Showing posts with label guestpost. Show all posts
Showing posts with label guestpost. Show all posts

14 July 2015

The Disabled Overweight (And Why We’re Not Unicorns)

Today on the blog I have the lovely Hazel guest posting for me from Frocktopus.  Hazel is talking today about size shaming and the disabled overweight.  This is a fantastic read and I am so pleased that she agreed to post for me.

As much as I don’t want to believe it, unicorns don’t exist. The nine year old inside me is crying just typing that. I on the other hand do exist, and as much as we all like to feel a little like we’re special snowflakes, there are literally millions of people just like me on this planet - I’m overweight and I’m disabled.

I’m writing about these things for the ever fabulous curved opinion today because this blog is all about body positivity and Vicky has written some amazing posts about the plus sized movement, which sadly goes hand in hand with talking about size shaming.

Often I’m essentially excused from size shaming, not because I’m of average BMI (on my scale of awesome fictional characters from Flat Stanley to Jabba the Hutt I happily sit just shy of Vicar of Dibley) but because I’m disabled. A fact people seem to forget when vilifying under/overweight people.

“That’s me!” I shout.

“Not you, you’re exempt” they blush. “Besides I don’t think of you as fat”
some of the nicer friends say.

“Do one” I say, hitting the Facebook block button, passive aggressive as ever.

These are people that would, quite rightly, be in uproar if someone said “But you can’t help being black” or “But I don’t think of you as a woman.” These are not valid excuses people, if you’re going to make sweeping statements and presumptions about a subset or society, it’s a good idea to stop, look left and right then think, can these people be expected to live up to my ideals, and should they be expected to?

Shaming people on the basis that 'people can do stuff but they won’t' is presuming you know someone's situation better than they themselves (something I regularly try to check with my ‘Am I being a dick?' filter.) Not everyone is able to cook healthy food, eat healthy food and exercise regularly enough to be an ideal weight. 

If you’re thinking a group of people aren’t doing something they should, it’s probably a good idea to take into account the subsets of that group that sometimes cannot physically do those things, be it by poverty, carpophobia or disability.

Another often touted belief is 'It’s wrong to have an unhealthy role model'. This is not only saying large swathes of disabled people can’t have a role model, it’s saying large swathes of disabled people can’t BE a role model, which is discrimination by omission (a law/rule/belief that isn’t specifically aimed at a subset of people but accidentally persecutes them more than average, for example losing job security for taking long periods of time off work discriminates parents by omission.) 

It’s important for all people to have someone that can make them feel like they aren’t a freak and that they can accomplish something great, whether that’s being an Olympian or getting out of your PJs by noon (FYI I am in my PJs at 11am writing this, I bet Tess Holiday’s in a fucking power suit by this time of day). 

This attitude towards over/underweight disabled people is not only pretty discriminatory but I do not believe it’s about health. Size shaming often masquerades as concern for health but it’s only a small portion of apparent health people can see on the surface.

Whilst I’ve been told probably over a hundred times in my life that I’m overweight, I have never once had someone in the street yell "Oi, Your blood sugar is low”. There are many ways people can be healthy and unhealthy (for example I’m teetotal) but there is an inordinate emphasis on extremes of weight due to societies revulsion.

Phobia and revulsion are very closely linked psychologically, that’s why when you have blood taken you’re sometimes asked to lay down on a table, because if you’re scared you don't faint, if you do it’s due to revulsion, even though the mind computes them both as the same thing. and what is concern? Come on, you know where I’m going with this, fear for another person. 

So body shamers,  we know you care, it’s just we don’t need your compassion/revulsion. What we need is for you to stop and think “Is this discrimination by omission?" "Am I presuming people I know someone's situation more than they do?" Am I being a dick

14 July 2014

Guest Post from FashionWorked

As I am away this week I was hoping to be able to bring you an exciting guest post from someone I admire and I am happy to bring you the voice behind the fantastic FashionWorked

I love anyone who writes with passion and giving him the free reign that he kindly affords me on his blog every month, here he is talking about what is important to him:

Vicky blogs for me once a month and has asked me if I’d like to guest with her and well yes I would. You may all know me as the guy behind FashionWorked, but the other me is a committed activist for human rights and today I’d like to talk about that part of my life and the anger and upset I feel right now at what is happening to Gaza.

I should make it clear that I hate the rockets from the militants, deplore violence, especially against the innocent, the attacks from Hamas members are wrong, so very wrong, and the killing of three teenage boys was a disgusting tactic for which the guilty should be punished.

However the current attacks on Gaza are the latest in a history of violence and collective punishment. Thousands of Palestinians are locked up without charge, with out legal process and without legitimate cause. What we see is the vile actions of a minority used to give a reason for collective punishment of every single Palestinian.

We hear the news talk of “aggressors” and “swapping fire”, we don’t here about the breaching of over 400 UN resolutions by Israel, the starvation, lack of clean water, free trade, or rights of Gaza and the West Bank, we don’t hear how the IDF kills children for playing near its security wall that steals land from the farmers of the West Bank, we don’t hear of the refusal to allow building supplies needed to repair and build the infrastructure blown away by fighter jets, the destroyed hospitals and sanitation plants.

We might occasionally hear of the IDF soldiers posing for trophy photos with people they have arrested, we don’t hear about the children who are no longer allowed to go to school because its on the wrong side of a check point, we  don’t hear about the huge unemployment because the jobs people had are on occupied land or they are not allowed papers to get to them, we don’t hear about the segregated buses or the lack of equality.

We hear Israel say it won’t deal with Hamas because it’s a terror group, it can’t work with someone that doesn’t recognise its right to exist, well lets ask this question also, why does Israel condemn the democratically elected leaders of Palestine for seeking their own statehood, why does it ask the UN to refuse them any sort of status, and use every request as a reason to say Fatah have broken peace accords?

It talks of wanting peace when it occupies The Golan and The West Bank, has turned Gaza into a prison camp by land, sea and air, and has only just left Lebanon. It sends its agents out to the rest of the world to execute those it sees as danger. 

It is time to recognise that there are men on both sides that are men who kill indiscriminately, but that the IDF destruction needs to end, the attacks on civilian targets, the deliberate destruction of hospitals and schools must end. We must demand that both not one side lay down their guns. We must demand that we put the people under the bombs first, we must demand a Palestinian state as a real option to end the slaughter.

No more can the world stand by and watch this killing, as I write 156 people have lost their lives, including civilians and children, some are militants yes, I’m not naive, but many are the victims of the philosophy of collective punishment.

If the West continues to hand military aid to the IDF it says it is alright to kill instead of talk, it should use its influence to drive both sides back to negotiation, With Arafat and Rabin we had a chance to see that, we can bring back that day. If we don’t do something soon there will be no land and no people left for a state to be built with.

Hamas were in trouble, they had lost their backers to the south, Iran had fallen out with them over Assad, the butcher in Damascus, never in decades had there been a better time to force Hamas back into a deal, no money, no weapons, losing ground for the forthcoming elections, they were weak, now they are the Lions of Defiance once again and the innocent bleed and die for this stupid entirely balanced to one side war.

We are people all born under the same sun, the same moon, and we share that planet, its time to stand and say end this killing, end this slaughter and lets help Israel find peace by talking and not annihilation of its enemies.

We remain one world, one people, lets live the ideals of Edith Cavell . . 

“Patriotism is not enough. I must have no hatred or bitterness towards any one.”

And Thomas Paine . . .  

“My country is the world, my religion to do good.”

18 March 2014

Guest Post from Just Me Leah

Morning all! 

Today I am happy to say that I have the fabulous +Just me Leah guest posting on my blog today, so I will hand you over to her.

Hi, I’m Leah and I blog at Thanks to Vicky for giving me the opportunity to guest post on her blog.

As bloggers, people who comment on blogs, or people who use social networking pages and forums regularly we’re all at risk of coming into contact with people who share a very different set of values and beliefs to us, which can lead to conflict. For this post I will be writing from the perspective of you being the one who’s on the receiving end of conflict. 
If you’ve been active online for a long time and haven’t come into conflict with anyone I’d hazard a guess that you’re in the minority. The first time someone sought me out over something I’d said was on MySpace almost 10 years ago. Someone called me an emo (and much worse) because one of the many bands I said I liked in my introductory post in a group about rock music didn’t fall into the rock/metal category according to them. There have been many occasions since then where someone has felt the need to tell me how wrong I am about something, the last of which was very recently. The circumstances each time have been different and have warranted differing courses of action.
There are three categories of people you may come into conflict with.
1.  The person you’re in conflict with is using an anonymous profile. I would advise caution, because you have no idea if the person in conflict with you is a slightly pissed off keyboard warrior, someone having an off day who might later regret their comment, or an unhinged person with an agenda and nothing better to do than pick your life apart for their own amusement. I don’t allow anon comments on my blog as I think it gives people the opportunity to do their worst. If your blog or social media page has an option to pre-approve comments, think hard about whether you want to publish negative ones. Do you want to respond to the person if you publish it, or leave it there and have someone else possibly stick up for you and get drawn into it? What effect might getting dragged into a slanging match have on you and the other people who can see it?
2. The person you’re in conflict with is well known to you. How you proceed depends on their relationship with you and how your response might affect things outside your relationship with them. For example if you fall out with a friend of a friend, how will that affect things with your friend? If a family member has said something out of order, is it worth making life awkward for the whole family? Think hard and take a little time to breathe before saying something you can never take back. If they’ve said something unconscionable, I would suggest blocking them rather than having an ongoing conflict. The break might do you good and at a later date a reconciliation might be possible. You never know. But if it's someone on Facebook who's overstepped the mark, the choice is yours to reply or delete their comment and/or block them.
3. The person you’re in conflict with is using an account or username you can Google search. You’ve just hit gold, my friend! Everyone using a regular username leaves breadcrumbs you can follow, and most of us are creatures of habit after all. If you can Google their name/username, within a few clicks you can find out whether they’re trolls who do this a lot, or it’s somewhat out of character.
When someone took exception to a throwaway comment I made on someone else’s blog recently I Googled her username, and something very interesting became apparent. She rarely commented on a post to say anything good. In fact she rarely commented on a POST at all. Instead she’d find something contrary to say to someone who’d posted in the comments. I had been contemplating replying to her, but when I saw she was the kind of person who mainly looked for something to argue about, I knew the kind of person she was and decided I didn’t need to go there. Know your ‘opponent’ where possible because it will dictate your course of action.
Things to remember:
·  Some people are trolls, pure and simple. They enjoy getting a rise out of someone and if you respond it’ll make their day.
·  You have the choice to delete and ignore the comment, reply once and say your piece in full and never comment again, or be drawn into a dialogue which might go bad like milk in summer. There’s no right or wrong decision – just take a few deep breaths while you decide what to do. It’s hard to be calm when you feel under attack but you can’t unsay something once it’s on the internet.
·  I’ve regretted answering back a couple of times but have never regretted deleting a crappy comment and forgetting about it.
·  There are some people who ALWAYS have to have the last word even if they’re wrong. These people will gain pleasure from keeping a row going until you give up. Then they think they’ve ‘won’.
·   There are some people who don’t even care what subject you’re talking about. They have a superiority complex and will argue to prove to themselves how great they are. They will argue about the colour of the sky for the joy of arguing. Leave them alone in a room and they’ll argue with their shadow. Avoid.
·  There are some subjects which are so contentious you and the other person could debate/argue for months and still NEVER see eye to eye. You have to work out if there’s any point in wasting your energy on someone like that.
What are your tips on dealing with conflict? Feel free to let us know your troll horror stories in the comments.
Thanks for reading.

3 December 2013

Fashion Worked

Today is the second outing of my monthly guest post with Fashionworked.

This month I am talking about the troll factor when it comes to fashion blogging and how in the end, they don't matter at all.

I'd love to hear your thoughts.

Check it out here 

12 August 2013

Guest Posting

Today I have guest posted on the brilliant FashionWorked in conjunction with their body image season, found here:

They have some brilliant fashion posts for both men and women as well as opinion pieces and Style or Vile posts.  I urge you to check them out, not just because I have written for them today!

6 June 2013

5 Questions

I recently was asked by the lovely Mary of Mary's Big Closet to answer some questions and submit a few photos for her blog.

Here are the results.  Thanks Mary!

Guest Post with The Curved Opinion