Philosophy is Making A Meme-Based Comeback

Who said Facebook meme pages weren’t genuinely educational?

Today I learned about Peter Singer, the controversial utilitarian philosopher and professor, through the legendary and ultra-specific Trolley Problem Memes Facebook page:

Continue reading “Philosophy is Making A Meme-Based Comeback”

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Looking after working and service dogs in the extreme heat

Interesting guide to managing the unique service dog relationship through the hot weather we’re having right now.

Scope's Blog

Amit Patel is a speaker for Guide Dogs. He’s guided by Kika – who has become *very* popular on social media.

Unfortunately, Kika’s been having a few problems recently, coping with the hot weather – so Amit writes about his experiences below, and adds some tips for keeping your dog cool in the summer heat.

We can’t control the weather

As a Guide Dog owner, I know full well that the weather is one of those things that you cannot control and can really throw your routine out of the window. Extreme weather is challenging, whether it’s really hot or really cold, it will have an impact on your dog and how they work. But you can prepare for it.

In winter, there is the constant worry of grit getting in a dogs paws (the salt can burn them) and snow covering the ground means that a Guide Dog…

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Most People Are Bricks: Lowering Expectations

Most people don’t know what they are talking about, they are thick as bricks, myself included.

If only more of us realised this, we would be a bit kinder to each other, expect less of each other, and work better together.

We wouldn’t follow people down the wrong track, we’d be aware of their limitations and our own.

Politeness

It’s not polite to call people bricks, or stupid, or close-minded, or arrogant, or ignorant. Some of those phrases even stir up notions of ableism (“stupid”), a whole other can of worms. Continue reading “Most People Are Bricks: Lowering Expectations”

The difference between poverty and poverty tourism? You’ll never live like common people. — Cooking on a Bootstrap

Every now and again, a minor celebrity or institution will announce that they are ‘challenging themselves’ to ‘be poor for a day’ in order to raise awareness of the plight of people living in poverty in the UK. Sometimes this is done through charitable initiatives such as Live Below The Line, which I have done…

via The difference between poverty and poverty tourism? You’ll never live like common people. — Cooking on a Bootstrap

True Life: I was a SJW University Student

Hi there.

Back in university, I managed to become the president of the feminism society. I’ve told people about it so much since then it feels like a meme, but in reality I was mega-stoked. It was one of my proudest moments, I felt relevant, I felt empowered, I felt challenged.

Flash forward to today. It’s 4 years later. My university events and “debates” we organised feel like distant irrelevant memories. At the time we were so proud of ourselves, making feminism bigger on campus, meeting with the Student Union to talk about fighting Lad Culture by reaching out to the sports teams as if that wouldn’t be offensive…

The-Inbetweeners-lr3.jpg
Image from YouGov’s Report on Lad Culture. Seriously.

Continue reading “True Life: I was a SJW University Student”

Diet Culture: We Are At A (Fat) Crossroads

Everyone knows about the horror of yo-yo dieting and fad diets and most people have been on diets for years, on and off. Even BMI, the holy grail of “health” vs “weight” used by the NHS, was really designed in the 19th century only to measure statistical averages in the population, and people are starting to doubt its usefulness for individuals.  Meanwhile, Weight Watchers still has a turnover of $267.4 million a year, despite being a treadmill that’s almost impossible to stay on…

diet culture
So where are we really at?

Let me paint you a picture of how confused and conflicted our society is becoming about the F-Word (…fat!), diets and beauty.

Continue reading “Diet Culture: We Are At A (Fat) Crossroads”

I didn’t know I had OCD. Here’s why the stereotypes are so harmful.

Psychiatric disorders aren’t always simple or easily diagnosed…

Let's Queer Things Up!

Eight years ago, I was misdiagnosed with bipolar disorder.

I didn’t completely fill those shoes, but after spending so many years struggling, I was just relieved to have a label — any label — to help me make sense of things. And when none of the medications seemed to work, they told me I was borderline. While I had a nagging feeling that wasn’t exactly right, either, I didn’t know what else it could be.

I was passed around the mental health system, with clinicians throwing their hands up, unsure of why I wasn’t responsive to any of the therapy or medication they offered me.

At one time, I was on seven different psychiatric medications, and yet I was still reporting that I felt deeply hopeless and anxious.

When I was hospitalized a second time, included among my discharge papers was a handout about personality disorders, emphasizing that…

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I Was One of the Scary Kids

The stigma we attach to people who are mentally ill or neurodivergent has human consequences and we need to listen.

Cracked Mirror in Shalott

Content note: ableism, stigmatization of Autistics and other PWDs, the Sandy Hook shooting

I didn’t want to write about the shootings at all. I knew a number of people (who I’ll link to throughout this post) and organizationswould be posting and writing, working to counter the inevitable stigma fail that would happen. I even was keeping to commenting on the links of people I care about, people who I know and who I want to have these sorts of discussions with. Then, it happened. I’ll leave the critiques of the post gawker promoted toothers, but I feel obligated to make a comment about some of the assumptions it is based on and promotes.

That comment starts with a declaration: I was one of those scary kids.

It’s not some great proud thing to say. It’s a truth, a truth that when I reveal it makes people…

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No Winners? It’s Not About Winning

Read Part 1 and Part 2 here!


Abandoning the idea of winning people over? On the internet? What is this heresy!

One of the heralded values of the internet is the freedom of speech and thought and self expression on it, but what is the point of self-expression if no one is going to be convinced?

We need, as individuals and “content creators” (however small scale that is; your Facebook status is miniature “content”) to adjust our goals.

Continue reading “No Winners? It’s Not About Winning”

It ain’t what you say…

I wanted to be able to find this again more easily. Men said, women *adjectived*; it matters.

language: a feminist guide

Women/ Rabbit rabbit rabbit women/ Tattle and titter/ Women prattle/ Women waffle and witter/ Men talk. Men talk.

These are the opening lines of ‘Men Talk’, a rap poem by the incomparable Liz Lochhead (you can watch her performing the whole thing here). It’s built around the familiar lexicon of disparaging terms for women’s speech: words like ‘rabbit’, ‘prattle’ and ‘witter’, which represent women’s talk as excessive, trivial and inane; and words like ‘gossip’ and ‘nag’, which represent it as malign and spiteful.

But those words are only the tip of the iceberg. If you look at the way the act of speaking is described in everything from news reports to Great Literature, you’ll soon discover that it’s persistently represented in stereotypically gendered and sexist ways.

The most neutral way to describe the act of speaking is by using the generic verb ‘say’. ‘X said’ is the reported speech…

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