Ched Evans and Katie Hopkins – A new friendship?

What, seriously?! Are the two of them friends? I wouldn’t be surprised especially after Katie’s recent tweet telling everyone to “get over it” , putting her rather large beak into the Ched Evans “will he ,won’t he” be signing , story.

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Does she not have any idea what her words are implying? Should a rape/sexual assault survivor “get over” trauma , abuse, injury and psychological damage that can take years to heal(if at all) just because she’s sick of hearing about it and possesses no empathy or maturity?Would she be of the same opinion if it happened to her, a friend, her child(ren)? I’d have thought otherwise.

People in the twitter sphere have been defending him since his release and it’s pretty disturbing because if it was an ordinary member of the public, they wouldn’t be so quick to support a person who was convicted of rape. Why do we leave our values at the door when it’s someone of celebrity status or any other status like for instance, a Prince?

Also, look at Bill Cosby.. Are we so naive that he wasn’t capable of committing these acts of violence just because he was such a good actor and played a role that we all loved watching? Read between the lines, people! Who and what you are, does not determine what you do! Look at lead singer of the Lost Prophets, Ian Watkins .. Or of course , Jimmy Saville who was a much loved British Icon(a matter of opinion on that one).

Stop the hero worship! Oh, and please stop sending stupid tweets like these, will you?

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Internet Trolls:You Can’t Silence Us

I’ve been blogging for a few years now, I started on blogger before I was encouraged to make the leap and go self hosted.

Along the way, my group of twitter friends has grown. I fall in and out with twitter and blogging but there are “constants” in the blogger and twitter sphere who if I met in person tomorrow, know that we would get on like a house on fire. One of these people, Kiran Chug, has recently been a target of on line trolls due to her believes in feminism and her right to bring her children up surrounded by these. I say enough is enough. She had to take a break from writing and the community of bloggers were left with a sense of loss because she is a fantastic writer and friend to many not to mention a fantastic support to quite a few!here is a link to that post and I do suggest that you read it.

She received messages such as being told that she should put her kids up for adoption amongst other things. To that person, I laugh at you and your cowardice ways that you need to hide behind a computer screen in order to verbally abuse a parent who cares enough about their kids to bring them up to love, care and respect women. You don’t even qualify for the term “bully”. I pity you for you are weak and pathetic.

Our community of support and respect will not deter us from bringing our kids (I have a girl AND a boy), with feminist values and I for one will continue to let my son wear his sisters high heels, make up and hair clasps should he wish to! You will not stop me/ us, from supporting our children’s independence and exploration of who they are and come to be. Gender is not dependant on clothing worn or toys that kids play with and the quicker people realise that, the better. If my children are gay, it’s not because of playing with toys not “designed” for their gender. If they are gay, I will be as proud of them as I am of them now.

Unite all bloggers who are feminists, parents, carers, friends because the trolls won’t win. Ignore and continue to do what you do because you do it well. As Kiran rightfully pointed out and as living proof, social media has helped me through PND twice and it will continue to help others time and time again.

Think about how you respond to someone next time you decide to ridicule because we will just ignore the negativity and become stronger against you/those who try to take us down, because we are stronger than you.

Dapper Laughs Guide To Rape

I rocked my son who is 20 months old, to sleep for his afternoon nap. I looked into his eyes and watched as they became heavier and heavier and felt his grip on my fingers loosen before he eventually drifted off into sleep.

Before he went to sleep, I had caught a link up on twitter about some guy in the papers who was glorifying rape, putting down women and saying such horrible and nasty things that I really couldn’t believe that it could come out of someone’s mouth. I was fuming and thought, how does a child of either sex, go from such tiny little people who look to their parents/carers for love , and guidance, and find the world magical, to this misogynistic sad excuse for a human being? As a feminist, it scares the utter shit out of me that we have someone like this person, walking around in public who is obviously volatile and unpredictable towards the female sex. How is this ok and why is society accepting of this type of behavior? It isn’t ok to say things like “She is gagging for a rape” and “you can’t rape a woman”, two things that are completely untrue but was said at his recent show in London, according to the Daily Mirror.  Why didn’t people walk out instead of just sit there in uncomfortable silence? Why are we scared to go with our morals and beliefs, defend the woman in question or all women for that matter?

The scary thing is that Dapper Laughs has followers who also think that what he is saying is funny , they have trolled the internet for the sole purpose of being abusive towards anyone that thinks he was wrong for what he said. From using offensive, degrading and misogynistic terms towards – mainly women,  he increasingly gains power to continue his torrid campaign, he yearns for power and is no different from any perp who carries out such vile acts.   The other frightening aspect of this story is that ITV have defended keeping this sorry excuse for a man,  and so far are continuing to allow him to be part of their network! They are saying in a round about way, in my opinion, that RAPE IS OK. The man himself also tweeted that they were signing him up for another 2 series.. this scares the hell out of me.

I would challenge Dapper Laughs, to go into a rape crisis center for a few hrs, to hear the stories from survivors,  of their abuse and violence and to see the devastation caused not only by the rapist but how comments such as his, contribute to the rape culture that is alive and well in our society. Although, actually I’m not so sure it would be a wise idea for him to have access to survivors ( it would be detrimental to them). One of the most disturbing things he mentioned was about how rape happens, that if he was going to put together a rape guide, it would involve “duct tape and rope”. This is a stereotypical description of how rape happens and statistically a lot rapists are known to their victims.. its not a person hiding in the bushes all the time but someone we know!

 

Have you seen this story? What is your reaction to it, and have you signed the petition to have him removed from ITV?

 

The Flight Centre – No compassion

Last month I got a call from home to tell me that I had to return to Canada because my Dad was in intensive care and that it was serious enough that the doctors had asked that the family come back to see him. When doctors say that, you know its serious and I knew that I needed to book a flight right away. There was a slight problem in that I had no valid passport, so I waited up from when I got the call at )3:00am, and spoke with the French consulate in Edinburgh and they were able to get me an appointment later on in the afternoon which meant that I could fly next day.

In the meantime, I had to go and get passport photos, pack and sort out childcare for the kids because they couldn’t come with me and I also had flights to find but wasn’t about to book until I had a passport in hand. I was scared that if I booked, that something would go wrong and I didn’t want to tempt fate. So after getting the train into Edinburgh, got information sent to me from the hospital to justify and explain that my Dad was very ill, I had a temporary passport issued and I was on my way home to book my ticket.

I was speaking to the flight centre, as this seemed to be the cheapest flight available and unfortunately my usual company Air Transat, did not fly on a Saturday so they were the next available and earliest flight to book with. I was put under a bit of pressure as we were also liaising via email, and as I was paying with my husbands bank card, we had to provide various forms of identification. It was mentioned at one point that I may need a visa due to flying from Edinburgh-Newark-Toronto but I said that I wasn’t sure but that I would bring my Canadian birth certificate with me. I was also told to “just tick all I the boxes”. The staff member informed me that she would check and if I needed one, that she would get back to me.

I didn’t hear from her. I arrived at the airport the next morning with my e- ticket and when in line awaiting book in for my flight. When i was approached, I was asked if I had my visa or ETSA to which I replied “no”, I wasn’t aware that I needed one. I then burst into tears because I was stressed and didn’t know if I was going to be able to fly out to see my Dad. I was told not to worry, to go over to one of the computers and apply on line which would take a few minutes. Every time I typed in my details though, there was an error. Time was ticking by and I then had to get an employee of the airport who asked me why i didn’t have a visa. I explained the situation and she called the American Immigration dept and was told that I couldn’t fly in, although on their website , in black and white, there is information stating that America and France (amongst other countries) have an agreement and there shouldn’t have been any issue.

It was too early to call the travel agent at this point and the lovely staff at United Airlines , went out of there way to track down other flights for me to book. I had paid over £600 for the first flight and I really didn’t have anything else to buy a new flight apart from my credit card which had just been cleared. When I was able to finally call the Flight Centre, I spoke to a very nice member of staff who empathised with me but couldn’t help me. He said that I would have to buy a brand new ticket and contact them later about trying to get a refund. I explained to him that this was very difficult but I feel that because they knew how important it was for me to get home asap, there wasn’t much more to do. What made me even more angry was the fact that a manager was obviously in the background but didn’t even have the decency to come to the phone and speak to me.

I asked for recordings of the original call to which I was told that “not all calls are recorded”. very convenient. I emailed quite a few times and was told that it was unlikely that I would get a refund because I had ticked the boxes about understanding flight requirements i.e., visas but I tried explaining to them the pressure that I was put under(she was about to finish) as well as having the member of staff tell me herself that she would get back to me if I needed a visa.

I find it absolutely disgusting that a company like this can take full advantage of someone who’s travel was a necessity. I had medical information from the hospital explaining the situation and it added more stress onto an already horrible situation. I will never forgive them for their lack of professionalism and I will never use their “services” again. I have yet to hear back about where they are in the process of obtaining my refund… I urge you not to use their company especially if in a situation where you might be more vulnerable due to their uncaring nature.

Update: I’ve received £130 back and waiting on the rest. I’m sickened that they can’t admit their own staffs wrong doing.

Bloggers at War?

As we all have seen today on twitter, there was an adverse reaction when someone wasn’t picked to be an ambassador for a certain family orientated company. I’m sure work was put in and there are claims that they were pre picked (doesn’t really make it a competition in my eyes), and if that was the case, I’m sure that email evidence can back it up.

Now, I don’t generally get involved in these things and to be honest, its the very first time that I have come across anything like it. However, I felt that I needed to because the person in question slagged off a lot of bloggers because they didn’t have as many followers as she did on twitter as well as other very rude accusations. I might be committing a major faux paus by writing this but I blog for me and my family, to create memories and to get opportunities to review and interact with people.

I think that blogging has taken on a whole new thing for some folk and its like all social media in that you need to set boundaries for yourself and be mindful of the effect that it can have on your mental health. I don’t know the blogger in question and I don’t want to pass judgement, but that person really is being incredibly rude to folk and I think the right thing to do would be to delete her tweets and cool off.

I’m sure she’s probably a really nice person in real life, we can all come across differently on social media and how we communicate due to not being able to see facial expression, hear tone of voice means that we don’t always  see the situation for what it is. Its sad to see someone who has obviously worked so hard on their blog, lose it over one thing, but it could have been dealt with in a better way between her and the company in question.

Name calling and accusations really is not the way to go, using colourful language and putting your reputation into question also isn’t good but I guess its “each to their own”… I just don’t think I want to get caught up in it all.

 

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