My opinion on feminism

Hey, everyone, I hope you’ve all had a nice weekend and been able to enjoy this lovely weather that we’ve been having of late. Yesterday was my Gran’s 80th birthday so me my mum, dad and two brothers along with our extended family and some of her very close friends went down to a very posh restaurant not far from where she lives and had a real good time having fantastic food, drinks and conversation. It was interesting showing some of my family members my tattoo because they obviously didn’t expect me to get one and some of them thought it was fake, so that was fun. Overall it was a joyous occasion, and everyone seemed to have a nice time catching up with others and just celebrating this milestone with each other.

As you can probably tell from the title, I’ll be talking about my own opinions on feminism and what it means to me. I’ve always believed that people should be allowed to express their personalities in the ways that make them feel comfortable and this is no exception for women.

I’m one of these people that are very thankful for everything that feminism has done for us so far. Living in a world where I can vote, work, have equal pay and own my own house is very liberating. However, I’ve heard and read about the bitchiness and extremism of third wave feminism. Now, I understand that we still have a little way to go regarding total equality of the genders, I’m not just talking about people who identify as cisgender (identifying as the gender you were born, either female or male) I’m talking about all identifications of gender here.

It is my understanding and opinion that people should be able to identify however they feel comfortable. If that means they are cisgender, transgender, gender fluid, etc. then no-one should be able to tell them to identify otherwise to fit into social norms. Society should adapt so that all identification and presentation of gender is normal rather than clinging onto an old fashioned and frankly out of date idea of what it means to be male or female.

In my opinion being female is what you make of it. If you like makeup and fashion, then don’t hide away make sure you go out to the nines and wear the latest trends that suit you and make you feel happy and have a full face of makeup every day. If you’re a sporty or tomboy kinda chick then take no flack from anybody and rock that look till the day you die.

Only you can decide how you want to look or present to the world outside while taking no shit from anyone else. We are all the people who make the definition of women regardless of whether we wear pink and bright lipstick every day or not.

Regardless of what we wear, whether we shave every day or slap on a full face of makeup, it’s about being strong willed and passionate about life. It’s about knowing our self and staying true to that without forcing anyone else to change and become an identical match.

We should never hate on other women or those who identify as female just because they are different from ourselves. We should celebrate the vast diversity and strength of woman as a whole and respect each other for being strong individuals for our intellect rather than our looks.

We all have something powerful and unique to offer this world and lowering ourselves to the petty state of bitching over how we look makes us weak and demoralised. We are sometimes, sadly, more concerned with people’s outwards appearance than the credibility of what’s going on in their head and hearts.

For example, someone may be covered in tattoo’s, dressed like a goth and have multi coloured hair but be the most moral and sweet natured person imaginable who is reliable, hard working, kind, caring and loyal to a t. On the flip side, someone may look like a respectable person but have a nasty streak to them. Judging a book or human in this case, by its exterior is very harmful to both parties. You may miss out on a world of knowledge, experience and positive life changing experiences because you cross the street from one person who looks like a ‘freak’.

Just because we aren’t a replica of each other doesn’t mean we’re not worth a look in. We’re all here to live the life that we choose and how we choose to present ourselves is just one way of fulfilling our sense of self-identity and happiness. We shouldn’t be going around hating on other women or bitching about them just because they are wearing a bikini or wearing something that we wouldn’t choose to or do something that is seen as unfeminine or even masculine. We all have our paths to follow, and they aren’t the same one if you can believe that. We should be saying ‘yes you go, girl, you wear and do what makes you feel empowered as not only a female but as a human being.’

Life is challenging enough without the pressure of others to fit into certain stereotypical social moulds that are as rigid as black and white. We live in a world full of vivid colour, expression and experience that’s too short to try and pretend to be something we’re not. So instead of putting each other down we should stand united and fight for what is morally and therefore should be socially right.

Whoever we are we were born to do great things in life no matter how small. That is what being a woman/female means. Following your path, being strong, standing up for yourself and doing what is morally right and expecting to be treated with dignity and equality for your characteristics and personality rather than your gender.

So yes these are my personal opinions on the matter and I hope you’ve enjoyed this post, until next time my lovelies I shall love you and leave you :).


The state’s mental health issue

Hi, guys, I hope you’ve all had a fantastic week. For the most part, I have been enjoying lie ins just a little bit too much. I’ve noticed that I haven’t gotten up before about midday most days. One of the exceptions to that rule was Tuesday when I was up at about 10 am because I had an appointment at noon to break my tattoo virginity. I got the spell, Expecto Patronum from the Harry Potter written in the cool type cast on my right inner forearm. It’s so cool and has loads of funky colours in it. I’m so proud that I got it. I’ll admit that the pain was intense, but I was proud of myself because I wasn’t nervous, I didn’t puke, and I didn’t faint. So, all in all, I managed to handle myself pretty well.

The reason why I didn’t post last Sunday was that I’d had a pretty full on few days. I spent three days, during the week, with one of my best friends, Sassy, who is also a blogger. Then during the weekend, I stayed over another friends house because why not? We relaxed and watched movies and went swimming on Sunday before I came home that day.

It’s such a lovely and soul healing thing just being able to spend time with two good friends and chat about everything and nothing and putting the world to rights. Unfortunately, a lot of people still don’t think they deserve or are worthy of spending quality time with people who love them because of Mental Health issues that make them feel unworthy.

I am writing this post in light of the recent tragedy that the music world faced. I am of course speaking of the fact that Linkin Park frontman, Chester Bennington, committed suicide almost a month ago now. I had loved Linkin Park since my teens so when I heard the news I was, like so many others, devastated.

Over the past few years the UK’s mental health services, and I’m sure it must be the same in the US and other developed countries, have been under increasing pressure due to rises in patient numbers and little in the way of proper funding. This in part, is still down to the fact that there is a lot of stigma around mental health. Mental well-being is still seen as a slightly taboo subject, and much of the public still view it as something derogatory and less than physical pain simply because it’s not as visible as physical injuries. Even the Department of Health has said that we are in a ‘historic imbalance’ between mental and physical health services and you know it’s serious when such a big power house such as the DoH makes a remake like that.

If we are not well mentally then how can you expect us to live a happy, healthy life? It’s not like we can just jog it off or drink lots of water or simply be more social to make the genuine pain go away. Mental ill-health is often caused by a chemical imbalance in the brain which does need to be readjusted with both therapies and medication in tandem. Just because it’s not easy to spot doesn’t mean we’re making it up because we want extra attention. That’s far from the truth, and anyone who says otherwise is not educated or informed correctly and will run their mouth to try and make up for that fact.

So I will be throwing a few figures around this joint, so as a bit of a disclaimer, all facts mentioned are in regards to NHS funded services only and are not based on 100% of all the publicly funded mental health services in the UK.

So first figure for you, 27 out of 39 mental health trusts that did give information on their crisis teams have seen a 70% increase in workload, and many trusts have seen an increase of up to 60% in referrals, overall. However, there has been little to no rise in funding.

Second figure heading your way in 3 … 2 … 1 … a whopping 91, or possibly even more, patients have been waiting for up to 2 years and some cases even longer, while a further 320 patients had to wait at least 100 days to be discharged from mental health units.

For anyone who isn’t particularly familiar with the state of affairs at the moment, many people who have mental illness or learning disabilities are placed in units hundreds of miles away from their home, family, friends and safety net of a familiar place because a bed was only available at that time in that place.

Now anyone who has ever had a problem with mental health knows how important family, friends and safety can be to the recovery process. Therefore, placing someone out of their comfort zone may not necessarily be the best thing for them in the long run.

Also, can I just go back to the fact that people have to wait for about a bazillion years to be discharged from units? Like wait, hold up, the UK, like the US and other countries as well I’m assuming, is facing a massive shortage of beds and a lack of funding so, pardon my French but WHAT THE ACTUAL FUCK PEOPLE? I understand there is a lot of paperwork and logistics to consider when someone is going to be discharged but one day longer spent in a unit that they don’t need to be in is a whole day longer someone else is losing out on that space.

It seems pretty obvious to me that valuable time, money, recourses, etc. are being wasted here. It’s just another way that things are completely and utterly screwed. We’re talking about people’s lives here, not only those who desperately need a bed because they need urgent help but those who are pretty much being trapped in a place they don’t need to be anymore. MORE ORGANIZATION PEOPLE. And as for the outreach and crisis teams? Well, they are on the front line, they are the individuals who have to deal with the shit that hits the fan in someone’s life. If there were more funding and extra staff, then potentially more lives could be saved.

So what is the government’s wishful thinking, hair brain scheme this time? Well, Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt has come out with a very bold statement, he has said that there will be 21,000 more consultants, nurses and therapists working in mental health services by the end of 2021. WOW, I mean FUCKING WOW. That is quite the statement. The Royal College of Nursing (RCN) doubts, as do I that there will be enough money to make this figure possible. Just so we are all aware of the plan, this is just a part of how they intend to utalise part of that massive 21,000 figure,
2,000 more nurses, consultants and therapist posts in child and adolescent mental health services
2,900 additional therapists and health professionals supporting adult talking therapies
4,800 additional posts for nurses and therapists working in crisis care settings
more mental health support for women around the time they give birth and early intervention teams working with people at risk of psychosis

I can’t wait to see how this whole situation will pan out and if the government can deliver on their word rather than just fucking us about coz god knows Theresa May and those butt monkeys she calls a party are doing such a terrific job of it that they need to ask for help from a homophobic jumped up party such as the DUP.

Anywho before I go off on a complete and utter bitch fest of fuckery I shall leave it there for this week and see you all next time my lovelies. :).

Life update and return to blogging.

Hi everyone I firstly want to apologise for being a lazy bum and not posting in about a million years. I want to blame it on writers block but then I would be turning into a big fat liar. One of the main reasons is simply pure laziness. I get distracted by the most inane of things at times and before I know it 10 thousand hours have passed and I get into the mindset of 'I'll do it later' and when later comes around I can't be bothered. However, I have had a few exciting things happen for me recently.

So what has been happening in my life recently?

Well firstly I had my grading for my yellow belt in Taekwando. This must have been a month or so ago back when we had all that really swelteringly hot weather and it felt properly like summer, not like the horrible overcast limbo that we're trapped in now where the weather can't make up it's mind. It was such a relief to get it over and done with and not make a fool out of myself by passing out especially since there was a gruelling fitness test at the end. However, I surpassed any of my own expectations because not only did I manage to get my yellow belt I managed to achieve an A. Now for me that really is something as I was never very good at or interested in sports at school. My lack of hand eye coordination, nothing to do with my abysmal eyesight I sear, and my general lack of overwhelming talent or natural ability for anything sporty meant that I was never a big name in the school sporting world. So you can imagine my surprise and jumping for joy state at being praised so highly for something sport related.

The second big change in my life was the decision to start job hunting. I did have a job as a part time TA in an SEN school but due to the catch 22 situation I was in I was never able to progress, despite my numerous attempts at trying to get a full time job I was told I didn't have enough experience and I lacked initiative and the ability to sufficiently meet the needs of the children's learning targets. However, I was never in one class long enough to completely understand their particular way of learning and the very best way to help them and get the best out of them. How was I suppose to help the children whilst improving my own practice if I wasn't in the same class everyday for the academic year and I wasn't even in for a full school day most of the time? They never properly helped me help myself. I got so run down with the situation I was in I decided that it was best for me to start looking at moving on. I needed an environment that would give me full time hours and more consistency which would, in the long run allow me to get to know the environment, the kids and the team I was working with well enough to improve upon the things that I need to, to become a better practitioner.

Hence the hunt for a new environment. I was lucky enough to land an interview at a day care and nursery that is literally a 5 – 10 minute walk from my house. I would be the biggest liar in the world if I said I wasn't nervous. I was wandering if I was good enough, if I had the right qualities to work with mainstream kids between the ages of 0 – 5 years. Would I have the skill set or potential to be able to show that I could improve upon what knowledge and ability I already had? Would I be able to fit into a new environment? I'm one of these people that can find big changes rather terrifying and looking for a new job and all that it entails is enough to give anyone nightmares. New people, new challenges, different ways of working are nerve wrecking things.

So, on the day of the interview I walked down the hill to the nursery with the feeling that I was going to loose the contents of my stomach. However, to my surprise as soon as I walked in a quiet confidence flooded over me. It was such a strange experience. Before every other interview I've had I've literally wanted to puke the whole way through, I've stumbled over my own tongue, I've used to many 'ums' and 'ers'. I'd always come out of an interview feeling like I could have said more and like I didn't do myself justice.

However, this time round I felt a lot more confident in who I was, what I know I needed to improve upon, what I wanted out of my job and I was able to admit that there would be times that I would need help and advice. I felt a lot morre calm around the people who were interviewing me because I didn't have any preconceived ideas about who they were. They immediately put me at ease and that helped me dramatically. I felt I could be honest with myself and them and I felt that I was able to present the best possible version of me considering that I still had some butterflies going on.

There were two distinct sections to the interview process. Firstly I had to read a story to a preselected group of children then I had a formal sit down interview with the head and manager of the nursery. Overall I had a good feeling throughout. I gave it my all and did myself proud. And guess what? It paid off. I was offered a job. I had a smile so big I felt like my face was going to be split in half. I was finally given the chance to prove to others and myself what I can become if given the chance. I know it's going to be a challenge but it'll be well worth the wait. To be taken seriously, to have people want to employ me full time gives me a real sense of empowerment and self pride. It shows me that I'm worth someone's time. I am appreciated enough for someone to take a chance on me who will support me in my endeavours. Needless to say I am now fully enjoying my six weeks summer holidays before the whirlwind of a new job starts.

The second thing that has been taking up a lot of my time recently were rehearsals for a performance that I was part of. I was part of a choir that sung pop, gospel and Motown covers. Normally I would only go to one rehearsal a week but recently there have been extra rehearsals because we had a performance at the cathedral of my home town last night. We sung a selection of songs including, Defying gravity, True, Somebody to love, Shut up and dance, Uptown girl, Ain't no mountain and Halo. It was such an amazing experience. The St Albans Cathedral is such a lovely space and to have all those people cheer for us is just an amazing feeling. Also being able to sing with a live band instead of a backing track is an experience everyone who loves singing should get to experience it's just such a thrill. However, it's nice to know that it's over and once again I can relax and take a break and have some time to myself.

I also had to finish off and hand in all the work for the course that I was studying. I have probably mentioned that I was doing an NVQ level 2 in in Supporting Teaching and Learning in schools. I had to make sure that the work I was doing was to my usual high standards and that I was able to complete all the work in an appropriate time frame. I finally handed everything in for the last time on Monday. It's such a weight off my mind to know that that is one stress off my mind. I don't have to go to sleep worrying that I haven't completed a piece of work. It's a massive achievement, knowing that I've been able to get everything done and dusted and that I've never had any real issues with my work and that it's been a smooth and relatively easy process. It's just another educational achievement that I can put onto my CV that will improve my chances of future employment and peaks my interest in the world of education and child development. Knowledge is power and there is always something new to learn. Whoever says the learning process stops when you leave school or uni or college would be lying. There are always opportunities to improve yourself by furthering your knowledge in any area of study. You are never to old or young to return to study.

I must admit that it may sound like I haven't been up to a whole lot but doing these things whilst still working all week can be quite time consuming. Whenever I wasn't doing something I would let myself get lost in catching up with Game of thrones or The Walking Dead. Sorting out all the admin side of things for a new job and learning words to songs as well as all the moves and techniques for a grading can be quite time consuming. However, now things have quietened down I will hopefully be writing more and finding new inspirations for posts. Having the time to explore the things that interest me.

So for now my lovelies I shall love you and leave you. I know this has been a short post but I just wanted a quick post to update y'all on what's been going on with me recently and to let you know that I will have much more time on my hands to explore the blogging side of my life again.

I’ll decide what it means to be a woman

Hi everyone I hope you’ve had a good weekend so far and enjoying the lovely weather. Let’s just hope this weather keeps its steam up and lasts us until September.

Today I want to talk to you about how I feel about being a woman in today’s society. I won’t be writing from any particular political or feminist movement viewpoint per say. I only want to write down my feelings and thoughts on my personal experiences and views.

I want to start off by saying that I’ve not always been a girly girl nor will I ever be, needless to say, that I’m not the definition of a tomboy or a butch lesbian either. I am in a very comfortable middle ground. And you know what? I’m perfectly happy with that. I don’t feel the need to always conform to societies view of what a woman should or shouldn’t be.

I may not always be happy in my skin. I sometimes wish I was taller I stand at a mere 5′, and that can be rather difficult when trying to reach things on higher shelves. I wish my boobs could be a more rounded shape as I feel they are rather cone shaped at times. Other than that I’m pretty much happy with the way I look. I don’t feel the need to change my appearance with a shit tonne of plastic surgery or liposuction, makeup or clothing just to please someone else’s ideals of beauty.

I’ll wear clothes that make me feel comfortable, leave my hair as an unruly mess, or straighten it if I want to. I’ll only wear makeup if my skin is nasty or if I can ever be bothered to do it, which is hardly ever and I’ll only shave if I’m going swimming. See I don’t feel the need to wear the latest fashions have my eyebrows constantly on point, have a full face of makeup every day or be completely hairless just because it’s considered acceptable and appropriate for women to do so.

Living under the thumb of social norms and pressure is a constant nightmare and doesn’t do anyone any good. We have all become so used to judging others by the way they dress, act and present themselves. The constant bombardment of women’s magazines, celebrity elevation and the media, in general, has brainwashed us all, me included. None of us can pretend that even on the most subconscious level we don’t want to constantly try and present the best sides of ourselves.

The explosion of social media sites such as Instagram, snapchat and Pinterest and the many filters that come along with them have created a generation of people who feel the urge to post their whole lives to the world. The emulation of peers and celebrities is such an attractive draw for so many that we forget to be who we are at times

Yes, I’ll admit that I have been a victim of this overshare drive. I have ranted on Facebook or posted a bazillion holiday snaps and even done a terrible job and trying to improve selfies. I’ll admit that I’m one of many who wants to prove to others that I’ve having a fabulous life and I’m looking good while doing it.

In fact, I’m just a regular person. I binge watch shows I listen to the music that I’m into I read, just a little bit you understand; I spend most of my time at work or home and occasionally meeting up with my closest friends. And that is the boring truth of it. But you know what? I’m content with it as of this moment in time. So it may not be the most adventure filled life, but it’s the one that suits me best and I shouldn’t have to go round changing anything about it to please others. If I do so, it’ll be for my development, growth and fulfilment.

My life shouldn’t be dictated to by others based upon my gender. Why should I be seen as any less than what I am because I have breasts instead of a penis? Sure there are obvious physical differences that can lead to differences in physical strength and women are far more likely to be empathetic and nurturing than men. However, that’s not to say that these ‘rules’ or stereotypes apply across the board in 100% of the male or female population.

For example, there are many women in athletics who are bodybuilders, weight lifters, martial artists and so on and so forth. On the other end there are plenty of men who work in the care sector, work with children, are nurses, or provide valid and crucial emotional support to those around them. Not all women love shopping, I know I get tired and frustrated if I can’t find what I want within two seconds flat. I can only sustain shopping if I’m plied with chocolate and fizzy drinks or better yet alcohol. Not all men are sporty, and women can and do love sex just as much as men. Men can and are sensitive, and some females may be emotionally ‘stunted’ or strong.

It is simply that both women and men will use their unique physicality and emotional state of being to be able to apply particular physical or emotional strengths and capabilities that are unique to them but may be perseverance as uniquely male or female rather than individual. The thing is we seem to teach and ingrain these traits that boys don’t cry and girls can’t love sports or maths and science from a very early age in life. This is a very damaging and intellectually stunting trait we have as a whole.

I wrote an entire post about the fact that I do taekwondo. I have also mentioned on numerous occasions that I’m not the tallest person in the world. However, this advantage of short stature is surprisingly beneficial for me to maximise my power if ever I needed to defend myself. I may not be the most physically powerful person in the world, but I can use everything that I have and am to maximise every chance I can take. I can utilise what I know works best for me to achieve the power I know I’m capable of.

Life’s about accepting that, yes there are certain benefits and disadvantages to both genders but accepting and fully realising who you are as an individual and not simply falling into gender stereotypes because it’s ‘easier’. Learning who you are, how you react and grow is a life long lesson and if we ever think we’ve stopped learning then we become stale, emotionally, socially, intellectually out of date individuals.

I’m not the same person that I was when I was 16 or even 18. Nor would I want to be. I mean the essentials of my personality are the same, but I’ve grown up, matured, changed for the better. I know that I’ve got a whole lifetime to explore and expand my horizons, broaden my mind and expand and feel more comfortable in the person that I’ll morph into.

I know that I’m a socialist and I love working with children. That’s a part of my personality that has grown and become more developed. With that knowledge, I can focus my energy and time on the tings that are important to me and that I want to improve upon by looking at different avenues in which to develop my knowledge and skills.

Playing to my strengths sets me aside from both gender stenotypes and others. I’m not an identical match of some other random woman or man that I’ve never met before. My reactions, beliefs, emotional and intellectual outlooks and general state of being is purely me. Yes, I can be influenced by others and different information and how I’m feeling mentally and emotionally, but that’s part and parcel of being … wait, get this? … HUMAN. Not merely FEMALE but HUMAN. We all view the world differently and will have our unique outlook regarding a different state of affairs.

I should never be made to feel like a second class citizen in any situation just because I’m female. I’m a human being who deserves exactly equal rights as every other person in the world. I should be allowed to feel that I can do and be whatever I want regardless of my gender. If girls want and can be the next Neil Armstrong then why shouldn’t they be? If a boy wants to be the next BeyoncĂ© why can’t he?

Pink isn’t my favourite colour, I don’t and can’t always do my makeup to perfection, I don’t keep up with the Kardashians. I’ve never even bothered with the latest diet fads or been obsessed with what a celebrity is wearing or who they’re dating. I never had a Barbie when I was younger preferring to climb trees instead.

Don’t even get me started on commercials, especially those relating to house cleaning products or perfumes. Why is it that any house cleaning product is always advertised with women using it? So what we’re supposed to be the stay at home housewife and mum raising the kids? Like fuck off mate, men are perfectly capable of doing some hard graft in the kitchen or bathroom. And why is it that perfume adds always show a man and a woman always being all sexy with each other? First of all, mate that seems to me that it says that if you don’t have a good perfume, you can’t be sexually attractive which is just a dumb and illogical idea. Secondly, why is it always a man and a woman? How about representing more lesbian, transgender and gay relationships in commercials? And finally why are men and women portrayed as merely sexual beings anyway in those adverts? WHY? For all that is holy WHY?

This divide we still have between genders is astonishing. Although It is hidden and shrouded in ‘advancements’ we, even in the western world have a long way to go before gender equality is neutralised. Even down to names women still get hollered at them from some idiot who will think he’s being all emasculated by shouting ‘baby’, ‘gorgeous’, no I think you’ll find my name is Ellie and unless I’m in a long-term committed relationship with someone I won’t answer to anything else.

So before I carry on too much more and bore you completely to death with my massive ramble, I shall love you and leave you until next time my lovelies. :).

Labour voter through and through

Hi everyone I hope you’ve had a good week and weekend so far. Today’s post is going to be cut from a slightly different ilk to my usual topics. In light of the recent general election and the outcome of a hung parliament and the fuckery that that places the UK in I thought I’d write my own very personal opinions on the subject matter. I also have to say that I’m not completely and utterly well informed when it comes to politics, so this particular viewpoint is just an initial gut reaction of mine.

As I have mentioned before, I’m 26 and therefore still considered a young voter. Despite the increase in numbers of young voters in this year’s general election, which took place on Thursday 8th of June the number could and should be higher.

I believe that a lot of people, not just young voters, decide not to vote because they don’t know who to trust and feel that their needs won’t be met by any governing party. However, if people don’t vote the party that will be able to make the changes and help them the most won’t be able to make any difference at all. All in all, it’s a bit of a catch 22 situation.

I know people say don’t divulge who you voted for as it’ll only cause arguments and disagreements. However, in the knowledge that no-one’s views or opinions could change my mind, I will freely admit that I voted for the Labour party. Everyone has the right to vote for who they want to and have their opinions about the political parties.

The main reason why I voted Labour this time round is that I felt that their manifesto was the best. I like what they stand for. Taxing more to fund social pillars such as the NHS, Schools, The police and fire services, etc., to me that is an excellent way of moving forward, especially when combined with increasing the tax of those with increased wage packets.

‘For the many, not the few’. Why should money and power allow you to have a more privileged life while those who were already struggling financially be abused and kicked in the teeth for extra measure?

I understand that a lot of people would possibly say that we simply don’t have the money to do everything that the Labour party wanted to do in their manifesto. Yes, I accept and wholeheartedly agree with that. However, my argument to that is that it’s not about achieving everything in the manifesto but sticking to their guns and trying their damnedest to do the best with the shitty situation that the finances are in.

Whichever way you look at it the government has money flowing out of every orifice which leads to wasted money which could be better spent else where. It takes a party to know what they want to spend it on and redirect that money to the places it should be going.

Someone said to me today that the NHS, which was introduced by a Labour government, is far more likely to treat foreigners first and treat British citizens like second class people. I want to remind anyone that holds this view that Jeremy Corbyn was always and still is a Brexitier it was the Lib Dem Leader that wanted to consider another referendum on Brexit if he won.

When she said this, I was rather taken aback. If it weren’t for overseas nurses and doctors, the NHS would have completely disintegrated years ago and have gone private, and she would have had to pay out a lot of money for treatment for her family, for which they’ve had a lot from what I can tell.

In addition to this, I’m rather outraged at the belief that it’s only overseas individuals that come over and scam our benefits and NHS system. I would reckon that at least 50% of people who simply scam and cheat the benefits system are UK nationals who are too lazy to work or too high and mighty to accept certain jobs because they don’t want to get their hands dirty and think things should be handed to them on a silver platter.

Anyone who still believes in Theresa May after all the U-turns and indecisions she made and sheer horrific nonchalant and stupid decision she made not to turn up to the election debates around me. Now I’m not saying that people should vote one way or the other because ‘certain cuts are necessary’. As I have said before whichever party finally ends up leading the nation needs to seriously buck up their idea’s in regards to the UK Books.

However, I think there are ways of going about it without completely and utterly screwing over the poorest or most vulnerable groups in today’s society. I know some people will think that we need to be more vigilant or more conservative in our thinking but the truth of the matter is that our system is not cut out to support people to achieve social mobility and stability. With a Conservative government, everyone apart from the rich is thrown to the dogs. As an LGBT, disabled woman who works in a school setting, I can’t ever see myself voting for a conservative government.

I know these views may seem a little extreme or over the top at times, but I’m merely trying to express my personal opinions in a way that will kind of make sense. Whether you agree or disagree that’s fine, but all I ask is that you don’t try and convert me to a different way of thinking. I will always vote for the political party that I think will best serve this country and ALL its citizens. I can’t and won’t be swayed by any other opinion other than the manifesto and leadership of a particular party. That’s not to say that I will always agree with all the points or views made by a party. For example, I don’t agree with Labour’s view on decreasing armed forces in light of the recent terror attacks in Manchester and London. Quite the opposite I would feel much safer with an increase as enlightened by Theresa May and the Conservatives but that does not mean I can back and agree with their views and policies in whole.

Until next time my lovlies, I shall love and leave you :).

Doing Taekwando with a visual impairment

Hello, everyone, first of all I want to appolagise for my complete and utter tardyness in getting this post up. I have no excuse as to it’s lateness. I hope you’ve had a good week so far. Today’s blog will be concerning my experiences so far with taking part in Taekwondo classes as a visually impaired individual.

Anyone who knows me well probably wouldn’t describe my physical fitness or prowess as a high priority for me. That’s not to say that I’m a complete and utter lazy slob, but I’m not someone who spends two hours every day sweating it at the gym or running marathons every other month.

However, when I am interested in pursuing a sport, I do so for pleasure over fitness. That is in part, why I started doing Taekwondo. I had done another form of martial arts when I was younger but stopped when I went off to college. Therefore it had been about ten and a half years since I had last done any martial arts.

I have always been attracted to this form of sports/fitness. Mainly due to the ability to learn self-defence, increase confidence, flexibility, stamina and self-respect. Even though Taekwondo may be perceived as more ‘violent’ than the previous martial arts I had done, it is a self-defense sport. It is never to be misused. We are not allowed to use it unless you feel threatened or someone is already trying to hurt you. Even then you are only authorised to take your opponent down. After that, you are liable, by law, to be tried for assault and grievous bodily harm. One of the main principles in all martial arts is self-discipline. The use of force can only be used if you feel it necessary for self-defence, anything more will get you into a lot of trouble.

I have only been doing Taekwondo for six months, roughly. I am a member of a non-disabled group. My instructor knows that I have a visual impairment, but this has never meant I have been treated differently. My instructor has the same expectations of me as he does with any other members of the group. I am expected to participate in all the warm-up activities, which can include running around the hall and punch, small hand pads while running. I am also supposed to do the same pad work (to improve kicking and punching techniques and power).

For me, this is perfect. I’m able to take part in a sport that I enjoy without feeling that I’m being singled out because of my disability. Of course, that’s not to say that I don’t do little things to help me because of my disability.

I feel that I have been able to slot into the non-disabled taekwondo training scene quite quickly so far. Of course, my reactions may be a bit slower at times, and my distance perception does affect my ability to judge the distance between myself and equipment during pad work. I believe that these would be the same issues I would face if I were at a disabled training class, so it doesn’t bother me in the slightest.

My instructor is friendly and great at what he does. As well as physically showing the movements and the proper techniques to carry out the actions, he also describes what he is doing. Thus there is a physical and verbal direction for everyone. This dual method of information delivery is useful as it allows the information to be processed in a way that suits different people.

Last Sunday I did my second grading and managed to, somehow, get my yellow belt. During the first training session, I went to after this; I learnt my next pattern and some of the line work I would need for my green tag grading.

As I know that there is a lot of pad work and sparring work as part of the gradings after you receive your yellow belt, I stayed behind to talk to my instructor about the impact of my sight on these aspects of training and grading.

He couldn’t have been more understanding, helpful and reassuring. He works with and knows of people with visual impairments that have managed to spar and to compete against sighted opponents. He assessed my general field of vision and my distance vision by asking how far away I could recognise him and when I could see his hand while looking forward.

He was very sure that being aware of that range of vision along with my height, I’m only 5′, is very useful regarding the close-up hand to hand combat which Taekwondo is famous for. He has also said that he is always willing to work with me to help improve any techniques that would work for me, having to be so close to others.

When you start learning Taekwondo, it can be tough to judge how far away to stand from someone when doing kick shield work. You want to be close enough to be able to hit the target but far enough away to get your technique right to enable you to kick with enough power.

This is something that you have to learn over time. However, if you have a disability that makes distance perception challenging you face an extra challenge. One, which for me, is easily combated by walking up to the pad feeling where it is and then moving in accordance. It’s such a straightforward and easily imperceptive technique that it’s almost stupid.

I know that I don’t have to worry too much about doing it in front of others. I know that I can carry on with the sport without having to worry so much about not being able to do or learn certain techniques. I just have to work with my instructor to figure out how to perfect them in a way that is suitable for me.

Knowing your limitations and challenges that you may face is an important part of accepting yourself as an individual and as someone who has a disability. Asking for help and advice and going about things differently is the only way to move forward. Hiding away and shying away from the things you find difficult will never assist you in the long run.

I know that I’m good, or at least can be good at taekwondo. I know that I want to continue to learn it and get my black belt. If I didn’t acknowledge and ask for help at this stage in training, it would get to a point where it could be a lot worse. I wouldn’t have had the opportunity to learn things that could be useful to me.

The fact of the matter is that you should never shy away from doing a sport just because you feel your disability would stop you from enjoying it or being able to fully access and learn every aspect of that particular field.

On the other hand, you shouldn’t do a sport just because you have a disability. For example, if you have a visual impairment you don’t have to do goalball or blind football. If you’re a wheelchair user, you don’t have to do wheelchair rugby/basketball if you don’t want to. If you want to take part in sport but happen to have a disability, know what you are interested in, enquire into it and follow it up. If you are passionate about continuing in that sport and improving yourself, accept the challenges, be open and honest about the help you need and work to find ways around those problems.

Never let your disability dictate your life. By taking charge, you’re proving that you have the ability and right to be respected and treated as a human being rather than your disability. We have the right to lead our lives the way we want to and participate in activities just like everyone else. We do have to work that little bit harder to prove ourselves and our worth but being sure of who we are, what we like and how to go about it will show society that disability does not inhibit willingness, passion and ability.

Until next time my lovelies I shall love you and leave you :).

You have a disability and you work?

Hello all, I hope you’ve had a good week and that your weekend has been lovely so far. I am rather excited at the moment as there is only one more week before the summer half term so only one more week of work whooo.

Why is it that there is still a significant gap between the number of people with a disability who are unemployed in relation to the number of non-disabled people who are unemployed? According to reports by Scope, one of the UK’s leading disability charities, fewer than 5 in 10 disabled people are employed compared to 8 in 10 non-disabled people.

Figures show that around half of people with disabilities who are in employment are fearful that they will lose their job as a result of their disability.

The stereotype that having a disability means that you are in a wheelchair is still present in today’s society. Meaning that many individuals who have an ‘invisible’ disability struggle with the issue of when or if to reveal to colleagues or employers that they have a disability.

Invisible disabilities and long-term illnesses can include but are not limited to, visual or hearing impairments, high functioning ASD (Autism Spectrum Disorder), Mental illness, chronic pain or migraines, arthritis, asthma, epilepsy and diabetes.

It can be a tough decision when entering a new job or going for an interview whether you should disclose the fact that you have a disability. Although we have the equal rights act in the UK, which makes it illegal to discriminate based upon disability if an employer is aware of your disability it makes it that much harder to get or hold down the job.

This may be because employers are unsure or more unwilling to employ someone who needs that extra amount of reasonable adjustments as they may feel it may incur additional costs for the company. Employers may also consider that someone with a disability may not be able to carry out all the functions of the job and may put extra pressure on their colleagues.

These viewpoints are never the reason given when a disabled person doesn’t get the job. Thus the employer is not showing direct discrimination. However, it can be a form of indirect discrimination, especially if the individual is qualified and perfectly capable of carrying out the duties of the job.

I believe that it has always been in my best interest not to disclose my disability in an interview setting. Thus I am not allowing the employer to have that hold over me. If I get the job and I feel comfortable enough to disclose my disability, then I will do so. However, I have never had to do so as of yet.

I know that there will be certain jobs that I’ll never be able to do because of my visual impairment. I’ll never be a surgeon, a firefighter or police officer; I’ll never be a pilot, and I’ll never be able to fight for queen and country. However, I don’t want to mooch off the state either, and I especially don’t want to fall into one of the stereotypical ‘blind’ jobs.

Two of the most common ideas about what blind people can do would be office or IT work. Spoiler alert; not all of us like or are good at either of those types of jobs. Just because we are visually impaired doesn’t mean we instantly know how to code or want to sit on are arsses between the hours of 9 and 5 for five days a week.

The one thing to remember about any individual with a visual impairment is that we’ll have our set of unique talents and passions. We’ll want to do a job that satisfies our needs and wants. Well want to know we have the ability to progress and learn in our jobs while having fun.

For example, I work in a school for children with moderate to multiple and profound learning disabilities. Due to the nature of their ages and disabilities, the children can present with a variety of challenging behaviours. I can hear you all now thinking, ‘wait but how can you help if you can’t accurately see what the children are doing?’ Well, you know what I make my adustments.

In the playground, I’ll walk around more so that I can then get closer to where children are. In the classroom it’s easy enough because it’s a smaller environment; therefore, I don’t notice my sight being a massive issue. Of course, I may miss things but work as a teaching assistant means you’re always part of a team, and I know that my colleagues will always cooperate with me and not against me.

I have also found that working in a SEN school is fast paced and always different therefore everyone will find things challenging and will miss things but that’s the beauty of working in a team that works well together. Others will always be around to notice what you may miss.

When deciding whether or not to disclose a disability, it’s entirely up to each person. Sometimes unexpected work situations may crop up that are related to or complicated by your disability. It’s times like those that it may be pertinent to disclose your disability to your employer or at least your colleagues to see if different solutions can be found to help you cope and improve.

Unfortunately, we still live in a society where we need to prove our worth and our capabilities. The general public still has a horrible lack of knowledge regarding disability and its diversity due to the lack of positive interaction with individuals with a disability.

The media is starting to improve or at least make steps in regards to improving its portrayal of disability. However, there is still a tendency to focus on one of the two extremes ‘Disability Porn’ (calling or viewing someone as inspirational in part or solely based on their disability) or seeing disabled people as incapable, vulnerable and who need protecting and looking after.

Yes, it is true that those of us with any form of disability will need extra support in certain situations. Accepting this help does not make us weak, vulnerable or inspirational it just makes us who we are. We are people who have different challenges and find different ways of coping with those challenges.

We are still, intelligent, passionate, unique individuals who want to achieve happiness, find love, earn our own money, have an as independent life as possible just like anyone else. However, cringy and cliched that is to say and hear it’s the truth.

We don’t need or want others pity as it doesn’t help you or us in any way possible. It makes us feel uncomfortable, and you look like a bit of an idot, to be honest. The reaction of shock or surprise that we can do things by ourselves, lead a normal life and even work and travel is just outrageous and outdated although not a surprise to any of us who have been on the receiving end of that reaction.

The public needs a more normalised and positive outlook on disability and its variety. Employers need to be educated on disability and how it may affect employees and need to consider and review their disability employment policies if they even have any at all. With reasonable adjustments, some don’t even have to be expensive or brought at all, people with disabilities can work. Discussing, Reviewing and continuously updating techniques and allowing open communication between employers and employees can be a vital and active way of allowing companies to move forward in their understanding, acceptance and ability to help those employees who are disabled.

It does sadden and anger me that we still have to fight on a daily basis to prove to people that we aren’t a burden on society and that we are capable of working and living independently. Disability rights have come so far, and yet we still have such a long way to go regarding understanding, genuine acceptance.

Of course, there will be people out there who, for whatever reasons won’t be able to work. There will also be people who will be idiots and think they can abuse the system and get things handed to them on a silver platter because of their disabilities. For those of us who want to and can work, let’s strive to empower and educate others. Let’s keep on fighting until stigma is demolished; small minds are opened, and equality truly means just that, equality and equal access for all.

For now my lovelies I shall love you and leave you. :).