is probably much smaller than the incidences of self-harm which may often be well hidden and never receive medical treatment. So by merging the two in your mail you are possibly even downplaying the actual number of self-harm incidents.

Thanks for reading, hippie

John O wrote:

> ===========
> NCADC News Service
> ===========
> Self-Harm in Immigration Removal Centres
> Every other day a detainee incarcerated in a UK Immigration Removal Centre (IRC), makes an attempt at self-harm (suicide), serious enough to require medical treatment.
> In the 10 months from April 2006 to January 2007 there were 176 attempts to self-harm that required medical treatment. That is one incident of self-harm every 1.7 days.
> In the same period, 1,643 detainees were put on 'Formal Self-Harm at Risk'.
> Detainees and campaigners believe the actual numbers are way higher than those reported.
> Since the first Immigration Removal Centre opened in the UK, there have been 10 deaths from self-harm.
> Number of incidents of Self-Harm requiring medical treatment January 2007
> Campsfield House 1
> Colnbrook 12
> Dover 4
> Dungavel 0
> Harmondsworth 1
> Haslar 0
> Lindholme 0
> Oakington 1
> Tinsley House 0
> Yarl's Wood 1
> Number of individuals on 'Formal Self-Harm at Risk' January 2007
> Campsfield House 0
> Colnbrook 77
> Dover 10
> Dungavel 9
> Harmondsworth 3
> Haslar 3
> Lindholme 3
> Oakington 3
> Tinsley House 5
> Yarl's Wood 15
> A full break down for the 10 months April 2006 to January 2007;
> 46 asylum seekers/migrants in the UK, have taken their own lives (since 2000)
> 30 in the community - 6 in prisons
> 10 in Immigration Removal Centres
> Details:
> End of Bulletin:
> Source for this Message:
> Disclaimer:
> NCADC's email bulletins are an important part of our work in educating the public on immigration, asylum and anti-deportation issues. As part of that work our bulletins hosts news and views from different individuals, organisations and campaigns working in the same field as us.
> The contents of this bulletin are the sole responsibility of the author/s and should not be taken as endorsement of any kind by NCADC.
> NCADC takes no responsibility for the content of external websites linked from our bulletins and links should not be taken as endorsement of any kind.
> NCADC reserves the right to omit or edit the whole or any part of material submitted for publication.
> Viruses: Although NCADC take great care in scanning all emails and attachments with the latest Anti-viirus software before sending. It is no guarantee that the message is uninfected. We advise all recipients of our messages that they should have the latest Anti-virus software installed.
> NCADC cannot accept liability for any damage your system sustains due to software viruses.

> ========================
> National Coalition of Anti-Deportation Campaigns (NCADC)
> 110 Hamstead Road
> Birmingham
> B20 2QS
> ========================


'Smoking has been found to be a leading cause of statistics'

Technorati tags: ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; .

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Sheffield Women: Avoid This Man!

Z and I were enjoying a pub lunch this afternoon when I began to be stared at and leered at by a random male stranger. He was mouthing words to me, and stared constantly at me. This made me feel upset and intimidated, but I tried to continue as if nothing was happening, and I avoided catching his gaze as far as I could.

But no amount of ignoring seemed to discourage him and I began to get angry. Why should *I* feel upset and uncomfortable, when it's *him* being rude, arrogant, intimidating and a complete idiot.

How dare he?!

I started plotting and, inspired by sites like the fantastic Holla Back NYC - If you can't slap 'em, Snap 'em I got out my phone and took a photo of him with it. (The guy in question is the one sitting down, I've pixellated the entirely innocent guy walking behind him).

He realised what I was doing and looked duly horrified, and from then until we left the pub, he didn't even glance at me. I hope I scared him, like he had scared me.

And the photo is above. It's unfortunately not a very clear one, but still worth sharing, methinks. It makes me feel better anyway. Ha, you bastard.

Now, things to say to him:
How DARE you make me feel self-conscious? How DARE you make me feel like I should put a jumper on to cover up my barely-visible-anyway cleavage? How DARE you make me feel embarrassed? How DARE you scrutinise my movements and mouth sexual suggestions to me? How DARE you treat ANY WOMAN like a piece of meat? Whatever the fuck was going on in your head was YOUR problem and you made me feel like it was MY problem and MY fault.

You're a total idiot misogynist bastard and I actually hate you.

Don't do it again. I mean that.

Technorati tags: ; ; ; ; ; ; ; .

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Self-Portrait Challenge

texturised mini me
Originally uploaded by incurable_hippie.
Using the very clever textorizer tool, I created this self-portrait of me long ago.

Technorati tags: ; ; ; .

Friday, March 02, 2007

Cars, Crap Arrests, Charges, Crossing Books and Cashback!

People in the UK would have struggled to miss the news stories about the petition against increasing the costs of driving here. Even people who are supposed to know me quite well were forwarding me the link to sign. As if!

So, I was joyous to receive a link to a road pricing counter-petition, from FoE via Yorkshire CND...

*Subject:* Counter petition in favour of road pricing
>Dear All,
>Friends of the Earth have created a counter petition which says:
>We the undersigned petition the Prime Minister to Don't Scrap the
>planned vehicle tracking and road pricing policy. *More details*
>Submitted by Tim Lewis – **Deadline to sign up by: **11 March 2007 –
>**Signatures:** 4,686
>Please sign up – link below. Please forward to friends
>Denise, T2000
>Dear Friends of the Earth
>I'm emailing you about the road pricing controversy that's in the news.
>There is a great deal of coverage of the million-signature petition
>against road pricing.
>The impression given is that the motorists lobby is an overwhelmingly
>powerful and vocal political force. I believe that the green lobby could
>be equally influential, but needs to make its voice heard more clearly
>in order to have a greater influence on political decision making. I
>also think that road pricing is an important step to reducing traffic
>congestion and carbon emissions, and to making the roads safer for cyclists
>I'd be very grateful if you could forward this link the the pro-road
>pricing petition to your members, or others who you think might be
>interested, or highlight the link on your website
>Let's see if we can show that there are a million people in this country
>that care about the effect that traffic congestion has on our
>environment. I'd hate to be shouted down by the motorists lobby again
>Thanks a lot
>Alice Brockington

The text of the petition is as follows,
Having recently received an email asking me to sign the a petition to scrap the vehicle tracking policy, I'd like to propose the opposite. I strongly feel that driving is a privilege and not a right. There are simply too many cars on the road and too many people making journeys by car when they could simply walk or cycle. Thousands die every year in road accidents and many, like myself, are forced to risk our lives in trying to get to work in a sustainable manner. We are dependent of foreign oil and the wars to secure such resources will only get worse if we don't curb our driving habits. Driving started off as a freedom but as we've redesigned our land around the auto mobile, rather than the pedestrian, it's become nearly a necessity. It is, however, perfectly possible to live a successful, car-free life. I would like to advocate that this become the norm and if this law helps driving to become even less attractive than it already is, I'm all for it.

I couldn't agree more! And, I'm sure, neither could you. So GO SIGN, dammit!

Oh, and speaking of car pollution, does anyone else wonder whether all that contaminated petrol killing off cars in the South East could be the result of some kind of anti-car action somewhere along the line??

Just in from Schnews,

...for telling it like it is.

The keepin-it-real young hoodie who made a 'firing gun' gesture at David Cameron last week has ended up the one targeted.

Cuddly 'Eton Messy' Cameron had been on walkabout on a Manchester estate when the 17-year-old made the hand gesture as he walked past. Police swiftly arrested him, then raided his house and held him over the weekend for a few joints worth of weed. Well, no-one disses the Tory Krew!

District Judge Wendy Lloyd told the youngster she was "concerned" that he'd been kept in custody so long for such a small quantity of cannabis. She said: "That you have been dealt with differently causes me great concern." This concern didn't stop her from dishing out a £75 fine however...

The youth, who cannot be named for legal reasons, is now auditioning for the lead role in a local theatre production of "Taxi Driver".
(my emphasis).

At some point last night when I couldn't sleep, I heard on the news that an Australian man in Guantanemo Bay has actually been charged now, having been there for five years. Five years! To charge him!!

But the fucked up thing is that being charged could be a positive for him? I mean, rather than rotting in the Cuban cages indefinitely, he has the prospect of *something* happening. So many people there have not had any charges against them, indeed if it took 5 years for this guy, and we know that anyone there being charged is pretty rare, the vast majority are just being held and held and held, illegally and totally cruelly. The racist and anti-Muslim focus of these detentions cannot be overlooked either. They are vital to keeping the whole 'war on terror' cog turning. Can you imagine if we didn't live in a racist society? Our governments wouldn't get away with a percentage of what they do.

One more reason to challege racism, eh?

But back to this Australian guy - could being charged actually be a way forward for him? I know that's all mixed-up and churned around, but that's the nature of the Guantanemo world he's been living in, and the nature of the huge war which our governments are pushing forward. *Everything* is mixed-up and fucked-up.

Also, have to give plugs to BookCrossing - commit random acts of literacy!!

to Greasy Palm - earn cashback for the shopping you're already doing!

and to YouGov polls, earn money for sharing your opinions! And get excited when polls you took part in are discussed in the news ;)

Technorati tags: ; ; ; ; ; ; ; .