Showing posts from 2013

Please don't romanticise mental illness

Content note: suicide, self-harm, purging.

I can't really be bothered to think up a good title for this; I'm too angry.

As a mentally ill person, I absolutely beg anyone who's reading this right now not to romanticise mental illness. I beg anyone who's reading this right now to spread the word, to tell their friends and family and loved ones and children, to go and shout it from their roofs that mental illness is a terrible thing to live through.

Please don't wonder why I care so much: I live through this. Rather, wonder why I don't welcome it.

I've seen people defend the romanticisation of mental illness with the justification that it's better than demonisation - the trouble is that it's not. They're two sides of the same thing: a refusal to deal with mental illness honestly. And here's why.

I'll start with demonisation first, because it's simpler to understand and to explain. This demonisation is dehumanising, as it strips the huma…

Why I still need a sex-positive feminism

Content note: sexual harassment, rape threats, suicide attempts

Before I start, here's the standard disclaimer: I'm a white cis het-passing but actually bisexual middle-class able-bodied but mentally ill woman. So this is written from a perspective that's really rather privileged and might just be whitesplaining drivel. If it is, burn it. Anyway...

Sex-positive feminism seems to have gotten a pretty bad rap over the years as being overly simplistic, centring on the experiences of privileged women, and erasing and oppressing asexual people, among many other things. So by all rights, I should be sneering at it and turning away from just another vehicle that only works for certain privileged groups of women. And besides, I'm not even a feminist anymore, even though I miss being a feminist and a lot of the time I wish I could go back, particularly for the feel of community. Why do I even give a shit?
I'll concede this right now: a lot of criticism of sex-positive femin…

Sluts and Selfies

Well, I never thought I'd be putting photos of my face on the interwebs for everyone to see - so any photos are what I actually look like. I'm ugly, I know.

Usually, selfies are considered by patriarchal society as being "slutty" (how I hate that world) or vain. However, not-so-recently there's been this idea going round that selfies, far from being attention-seeking or cries for help, are empowering and actually pretty good things to do. I actually have a pretty tangled opinion on selfies, so I need to write this to untangle it and actually make some sense in daily life.

I'll say one thing first: I completely disagree with calling selfies slutty. They range from perfectly innocent to sexy and seductive, but no actual promiscuity is ever involved because it's a static image. Even if it's a highly sexualised static image, no sex is going on. The kinds of people who say this are also usually more than happy to look at entire pages full of hot women'…

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Yet more maths

It occurs to me that I really, really don’t mind staying up till midnight doing maths; in fact, I actually quite enjoy it.

Yes, you heard me correctly – I am that strange, unnatural and perhaps slightly broken person who genuinely enjoys mathematics. I’ve talked about it before, I think, how I consider maths an elegant and beautiful language to work with. But more than that, it’s just…well…it’s fun. I find it a very natural language to work in, and I enjoy learning more and more of its grammar and vocabulary every day. It calms me down when I need to relax and fires me up when I see something new. More than anything, it just makes sense: from the relatively simple equation F=m dv/dt to the beauty that is Euler’s relation, it’s elegant and precise and, to my mind, deeply intuitive.

Three Years of...What?

So. Three years.

I'm sitting here writing this feeling absolutely knackered and not in the mood to write, to be honest. I haven't had the time or inclination to do so. Not for a very long time.

My depression's picked up and I now function much better. My life's picked up a lot too: I'm a lot more outgoing and social despite an anxiety condition that means spending too long in loud places makes me agitated. I have more friends now, through poking my head out of the shelter and self-contained society that is my school. I'm going steady with my boyfriend and just saw him off at the station after a weekend enjoying Christmassy shit in London, seeing Jeeves and Wooster (it's hilarious), and going on bus adventures.

And, of course, it's my final year at school, which means work and anxiety over going to university - though I've got an offer from Manchester. So between working hard and having an actual social life, I don't know how much time I'll r…

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Prada, suicide and sexual harassment: A whistle-blower speaks out

Prada, suicide and sexual harassment: A whistle-blower speaks out

This is one of many, many reasons I have no love for the fashion industry.

Million Mask March ‘Anonymous’ Activist Arrested At White House NEEDS YOUR HELP

Million Mask March ‘Anonymous’ Activist Arrested At White House NEEDS YOUR HELP: We broke the story on the arrest of 'Anonymous' activist Michael Stxs, thanks to our sources on the ground at the Million Mask March in Washington D.C. this November 5th...

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This post mentions (in passing) biphobia, transphobia, cissexism, ableism against mentally ill people and the infamous use of "go kill yourself" as a debating tactic. If any of this stuff triggers or upsets you, you might want to stay away.

Something that pisses me off, at least some of the time, is when people talk about fee-fees. For those of you who have never heard the term, it's a derogatory term used to mock people who derail conversations by talking about their feelings.

Most of the time, I feel it's a perfectly justified term. As someone who's mentally ill (and I know this is an example most people wouldn't use, but I can give others), I know that sometimes if I or other people start talking about just how crappy being sick actually is, or how some sane people are absolute dickwads about mental illness, a sane person might talk about how it upsets them to hear about someone else's mental state, or how not every sane person is like that and you sho…

Voice of My Generation

So every time a new album or novel or TV show comes out by some upstart no-one's ever heard of (rare enough as it is), the creator is instantly hailed as the voice of a generation depending on their age. People are absolutely obsessed with this concept of creators speaking for the ordinary person, with the idea that you find some band or novelist when you're 14 or 15 who like, totally gets your teenage angst and how you're so totally not like the others.

However, these media are sufficiently generalist in scope that they manage to attract a significant number of suspiciously similar misfits, who then create a subculture based around being able to keep up with the same stuff.

You guys are lucky. You will never need to develop the skills to speak for yourself, because there'll always be someone there to put the words in your mouth. You will always have someone else to speak for you, someone to speak for your generation.

I am a part of my generation. I'd be stupid to…

On Allies

I wrote this in a fit of irritation. I have some big, big privileges that affect my view on allies - namely, I won't get shit from as many of the privileged classes because of my own privileges. If I were less privileged, maybe I'd also be less trusting.

Shockingly, I don't have that much of a problem with allies.

"But how can this be?!" you gasp. "You must be a white cisgendered healthy straight rich upper-class male who lives in your country of origin, you piece of shit! How dare you speak for us!"
Well, nice try, but no. While I admit to being very privileged in the interests of honesty and full disclosure, I'm also an immigrant, bisexual, mentally ill and a woman. There are still some battles in this world that I have to fight for myself, and let me tell you that I don't take that much pleasure in fighting them.
This is where allies come in. I don't like it when men (and some women) act like misogynist twatwads, sane people tell me I'…

I Have No Mouth, and That's Peachy for Humanity

Unfortunately, I have a blog and a self-entitlement complex.

I really, really hate being triggered. And I really, really hate myself for being triggered because virtually all the people around me never have to deal with trauma triggers and can stumble through life more or less unscathed, which makes me feel very shitty for not being able to do the same thing.

I suppose I'd better get to the point...My boyfriend bought a cheap copy of I Have No Mouth, and I Must Scream for at least one of us to play. Knowing how dark and disturbing it was, I wanted to start playing it through with him because hey, I'm a mature adult who should be able to deal with this stuff and who also loves adventure games.

I think I should have probably decided against playing it (for the present time, at least) when he mentioned that I'd be triggered by at least two of the characters' stories. And I think at this point I should probably explain why I get so triggered by things.

I am not the kind of…

On Synaesthesia

Something most people don't know about me is that I have synaesthesia: emotions, numbers, letters and sounds all have different colours, and some colours have tastes associated with them as well (for example, the number 7 is orange and tastes tangy). I don't really talk about it because I don't really talk about myself much: I don't feel it's world-changingly important for people to know the exact workings of my mind, and it certainly doesn't help me that much in daily life except with some aspects of music (I can associate certain pitches with certain colours, though I see it much more as a spectrum and timbre is generally far more important). About the only thing it's done for me is give me a really irrational dislike of any number with the digit 3 in it, especially if it's prime.

I've grown up with this as perfectly normal - I've never known a life without it, and so I get quite shocked and upset when I tell people and they look at me like I&…

Adults Only?

The older I get, the more I feel the need for places that cater to over-16s only - or at least more places that have over-16 nights and such. I very much hope I'm not being discriminatory; it's just sometimes...well...let me explain.

I don't hate kids with a violent passion, but I'm not particularly keen on them either. I like some (my friend's two younger brothers are sometimes quite difficult to deal with, for various reasons, but both utterly adorable) and not others, just as I like some adults and not others; it's really that simple. I don't see why I should fawn over your child simply because they're small, and I will fawn over them even less if they get in my way and they're noisy (I have an anxiety condition that is aggravated by loud noises, and aggravating a condition that causes me to spasm uncontrollably and feel like I'm about to die from fear is not the best way to get me to like you). And while I don't expect or want your sprog…

On Feminism

Before I start, yes, I am critical of feminism. And before any antifeminists who think that hairy-legged, unnatural lesbians have destroyed the family think they'll find a friend in me, I'd like to point out that they have another think coming; misogynists of any shade revolt me. But I would like anyone who reads this to hear me out anyway.
For all my problems and disagreements, I truly miss being a feminist.
A lot of the people I know who first got me into feminism are really, really cool and supportive; a lot of feminists I still know are really, really cool and supportive. Feminism is a broad tent full of bright people whom I loved (and still love) working with, and if you find the right group of people it feels absolutely fantastic just to be supported by a bunch of other people working towards the great goal of smashing the kyriarchy.
So, you ask, why would I leave? Surely I'm just making this up and am a traitor to my sex by no longer being a feminist?
The thing is,…

Flaw Found in Solar Radiation Equation

My Bisexual Agenda

I can't believe this shit.

It's the 21st century. We're over a decade into the third millennium. And people are still cowering in fear of the so-called gay know, that thing where suddenly sheep are going to glow in the dark, trees are going to grow faces and ducks are going to take over the world if anyone but a cis man and a cis woman express sexual attraction towards and love for each other.

Now, I could go on and on about the plight of LGBTQQIA people all over the world and how horribly even the most privileged of us are oppressed, but the audience I'm trying to reach - cis straight people who are probably grossed out by the thought of all this - likely don't care about people they think are unnatural, can't imagine what's involved, or think it's justified. (Firstly, before cis straight people everywhere start yelling about how I've hurt their feelings, I know not all of you are like this, but I'd like to focus on those of you w…

In Defence of Mathematical Beauty

"Why are numbers beautiful? It's like asking why is Beethoven's Ninth Symphony beautiful. If you don't see why, someone can't tell you. I know numbers are beautiful. If they aren't beautiful, nothing is." - Paul Erdős I can't deny it: I think maths is beautiful.

At this point a lot of people with a near-phobia of maths are probably going to look at their screen like it's about to eat them. How can you find something so scarily abstract so gorgeous? How can you love it so much you're looking at studying it for another four years at university - for fun?! Equally, a lot of people who understand maths are probably slightly confused; maths is a tool. It's functional, not beautiful. Where's the beauty in numbers scribbled on a page or in calculations you make when trying to build flats or predict the growth of an economy?

Well, you see, in part a lot of it relies on my weird head. I don't think in English - well, not strictly speaking.…

How to piss off depressives

Life in general is a neverending stream of mild annoyances - well, it's a neverending stream of much more than that, good and bad, but I'm known for being pessimistic, negative and a lover of complaining. Between you (because let's face it, there aren't that many of you) and me, I like it that way; it means I have a way to vent about the bad things in life instead of repressing them behind faked smile upon faked smile.

So why complain so much about how depressives are treated by the people around them? After all, there are a million and one things to complain about, from the exploitative nature of capitalism to how I hate having to put the bins out early. What makes this more worth complaining about than anything else?

There are many things worthy of complaining about, I admit - but this is one of them. You see (and if you're sane, this will very probably offend you) people who have never been depressed seem to think that they have some unique insight into the min…