Monday, 17 February 2014

Anti-social socialising

I am so sick of people using social media to abuse others.

Yesterday, someone tweeted prominent professor of classics Mary Beard "However, I would like M Beard to shut up, but as a woman I can say that". So I could have tweeted "Fuck off back to Closer magazine, you vapid eighth-wit!" in response and that would have been fine, because I'm packin' the double X, right?


I think those who use social media as a platform to abuse need pity rather than confrontation. They're probably very lonely, judging by their appalling views and personalities, and any kind of response to their abuse is giving them the attention they crave. Of course threats of violence, such as those made to short-track speed skater Elise Christie, should be dealt with swiftly by PC Plod. I hope those who are abusing Ms Christie have a cabinet full of Olympic medals, otherwise they're going to look really sad and pathetic.

Is it any wonder though, really? Professor Beard also made the point in her recent lecture about bad behaviour in Parliament, where women MPs are frequently heckled and shouted over when giving speeches or asking questions. Given the current front bench are almost exclusively men educated way above their intellect and instilled with the arrogance of their born to rule class, shouting at women is easy. God knows running a country competently is way beyond their abilities. This circus of blaming the poor, sick, disabled and unBritish for the mistakes of the bankers isn't washing anymore, but I'm sure they're plotting who to spit venom at next, ably assisted by their toxic lapdogs The Daily Mail and The Daily Express. Has anyone been on The Daily Mail's website today? Just wondering who they're calling fat or old, or which 14-year-old daughter of a celebrity is getting the "leggy lovely" treatment. Probably two pages after their latest hysterical piece on paedophiles hiding up every tree. Don't worry, parents, they're just Daily Mail photographers. Then we have the likes of Katie Hopkins, who seems to be employed by television producers solely to troll those she feels are beneath her, as if having a kid called Tyler is worse than fucking a married man in a field. She seems quite proud of her status as husband-stealer, but once a cheat always a cheat and in ten years' time she could well be catching him in a field with a hot 20-year-old. Karma is a beautiful thing. With politics, the press and television swimming in the sludge of contempt for others, is it any wonder inadequates feel comfortable abusing people on social media?

But women have a role to play in silencing other women as well, as our friend in the second paragraph shows. I was told frequently by other women that I should hide my intelligence because men would find it intimidating. I'm not interested in men who are intimidated by intelligent women. Sure, I could giggle and twirl my hair but where would that get me? As soon as I started talking about Star Wars the game would be pretty much up. The women who told me that based their entire worth on getting a man. They judged themselves purely by who they were married to, as if standing on their own would have them marked out as some kind of weirdo. Never mind that most of them were in desperately unhappy relationships, because God forbid you be happier alone than with a man. Of course, given my current situation they were probably right, but stuffing down my opinions so a poor widdle empty-headed man doesn't feel fweatened is just not my problem. How many women have stuck themselves with a total bore because they won't admit they know all the answers on Pointless? Quite a few I expect.

So men abuse women online because they're inadequate, and women abuse women online because they want to show how feminine they are by not using big words and trying to shut up women who do. Well, as ever, it's not that simple. What we really have to address is when "feminine" became synonymous with "dumb" for some people, and why some men feel so powerless and lost as women slowly but surely rise up to meet them. If their masculinity is based on femininity being subordinate, then there are going to be more and more inadequate men turning up to abuse others. I do pity them, and hope they can find a peace within themselves. As for my sisters, they should probably give back their equal pay and maternity rights if feminism bothers them that much. Somehow I doubt it does.

Sunday, 9 February 2014

The trouble with misery

I've never done anything successful in my life. Most people have. They've got a degree or found a job they love (or can at least cheerfully tolerate). They've found someone to spend their life with, maybe had a kid or two. Bought a house or a car or have a nice holiday every year. It depends how you measure success, I suppose. But by any measure other than "Breathed in and out every day", my life is just a long string of failure.

I am so unhappy just now. So angry and frustrated and annoyed with myself. Why can't I just go and do something good, something worthwhile, instead of lying in bed all day crying because my electricity's about to run out and I haven't eaten properly for a week? The worst part is there's no end in sight. I can't even get an interview let alone a job. Most of the time I can't even get an acknowledgement of my application. I dread Mondays, when the jobhunting starts again and I throw my CV down the internet job black hole, to semi-literate agency workers looking for "administartors" with good attention to detail, and presumably some idea of how to work a fucking spellcheck. To say nothing of the ones illegally demanding a car (against the Disability Discrimination Act because they're saying "We don't want anyone blind, epileptic, diabetic or with some heart conditions") or the agencies so financially precarious (or trying to exclude the unemployed) they want me to pay for my own criminal record check. It's "only" £25 they say. Might as well be £250 for all I can afford it.

Between bank charges, trying to keep my lights on, waiting for my internet and mobile phone to be cut off, and wondering if I'm ever going to have any kind of financial freedom ever again I am exhausted. Completely worn out. So demoralised that I go to sleep hoping I'll wake up with another life. Or maybe there'll be a job offer, or maybe I'll find £20 in the street. Then in the morning it takes me half an hour to talk myself into opening my eyes to the same old shit, because those things never happen. I just wake up as me again. In the same place. With nothing there.

I go along cheerily enough and most of the time no one can tell anything's wrong but inside I am screaming. I am so terrified - I can't survive many months of this. Most of the time I just want to go under quietly, just turn into an unthinking unfeeling shell who drifts through life with no idea what's happening. I try to be grateful for the things I have - my wee flat, my bed, my friends, but I understand why people end up addicted to stuff. I'm most grateful I can't afford to get addicted to stuff. I'll have to give up smoking which is just about my only pleasure in life. All because some faceless employer doesn't want me. But who does when someone's as miserable as I am? That's where the vicious circle kicks in.

I do try so hard to be positive. But right now I can't do it. I'm going to bed hungry again and the money I'm getting on Tuesday is all gone before I even see it. But maybe something will happen. Maybe one single good thing will happen. Or maybe I'll find out things can get worse.