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A few thoughts about london pride 2016

25 Jun

Fuck mainstream pride
Fuck the straight homophobes (ie most london pride attendees)
Fuck the police
Fuck the god damn military
Fuck the colonialist racism
Fuck the violent misogyny
Fuck the islamaphobia and antisemitism
And fuck the people that tolerate it.

Sick of my social media right now. Full of straight people at the Starbucks no filter photobooth and a viral picture of a police man proposing.

London pride doesn’t make me proud.

Pride is a Protest! Pride is radical love, for yourself and fellow queers. Pride is anti-fascist, decolonial and feminist. Pride is ACAB!

I don’t have a problem with mainstream pride being a party, I have a problem with it being so exclusive it is impossible to show real solidarity to fellow queers.

Where do my undocumented queers go?
Where do my queers observing shabbat or fasting for Ramadan go?
Where do my queers suffering ptsd from state violence go?
My transfeminine queers, my poor queers, my disabled queers?

London Pride doesn’t make me proud, it makes me scared and angry.

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If I were PM for the day

4 Dec

This is Lilipop. Today the BBC Women’s Hour twitter asked for 13-18 year olds to say what they would do if they were PM for the day. Sadly I could only submit 1000 characters so I thought I would post my complete email here! This is an incomplete list and of course there are 10000000000000000000 other things I would do but here are the basics.

 

If we are talking realistically there is absolutely nothing significant I could do in a day as PM apart from restock the stationary cupboard or something because bureaucracy and the PM does not have absolute power however, here is a list of the absolute emergency things I would change is I had unfettered power in the UK.

 

  • Address the horrific amount of people forced to rely on foodbanks and charities to feed themselves and their children.

 

  •  Implement a citizens wage

 

  • Politician with private interests would not be allowed to vote on things that affected those interest for example a politician who owned a medical company would not be able to vote on certain NHS bills.

 

  • Address the soaring numbers of homeless people, specifically children, as a stable home is the base line of helping people help themselves

 

  • Increase the minimum wage by at least two pounds an hour but possibly more.

 

  • Tackle the SHAMEFUL amount of corporate tax dodging

 

  • Do proper research into education and teaching and then come up with a curriculum that is accessible to all children and most importantly approved and implemented by professionals and not on a hunch or what worked for me at school.

 

Then there is my To Nationalise list, in no particular order, that will be paid for by increasing taxes on the rich and a crack down on tax evasion but also investment and high wages that will help the economy flourish as people have more disposable income and more stable jobs:

•transport •health and dental care •energy (production and distribution) •water •libraries •legal representation •care work/carers •education (all the way up to university) •internet access •telecommunications •pensions •postal service

All of these will be done only after proper research and planning by skilled experts and professionals so that all of these can benefit the public to the fullest extent. No matter what everyone deserves a warm home, enough to eat and all the education they need to make their own way in life. Children are starving in Britain today and it is quick frankly sickening all of this hateful, dehumanising propaganda the government puts out about “benefit scroungers” and similarly vile terms to turn us against the most needy in society whilst giving themselves and their mates tax breaks and total market control.

WE JUST CARE SOOOOOOOOOOOO MUCH

13 Oct

This is Lilipop and today I wanted to talk a bit about tokenising of women and women based campaigns because I think it a thing that happens a lot without us even realising it. I thought it would be particularly relevant because this is Breast Cancer Awareness Month and there has been a lot of prominent tokenising recently, not just of breast cancer, and I think we need to recognise it. Breast cancer and Malala Yousafzai are two perfect examples of how our patriarchal, capitalist society tokenises, particularly, women and women’s campaigns. Both get incredible amounts of media coverage and public sympathy, the news and internet has been full of breast cancer awareness campaigns like “Save the Tata’s” and people talking about just how amaaaaaaazing and inspirational Malala Yousafzai is but what are we actually doing about either of these?

Although breast cancer is of course a very serious disease and I send all of my best wishes to anyone suffering with it, how is “raising awareness” of an extremely well known and publicised disease actually helping people who suffer breast cancer? And may I just say, “Save the Tata’s”?? I THINK WE SHOULD BE MORE WORRIED ABOUT THE PEOPLE NOT THE BOOBS and what kind of word is tata anyway. This reminds me a lot of when Angelina Jolie very bravely got a double mastectomy because of her very high risk of breast cancer, which is a thing many women have to go through and it was great to see a celebrity talking about it publicly however then the vulture misogynist descended. People were mourning the lose of her boobs and saying how they think she is selfish for “taking her boobs away from them” – I’m sorry what? I was under the impression that women are actually people and we should be worried about saving them rather than the lumps of fat on their chests? Also for fucks sake, those are Angelina’s boobs to do whatever the fuck she wants with them, it is none of your fucking business what she does with them, they are not yours to admire so shut up. We make such a song and a dance about raising awareness for breast cancer but wearing pink for a day or not wearing a bra for a day does not actually do anything for people with breast cancer. We tokenise breast cancer as this women’s disease and all the campaigns and ads and (capitalist, profitmaking) charity to make ourselves feel better like “look at what we are doing for all these poor poor women folk who need our help, aren’t we great” but actually the survival rate for breast cancer is actually 90% which is exceptionally high but the next most common cancer in women, lung cancer, is almost completely ignored. Lung cancer has a 16% survival rate which means that an estimated 95 people a day die from lung cancer a day compared to the 32 from breast cancer. It is awful that anyone is dying from these disease but tokenising them with pointless campaigns and universal media coverage to make ourselves feel better that we are doing something to help them, is not actually helping anyone.

Something similar can be said about Malala Yousafzai’s campaign for education for girls in Pakistan. Malala is an amazing girl and the work that she and hundreds of other girls around the region is invaluable. The work Malala has done is freaking amazing but the way we in the west are treating her and marketing her to a western audience is sickening. We are making her into this symbol, celebrity almost. As a she is a Girl of Colour, our society is used to hyper-objectifying her. We listen to her speeches, read about what she is doing, our politians and media outlets hold her up as a hero but, again, what are we actually doing to help? Nothing. In fact we are doing something much much worse than nothing, we are sending drones, bombs and violence over there that not only actively stops girls going to school because it is dangerous but it kills them as well. We are holding Malala and her work up on a pedestal, patting our selves on the back for saving the poor little girl from her terrible terrible life. We ignore all of the other girls that are just as radical and brilliant as Malala who are also campaigning for education, as well as a myriad of other things like child marriage, childbirth mortality rate, crippling poverty and corruption. We already have our trophy girl, Malala, to CARE SOOOOOOOO FUCKING MUCH about and make us feel fab about ourselves so why should we give a shit about the other stuff? I can just see the Malala merchandise now.

I would like to stress that I think Malala is amazing and breast cancer is definitely a worthy cause to support but I just hate the way that they are tokenised and held up by our media and politicians to make us feel good about ourselves. The way that our society markets both of these makes me feel sick and especially the way people are capitalise on causes such as these. The point I’m trying to get across is that these things should not be taken in isolation, and that to fully help people with breast cancer, or people who are suffering from the war in Pakistan, we must not ignore the wider issues and take these ‘trendy’ people as tokens for the much wider struggle. People are getting shit even when it’s not fashionable, shock horror!

A good link: cancer is not sexy

The “Burka Ban”

22 Sep

Hello everyone! This is Lilipop here. I wanted to talk about banning the niqab and burka because a college in Birmingham (read more here) did just that and it seems to have kicked off a national debate and most recently the far right party UKIP making a policy vowing to “ban the burka”.

Straight off there are the recurring problems that seem to happen when any marginalised group’s rights are “debated”. I am seeing and awful lot of white male politians opinions but not a whole lot of Muslim women’s opinions  even though they are the only people this is really going to affect! Sigh, sigh, sigh. This reminds me so much of when abortion is “debated” by white male politians; your opinions do not really matter unless you are a member of the group who’s rights are being restricted. Of course it would be massively hypocritical of me to say that and not have the opinion of a muslim women here and also my opinion doesn’t really matter so my friend Anisha very kindly wrote a bit for this blog about what she thinks of the “burka ban debate”:

Recently in the headlines there has been a consistent reappearance of political matter concerning the possible ban of the burqa.

The burqa commonly referred to as ‘chadri’ in countries located in Central Asia is a symbolic garment within the Muslim culture; it acts as a facially concealing garment allowing a less fabricated/ sheer section around the eyes to allow sight for the female.

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Anisha

Alongside the burqa there is the niqab in which the ‘veil’ us attached onto one side transforming the head scarf into a niqab, this is the okay commonly worn  version of the ‘veil’ in London, which political leaders are

mistakenly confusing for burqas which are fully fabricated garments with a sheer fabric located in the position of the eyes.

Never the less back I my opening statement, there has been a constant appearance of the burqa and the niqab in the news regarding the ban of the Islamic based garment.

As a Muslim teenager who has grown up my whole life in London I would like to say I completely disagree with the ban of the burqa/ niqab it is unnecessary, disrespectful and without a doubt degrading to the people of the Islamic community. I am in a state of disbelief with the MP’s and hope they take into account the possible effects this ban could have on the Islamic community alongside the people of Britain who are supporting Muslims through this terribly distressing period of time.

2 hours later  after the decision of the Muslim ‘veil’ ban being reversed:

After hearing the news I have decided to write up on this morally degrading issue which I was previously frantically ranting about.

Following the news of UKIP reversing the ban I am thrilled with the fact that they have had a change of mind set and have decided to completely scrap the ridiculous ban 3 years after proposing the total ban of ‘covering faces in both public places and buildings ‘.

I wish to believe that future MP’s will not make any drastic bans related to the publics religions and beliefs, such as the disgusting ban on burqas / niqabs.

-Anisha Namuli, 15.

Here is a list of other piece by Muslim women on the “burka ban”:

http://talatyaq.wordpress.com/2013/09/13/burkha-banning-an-insult-to-freedom-and-feminism/

http://www.thefword.org.uk/blog/2013/09/the_veil_debate

http://www.scotsman.com/news/uk/dani-garavelli-niqabs-in-the-public-eye-1-3105790

http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2013/sep/21/dont-ban-veil-in-uk

I also just wanted to point out some very disturbing arguments that are being made for banning the burka and niqab which I have seen a few white non-muslim women who call themselves feminists using. One of these arguments is that the burka and niqab is a symbol of female oppression and that many women are forced to wear them, this is despite the many women speaking out against the banning saying they want to wear them. This is a huge and ignorant case of taking agency away from Muslim women. These people are ignoring the voices of the Muslim women, the people who will be effected by the ban, and instead imposing upon them their own theories on what these women are experiencing. They are ignoring lived experience! They are also refusing to acknowledge the fact that Muslim women, and here’s a crazy idea, MAY ACTUALLY BE ABLE TO MAKE THEIR OWN DESISIONS *gasp*.  Another argument that is so so so so so WRONG is that people “want to be able to see their beautiful faces” and so should not be able to wear burka’s or niqabs OH MY JAM LIKE SERIOUSLY! I have heard this from women as well as men. I wonder if they realise they are saying that they think their perceived right to see and essentially turn women into objects is more important than these women’s right to wear whatever the fuck they want. This is usually called the Male Gaze I think and it is hugely sexist as it is basically dehumanising the women on the receiving end of the Gaze. It is also quite ironic as one of the points of wearing a hijab, burka or niqab is to control what other people can see and stop people judging and objectifying women based on their appearance.

I am, of course, talking from a position of privilege here so please, please point out to me the things I have said wrong in this. If you have anything else to add or another link to pieces by Muslim women feel free to share.

Capitalism, can you not.

11 Sep

A bit of a rant about capitalism from Lilipop. I didn’t even spell check so sorry for mistake and I would just like to emphasise this is not meant to make any sense!

I don’t even think I can fucking live in a capitalist society any more. My entire worth, the only thing that is valuable about a person is their earning potential. FUCKING PRIVITISATION. Our system is being Americanised faster than anyone realises but WHY. Its not like the American system is working in America, more children are living on or below the poverty line each year, politians think that’s its fine and dandy to leave people starving on the streets (“They have the choice of paying for their own houses food and medical care” go fuck yourself) social mobility is a fucking joke. We have this idea in the UK of the US as a shining golden meritocracy lolz no. Privatisation just means more and more and more and more money stagnating at the top 0.01% of the super rich elite. Productivity is soaring, record highs, however wages are plummeting in real terms! I don’t even know if I believe in wage labour and to be honest I don’t really know that much about all the socialist communist anarchist stuff but I know that when it is even a debatable topic for people to not have basic food and housing THERE IS A FUCKING PROBLEM. I just don’t understand, I really really don’t. HOW WHYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY do people think that it is acceptable for people in as developed countries as the UK and US to not have medical care? Oh and another thing. People, they are privatising our legal system. This means we are just going to have some kind of factory justice system. People wont get to choose who represents them in court and as legal aid is being slashed to a REDICULOUS degree a lot of the time people wont have any legal aid. And again, people are living without medical care and it is somehow a debatable topic???

This is in no way comprehensible and I am not an expert on any of this but I don’t think I can deal for another minute without crying so this.

Is the same sex marriage bill shit on purpose?

22 May

Is the same sex marriage bill shit on purpose?.

I just thought this is a really interesting take on the shitty “equal-marriage bill” by the ever wonderful stavvers.

The Abolition of the NHS

29 Mar

Hello,

So in case you don’t know, The Health and Social Care Act was passed on the 27th March 2013.

THIS IS A BAD THING (in my opinion)

“Wow Lilipop” I hear you say “That’s a bit strong, how bad can it be?”

Well, very bad. The most crucial thing you need to know about this bill is that it takes away the right to universal health care in the UK. This means that the government no longer has a duty to provide health care for the public. This means, after the 1st of April, there will no longer be an NHS.

“er WHAT” I hear you exclaim “THIS IS AWFUL WHY HAVE I NOT HEARD OF THIS?!”

You have not heard of this because NO MAJOR NEWS NETWORK HAS REPORTED THE ABOLITION OF THE NHS. According to newspapers with page 3’s, boobs are bigger news (they aren’t).

What the Act means

Like most things in politics, the actual bill is incomprehensible without a lot of hard reading and previous knowledge (or a friend to explain it all) but if you want to have a look at it, here it is

And here is my brief sum-up

  • The Secretary of State will no longer have the duty to provide health care. This means the government is no longer accountable for the health service and make it difficult for the Secretary of State to step in should the new, independent groups provide substandard care. Now there is no one responsible to provide a service people need, the health service will become nothing more than a string on independent services governed by and unelected official, basically free to get on with making money. Also, because the government is no longer responsible for health care, there will no longer be government regulators or watchdogs. Instead they will be controlled by the companies that are providing the services making watchdogs much more likely to be influenced or bias. This means all the responsiblity of providing health care for the UK will be shifted from the government to private companies, GPs and unelected commissioners.
  • The National Health Service will now be opened to completion laws. The Act brings in several measures that are meant to increase market competition, making the health care market like a utility such as gas. Private health care companies with lots of lawyers and legal expertise are much more likely to exploit these new laws to make a profit rather than charities that want to provide a good quality service. These competition laws also open up what is left of the NHS to stealth privatisation. The Act will leave the system massively in favour of private health companies but there is no legislation against private health companies buying up services which makes it almost impossible for what remains of the NHS to provide basic services such as A&E or intensive care units.

BUT WHAT DOES THIS ACTUALLY MEAN FOR ME?

This doesn’t mean that immediately when you wake up on the 2nd of April you will no longer be able to receive health care. What it does mean is the death of comprehensive heath care. Comprehensive health care is all illnesses and everyone will be treated. This means if you are rich but have a small or minor illness you will get treated better or faster than someone with less money but a much more serious illness. The Faculty of Public Health’s risk assessment warns of 1) loss of a comprehensive health service, 2) increased costs, 3) reduced quality of care, 4) widening health inequalities. This Act paves the way for a for a health system more like the American model, where, if you can not afford health insurance, you do not get treated.

I am personally furious. Fuming.

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