The Ace Ring: A Symbol of Asexuality

Asexuality is a sexual orientation; a lack of sexual atraction to anyone. A study in 2004 placed the prevalence of asexuality at 1% in the British population.

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ABOVE: The Asexual Flag (Black: Asexuality, Gray: Gray-Ace, Demi-Sexuality, White:  Purple: Community

As more and more people discover they are  Asexual, through better online awareness, books and increasing media attention,  many of them  want to identify themselves as an Asexual by wearing a distinctive ring.

Wearing one of these rings helps Asexuals round the world look out for other ‘Aces’ too, increases visibility and it is  easier for them to ‘come out’ on a more subtle basis (though some may not always want to discuss to others).

Normally  it is a  black ring worn on  the  middle finger of  the right hand. It can be plain or attractive,  carry an Ace Symbol or the colours of the Asexuality flag (above). Some wearers will go further and wear the colours of their own particular Ace spectrum.

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ABOVE: A plain Ace Ring on my finger.

A word of caution!  The swingers’ black ring is on any finger on the right hand, apart from the middle finger.

 

For more information on Asexuality: The Asexual Visibility & Education Network:  See http://www.asexuality.org/home/

Podcast and Youtube Videos for Asexuals (Uk based) Pieces of Ace https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCQhPrlKXl8ROL86xPSMHFow

Popular Youtube Asexual Campaigners-

Young Blossom talks about Ace Rings: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hvGQSZj0D7U

Ameliaace https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCHAv1g2JODsrkUKfHh1nAwQ

Cookieemonster https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MnEC1Ek4MJs

Queerascat https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kjgu8W7lB1k&list=PLWjQZKpsn86_24PKl52_OuOWFnwGeBLld

 

 

Deemed ‘unfashionable’

The fashion industry annoys me (and I have even worked in it, by default). I like clothes but I don’t like the fashion element of it).

I was brought up on a farm. We had the usual pigs, cows, goats and horses.  For most of my childhood, my clothes were practical.

When I rode horses, I wanted clothes to be waterproof, comfortable, and easy to clean. We bought stuff to LAST. Shops were miles away and we were far too busy to go shopping. The only clothes shop I remember going to are saddlers, where we could get practical country clothes, tack and feed. The style of clothes probably hadn’t changed much in years, although materials could have changed.

As for teenage clothes for socialising, we just wore anything comfy . We could easily get away with wearing these at country discos and barn dances.

Of course, we were dragged to go to really boring school uniform shops, but it wasn’t about being fashionable, we just wanted clothes that didn’t make us look like idiots. The teenage fashionable clothing hysteria   totally passed me. However, I was happy with all the clothes I had. My mother used to say that I should have had more clothes – I hadn’t even noticed I didn’t have that much. I was very happy with my hardy wardrobe and it had all my favourites. It was enough.

As I got older and have a dual country / city life existence, I only  think about this ‘fashionable nonsense’  when  people bring things up.  For example, this week, I did some floristry and some hipster quipped, “Orange is in”. Then, later on in the same week, I was in a haberdashery as I wanted to upcycle a black and white top, ‘Black and white?’, the slick woman customer next to me disturbingly said, “That’s on trend!  The poor woman needs to lie down I thought. It can’t be normal to get bug eyed about black and white.

It is like being in a parallel universe. I feel like an alien in the City.  Why can’t I wear comfy things like  I can in the country?  And fashion is so pointless.

I had to see this for myself last weekend, as I had to get some emergency shoes from Primark in Oxford Street which is my worst nightmare. (I did say it was an emergency). Lots of aisles of fashionable, cheap stuff, a Minimalist’s nightmare, stuff that would be out of fashion in weeks. I was surrounded by frowny, but trendy teens, all looking the same. All I wanted was a practical pair of boots, something waterproof, comfortable and easy to clean. I didn’t find anything of course. Most of this stuff would be broken within a week in our British weather or my ankle would break instead. I couldn’t walk more than 100 metres in any of the shoes, but they were fashionable so that must be ok then? Even if I did buy them, I would have to wait in a dreary 20 minute queue at Primark,  and time is short, so why waste it?

I ended up going to Clark’s in Oxford Street,for some real leather boots, ones that could last years, with a bit of looking after. So, I still haven’t changed.

I am very happy being unfashionable, it saves me a load of money and I even get loads more compliments, which does  a great esteem., particularly if I make my own stuff or upcycle things.

I think there ought to be some kind of Unfashionable Pride, it’s time we came out!

 

Anti-Austerity Protesters leave a trail of litter

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PHOTO: Trafalgar Square

On 16th April, 2016,  anti-austerity protesters gathered together for a protest and left a massive trail of rubbish, some of it dangerous, in their wake along Trafalgar Square.  I saw protesters from groups  such as  the People’s Assembly, Unite and the Green Party. There were others, but I could not identify them.

The mess included beer cans and broken glass bottles. I saw several protesters’ dogs walking along their rubbish despite the shards of broken glass. It didn’t seem that  anyone who took part was bothered at this. Tourists who had come far to visit London, and help boost the economy, had to wade through all the rubbish.

Several young protesters were dropping litter as if it was the most normal thing to do. I handed them their litter back, which they probably thought very strange. They didn’t seem to care about the environment, let alone animals using the area.

I didn’t see any protesters help pick up their litter, leaving it up to the one or two low paid workers, struggling to cope with it all. The protesters seemed very happy for money to be wasted on people clearing up their rubbish. The tourist attraction looked like it had been visited by a load of flytippers.

 

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If people want Cameron to resign, than trashing  tourist attractions isn’t exactly going to win support. Even as  Green Left, this was appalling and I question my own politics. Sometimes I don’t think any of the parties can run the country. Will I end up being a Non Voter?

London: 9/4/16 Protesters call for Cameron to Resign #panamapapers

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Protesters turned up at Downing Street today calling for the Prime Minister to resign. Most of the people there seemed to be  ordinary members of the public, rather than a bunch of politicians,  many of them having  personal stories as to why they were there, and the recent video that Cameron had showing that ‘he was not in it together’, added fuel to the fire. Large crowds shouted “Resign!, Resign!, Resign!”.  Iceland’s Prime Minister toppled a few days ago, after a huge protest.

The protest had a tropical theme, many people wore garlands, Panama hats and Hawaiian shirts, some brought large beach balls.

 

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One man,  a Green Party supporter, said “vulnerable people experienced such massive cuts in support.  It’s galling to find that the Prime Minster has benefited from offshore tax avoid schemes and has blocked EU moves to regulate offshore funds. That unpaid tax could have helped fund much needed services”.

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PHOTO: Cardboard ‘moving’ boxes with a “I will help you pack! placard

I also met a man, a media student, who said that one of his friends actually managed Cameron’s Panama account. Although he was aware of this five years ago, he didn’t think much of it at the time.

Another man from who was in a wheelchair was extremely angry, “Mind my language”, and he said  he was facing huge cuts under Cameron, and huge pressure from ATOS despite him going blind and becoming more severely disabled with his arthritis. He was one of the many disabled people who barricaded himself in Parliament a few weeks ago.

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People here clearly had no confidence in the Prime Minister and protesters from all round the country will be continuing to protest outside Downing Street as long as it takes.

There will be a Panama Carnival on 10th April, at Trafalgar Square at 2.30 pm.

London: Facebook Group calls for Cameron to resign

A new Facebook Group, “RESIGN!”, has been formed to call for David Cameron, the British Prime Minster to resign immediately.
This comes after a time when Island’s Prime Minster resigned soon after the Panama Papers scandal was exposed, and Cameron admitting he profited from an investment in an offshore tax haven via Blairmore Investment Fund.
They will be making their way to 10 Downing Street at 12:30 on 9th April, 2016. The protest will carry on from 10th April to 21st April, at 11.00 although some insist they will be there ‘as long as it takes’.
Icelanders have also taken to the London Facebook Group offering their support, as well as Edward Snowden, the whistleblower.

Carnegie Library protest, Herne Hill

(Article by JA, Citizen Journalist, as Beaulieu Away).

Hundreds of people continued to protest today, in response to the closure of the Carnegie Community Library.

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One man, Edward Ochagavia, brought in several chess sets because the Chess Club was made homeless. He ran the club for sixteen years and had 170 children in the club ‘Where to move it? I’m moving it into the street’. On closing the library, he said  ‘it is so stupid, that they need to start playing chess, then  start thinking about it.”

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One man who was occupying the library, Pete,  said,  ‘We’re here for as long as necessary. We’ve got to change this decision. Vote Green 2016 – There is an alternative to the Labour councillors we’ve got here. We need to send a message on May 5th to Labour. One Green councillor, Scott Ainslie, has achieved so much across Lambeth. Just imagine what a council full of Greens could do.   Other speakers who attended today supported Labour, but were appalled at the closure.

An author said, “when my mum was pregnant with me, and she had trouble in her life, this was her place of refuge. It is the only place in town where you’re not obliged to pay for a flavoured hot drink.”

Another, a  Unison union rep, said, ‘How is it that, during the A levels, you  decided to shut two of the most important libraries in the Borough? Sadiq Khan completely refused to engage, even though there are libraries closing across London so it is a London-wide issue.We collected 15,000 signatures on petitions, they just ignored it, they don’t care. This is a message that we care”.

One of the librarians, Tom, from the  Carnegie Library, said, ‘This can be the start of the fight back,  that the hundred planned libraries do not have to close.  Let’s do this till we win. Another librarian, Caroline, said, “I recognise each and every one of their faces, because they are our users and I am so proud of you”.

“Twenty-seven years, my family have used this library so much. Once we lose our libraries, they’re gone” said a local resident.

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Thoughts? Child Abuse – We need better preventative measures

 

Ah, this is a controversial topic,  but it has to be said. It is not something that is talked about in mainstream media.

As years go by and you read so many articles  in the news, it appears that this issue is  a world problem. The police have received huge calls about sexual assaults and child abuse over the last few years. It seems to be ‘getting worse’, but is it? Has it been there all the time? Of course it has. It has been like since since time began.

Abusers must have some kind of disorder or sexual orientation.  For example, people cannot help what orientation they are and what level of attraction gets handed down to them, but people can try to ‘manage’ things. For some people they are lucky, it is moderate and controllable. From a biological front, you wonder if animals do the same, after all, you also get ‘gay’ sheep.

I read the article today about an ex headmaster (http://www.standard.co.uk/news/crime/former-headmaster-avoids-jail-after-admitting-assaults-on-boys-a3216556.html) and how his interest in children was fueled by being at close proximity to young children, which, I suppose he ‘manufactured’. If someone has a condition or an orientation like that, and it is quite strong so much so that he would act on his impulses, it is inevitable that he could do harm to children. Secondary schools are well aware that many school teachers have been ‘quietly  removed’ from them, after ‘problems’. For some, it is hard to control.

What perhaps they need is help and support, rather like an alcohol anonymous group or one-to-one help to manage the situation, because, I think once they have this, they will always have it. At the very least, they can help themselves by avoiding places where they would possibly act on their thoughts. The ones that do not do this, are the ones that are not managing their behaviour properly, they are out-of-control.

People  who have this condition need to be able to seek help, without stigma. I’d rather they would get help, so that they can manage their lives away from ‘this temptation’. Unfortunately it may mean that parents would have to be kept away from their children if they  have this condition, or be supervised. Doctors need to give them help too. People shouldn’t be afraid to seek help, but they are.

Even in the article above, there was a helpline for those that have experienced sexual abuse but nothing for people who have an attraction to children, after all, they know they have it, so they need something to help them. It cannot be easy if they have this condition. Society has to work round the fact that there are people like that. They do have to be kept away from children in some way, after all, a lot of them seem to have no control. I think it is quite sad, and awful, that those with such a condition will often act on it, risk murdering them even, but it appears, that someone people cannot control themselves at all. Preventative damage limitation is essential.

Those with problem sexual issues, to start with, can get help from the Sexual Advice Association, ( http://sexualadviceassociation.co.uk/)