Only you can control you. My feminism opinion.

I can only write this from the perspective of a British woman who has grown up, experienced life in the UK as part of wider western society in the 21st century

The structure of woman’s society, mainly in the 21st western century is a very convoluted and complex one in my personal opinion.

We still live in a world where both subtle and blatant patronising, patriarchal, archaic, idiotic, testosterone fulled sexism exists.

In a world where women have a lot more freedom, are more prevalent in the boardroom, government and other high powered, high paid jobs come’s a world strife with bitching narcissism where it’s ok to turn on each other and stab each other in the back and it’s ok because it’s another woman and not a man doing it. BITCH REALLY? It’s not ok for a man to do that but it’s ok for another woman to do that? In what reality does that make sense?

I find it rather ironic that we have these two polar opposites in western society. You are not a true feminist if you act all coy, sexy and show every inch of skin and feel confident enough in your own skin and sexual freedom/liberation to do so. On the other hand, you’re not a true woman, deserving of the title if you don’t wear the latest fashion have your hair cut a certain way, pander to the sexual desires of every piggish man and act how every woman should in the 21st century.

Granted a lot of the idea’s, images, trends and ‘Norms’ that are thrown our way are highly industrialised by an industry whose only intent is to sell us the idea that we have to behave and look a certain way so that they can earn money for their luxury holiday’s billion dollar houses and expensive cars whilst we get left with conflicting emotions that could potentially lead to a mental health crisis.

However, some women think the bee all and end all come back to this is to completely desexualise womanhood in order to create less distraction for all parties. Men won’t think of us in a sexual manner and women won’t have to worry about being too sexy or not sexy enough.

In my humble opinion? Both parties are completely in the wrong and are perpetuating this toxic way of living that we have found ourselves in.

No, we most certainly don’t have to rely on our looks to get us places and anyone, woman or man that solely does that is really rather simple and doesn’t know the meaning of true, honest hard work that is both physically and intellectually challenging.

But neither do we have to feel like we’re letting ourselves go. Each woman and man can decide for themselves if they want to wear makeup, shave, dress a particular way. We should never be dictated to by others on how we MUST look. As long as we are in good general physical and mental health and don’t stink than everything else is of no-one else business but my own thank you very much.

Social norms contrite, conceited idea’s about what it means to be a man or a woman are archaic, pathetic, misogynistic, damaging and downright ludicrousness. I refuse to pay my money into an industry that thinks it knows what I want to wear and what I want to look like and shoves a skeleton masquerading as a woman with airbrushed checks down my throat to try and force me to buy their products to achieve that manufactured and totally fake image of perfect because it’s nothing but a lie that is just too hard to maintain. That’s not me but if that’s another person idea of heaven then I won’t stop them.

If I don’t shave my legs and armpits for a month does that mean I’m any less sexy? No. If I decide I want to wear makeup one day does that instantly mean I’m self-conscious, vain, egotistical or oversexualizing myself? HELL TO THE NO. It simply means I want to wear makeup. Why does it have to have about a million reasons about three-quarters of which seem to be linked to sex in some way?

Being a woman is not about conforming to a man’s idea that women should look dolled up every day and never leave the kitchen and it doesn’t mean that I have to look ugly as hell or ‘slutty’ to be intelligent and succeed in a male-oriented world.My

Feminism should be about letting us be free to express ourselves in the manner in which we choose and be emotionally, mentally, intellectually, financially, sexually liberated without feeling ridiculed by both men and women alike for being too much of one thing and not enough of the other.

If I like and appreciate the fact that a date offers to buy me a cup of coffee dinner or a cinema ticket, regardless of their gender then why shouldn’t that happen? I don’t give two flying fucks if people think I should be the one buying a man drinks and dinner, I’ll do that if I want to but that doesn’t mean I don’t appreciate that once in a while and doesn’t mean I’m instantly thinking ‘great a penis who can protect and own me financially’ no I’m thinking ‘great a person who cares enough to want to take me out somewhere and spend time with me’.

Life isn’t about telling someone to act, look or behave a certain way based on their gender. If that person is a good, moral individual who treats others with respect and doesn’t try and control, own, degrade disrespect, abuse or try and course someone into being different for the sake of it then free expression of individuality is the most important life hack of all.

We are strong because we are different we aren’t all uniform robots operating under the same programme. Beauty isn’t about being perfect. It’s about making the decisions that get us to where we need to be, knowing and expressing who we are as individual people, accepting our differences, being intelligent and expressing our opinions, learning and broadening our horizons. Beauty is about being authentic to ourselves.

Hating on others because they dare act in a way that doesn’t fit in the misogynistic fashion of feminism that some people pander to is madness. No two women are the same, no two human beings are the same, there is no one size fits all. We shouldn’t be prohibiting women or making people feel they have to move from one extreme to another. We are not here to be controlled and manipulated by anyone else but ourselves. We need to be our own spokesperson. We are not here to please the base needs of others. We are strong, independent, intelligent, sexy bitches who can achieve anything.

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A massive middle finger to all chauvinistic pigs who grounds the rest of us down under their ponssy heals.

To anyone out there who thinks it’s ok to demoralize, stigmatize, belittle, degrade, squeeze the life out of someone, emotionally destroy someone based on their gender, disability, sexual orientation, race, religion or cultural background I am baffled, ashamed outraged and sickened.

Give me three logical, unemotional reasons why you are better than anyone else that has nothing to with educational, ethnic, gender, sexual orientational, race, religion or cultural issues?
What gives you the right to think you’re anything more than a pathetic, close-minded asshole who obviously has thoughts above your station?
If you can’t see past your own patriarchal, archaic, rude, pretentious, establishmentarianism, entitled nose than why should I take you seriously or hold your opinions in any esteem?
If you think it’s your duty to treat others worse than road kill that you wouldn’t feed to your dog than you are seriously messed up. I would call you insane or retarded but that would be the biggest insult to those who suffer from mental illness or have a learning disability because at least these groups of people have a basic sense of what it means to be gracious have good manners, treat others right, be respectful, kind and polite to fellow human beings.
Treating others like a piece of meat that you can beat down, mistreat, emotionally destroy to then mould to what you think they should be is torture.
Your insane sense of entitlement that deludes you to believe you have the power to control those around you to the point of becoming the most toxic thing in their lives is the utmost show of pigheaded rudeness. REALITY check you are not the king of the universe. We will not bow down, lick your shoes and beg you to give us worse food and shelter than you would give pigs because that would be the kind and decent thing of you do too because you are not the almighty god of all knowledge and power.

Many thanks a bisexual, visually impaired woman.

Pain, frustration and positivity. It’s ok to have dark days with a disability

The aim of this post is not to garner sympathy at all. This is just a rambling post about the impact a visual impairment can have on one’s mental health, specifically my own as I can never begin to imagine what other people go through or their thought processes regarding their own sight and personal journey.

This is in no way a post that describes every single experience that every single person with a visual impairment has. It’s simply a portrayal of one way in which one individual has been shaped. My life is in no way meaningless just because of my own journey or experiences. It does not mean I don’t aim to have a fulfilling, positive and meaningful life. If anything the life experiences that I’ve had is one of the main reasons why I want to work with people and make a change in the lives of others who may be travelling the same path as myself

I was born with Oculocutanious Albinism, a stable condition that means I am legally blind. Do I consider myself to be ‘blind’? No, as I have a lot of useful vision compared to a lot of people who I know in the visually impaired community. However, the more important question is do I even consider myself fully visually impaired? … No.

I try and blag my way through life as much as possible because I don’t want to seem vulnerable or weak in any way. It’s almost like I don’t want to accept that I need help. I don’t want people thinking I can’t do something because of my sight.

However, doing so puts me in a worse situation than if I held my hands up fully to the fact that there are times that I actually need a little extra support.

To give an example, I don’t use a long cane nearly as much as I should do. I don’t want to look ‘blinder’ than I think I am. I also don’t think I need a mobility aid as much as someone who has less sight than I do so I feel like a bit of a fraud whenever I use it.

Generally speaking, my dear sweet loving family are extremely supportive and want the best for me and want me to access help where appropriate. However, my long cane has always been a bit of a funny situation. My parents have always discouraged me to use my cane around where I live. On numerous occasions, I have been told in no uncertain terms that my cane would put less trust in me because it would be a physical sign of my visual impairment primarily in terms of the previous types of jobs that I’ve had or when applying for jobs. I have also struggled a lot when it comes to disclosing my visual impairment when applying for a job and I have always been advised not to because it might harm my ability to be shortlisted for an interview. Of course, when mummy dearest gives you advice you tend to want to listen because … well, she’s mum and you always tend to believe that parents have more life experience and know what’s what.

Now, I’m not saying that my parents are bad people. Of course their not, quite the opposite in fact. However, I think it can be very difficult for parents of children with any form of disability, especially an invisible disability that is both severe but not severe at the same time. There is no manual on how to best deal with any and all situations that can and do crop up.

Having the condition that I have means you live in a bit of a grey scale world. You don’t fit into the sighted world but, this is just how I feel, you don’t fully fit into the blind world either. It’s almost like you’re a bit of a nomad just stumbling from point to point. You have enough sight to be able to pass as sighted but you need certain aids to help but some aids are specifically designed for people with little to no sight that you don’t feel you actually need or want them.

This perpetual cycle of thinking you’re more sighted than you actually are can be very dangerous, physically, mentally and emotionally. Due to the fact that I don’t use a cane people don’t know that my sight isn’t good enough to move out of the way and can be a rather stupid risk to take when in busy urban areas where there are lots of bikes, cars, buses etc. Emotionally you never feel you fit into one specific place and don’t know how to describe what you can and can’t see because there isn’t specific vocabulary that isn’t medical jargon.

Mentally it can almost be a daily battle to either explain to people that yes you are disabled and no you’re not faking it, decided if it’s the right decision to declare you’re disability for job applications, fighting for the correct support which can sometimes be hard because not even you know the wide variety of support that is out there (because it would be way to easy to make help fully accessible and fully at the forefront of peoples awareness) and how it can help, feeling like you can’t do jobs that you want because of your disability and feeling like you’re stuck in a place where you’ll never get a good career that’ll fulfil you because people don’t want the hasstle of a visually impaired employee or don’t think you are capable of performing tasks simply based upon your disability.

Emotionally it’s tiring feeling stuck in one place because out of pure and utter lazy habit it’s become a safe little bubble where you can run and hide perpetuating the cycle of self-doubt, never trying new things, never pushing yourself because you constantly tell yourself that you’ll never amount to much in a sighted world. You feel trapped by your environment and the little bubble that you don’t feel safe to leave.

I am at a crossroads in my life at the moment. I am applying for Universal Credit (part of the UK’s benefits system) which I must say has a very regimented way of doing things and seemingly has very little understanding or regard for people with a wide variety of disabilities and that being disabled is not just a black or white situation. However, I digress. Until I am receiving money I don’t feel like I am able to move forward because I don’t have the financial aid to fund things like invaluable voluntary work that could be very useful to me gaining a job that I could be good at and that I’d actually want to do. Volunteering would also mean having to travel further afield than St Albans, which luckily is so close to London that I’m quite comfortable travelling to London seeing as I’ve done it so many times. However, the fact that my whole working life so far has revolved around St. Albans the prospect of travelling somewhere different, meeting a wider variety of people and so on is rather daunting and something that my mental attitude has thrown a bit of a hissy fit about recently.

I know I have to travel outside my comfort zone or I’ll never grow as a person but my mind and emotions are like, ‘fuck it Ellie do you really want to put yourself out there and just get turned down immediately? coz that’s just a very real possibility you know?’.

So the long and the short of it is. That is where I am in my life so far. One part of me wants to run and hide from everything and another little jiminy cricket part of me is screaming at me to jump into the deep end and flail about until I learn how to tread water and look like a swan, kicking my feet but cool, calm and relaxed on the surface.

Life isn’t easy when you’ve got an invisible disability. We all have our own journeys, emotions, mentality and outward influencers that we have to deal with and it’s ok to feel lost, angry and upset. There is no timeframe or specific way to deal with these feelings and issues. However, if you are someone you know is feeling like this then just know that it’s ok and you’re not the only one who feels these feels.

Gender roles, expectations and LGBT hate is killing of individuality

I’m a cis-woman who identifies as fluid. Say what now? So I was born in a biologically female body. I have boobs and a vagina and I have feminine facial features and a feminine body type. I identify as female and I don’t have any dysphoria around my body. Sure I wish I could be taller, have bigger boobs, be slightly thinner and have longer more shapely legs but that’s not what I mean by dysphoria. Let me put it in a very basic way, someone who is not cis-gender is transgender or feels like they are the opposite gender born and trapped in the wrong body i.e someone who identifies personally, mentally and emotionally as female but is born in a male’s body or visa versa an individual who identifies as male but born in a female’s body. Disclaimer: that is a very basic description of gender identity and gender dysphoria that in no way shape or form encompasses the wide range of emotions, thought process etc that someone who is transgender can or will experience in their lifetime.

Therefore after my rudimentary and most likely very discriminatory explanation above I can say that mentally, emotionally and physically I feel like I am what society would call female. Gender identity is a spectrum with cis-gender and transgender being the two polar opposites of each other if you want to think of it like that. I cannot and will not speak for the entire spectrum of gender identity and presentation because I can only ever speak as someone who identifies as one of the myriad presentations of gender.

All I can say is that we should never presume to know how someone feels within themselves. They may physically look ‘male’ or ‘female’ but they may feel a completely different way. Someone may be gender fluid, one day they may feel more feminine the next they may feel more masculine or could feel like they are an equal mix of both. Depending on the individual and how they wish to express themselves or how comfortable or able they fell to present their gender identities outward signs such as clothing, make-up and mannerisms such as stance and/or walking gate may change it really does depend on the individual. I realise I did talk a bit about a different gender identity other than my own but I can’t ever presume to know everything about gender identity and wanted to give one more example to prove that gender is far more expansive than the social construction of male and female and no-one can ever be defined solely as male or female.

Although I present myself and feel that I am intrinsically female do I like and enjoy everything that is a socially constructed female thing or action? HELL TO THE NO. I ain’t got time for that dude. I hate pink with a passion why in hell does pink have to be societies go to girly colour? Fuck do I know is all I can say to that.

Do I wear makeup all the time and have my eyebrows on fleek and perfect hair every day? Mate it looks like you have found one girl who isn’t butch but isn’t societies norm for a girl.

Fifty shades or superhero movies? Damn get me in line for all and every superhero movie there is. I don’t even care that I’m a little bit too excited for the second Deadpool film to come out. Don’t get me wrong I will always indulge in films like ‘love actually’ ‘Bridget Jones’ or ‘Pitch perfect’ but I don’t have to like every single film who’s main demographic is women. I mean my favourite film should give me away a bit ‘Hellboy’ I can watch over and over and never get bored I mean seriously if you’ve not heard of it why not?

Makeup or technology? I’d rather have the latest technology than the next spot covering cream. Sorry if I’m letting any makeup fans out there down, no wait you know what? I don’t care I shouldn’t ever apologise for what I like ever.

Taekwondo or gymnastics? Well, as much as I like watching gymnastics Taekwondo is so much cooler in my personal opinion. Of course, both sports keep you fit that’s without a doubt but do you learn how to defend yourself with awesome moves in gymnastics? WELL HELL NO. Can gymnasts fight each other in competitions? No … enough said really.

Rock/metal or rap/pop? This one is way more tricky because I do like a hell of a lot of pop music but is a lot rarer for me to own an entire album from a pop artist. Therefore it would have to be rock/metal/alternative music because it’s not all created by the big cheeses in the music industry, it’s real musicians, playing their own instruments creating their own music that they want to create more so than many pop artists. Plus if you don’t appreciate a good guitar or drum solo than ok but why not? Of course, I jest here because some of my best friends and I have a very different taste in music and that’s one of the things that can make a strong relationship, the difference in personality, style and expression is important and valid.

The gist of all this is that it’s ok to be who you are regardless of gender roles/stereotypes. Boys can like pink aim to be a nurse or teacher, girls can hate pink and dressing up in frills and princess dresses and want to be a doctor, pilot, engineer or scientist. Gender assignment and identity should not mean people expect us to act or be a certain way.

Just because women can be more emotionally intelligent we should never teach boys or men to be emotionally stunted nor should we dictate the way women should look or act physically. Both men and women can be either strong and muscly or lean. Gender should never play a part in the way someone feels comfortable presenting their true selves. Creating a very narrow image of how women and men should behave, look, walk, talk etc is very discriminatory and limiting and enables people to expect less or more of someone based on their genitals or physical appearance and put a massive amount of pressure on that person to maintain that way of being.

The same can be said of sexual orientation. I view myself as fluid. I like both men and women. For any amount of time, I may prefer one gender or gender representation over another. That’s fine that’s who I am and I shouldn’t have to deny or change myself to fit into someone else’s ideal or thought process. I also find it very derogatory and incredibly rude when people assume things about me because I identify as fluid.

I’m not a stereotype and I would like to throw that great lump of steaming shit into the fan so to speak. I know many misconceptions come from history, extream religious views or the way someone was brought up. That still doesn’t give anyone the right to change someone or inflict hate and subsequent emotional and mental pain upon another person.

Sexual orientation and gender identity is not a lifestyle or choice and thus it cannot be changed. Hurtful words or actions only force people to hide who they truly are and serves them badly as they can’t be who they feel they truly are.

No amount of praying, religious shpeel about how I’m going to hell or the bible said man shalt not lie with another man or woman with another woman or conversion therapy will change my mental and potential biological makeup.

My disability is not a life sentence

My visual impairment doesn’t mean I’m imprisoned in a god-awful life that sucks ass. It’s not a life sentence either. Of course, there are challenges of having a visual impairment. I can’t drive a car for instance.

My life, however, it’s far from saddening, meaningless or pitiful. I love Taekwondo and train regularly throughout the week at a mainstream club. I am taught everything, every technique every aspect of taekwondo just like everyone else who attends the classes and I’m already half way to black belt. My visual impairment does not stop me from wanting to achieve a goal, stay fit and be able to defend myself whilst having fun along the way.

I have Occularcutanious Albinism which means my eyes skin and hair are much lighter than those without the condition because of a lack of melanin which gives colour to all these parts of the body.

Yes, there is a higher risk that I may get melanoma of the skin or eye because my skin and eyes don’t have the natural defences against UV rays. That’s easily remedied though simply through the application of suncream and sunglasses. It’s what everyone has to do to protect themselves from harmful rays it’s no different or inconvenience.

In regards to my hair colour? Well, I don’t ever have to worry about adversely damaging my hair with constant bleaching to achieve this look and yes, my hair may get slightly lighter as I get older but I’ll never go grey. So all in all? money well saved and no damaged hair for me BAM!!!

My visual impairment doesn’t stop me from enjoying the tv show, music, books or sport that I enjoy. It doesn’t stop me from having my own opinions and preferences in terms of politics, clothing and work and career aspirations.

I’m not someone who wants or needs pitying. It is unwelcome and unneeded. I will admit that having a visual impairment does impact on how well I can access certain area’s of life but that is due to social inadequacies rather than my own. My eyesight doesn’t mean I can’t read it just means I can’t read the tiny writing that society still places everywhere. It doesn’t mean I can’t travel independently I just need to be a bit better prepared in terms of knowing exactly where I’m going and familiarising myself with new places.

My life isn’t restricted because of my ‘disability’ it’s restricted because of societies lack of appropriate accessibility that would allow me to fully incorporate myself into the wider community with total ease.

I’m not someone to be mollycoddled. I deserve to be treated with respect, dignity and the same equal human rights as my able-bodied counterparts. My visual impairment isn’t the thing that holds me back in life it’s the sweeping, misguided and stereotypical views of society as a whole that holds me back. I don’t have special needs I just have different needs that need to be overcome in a different way.

Who gives anyone else the right to judge the quality of my life or my abilities based on an overarching and archaic view that people with a disability need constant help and can’t live a fulfilling life? Not everyone with a disability faces the same challenges, uses the same techniques to overcome any hurdles or have the same personality. We should never be placed into one box or viewed as a degenerate who deserves to be dictated to because other people seem to think they know what I’m going through or whats best for me.

Working with an individual, instead of working or talking about them, giving them space to voice their opinions, thoughts and needs and to be properly listened to, is the most liberating thing someone can do for another human being. Treating that individual as a human person with a voice who knows what they want and helping them achieve what they need in an appropriate time frame gives them back their independence, dignity and helps them take back the appropriate rains in their own lives. Never suffocate someone by treating them the way you think they need to be helped. Ask how when and where you can help them with a listening ear and mindfulness that their needs and challenges will constantly be changing and evolving.

Equality doesn’t work. Equity is the way forward.

Why should we, as a community, suffer because society deems us as incapable, inadequate or unable to perform even the simplest of tasks? Our ‘disability’ does not make us any of these things. Yes, it means we face different challenges in life but many of them are created by living in a world and society that does not accept and accommodate the needs of all individuals.

Society is still so caught up on this very narrow bracket of what is considered ‘normal’ and if you don’t fit into that then you’re screwed.

Simple, easy to use and find accessibility features such as wide doorways, ramps or lifts for people with mobility issues, hearing loops for those with a hearing impairment, larger and easier to read print for those who have a visual impairment should be common practice but are woefully lacking in today’s society.

All these and a myriad of other issues make accessing the general community a bitch for anyone who has a ‘disability’. Why should we have to suffer, not be able to access things fully and feel like we can’t exceed and succeed because the wider community can’t pull their fingers out of their arses and realize that not every individual is the same and not every person with a ‘disability’ has the same issues.

It’s all well and good saying that a building or website or whatever else is accessible but it’s not always accessible to every individual. Every individual with a ‘disability’ is different and has different requirements for what will help them be successful in life.

It’s time we stopped talking about equality and focused more on equity. I have a visual impairment and therefore can only talk about and come from my own personal experiences. Not every person with a visual impairment or is blind has the same level of sight or sight loss. So why should we be lumped into one box and treated the same?

My sight may be drastically different from the next person who has exactly the same condition as me. It’s unfair and rather debilitating to be treated equally to someone has the same ‘disability’ as me. My needs and requirements that will see me succeed and live the most independent life possible won’t be the same as the next person with a visual impairment so why do people still think that a one size fits all approach is appropriate? No that is what can hold many people back.

We don’t all find the same techniques or aids appropriate or helpful. We all have our own way of moving forward in an appropriate manner that suits us. It’s about working with the individual to find out what is the most appropriate and comfortable way to help them.

Storytime begins here … yay:
When I was in mainstream secondary school I was given a whole host of help that was completely inappropriate to my needs. For example, I was always made to sit at the front of the class and was constantly asked what coloured pen I could read on the whiteboard. This was completely inappropriate because even sitting at the front of the class I could not see the whiteboard.
The number of times the school thought it appropriate to just blow up a page from a textbook on the photocopier was ridiculous. This made trying to read the grainy, often fuzzy page really difficult. It was more of a hindrance than a help because more often then not half the page would be eligible because of the grayscale that covered up half the words. It also meant that I was lugging around massive amounts of paper and had difficulty trying to order them sometimes.
I was also given a note taker for classes. Helpful you might ask? not really more often than not I couldn’t even read their handwriting so what was the actual point in that? All these accommodations were the school’s idea of giving me an equal opportunity to succeed in my academic life. However, I think it did the exact opposite more often than not.

As someone with a visual impairment, it is massively important to get work in a format that is appropriate and EASILY readable. I never got that in mainstream schooling. They may have treated me with their idea of equality but it was not appropriate. They often tried to tell me what would work for me and bearly ever took into consideration what I wanted or needed so they did not treat me with true equity. As a result, I became very disillusioned with education and didn’t do as well as I could have done in my GCSE years. I mean I’m not gonna lie I managed to pass all the GCSE’s that I did do I even managed to get a double B in my English GCSE but that’s not the point. If I had been listened to instead of dictated to by adults who thought they knew what was best for me I could have done a hell of a lot better.

This all comes down to a horrible lack of education about the diverse differences in disability even within each different type of disability. I can’t strain enough how important it is to work with the individual person to figure out what works and doesn’t work for them. No one likes being told what they can and must use to help aid them in life. So why is it acceptable to say that something is accessible or falls under equality laws when it is ultimately detrimental to more people then it is supposedly helping?

There needs to be a massive change in the way society perceives disability in order to become more accessible and accepting of all people and one way in which this can begin is creating a positive and diverse outlook on disability within the media as a whole.

As we all know media has a massive influence on peoples thoughts and opinions so why not do everything in its power to spin disability in a positive light? Now I’m not talking about calling us all inspirational for being able to leave our front doors because that is complete and utter bullshit. No, I’m talking about making people aware that we are normal people living normal lives that deserve to be treated like normal people. Yes, we need certain accommodations to help succeed and reach our full potential but that should become a normal part of everyday life for everyone disabled or not.

It shouldn’t be a scary, invasive or difficult thing to achieve. It’s societies lack of understanding, willingness to change and horrible misconceptions and miseducation that leads to so much red tape and difficulties for those of us who don’t fit into a perfect, neat little box of normality.

Well, all I can say to that is we are all normal as societies idealogical and stupid thought process of what is normal doesn’t actually exist. We are all our own normal and shouldn’t have to be something different to fit into a horribly narrow ideal. We deserve respect and the proper aid that we need to be our true authentic selves.

Stand up to discrimination!

I recently read an article about the struggles disabled fans have, accessing live music events. According to the article a whopping 82% of disabled live music goers, according to a report carried out by Attitude is Everything, have difficulty booking tickets to see their favourite artists live.

This does not surprise me in the least. Limited accessibility tickets and long and convoluted booking systems, whether it is by phone or online means many people with a disability may miss out on an unmissable experience.

Not only this but, untrained staff and poor understanding of the wide spectrum of disabilities means many people don’t have the exact experience they may have expected when booking expensive tickets.

Back in January of this year a friend and I travelled to Glasgow to see Paramore at the SSE Hydro. We both have severe visual impairments and had luckily managed to get two accessible seating tickets. However, Accessible seating means sitting very far back in spaces that could have been better used by others with mobility issues.

Therefore it was a loose loose situation. We were so far back that we couldn’t actually see the band properly and two people potentially couldn’t go and see the band because we had those tickets.

All in all, every aspect of accessibility and the whole booking process needs to be revamped.

It’s unfair for people with a sensory impairment to be lumped into the same category as those with a mobility issue. Those of us with a sensory impairment need to be closer to the stage to fully see or have a better chance of actually hearing the band and accessible seating needs to be saved for those with a disability that affects mobility.

Now, this may sound a bit discriminatory but in all fairness, it’s the truth. Equality can only go so far. The term Equity is a much better word that needs to be thrown into the mix. So what do they mean and what’s the difference?

Equality means treating everyone the same and equity, in this instance means giving each individual what they need to succeed. Not everyone with a disability has the exact same needs. Therefore it stands to reason that we shouldn’t be aiming for equality but aiming for equity.

Take my experience of seeing Paramore. My friend and I were treated with equality because we had accessible seating but that was to our disadvantage because we did not get a good view of the band. If we had managed to get standing tickets and been shown to the front by standards we would have been treated with Equity because we would have been given the specific help that met our specific needs.

So when you hear arena’s or festivals talking about accessibility they are coming from an Equality standpoint because it is easier to set things up in this respect. I can understand that in short amounts of time with all the organisation that goes on in setting up a big live music event it can be easier to come from this standpoint.

However, it is to the detriment of many many people who have a disability and want to attend a live event. Equality for the disabled community is nothing more than society trying to show that it is being considerate of the needs of others ‘less fortunate than themselves’.

Why should we settle for second best when we should be striving for gold? We each have individual needs that cannot be pigeonholed. Why should we be dictated to by others who have little to no understanding or regard for our respective needs and issues?

If it were them in the same situation they would surely be kicking up a fuss about how unfairly they are treated so why should we sit back and take it? Equity is about understanding ourselves as individuals and respecting what we need to be able to succeed and enjoy every aspect of life to the fullest. We, as a community, should never be lumped into one box for the convenience of others but stand up and gain what we need and deserve in order to strive.