Category Archives: Life in London

A view on “incels”

In the wake of the horrific van attack in Toronto last month, our attentions have been somewhat forcefully drawn to the online group of people calling themselves the “incels” or “involuntary celibates”. These men (and they are all men) claim that they are genetically predisposed to fail at sexual encounters with women, and ferociously claim in manners ranging from mildly misogynistic to utterly vile, that it is the woman’s fault that they did not have sex.

While I believe everyone is entitled to their opinions, I do wish to express my very own ones on this particularly sensitive topic to me.

Because I too was an “involuntary celibate”, so they call it, well into my mid-twenties. I, however, am a woman.

Now I know what a lot of your first thoughts are – if I had truly wanted to have sex then I could have done, sex is easy for a woman to get, right? And yes, I agree it is perceived that way – now out of my celibacy stage and having discovered figure-hugging dresses, I do admit that it is more often me doing the turning down than the opposite way round. But the latter does happen. Just last month I was sent careering back to the brash confidence issues of my virgin state when on a drunken night out, after talking to this guy and being invited with my friend’s to an after party, I was told that “I was not his type” and that he would rather not waste any more time pretending to be polite to me. I wasn’t fucking expected him to want to marry me, the cunt.

But anyway, my point is that as a teenager I had very low self-confidence and mental health issues, much like a lot of the incel communities of today. And this feeling that I had, whether justified or not (I would like to point out here that I was not fat, I did not have spots and I do not have some hideously disproportioned Picasso face. However, back in the day that is definitely how I saw myself, and worse), directly contributed to my success with the opposite gender.

Boys felt like a different species to me. Especially the good-looking, athletic ones that embody the caricatured “ideal man” known as “Chad”, which incels claim women will always choose over them. The thing is, with girls it’s the same, and, dare I say it, worse. So many girls are utterly jaw-droppingly beautiful nowadays, (owing a little thanks to make up techniques, hairstyles and nice clothing), that it can be hard for an ordinary woman like myself to stand out from the crowd. And believe me, as a fucking self-conscious, shy and awkward, I did not stand out from the crowd. Men would choose my friends. I never got chosen. I still rarely do now based solely on my looks.

So, throughout my entire teenagehood, the closest I got to a guy I was attracted to was when the bus became uncomfortably over-crowded and I ended up being awkwardly shoved up against them.

But things changed in about my second year of university. Because, after years of hating myself and thinking it was other people’s fault that they did not like me, I finally took the initiative to get more thorough treatment for my mental health (which by then included anxiety, depression, OCD and some horrible eating disorders, partly fuelled by my imaginary feeling of constant rejection by anyone and everything).

And, guess what, pretty much the moment I started to change my views and attitudes, things started to get better. I saw myself in a more realistic, yet better light – I wasn’t the most attractive girl anywhere and I probably never would be (the variables change from place-to-place anyway, so it is so hard to understand whether you yourself are attractive or not). However, what I did have was other qualities – I was smart and kind and caring, and that was my natural disposition. Many of these incels are likely to have similar temperaments if they stopped taking out their anger of perceived “rejection” on the world.

So yes, I am unlikely to get any guy that I find supremely attractive; the “Chads” at the bar with perfect cheekbones, charisma and muscles. But I accept that. The people I get learn to view me as the most attractive girl because they get to know me for who I am. And I with them.

I didn’t lose my virginity in university. Not for years after in fact, the insecurities surrounding my youth and hatred of my body and personality were hard to overcome for good, and probably never will be.

But I met a guy years later who all my friends said was not attractive, but who I still bothered to listen to anyway. And it turned out that when I got to know his inner beauty who was one of the fittest guys in any room, despite being slightly overweight and having trouble socially. He has since broken up with me. And the battleground, or meat market as I prefer to call it, was no better on returning. Still beautiful girls who all guys gawk over. Still the handsome guys who will only get the girls.

The difference between me and incels is that I do not blame my lack of success with men on society in general. I blame the majority of it on myself. I found it hard to be confident, but when I started trying and practicing, things got better. I thought I was unattractive, so I didn’t decide to clean myself up and be the best possible version of myself. So of course guys would never go for me. And most of all, I had my sights on the unachievable, when really in actuality it is probably best that I can’t get the attention of those “Chads” at the bar. My expectation has been shifted to find a guy who is genuine, kind and actually likes me for all that I am. And they are out there.

The thought that someone would hurt innocent people because they couldn’t get laid is abhorrent. You didn’t get laid because of your looks or genetics. You didn’t get laid because you are an absolute fucking cunt who did not see that there is more to life than sleeping with the hottest girl. And who failed to see that there is more to girls than sleeping with them.


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The Valentine’s Day Post

Well it’s Valentine’s day again. That wonderful feast day to celebrate the saint of love, marriage and strangely beekeeping.

But, being the bitter singleton that I am, and having never actually had a gift or a card from someone other than my mum on Valentine’s day (cue sad violins…) It’s only appropriate that I write a bitter post about the day.

To me, all these holidays and special occassions, Christmas, birthdays, weddings, mother’s day, Hallowe’en and even St Patrick’s Day have one thing in common; they organise when fun and happiness is supposed to be. And yes, there are many occasions that many of us have had great days, but there are also many where people haven’t.

Much like having a night out is usually the funnest when it is not planned, love is usually most honestly recognised when it is either unexpected or perfectly timed.

Don’t get me wrong, although the stalls selling roses sprouting up around London Bridge have made me cringe with jealousy, the thing is that I would actually adore to be given a bright red rose by someone who loves me.

But just because this holiday is here doesn’t mean love should be forced. And neither does it mean that we shouldn’t recognise it on other days of the year, when a great friend is there in a difficult time or a parent or carer is there doing their best to keep you warm, fed and dry.

Having love concentrated like this morphs Valentine’s day into something like Christmas; a retail, advertising and merchandise holiday which never truly expresses the depth of the emotion. And isn’t sensitive to lose who have been recently broken-hearted or lost a loved one.

Love is for life, not just for Valentine’s.

Modern Feminism

In case you didn’t realise, tomorrow marks the 100th anniversary of women (only those over 30 mind!) being given the right to vote in England.

There are many events running across the country to commemorate this, including a special exhibition at the Pankhurst Centre in Manchester, and the Museum of London.

But with a hundred years passed since this first milestone law, how is feminism fairing in modern society?

It is a question which has dogged me for a while – a staunch feminist as a teenager, I never wore make up and insisted on studying physics at university, in retrospect mainly to prove that I could do so. It used to annoy me when I heard other people, both men and women, referring to modern-day feminists as “greedy”, “lesbians”, “bra burning” “man hating” etc. etc. It can all be very negative.

Yes, it is true that nowadays women in the western world endure many privileges also granted to men. And it is true that historical sexism could be regarded as not as abhorrent as racism and other forms of discrimination. But the fundamental idea of the feminist movement is one that resonates throughout the entire human race – a necessity for people to be treated as the individual and unique person they are, rather than with regards to their heritage, gender or any other difference.

So why should feminists be viewed in such a negative light, even by other women? It is distracting people from a problem that still resonates in society, even over a hundred years since the suffrage movement. Women are still not equally regarded in society as men, though it has improved far more. But branding people fighting for their cause in their own chosen manner does not help anything.

Not a teenager, wearing make up and having thoroughly turned my back on my physics career, I still regard myself as a feminist. It is something I am proud to be, and something that all men and women should be proud to be, void of any negative connotations. It is necessary for the tarnished feminist image to be revitalised to continue its forces towards equality, not just for men and women, but for all people.

New Year, New You

Ok, so we’re now thoroughly into 2018, and it’s clear that this yer is just as shit as the last.

I always used to make resolutions growing up, whether it was to try harder at schoolwork or run more, but this year I’ve decided not to. And this is why…

Much like the Christmas period gives us an excuse for drinking more, eating more and generally letting our normal lifestyles go, the new year gives people an excuse to go “I’m going to do everything at once and make everything better”. You sign up to five gym classes having never done one in your life and wonder why you can’t keep it up.

Resolutions encourage us to make large, unrealistic goals for ourselves, and this means that we are setting ourselves up for failure just as the new year gets most depressing.

Furthermore, new years resolutions are far too infrequent – why should there only be one time in the year where we are encouraged to make ourselves better?

For me, I find a much more effective way to change my lifestyle and wellbeing is, instead of making one massive goal at the start of the year, make several smaller, chunk goals at chosen increments. Since about October last year, I’ve been giving myself weekly goals which could be as small as 10 sit-ups before bed when I would really wish I could be doing 50. But giving myself a small goal in a small time-frame meant that I kept to it much better than if I had tried a bigger goal.

After each week, it can then be assessed what was working and what wasn’t, and how you can raise your goal slightly – say by doing 15 sit-ups.

So that is why I am not doing New Years Resolutions. They involve a lifestyle change and it is far easy to say you will change your lifestyle in a big way than to actually do it.