Showing posts from December, 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'…