Balance of the sexes

During the day I get the opportunity to read some of the news articles that appear in publications that are based in North East. Apart from the fact that most of them are filled with stories to do with football there are some snippets of interest.

I have been interested in story covered by the Hartlepool Mail. It describes a former teacher accused of having a sexual relationship with a pupil at her school. The teacher involved has admitted to kissing the boy but said nothing else happened. She is on trial at Teeside Crown Court.

She is accused of grooming the boy by giving him sweets and what the paper describes as “attention”. But it went further to describe what the accused in question was wearing in court. Right down to the colour of her tights and shoes.

“Wearing a burgundy jacket and skirt, grey tights and matching grey high heels, she wept several times as she started her defence.”

Regardless of whether this person is guilty or not what has the colour of her clothing and the type of shoes she is wearing got to do with the evidence provided in court?

Ahhhh you see! She is wearing high heels. You see? See what type of a person she is. She obviously has questionable morals and definitely should be viewed with some sort of suspicion.

This sort of gutter journalism is proof that women again do not hold an equal standing in society. Why is it that we seem to judge women on the basis of what type and how little clothing they wear. Would a man have his clothing describes in such detail if he were accused of the crime? Would his clothing be relevant? No. But it must be if a women dresses in such a way.

I emailed the newspaper. No reply so far. I doubt I will get answer or explanation.

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Sin

Christians believe that sin was brought into the world by Adam and Eve’s disobedience in the garden of Eden. Man is now separated from God and therefore cannot have a relationship with him. The ultimate punishment is eternity without God. God gave his son so as a sacrifice for the bad things that people have done. A pardon or someone to take the blame.

I struggle with the concept of sin. Not that I don’t understand it but the fact that some Christian’s seem to regard some sins worse than others. As a humanist do believe that actions do have a consequence. Those actions that Christians believe are the most sinful seem to be to have the least consequence. The fact that two men or two women living together will have some sort of consequence on society. To fundamental / evangelical christians they believe that society will break down and the traditional view of marriage is destroyed.

In the UK we have had Civil Partnerships for nearly a decade. It was at the early part of 2014 that marriage equality was given legal assent. But some parts the church still continue to focus their energies on fighting gay rights. I think now it has become an unhealthy obsession to some.

Some of the most damaging of “sins” seem to be over-looked; Domestic abuse, theft, drug trafficking, fraud and sexual crimes. These all have long-lasting consequences for the victim of these acts. Yet the perception is that church isn’t interested in talking about an condemning these in the way that it condemns those people who cannot help who they fall in love with.

“Currently, regular church attendance in the United Kingdom stands at 6% of the population with the average age of the attendee being 51. This shows a decline in church attendance since 1980, when regular attendance stood at 11% with an average age of 37. It is predicted that by 2020, attendance will be around 4% with an average age of 56. This decline in church attendance has forced many churches to close down across the United Kingdom, with the Church of England alone being forced to close 1,500 churches between 1969 and 2002. Their fates include dereliction, demolition and residential conversion.” (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Religion_in_the_United_Kingdom)

We are a post-christian nation. More people recognising that they have no religion. The concept of sin is an outdated one soon to become a historical notion or philosophical stance.

Police under pressure

I have been watching a programme of the same name ‘police under pressure’. It follows a team in Yorkshire investigating alleged crimes against young girls in their community. What struck me most of all about this programme was the lack of concern and compassion for the girls in question. It was almost as if the police were investigating these crimes and they really couldn’t be bothered.

The police were highlighting in the program that the force was under pressure with government cuts and the sort of investigations were costing them a large amount of their budget. They were a pains to point out that staff had been moved from murder investigations to these crimes involving grooming and child protection.

What struck me the most about this programme was the amount of failures the police force had admitted in tackling this sort of crime in previously years and decades.

Their surveillance and interviewing technique lacked any relevance to the 21st century and didn’t once mention using social media and networks. Rather relying on one PSCO to hand out photocopied leaflets in a desperate attempted to find girls that had gone missing.

All in all didn’t instil any confidence that tackling this horrendous crime. Their attitude towards the girls was certainly telling would they really be so complacent if it had boys instead of girls?

November

It’s that strange time when it’s dark and Hallowe’en gone and we are putting up with the fireworks going off. Some of them going off in the middle of the day when it’s not even dark. What’s that all about?

I have given myself three months to sort out my house and at the moment it seems to be two steps forward and then three back. All the rubbish I have accumulated over the past 18 years since owning a house seems to be calling for me to sort it out. Stuff I haven’t used in years and things that no longer have any use. The VHS versions of film I once purchased remain in my house have now become obsolete. Who will need them and keep them in the future?

I live in a two-bedroomed house not a hanger. The house has steadily changed into one seen on channel 4 documentary where the person they are interviewing cannot bear to be parted with a fraction of their sometimes bizarre worldly goods. A recent programme had highlighted the plight of someone with fifty-one guitars in his house.

So let’s get sorted in time for Christmas. Yes I have said the ‘c’ word as soon as November has arrived.

Get the sprouts on Muriel.

Youtubers

Most of the stuff that’s written on the Internet is bullshit. Yes that maybe a harsh way to start this blog but it’s true.
I have had the misfortune to be stumbling across some stories about youtubers that have been accused of sexual crimes. Not the greatest thing you want to read about.
There are always the people who will want to give their opinion and as I said most of it is crap. Sexual crime is a very serious matter. Those who are accused have to be guarded in what they say. I know this from experience. I haven’t talked about what happened to me over a decade ago. I couldn’t and didn’t think it was appropriate.
When someone accuses you of a crime it’s a very serious matter, especially if you are a position of authority or someone older who the person may look up to then the matter is treated as being more serious. It’s a fact. This doesn’t seem to be getting across to those on YouTube who have had fingers pointing at them.
Some have been accused of rape of children. Yet have carried on making videos and dismissed the accusations as a bit of fun gone wrong. Unfortunately if the authorities are informed of a crime is it their duty to investigate it and it becomes deadly serious.
I hope that in time the truth will come out so those who have suffered can feel they have received justice.

Social Anxiety

I never used to suffer from anxiety until the mid-nineties when the ugly face of depression reared it’s head. I thought those who suffered were either attention-seekers or lunatics and sometimes both.

Reading comments and people’s opinions after the suicide of Robin Williams has made me realise that we still have a long way to go in educating people. One blogger even dared to suggest that we should actively stigmatise people who have committed suicide so it would be a deterrent to those who had contemplated such. In that case would shouldn’t show compassion and love to cancer sufferers who by their lifestyle had brought the disease on themselves.

Last night was a wake up call. I realisation. I can no longer function in group environments. You might think this is some sort of “love me” statement. It isn’t. I am just not the person I was 20 years ago. Yet some how people expect me to be.

I used to be the life and soul of the party. Not any more. Give me a glass of wine and my sofa. Keep me away from crowded places. I think this has been a mixture of getting old and not wanting to be amongst silly drunk people who don’t know how to go out without getting into an argument or a fight.

But it’s not confined just to pubs and busy bars. I really don’t like going to the cinema. I need to be at the end of the aisle in a church or anywhere where people gather.

So what should I do about this? Nothing. Not a thing. I am happy when I am at home or with just a handful of people. If you ask me to go out and party I will probably politely decline. My friends know this. Not that I hate you or I am being rude.

My name is Philip and I am social-phobic.