Accessibility denied!

England is old. Like centuries old. Millennia old. It didn’t surprise me one bit that much of it was essentially inaccessible to wheelchair users. In fact, I was much more often surprised at the extent that so many businesses, and individual people, went to in order to be accessible. Same with France. They have lifts in the Louvre! I don’t even know how old that palace is, but I know it ain’t easy to retrofit lifts into a building essentially made of solid marble.

I find it infuriating that in this day and age a wheelchair user is unable to gain access to public points of interest. You hear every single day about being politically correct about race, religion and by sex/sexual preference yet there is nothing in place to support those who have disabilities… It’s a joke!

It’s playing on my mind now… If there was a note outside a club/ pub that said “no one who is white is allowed in this club” or “this is strictly a straight pub” or “this club is only for Christians, no other religion is allowed” there would be uproar! And rightly so! So when a wheelchair user is faced with steps and no other way to enter, that is basically what they are doing!!! But that is OK, no one ever says anything about that do they?

Disabled people should be treated the same as everyone else, they shouldn’t be made to feel an inconvenience or have to wait for a ramp to get into a building. I can understand a cab driver needing to get a ramp out, but seriously what is wrong with us? We allow this to happen. It is OK to discriminate against a disabled person but dare you do it to any of the named above. There would be hell to pay.

Even the replacement for the DDA, The Equalities Act 2010 has no mandatory punishment for offending businesses. It is still up to the Disabled person to bring a Private Prosecution to claim compensation for the inconvenience, loss or embarrassment encountered!

Some businesses want to upgrade their buildings but aren’t allowed because they are in a listed building. For a powerchair user, so many places are inaccessible.

My family just got back from Iceland (the country) and they were absolutely stunned at for a country covered in snow and ice- how wheelchair friendly it was – everything was accessible and everywhere was accessible. It’s a shame other countries and even some of the UK can’t follow suit.

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Chronic advice-pusher

There is someone related to me who always has some sort of “you should” comment for whatever I say. It would nice to be able to be close to this person, but their need to know and subsequent criticism has made it very unsafe for me (and the remaining relationship). So I did tell this person how I felt belittled and even demeaned by the impression they convey of how I am an imcompetent twit who only makes bad decisions or cant make decisions. The open conversation solution worked for about two minutes as far as their interaction style, but I felt better enough about myself after to be able to stick to the weather and not resent this person.

Filed in my “change yourself because you can’t change the other person” folder.

As someone who’s had to deal with “unsolicited advisors” in my family and my social circles, I am not sure that I agreed that all I did in a conversation is complain. I could be sharing the happiest news of my life and still receive advice on what I should do now to make things even better. Also, I’ve gone the “how about this weather?” route, and I’m not a huge fan. I still use it when I have to, but that just means I can never have a meaningful conversation with this person again even though I want to maintain our relationship.

How about being responsible for what I say that triggers those suggestions? Don’t mention problems. Don’t share annoyances. Stick to all the hundreds of things that are awesome in my life and talk about that. Also, LISTEN more and ASK more questions. 

No, it still doesnt work.

I know people who see everything as a complaint they need to fix. I could say, What a gorgeous sunrise this morning and they’ll respond, You shouldn’t have looked out the window! You could hurt your eyes! 

Some people are pushy buttinskies, but some people’s personalities mean they like to solve problems. If you’re telling me about your situation in a what-should-I-do way, I am going to offer advice, unless you tell me, “I’m just using you as a sounding board here.”  

Years ago I went through a professional Training Programme, and I came away with a few life-changing understandings:

1. Offering an easy fix (i.e., unsolicited advice) to someone else’s problem indicates that you think you can fix a difficult situation after listening to a problem for 10 minutes. It’s not respectful of the hours and days of wrestling the person has spent on the problem already, and more often than not, snap advice offers an “obvious” but unworkable solution. 

2. Are you planning to take responsibility for the outcome if someone takes your snap advice, especially if it doesn’t work out as predicted? The person themself will have to live the consequences, so they’d best make the decision themself.

Easier said than done, aint it?

For me, hearing somone continually moaning about an issue while doing nothing to fix it feels like watching a toddler trying to fit the square peg into the round hole and screaming in frustration. I do adjust when my friend requests a simple sounding board, but at some point, please stop asking me to be your partner in this conversation.

Ugh.

Some “Unsolicited Advice-Givers” are also subtle, manipulative “fishers”…they get their self-worth from fishing for other people’s problems, sometimes without even asking the person directly (they ask others what is going on or go through other’s things). People like this use other people’s problems as a way to avoid dealing with their own. Their closet has more skeletons than anyone else because they are too afraid to deal with their own problems first—then when they are called out for being meddling, play victim, whining about how they “try so hard and noone is grateful for their help”. No—they are just upset that they have nothing better to do than face their own demons. (For the record, I have a family member like this, who I’ve had to try to avoid as much as I can for decades because of this unhealthy obsession with this person wanting to fight other people’s battles).

Remember:

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Matilda effect…

In 1993, Margaret Rossiter coined a term for the forgotten women in science and, more generally, academia: The Matilda Effect. There was a pattern throughout history, she argued, of women who, when compared to men, failed to receive equal recognition or reputation for equal scientific achievement. These are the women whose names have been relegated to footnotes, or whose accomplishments have been scrubbed out like a blemish.”

The Matilda Effect is defined as “the systematic repression and denial of the contribution of woman scientists in research, whose work is often attributed to their male colleagues” but which applies to other fields as well and goes doubly for women of color. This is just science, not even history in the larger sense. The absence of women in history is man made.

Let’s ask ourselves is this still happening today and if yes – why are we women putting up with it? Rather than getting mad at men, let’s partner to empower women and men to collaborate as equals and true partners

While I know first hand about men taking credit for others work, it doesn’t stop at just taking credit for women’s work. Inferior people in the right positions will take credit for others work no matter gender to further themselves. These people should be the targets.

True. Beyond that is the intolerable and undeniable fact that such a vast number of women do not enjoy basic human rights the world over, are enslaved, and treated as less than a self. The record is damning. Each woman is someone’s sister, daughter, or mother, each is an “I”, a self. Yet still, even now in this day and age they are treated without basic freedoms and basic human rights. It is intollerable.

Strong honorable men are not threatened by strong women, often they have a strong vibrant woman at their side 🙂

Hear a magnetic song to celebrate any day as Women’s Day!!!

https://youtu.be/HucAF6Pg-vg

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Snooping or Overwhelming curiosity??

Her heart says, “I want this to work,” her gut says, “something’s off”. She’s trying to reconcile the two, to have a foot in both camps, but she can’t. Maybe her insecurities have nothing to do with him, but the long hard slog to regain that trust (and maybe make up for others who created those insecurities in the first place) might just be a mountain too high.

Until she understand the impetus for her actions & inactions, she will be pinballing though this blindfolded. Never a stable foundation for a marriage.

Snooping in an adult relationship, where someone suspects a major breach and in fact confirms it…should be the end of it. If one is snooping just to snoop that is wrong and the snooper has issues.

One’s not abusing it now does not excuse the creation of a loophole that can be exploited for abuse. Declaring that people — I should say, believing that people – are all worse than they used to be, or all anything, without any grounds to say so, does create an opening to justify whatever you feel like justifying at the moment. That makes it dangerous. A loaded weapon, let’s say, that you simply haven’t yet chosen to pick up.

There’s a huge difference between naturally coming to an “open book” policy with one’s spouse because of mutual trust developed over time, and a forced policy of “let me see or else”. Regardless of the past, anything that comes about via a demand is indicative of a problem. And with children, the relationships, rights, and responsibilities are different. As a partner, sharing needs to be natural & mutual, or it’s not sharing, it’s just acquiescing.

Now we’re all more like celebrities, with much larger personal networks, thanks to technology. Many “crimes” are crimes of opportunity, and most of us have a lot more opportunity than people did 50 years ago when there was one phone in the house and anyone could answer it. I think people have more opportunities to cheat and have fun on the side for many reasons. Have people changed? Maybe not, but opportunities certainly have.

Plus, cheating and sexual adventurousness is more in film, TV and theatre, opposed to 50 years ago, let’s say. So some, not all, people are thinking about the possibilities more than before.

It’s a combination of things.

I know quite a few people who have had their heads buried in the sand and one day decided to seek the truth…hence the snoop…not right…but understandable. The older we get the more we listen to our gut but sometimes the head, heart and gut are confused. Again I try to walk in others shoes and not judge their actions…right or wrong.

In all seriousness, though, I think that snooping is sometimes the vehicle for broken people to accuse their partner of not loving them enough. There will *never* be enough love to satisfy them because they were broken long before the current partner entered the picture. These are the times when snooping turns into abuse. I think that checking up on one’s partner without cause undermines the trust that should be a given.

Trust is essential, but it may also look differently in different relationships – some couples simply do not want or feel the need to share every possible thing, and that works for them because they too trust one another. Snooping is never necessary. If you can’t find a better way to have a trusting relationship with good communication, seek counselling to learn to do better.

As far as what makes snooping wrong, I’m not sure the snooper’s reason for snooping matters as much as the reasonable expectation of privacy of the snoopee (if a word like so exists).

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“Not my problem”?? Its you.

Any partner who sees their partner suffering and, whether the reason is reasonable or not, says “It’s not my problem. It’s you” is not a partner. 

Partnership is about coming together when things are hard, not distancing from it. This is a basic tenet of any good relationship – empathy and compassion for the other person, not to mention if what you are doing is hurting the other person, stopping it. You do not have to accept less than that because you have mental issues.

I think there is something to be said for not being overly anxious or insecure when our significant others have friends they could potentially be attracted to. That being said, though, that doesn’t mean that there isn’t a line in which loyalties end up being compromised. So, I’m not sure that I agree that this is totally our thing to figure out. Some of the activities might seem to be potentially problematic and tiptoeing up to some line of inappropriateness (it’s one of those things where even if you can’t define the line, you sort of recognize it when it shows up). Also, if some of those behaviors are painful to you, they are painful to you, and a good partner will at least try to be sensitive to that rather than say it’s totally your thing to figure out.

Partner’s behavior would make one feel insecure. It doesn’t have to be “is he going to have an affair”; it can just be “is our connection dying on the vine and am I seeing the signs of it in the way he is no longer prioritizing me”.

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When joy and grief are knitted together…

I could barely read this but its a good read.

https://driftingthrough.com/2015/01/30/lessons-from-the-worst-day-of-my-life-2/
The lessons are invaluable and at least the experience has left us with those.

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Anti-rape Pants

https://youtu.be/fWZYsHJbrBY

Saw this video and its a sad world that this kind of thing even needs to exist 😦

While I very much appreciate the thought and effort that has been put into this product. I can’t help but feel two things. First is I instinctively cringe cause it looks like capitalization on rape. Now obviously I don’t claim to know the intentions of the people who developed this product. It’s just as an outsider with no background information that’s what it looks like. Second is that this is another “thing” that puts the responsibility on the victim. 

Why are we teaching people to wear this instead of stopping people being predators in the first place? This is pretty much saying it’s the victims fault and they should be the ones being careful rather than it being the sexual predators fault for violating someone else. On top of that, not all sexual offences are below the belt of the victim.

When would you wear these? ‘Ooh today, I think I better wear my anti-rape pants. Feeling like I might get raped today!’ I’m all for protecting people, but the idea of having to prepare for potential rape seems terrifying to me.

Then what happens when someone is raped, and everyone’s response is, “well they should have been wearing a rape nappy!”

This culture of blaming the victims needs to stop. It’s not a victims responsibility to prepare in case they are raped/mugged/assaulted etc. It’s the responsibility of society to educate the population that these acts are wrong and will not be tolerated!

People keep saying, why teach self defense, instead of teaching people not to do a crime in the first place.

Surely it’d be smarter to educate young people that this kind of behaviour is unacceptable? However, if “teaching people it’s wrong” worked, then we wouldn’t have any murderers or thieves either. People who rape know they’re doing something they shouldn’t do!

There isn’t a rape culture, because nothing in our culture condones or promotes rape. Saying that rape culture exists is like saying murder culture exists, or that there’s a fraud culture. There can be things done to lessen rape, but it will never be completely gone, neither will murder. Teaching people ‘not to rape’ will never work because it’s not a matter of education or knowledge as to how rape is wrong (on a potential rapists part), it’s a matter of skewed moral backing and apathy for the victims feelings.

A lot of rapists already know it’s wrong but they do it anyway. 

When you ask rapists a lot of them are in denial about what they did was rape. Like literally they’ll justify it as “she didn’t say no! (She was unconscious)”.

As great as these seem what seems to have been forgotten is that sexual predators don’t attack for the sex. They attack for the power and control it gives them. If they can’t get it one way they’ll get it another which could be just as damaging if not life threatening 😢. That’s why self defense needs to be taught.

What I don’t agree with however (and I’m not accusing you of doing this) is the societal response that a victim could have some how encouraged the rape. 

When it comes to taking a stand on crimes against women, we are reminded each time that women always have a past, while men have a future waiting, anxiously to roll out the red carpet for them, under which can be brushed all the wrongs they commit.
It would just be nice to see more in “media” about how we’re dealing with those responsible for committing rape and less about how victims could or could have prevent(ed) it.

Tell me again, how men are under attack because of feminism. And I’ll tell you women need rape whistles, pepper spray, and now this.

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Is marriage an achievement?

A friend forwarded this image to me on Whatsapp. Not sure I agree entirely. A wedding is not an achievement. A good, balanced marriage certainly is, calling for years of work on the part of both parties.

Thankfully marriage was never ever a topic in our household. Education and career was. I was never told not to do this, not to say this, etc because I had to get married one day. During studies when other girls used to fantasize about marriage I on the other hand thought about polishing my skill, volunteering and even started working. And when I was earning, girls my age were getting married and I on the other hand was learning new skills and thinking about how to get a house on my name! My family never ever got worried about our marriage and when the right time came I married on my terms and by my choice and still living how I wanted to. 

Individual religious beliefs also have a high impact on this uneven happiness or otherwise in the marriage. 

Making a marriage, or any relationship, work takes effort. Being happy in a marriage, or other relationship, is an achievement that should be celebrated. 

Getting married in and of itself is not an achievement. Getting married is not a goal. It is just a thing that can happen or not in the middle of all your achievements. And when it happens make sure you get married on your own terms. 🙂

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Saying “No” should be enough…

Saying “No” is not enough these days. Hence “Angel Shots” is the new code introduced in the market. Heard about it?

It seems this started in a restaurant bar in Florida. They had a sign hanging in the bathroom. The entire staff is trained to know what to do. It’s a policy of the establishment and a part of the employee training, the whole point is it is policy and the entire staff know what to do. 

Anywhere else, most bartenders will have no idea what you’re talking about.

This might be a good idea! Every bar should have a code like this posted in the women’s restroom. More women find themselves in dangerous situations with men they do know than absolute strangers. 

But, why not just say “I need help!”

Or when you are in the bathroom text the police or a friend?

Write on a napkin?

Or maybe stop hooking up with a picture on Tinder, Facebook or Craig’s list??

Anyway it is a sad commentary on society.

During my teenage years, my parents and I had our own code. If I ever need help then I would simply call home and say “mom I’m having a great time at…” and they would come to pick me up, no questions asked. Before anyone says it won’t work, it did and it does. I always tell my husband where I’m going. And we have our own code – “honey I am having a great time at…”. 😉

However guys get in trouble on dates and may need a safe out too. What code do we suggest for them?

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Tilikum

Today, the most exploited orca in Sea World’s history has passed away. RIP.

The life span of killer whales in captivity is only 17 for males and 29 for females. In the wild they live to be over 100. An animal with an average life span of 70 years just died in under 40 in captivity. 

Captivity kills. Does Sea World cares? Nah. This is the real reason Tilikum was so important to them.

Be angry with Sea World but also be angry with the people who keep them in business.

In light of Tilikum’s tragic death, please take  some time out of your day to watch the documentary Blackfish – the film that made the world aware of Tilikum’s plight & of others still suffering in capitvity. No animal, big or small, deserves to be caged for the entirety of its life.

Tilikum. Now you are free.

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