(c) Da Vinci. Leda

Life goes on, even when it shouldn't

Since my sister's death in May, things are...different. They'll never be the same, because she was aside from my mum, the most important person in my life - and still is. She had a huge impact on me and was a huge part of my life. We are waiting to hear from the Crown prosecution service if a man will be charged with causing her death via careless driving. He overtook a huge lorry on the opposite side from my sister, and didn't leave enough time, she swerved and crashed into the lorry. The car driver got to work on time though...she died because a stupid arsehole HAD to move faster. I'm pissed at him. I don't hate him, but I want him punished. He doesn't think he did anything wrong, because HE didn't crash into her, and is apprantly an experienced driver. I don't care. if he hadn't overtaken my sister would still be here, she'd be married, she'd probably, hopefully, be pregnant now despite being terrified that she wouldn't be able to have a baby due to endometrious and now, all that is gone, forever. We're trying to get on with our lives. I'm doing a masters degree in Human Rights and Justice at my uni law school, which I love, one of my brothers is getting divorced (my sister never liked his wife) and my mum will never properly recover from loosing her baby girl, her youngest. We can smile, laugh and do things but everything is tinged now. Everything we do, experience will feel wrong because she should be there. Her fiance is still a part of our family thankfully and we love him, but every birthday, valentines, christmas...he's 28 and lost the love of his life. Ive lost a best friend, confidant, partner in crime, advisor...someone who I adored and respected for nothing, to save a few minutes on a car journey. He could SEE my sister's car when he was overtaking, he KNEW the road, he KNEW he was on a corner and about to go to a roundabout and would have to slow down anyway, but he still overtook. I want him to release what he's done. What he's destroyed. I want people to THINK when they are in a car or cyling or walking  that their actions and choices affect everyone around them. Cars aren't toys. My sister said when she passed her driving test she was scared, because she was driving something that could potentially kill someone if she didn't pay attension....
I love her. I miss her.
(c) Da Vinci. Leda

My baby sis RIP

Last Friday my family were told my beautiful baby sister was killed in a car crash. The whole family is a mess. She was due to be married in August and now everything is just gone.

She was such an amazing, unique person and I love her so much. I can still barely process it, and right now 'forgetting' is sometimes easier.

I love you baby sis xxxxxxxxxxxx

(c) Da Vinci. Leda

election 2015

I'm sick right now, so I'm done being PC.

Our election 2015. Too close to call huh? No, apparently people are too cowardly to admit who they're gonna vote for.

Oooh yay five more years of austerity! What the HELL is wrong with people?! Do you LIKE pain?! It's like being a Christian Scientist with Appendicitis.

Why elect someone who is so stupid he's friends with a convicted criminal (who Cameron was warned MANY times not to hire) AND a racist, sexist idiot who punches fellow co-workers - but hey he's a funny, rich, paunchy none guy so cut him so slack.

Please for the love of God SPN, please give Cameron and co hell because no one else has the backbone to.

Maybe if Cameron looses Scotland that'll piss people off; the first prime minister to loose the UK, or maybe when the NHS is slowly privatized piece by piece behind a back door, or when the rich get richer and avoid more tax (because it's not illegal, so calm down darling), or more people WITH jobs using food banks or having benefits because their employer won't give them a living wage or when no one wants to train or become a teacher because of Gove, or people don't want to be GPs or work in the public sector, because we're all greedy bastards with golden pensions or our best and brightest actually *leave* because they don't want to live here. That is NOT a strong economy, it's smoke and mirrors. A lot can be covered and hidden – like raising the compulsory school age to 18 – that cuts down unemployment, as do zero hour contracts, or people forced to start their own business because they can't find a job, or people to ashamed to sign on after being made redundant.

What makes people think for ONE SECOND the Tories give a damn about the average person. What are they going to do about food banks? About zero hours contracts? About having a living wage? The soaring cost of gas/electricity companies? They have no idea how the ordinary person lives most have been born into privelrge and while I do not hold that against them, no one has control of their upbrining, it leaves them desensitised to real life. Most of us worry of bills, rent, childcare costs, caring roles for elderly parents, loosing our jobs, petrol prices, gas prices, climate change, crime…please tell me how millionaires have to worry about those things? And because they somehow manage to visit factories with a winning grin and lay a brick on a house – that earns your vote?!

I'm not blind to labour or lib dems multitude of failings and believe me I'm pissed with them too, but really, as a nation we're actually going to go with Cameron, Osbourne, May, Gove...that's the best we can do? That’s what we think we as a nation deserve – what our children, friends, family deserve> These are going to be our guiding light in making Britian Great again. Because I'm guessing everyone knows that Obama doesn't really care for Cameron and virtually everyone in Europe doesn't, but hey we ruled an Empire once - we still have power! *snort*

Most people bleat that we need a strong economy etc etc in this country, the Tories are NOT going to give us that. Their loyalities and interests lie in business and each other. They value profit. They pit groups against each other – we are supposed to blame the unemployed, the benefit scrounger, the public sector worker, the immigrant…everyone but the actual people in charge. Does anyone remember the bankers crisis? The expenses scandal – most of which were Tory MILLIONAIRES who charged US for cleaning their fucking duck ponds!

It's very easy to sneer at liberals. We're dismissed as not being grounded in reality – we want completely open immigrantion, we hate business, we hate profit, we hate the rich, we want to get rid of all weapons and dance around giving out flowers. That's NOT what I want. I want to have control of our borders – we are an extremely over-crowded country, our resources are strained to the limit. We need to invest in new defense to deal with new threats and I don't believe Trident is it, no necluear weapon is. Austery is a false concept which rich people have made up to make them even richer, which has worked brilliantly for them.

Sadly, people will only wake up when they or their family are suffering the consequences of joblessness or life threatening illnesses they can't be treated for. But hey, nevermind, as long as we have a' charismatic' leader. And don't even get me started on what the hell these people's definition of charisma is. Why are we still fooled into thinking an election is anything like a beauty/popularity contest?

We have a government that has virtually no female respresentation, and I do not count May. She's fucking nasty and cold, not to mention she seems to have real issues with anyone having civil freedoms.

These are the guys who are tap-dancing now they have a chance to do all the cuts they really wanted to. Thanks Britain. The next five years are going to be utter shit for pretty much everyone except the 1%. Really great. judgement there. Bravo.

Why the HELL do the voting public think the Tories care about you or the 'working family'?! Or are you addicted to pain and suffering? What do you expect them to do? Magically solve the debt and deficit that we've probably had for over 2000 years? The tories can't solve our problems with debt etc, and aren't really interested in it. A lot of our problems – debt, immigration, the NHS, climate change etc need long term multi-party solutions and that simply won't happen.

What do you think the tories will do for you? Actually regulate the banks? Stop huge companies from exploiting workers? Ban zero hours contracts? Allow you to have huge profits? Represent you if you're not rich, male, wealthy, hetro and Christian? Make us a respected world power again? Stop terrorism? Stop immigration? Help you become wealthy? Give everyone jobs? Make everyone dance round a fucking may pole?

So thank you, thank you so much everyone who voted tory. You've royally, completely fucked up our country even more.

  • Current Mood
    pissed off pissed off
(c) Da Vinci. Leda

RBB Post 2 - Open Cage

This is my second RBB for the brilliant fic "The Open Cage" by the lovely synn!

Read her fic: HERE

She's been fantastic and fun to work with and I really hope my art contribution does her fic justice! I had more art planned but sadly RL issues interveened and prevented me from doing everything I'd planned. But I do aim to post more art even though the deadline has now passed.

Please read the story and give her lots of lovely feedback! Feedback is very welcome for me too :D

Onto the art...
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(c) Da Vinci. Leda

rape culture

My previous entry was about a British footballer Ched Evans and the huge debate about whether he should be allowed to return to football after raping a 19yr old. He was convicted, was sentenced to five years, served two years and was let out on probation.

Today the club who were debating about signing back Evans has annouced it will not be resigning him after a petition of over 165,000 people and three patrons of the club resigned.

Personally I am very glad he isn't being re-instated. Defenders of him say, he has served his time and should be able to get on with his life, or that he isn't guilty, or perhaps it wasn't so much of a big deal, since his victim was drunk, or that he's a victim of mob justice.

Here's my take on these.

1) He's served his time. NO HE HASN'T! He was sentenced to FIVE years not two. He has been released on parole. That does not mean he's a free man. By law he's under conditions of his parole and if any are broken he will be back in prison. Probably he was released because of prison overcrowding not because they felt sorry for him or thought his setence was unfair. The prison system and sentencing is flawed I think we can all agree on that, and far too many people are released early - how many people have been sentenced to *life* imprisonment for murder and then released after ten years or less. That doesn't make them less guilty, and it's the same here.

 2) he should be able to get on with his life, and the job he did before. Um NO. If he was a teacher, police, MP, social worker, doctor etc he could NOT have his old job back. If he has been convicted of child porn and was a teacher, I doubt very much many people would've wanted him anywhere near kids. Although he's not a threat to children, as a footballer, they look up to him. He visits schools, leads kids out onto the pitch - why would you want a convicted rapist to do that. It sends an appauling message to kids and especially teenagers. Also to be blunt as a footballer, young girls are drawn to him. He will be in the same position again with drunk girls, or girls who are trying to flirt/seduce him - or times when *he* is drunk. What happens if the same thing happenened? There is a huge amount of peer pressure and a 'lad culture' in football that goes hand in hand with racist, mysognistic and homophobic behaviour. If you want to avoid people commiting the same crimes, they have to stop being in the situation/culture they were when they did it. The FA is woefully pathethic in it's reactions to whenever a footballer commits a crime.

In an era when consent is blurred with internet, revenge porn, leaked pictures and what consent is, the last thing we need is a blurred message that even if you rape soemone and even if they are drunk it's not a big deal. Rape is a big deal. We should enforce that view in every way possible. We like to pride ourselves on how liberal we are, yet why is it when it comes to rape it boils down to liar/whore/slut/cheat/pansy/sissy (for guys)?

3) He isn't guilty (and keeps protesting his innocence). This troubles me a lot. I am well aware there are women who make false rape claimes, so I know it happens and sadly famous people do get targeted. Personally I think anyone found to make a false rape accusation should be given the same prison sentence as rape and be named and shamed. False rape is a DISGUSTING thing to do to someone and it infuriates me. It demeens real victims's fears and shame about coming forward, also it is a terrible, life changing thing for someone to be falsely convicted of rape, and I believe if someone is falsely accused of rape, they should go onto sue the person. In this case, I have a strong suspion he wasn't innocent. I cannot see what the victim could have possibily gained. She has been raped, had to go through a humilating trial, reliving what happened, was called a liar, and when he was convicted she faced a huge backlash because Evans is well known. Her identity was revealed on twitter - whcih is illegal. All rape victims are granted life long anonimity. She was harressed, sent rape threats, called a slut/whore/liar etc etc. She had to have a new identity and had to leave her friends and family, all this at 19 years old. Please tell me why she would make it up. She's not given interviews, not got any money from it. What has she gained? Would someone please tell me?

Also Evans maintains his innocence even after two years in prison, so to some people he's innocent. I hate to break it to people, but criminals DO lie. A lot of people convicted of sex crimes especially take years to admit their guilt. They staunchly insist their innocence. Look at all the older celebrities in Britain accused of rape, paedophilia and other disgusting crimes. Rolf Harris and Stuart Hall both insisted on their innocence, branded their victims liars. How many of us believe they are innocent? I have volunteered in courts and my sister works with rehabilitating sex offenders so I do have some background in this. Criminals like the Yorkshire Ripper - Peter Suttcliffe denied his crimes for years and his wife stood by him. There are cases of killers (in America) who denied their crimes up until the day they were exercuted and then confessed they *did* do them. Yes I AM aware there are innocent people in prison and yes I strongly dislike the idea that you get a 'lighter' sentence if you 'admit' your guilt and leads to false confessions, but also the fact is rape cases are very rarely brought to trial due to lack of evidence or not having a 'credable' victim, for the CPS to bring it to court they HAVE to have substancial proof of the crime, especially in serious cases like rape, so they had to be confident it would hold up in court and a jury was also convinced enough. No one has any idea what evidence was presented at the trial, so please don't jump to conclusions about the evidence.

I think Evans genuinely does believe he's done nothing wrong. I don't think he's 'evil' and probably is almost a victim of the horrendous macho culture in football. Girls are sex objects for men's pleasure, being drunk to him wasn't a big red flag saying no. He should have been taught better by his parents, teachers and people running the club. It disturbs me that he simply shrugs it off as 'cheating' on his girlfriend. At no time has he appoligised to his victim, or her family or condemned the abuse she got. Reguardless of what happened, she has lost her family and been verbally abused by his 'fans' and as a human he should acknowledge that. The video he released was a huge mistake in my opinion, as was bringing his girlfriend. It is uncomfortable to see her supporting her cheater/rapist boyfriend in that so stereotypical manner of the faithful wife, standing by her man no matter what. SHe believes he's innocent, as does his mother and sister. Oddly enough his aunt who works in the prison service doesn't.

I'm curious if someone had raped/slept with his drunk sister, mother or girlfriend and then they'd said they'd been raped, would teh family have brushed it off, claimed she wasn't that drunk or she was outright lying, becuase until that happens his family have absolutely no right to comment, let alone brand his victim a slut on Twitter.  They should have the common decency to shut up. He has a right to protest his innocence but not further trumatise his victim. I'm curious what Evans, or his family or fans would actually 'define' consent becuase he really does not 'get it'. A lot of people get confussed especially when alcohol is involved, but it is NOT an invitiation for sex and even if it HAD been consesual as he insisted why the hell did he sleep with her?? He has a girlfriend. WAs a drunk 19 yr old really that irresistable?! I personally think all footballers should have manditorily to sign a code of conduct before they are signed up, stating in plain terms if they commit crimes they won't be reinstated and will not be able to play again at *any* premiere club. Being a footballer, earning a lot of money is a priverlegde. Laods of equally talented men and women don't have the chance Evans had. Also lets not forget his lovely, supportive fans who have sent numerous rape threats to his victim and also anyone including other female celebrities who criticise Evans or want him to leave the club. Isn't it nice his fans have his back and that because of freedom of speach they can say those things...why the HELL hasn't Evans spoken out? He could've condemn the rape threats and said anyone who does that is no fan of his. But no. All he does is repeat his innocence. He should have condemned the rape threats immediately, he should have acknowledged why people are upset and that he understands why rape is such a serious deal, he should have made a donation to rape charities and used this an an exercise, even in the most cynical PR terms to raise awareness of rape in general, it might have made people believe more in him but he hasn't. He and the football clubs have unsuprisingly handled the whole deal especially his video with crass, ignorant, idotical incompantancy. Big suprise.

4) it wasn't that big of a deal, it wasn't a 'violent' rape. First off, this makes me sick. Everyone has a mother or sister, daughter, friend, cousin, brother, son, dad and anyone of them can be raped. Please don't tell me if someone you loved was raped no matter the circumstances or if YOU were it wouldn't be a big deal or say 'well if you behave like that....'. I don't care if she was drunk. No one deserves to be violated. If someone is murdered while drunk or mugged while drunk, did they deserve it? If someone forgets to lock a window and is burgleed or goes down a dark alley and is attacked, do we berate them and say they should've known better/not lead the criminal to temptation? Do we blame children for 'tempting' killers or paedophiles because of their age or because they were outside? For God sake, STOP the victim blaiming!!! Rape is a big deal. It's a horrible thing to happen, it's horrible to discuss and therefore needs talking about. Why do we blame rape victims, out of all the victims of crime, rape victims and battered women are disbelieved, dismissed and doubt is expressed about their honesty. Remember Rhiannia? Apprantly lots of WOMEN figured she must've pissed Chris Brown off to be beaten. Jesus. Rape is nasty, humilating and devistating. Lots of psychologists and criminal experts call it 'unfinished murder' because some victims never recover from it. Liek soliders they suffer PTSD and has flashbacks, nightmares for years. How many of us have got drunk at times...do we deserve to be hurt because of it? Rape is a bed is no less trumatic than in an alley. if you are raped by an ex boyfriend or your husband in your room does that make it worse since he was kind enough not to make you bleed too?

5) He's a victim of mob justice. Yes he most likely is, the club was 'genuinely suprised' so many people didn't want Evans back. Weird. I mean sure lots of fans have kids and teenagers, wives, sisters, girlfriends, why would they feel uncomfortable with a rapist holding their child's hand? Hmmm. THis is one of the problems. Evans life is not ruined. Not really. He can't play football perhaps (maybe another club will take him) but he still has his family and girlfriend's support, he still has fans support and no doubt a lot of fans will pity him, some will protest on his behalf. But his life isn't ruined. He's young and can get a new job. His victim doens't have that oppertunity. She has to live with what happened to her. We talk about rehabilitating offenders, but how do you rehabiliate someone who is convinced they've done nothing wrong? Until he sees drunk can't give consent there's a stalemate. Perhaps he could have played again if he'd shown remorse or at least some understanding of why rape is so serious but between him and his family they've ruined that chance. To be honest, very few celebs face justice, not really. Look at Chris Brown, Charlie Sheen, Mel Gibson (well ok his career's over) all of them hurt women and haven't faced any real consequences because rape/violence against women is shruged off. THis is the FIRST time people have really protested that if you rape you face more consequences than a short prison sentence.

He had a choice to sleep with that women. She didn't. 
(c) Da Vinci. Leda

punnishment fitting crime

There's been a lot in the media about footballer, Ched Evans who was convicted of raping a 19yr old, sentenced to five years and served half of it. Now he is out and could well be signed up to his old club. He has always protested his innocence - although he has appoligised to his girlfriend (who has stood by his) for cheating on her.

At the moment there is a lot of debate in England about whether he should be allowed to return to his former job. Some take the view since he's served his sentence (well half of it) he's allowed to get on with his life, others say as a public figure and role model he doesn't have that luxery.

My own view...I don't think he should be allowed to return to his job. I pride myself on being a liberal person. I'm also a feminist. Yes I admited it. I'm one of those horrible, scary women who is dooming society, but there you have it.

I don't believe people should be treated like second class citizens because they have commited crimes. I believe in rehabilitation. However there are some areas certain criminals should be locked out of. If Ched Evans was a teacher, a politican, police officer - there is no way he'd be able to go back to his job. As a footballer, he is in a position of some power. Fans idolise him, he will earn a very nice salary and still be in the position where he's surrounded by young women - and most likely alcohol. A bad combination.

Alcohol is another problem in the case. The victim was drunk. So naturally a lot of people think some of the blame should lie with her, since obviously if someone is mugged, it's their own fault for carring a handbag - we're tempting theives. Being drunk is NOT a green light for sex. In fact, even if it WASN'T rape, like Evans is insisting, the fact is he slept with a drunk 19 year old. She couldn't give consent, and frankly, it was most likely there were other women there, and the best candidate he could find to sleep with was a drunk teenager. Classy. It also sticks in my craw that Evans refuses to appoligise or take any real responsibility for his actions. He maintains his innocence as does his girlfriend and his family, because obviously there is no way any family can have a rapist in it.

Now I'm not an idiot. I KNOW women do make up rape and I think it is disgusting and their sentence should be harsh. I would all rape a miniumn of ten years - same for anyone who makes up rape, because it's an insult to all the survivors of rape, many of who, male and female are too scared and ashamed to go to the police and there are women who accuse famous men of rape, so I'm not blind to that but I find it very disturbing when Evans family calls the victim a slut and various other things. It's one thing to believe his innocence, it's another entirely to do what they are doing. Even if it wasn't rape...can a drunk teenager actually give consent, and frankly it says a lot about his morals - and his family that he knowingly slept with a drunk girl and they don't seem to take that on board.

We will never know the full truth what happened between Evans and the victim...but considering the girl was given a new identity because she was being harressed by Evans's fans AFTER his conviction, and has had to leave her friends and family behind...how many of us women would leave our whole life behind due to a completley fabriated crime? I'm not liking those odds.

Oh and also people like Judy Finnigan should be ashamed of herself. Apprantly if someone is raped on a bed and there isn't a weapon and blood everywhere, it's not violent. Imagine that. I'm sure the victim felt suitably releaved she was on a bed. Thank God for small favours. People really shoudl not common on bad unless it's to say, bad, unacceptable in ANY situation or context. That's all there should be to say about rape.

I'm very curious that if it was Judy FInnigan's daughter, Evan's girlfriend, his sister, his mother who was raped, or any of our wives, daughters, sisters, friends, brothers, sons, cousins (because yes men can be raped) would we want to see the rapist carrying on a job in the public eye...would we want our sister, daughter, friend, wife, brother, son being harressed on twitter, would we want people to claim because we had a drink we should bare some responsbility or that the crime wasn't violent. I'm sure we'd all have a very different reaction. Especially since Judy Finningan's own daughter had been on the reciving end of rape threats from trolls on twitter in a backlash against Judy's comments - and the police have jumped straight into action, as they should do with rape threats (which are disgusting) - I'm assuming she takes rape threats very seriously - I do - so why is actual rape seen somehow as....less? In no other crime do we EVER judge the victim. IF someone leaves a window open do we blame them for a burglary? I don't think Judy would take the same view if Ched had raped her daughter....whether she was drunk or not and if she does, I'm very worried.

We are very quick to jump on judgements about just about anything these days, since we're clearly all experts in how others feel, cope, think etc. Some issues have no clear answers. But when it comes to men and women have mutual respect for each other - and that includes BOTH genders not taking advantage of someone drunk that should be non negioatable, and frankly if someone is drunk that should be a glaring red light that sex is off the table, consentual or not. Period.