Tuesday, 21 May 2019

Sweet Home Alabama

Unless you have miraculously avoided the internet over the past 7 days, which I'd say is pretty impossible, you will know that last Tuesday lawmakers in Alabama voted to introduce the strictest abortion laws in America. The devastating decision means that all women would be forced to carry a pregnancy to term regardless of age, incest or rape, once the fetus surpassed 6 weeks old.

The Heartbeat Bill, as it is often known, does nothing to support the women of Alabama, placing the focus on the heap of cells that she is carrying rather than her own safety. It's a massive punch in the cunt for women and healthcare professionals across the state, who could be sentenced to up to 99 years in prison if they are found to have performed the procedure.

Interestingly, there will be no repercussions for men who choose to leave their partners as a result of unwanted pregnancy, but that's for another day.

Obviously, I'm pro-choice and have about as much respect for anti-abortionists as I do anti-vaxxers. You're a twat, to put it likely, and anyone's mother who bore a child that grew to be as ignorantly repulsive as you should really have swallowed. You're an oxygen thief but, sadly, the lives of the stupid are seen as being equally valuable as a lump of cells and we're not allowed to get rid of them.

As a result of the ban, many people are using #YouKnowMe to tell their stories about having had abortions themselves, including Busy Philips (who I love) and Jameela Jamil (who I am fast starting to hate almost as much as I hate Cat Dealey).

I myself, have never had an abortion, but I did have a miscarriage when I was 19. Having not known I was pregnant, it really wasn't much of an issue as regardless of whether or not I had done so I would have had an abortion. At the time I was self-harming, drinking, had an eating disorder and was indulging in all manner of self-destructive behaviours that would not only have lead to the child suffering were I to carry it to term, but also to it to experience health implications as a result of my actions during pregnancy. This is on top of the fact that I was incredibly mentally ill, unmedicated and a flat broke student with no desire to reproduce at all during my lifetime. Would I have wanted to carry the pregnancy to term? No. Would I have been forced to under the new Alabama laws? Yes.

My problem with the new laws in Alabama is that not only does it discount the life of the woman, but also the actual life of the child. Why would you force a child to be born with severe health issues, or to be born directly into foster care in what is already an overstretched system? If you actively have the choice to prevent an unwanted child from being born, I have no understanding of why anyone would want to prevent you from doing so.

Were I, through horrible accident, to fall pregnant again, there is no doubt that I would have an abortion. Not only because I have no desire to reproduce but also, despite what the world may think, I'm not a completely selfish bitch and therefore see no value in bringing a child into the world that is quite simply, not wanted.

But then that's just me.


Wednesday, 15 May 2019

Fakery, Fuckery and Jeremy Kyle

As any self-respecting British person will have become aware of over the past two days, the iconic Jeremy Kyle show has been taken off the air after over a decade. A cornerstone of anyone's daytime TV schedule, the show has been cancelled after the death of a guest that failed a lie detector test.

So far there has been little to no reports on how he died but, as far as I can see, only one UK platform has suggested that the person in question took his own life.

The publication I refer to is the Metro, so don't get too excited.

Discussing the incident with a friend last night, what I didn't realise was that prior to appearing on television programmes such as Jeremy Kyle, guests are often given psychiatric evaluations, in an attempt to ensure their health will not be affected by appearing on the show. Ignoring how I feel about free and informed medical care being given to people whose main concern in life is proving to their ex that they didn't shag their sister, it's important to realise how easy it is to manipulate the results of these tests.

Whilst some people will always believe that people experiencing mental health issues are "faking" and that their problems don't really exist, I can vouch first hand for how easy it is to convince people, even medical professionals, that your health is improving. It's also important to remember that money is, and will always be, a contributing factor towards people's behaviour, and when a large sum of money comes your way, it can be difficult to resist.

What is often glossed over in discussions about mental health problems, is how boring they can be. Yes I know I need to rest and that certain things aren't within my capacity at the moment, but that doesn't mean I don't wish I was able to go out and live a "normal" life. When we're in a desperate situation and want to hold on to normality as much as we can, it's easy to pretend that we're doing okay. I don't mean this in a "Dave hasn't been to the pub this week give him a visit" kind of lie, I mean the kind of lie that allows us to progress through life in ways that we wish we could.

The issue with programmes such as The Jeremy Kyle Show and Love Island, which was suggested to contribute towards the suicide of contestants Mike Thalassitis and Sophie Gradon, is that if you want something badly enough, be it fame, money or success, it's very easy to act as if nothing's wrong. It may be difficult for doctors and psychologists to pick up on cues that might tell them this, particularly due to limited time and resources, but people need to be aware that it happens. 

We're humans, if it's one thing we do better than the rest of the food chain, it's lie.