Fat-Shaming is Abuse

For decades now, society has had an obsession with weight. From early childhood and throughout life, women receive a lot of pressure to be thin and this pressure comes from so many directions (Family, Friends, Teachers, Advertisement, Media, etc.).

Fat women on the internet endure systemic prejudice, bias, violent and abusive comments simply because of their size. Fat-shaming is deep, rampant and extremely damaging.

“You should stop eating. Anorexia could be good for you. Being slim is the best body type. No ones like fat girls.” – Anonymous trolls.

“Obesity is extraordinarily unattractive to 99% of the population. You are visually repulsive.” – Anonymous troll

Of course, being beautiful according to society standard is primordial and failing to follow the rules makes it okay for every stranger hiding behind their keyboards to send you to hate, abusive messages and threats of violence or death. (heavy on sarcasm)

These inappropriate comments start from a frighteningly your age and then we wonder why so many women hate their bodies.

“Your breasts aren’t real. They’re just fat.” – Ramanda Rox recounts what she was told when she was 8 years old.

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Fat-shaming often comes disguised as a concern or helpful advice, but the impact is always the same. For those who use the excuse that they are simply looking out for the individual’s personal health and well-being, health is incredibly complex and individual. It certainly not up for discussion with strangers on the internet. A thin person might look healthy but it doesn’t mean they are. You may assume that a fat person is unhealthy, but you may be wrong.

When I got diagnosed with Graves’ Disease (a genetic autoimmune illness) and Hyperthyroidism (caused by Graves’ Disease), the first thing the doctor told me is that my weight was a symptom of the illness, not the cause. Some will argue that Graves’ Disease and Hyperthyroidism makes you thin, not fat. Unfortunately, that’s not quite true for everyone. Approximately 80% of sufferers do lose weight as a result, the other 20% gain weight. Neither side is good. Both are still struggling with the same illness. Weight has nothing to do with the illness.

In both cases, drinking water and eating healthy isn’t going to change a thing when it comes to weight.

My own mother inquired if the lower limb weakness and pain I felt was caused by weight issues. Even after relating the information I received from the doctors, she still thought losing 10-20 pounds would magically solve all my issues because that’s what she has learned from childhood. I do not remember my mother not hating her body or not being on a diet. She is forever worried of what people will think. It’s not healthy.

She is still holding on to an old picture of me during a very difficult period of my life when I was eating 5 carbohydrates a day. I wasn’t healthy at all, yet that’s the image that people liked the most. Granted, my eating habits to get that thin isn’t something I shared with anyone. The point is no one knew I was sick. You can’t tell from looking at someone.

“Go fuck yourself you fugly. You’re the worst kind of peice of shit. You’re fucking pathetic. I hope you die. I hope someone stabs you in the throat while you sleep. I legitimately hope someone murders you in your sleep. I hope that happens. I truly do. I want it to.” – Anonymous

Nobody deserves those types of comments and nobody should have to tolerate it. The shame and stigma directed toward a larger individual aren’t justified.

We should all reflect on how our words and our actions affect people. We need to ask ourselves whether our opinion is relevant, especially when no one asked for it.

Women Persecution – A worldwide issue

Trigger Warning: Discussion of Rape, Violence 

The World Health Organisation issued a declaration stating that violence against women as become “a global health problem of epidemic proportions.”

fear-1131143_1280Violence against women is a worldwide issue. Rape culture is everywhere even in our own society. There is too much violence everywhere against women. In all countries. According to the United Nations, 1 in 3 women worldwide have experienced physical or sexual violence and the majority of these are by an intimate partner. According to the same report, half of the women killed in 2012 were killed by their partners. 1 in 20 men were killed under the same circumstance.

Let’s start with Canada, which is home for me. A  Longueuil mother suspected of “renting” her 9-year-old daughter to Marc Clermont a 61-year-old man. Apparently the mother would have accepted money in exchange for allowing her child to be sexually assaulted. The maximum sentence for the mother is 14 years. This is not a first rape for Marc Clermont who already has a criminal record for similar offence. So when do we decide to lock people up and throw away the key for good?

A convicted rapist from the United State is currently residing in Outremont, Quebec with no special conditions apparently due to an administrative error between US and Canadian officials.

« C’est un gros problème, parce que la violence auprès des femmes est en quelque sorte tolérée dans notre société », dit Michael Hurley, du Conseil des syndicats d’hôpitaux de l’Ontario.

When a New York police officer are given ridiculously small sentence for repeated rape of a minor, you send a clear message that women and children aren’t valuable members of society.

woman-1006102_1920Even in the absence of wars, crime and social conflicts, women in East Asia are more likely to be harmed by men they know — intimate partners, ex-partners or family members — rather than by strangers. Three years for repeated rape of a minor is absurd. You would probably get more for weed possession in many states.

Women suffer silently because institutions who are supposed to help them, don’t even believe when women tell their abuse.

It’s a situation that demands our attention. It is easy to remove yourself from a situation that is happening halfway across the world, but the truth is that negativity catches and it’s become a worldwide problem.

neck-1211231_1920Society as a whole needs to change and demand change toward rapists and women’s rights on every soil. Too many countries allow rapists to walk away with sentences that are laughable.

Society as a whole needs to be more intuitive and perceptive to abusers. I know quite a few people who are so abusive behind closed doors yet are so loved and praised by everyone outside those doors. It’s disgusting and rather sad.

“Men are afraid that women will laugh at them. Women are afraid that men will kill them.” – Margaret Atwood

The world that we live in is so sad sometimes that it’s hard to sleep at night. I can’t believe that people would discriminate against women all over the world. If only people would take it upon themselves to be educated about the world around them, together we could fight for a better and safer world for all.

“Please don’t be complacent and too comfortable with your life. Be aware of what has happened over the years, decades and literally centuries to get you here. Women fought and died. People march to make other people aware; pay attention, please, lest you lose it all. Lest we all lose it all.” – Sharon Weeks

The fact that more and more books and movies portray abuse as the ultimate romantic relationship is a symptom of a world wide issue.

Examples of the media contributing to gender violence:

seduction-1957736_1920In the United States, the fact that a judge would recognise that Social Media normalises rape, but then turns around and lets the rapist go because “it’s not his fault”, is absolutely unacceptable. Influence doesn’t make crime legal. Victims still should have access to justice. First of all, rape is not a 21st-century concept. This moron is going to blame rape on the Internet? So this guy gets probation because “the internet” made him do it.

Too often society and judges find excuses for men, but women have to take all the responsibility for when, why, what they were wearing, what were you drinking. It’s ridiculous. Responsibilities should be only on the rapist!

“In other countries, brutish husbands put wives in hospitals; in America, they put them in graves.” – Nicholas Kristof

The first target in war-like situation and lawless sectors are often women. Rape has been an integral tactic of war for as long as war has existed, but it has never been given the condemnation it deserves, partly because it is to women that it is primarily done systemically, and partly because it is done by both “sides” and to criticise you makes me more vulnerable to being exposed too.

Examples that proves gender violence is an epidemic:

person-690245_1920In India, road safety rules don’t apply to women, an exemption that comes from a culture-wide devaluation of women’s lives. This devaluation also shows in form of ownership in the relationship, such as a farmer decapitates wife with a sword after finding her with another man. The idea that the man had a right to take his wife’s life as punishment happens everywhere in the world whether it’s legal or not.

  • In Indonesia, a woman is lashed before a cheering crowd.
  • In Poland, a conservative politician Janusz Korwin-Mikke states that “women must earn less because they are weaker, they are smaller, they are less intelligent. They must earn less. That is all.”
  • In Russia, a newspaper tells women to be proud of their bruises after the government makes it okay to beat your wife.
  • In Saudi Arabia, women are not allowed to drive and they get threatened with death if they go outside without the hijab.
  • In Vatican city, women don’t have legal rights to vote.
  • In Yemen, women aren’t recognised as full people under the court and can’t leave their home without their husband’s permission.

fourth-of-july-820529_1920In the United States of America, lawmakers of Arkansas passed a law that allows rapists to sue their victims. This means that legislation in the US that would allow rapists to legally block their victims from aborting the products of rape. So even male rapists have more rights over a female’s body than the woman herself!

I was told by someone that if women would simply follow the rules and stop trying to fight against them, they would have good lives.

It literally shocks me that there are so many ignorant people out there. Do they actually believe the crap they say?

“A rat in a maze is free to go anywhere, as long as it stays inside the maze.” – Margaret Atwood

 

Slavery isn’t a thing of the past

There are more slaves in the world right now than were ever present in slave-owning America. According to Walk Free Foundation, there are over 45 million people around the world currently trapped in slavery.

did-you-know-5981b5You may be surprised to learn that Canada has over 6 thousand people trapped in slavery.  In fact, Canada is considered a key way station in the lucrative slave business. It is easier to smuggle people across our borders into the United States, than using any other entry method. This difficult truth is a total disgrace.

The term slavery includes forced labour, debt bondage, forced marriage and sex trafficking.

Canada didn’t even have laws against human trafficking until 2005 and there is still no minimum sentence established. The first case of human trafficking with conviction involved a Canadian born minor who was being sold and purchased through Craigslist.

The F1 race in Montreal is increasingly developing a reputation as a sex tourism destination for perverts and paedophiles from around the world.

Many women are forced into sex trafficking by their boyfriend. These traffickers will use threats against family members to get the women to cooperate.

Children are being lured through social media sites. Some porn and human traffickers pass themselves off as someone your child knows, like a kid a school, then once the relationship is established, they start asking for nudes. Once they have the nudes, they blackmail your child into giving them the name and information on a friend or the pictures go on the internet. The truth is that these pictures are already on the internet. If they can, they will try to convince your child to get on a public bus and come meet them. The police don’t have enough authorities to do anything preventive.

Aboriginal women and minorities are at risk for predators amid public indifference. The death and disappearance of aboriginal women have emerged as an alarming nationwide issue and yet, the media coverage is almost inexistent. Government promises inquiries and action, but due to red tape and delays very little has been done.

Some sex trafficking rings make false job advertisement abroad to attract potential victims. The women get picked up at the airport. They rely on their employer since they are not familiar with the area. These men use violence to scare the women into the following instruction. They then take away their passport and plane ticket home making sure they have no easy way home. These victims are often afraid of police authority because their own police are corrupt. They also fear reprisals because they no longer have proper documentation. They suddenly look like illegal immigrants. They also force women to take drugs so that they will be too high to escape or fight back.

Skilled workers from abroad are being packed into filthy houses, denied pay, threatened with deportation.

These men use violence to scare the women into the following instruction. They then take away their passport and plane ticket home making sure they have no easy way home. They also force women to take drugs so that they will be too high to escape or fight back.

“When I took a job to save for my daughter’s college education, I never thought I’d go through five months of hell.” – Shandra Woworuntu

The rise in slavery is largely going unnoticed in Canada and many other countries who consider themselves 1st world countries. The problem isn’t being taken seriously enough. Laws are inadequate or too light to force change. As citizens, we need to bring this issue up as a political point during the next elections. We need to be forcing our government to take real measures against slavery and help victims get free.

Other stories about slavery:

Going on vacation? How to prevent home burglaries

A recent report from the FBI says that 90% of home burglaries can be prevented.

Thinking ahead before you go on vacation can help stop burglars from targeting your home while you’re away.

Here are some easy tips that can help reduce the risk of burglaries:

Automatic Lights

You can purchase a timer for your lights at Home Depot or Canadian Tire for example. They cost approximately $25 CAD. Even if you only purchase one for the living room or the kitchen, it still makes it look like someone is in the house.

Baggage Tags

Write your work address on your baggage tags. Many burglaries happened because some airport employees took a picture of the baggage tag, sent it to someone, who then goes around your house knowing you are away for a while.

Mail Delivery

If you are still getting mail delivery at the house and not in one of those mailboxes at the end of the street, you can have Post Canada hold your mail while you are away on vacation.

Social Media

Don’t post on social media that you are going on vacation and how much time you will be away. You never know who’s seeing your post. Please remember that when one of your friends/contacts like or comment on your post, all of their friends/contacts can see the post. I personally know every single person I’m connected to on my private social media accounts, but I know for a fact that many of my friends have never met the people they are in connected with.

Facebook funny & get to know you Games – What you should know

If you are on Facebook, you have probably already seen these type of games.

Hahaha! Fun!
Everyone has five names. Come on, this is funny(ish)!

•Your actual name: Sarah Jane Smith
•Your Soap Opera name (middle name and street you live on): JaneChristopher
•Your Star Trek name (first 3 letters of your last name, first two letters of middle, first two of first name): SmiJaSa
•Your Super Hero name (color of your shirt and item to the right of you): RoseTardis
•Your Goth name (black and name of one of your pets): Black K9
•Your Rapper name (Li’l + the last thing you ate): Li’l Fish Stick & Custard
NOW copy and paste and repost to share what yours is.

As a person with a wee bit of computer knowledge and this information you just freely made public I know that hackers can probably guess your passwords and get into your emails, computer, etc. Which is why I you will never see such a game on my wall.

computer-1185567_1280They also help cracking security questions. When you click the “forgot password” link within a web-mail service or other sites, you’re asked to answer a series of questions. the answers can over be found on your social media profile or on your wall, when you publish the answers to little games like this one.

You also open yourself up to identity theft.

A couple of tips that will make your password not so easily guessable.

  1. Don’t use names (not yours, not your spouse, kids, parents, friend, pets, etc.)
  2. Don’t use middle names (not even your parent’s middle names)
  3. Don’t use your favourites (colour, food, books, etc.)
  4. Do not use the word Password, the number combination 1234, etc.

Don’t make it too easy for individuals with bad intentions.

Learning to Shut Up

In this day and age, is it possible to abstain from commenting?

Making the decision to keep quiet when you realise that you have nothing to constructive to contribute should not need the use of words, that’s technically the contrary of staying quiet.

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I was reading an article and the commentary at the end when I came across a post that should never have been one. It said: “I have promised myself to take some time away from giving my opinion about this. I am on a break. Talk amongst yourselves.”

Thank you for giving us permission to have a discussion without you, a complete stranger, whose lack of presence wouldn’t have been missed.

Where does the need to publicly declare that you are choosing not to participate in the conversation? Does it matter if people know that you won’t comment on the subject? Where does the push to take up space comes from?

 

The Good Side of Social Media

Facebook has made it possible for me to keep in touch with friends and family who live in other countries or just very far. It is an easy way to stay in communication and see our families grow.

twitter-292994_1920For some social media has had an even greater positive effect on their lives, such as:

A First Nation family living Saskatchewan, Canada, is extremely thankful for social media after a Facebook page played a big role in reuniting a mother with her two daughters that were taken during the 60’s Scoop.  You can read more about this story at CBC News

A mother uploaded a picture of her child and one of her Facebook friends reached out to her as she recognises something wrong with the child’s eyes. This chance intervention saved the little girl’s vision. You can read more about this story at Today

A woman who had been left as a baby in a fast food restaurant was able to find her mother through the use of social media. Her plea was shared over 33,000 times and was eventually seen by her birth mother. You can read more about this story at Time

 

 

Facebook Live Violence – Are we asking the right questions?

Facebook promised action regarding the violence Facebook Live videos, but are we asking the right question when addressing the problem?

questions-1328466_1920Are these videos causing violence or are they merely showing something that exists in our society? Are we shocked and angered by violent and murderous acts or personally witnessing or knowing about them? Should we be putting as much pressure on police and the justice system to address this problem or are we simply demanding social media outlets to protect our sensibilities and keep this issue away from our eyes and ears?

Shutting down Facebook live isn’t the answer. It only indicates a sentiment that society wants to ignore violence rather than actually stop it. Ignoring an issue doesn’t solve it. Ignoring the issue won’t save lives. Ignoring the issue doesn’t mean that we are safe.

In addition, If we consider that these videos provide concrete evidence of crimes that have been committed, I say leave it be. Only remove them once the police are done with their investigation to be respectful. It is a sad world that some one will record their criminal acts but it certainly speeds up the investigation and convictions of these criminals.

web-page-2084779_1920People are demanding action from Facebook, but they aren’t the only social media outlet with this kind of problem. There are many social media sites that people upload to. You can find lots of videos like this on YouTube and other sites. This isn’t a new phenomenon. It’s just getting more difficult to ignore and that may be what society needs to finally do something about it.

Something needs to be done to address the violent crimes, not only on the prosecution side, but on prevention side also. How many people have gone to the authorities stating that they feared for their life or the lives of their children only to be told that there isn’t anything they can do to help?

 

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Think before typing

I was reading an article talking about a possible herpes vaccine. I’m always interested in new medical findings whether it applies to me or not. I don’t have epilepsy and yet taking epilepsy medication helped me eliminate my migraines.

startup-849804_1920In the Facebook comments someone replied that the majority of the human population have the virus and it’s harmless, which is technically true, even if his statistic were a bit too high. Then he added that there is some cases that are difficult to live with, but that didn’t warrant the creation and distribution of a vaccines. Now why would anyone be against finding a cure to an illness? 

There are many elements about that comment that made me think. First of all, if you don’t have anything constructive to add to a conversation, why not keep it to yourself. What is it about sitting behind a keyboard that draws some individuals into commenting on everything they see? 

Whether you suffer from the illness or not, why wouldn’t you happy about a possible cure? Have we become such a selfish society that we cannot find joy in someone else’s happiness?

twitter-292994_1920I personally don’t care how rare or how generalised an illness is, I do not believe anyone should be complaining about finding a cure. If the person had also bothered reading the article, he might have understood that finding a cure for herpes opens up the door to finding a cure to many chronic, persistent and recurrent viruses. This is extremely good news.

Think before you type. take a moment to think about whether or not what you’re saying might be constructive.

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