Posts Tagged ‘society’

Adjusting (or not)

I find it difficult to get used to this place. The next door neighbor is a single mum with three young kids, and from my point of view the kids are out of control, the whole family constantly screaming at each other (and worse on occasion). Though her youngest and mine rarely play together- the pervasiveness of their life is starting to affect my kids. Rafe, who is normally incredibly good natured, has started screaming at me. I have long learned how to handle that type of behaviour and can nip it in the bud with a stern word of warning, but it disturbs me just the same. My daughter,11, occasionally plays with the other girls on the street, and afterwards she is belligerent, demanding and snotty. Trying to manage these new behaviours is demanding as they are not part of my kids normal makeup, and are the result of influence. I find that I have to be even more strict than usual and can’t let them get away with it for a second. My eldest is son is thankfully not yet affected, he is not allowed to hang out with the few boys his age on the street as I know they smoke and drink. He’d like to go to the skatepark but the kids there are nasty little cretins and Dev finds that instead of just being able to play, he has to spend his whole time arguing or standing up for himself. Never mind that he is bigger than the kids and could easily lay them out if he decided to let them have it, that’s not in his genetic makeup and I think they see that.

The nights are difficult. Though we are fairly tucked away, our road is some sort of bus through-fare and they come and go at all hours. People come and go all night as well, usually loud and drunkenly. The dogs of the neighbourhood wake me up early every morning with collective howling and barking. During the day the street is full of kids, normally just playing, but when the neighbor kids are about you can be sure their mother will turn up soon and they will all start screaming again, usually just outside our windows. The little one, only 6, will inevitably start crying and there will be more screaming and I end up pacing the floor, wondering what I can do and usually just taking my kids to the park so they don’t have to listen to it anymore. Once I could hear her sobbing through the walls with occasional screaming at the kids and I gathered up all my courage and went over to ask if I could help, maybe by taking her kids to the park or something, she pretended not to be there, and when I pressed said she was fine, thank you.

Her behaviour disturbs me, especially as I worry about her kids, and the effect on mine, and initially I was very judgemental about her. I softened though when I remembered being a single mother for 8 years with two kids, one of which would later be diagnosed with a “social communication disorder”, which just means he screamed a lot as a kid, and occasionally jumped out of moving cars on busy roads because he couldn’t control his anger. It took me a few years to get the hang of this parenting stuff, and I remember being so hard on my son for silly things. I want to help my new neighbour, but she clearly does not want my help. She struts around the neighbourhood, wine class in hand, screaming at her kids or sobbing about some transgression to the adolescent girls that make up her entourage. I find myself less sympathetic and understanding and more irritated and disgusted. When the screaming starts I twitch the curtains, worried she will strike one of the children and knowing that if, when, it happens I will not be able to stay out of it anymore. My family knows this, and while I don’t think they would truly want me to stand back if she were beating them, I know they want me to be quiet, mind my own business, not get involved. I feel embarrassed that they feel this way, that I am some big mouth always getting involved in things that they don’t think concern me. I feel ashamed of them, too. We once came across a man and a woman fighting in the back of the van at a red light. We could see him punching her, could see the blood on her face and clothes. Instinctively I got out of the car, started to shout at them but was dragged back in by the sounds of my family shouting at me. I knew it could end up with me being hurt and didn’t want my kids to see that, so I got back in, and called the police instead. I thought perhaps I had taught my kids an important lesson that night, but now I wonder. Could it be that I am raising kids, and am married to a man, who can stand back and do nothing while others are hurt or treated badly and worse, believe that is better somehow than getting involved?

I long for our detached house in the tiny little cul-de-sac, where the cats could sleep all day on the road outside without ever being disturbed, where the nights were mostly silent and the only noise on a Sunday morning are the church bells in town, which I opened my windows wide to, so that we could hear them better, especially in the winter, when they chime Christmas carols.


The blame game…

About a month ago my oldest son, 13, was confronted by a group of kids he barely knows on his way home from spending the afternoon with his friends. The kids called him racist names and two girls in the group slapped him repeatedly. They then followed him home and stood outside calling him horrible names and threatening him.

I mention it here because recently in the British media there has been a big thing about the police not taking this kind of “anti social behaviour” seriously enough. I’ve asked myself if I agree with this sentiment. Eventually I decided that I don’t.

I am the first person to bitch about Britain. Here in Britain communication is a dirty word (You ever get the feeling you’re supposed to be doing something, but you have no idea what? Welcome to life in Britain.), customer service is an evil American idea to be feared, and if the government interfered in daily life any more, it would be sleeping in your bed with you. But on this issue of anti social behaviour, I find it difficult to blame the cops.

When I reported the incident with my son, there were lights and sirens, and cops here within 10 minutes, despite me saying it wasn’t necessary, the kids had run off. They took it very seriously, we had to take my son to a safe house to make a video statement on a Sunday morning and at the beginning there were 5 officers assigned to it, that I knew of. Now there is one officer, she calls me twice a week to update me, and all save one of the kids has been arrested and questioned. When there was a further incident with one of the slappy twins, she came out to the house the day after I reported it to talk to my son and get all the information.

The investigation is still being completed so I don’t know what the outcome will be, but so far I have to say the police have been stellar, giving it their attention, taking it seriously, making sure it isn’t just ignored.

British media loves to blame someone. It needs a name in its huge, screaming, red headlines. It doesn’t normally care whose name that it. But, after the sheer amount of anti social behaviour I and my kids have experienced, and what I’ve seen reported in the media- I think Britain needs to realise that big red headlines, blame, or throwing money at a problem doesn’t fix it. The people who live here need to have a rethink about their own values, and what they’re teaching their kids. Maybe it’s an apathetic society which is at fault. Happy to blame others, but never wanting to look in the mirror and make changes to what it sees.

oh, and also-

Overweight people are not all overweight because “they obviously don’t eat only when they’re hungry”. There are lots and lots of reasons for obesity.

Ignorance + Stereotypes= a hateful society.

I am apalled at the amount of hate filled diatribes aimed at poeple who are “obese”.  I know that there is always some group of people that get treated like dirt for being different, whether it’s a different religion, or skin colour, or political affiliation.  And every time that group of people manage to throw off the rampant discrimination associated with their group, it just moves right on to another group of people.

Is it possible we could just live up to our perceived humanity and evolution and just stop, altogether? Why does there always have to be a group of society that we deem less worthy, less smart, less pretty, less capable, etc? If we started acting like we were all equals, perhaps we really could start feeling like it, too.

the state of things.

Emotionally exhausted. Who knew this life could ever be so hard? I was a wreck yesterday, though I managed to pull it together before I got to work. I retreated into my own little world of insurance claims and client invoicing with interruptions only every 10 minutes. I stuck my MP3 player on, and tried not to be consumed with thoughts of my inadequacies and many mistakes. Eventually the threat of fresh tears passed and I was able to move on with my work. Hooray me, I managed to recover £5000 for the company yesterday. Of course, winching this money away from our clients who have already struggled to pay thousands in treatment costs seems a bit crass when you think of the big celebrity client who’s been given thousands of pounds of treatment for free. I don’t like to be critical, at least not like this, but I have such a hard time reconciling it in my head. Those who are most able to pay are given so much for free, while those who struggle are fleeced again and again. I don’t mean my company specifically, we may be guilty of having stars in our eyes, but never of fleecing our much valued clients. I mean society. It’s a theme that is oft repeated in every facet of life. The rich are enthroned, worshipped. The poor are stepped on. For proof simply look out at the world as it is. War, corruption, famine devour our poorest countries, while here sits a “rich” white American, lamenting about the state of it. Next I’ll be listening to my online radio, drinking Evian and eating my cinnamon raison bagel whilst demanding that our clients fork out for their dog’s latest physiotherapy session.

If that isn’t proof, what is?

Bigoted Nescient Parasites

I must simply say this- if you have ever considered voting for the BNP, please reconsider. A popular political party that contains a high standing member that spews such hate filled ignorance is truly a frightening thing. While the party is known for it’s ridiculous policies on immigration, this transcends anything I have ever seen or heard from them and it makes me feel sick.

To claim that women enjoy rape, are to blame for the woes of society because they choose to work, and are all vindictive and spiteful is so jaw droppingly backwards it makes you wonder if we really are living in a 1st world, modern and educated country in the 21st century.

For the BNP to trivialize the blog’s statements by saying they had been “taken out of context” or to defend it by screaming “FREE SPEECH, FREE SPEECH”  is apalling. Yes, BNP, your members may say what they like on their blog, just as I may on mine, but the simple fact that one of your members holds such views, felt it appropriate to publish them and you have defended it says quite a lot about your party. Please, remember, in May when you are hanging your heads in defeat that it was not the “nasty, braindead, disgruntled left wing… undemocratic democrats”, or even the “stupid women” who brought you down, but yourselves, by simply revealing your true colours.

Despite my uncomfort with Labour’s immigration policies this issue makes me eager to become a British citizen, just so that I may cast my vote away from this disgusting party.  As all immigrants, stupid women,  working mothers, traffic wardens and rape victims should.

no link?

I walked into the gas station this morning, to get a muffin, and what was displayed prominently at eye level next to said muffins? Magazine covers like this :  and this: and this:

And yet, people believe that the teenage sex and pregnancy crisis has nothing to do with the society we live in. Apparently we expect to expose young girls to this kind of example, but those same young girls should not believe that this is what they’re supposed to aspire to? Wow. So, how does that work, again? We bombard them with images of skinny, big breasted naked women, sexual innuendo and downright blunt sex messages, and then act very confused when young girls take off their shirts and have sex?

 So, how is that working out? Not very well? Oh..Hmm. Strange, that.

Open your eyes, people!

Once again the issue of teenage pregnancy has been greeted with ignorance and blame.

 I say this everytime. I will keep saying it until I am blue in the face. Teenage pregnancy is NOT caused by young girls being stupid, selfish, desperate for a baby, looking for the government to give them an easy ride, etc.  It is sad, sad, sad that people actually think this is the case!

Pregnancy is a crisis facing our young girls. It is the culmination of years of society brainwashing. Young girls are taught that they MUST be pretty, skinny, sexy. Who is teaching them this? YOU ARE!  Look around you- what do you see? Pop star princesses in rehab, anorexic models on the magazine covers, independant, intelligent women being vilified in the local paper. Girls being taught that when they grow up, they will be mommies. They will get married and have lots of little babies.

What did you think would happen? When you started calling smart girls ugly and independant girls fem-nazis? When you started telling little girls they were fat? When you started marketing clothes with “porn star” written on them to toddlers?

 You society, are destroying our little girls. Do you really think that throwing condoms and birth control pills at teenagers is going to solve the problems you have created? Do you really think that shoving sex down young girls throats then turning your backs on them when they actually have sex is going to solve the problem?

  •  sex
  • drugs
  • peer pressure
  • impossible standards of physical beauty
  • expectation that they will grow up to be “mommies”
  • self loathing when their weight or beauty is not what is on the magazine covers
  • astronomical cost of further education

These are the issues facing our young girls today. Issues that society has created for them. Until we acknowledge our part in the crisis, until we take real steps to stamp out the roots of the issues above, young girls will keep having sex, and keep getting pregnant.

And we will have noone to blame but ourselves.

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