Thursday, 14 February 2013

Polytines: Polyamory and Valentines Day; the dilemas and the advantages of.

Communication is a huge factor in most polyamorous relationships anyway, (why wait until February 14th to tell all the special people in your life that they're special?) but Valentines Day can be a tricky one. I've collected some of the best personal problems and advantages of Polytines Day.

Let's start with the advantages:

1. You get to celebrate more than once, with different people in different ways.

2. Your partners know you in different ways and you have different things in common. One of them doesn't like prawns? (NOTE: I have a huge phobia of prawns) Don't stress it, you'll be able to go to your favourite seafood restaurant with another partner.

3. If you're in a triad or a quad and this means shared responsibility. Two heads are better than one, and this comes in handy when deciding on the other partners' present.

4. That married couple you've been dating have celebrated many Valentines Days together and now that you're in the picture they're both happy to have someone else to treat on Valentines Day. Woo hoo!

5. Your poly family gathering means that this celebration is more like Christmas! But better, Christmas with more sex.

6. The fact that you believe Valentines Day is a capitalist construct which attempts to claim human emotion and sell it back to consumers in order to validate love, doesn't matter, because your primary has a new partner that they are dying to spend the evening with.

7. You've been having a sexual relationship with one person and a romantic relationship with another you get to spend time with them both.

8. More partners= more chance one of them will be able to cook and more chance that one of them will enjoy your favourite album (The Moldy Peaches)

9. More sex. More people to send cards to!

10. Less monogamous drama!! It's easy come easy go. (Puns intended)

Now the disadvantages:

1. You'd think you'd get to celebrate more than once, but you just end up sacking someone off for the night.

2. Your new partner surprises you with a visit to their favourite seafood restaurant (they don't know about your massive phobia of prawns). Panic attacks are sexy, right?

3. You're in a triad or a quad and so today means you're now skint for the rest of February. Thanks capitalism.

4. That married couple you've been dating have been invited to a couples' dinner party, it's a tradition with friends and now you're stuck at home, listening to your housemate intermittently cry and wank.

5. Your poly family gathering turns out more like Christmas than you could imagine, in an argument.

6. Fucking brilliant, your only partner at the moment believes Valentines Day is a capitalist construct which attempts to claim human emotion and sell it back to consumers in order to validate love.

7. You've been having a sexual relationship with one person and a romantic relationship with another. They live at opposite ends of the country.

8. The sad truth is that no one but me likes The Moldy Peaches album and I will always overcook the vegetables.

9. You will get thrush from all the sex. And paying the postage on the Valentines cards you sent out will mean you can't afford thrush cream.

10. As a romantic gesture your partner's partner travelled up to see them! They brought flowers! You're so touched by this gesture you decide to let them have the night together and eat the romantic (although slightly overcooked) meal you made for the two of you. Ahhh the things we do for our many loves! 

Wednesday, 13 February 2013

On same sex marriage

Dear Rosie Cooper, 
My name is Kashka, I sit on the committee of Merseyside LGBT Students'
Network and I'm also the President of Edge Hill's LGBT+ Society. I
originally planned to contact you a few weeks ago to invite you to
partake in a debate we're holding for LGBT History Month entitled 'Is
Equal Marriage the final battle for LGBT liberation'.
After the vote in parliament on equal marriage, and you decision to
vote against it, you can understand why I am now not inviting you to
speak. I don't believe there are words to explain to you just how
poisonous and destructive your actions have been. The decision to vote
against granting equal rights to same sex couples was shared by bigots
from the conservative party and UKIP. 
As an individual I am hurt, as an activist I am scared and as someone
who has lived in West Lancashire for the majority of my life and been
under the care of the local authority; I am horrified. I'm horrified
that people around the country will see your name on the list of shame
(so it's entitled in an online blog) and think that your vote reflect
the opinions of those in the area. I'm horrified that the local young
people, who are too scared to come out as gay, bisexual, lesbian or
trans* will see that their local government sees them as less than
their heterosexual peers and this will feed internalised homophobia.  
You have failed to represent these young people.
You have failed to represent me.
You have failed to represent the any of the LGBT people in the
You have failed. 
You have hidden behind 'morals' without thinking of consequence,
without thinking of representation and because of that; you have failed
I will eternally remember that the person 'representing' me in
parliament believes that I am not entitled to marry. I had previously
voted Labour because I saw them as a progressive party. Maybe they
still are and if you consider them to be; maybe you should consider
The damage you have done is permanent and there's nothing
Christian about it.  
 Yours, a former Labour supporter,
 Kashka Georgeson

Monday, 11 February 2013

Phat resources on Fat Shaming, Body Positivity and Self Acceptance.


A lot of people have messaged me to ask questions about my post on fat shaming and body image to ask questions. There are loads of resources out there. I'm going to list a few here. :) 

What it's all about- wikipedia

If you have tumblr the body positive tag is always fun-

And here are some other tumblrs you might like-
Fat Art
Body Positivity
Fat Grrrl Activism
Body Posi
Redefining Body Image Post
Big Fat Feminist
It Gets Fatter (For fat queer people of colour)  

If you want things on facebook-  
Body Positive Image Campaign

For twitter- 
Fat Positive Tag
Body Positive Tag
Fat Positive Hulk

Google image that shit. 

Asortment of websites and blogs-
Body Shaming Article
Fat Liberation Manifesto 
Recognising body shaming 
Top 50 Self Acceptance blogs
Fat Feminism
The most highly rated fat acceptance books
Fat positive youtube videos
Ways to deal with body shaming 
On raunch culture and body image 

I'm happy to answer questions etc, but a lot of answers will be found in these resources! :)

Friday, 8 February 2013

Why I'm not running in my union elections

Firstly, I'd like to thank everyone who encouraged me to run in the election & everyone who has supported me in the last few months, those friends who have ferried me to hospital appointments and given their time to listen to me. Partners, who have emotionally supported me & helped remind me who I am at times when I lost sight of that. Comrades and activists up and down the country who inspire me and remind me why we do what we do. I feel privileged to have you all in my life.

I’ve made no secret about how much of a difficult time I've had with Edge Hill Students' Union over the past couple of years. From the destruction of the student council, to poisonous nepotism and the active discouragement of student participation from certain sabs, I've found engaging with my union continually disheartening. I felt consistently unrepresented, as LGBT+, as a woman, as a disabled student. I felt these groups were ignored. After an interaction with a sab who stated that they didn't feel they represented these groups in their first year in their role but didn't feel they 'had time' to represent these groups in their second year, I was horrified, I was dismissed.

I decided something had to change so became involved in my union in multiple ways: I didn't want to be an armchair activist. I took a leading role in rebuilding the non-existent LGBT+ Society, we created a community that was formerly invisible on campus. We did amazing things like being quoted in the universities' anti-discrimination policy, getting our safe space policy union-wide, having Peter Tatchell talk on campus, holding safe space support, campaign, social and educational meetings for students every week.

 We took Edge Hill Students to their first NUS LGBT Conference, we joined forces with the three Liverpool Universities to form Merseyside LGBT Students' Network. We networked with LGBT activists up and down the country and through MLSN I saw what a union that cares about *everyone* looks like. I lead LGBT students on their first demo, we built relationships with LGBT staff & got a gender neutral toilets motion passed at directorate and then held a direct action when facilities management decided to ignore the motion. I hope after leaving Edge Hill that even if for a short time, the work we did has improved life for LGBT students on campus. In this time I learnt just how powerful the passion of a few people can be.

But this wasn't written to brag about what we achieved. The the primary reason I decided during my second year to run for vice president of arts and sciences was because of the way, despite the positive change I helped instigate on campus, some sabs who should have been encouraging and supporting this change, were still dismissive. And there was a lot of work left to do.

In my time attempting to be proactive on campus I tolerated sexist jokes, I tolerated the condescending looks, tones and emails. I even tolerated an incident when three male (cis/straight) men laughed at a transphobic postcard we received during a post secrets campaign for International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia, because I felt ignorance was their problem. As a result of this me and other students in the society arranged and delivered an educational session on trans* oppression. Of the two remaining staff who first laughed at the joke, the one who turned up made a joke about me attempting to turn him into a homosexual.

I spoke about my running for election openly. I was planning on slating with Kate Jackson, a brilliant woman who is one of our best allies on campus. I received a mixed reaction from union sabs from encouragement, to amusement and even active verbal discouragement from one person! I had fellow students delete me from social networking website because they were running, too. I had other candidates interrogate me about Kate Jackson’s campaign every time they saw me! But, despite the election stress I was determined that minority group students should no longer be made to feel unimportant, I built up good links with the Islam Society and the Christian Union, I attended Feminist Society meetings, and I had meetings with the universities’ head of Equality and Diversity. I decided that with enough energy and passion students on a grassroots level could instigate change themselves. I had decided my slogan, my campaign colours, and my manifesto. So what changed? Well…me.

A fair amount of people on campus know about the fact I’m disabled. I’ve made sure LGBT+ Society has had a regular disabled caucus and that it’s accessible to people with a range of disabilities. Being out about being disabled, for me, is harder than being out about my sexuality. People get used to the fact you’re not straight, but that you’re disabled? Completely different. And there have been huge barriers in participating with the union because of my disability. I planned to change them, I planned to do for disabled students what we had done for LGBT students, and to put disabled students at the center of that change.

So now, instead of talking about what’s wrong with the behaviour of some individuals in the union, I’m going to talk about what’s wrong with me. I recently found out that the medication I’m on which slightly improved my eyes, has stopped working. It’s truly heart-breaking to find out that medicine that has severe symptoms (weight gain, energy loss etc) on everyday life isn’t doing what it should. My eyes are slowly getting worse and because of the symptoms, my hypothyroidism is getting worse. And because of the nature of hypothyroidism my bouts of depression and anxiety are getting worse.

Yes, there are still significant problems with the way some members of union staff feel entitled to treat serious issues surrounding ability, gender and sexuality. But I’ve had to take the decision to step away from the union this year in order to allow myself time to read, time to attend hospital every other week and time to spend with important people in my life. Coz, guys, what is scarier to me than allowing idiots to go on behaving like idiots; is not knowing if I’m going to lose my vision. If you’ve met me, which I’m presuming you have as you’re reading this: you know I care, a lot. And until I know whether or not I will be losing my sight I’m going to direct some of that care towards myself and the important (and often neglected) people in my life. I’m tired, increasingly depressed and I don’t have the energy to keep banging my head against the brick wall of other peoples’ ignorance. I have plenty of other battles and I’m not just politically active on campus, honestly, with the behaviour I’ve seen displayed I feel those individuals need positive change more than I do.

For those of you whose health allows you to run in this campaign: good luck. There are some amazing candidates who actually care, I should know, I was meant to have the privilege of running alongside one. 

Thanks for reading, if you have read all this! And thank you to all the amazing student LGBT, Women's, Disabled activists who remind me that there are people who are fighting for change. I'm going to miss not seeing (pun intended) you as often as I'm used to!