Quick Update – 5.7.19

Hello all!

This is your reminder that in Glasgow tomorrow the #AskThe700 will be out handing out flyers and getting people to fill in the consultation. They could always use some extra volunteers! They’ll be on Buchanan Street just by the Apple store from 1pm until 3pm.

Plus I’ll be there!

So please if you’re in Glasgow come and say hi. Fill in the consultation if you haven’t already and meet some of the main GMB people that are helping to spearhead this campaign. Along with some dancers and sex work supporters that I’m sure will be happy to answer any questions you might have.

If you can’t be there in person then try and spread the word via social media!

No matter what you get up to this weekend please just remember to stay safe and be happy x

SEV Protest & Next Steps – 24.6.19

Hello all ^_^ thanks for checking in. I’ve got an update on the SEVs legislation consultation campaign for you today so please be sure to read to the end.

(Also be sure to check out my previous post explaining more about the SEVs consultation –  HERE)

First things first let’s talk about the protest that was held in Georges Square, Glasgow on Saturday 22nd of June.

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Photo taken from – https://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/news/scottish-news/closing-strip- clubs-puts-women-16760822

The protest was organised by The Empowered Woman Project (TEWP) and received a fair bit of media attention. Unfortunately the overall turnout of protesters was quite low. I imagine this could partly be due to it being Edinburgh Pride and partly due to people worrying about the stigma they might face for openly showing support for sex work.

TEWP are also the group that organised the petition that’s currently going around. At time of writing the petition has 3,753 signatures.

I have to say that turning up (a little late) to find that there were only 5 other protesters and probably 10 or so photographers/journalists was quite disappointing. It left me feeling as if the protest was little more than a photo shoot, which is really not what I had expected. Especially considering the number of people that had put themselves as going/interested in attending the protest.

Personally I felt the protest had been organised with too much focus on media presence and should have focused more on spreading information, working together to promote future events and creating a clear line of contact between everyone that wished to be involved.

 

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Photo by: https://www.johnmccarney.com/

 

However the official GMB campaign – #askthe700 – have said that both the protest and petition aren’t what we need to be focusing on. They say that we should focus on getting people to respond to the consultation – which I do fully agree with. In order to do this they will be hosting a family friendly event on the Saturday 29th in George Square, Glasgow where they will be available to answer questions and help people fill out their response to the consultation.

I found out the night before the protest that they weren’t actually involved in it and it left me a little unsure as to whether I would still go along, but I decided that the protest was a good way to bring extra attention to the campaign which in turn would be a great way to get more people to reply to the consultation. Despite the low turnout I am really glad that I went along as it was a great opportunity to meet like minded individuals, I also got to meet Mandy – one of the founders of TEWP. She’s certainly very passionate about wanting to help and had a very positive group supporting her, which was lovely to see.

On the AskThe700 website they have a statement regarding their relationship with Mandy and TEWP, I’d recommend going and reading it for yourself – https://www.askthe700.org/please-read – as the information is very important and should influence how you interact with TEWP.

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Photo taken from: https://www.facebook.com/AskThe700/?eid=ARD4zeJxe7eX-tvKUQb9JLBMqekZDuB2AJFozLe6v2cvcL9MaySeug0Mk8XU7LlgZatS_IhWakfIxOLP

 

AskThe700 has my full support and I will endeavour to do better at double checking which events they are endorsing before passing on this information to my followers. I’m so happy that TEWP is speaking up and drawing attention to the issue but I personally feel that if we don’t follow the wishes of the official campaign (the 700 worker’s representative) then we’re going against the very thing that we are asking for.

I hope to see you at the info day/consultation response day on Saturday 29th.

Until then, stay safe and be happy x

Glasgow Strip Clubs Under Threat – 14.6.19

*** Edited 24.6.19 – removed template response as there was a risk these responses would be ignored. Left a link to the official #AskThe700 consultation response help page ***

Hey everyone, I want to talk to you about the SEVs (sexual entertainment venues) consultation that’s potentially threatening the livelihoods of sex workers across Scotland.

You may or may not be aware of the consultation, which was first brought forward at the end of May, that is going to decide on how SEVs are to be legislated and if the legislation will result in closures (thus loss of employment). You can read the basic outline of how the legislation consultation started off here.

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Image from – https://barcelona-famous-strip-club.business.site/

Strip clubs (and sex workers in general) have been fighting off stigma and well meaning “saviour” types for years but rarely get listened to when it comes to legislating themselves and their work places. Instead they have to deal with invasive and intimidating police raids (like in August 2018) where despite the fact that the work and workers are all perfectly legal they are treated like “naughty school children” and have to deal with loss of earnings on top of the emotional trauma a raid like that can cause. Or even worse they have women claiming to be feminists film them (without their consent or knowledge) and then present that footage as evidence of a license breach in attempt to have the club – that they rely on for income – shut down (read about it here). These incidents both claim to be about protecting or saving the women involved but in both cases have left the women worse off in some way and have threatened their ability to continue earning a living.

It’s not all doom and gloom though.Glasgow already has a sex worker union! The GMB Union has an adult entertainment branch which sex workers can join in order to rally together and start making some positive changes. Megara Furie, a spokesperson from adult entertainment branch of the GMB Union, has spoken out in defence of the clubs. Megara has said that the legislation itself isn’t the main issue it’s the threat of closure that’s unreasonable, where as Marie Penman, a former councillor and woman’s activist would rather abolish all strip clubs entirely (read more here). Marie Penman believes that strip clubs themselves are an act of violence against women – and she’s not the only one to hold that belief – despite the numerous workers coming forward defending their right to choose their work and what they do with their lives. It’s a very lively debate with passionate arguments coming from either side but at the end of the day shouldn’t we be listening to the voices of the people who’s lives this will directly impact?

Now after reading over those articles and having listened to me talking about standing up for sex workers right’s in whatever way you can, you might be asking yourself “but what can I do?”.

I’ll tell you what – you can respond to the consultation!

Scotland SEV legislation consultation info.jpg
Screenshot from – https://www.glasgowconsult.co.uk/kms/dmart.aspx?strTab=PublicDMart

The consultation is open until the 26th of August 2019 so you have time to let them know what you think.

You can email them LicensingEnquiries@glasgow.gov.uk  or you can write to them Mairi Millar, Head of Licensing and Democratic Services, City Chambers, George Square, Glasgow, G2 1DU.

“But what do I say?” – I hear you ask. Not to worry GMB have you covered! Follow this link to their help page for a step by step guide on how to write your response.

 

I know this has been kind of a heavy topic but it’s important that we do our best to bring these issues to the attention of the general public. Use this opportunity to educate your friends and family. Help fight back the stigma that sex workers have been struggling with for years.

But most importantly…

Stay safe and be happy ^_^

 

 

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Now available as a t-shirt – https://www.teepublic.com/user/bluemerkitten

Mental Health Awareness Week 13th – 19th May:Body Image Focus

Hey lovelies, I know I’m a bit late to start talking about the fact that it’s mental health awareness week but in my defence I’ve been bed ridden for most of this week with no energy to do anything. However I didn’t want to let this week pass without saying something so today’s post is all about mental health with the main focus being body image.

I know this isn’t a new topic for me but that doesn’t mean it’s any less important to talk about. We have to keep discussions going if we’re ever going to make any real changes. So here we go, mental health awareness week 2019.

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Body image is something I think everyone will have struggled with at one point. We always find something about ourselves that we don’t like and decide that if we could just change that one thing (or multiple things, I’m not going to pretend that it’s only ever one thing someone doesn’t like about their body) then we’d be so much happier.

Maybe we would. Maybe if we changed our weight we’d feel better about ourselves, or if we did something with our hair, or got some dental work done you might even consider some plastic surgery. And that’s all ok. It’s ok to want to change your appearance. But I think what you have to think about before you set yourself the task of changing yourself physically, is that you have to examine your mental state. Really think about if you’ll actually be happy after you finally make those changes or how will you feel if you don’t manage to make those changes? Half the people I know that have went on diets or fitness regimes find themselves constantly moving their goal further and further away. They’re never satisfied with how much they’ve achieved because they still think they have more to do.

back to the grind

When they get like that I try to encourage them to learn to love themselves for how they are. Well in truth before they even start their diet/regime/whatever I’m preaching self love and body positivity. Not because it’s easier but because if you learn to love your body as it is then you may find you no longer want to change it, or you might find it easier to make more gradual changes that are easier to maintain and more satisfying in the long term. I’m not saying you should never go on a diet or start a fitness regime. I’m just trying to say that if your head isn’t in the right place then you’ll likely find it very difficult to get your body to the “right” place.

We all have our bad days. I’m no exception to that. We have days where we feel on top of the world and ready to do anything but we also have days where we can’t stand the idea of facing the world. That’s ok. Life can be hard and having a day where you can’t muster the energy to be a beacon of self love and positivity is totally fine. You’ve got to take things one step at a time and not worry if you stumble back a little. As long as you keep trying to move forward you’ll get there.

sad heart

And if you need help there are so many resources available now.

*Please note most of these are UK/Scottish based, this is not an exhaustive list there are so many resources out there*

 

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I’ve been asked a couple of times how I got the confidence to do modelling – especially lingerie & nude modelling – and I always say the same thing: I started with selfies. The selfie craze and Snapchat getting so popular encouraged me to take more photos of myself. It got me to the point where I could take a selfie and not hate it. I cute take a selfie and think it was cute, that it was cute enough to share with people and my friends were very supportive and always said nice things. I mean they were nice enough to put up with me spamming them with bad selfies that had every filter available over them haha but they were always supportive and I really appreciate that. From there I began experimenting with my wardrobe. Trying things I’d thought I would never wear – crop tops, shorts, long skirts – things which now I fully embrace and wear whenever I feel like it (weather be damned haha). It took time but I built up the confidence to be bolder and learnt that I could wear whatever I wanted. From there I decided the next logical step was to try and get other people to take my picture. Not just in a casual sense but in a “can I stand in front of a photographer and like the pictures I get back” kind of way. From my first shoot I was hooked. Looking back my poses are awful, my makeup and hair were lacking and in all honesty the photographer picked some very unflattering angles but it didn’t matter because I had managed to do it. From there I created a modelling portfolio profile and started trying to get modelling work. Now 3 years later here I am.

Still having wobbles and moments where I wish I was a size 10 but I’m happy to keep taking things step by step. I know that I can be my own size and shape and that it won’t stop me from achieving my dreams so I’ll just keep doing my best and I’ll get there eventually. I know it won’t be me that needs to change, it will be society and beauty standards that have to change. We can make them change if we all learn to stop hating ourselves and realise we’re being sold toxic ideas that have no place in the modern world.

I realise I’ve waffled on a little bit xD so I’ll stop here. But if you need help then remember help is out there and there’s no shame in seeking it out. You got this.

And as always, stay safe and be happy x

 

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