SIN [Poetry]

I’ve been getting into a lot of Youtube debates about Homosexuality and sins recently so I felt really inspired to write some poetry about my thoughts

 

S.I.N

Face patterned, cotton buds soak blood from white skin

Isn’t meant to fold by my eyes when I cry so hard I’m blind,

Blind like what you are every time you hit me with that word sin.

Sin Shit you say with your spitting words tongue mouth gasping for air as pure as my love you call evil.

Evil knows I’m here, spreading through Countries, devil killing off anyone that tampers with his favourite book.

My words sharp like knuckles to brains that only know book. I hit them hard like they hit me.

S stands for See. See the floorboards shake as you almost beat him to death; see the heavy heart pound with love and fear because she can’t just feel love; See the sparkling dew drops fall in springtime on to the face of James who was dumped there because he loved, or Yusuf because she’s woman or Cider because her family disowned.

See the fucking devil illness in that song your parents sang you, that song that you sing to your children. Entertainment, see, watch, see what not to be.

I stands for Inside. Inside that James, two kidneys, red rivers just like your body and mine; Inside the mind that indulged in those emotions; inside the receptors inside those lips that drove inside my body, to my emotion filled mind and forgot how to drive; Inside my heart that knows good and knows evil.

N stands for Nobody. Nobody with the answer that we are all looking for. Nobody on this planet all knowing, all seeing. Yet all claiming, beating, killing, hating, fighting yourselves for your sin.

Yes, SIN. S.I.N, See Inside Nobody.

One heart, two kidneys, red river, a brain…

 

 

Poem by Raynar Rogers

Everyone’s a Critic

Recently I have moved back to my home Country, Wales, after completing a three year degree in South England. One of the things they don’t tell you about when finishing Uni is that being at home IS GOING TO SUCK. Okay, not for everyone, but for me, I’m pulling my hair out trying to find work, my bank balance is scarily deteriorating by the day meaning that leaving the house is not a financially smart move and there is this atmosphere inside the prison that becomes your house that I can only describe as the most infuriating comfort ever known to man (or woman). Home… It is ridden with good and bad memories and a family that we love to hate and hate to love; We prod eachother to find breaking points and use eachother’s weaknesses to undermine eachother’s strengths; We are truly appreciative to be in each other’s lives one minute and slamming the door, tears streaming from our faces the next; And however much we hurt one another, it will never hurt as much as the pain we feel when we have to say sorry. 

But despite knowing the household struggles that an ordinary dysfunctional family like mine endures, it still doesn’t lessen my frustration when it comes to talking about the type of oppression that I face every day…

Although seemingly harmless in intent, my family can sometimes say mildly homophobic or racist ‘jokes’ to provide entertainment without any ‘real’ prejudice toward those that they may be offending and because those they may be offending are not in the room, there is no problem. For anyone that knows me, I am a person that is concerned with fairness and I believe in standing up for those who aren’t able to defend themselves at the time, so in this instance, I would ordinarily challenge that ‘joke’ and whilst it isn’t necessarily concerned with me personally, I feel offended for those who are victims to that joke. In doing so, I often come up against a large brick wall that is backed by the core members of the family and although my argument is well intentioned, drawing on how using offensive comments for entertainment is perpetuating stereotypes and fueling an already oppressive society to continue oppressing, my argument is more than not appreciated, it is demised with the view that I am being petty, not down to Earth and difficult. 

 Now, I don’t want to bad mouth my family, I love and respect them in ways they wouldn’t understand, but this is not necessarily about them, this is about an attitude that has formed in societies like my own, where it is okay to deconstruct oppressive History and turn it into entertainment for people who are enjoying the apathetic uses of words that have been used to persecute these minorities and where people are more concerned about those who are challenging the use of offensive words than those using offensive language. And it doesn’t end there, since I have moved home in the last month, I have been called out on for having beliefs on gender politics, being dubbed as weird and annoying, I have been asked not to talk about newsworthy stories that don’t effect US, and am regularly hissed at for possessing any sort of intellect toward ongoing globally concerning debates, often struck with the sentence ‘just because you went to Uni’, as if somehow the knowledge I have gained in education is illegitimate and holds no worth in this household. Let me just translate that: I cannot exercise my knowledge from education and I cannot exercise my beliefs that are a very big and important part of me and how I find meaning and pursuit in my life. And to add to this the fact that there are certain aspects of my sexuality that I cannot express at home, home becomes a vacuous cavity that proceeds to drain me of everything I have achieved and also the person that I am very proud to be, producing heavy air around me that weighs me down, pushing all those ideas and beliefs of equality right back down into the pit of my stomach, which can be described as none other than oppression. 

The reason that I am sharing this information over a blog instead of a personal journal is because the difficulties many of us face when attempting to make positive change is astounding and people everywhere feel them. I have felt more outwardly oppressed for having a problem with people saying the word ‘bender’ to describe a gay man than I have felt as a gay woman my whole adult life. And it doesn’t only impact people in homes where equality means nothing, it also plays a huge part in the suppression of well intentioned circulating media. We can, of course, have our own opinions and if something on the internet poses a problem to us, even if it does intend to do good, we are entitled to criticize, but there seems to be an infectious attitude that do-gooders are annoying and should be heavily criticized. I don’t doubt that the added anonymity of the internet can coincide with the ease of becoming a critic, but I feel empathy for these media outlets as it really is frightening how hard it is to be accepted as an online presence working for the greater good in comparison to a three minute video of a bad singer that becomes viral by, again, circulating entertainment that is essentially at the expense of someone else’s misfortune, just as the jokes had been in my house. 

So to conclude this slightly-more-ranty-than-usual blog post, I am disappointed in the way that engaged actors on human rights and those concerned with progress are perceived in society and am stunned by the observation that online activists are met with so much negativity which has left me with a bitter tongue. Although I haven’t lost all hope in humanity. Russell Brand’s internet webisodes, ‘The Trews’ have risen to success recently and with his wonderful verbal diarrhea on all things important at the moment, it is so refreshing- not only because of his encouraging views of achieving peace, but also because he is not in fret of being ‘that guy’- and I’d like to remember that the next time I feel embarrassed to say that I’m a feminist or the next time I don’t share that really amazing thing on Facebook because it’s not cool to keep posting things that actually mean something or the next time I’m asked why I’m not laughing at the race joke. 

It’s hard not to succumb to it when you’re around it, but when you see a future that could be stigma free and equal, there’s no internal struggle that could pull you away from such an image. 

For anyone that can relate, oppression is merely a tactic to conserve the ability to have prejudice mindsets…

Keep Fighting. 

-Raynar Rogers

Today’s Historic Victory and Tomorrow’s Warning

I want to say a huge CONGRATULATIONS to all the couples in Britain getting hitched tonight. This day (March 29th 2014) is a day where History is being made! Same sex couples from all over the UK celebrate their lives together as newly weds in a partnership that is recognized as equal by law.

Marriage has separated the worth of Homosexuals and Heterosexuals for many years and has played an active role in the oppression and inequality of Same Sex couples- It is not a God given right, it is not even a necessity for Love… Marriage is a Government given right to celebrate commitment and binding Love, ‘traditionalised’ by the Church. And it is through the will of Love that today, I feel more equal than I have ever been in my lifetime. That’s Big! 

Many religious communities have argued that marriage is a commitment before God and therefore should only allow for ‘traditional’ Christian Heterosexual couples, but there is something about this that feels extremely short sighted to me- It’s almost like there is a presumption that Hetero couples are ‘Christian’ and Homo couples aren’t. I’ve met plenty of Gay Christians and I’ve also attended weddings in the past where neither the male or female considered themselves to be Religious, so the argument is more babble than it is point. It seems to me that when a priest would rather marry an ex-murderer than a loving homosexual couple, it is time to evaluate the ill intentions of ‘Religious freedom’. And today our Country has re-evaluated these principles, where humans are put before a poetic book and Religious hate and inequality is stamped on once and for all in this Country (by law at least!). 

This obviously won’t solve all of our equality problems in the UK, but it will provide a sturdy platform on the way to normalizing Homosexuality in society and indeed diversity in general. Although, the reality of the issue is still to be only partially recognized among many of our most powerful Political figureheads; 136 Tory MPs voted against the legalization of Same-Sex Marriage in 2013, which is more than those [Tories] that voted in favor of the bill. It was interesting that my local Bournemouth Tory MP, Conor Burns refrained from the vote that he “agonized” over because the Catholic Church inundated him with hurtful e-mails, despite Mr Burns in fact considering himself a Gay man. And albeit this momentous occasion is the positive ‘hurrah’ of the Nation today, we still need to consider the threat of the EU elections come May, as the rise of UKIP in these elections could bring about negative change in the already enforced law. Those who are planning to vote for them in May 2014 and later in 2015 in order to come out of the EU, you may want to consider whether you agree with this equality defining moment right now because today, after the ‘Same-Sex marriage Policy’ page has been unavailable on UKIP’s website for a while, it seemed to be up and running with yet another change of heart from UKIP. On Same-Sex marriage, they state: 

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The whole statement in short pretty much says, we will accept civil partnership but not Marriage, they should be happy with that! Needless to say that a vote to UKIP may do a lot more damage to us striving for equality than we realize. There may be some UKIP policies that I do agree with but with racist and homophobic comments from individual UKIP representatives, a firm stance against Same-Sex marriage that believes fighting for your right as a human is ‘noisy’ and a specific pull from this protecting board…Imageand an abandonment of this discrimination protecting law…Image… it is clear to me that there is serious danger being met at the same time as we are hooting our celebratory horns in the name of change.

But aside from these important warning signs that I wanted to raise awareness to, this day is not about the negativity surrounding the new law (regardless of how hard it is to miss the countless homophobic comments on topical articles), it is about celebrating Love, equality and a chance to congratulate and appreciate all those who have proceeded to fight on against the diabolical conditions all over the world that regard; us as less than human; our relationships as unworthy; our messages as ‘noisy’ and our voices, silent. 

We are neither silent nor noisy. We are passionate and have chosen that our happiness is not to be overlooked or spat upon by those of a closed minded and merciless nature!

So congrats to the happy couples!

We did it

The current EU debate & LGBT rights

I have just got back from a magnificent trip to Belgium, where I visited Brussels, Ghent and Brugge over 5 days of pure fun, chocolate and ten percent Belgium Beer! Although it wasn’t only calorific pleasures that were being consumed this week… The aim of the trip was to enhance BU Politics/Media students’ understanding of the EU elections and also to gain an insight on the disengagement of Britain to these upcoming elections. We were able to talk with Conservative MEPs Julie Girling and Ashley Fox about their thoughts on the topic, as well as the young public who, after interviewing, shared many beliefs with clarity, that only enforced my stance that young people do engage and should be voting (which I will talk about further in my next blog).

Although, as my main concerns and interests lie with human rights, I was struck by how little the EU correlates with (specifically) LGBT rights or at least, seemingly, the lack of LGBT presence amongst EU media coverage. However, the European Parliament has expressed support in regards to action in developing an ‘LGBT roadmap’ amongst seven EU Member States, including the UK, so there certainly is grounds for discussion on the EU’s involvement.

gay marriage

I would first like to say that as a Universal issue; Equality, in my opinion, should be one of the most important reasons for liaising with Member States. It seems that we are constantly talking about produce, supplies and the economy, but when that is the main reason for the UK to stay in the EU, it fills me with little hope that young people will take an interest in voting. But what I am constantly being reminded of via generation Y’s playground (facebook, twitter and social media sites) is their ongoing interest in human rights. With the rise of media publishing sites such as ‘Upworthy’, young people are becoming more educated in identity politics that explore topics such as Gender, LGBT, Race and Disability rights, sharing articles, videos and opening up engaging public debates like, maybe, never before! This sudden explosion of interest may suggest a recognition of oppression within humanity, amongst young people- and the forum to become educated and to publicize their beliefs is of course, the internet… A Network.

Since gaining my own learning development over the last few years in LGBT and Human Rights, I am becoming more and more aware of the power that connecting has, whether it be through the internet or via person. Too often, there isn’t reason for one to try and understand or accept an LGBT citizen, until they recognise these people in their lives, on their TV screens and amongst the horrific or touching articles they read online. The real saviour in this case, is the connection being established amongst a Network. Why then is the young public interest in identity politics being somewhat ignored amongst the EU (and parties whose policies involve stances that could be benefited by young voters) and why, given that awareness and support for human rights is increased through connections and networks, isn’t this a key factor in the debate regarding the UK leaving the EU?

To those who are slightly oblivious to what the overarching debate involves, in short (sort of);  It is believed amongst the UKIP party that we should leave the EU, which will benefit us by bringing power back to Britain and putting major control on the European/British immigration system; Labor are against the move out of the EU and claim that our economical connections are too important and we are benefitting from our ties; and the Conservatives… well… they are just banking on the fact that they have the ability to create a referendum if in power, but would wait until 2017, annoying the EU and concerning voters who, in some cases, don’t believe that the Conservatives will win the majority vote in the UK general elections 2015, which sort of defies the point of voting for them if you are in fact wanting a referendum.

One problem for these elections is that the amount of voters who are planning on giving their protest vote to UKIP is far more substantial than it is wise. If UKIP do succeed in the upcoming elections as well as the frightening but absolute possibility of getting the majority vote in 2015, it is likely that they will have the power to remove us from EU laws that protect very important regulations, that for me, as someone who travels around Europe quite a bit and is very concerned with the effect that this vote will have on human rights, include the unanimous support from the EU to the UNGA policy that condemns discrimination, execution and violations against persons on the basis of sexual orientation, gender identity and human rights and also several progressive measures that have been adopted by the Council of Europe to put particular emphasis on combating discriminatory laws and promoting equality.

Now, this all sounds like a hoot and I’m sure that there is a lot being done in the EU in regards to human rights but where is the publicity for these plans? I still don’t know exactly what the EU does and does not control because there is barely any coverage that talks about the effect that the proposed move will have on us and our rights. As much as I recognise the economy as a valid and important topic, there is a real lack of understanding of what we are voting into here and with the rise in UKIP becoming extremely apparent, there are less than eight weeks before the elections and less British citizens than ever, expected to be voting come May.

Attempting to connect the dots for you young and old who, like me (let’s face it), are desperately trying to grasp what the hell is going on over in Brussels, since what little coverage there is in Britain tends to publicize quarreling children rather than the effect it will have on the people of Britain and in some respects, the people in EU Member States, I am struck particularly by UKIP’s policies that first claimed to oppose Same-Sex Marriage and later changed it’s mind, despite David Silvester, UKIP councillor recently blaming the flooding and climate change on the Government’s Same-Sex marriage bill. Apart from their predominant stance to free Britain from the EU, where can we hear about the rest of UKIP’s policies once we are free and no longer under the protection of the European Union’s laws including policies against discrimination and hate crime? It is not enough to just consider at this moment their fight to get us pulled, but to also consider, what they will enforce once they are in power and how it will directly affect us (Since presumably those voting to leave the EU will also be voting UKIP in the general elections 2015 for any major action to take place).

I won’t lie, I am slightly worried and also intrigued of what will come of Britain under a Government proposing independance, which will, for the meantime, lesson our economy substantially, enforce great restrictions on immigration and who believe that global warming is just part of a natural cycle so refuse to create wind energy in fear that windmills will look “ugly” and “ghastly” in Britain.

I went to Belgium with a fantastic group of people who were really engaged and offered up many perspectives to the ongoing EU in/out debate but I feel confident in saying that not once did we link Human Rights to this EU election and it remains to be seen as a separate entity entirely (from the election and politics in general) for many people, despite the well being of minority groups potentially being affected in the future by this vote.

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My point here, and my point for every blog that I will write about this election is to vote! This election is surrounded by Euroskeptics that in some cases are not weighing up the full consequences once free from the EU. Do your research, find out what will change! I will be the first to agree that this information is hard to find, but start by taking a look at Sunday Politics, which you can find on BBC iplayer… sure, it is mostly a charade of Politicians banter, but there are some great points being raised.

Lastly, I want to go back to this idea of network and how we can really change things; the broad spectrum of people over Europe is not being represented at the moment among politicians and it is not being represented by voters, especially in Britain, yet the Brits will be the first to complain about about the outcome. What we have at the moment among particularly youth groups, is this fantastic engagement via the internet for the kind of issues that are very human to us and recognizable… if politics and these issues don’t directly correlate for the public, they are not going to feel the urge to vote as they feel the urge to share articles and talk about issues that they are passionate about. But what fueled their passion in the first place was the information via their network that was casually consumed.

So… ‘POLITICS’, let the general public from all walks of life know about exactly what will affect them, share it through social media, tell us about the economy, tell us about your policies through a platform that doesn’t just have a target audience of middle class people over 50 and please tell us our rights in the EU and what will change, what regulations will no longer apply if we leave and let us make up our mind about this whole thing by providing a plethora of information in a language that all British people from all social classes, intellect and minorities can understand and relate to!

 

 

Lackers but not Slackers

Everytime I seek to understand whether or not I have been discriminated against in my life for being a woman, I often come to a divided decision in my mind that mostly tells me ‘Well, I’ve never really been bullied.’ ‘People have it a lot worse than me!’ ‘I’m lucky!’. And sure, these are true. There are many things to be thankful of and despite growing up in a working class background, I am lucky to have experienced what others may only dream to experience and I am lucky for the opportunity to be educated and I am lucky that I do not live in a Country where by my gender or sexuality puts me in a position of absolute powerlessness, of tragedy and entrapment. But knowing that this ‘luck’ is not shared throughout the world, knowing that I am probably within a small margin of people who have not been majorly discriminated against, does not fill me with any feeling that I would associate with the word luck. Maybe I should substitute the word luck for ‘lack’!

I’ve spent the last few weeks of my life engaging in the debate surrounding women in horror. Although this dissertation has been mind numbingly depressing at times, the content that I read was so interesting as women stereotypes are, over and over again, being psychoanalysed to appeal to males, to meet their desires, to play on their fear that the women ‘lack’ (A penis). And whilst all of these theories are interesting and are valid, they are so straight-male centric that it makes me wonder where a feminist lesbian like me fits into all of this contribution on female characters in film, as an audience member and as a budding writer/director. Has this ‘lack’ in women- that creates the notion that by nature we are lesser, participated into our everyday lives?

I want to just say that I don’t ever think of myself as lesser in my ability, being the gender that I am. But that doesn’t mean that the sexism plague hasn’t affected me. I will admit to conforming many times in my life to certain notably degrading industries, like the cosmetic industry and involuntarily participating in the scrutiny of other women, through tiny moments where my eye meets an ‘unflattering’ part of a woman’s body…. and it’s not okay. I hate myself for that. But being part of a society that drills image ideals into our minds, injecting them in our favourite TV shows, in adverts for our favourite chocolate (Oh the irony!) and even unrelated media that is aimed at our nation’s children, I have learned enough by now to realise that I am not plucking flaws in other women for anything but my deep dissatisfaction with my own image. And whilst feeling equal in ability, my confidence flutters around, turning up somedays and locking itself up on others, changing the way that I perform in my job. Men are controlling most of the politics in the world, they are controlling our industries everywhere and it affects us- Today, as I have done every single day since I was a teenager, I had thoughts consumed with negativity with my body image, doubts of myself as a person and the horribly frustrating feeling that you get when you’re in a group of male friends and colleagues and regardless of your beliefs, still feel only tolerated when being listened to, feeling that their approval means something that is inclusive in a way that it almost feels that I should thank them!

I may not have been directly targeted much, where I can say that I received obvious discrimination, but I do feel oppressed and I do feel that it is even harder, in some respects, than ever, as a woman to admit to being a feminist and to convince other women that we are being deceived and delusional, because the sad part of all of this is that the most oppressive societal bodies are wrapped up neatly in exactly the things that glamorize us to make ourselves feel the exact opposite to the reality… special, important and worthy. And this is where I question how much of myself is participating in Male’s culture and in the male’s vision of the world.

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So yes, we are lacking… not in ‘tits and ass’, not in eating disorders and insecurity and self objectification… but in Power. It seems absolutely bizarre to me that equality is not unanimous. How can we have possibly been so convinced for so long that women pose a threat to power, when there is no evidence where many women have had the opportunity to be a threat. There seems to be this notion that women are unstable or too emotional to be able to handle power, but to me, this is exactly the same as being locked up in a mental institution and trying to convince the staff that you are not crazy- You’re going to look fucking crazy! If they keep creating female insecurity through the industries or the media, for every occasion that there is a surge of power, there is also a woman crying through the mascara covered eyes that they told you to wear in order to be beautiful.

Introduction to Me

As a writer, I think that it’s probably about time that I start to blog and share my thoughts to the world (ie. The three people that will read this), rather than through my usual self-indulgent Journal entries that have an audience of zero. So here goes….

I am currently a final year University student, studying Scriptwriting for Film and TV, which basically means that I am amongst the only 3 months out of my 3 years of study, that actually count for anything. So it makes sense that whilst I should be writing my dissertation or my two hour feature film, I am sat here blogging, talking about myself and all the things that I should be doing. I also have a Theatre Company that I co-run called ‘The Rat’s Nest Theatre Company’, which was founded in 2013, so expect Theatre and Film talk and some minor artist rants about the industry.

I am very passionate about human rights and as much as I love a good witty post, I will probably spend most of my time writing about LGBT rights, Women’s rights, Gender and Third world economy systems because this is why I really wanted to write publically. I love interaction and debates, so the more people that engage with these posts, the more worthwhile it will be.

I also have some VERY exciting projects lined up that I will be blogging about.. First of which, will be my trip to Brussels to report on The European Parliamentary Elections and why us Brits are so disengaged, which is a slightly new area for me, but very interesting as one of the self confessed ‘disengaged’ Brits. The next, is my internship working on a Bollywood movie around May time, which will either be the best, most eye opening experience to kick off the beginning of my career OR will be a total mental head fuck since I cannot speak Hindu and will have no idea what is going on half of the time. Who knows?! Bollywood is an industry that I never even imagined myself working for, so whether the shoot will be strict, female friendly, well organised, diverse, fun… I do not know.

Aside from career and beliefs, I also love to cook, I thoroughly enjoy fashion and music and have an undying need to travel the world. I sometimes upcycle clothes with one of my best friends, which we called ‘Nan’s Shed’ and we sell them on ASOS and in vintage Markets. There is lots more that I would like to share… but it’s starting to sound like a dating site.

So… Until next time.

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