An Open Letter to Judy Finnegan

October 14, 2014

Yo. 'Sup. HIYA.

Thanks to the delights of social media, I stumbled across a video clip of you on Loose Women, discussing the convicted rapist, Ched Evans. You were saying something along the lines of it wasn't violent, it was in a hotel room, she was drunk, blah blah blah. He's served his time, blah blah blah. There was more blah blah blah's but my head just exploded and something I had kept locked away in the dark corner of my mind just sprang forward, all glitter and confetti like HI! REMEMBER ME!

I don't really want to go into specifics, but last November I was sexually assaulted on the tube, during one of my many uncomfortably squashed, northern line, rush hour commutes to work. I spent 10 minutes of my journey pressed up against the back of a carriage by a man who had prised my legs apart with his own and was touching me, and himself, inappropriately.

I was shocked and shaken when I managed to shoehorn myself off the tube at Angel and make my way to work. Well, that was before I checked my dress to make sure there wasn't any unwanted bodily fluids on there and burst into tears at the sight of the nearest guard.

Alarmingly, the first thing I thought as I stepped off the tube and away from the man who wouldn't even look me in the face as I pleaded with him to stop, was "should I even report this? It's a waste of time. They won't find him. Is my dress too short? Have I done my hair differently today? He didn't violently hurt me. I will not be taken seriously - that wasn't even rape rape."

You know what? I did report it. They never caught him. 5 months later, the case was closed, but I, along with many other women who have been assaulted, raped, or whatever you wish to call it, have a life sentence. All it takes idle, dimwitted comments like yours to uproot something we've been trying to bury and move forward from.

How can you even cast an opinion on whether or not someone has served their time? Will it be when Ched's victim can drink alcohol again without fear of getting slightly tipsy? Will it be when I can get on a packed underground train during rush hour without having a full blown freak out?

It should not matter if someone was drunk, wearing a short skirt or fuck it, wearing absolutely fuck all - consent is the only thing that is important and the sooner you, and everyone who blames the victims realise this then the world may be a safer place for women.

Would you teach your sons that, Judy? "Oh, son, it's ok to have sex with her if she's had too much to drink and can't consent properly"  "Oh, it's ok for you to put your hand up her skirt because if she didn't want that kind of attention, she'd wear a longer skirt" FUCK. OFF. Maybe she was wearing a short skirt because she likes her legs, or because it was a warm evening or WHO CARES. Maybe she got really drunk because, heaven forbid, we live in a country where alcohol isn't illegal and people may enjoy a drink or 20 without fear of reprisals, judgement and, y'know, RAPE.

I may delete this later, it's a bit personal and a bit of a tough subject - especially where I haven't posted in 6 months but I feel it's something that I needed to voice.

Thanks for bubbling up the rage, Judy. I know you've apologised but someone in your position, especially on national TV, should definitely think before they speak. Just saying.

Goodbye, April.

April 30, 2014

 April has been wonderful; a whirlwind of debaucherous fun, fairgrounds, 54 hour parties and sunshine - oh, sweet sunshine! Summer is so close I can nearly smell it.. if it wasn't smothered by London's endearingly stagnant, polluted air.

I get so many bursts of overwhelming adoration for this city. I've been here for nearly 9 months and every week I find something else that makes me fall in love with it even more. On Monday I met a friend and we took a slow stroll along Southbank in the evening sun. He kept stating his dislike for the modern architecture that peppers the skyline but I love it. Old and young, modern and ancient, chalk and cheese. Buildings with history, and buildings with history yet to be made. Contrast.

May, I hope you are just as wonderful.

The Polarised Project

April 28, 2014

I thought that after a long break from blogging I would break myself in gently by telling you all about an incredible project I am involved with.

I have a very good friend called B. He blogs under the alias of Charlie Smoke, and his blog can be found here. It's not pretty at times, and delves deep into the depths of mental illness. This does not define B as a person - well, to me anyway. He's a wonderfully passionate person who has a big heart and is lots of fun to be around - whether on an upper or a downer.

After the success of his blog, a few of our friends thought of the idea of a documentary, focusing on what it’s like to be young, to have mental health issues and LGBTQ in austerity London - The Polarised Project was born.

"Polarised is a documentary about looking at experience. At brushing aside lazy caricatures and stereotypes and climbing in between the covers. It's about immersing people in the smells, the tastes, the feelings and the sights of a world so often left in the dark. This film is more than just a two month jolly around London, following the crack pot wise cracks of a painfully average struggling writer. It's about living the world we seek to describe, peering behind the veil of gay marriage and exploring not only why it is that around 50% of the young LGBTQ community suffer from ill mental health, but what it's like to be one of that number.

The most important thing about Polarised is this: it isn't just about the people making it. It's about you. And the people you love, and the people they love. It's about the nitty gritty, the inconsequential detritus that shapes our lives. It's about the raised heart rates, the screams, the cries, the laughter and the despair. It's about dancing and running, rain and sunshine, snorting, fucking, smoking, squirting and falling through the rapidly opening cracks in society."

You can see the trailer below, and if you feel generous please donate through indiegogo and spread the word through facebook and twitter. Thank you.