Why I Left Tumblr, And How It Saved Me

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This blog started as a way to put all my social justice energy somewhere it could stand apart from Tumblr.com.

This is the story of why I left it, and why I’m still forever grateful.

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What is Tumblr?

Tumblr is both a leftist Discourse hell and a positive self-love heaven.

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People who know of the site are either addicted to it, repulsed, or both.

It’s a self-loathing, sarcastic, special website. To me, nowhere else on the internet can compare.

Tumblr’s main reputation is as the home of the “SJW”; the social justice warrior, but luckily, I can’t find an image for that right now. It’s the inspiration for this blog name!

Continue reading “Why I Left Tumblr, And How It Saved Me”

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Why Street Begging is so uncomfortable.

I want to unpack the question of the awkwardness around homelessness.

First, there is a legal definition of homeless, and a social/moral one.

The legal definition includes not having a permanent home or place of residence. Within homeless there’s a spectrum ranging from hotel to hostel to the street. Charities work at all levels; providing emergency hostels, soup kitchens at one end, and employment and legal advice on the other.

The archetypal awkward homelessness situation is specifically about a homeless person, on the street, asking for change. It is a very familiar situation to a lot of people.

People who have begged/panhandled for money routinely say how difficult and emotionally draining it is. Conversations tend to focus on the impact of giving cash; is it beneficial? Answers fall into two camps. The official line from most charities and from the police force is that cash is dangerous, exploitable, and doesn’t address the route of the problem.

Continue reading “Why Street Begging is so uncomfortable.”

If your ‘suicide prevention’ isn’t talking about the mental health system, you’re missing the point.

If you care about mental health and suicide prevention; read this right now.
“It’s as though we’ve seen someone having a heart attack, but we start asking what they had for dinner the night before, or kicking ourselves for not offering them aspirin that morning.”

Let's Queer Things Up!

As both a suicide attempt and loss survivor, I need to climb up onto my soapbox for a minute.

Suicide attempts, from a “preventative” standpoint, are rarely, if ever, as easily prevented as calling a hotline or a loved one. “Reaching out” — while incredibly important — is not the be-all-end-all of preventative strategies.

Especially considering the fact that many of us have a history of asking for help, and not getting the care that we needed.

I understand the impulse to ask, “Didn’t they know they could call me?” I asked myself that many times when I lost one of my best friends earlier this year. But this shows a very big misunderstanding of the emotional experience that many suicide attempt survivors have described.

Speaking from my own experience, when you are in a very acute amount of emotional distress, your thought process is not as linear…

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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…

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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…

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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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