As I sit masked in duvet land hunkered down, with my husband on door duty for a repair. It feels like a melting pot of emotions here and in the UK at the moment. As this country’s leaders try to edge us out of a 3rd lockdown, we see other countries having to go back into another. There is voting and debate ongoing about people’s right to protest. With some concerned that defacing a statue may face greater punishment than may seem equitable. With many, many woman emailing their MPs about the issue of safety. I cannot deny my brain feeling is like a pinball machine.
Contacting an MP
We all need some answers. I emailed my constituency MP last week via the Fawcett Society about issues relating to women’s safety. It is engrained on every woman’s mind following the recent tragic event in London. Our collective pain is causing us to stand up, be counted and be louder. As we revisit experiences we’d rather not remember. But, I did receive a prompt reply. Filled with facts and evidence of action. But it did feel a little like, ‘you should know this already‘. With many go to reads suggested. Should I feel embarrassed, or an abject failure not knowing about every course of action and planned legislation?
Where are the answers?
The problem for my MEcfs brain is that it really struggles. I actually need my own political/legal commentator. So that I can ask ‘is xyz included in that document‘ and ‘what does xyz actually mean? I have studied and passed an exam on basic business law, eons ago. But I now find it very difficult to keep up.
Do I reply and challenge on the subject of disability? Asserting the detail that disabled people going about their daily lives, have fixed routes due to access. They cannot make detours, as there may be stairs, kerbs, or too narrow a passage to navigate. The list goes on. Some tweets I have seen from women of the disabled community are heartbreaking.
Access to a recently reopened consultation with regards to women’s safety, was also highlighted. I was already aware of it’s existence, but only very recently. Everyone over the age of 16 years is encouraged to contribute. The consultation ‘Violence Against Women and Girls – call for evidence‘ – VAWG as it is also known. Here is the link to the consultation. The consultation closes on March 26th, 2021. So there isn’t long. And it isn’t an easy subject, so I would suggest caution. It states that it will take 15 minutes to complete and that you may need to seek support after having contributed. That is pretty shocking.
I think it’s likely to take my MEcfs brain an hour, and possibly longer due to the sensitive nature of the content. It also requires reading, understanding and making a decision. Answering questions is not always my strong point anymore. And will I be able to de-stress after doing it? That can take days. But I feel it is my duty and in the hope of positive change to take part.
I also have a local access issue on the back burner so to speak. And as a result am awaiting a reply from a local entrepeneur as to whether a stairlift will be fitted to enable certainly some access to a universal type business by disabled people living in the community. A stairlift sadly doesn’t mean access for all. Why does it have to be so difficult. I actually had to use in my argument stating the case for access, that ‘disabled people have money to spend! On further exploration I understand that according to the Equality Act of 2010, a disabled person has a right to reasonable access. I’m not keen on being difficult. The will to just make change would be incredibly refreshing.
Sometimes it really does feel like we live in the 1500s. I know, I exaggerate. But really! Mentioning wheelchairs can make one feel like an outcast. As I’ve discussed in The Perception of Wheels. Will this mean I need to email my local MP again? And will they be at all interested? Or give the ‘you did the right thing in raising this issue, goodbye‘ standard reply. OK, gross generalisation! A local debate about a brick wall built in the 1930s and ‘should it be preserved‘ caused consternation. While people who use wheelchairs struggle to get into half the towns premises. Along with a local town plan omitting the subject of disabled access altogether. It makes me very annoyed. You noticed!
It feels that on every subject many of us are scrabbling around trying to keep up, state our case, justify it and be heard in time! It can feel akin to speaking into a void!
So, I calmly approach the variety of subjects. Attempt to be as informed as is possible, challenge where possible and hope for change. It has to be possible. While also accepting I can’t do it all, and certainly not in my own strength. However much I so desperately want to.
Thanks so much for listening. My next post will be of a less rant in nature. But I do appreciate being able to let off steam here.
This scripture for today from a Devotional sent out from the church I am connected to in a virtual way, seems very apt at the moment.
1 Timothy 2:1-2 NIV
2 I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people— for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness.
Have a blessed day.
I think the post ‘The Powerlessness You Feel is called Moral Distress‘ from Physchology Today can sum up how so many people are feeling right now. Well, I can certainly relate.
Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.