Letting Go Of Prejudices & Becoming A Better Person

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Ignorance. Lately it seems to be the most overused excuse for getting out of bother. If I had a cent for every time someone said ‘it’s ignorance, not prejudice’, I wouldn’t have to do the Lotto. But the thing is that prejudice often comes from ignorance. The two are often a side of the one coin. And there is a very big difference between the ignorance of not knowing something which is ok and the ignorance of believing prejudiced myths. For example asking, ‘What is pansexuality?” does not mean the same as ‘Does that mean you are promiscuous?” I suppose in short, it’s common sense to only ask what you wouldn’t mind answering yourself the opposite way around.

 

Now that I’ve spoken about the terms, let me get to what I want to discuss in this post. I have in the past had a few prejudices of my own which I apologise for and regret. I used to judge what a person’s gender was from their presentation, what their pronouns were, assuming their gender from their pronouns or words like brother and sister and from their voices and though deep in heart I always knew that was wrong, I done it because I was very brainwashed by the society in which I lived. I also used to use the term ‘coloured’ to describe people of colour until I realised it was an offensive term. There was a mixture of brainwashing and ignorance leading to prejudice thinking and speaking in that one. The latter I stopped immediately. It wasn’t as deeply indented me as the first one but I eventually got rid of the two thankfully and apologised in my mind for them as thank god I never actually used any of these prejudices in front of anyone I could hurt. And I guess the point why I’m writing all this is that the reason I got out of them is because I admitted to myself that I was acting in a prejudiced manner and that’s the problem with a lot of people with prejudices, they don’t admit it to themselves and that makes their journey to making themselves better people longer and sometimes they don’t even get there. It is a hard thing to admit but when you do, while of course you feel bad about it, it starts you on your way to recovery.

 

The problem is that a lot of people get defensive and what that leads to is people making out the way they are thinking is ‘ignorant but a natural way of thinking’ and it is not a natural way of thinking. It all ties in with that ‘everyone is prejudiced’ get out of jail card. Not everyone is and a lot of people have never had any prejudices in their life so that is really used to make a person who has prejudices feel better about themselves. To get out of having prejudices you have to take responsibility. Whether something is the reason or not for you thinking that, that reason doesn’t excuse your prejudices. You need to take responsibility for your prejudices and stop the pity party, the whole victim party and the whole feeling sorry for yourself because someone was upset by what you said. Yes I believe most people in this situation hate upsetting people but I find they hate upsetting themselves more and that’s not a good place to start from.

 

In addition and I think this is the bit that annoys me the most, they blame people for taking offense to what they’ve said when the most natural feeling in the world when someone is prejudiced towards you or you see someone being prejudiced towards people is to be offended and not like it. People aren’t robots with no emotions and I think people in this situation often forget that or conveniently do depending on the person. They want people to understand them being prejudiced. There’s a massive irony in there. And actually it’s more important to understand that you shouldn’t be prejudiced than to understand prejudice and why people are acting and thinking in a prejudiced way. I’ve actually heard people say that people who get upset about prejudice, even prejudice about themselves, need to ‘grow and mature’. As I said there is much irony in the things people say. Because when you have prejudiced feelings there is an immaturity and a lack of growth in that aspect of who you are. There is also a repression of peoples’ natural emotions here. It’s getting a stage now that feels very unhealthy where people are almost being forced to not take things personally that they do feel personally. When they think people ‘grow and mature’, what people are often doing is adapting to the situation to avoid hassle and the guilt-tripping of ‘the terrible struggle I’m going through because I’m only ignorant and you should understand that.’ Well this is tough love, nobody has to understand you acting in a prejudice way, stop your goddamn moaning and educate yourself and be adult enough to admit to yourself that what you are doing is having prejudices and that it’s desperately wrong. Would you be so understanding if people said prejudiced things about something about you?

 

If you honestly want to change this aspect of yourself, taking responsibility for your feelings and educating yourself is how you do it. Running away from your prejudices isn’t going to help you. Face them head on. They are there whether you ignore them or not so be brave and when you have got to a point where you are out of the sickness of prejudice apologise to those you’ve hurt or offended and if that isn’t possible apologise in your own mind. Then leave it in the past and don’t fuck up again. Forgive yourself. You will still have regrets but forgive yourself. Face these things you’re scared of feeling head on. I promise you that you won’t regret it.

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Why Shouldn’t There Be A Straight Pride Pin?

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I missed this story and I was reading it recently. It’s the story of the Straight Pride Pin sold by 1000 Flags and which was taken down from Amazon and the company’s website back in April of this year.

 

If I’m being honest I don’t know what the problem with it was. While I am the first person who will say a Straight or/and Cis Pride Festival would be a daft idea I genuinely do not see what the problem would be with a Straight Pride pin or flag or a Cis Pride pin or flag or a combination of both. The reason for LGBTQ+ Pride in it’s history was because of the oppression LGBTQ+ people faced. That’s the origins of it and straight cis people have never faced oppression and that’s why I think the festival and parade would be a stupid idea. However I think of pins, badges, flags and the like as something personal to a person because they are proud of who they are and I don’t think that pride of feeling is only reserved for people who have faced oppression. I’m proud of being pansexual but I’m not against any other sexuality. I’m proud of being cisgender but I have nothing against transgender people. I’m proud of being white but I have nothing against people of colour. I’m proud of being working-class but I have nothing against people of any other class. I’m proud of being female but I have nothing against any other gender. I guess in short what I’m trying to say is that everybody should be able to feel pride about all the various parts that make them them while respecting the various parts that make up somebody else. And to stop somebody from buying a Straight Pride pin is to stop a straight person from expressing pride about who they are which I believe they should be able to feel and express as much as anyone of any other sexuality.

 

Being pansexual I felt guilt when I read about it. What people forget is that to a straight person their sexuality is as personal and important to them as to anyone else and the prejudice I read in this case towards straight people was horrible. If a straight person wanted to buy a Straight Pride pin, I say let them buy the bloody pin in peace. All the things about it being Anti-LGBTQ+ was ridiculous. It has actually has nothing to do with LGBTQ+ people or issues and no one is being hurt by a straight person buying a Straight Pride pin. I personally believe everyone of every sexuality, everyone whether they are trans or cis, everyone of every gender, race, religion, lack of religion, nationality, class, etc … should be encouraged to be proud of who they are and express that in whatever way they want to and should be encouraged to speak about what it means to them. Whether we are in a majority group or a minority group in any situation it is an important part of who we are and to laugh about or be bored by someone expressing and talking about what it means to them is insulting.

 

Let’s not divide from each other. Let’s all express what we want to express in whatever way we want to and let’s respect each other as complete equals in every way.

The Supreme Court Ruling On Wedding Cake Brings Us Briefly Back To The 18th Century

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The Supreme Court have ruled in favour of a baker who refused to bake a wedding cake for the wedding of a gay couple in 2012. The ruling was 7-2 in the Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission. Jack Phillips of Masterpiece Cakeshop argued that his religious beliefs as a Christian would be violated by making the cake for husbands-to-be David Mullins and Charlie Craig. The ruling which had originally ruled in favour of the couple was overturned by the Supreme Court.

I find it all very sad. I actually get sick to my teeth of that ole chestnut of using your religion to discriminate against people. It actually seems very in fashion nowadays and it actually makes no sense. I think we all know Christians who are very open-minded, kind people and I think the box these people like Phillips put them in is very wrong. And if not all Christians are like Phillips then it’s obvious that it’s something to do with people like this and not their religion as they claim.

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Image result for colorado wedding cake case

I don’t own a business but if I did I would be professional in my dealings. For instance if someone wanted a cake for a rally of narrow-minded persuasion I would bake the cake because it would be my job, not because I believed in the cause. It’s an open service to everyone and the old mantra is that the customer is always right. It’s the first thing anyone going into a business learns. What you believe is irrelevant to the needs of your customers. I find it massively strange this whole religious beliefs fight because people are asked to bake a cake, not attend the occasion.

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Everyone should be able to go into a place of business and be treated the same as everyone else and no exceptions in any way to that rule. If you’re going to be unprofessional in anything you do you might as well not be doing it. Your opinions are your own personal beliefs. They should never come into your work but apparently the Supreme Court in Colorado thinks they should. I do feel sorry for Mullins and Craig in this ruling. Essentially what’s being put forward is that people can openly discriminate against LGBTQ+ people in services and the law will back them up. But I admire them for bringing the case and highlighting this prejudice that still goes on in our society and I wish them both a very happy life together.

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Image result for colorado wedding cake case

 

 

Just one other thing I read about the case. Non-surprisingly the Trump Administration was all behind Phillips and Solicitor General Noel Francisco said the following,

“A custom wedding cake is not an ordinary baked good; its function is more communicative and artistic than utilitarian. Accordingly, the government may not enact content-based laws commanding a speaker to engage in protected expression: An artist cannot be forced to paint, a musician cannot be forced to play, and a poet cannot be forced to write.”

Now, I’m a writer and I would agree no one in a creative sphere should have to create something they don’t believe in. But it’s the creative sphere. It’s a solitary profession where you are creating something that people can either look at or ignore. There is a massive difference when you are running a business where customers are coming to you looking for the same service and you pick and choose who you serve what to. If Phillips wants to bring a social issues part into his work maybe he should have became a writer but if someone becomes a baker they can’t have their cake and eat it but essentially the Supreme Court said Phillips could do that.

Republic Of Ireland Vote Yes In Abortion Referendum

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Today is yet another historic day here in the Republic of Ireland.

 

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Image result for abortion referendum ireland

 

Image result for abortion referendum ireland

We have voted yes on the Abortion Referendum here. It is such a fantastic day for human rights and freedom for trans men, cis women, non-binary people, intersex people and basically for anyone who can give birth. Now we have choice after a resounding victory in favour of amending the constitution. Today we stand together and I thank all the people who couldn’t be affected by this decision for coming out and standing with us by voting yesterday in favour of our choices. Thank you so much.

 

It was a very proud moment for me voting yes yesterday. After the madness of the stigma put on people for having abortions for so many years where people who did would be made out to be “murderers” and people faced 14 years in prison for having an abortion, this day is liberating and historic. Today, like the day of the Marriage Referendum result in 2015, I feel emotional and immensely proud of my country. I was terrified about the result as it’s such a divisive issue and I’m so relieved and happy today.

 

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But today has much sadness in it too. I think of Savita Halappanavar who died in 2012 after been denied an abortion and hearing the crowd at Dublin Castle on the news chanting her name following the result, seeing people at the mural of her and seeing her father’s message was very emotional. Her husband and family are in my thoughts very much today.

 

Rest in peace Savita.

The Double Standards Of Political Correctness

 

 

I have a problem with the term Politically correct. Mainly because it’s always used when somebody shows ordinary decent respect for people from minority groups. But when someone shows the same ordinary decent respect for people from majority groups when does anyone ever say they are being Politically correct for doing so?

 

This kind of attitude shows to me a deeper problem with certain parts of society. Many seem to take it as a given that people should treat everyone in majority groups with complete respect. Yet see it as debatable whether that same complete respect should be given to people in minority groups. As humans, we’re all equal so the way I see it is that it has to be one way or the other. If I’m being Politically correct for example when I call a transgender woman she then surely I’m being Politically correct when I call a cisgender woman she. But is anyone going to say that I’m Politically correct in the second situation?

 

Taking myself as an example and various parts of who I am. Many wouldn’t say it was Politically correct for someone to be respectful towards me for being white and cisgender but they would say someone was being Politically correct for being respectful towards me for being female or pansexual. And that leaves you wondering, what does that mean exactly? That minority groups are so unlikable that to show ordinary decent respect would have to be Political correctness? That it couldn’t god forbid, be sincere?

 

I’m a very big believer in freedom of speech. But I think the way people talk about freedom of speech nowadays is very misleading. Everyone who seems to speak about it seems to parrot the same thing about how freedom of speech is being took away from people who want to have negative opinions about minority groups and I can’t take that argument seriously if they never say they believe in it for people to have negative opinions about majority groups. They say they want debates on whether minority groups live right. When do they ever say let’s have debates on whether majority groups live right? These people to me want freedom of speech and protection all in one go and they don’t seem to want people in minority groups to have either. So while I’m all for freedom of speech I think majority groups should be just as fair game to be spoken about negatively just like everybody else.

Foreign Policy Magazine’s 2015 100 Global Thinkers Event Takes Place In Washington

tumblr_nyqvppkxeq1rar94xo1_1280The Foreign Policy Magazine’s 2015 100 Global Thinkers event took place on Tuesday, December 1 in Washington. Coming before the Foreign Policy’s annual 100 Global Thinkers issue, the event surrounded a panel discussion entitled, “The Fourth Unsolvable Problem: The Future of Activism”.

Global Thinkers on the panel included supermodel Andreja Pejic, WITNESS’ Associate Director of Communications and Engagement Matisse Bustos-Hawkes, activist Jim Obergefell, rapper Sonita Alizadeh, photographer Robin Hammond, artist Adejoke Tugbiyele and co-founder and executive chairman of GiveDirectly Michael Faye.

 

 

 

 

 

My Thoughts On The Marriage Equality Referendum

Tomorrow it is going to be a huge day in Ireland. A huge day for politics and a day when hopefully love, positivity and equality will win out over negativity. Of course I’m talking about The Marriage Referendum which will be taking place.

I remember the first time I realised that gay people couldn’t get married in Ireland. I was about 11, 12, 13 and I was writing a story and my main character was getting married to his boyfriend and my sister had to tell me that it wasn’t in the law. And I remember been incredibly sad about that. It had just never crossed my mind that stopping two people of the same sex from marrying would be a law or be even allowed to be a law. It was an eye-opener to the horribleness and prejudice that existed in laws and from then I’ve been on the Yes side but it’s only now I can do something about it.

I have heard so much about the No side feeling persecuted during the campaign. I find it quite amusing and ironic considering I don’t think the No side knows the meaning of the word persecution. Every time I see a No poster I get a pang of pain in my stomach. It’s just been faced with that moment each time of knowing there is people who campaign to stop people from been happy. There is just something so cold and distant about a person who could believe that two people in love who want to get married shouldn’t be able to because the person they love is the same sex. It feels like they have a lack of goodness and I know that because someone from the Yes side would hate themselves if they thought like that. I certainly would. On the other hand every time I see a Yes poster I feel happy because there is people who campaign for goodness, love and equality and thankfully for me there is more Yes posters up in Bray! Although two of the Yes posters have been vandalised by black marker with one saying “No” and the other saying “No. Bad Example.” As much as I hate seeing the No posters I’d never write on them. Didn’t like that sort of behaviour at all.

I do have to comment about something I read someone from the No side saying recently. Something along the lines of christians been persecuted if the Yes vote wins. I think that is a ridiculous comment. I’m Catholic and I am certain that not everyone thinks we are all against everything. After all the majority of the Republic of Ireland is Catholic so if the Yes vote goes through I think it’s safe to say a good lot of the voters who would have voted Yes would have been Catholic.

I remember hearing a guy I knew once who was gay talking about his future wedding. I think the guilt hit home with me because I don’t really mind either way whether I marry or live with the man of my dreams when I meet him but he did. And I found that upsetting because I had that choice and he didn’t and he clearly wanted to marry more than I did. It isn’t right. An adult should that choice regardless of their sexuality. We all have the right to happiness and by voting No people are attempting to take that happiness away from people. And there is no excuse, whether it is religion or whatever the reason is, for taking that away from people. Obviously everyone is entitled to their opinion but we are also all entitled to dislike a person for an opinion they might have when it’s as serious as this is and it’s difficult for me to like a person who could do that to another human being while they are happy and it not even flicker on them. Of course I’d be polite to a No supporter and I’d like to think that they’d be nice to me too but I’m pretty sure we wouldn’t be hanging out, let’s put it that way.

We are all born equal and we are still all equal even when we aren’t always treated as such and while I don’t know what it is like to be made feel unequal in terms of my sexuality I know what it is like in so many ways that I have lost count. Tomorrow people of Ireland let’s do this. Let’s make Ireland equal for everybody of every sexuality. Let’s do away with this prejudice law set up years upon years upon years ago. Let’s be kind, decent people. Let’s vote Yes. I certainly know I will be.