‘…And the bells are ringing out for Christmas Day’.๐ŸŽ„๐Ÿ’ซ๐ŸŽ…

Well, let me start off by saying Happy Christmas everyone and all the best for 2017! xo

If you didn’t have a great Christmas well then, that’s also okay. โค๏ธ Well done on getting through the day, it can be a tough one! Now it’s over and you don’t have to worry about Christmas anymore for another 12 months. You did it, you got through it.ย 

Christmas has, for years been a notoriously tough time for me. As soon as Halloween hits, the ‘Christmas dread’ soon follows. I love the build up. I love the decorations and I love the general high spirits. I also LOVE Christmas eve!๐Ÿป I just don’t like Christmas Day itself.ย 

I think that Christmas has a lot of expectations around it. A perfect day, with lots of presents, food and a big, happy family to celebrate the day alongside. The only problem with this idealistic Christmas is that not everyone faces this perfect experience. Not everyone, has the luxury of ‘the perfect Christmas.’ And for those of us (and there are a lot of us) who don’t quite fit the mould of LOVING Christmas, it can feel like a really isolating time, and a very lonely time.

Like I said before, Winter isn’t a great time for me and my mental health. I suppose that doesn’t help my relationship with Christmas, but it has just been a really difficult day for me since about my 1st year of secondary school. Usually there’s a lot of tears around Christmas time, but this year was different for me.

College has been really busy, so Christmas flew in. I barely even noticed it coming. Dad and I decorated the house and it looked fab.

Like I said before, I LOVE Christmas Eve. and keeping with the tradition I met the girls in the pub for one or two. or three or four… I spent from about 7:30am on Christmas morning until about 1:30pm wrapped around the toilet (Sorry dad) and dinner was a struggle. Apart from that, dad and Sally loved their presents which made me really happy. I got a cool new iPod, we went to visit the neighbours and I laughed a lot. We also watched Harry Potter and dad got a little drunk on his own while I sipped on water and the occasional glass of orange juice, still feeling somewhat sorry for myself. Still laughing. I feel like I should be saying it was a shit Christmas, but it was actually one of the best I’ve ever had. In years anyway.ย 

I think that because I was so hungover, we kind of broke the usual Christmas routine; Wake up, have brekky, open presents, watch TV, have dinner, watch TV, sleep. This sort of made the day feel less important and more of a chilled out, normal Sunday. There was no expectations. Maybe that’s why even though I was miserable, I had such a lovely day? Who knows! ๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜๐ŸŽ„ย ย I can honestly say that it was a really great Christmas.IMG_3889.jpg

I also know though, that a lot of people had it pretty tough this year. ย If that’s you then well done on hanging in there, and keep on keeping on. ๐Ÿ’›

I suppose I just wanted to say Happy Christmas to everyone, and thank you all for reading my blog and for always being so kind. It’s something I really love doing and the fact that people take the time to read about what I have to say is a preeettyyy cool feeling. โœจ

Onwards and Upwards.ย 

Smile Always,ย 

Kimbo. X ๐ŸŒธโœจ๐ŸŒผ๐ŸŽ„๐Ÿ’›๐ŸŽ…

 

 

 

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#NotAllMen ๐Ÿ™Š

Last night I read Louise O’Neill’s most recent weekly column for the Irish Examiner. I read her column every week and I always find her writing so interesting and relatable. I consider myself to be a feminist and in general I find that Louise and I share a lot of similar values and opinions. I am a big fan! ย However, in her latest column ‘Stats show someone you know must be affected by a violent partner or parent’, although agreeing with most of the argument she was trying to make, I found it to be almost a little bit sexist. I’m not entirely sure if ‘sexist’ is the right word and don’t get me wrong, Louise O’Neill is an incredibly talented writer and is fighting for an amazing cause. I am in no way criticising her work or comparing myself to her. It’s just, rather than disagreeing with her argument, I thought that she unfairly focused predominantly on the abuse that women face, rather than adequately acknowledging that Domestic Violence and abuse are serious issues for both genders.

Below is the link to her article if anyone wants to give it a read ๐Ÿ˜Š:

http://www.irishexaminer.com/viewpoints/columnists/louise-oneill/stats-show-someone-you-know-must-be-affected-by-a-violent-partner-or-parent-433252.htmlย 

After reading this weeks column, I felt uneasy. I’ve been thinking a lot about what Louise wrote about and so, I have decided to write this post about why I felt that Louise’s column was a little bit unfair as I think it’s a pretty important conversation to have.

Like I have already said, I could not argue with one single point that she made on the issues of violence and abuse faced by women all over the world. I also agree that this is a subject that needs to be talked about and paid much more attention. I totally acknowledge that figures show that many more females are victims of abuse and domestic violence than men, and that more perpetrators are male than female. I am of the opinion though, and I understand that this might be controversial and some people might not agree with me – and this is also fine, but I just don’t think that domestic violence and abuse should be discussed without acknowledging that although the statistics are not as high for both genders, it is a problem that affects both genders and that it is as valid and as important an issue for males as it is for females. I need to reiterate that this blog is solely my opinions.

Also, it is important to mention that in her column, Louise does mention this, just only very briefly and in my opinion inadequately.

I am writing this post and basing my opinions on personal experience so I also acknowledge that if I had gone through a different situation that my views might not be the same.

I think that everything that Louise wrote about concerning domestic violence and abuse; be it physical, sexual or mental, is totally accurate. I just don’t think it’s fair to dismiss violence that occurs against men although there are fewer cases, as any less relevant which I feel happens all too often.

In the case of my experience on the topic, the female in the situation was the abusive one yet, the male got all the punishment and was only found innocent last-minute because of resounding evidence that was presented to the judge. But the male was presumed to be guilty from the onset for the single reason that he was male.

I also am completely aware that violence against women is a serious phenomenon and that ย especially in the instances of sexual abuse, the male is considered innocent until proven guilty; essentially calling the victim a liar until it has been proven otherwise, and this is a serious problem! *Note that I said male, just because it is assumed ย that in cases of sexual abuse and rape, that the perpetrator is always a male. This is not the case. I am also going to use my experience of domestic violence as an example to emphasise my point that the female is not always the victim.

I’ve done a bit of reading on the controversy surrounding the #NotAllMen campaign and honestly, I don’t see the issue. Basically, when women talk about experiencing sexism or feeling unsafe, it has become a clichรฉ for men to respond with “not all men.” “Not all men sexually harass women,” some might say, or, “not all men are rapists.”

I have read lots about how by replying with ‘not all men’, the point is being missed. About how when we shift the discussion from the oppression of women to the protection of men’s images, we undermine the very real problems womenย face.

I disagree with this entirely. I can see where these arguments are coming from and I think that this is such a complicated issue. I understand that the statistics compliment how our judicial system is run in relation to domestic violence and physical abuse against women. I also understand that when considering cases of sexual abuse, you can’t accuse the man of being guilty before it has been proven otherwise according to our democratic system, but clearly this isn’t working either.

I have no suggestions about how to fix these problems and not much useful advice. I just think it’s so important that we remember that not all men are these angry, violent beings that they are sometimes made out to be. That men face abuse too, and that this is not forgotten or deemed as less important.

If someone pitched this argument to me from a purely female perspective, I could also argue the other way. I could argue that most of the cases of abuse that do take place involve male perpetrators and female victims, so i guess I might be being hypocritical by writing all of this.

I suppose, it’s such a complicated situation, I can’t say exactly where I stand which kind of diminishes everything that I’ve just written. I can say for certain though that I don’t think violence against men should be belittled and deemed as less important and less of an issue, which I feel it definitely is at the moment and was a little in Louise’s column. ย ***(In my opinion!)***

Anyway, I’m really confused now and my mind is spinning so I’m going to leave it there.

Like I said, sorry if anything I’ve written is offensive to anyone or seems insensitive. That was not the intention!

Happy Monday everyone. Hope you all have a great week. ๐Ÿ’›

Smile always,

Kimbo. X ๐ŸŒผ๐Ÿ’•โœจ๐Ÿฃ