2020… Are you freaking kidding me?
My January started off terribly anyway. A week in and I was told my grandfather had died. We were never truly close but it was still a blow and he was always nice to me (and smelt like cookies). Then the leader of the free world, Donald J Fucking Trump had to start antagonizing Iran and world war three memes were everywhere. Enough to put anyone on edge really. Swiftly moving past the potential for a world war, Australia was on fire. Literally. Like huge sections of the place on fire. Half a billion animals dead. What the hell is going on? Then some idiot ate a bat and the whole world shut itself down because of coronavirus. Sweeping across continents and killing millions of people this infectious disease left no one out and economies everywhere took a hit. We were made to stay indoors and try to look after ourselves to the best of our abilities (as per previous blog post, I didn’t do so well but we digress). Families torn apart, unable to attend funerals of loved ones and mental health rates skyrocketing. You would think things couldn’t possibly become more uncertain, scary or worrying. Even the American Secret Service confirmed a UFO sighting basically implying extra-terrestrial life exists, and it didn’t make headline news! Then the awful event of the killing of George Floyd and the civil unrest that has commenced shortly after, and it’s only July.
As a half French half Algerian woman born and bred in London, I have experienced racism in the UK on more than one occasion. As well as being put down for being a woman and having slightly more left leaning views, I’ve always been aware of the underlying racial tension within our country and now it’s been made glaringly obvious. Since all of this has happened I’ve gone into what can only be classified as virtual hibernation. Hiding from news articles, avoiding general conversation of the state of affairs and straight up blocking out any more news that could involve me thinking WHAT THE ACTUAL FUCK. Unfortunately, the more I find out, the more I question the world and its inhabitants that don’t seem to comprehend the gravity of what is going on. It also seems most have forgotten how to behave like a normal human being. If I watch one more video of someone refusing to wear a face mask because it somehow hinders their “freedom” I’ll personally find them and punch them square in the face (despite my hibernation!). Shall we also add on the fact that global warming is still a thing and we still need to do more to clean up our acts and in doing so, the world around us?
Needless to say, it’s a lot for all of us to try and take in, comprehend and establish what we can actually do as citizens of the world. So I’ve attempted to break it down and see how we, as individuals, can attempt to do small things in our day to day lives to fix what we’re able to. Alas there’s no fixing our current politicians but let’s simply hope they get booted out in the next election and replaced with others that don’t simply want to watch the world burn. It’s difficult for someone with anxiety to really cope with all of this it surrounds us with an extreme lack of control that can be very overwhelming. I would know as I’ve spent many evenings recently just bursting out in tears because I have no idea what is going on anymore. By listing out the obvious issues and actually establishing what I can and can’t do about it, it felt like I was getting a grip of it all and doing all that I could. A form of control in a world that gives us very little in terms of management of externals factors.
● Please wear a mask. We reduce the risk substantially of passing it onto others if we’re asymptomatic and I don’t want to be the reason anyone dies.
● Only go to places you know are safe and aren’t overcrowded
● Move to a country where the government are actually giving a shit about keeping this thing under control (ok unrealistic but I had to get that one out)
● Don’t be afraid to speak up if someone is within 2 metres of you. You have the right to want space In the time of a pandemic and sometimes people aren’t even aware they’ve encroached into your space
As a woman I have felt more put down by other women than I have by men, so I’m taking this more from a female empowerment stance. We need to be pushing each other forward and not hindering the cause.
● Make a conscious effort not to negatively put anyone down, and stop it if you hear anyone else discussing someone who isn’t there to defend themselves (this goes for anyone, female or male, unfortunately bitches are everywhere and we need to put a stop to this)
● Look into female leadership groups within your industry or company. If they don’t have one start one up! It’s great PR for your firm and you’re pushing the cause forward in the most beneficial way for everyone
● Educate yourself. Most of us aren’t even aware of how big the problem is and the best way to have conducive debates with others is to be as informed as possible. I’d recommend the following books;
o Invisible women – Data bias in a world designed for men
o The Better Half – On the genetic superiority of women
o Sex and world peace
o Lean in for graduates
● RECYCLE. It’s honestly so simple and can make such a difference!
● Reuse. I’m a big fan of thrift stores, eBay and second hand anything for a vintage chic feel. Anyone can look good splashing cash, it takes skill to look good on a budget so get thrifting. You can also clothes swap with friends over a large amount of wine. New clothes and a girl’s night, what’s not to love?
● Banning the use of single-use plastic. Water bottles are literally everywhere now. Just refill and go. Metal straws. Bamboo cutlery to take to work. No excuses anymore! Also some of the sets they do are ADORABLE. Shout out to Paperchase who do some amazing lunch boxes and bottles, as well as Sistema for durability.
● Spread the word. Educating others into the potential harm can help. Don’t become preachy, but someone asks where you’re adorable unicorn water bottle is from, tell them where and drop the fact you’ve saved 1460 plastic bottles ending up in the ocean. That’s a legit fact.
This one is the most difficult for me to approach as up until recently I wasn’t even aware that the statues we had in prominent areas were of previous slave traders. It was only then I realised how blind I was to it all and had to educate myself before I could approach anything with any understanding. The following books I would recommend to try and grasp what is really happening as well as Iinsta handles etc;
● So you want to talk about race – Ijeoma Oluo
● White Fragility: Why it’s so hard for white people to talk about racism – Robin Diangelo
● Racism without Racists – Eduardo Bonilla-Silva
● How to be less stupid about race – Crystal M. Fleming
● @laylafsaad – Insta
● @afuahirsch – twitter
This is a new field to me so I’ll be updating this the more I learn and the more I’m educated enough to spread the intellect. What I definitely do know is that you should never treat anyone with any difference due to skin colour or race difference. Stand up for anyone who’s getting put down because of their look. This is 2020 and we won’t let others be judged on the racial background. It has to stop.
A particular shout out to a black medic, Malone Mukwende, who was trained to identify how conditions appeared on white patients but not black, has created a handbook to show how conditions look on darker skin. Legend.
In a world where we have little to no control, making small efforts in rectifying the bigger problems can make a bigger difference than we as individuals can imagine. We just need to stick together and stop hating on ourselves and one another. We can all do this ☺