Leaving his family was not a decision Jihad took lightly. In 2014, reports of floating bodies from boats intentionally shipwrecked by traffickers flooded the media and Jihad says he was forced to make an unwelcome choice.
It is the balance of power which determines whether an action crosses the line from hurtful to abusive. When the power dynamic is out of balance and the person with the power inflicts harm on the person with less–even when it is unconscious–it reinforces their position of power and becomes abusive.
Germans are more sexually adventurous than their European counterparts according to one unofficial survey, carried out across Europe by Björn Borg’s underwear company a few years ago. They top the kinky league tables with more than half of Germans stating a preference for ‘tools and gadgets’. Yet because the adult toy industry is only voluntarily regulated, the chemicals commonly found …
And if predatory behaviour is as ubiquitous among men as it appears and as I have experienced it to be, statistically it is likely that my son will violate someone, at some point, in his lifetime. That could be anything from ignorant boundary violation to, god forbid, rape.
But since the hottest english debates are raging in America right now, it’s their culture which is shaping our modern english language, a language I’ve studied and loved for years but due to an global online anglophile community, one which is now getting increasingly and more rapidly nuanced. Terms and acronyms enter modern online parlance at the speed of light–‘caudacity’, ‘becky’, ‘juggalo’ and ‘MGYOW.’ Rarely a day goes past where I don’t have to look up a new word.
But there is no victorious ‘democratic’ ending to this story. In Syria the civil uprising has gradually been transformed into a full scale civil war. Sayid and his colleagues have all lost loved ones to this war and their political is personal. Sayid’s own crime–and why he is here–was to film government violence and put it up on YouTube, after which he was put on the list of wanted terrorists.
Our word choices, even if–or perhaps especially if–unconsciously made, reveal our attitudes, values, bias, education, self-image and purpose. For a man of letters like Stephen, who has made his fortune from a personal brand of verbosity, that means his objectivity in linguistic matters comes under question.
This book highlights a smorgasbord of situations which make you question your current ideas about consent. Consent is not true consent where there is a power imbalance. You cannot make a free and retractable agreement about something, if that agreement is made in fear of losing your access to income, and resources–financial, emotional or otherwise.
The shell which included social etiquette, consideration and interest in the outer world is broken. I feel a desperate need to be intensely focused on being sad and I resent any attempt to pull me out of my business of being so. Still, I will go through the motions, but I will not be happy. I do not want to be happy because that is just another attempt to invalidate what I’m feeling.
Are you crying because you’ve discovered our present world is far shittier and more abusive than you thought? Are you crying because YOU are far shittier and more abusive than you thought? Ouch, that’s gotta hurt. So cry away but not in the company of people of colour–they know the truth already. Don’t beg them for forgiveness, after all you have albeit unwittingly, been part of a system which abused them.
It seems incredible now, but I once thought the notion of intentional families was a simple one. Who wouldn’t want a family actively chosen from people whom you love and who love you with their whole heart instead of some of those conflicted fuck-ups we are saddled with by blood and/or marriage?
What we find funny is indicative of our beliefs, attitudes, judgements and opinions. It is a useful barometer. When we mock those who by birth or circumstance are less fortunate, we become persecutors and make others our victims. We have no less duty of care for verbal abuse even through humour, than we do for physical abuse.
Britain has never taken responsibility for the bloodshed and exploitation which built the empire. This is evidenced by Theresa May’s hardline on Brexit. We want to take without giving anything in return. We make no apologies for our xenophobic attitudes; our comedy ridicules ‘those bloody foreigners’, our narrow-minded and disrespectful behaviour often shames us in the countries we visit.
‘Love, Retold’ personifies non-violent and exploratory angles on our perceived powerlessness created by an ultimate truth; we cannot control others or their willingness to be in a relationship with us, if we truly seek to love.
Today I’m starting to put vocals on the music and song cycle now known as Twelvemonth. As you can see from my songbook, lyric writing is not always (rarely in fact) a straightforward affair. I work in pencil for a good reason. And don’t let anyone tell you that using a rhyme dictionary is cheating. This song is from the second cycle and …