Tuesday, July 20th, 2010

miss_s_b: (Mood: Not London)
Here is a selection of the brick walls I am currently beating my head against:
  1. Fragmentation. The people I love all live so far apart, and I can afford neither the time nor the travel costs to visit them all as much as I would like - or in some cases, at all. Happy birthday, bruv.

  2. Cashlessness in general. I want to flattr people. I want to give money to good causes. I want to take my daughter to the pictures every so often. I want to buy a round of drinks for my mates after karate. I want some new shoes. I want to go to the dentist with my broken tooth. I can afford none of these things.

  3. Work. I am working a six day week this week. I won't get to see as much of my daughter or Mat as I would like. At the end of it, I will still be struggling to pay the rent.

  4. Londoncentricness. If you don't live in London, you don't matter. Not to the media, not to parliament, not to the Lib Dems... The convenience of those who live in London matters far more than including or consulting or even noticing those of us who don't, it seems.

  5. Sexism. The kyriarchy is systemic and all-pervading, and I haven't got the spoons to fight it all by myself, however much I might want to.

  6. Lack of Sleep. For various reasons I am not getting the amount or quality of sleep I require. This makes me cranky, and when I get cranky, I shout at people who are only being mildly annoying.

  7. Health Issues. My depression has been acting up, I am tired (see #6), my immune system is suppressed by both of these things, and that makes things I would normally shrug off (a food bug, or a cold) suddenly become a big deal

  8. Responsibility. I have a daughter, two dogs, and various other family things which I ought to pay more attention to than I do.

  9. Trying to keep up. My inbox currently stands at over 800 emails, 325 of which are unread. I have been skim reading my f-lists for weeks.
I could go on, but I think you get the picture. I'm close to burnout here, people. I need some time off, away from all this, to relax, unwind, and recharge. I haven't had a full week off work since before Christmas, and I'm not going to get one until September, and that's for Conference, and I haven't got my ticket for conference yet because I can't afford it. I'm pissed off with everything right now. I am fighting and fighting and fighting day in and day out, and I am barely keeping afloat, and I am so, so tired.

So if I'm a little short with you (insert your own joke here), or if I miss your blog post, or if I don't contribute to something I have told you I'd like to, don't take it personally. Deal?

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miss_s_b: (Default)
Thank you to everyone who commented on my last post. I am not sure there's anything more any of you lot can do to help, other than being the fabulous lovely people you already are. Offering me work is no good because I haven't got the time or the spoons to do it; offering me free money just makes me feel like a sponging shit, and I already owe so much money anyway... Offering hugs is great, though, and much appreciated, especially from my two big beardy comfort blankets and the delicious [personal profile] magister, who delivered me a Rumpole box set yesterday ♥.

However bad things are for me, though, they aren't as bad as they are for Florence and Precious Mhango, who are facing deportation back to an abusive situation and being separated. The thought of someone trying to take my Holly away from me fills me with a visceral terror that I can't even begin to describe, and the idea that Florence and her daughter will be taken away from their adopted city and their friends by pettyfogging bureaucracy fills me with rage. Caron has been posting lots about this, and I encourage you to 1, read her posts, and 2, Do Something, if you can. Even if it's just writing to Theresa May (the postcode entered there is of Barclays Bank on Maidenhead high street, btw ;)).

Other links of interest:

- Everybody point and laugh at Rupert Murdoch, who can hear the tumbleweed blowing through his webservers, and probably a bell tolling in the distance.

- and while you're doing that, point and laugh at Daily Fail readers and their obsessions, depicted here in the form of an Underground map.

- of course sometimes PoliticalCorrectnessGawnMAAAAAAAAAAAAAAD actually has a basis in fact...

- How sexism hurts men too, and why we should all care about it.

- what's the difference between civil partnership and marriage?

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miss_s_b: (Mood: Not London)
(this entry composed on my phone, so formatting will likely not be very polished. Apologies for that)

It's all about the adversarial mindset, baby. Every question is binary, Either/or, yes/no, you win I lose.

Is London the centre of the universe? If the only possible answers are yes or no, then everyone who lives in london is bound to say yes, ESPECIALLY people who have moved there from elsewhere, after all, why would you put up with the squalor and the crampedness and the horrendous expense and the faff if it wasn't? The number of people who buy into the myth is a reinforcement to all the others, and everybody admires the emperor's new clothes. Meanwhile, those of us who live in the provinces resent the Londoners for getting all the money, all the attention, etc. We particularly resent the refusal of those who live in london to travel outside it - if it's the centre of the universe, after all, by definition nothing that happens outside london can be important - despite the fact that you can get to my house by train faster from king's cross than you can get from one side of london to the other.

What if we didn't think in this binary, adversarial fashion. What if we accepted that, despite it's wonders, there are legitimate valid reasons for people to live outside of London, and they don't deserve to be completely excluded from all decision-making as a punishment for this? Well, of course, intellectually, people claim that they DO accept this, and they get offended when you point out that their behaviour says otherwise. London-dweller logic is like smoker logic. If coming to meetings in london is difficult for you, the solution is easy - move to london! Etc.

How does all this apply to sexism, then? The same tendency towards binary thinking can be seen affecting gender balance. Intellectually, everybody knows that all people are individuals and deserve to be assessed on their own merits, but we can't help but be embedded with stereotypes. Women are better at some stuff, men are better at others, and the fact that the difference between members of each group is always orders of magnitude bigger than the difference between the average man and the average woman doesn't impact on most people's belief that because the average woman is better at x than the average man then THIS PARTICULAR woman must be better at x than this particular man... It takes a huge weight of evidence on the part of the disadvantaged party to get people to believe that they really ARE good at x, and they have to do the convincing every single time. And the othe similarity is that if you point out to someone who doesn't believe themselves to be sexist that they are behaving in a way that supports and reinforces this system, they get incredibly offended... And don't even get me started on racism, the very definitionn of us-or-them thinking.

I don't know what the solution to any of this is. But I'm a liberal, so I believe that there must be one, and it must be one that it is possible to persuade people to adopt.

Or perhaps I've just found another brick wall to beat my head against...

About This Blog

Hello! I'm Jennie (known to many as SB, due to my handle, or The Yorksher Gob because of my old blog's name). This blog is my public face; click here for a list of all the other places you can find me on t'interwebs.

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