I’ve been wanting to write another blog post recently, but I have been really busy – mostly sleeping, but also organising a little event to try and raise money for CCUK. However, it’s half 11 on a Thursday night and I’m feeling too annoyed to sleep, so I decided that my blog had to be my platform to rant it out. There have been too many issues in the media recently which have highlighted just how significant inequality still is in 2016. It angers me how little progress, it seems, has actually been made in disability rights and women’s rights with many people’s mindsets still reverting to the 1900’s. So here I go…
First of all, the ignorance surrounding inflammatory bowel disease never fails to astound me. Only this week there have been numerous instances that have received media coverage, including a teenager being refused access to a toilet in McDonald’s despite showing his ‘Can’t Wait’ card (a card given to sufferers from CCUK, to show that they need urgent access to a toilet). This, in short, really got to me, because I know what it is like to be in the situation of urgently needing the toilet in a public place, and knowing that you are seconds away from an accident, which is not only anxiety inducing, but also mortifying. The last thing you would need in that situation is to be ESCORTED out of McDonald’s for trying to use the toilet… I can only imagine the humiliation felt by Liam Seacombe in such a horrible situation. As if the crippling pain he was most likely feeling wasn’t enough to suffer with, he had to deal with the humiliation of being removed from the building, and probably the embarrassment of having an accident because he was denied the right to use the toilet. I cannot even begin to comprehend a human being’s mentality to turn down somebody who is quite clearly suffering and in need of the toilet. There is no wonder so many people with IBD prefer to be in misery, isolated and imprisoned in their own homes to avoid situations like this. It is wrong and should not still be happening in 2016.
Another great ‘joke’ covered by the media at the moment has also been stomas. A stoma is a surgical opening in the front of your tummy to divert either poo or wee into a bag. This is a major, life saving operation for many people with IBD, whose bowels are too diseased to function like they should. For many sufferers, if it wasn’t for their bag, they wouldn’t be here to live their lives. And yet, apparently, that is both disgusting and hilarious for other people?!?! (My mind is also really struggling to comprehend this one.) It is actually very unlikely that IBD or stomas receive media coverage, hence such poor awareness. However, I would very much prefer no awareness at all, in comparison to spreading such ignorant, appalling opinions of life saving devices. MTV was advertising the all new film ‘Sausage Party’ (which I shall no longer be going to see), and discussed how there should be a ‘disgusting’ sequel to this film which would be called ‘Colostomy Party’. MTV imagined (somehow) that people with stomas (colostomy or ileostomy bags) would be laughing at the ironic name of ‘Pooper’ whilst watching the film.
…I am really struggling to believe how this would be true. From the ignorance and insensitivity of this article, I am led to believe that the only people laughing at this film would be the people who have no idea what it is like to go through any type of trauma or pain. I cannot actually really believe that any human being would find this mockery amusing. I do not want to believe that people could be so ignorant and cruel. (Or that people have such a dire sense of humour!)
Finally – now we’ve discussed the ongoing oppression for those of us with chronic illnesses and disabilities, I also want to highlight the evident oppression of women in the media at the moment.
So we’ve all seen the great calamity that is plastered all over the newspapers, with fathers being invited onto daytime TV to discuss the tragedy that is ‘THE APPROPRIATENESS OF FEMALE SPORT’S PRESENTER’S CLOTHING’… Helen Skelton has been doing an amazing job of presenting the Olympics in Rio. Media has been not only blatantly sexist regarding Helen’s image, but also completely contradictory. So many images of Helen have been printed in newspapers objectifying her body, reinforcing the idea that the purpose of women is to look pretty and be ogled at by men. The fact that people are somewhat offended by Helen’s wardrobe decisions is completely contradicted by the same people exposing her by digging out topless sunbathing pictures at 17 years old. Not only is that completely wrong considering that she was not even an adult in these pictures, it is disgusting that these pictures were used to try and portray Helen as a ‘good for one thing only’ sexual object. I have a few points to make regarding this whole stupid thing:
- RIO IS HOT, SO HELEN WAS PROBABLY, MOST LIKELY (NOT THAT IT’S ANYONE’S BUSINESS) WEARING SHORTS TO STAY COOL
- HER CO-PRESENTER (MALE) WAS ALSO WEARING SHORTS BUT IT WAS NOT NEWSWORTHY
- HELEN HAS KAYAKED THE AMAZON, WHY IS THIS NOT NEWSWORTHY?!
Finally, further coverage has been made on Loose Women today, of Zara Holland from Love Island, and the current Miss Great Britain, discussing the removal of Zara’s title since having sex on reality TV. At the time that this happened, I felt upset for Zara, who clearly held the title dearly and worked hard to achieve it. I will start off by saying I do not think having sex on TV was her brightest move, and personally (if ever given the chance to be on TV lol) I most likely wouldn’t do it. I also do not personally think much of such outdated beauty paegents, as their morals quite evidently show that they are still stuck in the 19th century. It is expected that such a brand would remove Zara’s title as a consequence of her actions, because of their contradictory advice that women should be sexy but not have sex. Despite the removal of Zara’s title being entirely expected of them, the further media coverage that the instance has received, including an interview today on Loose Women, has highlighted the widespread opinions of many regarding the sexuality of women in 2016.
I am a guilty fan of Loose Women (and it’s my dream job to be a Loose Woman!!!), but the women’s blatant scolding of Zara on the show has left me annoyed at their hypocrisy. Especially considering that Katie Price is now a Loose Woman, and she made her career by getting naked and having sex. Vicky Pattison has been on the panel numerous times, and she is famous for reality TV show Geordie Shore, which is practically known for sex on TV. The way they all belittled Zara, as opposed to sticking up for their rights to do whatever they please as women, was really sad to see. It is SO hypocritical that society and the media tells women to be desirable everyday. There are numerous adverts telling women to be more appealing to men by losing weight, by wearing makeup, by having plastic surgery if you don’t already adhere to the desired image. BUT if you’re so desirable that you have sex OR you have the same desire for somebody else – you have no self respect, you’re a slut, you’re a whore. I expected very little of Miss Great Britain as a pagaent – I definitely did not expect them to defend women’s rights. I expected them to treat Zara as an object, to which they choose when she can and cannot be desireable or sexy/desired or have sex. However, what has shocked me is the clear slut shaming and hypocrisy of the presenters on Loose Women – a programme that is supposed to be women, united, together, and talking about the important issues of the world. What has shocked me even more is the comments of girls my age and younger, blinded by society, saying that she’s lost the rights to represent women for being a woman who has sex. And of course, numerous men my age and younger saying that she’s nothing but a whore, a bitch and a slut… (one that they like to look at)
I’m going to go to bed now. Please wake me up when we live in a world where people aren’t belittled, shamed, or abused for their gender or sexuality, having an illness or disability. I would accept any attempts to restore my faith in humanity!!!!