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Fahckmylife's Blog
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Jul
30

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I am working class and from Finglas.  I may have moved around the country a lot (probably about 8 different houses before the age of 9) before we settled in Dublin in the early 90’s but I consider Finglas my home.  However, I was kind of in a weird situation, because I was never really considered middle-class or working class in any proper sense of the word.  At various stages I was considered ‘posh’ as a disadvantage, was picked on in my area and in school and found it difficult to make friends in my area because my parents, who thought they were protecting me, wouldn’t let me associate with people from my area.  However, despite their best efforts and what-not I was still considered ‘common’ and likewise people weren’t allowed to hang around with me.  Also, I feel that the ‘working class’ label has worked to my disadvantage in college and lead to people severely underestimating me.  So essentially I don’t know what the fuck I am, although once I say Finglas with my glorious accent the decision is taken out of my hands.  But I kinda dislike poshos anyway so I guess it doesn’t matter.

Class is still a thing.  There is elitism and there are still prevailing patronising attitudes towards people based on their ‘class’, which is now more complicated than ever to quantify, as if acquiring an education and being working class were a fucking oxymoron.  I remember asking students during a tutorial whether they thought class was an issue and most of them replied that they didn’t think that this was the case.  They were all, however, at least middle-class so it probably is harder to see other people’s difficulties when you’re immersed in your own little bubble.

But even being middle-class is a precarious position now, as rent in Dublin has become a nightmare.  If class is to be measured purely on occupation and income, as opposed to any other factors, there are more people who were possibly middle class falling closer towards the working class tier than ever before.  Sure, there might be jobs now, specifically in Dublin but rent is insane and capitalism is bullshit if you’re not in the top 30%.  For what has always been a struggle for some is now becoming more of a struggle for many people who had little understanding or compassion for those ‘beneath them’ on the food chain.

So here are my top tips on how to survive suddenly becoming working class:

 

Drink high percentage alcohol –the cheapest for the largest amount.  You’re poor so you’re not allowed drink or have any fun, (see comments made by Senator David Norris the big posho) but without a temporary escape or whatever you’ve got fuck all to keep you in your downtrodden position.

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If you’re employed in a minimum wage job just be grateful that you even have one, even if you spent years in college studying things that are in no way related to what you are doing now.  It’s your own fault.  Perhaps you were always born to be working class and no amount of denying it will help.  The bluebloods say being poor is in the genes.

 

Get used to people telling you that the cost of living is way less in other locations in the country, despite the fact that Dublin is your home, and although rent is Dublin is a black hole and completely overpriced, they will completely overlook the long commute to a new job, or relocating your family, for what is essentially a catch 22 situation.

 

Don’t have sex.  Especially if you’re a woman.  Completely repress all needs and desires because if you get pregnant people will say that you only did it to get a house or a ‘free ride’ (pun intended) or if you have an accident and want to get it ‘sorted’ your options as a woman in Ireland are either extremely expensive or illegal.  Remember don’t have sex if you can’t fully afford a child.  Don’t think that those affordable LIDL condoms will protect you.

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Get used to the fact that it is property owners and the government in collusion with each other that could potentially make you homeless at any point and there is little recourse for you to follow up.  Settle for squalor, damp and rats, landlords that follow their own rules and sewage leaking into your sitting room – because that actually happened to me before.  (Seriously though leave refugees out of it.  We have enough resources to look after everyone but the government and the media are adept at refocussing frustration on those with even less of a voice.)

 

Expect a lot of humour punching down at you but just accept it ‘because it’s just a joke’.

 

Learn to combine beans with everything for sustenance.

 

Expect when you try to better yourself for people in many universities to patronise you and find you impolite because your language is coarser and blunter, or because of your new found social status.  Don’t change that though – it reminds people that they are better than you.  Working class, education and intelligence are not mutually exclusive, although if you keep hitting that 6% cider it might prove difficult.

 

Get used to everyone from outside of Dublin saying it’s a shithole, but if you say anything negative about a town or village outside of Dublin, you’ll be accused of being Dublin-centric. Maybe not in so many words, but if you have a strong Dublin accent, even if you aren’t a loud and annoying Dub, you’ll feel the need to defend your home.

 

Get used to people judging your accent, which usually starts changing 4-5 weeks after the other symptoms of turning working class begin, before they listen to what you say.  You’ll be spoken over.  Constantly.  Especially if you’re a woman.

 

If you get a medical card or rent allowance, you should consider yourself lucky.  Seriously, taxi drivers will talk to you about this shit all the time.  So never tell anyone you have either of these things.

 

If you have mental health issues and are on a shoe string budget, just go for a walk.  Seriously you can’t afford anything else.

 

Get used to the expectation in your minimum wage job that you are a ‘yes’ person and always take up the offer of extra work, even if it is your kid’s birthday.

 

If you do have children be prepared for nothing you do to be good enough.  Having a pint?  You should be at home.  Having a smoke?  You should be at home. You shouldn’t be working that minimum wage job; you belong at home.  Why didn’t you keep your legs closed until you could afford it?

 

Expect to be left behind.  Your friends with ‘good’ jobs who did everything sensibly will move on, go on holidays and do all the cool things you wish you could be doing.  Some of them will travel poor countries and ‘find themselves’.  This is a reality for you now though, although perhaps not as extreme.  Unfortunately, 70% of your income goes on rent and you don’t particularly have any sellable skills so you won’t be able to keep up with them and as they become more and more middle class you will fade into obscurity.  You would be better off with leprosy than being working class.

 

Consider sex work as an extra income but then factor in the stigma of being found out and the safety and then go back to eating dry crackers.

 

If you are made homeless expect people to judge you, want your kids taken off you and comment with statements such as ‘why can’t you stay with family?’  People will know your situation better with minimal details than you know yourself.  Being vulnerable automatically means you’re a bad person or stupid.

 

Around the two-month mark of being diagnosed with working-classism you will start to get followed around shops because the symptoms become visible to others.

 

Expect unsolicited advice on all fronts about how to deal with landlords, how you should spend your money, how you should be saving and watch, just watch, when people judge you for treating yourself to a takeaway.  Expect people to speak on your behalf because they expect you to be vulnerable and naïve.  Even when you quote big sections from the PRTB to your landlord to get your deposit back.

 

Walk away from house viewings if there are more than 10 people in the queue.  Unless, you’ve an amazing job you probably won’t get it.  Don’t even try if you’re getting rent allowance.

 

Learn to adapt to fuck all sleep.  Be it a combination of stress, poor diet due to fuck all time and money, or just having to do crazy things – you’ve asked for this.

 

If you have any allergies, fake or not, forget about them.  You’re poor now so you can’t afford soy products or gluten free bollox.

 

You will also need to put your clarinet on Ebay and start making your own hummus.

 

If you like my writing and all that jazz, you can buy a book of my musings here:  https://www.createspace.com/6970024 or here: https://www.amazon.com/Fahckmylife-Little-Book-Fahck/dp/1544185367.  Not only will you get to read more of my drunken thoughts but also wallow in the delight of some fancy-assed diagrams, drinking games and ideas on how to live your life.

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Jul
05

drunk

 

I have a love/hate relationship with Facebook.  I think maybe most of us do.  Thoughts that we would’ve let go into the ether can be shared with all the people that we deem loosely to be ‘friends’ on the internet.  On nights out when I have the app installed on my phone I have to make sure that my statuses are made available to ‘only me’ in case I decide to write something drunk that makes no sense.  This happens more often than I’d care to admit.

I think the positives, (before I get into them) far outweigh the negative aspects of social media, however.  You can talk to your friends in Japan, share events and use it for publicity for your own little self-indulgent blog, share ideas and have a nice open exchange of ideas (although this is getting rarer).  You can reconnect with people that you have no seen in years and continue your friendship from where you left off.  You can feel that you are in some way included in people’s everyday lives and see what that kid that you will never go to see looks like.  You can see what people are doing on their holidays and you can get an idea on peoples’ political views.  In many ways, the online persona, can add a bit of depth to your character, or at least present viewpoints that you weren’t aware that they held before, or a hobby that you never knew they had.  You can go to specific groups, secret or otherwise, for a whole range of support, education and motivation.  You can look for jobs, make videos for people who are abroad, or far away, on their birthdays or just communicate for free with friends when you’ve run out of credit.  The positive possibilities are endless.

 

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Despite this there is a ridiculous number of contemporary artists out there painting pictures of hordes of zombies staring down at their phones or in some pseudo pretentious way trying to show that girls’ self-esteem is based on the amount of ‘likes’ a selfie gets.  The bang of self-righteousness off them is unreal, coupled with the fact that not only are these unoriginal ideas, but also the irony that these images are shared on social media itself.  Fuck that noise!

In the past, social media has made me paranoid about relationships – rightfully so, as well, because people aren’t even stupid enough to cover their tracks properly.  It has also shown me that I am gradually growing apart from older friendships as they go on nights out without me, or have pictures of themselves up at events where I was never invited. That’s not to say that I’m bitter or anything but in many ways, it’s concrete proof, visual confirmation, of what you already know.  That clearly doesn’t make it easier to swallow.  In many ways, the ability to sleuth around on the internet and spy on people you are no longer connected to makes it more difficult to get over things – because there you go, clicking on your ex’s page, seeing them all happy with a new person, and it just reopens old wounds (not that I do this, because I’m on good terms with most of them) or seeing some arsehole you used to know doing well at life.   I mean, there is a certain amount to relish, when you see the opposite as well, and that person you dislike isn’t doing well, and maybe that’s what you were hoping to find on their Facebook page anyway.  People you were meant to drift away from are still always there in the background, reminding you of the life they are living that you are no longer a part of and you have to wonder, whether still ‘friends’ online with them or not whether this is actually healthy.  Sometimes, coupled with ‘friends’ successes you might feel left behind, not only by them, but because your life sucks in comparison. Perhaps, I’m an over-sharer, but fuck it, I’m sure most of us have felt like this at some point, even if you only rarely log in.

I can understand that people perhaps think I am constantly on the internet with nothing better to do, but considering most of my time is spent in front of computer, either for work or pleasure (in every way that you could interpret that), it shouldn’t really surprise people that I am here.  I often hear people talk about people saying ‘oh they post too much’ and admittedly I’ve thought that too, because if I’m honest I don’t care about pictures of dogs, or your lunch, but still I never really judge about it.  If I don’t like someone’s posts I don’t follow them.  Simple as.  And I don’t make a judgement about a person based on things as arbitrary as whether they love their dog or are super enthusiastic about sharing music videos – I just them on their opinions and their treatment of other people.  I personally have quite often felt that I have been having a one-way conversation with people in real life, where people just go on rants in my direction, never ask me questions or actually listen anyway so over the years of using Facebook I began to gradually subconsciously use it as a platform to converse, because I was sick of people making assumptions about me without them ever actually hearing the words I was saying, which also contributed to the blog becoming a thing.  It’s not that I think that I have anything very unusual or interesting to say, but it’s nice to leave the ideas hanging out there, and potentially show people other aspects to my personality, other than the woman half locked singing Charles and Eddie in the pub on a Friday night.

One thing I don’t understand, and probably will never get right, is the collecting of ‘friends’.  Now I’m well aware that many people have vast numbers of ‘friends’ because they have travelled, or work in a certain industry that requires networking, but to be honest how does anyone have more than 1,000 people on their list?  I’m not being a dick, but seriously…  To be honest, it screams to me of a creepy dude, just adding randos so he can request nudes, throwing out friend requests to attractive girls that he may have said ‘hello’ to once.  It’s quality not quantity dudes – not fucking Pokémon.  I suppose it depends on the level of information that you share online as well, but personally I would not feel comfortable with more than 500 friends on my page at any time and I regularly clear them out, because if I’m being realistic here, do I really even know 500 people? And I like to share things, not to be an edgelord or controversial, but to potentially make people laugh or present a different perspective.  I think my Facebook persona is actually a pretty accurate representation of who I am, and it’s not something I could be arsed sharing with everyone.  I’m more confident and articulate online but in real life I’m shyer and overwhelmed with anxiety a lot of the time, but these still are my thoughts, peculated and condensed, in an easy- to-read version of my busy busy brain and perhaps, not everyone deserves to see this.  Some of my ‘friends’ I have never met in real life, like my American pen pal or some lovely ladies that I’m friends with from groups, but I keep them because we interact and I find their posts engaging, and these are all part of a network of people that have helped me form my own opinions and live perfectly well without leaving the house.

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I’ve been deleted in the past, as we all have, but I really don’t know whether or not I should, unless someone ignores me in the street or actively pisses me off in real life.  I remember the time, on my business page, that I made a joke about selfie sticks and vaginas, and all hell broke loose.  You’d swear people never heard the word before, let alone from a girl and a few people were up-in-arms about my vulgar choice of humour.  I was called a slut, had horrible memes put on my page saying ‘your parents must be very proud’ and men were called on by conservative women to ‘talk some sense into me’ because it was so ‘unladylike.’  Personally, I thought the joke was hilarious, did a lot of banning on my Facebook writing page and tutted, but I know it caused people to delete me.  Your own level of what is appropriate or not is up to you, but I’m not hurting anyone or being mean, and there’s no one way that a girl, particularly one who doesn’t care what some rando thinks as to what constitutes what a woman should say, think or do, so scroll on if you hate it because I’m not going to stop writing and posting and doing my thing, regardless of your superficial online confidence to tear people (particularly women) down online.

 

 

 

 

Dec
18

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‘You’re very opinionated.’

‘You’re very cocky.’

‘You’re not as clever as you think you are.’

‘You’d be great if you used your brain and weren’t so lazy.’

‘You sure you’d be able for that?’ (about furthering my education)

These are all sentences that people (mostly men, if I’m honest) have said to me in the past.  To be honest I don’t know where these opinions came from, possibly because if I feel confident enough to voice my opinion on a subject I know what I’m talking about, and will be quite forceful in being heard.

I know I don’t always put my best foot forward when it comes to using my brain or even presenting myself as someone capable of holding an intelligent conversation – I drink and smoke a fair bit, I’m quite working class and I have quite a lot of brain fog but I still wonder why people are so quick to underestimate me or obstinately challenge me about this.  Sure, I get drunk and fall over calling people ‘geebags’, say stupid things out loud that I should have thought through before they came out of my mouth and I definitely have done dangerously impulsive things in the past, but overall I don’t understand where these assumptions come from.

Now I’m not looking for validation here and I’m not being cocky either.  Not that I hold a crazy amount of faith in IQ testing but my IQ is, believe it or not, significantly above average.  In saying that I am lazy and have a really short concentration span (although I think that is partially due to my own anxiety).  I could read and write by the time I was three, started reading Stephen King when I was 9 and wrote my first full length book (about vampires, fucking cringe) when I was 10.  I did alright in the memory test, that is the Leaving Certificate, in 1999 despite leaving most of the exams early (again because I couldn’t sit still) and did fairly well in college with minimal effort.  These are just facts, this isn’t cocky.  This isn’t me holding up some sign asking people to tell me I’m great, but y’know, I’d rather if they didn’t assume that me simply stating the facts of the situation is not me having a massive ego either.  And also, it would be nice not be patronised either.  I’m tired of having things I already know and didn’t ask for, explained to me already because there is the presumption there that I don’t understand.  I’m exhausted of saying the exact same thing as the person beside me but not getting listened to while they’re applauded.

Let me pick the above phrases apart that each came from a different person at a different period in my life:

 

‘You’re very opinionated’

 

This translates to me as ‘you think too much’ and in the context of this particular situation the implication extended to include a silent but deadly ‘for a girl’.  I would not consider myself particularly outspoken but I do call out bullshit when I feel equipped to defend my views.  Do you know how difficult it is to try and stand up for your beliefs, or even counter an argument in a non-aggressive way when you have continually been told that you’re wrong your whole life?  Having an opinion on something that you feel well informed on does not make you difficult – it makes other people look apathetic and weak.  By no stretch am I saying that I have opinions on everything, but I am willing to listen to people when they have them and I wouldn’t think less of someone for having a well thought out argument regardless of their stance.  Part of me wonders if men encounter this and, as was implied by the above sentiment, is it viewed as a negative thing that a woman wants to express her own thoughts.  Like am I supposed to sit by and just let people talk at me about things when I feel that they are just plain wrong?

 

You’re very cocky.’

 

This refers to me appearing confident about my brain juice.  It actually could be applied to other situations as well and is very problematic.  Let me just state I am not cocky.  I struggle with self-confidence on a daily basis in many aspects of my life.  I base how I feel about things on solid evidence – particularly about myself.  It’s only in the last few years that anybody, and I literally mean anybody, has used the phrase ‘clever’ to describe me.  Up until then I simply didn’t consider that I was and the above response was when (again a guy) told me I was ‘clever’ to which, in the style of Han Solo I replied ‘I know.’  Not that I really did know that I was for a fact, despite my various academic accomplishments, but simply because I just thought it was funny and the response was simply an effort to tear me down because they felt that I could only be boosted by somebody else.  I mean, even if it weren’t said in jest, what is wrong with me actually having a little faith in myself – because up until that point I was the only one that did?

 

 

 

 

You’re not as clever as you think you are.’

 

I remember this distinctly because I was shocked that this person, my boyfriend at the time who was for the most part lovely, uttered these words to me out of nowhere.  I had never said that I thought I was clever.  I was weighing up options for my future plans and was waiting for exam results.  I had never acted like I thought I knew everything.  I was silly and naïve but I was like a sponge for absorbing information.  Another attempt to put me down?  What was I doing exactly that made me seem like I thought I was crazily clever?  Should I have been quieter and more demure? And how clever exactly did he think I thought I was?  Can I not have realistic confidence in my own abilities?  Fuck him anyway, because I even exceeded my own expectations and as a result his.

 

‘You’d be great if you used your brain and weren’t so lazy.’

 

At the time I was studying for a Masters and working two jobs – one as a TV production lecturer and the other in a call centre.  I was also writing and busy with day to day stuff.  I was not lazy and I was using my brain but because people like to assume they know everything without actually asking this was the conclusion that was reached.  I accept the fact that I don’t always use my brain to the best of its abilities but I also know that I have never stopped using it.  I think sometimes people have ideas as to what constitutes a good use of your brain and in a lot of cases this equates to how much you earn.  If that is the case all plumbers must be in MENSA (which they could be for all I know).

 

 

‘Are you sure you’d be able for that?’

 

These shocking words were uttered by a close and dear friend when I mentioned my application to a PhD program.  Although this person is awesome and a dear friend I’m always going to feel a bit hurt when I think about it.  In fairness, I did leave the PhD without completing it for many reasons, but I don’t think my ability was one of them.  Eventually the person conceded that I was not overreaching my abilities but by then I was already hurt, that someone I knew so well would doubt me and my own judgement like the majority of people I had encountered had.

 

What I am completely unsure of is how I come across as being cocky exactly?  Is it because I seem to have ideas above my station, what with me having a vagina and coming from Finglas?  It’s not like I’ve refused to ever listen to other people and their own views.  It’s not like I rant at people and not let them talk while I dictate the course of the conversation.  It’s not like I think I am better than other people.  So how is me knowing myself, and in a very realistic way, bad?  Or am I supposed to have lowered my opinion of myself sufficiently that validation from another is the only thing that is supposed to bolster my confidence?

Irish people are really into putting each other down, or giving out about people that are confident, whether it be about looks, ability or if they have money.  It seems like a weird envious thing and also a modesty that I can only see really resulting from the fact that Catholicism had such a massive hold on the country for so long.  We should feel guilty for everything and nothing that we have done for ourselves, developed or learned was actually our own doing – it was all part of God’s plan.  Whether or not you chose to believe this or not, religion has played a massive part in our education system and if the nuns taught me anything we should feel guilty and not reach for things that are beyond our limited means, let alone excel and be proud of them.  And remember all the while, not to give poor boys the idea that you’ll have sex with them, because naturally women are temptresses and men lack the control to hold back.

Even aside from the religious aspect in our schools (I’m not so sure about it now although as my child does not go to a religious school I have heard some crazy stories) the emphasis on learning things off by heart seems to not teach people to engage with their subjects, or think critically at all, and that I think, is especially now with fake news sites, stupid leaders and so many international and national issues an extremely important skill to have.  The thing is that Ireland has a relatively decent education system, with a nice variety in subjects taught but there is a massive gap in knowledge that is not being addressed.  Education does not stop after school and college is overrated – knowing that there is more knowledge to acquire and being open to that is liberating.  There is always more to learn.  There is always more to hear.  There is always more to see.  And I have accepted that and refuse to believe that I am going to stop learning something.  I mean I always want to be, be it a skill, or something more abstract and if acknowledging that and being confident in my ability to do so is cocky you can go fuck yourself – figuratively, not literally.

I think intelligence is something that is measured on a very narrow spectrum today when there are various different types of knowledge and skill that are not recognised that are incredibly important.  Communication skills and the ability to read and interact with people are immensely valuable.  People that speak multiple languages fluently, particularly people who have to learn English, fucking amaze me.  When people can pick up an instrument and know how to play a song that they’ve only heard a few times it makes my bits swell.  The creativity that artists possess is something I am exceedingly jealous of.  Getting a bullseye in anything is a serious fucking skill.

 

I have a favour to ask you all today and I think it is a positive and sweet thing to do.  Pick a person you care about and tell them what they are good at.  They mightn’t need to hear it, and they might already know, but there’s a chance that they don’t and that your encouragement will push them in the right direction.

 

It’s not wrong to want to learn in whatever means possible.  It’s not cocky to be confident in your own abilities.  There’s a difference between being arrogant, deluded and confident and if you can’t see that you’re a bit of a sap, ain’t ya?

Nov
30

 

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I think I might have a bit of a reputation of being quite moany, negative and generally morose.  I think nothing could be further from the truth.  When people have put me down I see sometimes it is because I have convictions, a moral compass and am genuinely passionate about the things that interest me.  Seriously, talk to me about music or film, socialism or theoretical politics (the real stuff is too depressing for even me) and you’ll see.  Although in fairness, these days I can see a look on faces when they glaze over and conversation can’t go beyond the superficial.  But, whilst I am aware that I can be negative I am the first to praise someone or hold their hand if things are difficult.

 

And there are lots of things I love.

 

I have done a similar post to this years ago (a post about things I really like) but this is a bit different.

 

Here is a list of things I love specifically in people:

 

Having arguments about music or quizzing people about side projects of certain band members.

 

Getting excited about going to gigs.

 

Realising that a person has very similar tastes to you.

 

When someone knows you feel shitty about something and knows exactly what to say.

 

Kissing!

 

When you make someone laugh so much they cry or they do it likewise.

 

Having long conversations about anything, sober, at stupid o’clock.

 

Getting a random nice text or message from someone.

 

When people give you a very thoughtful gift (price does not matter) that makes it obvious that they know you very well.

 

That look that a person gives you when what you’ve said surprises them (in a good way).

 

When someone buys you a bag of cans.

 

When people remember the little details about you or when you met.

 

People ringing you first to give you good news.

 

An entire conversation based on slagging each other off.

 

When someone hides on you and gives you a fright.

When people are genuinely supportive – weirdly this one can come as much from people you don’t know that well as much as people that you are super close to.

 

People encouraging each other.

 

Pointing out flaws constructively but backing up flaws with compliments.

 

Falling asleep next to someone and waking up in the exact same position.

 

The face on a person when they see a lovely animal.

 

When someone gives you a head massage.

 

Getting the ride.

 

When you can see that someone is honest and really kind. These are the people that never claim that they are nice but if you watch them interact with other people you’ll see that they genuinely are.

 

The expressions that happen in the eyes.

 

Sexual tension – the calm before the storm and inevitable failure.

 

When you realise how fecking clever someone is and you’re a little bit in awe of them.

 

When people are quick to tell you positive things about yourself.

 

See, I can like people and be positive!  See?!!  That took me way too long to write but ah well….

I think in a roundabout kinda way I’m trying to say thank you to each one of you that has supported me and read this blog, or for the random comments and encouragement.  I mean I got all of my funding for this book through you guys and that’s really awesome.  It’s come from people I didn’t expect it from if I’m honest and that’s pretty amazing.  Thank you for reading and being nice.

Sep
06

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We all know of the trope of the mad woman, the mad woman in the attic, hidden away for the ‘good’ of those that ‘care’ for her and herself.  She can’t be trusted.  She’s erratic, emotional and just basically an intense mess.  She’ll just set fire to the gaff and try and kill everyone.  And yes, this is Jane Eyre, and yes it is Bertha, an inconvenience, easily labelled as mad and swept away as if just a minor problem stemming from feminine insanity, despite being massively mistreated.

The same can be said for the main character in Charlotte Perkins Gillman’s short story The Yellow Wallpaper, in which after the birth of her child a woman is forced into isolation in her room, away from her child and husband.  Despite the fact that she most likely is suffering from post-partum depression she is labelled as hysterical, as if this is an inherently weak female attribute, and the story follows the decline her in mental health.

Mental health issues are clearly important, regardless of gender, as some disorders are demonised more than others in the media and on a societal level.  However, what I want to look at here is the specific treatment of women and mental health, and how from a personal experience, as well as objectively the treatment of men and women in this respect are very different.  The above examples that I have already used highlight this but it wouldn’t be a far stretch to think of a variety of ‘crazy’ lady stereotypes used in contemporary film (Misery, Wayne’s World, Psycho…) that can be seen as echoes of the cultural milieu and how society views women and mental health issues.

‘Hysteria’ was a blanket term coined during the 1800s  to describe what male doctors perceived as overly emotional and distressed females.  It was used to describe women who displayed symptoms such as sexual desire (how dare you have a libido or needs!), ‘a tendency to cause trouble’, irritability and other peculiarly termed ‘symptoms’.  Today many of these women would most likely have been diagnosed with borderline personality disorder, amongst others, but this formed the backbone of what it is to be considered female and where the problematic issues of the construction of women as ‘emotional’ and ‘irrational’ come from.

How does this have anything to do with us now I ask?  Well, I think it makes it easier for society in general to view women as inferior because of having feels.  At some point in your life you have heard somebody call somebody crazy, right?  You’ve heard some shitbag guy you know talk in graphic detail about this girl that he rode up the hole and how she was ‘crazy’ now and stalking him.  You may or may not have believed him, but he said and he felt entitled to say it.  In fact, it’s a lot of this talk that helps us deem women to be inherently weaker and that makes it easier to demonise them.  Realistically, if you look at a lot of these situations where men say a lot of their exes were ‘crazy’ or some girl was constantly in contact with them, there are two sides to the story.  It is easy to dismiss someone’s feelings, or use it as an excuse, if they have served their purpose to you.  You can easily lead someone on, exploit their feelings and then when their expectations do no align with yours write them off as being ‘crazy’.  I’m not saying this is always the case, but as a girl and knowing what people have said about me when I’ve been relatively normal and from listening to stupid menz, I can tell you that it happens very frequently and it needs to be something that we move away from.

I’ll give you a modern and personal example.  There was this girl I knew a few years back.  She was a beautiful and clever girl but she had a lot of problems and was at times difficult to deal with.  She could be mean and toxic and stole, amongst other things, but she clearly needed help.  She had a drinking problem and was extremely lonely.  To top this all off she was at times overtly sexual (literally no judgement here – just saying with this combination of behaviour I bet you can guess where this is going).  Everyone in the area knew her and knew what she did.  She was a constant source of entertainment for people, with her ‘crazy’ antics, which whilst I couldn’t condone her for (she went too far several times at stuff regardless of her issues) I felt bad about because to me anyway, it was very obvious she was in a lot of pain.  What I found disgusting was the fact that so many people were not only cruel about her but cruel about her whilst also trying to have sex with her.  In fairness, a fair few of them did, but even then she was still demonised despite the fact that these disgusting menz were exploiting her (I’m not removing her agency here) by having sex with her and then slagging her off.  The fact that they had intentionally sought out sex (some of them with girlfriends) with this messed up girl and then were cruel about her, contributing to idol gossip in a small community, pissed me off immensely.  Were they not worse and taking advantage of her?  Ah, it’s grand like – she’s just a crazy slapper.

So what impact does this have me personally, other than being angry with the hypocrisy of how women can be treated?  Imagine, for a second, that you are very conscious of the perception that women are viewed of as being irrational.  This is not something that men are generally conditioned into believing, so please bear with me.  So, imagine again, that you know that you have be careful about expressing emotions or wants and feelings without coming across as being a ‘fucking pyshco’ or ‘freaking out’.  Imagine that you try and vocalise wants and needs, that are completely rational and you try to do it in a very even levelled tone.  But nobody listens.  So you say it again.  A tiny bit louder.  Still nobody listens until you inevitbaly explode and feed into this irrational sterotype.  The content of what you are saying makes sense.  You are reasonable but when you’re called ‘craxy’ to your face or snorted you start to doubt yourself.  ‘Am I justified in feeling this?’ you ask yourself. It is constant.  The element of doubt in your own convictions, because it is easy for someone (usually male by the way) to write off your feelings means that you are always concerned with what you want, how you say it and whether your concerns are legitimate.

Many women go out of our way to not be thought of as crazy at the best of times – let alone when we have mental health issues.  In my experience, telling people you have mental health issues (particularly in relationship situation) gives them ammunition to minimise your feelings, make you work harder and in extreme cases gaslight you.  I know writing here that I have anxiety and depression issues, as well as possibly another disorder which I suspect but have not checked it out yet), probably just adds fuel to the fire but I know enough at this point to know that my feelings are real and the things I ‘blow’ up over are as the result of exhaustion.  I should not doubt my feelings but phrases such as ‘I think you’re a manic depressive’ (I’m not), ‘stop being crazy’ and ‘I thought you were strong’ as well as ‘you fucking psycho’ have been specifically used to disarm me in a conversation where I was either looking for support or for help with a compromise in the relationship.

You can say that men are treated the same in relation to mental health issues.  I agree that there is a stigma for men regarding this also.  I believe that Irish society does not want to, or cannot deal with the emotional aspect of,  mental health issues  but I cannot see how anybody can excuse the recent case in Cavan where mental health issues were used as a ridiculous defense for Alan Hawe murdering his entire family.  If it were a woman, would that have happened or would she be demonised?  Because we all know bitches be crazy…

Jul
05

I made some diagrams here that I don’t think require explanation. I can’t sleep so I thought I’d do something pointless instead. 



Jul
01

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Here is a picture of my reaction to watching a man stick a mini carrot in his peehole and enjoying it.

Something occurred to me amidst cans (after the fourth or fifth I usually get my best ideas) last night watching shite reality TV.  We live in hysterical times.  Crazy hysterical times.

Think about it.  We live at a time when Trump can openly rile up a idocracy in the States, where exiting the EU has validated previously muted racist sentiments, where a guy gets six months in prison for sexually assaulting a woman and has Facebook groups supporting him and his loss of career, where white shooters are mentally disturbed and anyone else is terrorist, where we have a Government that are in power by default, where Luas strikers who are unionised and trying to do better for themselves are demonised by the public and people in receipt of social welfare are considered spongers despite the amount of money proportionally that bankers have cost the country.  On the flipside of that, there is now this new perceived culture of everything causing offense, ‘safe spaces’, giving awards for the mundane to children and a massive schism between the majority of social or political streams on the left bickering over smaller details rather than cohesively uniting.   Society seems to be verging on turning itself into a giant meme of extremities, everything completely black and white, to the point that opening Facebook or the majority of social media can and often does contribute to inducing a sense of dread and anxiety.  It seems in such an age of information that there has never been so much ignorance and divisiveness focusing on the individual and ‘what about me?!’ rather than creating a situation where everyone benefits and everyone is heard, particularly those that haven’t been heard before.

At the moment I personally think this concept of a ‘culture of offense’ is really interesting .  I’m quite torn by this one to be honest.  On one hand, minorities and people who have been systemically oppressed are standing up for themselves but then on the other hand it seems that simply disagreeing on something that is not toxic or malignant is offensive.  Then we’re told by the least oppressed in society that we are all too offended – generally by middle/upper class, white men like Stephen Fry – that we’re all getting too offended, simply because from their myopic perspective we shouldn’t be upset.  A lot of kids are raised differently than we were and have way thinner skins, all rewarded for the mediocre and not taught how to be competitive.  Weirdly isolated at times, and replacing physical social interaction with social media, how are the next generations actually going to function when people disagree?  In fairness, I’m very conflicted by this.  It think it’s brilliant that people are given voices and the means to tell their stories from their perspective as surely a large part of using this valuable information is to learn and develop a better understanding and more compassion in general.  At the same time it just feels like our culture is overly sensitive or crude and conservative with both sides (although the left I’d argue are considerably more articulate generally) resorting to similar tactics and there is no in between.   I think an adequate example of this is the idea the argument between various religions and atheism.  Fair play, believe either, I’d say I’m agnostic  but the very aspects that many male atheists  criticise in organised religion and the way in which they do it make them no better in several other respects.  There is a certain superiority involved in it.

The internet has amplified all of this seven fold and created mass hysteria it seems, although even saying this ironically seems to perpetuate this ideology, where flippant ill thought out arguments are made as if the world needs to hear them.  The individual and the idea of sharing your opinion on irrelevant things is crazy.  There is a massive emphasis on provoking and being controversial, people setting up troll accounts and bullying as if the world needs less compassion.  I personally would hate to start out as a comedian or musician now, particularly as a woman and see a vicious amount of comments under my YouTube videos relating to my appearance versus my talents.  Yet people feel the need to do this.  Neck beared guys sitting in their mothers basements?  12 year olds?  Who knows but the internet gives each of these people a chance to say whatever they want and I don’t think it’s overly sensitive to be concerned about this.  Can you imagine the hate mail that you would get for simply presenting your thoughts on feminism?  We’ve all heard the stories and although I’ve been continuously trolled and received vicious messages and the like, for a variety of reasons, a simple ‘I don’t agree with you’ or a coherent mature discussion would go a lot further, no?  And if you’re simply being controversial for the sake of it – maybe you need to get out more?

I have a massive issue with the term ‘egalitarianism’.  Controversial as that may be to many of you, I think it sweeps issues under the carpet.  When an individual tries to talk about their own personal experience of oppression, using the term ‘egalitarian’ derails the conversation.  It tells people to ‘shut up’ we’re all equal. Whilst I agree intersectional third wave feminism can be a fecking minefield, I am not going to speak for someone about their experiences, or quieten, or tell them how to react.  I will listen and I won’t tell them how they should feel. There is space for everyone but bringing the conversation back to your own grouping isn’t conducive to learning, is it?  You should not only hear what people say but listen to experiences of others outside of your own limited range and take it on board.  It’s like when the fact that men get raped as well is brought up when female rape statistics are brought up.  This really does my head in for two reasons, the fact that most of these are carried out by men anyway and the fact that the people who bring these statistics up generally don’t give a fuck about men that were raped either.   I realise that many straight white middle class men, probably feel threatened or annoyed by this perception of constantly feeling attacked, perhaps because they feel that they have been laden with this guilt or burden that they have no part of, but seriously dudes getting defensive just means that you can’t see how society has been structured around your needs and the specific needs of others should also be addressed.  We’re not a society of victims, although it can seem like it’s verging on that, but these are things that need to be dealt with to create a true egalitarian society.  That would be lovely, right?

I think people need to ask themselves sometimes ‘what difference does this make to me?’ about lots of stuff.  A lot of middle class people seem to think that they are burdened by people on social welfare, and although there obviously are people who take advantage of the system, what personal difference does it make to them?  And if we were to focus on anything surely it would be something like banking, that proportionally took way more away for the ‘tax payer.’  Fuck the fact that you pay tax in thinking that you have a choice about where it goes.  We never did.  Stop blaming those that are financially less well off when there are bigger fish to fry and politicians spending imaginary money on things we don’t need and selling off what little assets we have.  It’s divisive and making people scapegoats.  Don’t want an abortion – don’t get one – if you don’t have a uterus you should probably be quiet.  Why do you care how much the Luas drivers make?  Instead of worrying about irrelevant things that really have nothing to do with you we should all be focusing on changing things for the better and not getting worked up over a gorilla getting shot in a zoo (I hate zoos anyway) and blaming their parents from the comfort of your own home.  Divisiveness is not cool and shifts the narrative away from real things.  Everything  does not need your opinion.  Shut up and look at what is important.

Jul
16

This is lazy.

  1. Not opening your curtains for a prolonged period of time makes you go mad.
  2. Blokes and girls aren’t that different. Never start a sentence with things like ‘Well all girls/guys blah blah blah., especially when you’re the opposite gender. As the phrase goes ‘when you assume you make an ass out of you and me.’
  3. I personally feel too much of a good thing can lead to super desensitisation. Maybe I’m wrong. Maybe I’m desensitised. Or maybe I’m a robot.
  4. Being bored is the worst thing in the world. Even if everything seems boring, there’s always lots to do. Once I spent a whole night thinking about how certain words didn’t make sense like ‘nightcap’. Seriously say it over and over again to yourself.
  5. Being creative in any capacity involves quite a lot of negativity at times, which is horrible , but needed. I’m not saying I’m creative or anything pretentious like that.
  6. You will always remember someone who is particularly funny.
  7. Don’t use the internet for validation (she said writing a self indulgent blog… which is actually more to make sure I write than anything else but still)…
  8. Making memes is a fun past time but when did that seriously become a thing?
  9. Kissing is a great way to pass the time when you don’t know what to say or can’t be arsed talking. grief
  10. Most people have an agenda.
  11. Being angry is better than being sad but neither get you anywhere. If you’re angry about something it means it’s not finished with completely.
  12. Sometimes you can cut the tension with a knife but until you say anything you’ll never know if it is in your head.
  13. Staying quiet about something, or going along with something that you know isn’t right, is just as bad as directly fucking someone over. It’s probably even worse.
  14. Doing something out of spite or malice, or by accident has the same end result.
  15. Change and compromise might as well be exact same thing.
  16. I really wouldn’t moan about something that you have the opportunity to change but don’t.
  17. Wait until people get off the bus until you get on.
  18. Thongs give you thrush. Not that I’ve had thrush. Ever.
  19. We are living in a generation where procrastination has led lots o f us to become a load of adulty children. Like for fuck sake I wear Hello Kitty knickers. I’m 33.
  20. Never shit at a house party. Just don’t do it. Don’t try. It will only end in tragedy, even if you get to finish it because you WILL be interrupted.
  21. If you’re waiting for other people to validate you to know that you’re a good person/doing something cool you’ll be waiting a long time. Tell yourself every day that you are awesome, because you are and nobody fucking else will.
  22. Although I am a big fan of movements that end in ‘ism’ (feminism, socialism etc.) I think extreme sides of any argument are elitist and ruin things for everyone getting a better understanding of each other.
  23. Is it just me or are there more flies this summer than ever before? I’ve never noticed how annoying flies are.
Jul
05

1466

[Please excuse the amount of selfies in this – I’m trying to demonstrate a point]

When I turned 30 something crazy happened – my twenties had been wrought with insecurities surrounding how I looked, my teens even more so but suddenly I didn’t really care anymore. In fact, when I looked back on my twenties and earlier, from my thirties I wondered why I was bothered at all – I wasn’t half as bad as I was led to believe, or more importantly, had come to believe. In fairness, I didn’t regularly start wearing make-up till I was 25 and had no actual skin routine till I was even older than that. When I look back though, I can see how outside influences had an impact on me when I was gullible and naïve and how I gave other peoples’ opinions much more value than they were worth. And now I dress whatever way I want, covered in tattoos and giving way less of I shit about it… or so I thought…

Firstly I’d like to clarify, in a rough sense, how I actually feel about myself. I do not consider myself physically attractive at all but I don’t consider that that is how you actually measure a person’s worth. I have an endless list of things that I consider serious imperfections and a shrinking list of features that I like (as my bones slowly turn to dust). I am used to my appearance being commented on in a negative way, by both men and women, and I know that most of the time that someone is mildly interested in me has to do with my massive boobs. I am not arrogant despite my millions of selfies and these are not a sign of insecurity either – I just like taking pictures. In saying that, on some days when I’m in a good mood I can look in the mirror and go ‘I’ve seen worse’. I am not saying anywhere here that I think I’m awesome. I’m just saying the way I look at myself and those around me has changed.

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It was said in passing to me the other day that I should consider a diet because I will be a bridesmaid in a few months. Actually, the word ‘fat’ was used. I really thought that I was over caring about this but I did. My weight has always fluctuated loads. I spent my late teens and early twenties on diets/starving myself/taking laxatives/exercising excessively but thinking about that that was more to do with attempting to control myself more than my weight (and it has totally had a negative impact on my guts). I have jumped from nine stone to 13 stone and then down to 8. I have had a big child who obviously had an impact on my shape. What bothers me so much about this is that people feel they have the right to throw in unsolicited advice about your weight or appearance. I have never asked anybody if they thought I was fat, yet constantly people told me I was. The other day I was taken aback, mostly because I’m not really even that big – a 12 on the bottom and a 14 on the top – but also because it was just not what I needed. I thought people had moved on from this.   Why do people feel it is so important to be so mean? It’s not cruel to be kind. It’s telling me that my only value is in my appearance.

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When someone walks up to you and comments on your appearance they are often trying to assert control or dominance over you. For example, you rarely see men compliment each other physically – but it should happen more. Girls are taught (and don’t yawn because I mention this through my experience which is tinged with a feminist perspective) that their main value is physical attractiveness and that catcalling should be seen as flattering and not intimidation. Seriously though, how much do you care what a complete stranger thinks of your body. And weirdly a lot of the time these compliments and insults come from people who, if we’re going to be mean here, wouldn’t be winning any beauty pageants.  Also, in my experience a lot of the time that guys (particularly some) have slagged me off physically it has been in some effort to control me and the relationship, whilst also masking their own insecurities.

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I could sit here all day and list off all the things that I am physically unhappy with but that would be morose and boring and self-indulgent. I have made efforts to change lots of these things but ultimately have moved on from being so self-conscious. I guess I act like I am confident about myself as opposed to actually being that way. I have things to be confident about and that’s what I have always focused on. I know my own strengths and weaknesses. I dress the way I want to make myself comfortable (which unfortunately as described in previous blogs means not having my boobs out most of the time because of the unwanted attention that they often attract) and put on make up to make myself feel nice – not to impress anyone else. I ignore what I don’t like about myself and cannot be changed and hope that nobody else will notice it, or worse yet, bring it up. So I guess that was why I was a bit upset about the idea of someone calling me fat. You can slag someone off for how they look, but in reality, you are not really providing them with information that they aren’t already aware of.

I really thought I was over caring about it. I mean I’ve done naked photo shoots (tasteful obviously) and have no issues removing my clothes in general. When I was younger I would never have thought I’d have the proverbial balls to do that. They were never meant in a vain way – or to provoke some kind of sexual response in people. They were always about me reclaiming how I felt about myself and for a while I felt OK about myself. But every now and then there is a little crappy reminder that I really am not anything to look at and I just have to pull myself up onto my intellectual high horse and tell myself that that is society’s loss not mine. So for the most part I don’t care. I have detached myself from caring but at the same time I still feel that there is pressure on me to be something that I can’t and will always be reminded of it.

UGHHHH

I also would like to point out that I do not dislike people who are pretty or attractive, or think that they are lacking in some other aspect of their lives. Power to them. They have no control over it really… Unless they spend hours looking after themselves in ways I couldn’t be bothered with. If they however act like they are simply entitled to things because of it or act like they know they are the shizzle, based on the arbitrary game of luck of pulling genes out of the old gene pool, well then they can go fuck themselves.

toilet

However, essentially, what I am trying to say here is that people should really think before they talk. There is no reason to say something negative to someone about their appearance. And if you think someone needs to hear it then you have to question why you have to say it, don’t ya? And also, if you see taking more selfies it’s not me being vain, it’s me changing my hair or make up, not looking for validation but simply thinking I took a good photo this time.

I know I’m not hot like but you don’t need to remind me because there are more important things than that, yeah?

Jun
10

IMG_4807

Get your dude to kiss a dude.

Dudes love kissing dudes to get girls off. Make them do it because it’s hot and there is nothing a dude likes better than doing something ‘hot’ to please his lady. But remember it’s only fun if it’s two guys. Girls kissing is fucking disgusting.

IMG_4657Dick Pics

Text a randomer from your phone book or on facebook late in the night. Maybe you’re drunk. Maybe you’re. Maybe you’re horny. Maybe you’re not. About two texts in start calling them sexy. By the third message start leaning towards your angle. Their cock. You must see it. You must see it in all its majestic and shiny glory now. You might not really want to even see it but hey let’s see what they’ll send you… even if they don’t want to you’ll see what you can get them to do. Make sure that the focus of the conversation alternates between how attractive you find them (coercion) and how aroused you are. Then when you send them make sure they know/think you are wanking about them because as we all know someone wanking over you when you’ve only met them once or twice is pretty flattering. And why shouldn’t they be flattered? I mean, how many girls ask dudes so persistently for dick pics. Whatever you do though, don’t entertain any further engagement with them unless it is meeting up with them for a quick drunk mutually unfulfilling ride at three in the morning.

Emotional

Make sure that if the dude you’re seeing/with/messing with has a legitimate point about anything that you tell them that they are overly emotional. As the more emotional of the two sexes men need to be reminded to keep their feelings under control. They let their balls rule their brains and cannot function when it comes to serious things. So they want to know if you’re seeing other people or what the status of your meeting up is. Tell them they are being crazy because let’s face it – they’re all crazy needy anyway. Also, remind men that they are not as educated as women and that their opinions are actually superfluous to most conversations. You can say it playfully by calling them ‘silly’.

Happy chokey ending for you.

As we all know men love choking. You can see it the way some men push your head down really far on their cock or push your head all over the place with your eyes streaming. This leads me to the conclusion that men must love being choked or suffocated too. So, I suggest, and believe me he’ll love this, that when you are getting eaten out that as you being to arrive that you push your thighs extremely tight and grab his head pushing it in and up and down until you are done. Regardless of whether he can breathe or not he’ll thank you after. To add to the effect, in place of semen, simply smear your lady juice all over his face with your palm. He’ll probably look really grateful. If they don’t tell them to ‘lighten up’.

Make a lady cave

I want a cave. It will be filled with naked posters of men and women, board games, cans and art supplies. Nobody with a penis will enter unless it is to bring in cans or sandwiches. This person must be relatively good looking, younger than me and quiet. I don’t want no cheek in my lady cave.

Canadian Olympian Skiier

Remember that hot Canadian Olympic Skiier that you used to bang? Bring that up all the time. Especially to your current mott. Make sure they know that they were super hot, super fit and super good in the sack. The only things that men really need to be.

Put on weight

It is really unfair how weighted our society is towards the unfair treatment of men and their appearance. I mean, there is so much pressure for men to look good all the time and their sense of self-worth ends up being derived from it. So, as a good ‘lady’ friend make sure to remind your companion when they are starting to let themselves go and imply that you may go elsewhere for sexy times should they not keep up the standard.  But you can get do what you want, that’s grand.

Hair removal

Get your dude to remove all his pubes under the pretence that you will blow him more. Don’t blow him more and when he asks you to do a really half assed job.

Grab asses and balls

Do it like there is no tomorrow. Crowded dance floors are best. If they react badly it’s a ‘joke’, if they’re drunk enough to find it funny you might even get laid. Throw enough shit at a wall and some will stick.

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Unprotected sex

After having unprotected sex act shocked when they ejaculate saying that you thought they ‘had it all under control.’ With a rise in male single pregnancies you’d think they’d have copped on to not getting themselves pregnant. Also, make sure to take his condom off like a ninja without him knowing mid sex. You can’t feel anything with condoms like. He should be on the pill like. Sure you’re clean, aren’t ya? Unless they’re a bleeding sluh.

Tell a bloke after you’ve orgasmed and are ready to sleep that ‘it’s normal that guys don’t cum every time?’ Stupid men – not knowing their own bodies.

Make intense eye contact with any good looking bloke that talks to you no matter who is there. Especially if your partner is there. Actually completely ignore your ‘partner’ (they’ll never really be your equal) if someone hot starts talking to you. Maybe even check out their balls. Sure, it keeps everyone in their own places.