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Does Valentine's Day represent disabled people?

PSHEexpertPSHEexpert Posts: 47Member, Community advisor Talkative
edited February 20 in Guest blogs

Valentine’s Day has been on my mind for the last couple of weeks.  This year, my colleagues and students will all be on campus for the big day itself, rather than on our half term break.  I’m the sex and relationships education lead at a specialist college for young people with a broad range of complex needs, and whoever said ‘love is wasted on the young’ clearly hasn’t met our students.

Valentine’s Day can be a touchy subject.  I read an article that my friend posted on Facebook over the weekend about a major supermarket including a gay couple as part of their Valentine’s Day campaign.  It’s about time, I thought - and then, of course, I started having a look to see whether the steps towards diversity went any further.  I’m sure It’s no surprise that there weren’t a lot of visible disabled folks getting it on.  Why is that?  I have to say that, from where I’m standing, it’s certainly not representative of how things really are.


A shift in attitude about diversity has been taking place, but there’s nothing like enough representation, and that’s a really important issue.  There are still lots of people with learning, physical or sensory disabilities who feel excluded from the opportunities to enjoy romance, dating, love, and sex.   Feeling excluded isn’t unique to disability (and neither is it assumed!), but disability is often cited as a factor - whether that’s down to an individual’s feelings about themselves or their situation, or a lack of support from family or carers.  Feeling invisible or underrepresented in the conversation is sure to have an impact.

Everybody needs sex and relationships education that makes it clear that we all have the same rights, and should be enjoying the same opportunities to exercise them.  It’s not enough to just point that out, either - everyone deserves to feel special, desirable, interesting, loved; romantically and sexually as much as any other context, and that should be factored in.  Valentine’s Day turns the spotlight on love and romance, and it’s a great opportunity to think about not only how we express it towards each other (and think about ourselves), but also how we can support each other in that.  

Heading into the last week of half term, there are singing Valentine deliveries happening around campus, a poetry competition, and a real buzz in the air.  It’s really making me think about how we can make things properly inclusive ‘out there’. Working with young adults has a way of making me focus on aspirations, hopes, and dreams - the lives we all want.  I’m happy that we get one day a year where it’s expected that we’ll dare to say things that maybe we wouldn’t normally dare to - and where perhaps we’re all a little more receptive, a little more attuned to the excitement of a connection, a new opportunity, feeling part of something special.  Wouldn’t it be great if that were every day?  Perhaps that’s the place to start. 

Happy Valentine’s Day!


PSHExpert is our specialist sex and relationships educator, writer and researcher. Sex-positive, interested in forthright, relevant, accessible and INCLUSIVE sex and relationships education for all ages and abilities with a focus on pleasure as well as dignity and rights.  If you would like to ask her a question, head over to the Ask a Sex and Relationships expert page.

Replies

  • Zec RichardsonZec Richardson Posts: 131Member, Community champion Chatterbox
    Valentine's day is just a money spinner for florists, card companies etc

    I have been with Donna for 27 years and get this morning no cards or gifts were exchanged, we don't need to be told or given a push to let each other know about our love. 

    I know she would rather get flowers or a gift as a surprise rather than expect it because we are told that today is the day. 

  • FundamentalistFundamentalist Posts: 134Member Talkative
    Hi from Fm. I totally agree. "valentine's" is just another money-making scam like so many others. Anyone who really believes it's about love must be really naïve. And as for disability "inclusion" in the courting scene spare a thought for those who just don't have a hope in h-ll of having any love life because of such appalling conditions forced on them by totally unfit parents who were carrying, but not suffering all manner of life destroying conditions. Those are the kind of people I really care about, those who are never mentioned anywhere because no-one wants to know and far too many are too quick to blame the victim which is all totally wrong, folk can't help what their born with. Remember John Merrick, the so-called "elephant man"? Would you even consider trying to get "romantically" involved with anyone who can't go to a restaurant or a cinema etc. or go anywhere hot or can't even go on a plane or stay in a hotel or can't even watch TV with anyone or can't even have visitors at home? Some folk really are that seriously disabled, remember it's not all "white sticks and wheelchairs". Have a good think about it. I'm over 50 but for some unknown reason I still sometimes get young lasses trying to get my attention but I have to ignore them because of the absolutely appalling conditions forced on me and I can never think of a single remotely positive thing to say about myself. The sooner this valentine's stuff is over the better, good riddance to it. Fm.
  • Sam_ScopeSam_Scope Posts: 1,933Administrator admin
    I enjoy Valentines Day, I don't need gifts or anything expensive but I think it's a nice reminder to tell your loved ones that you love them.

    I do agree though that disabled people aren't represented, I didn't see any adverts including disabled people. But that is probably across the year, not just on 14th Feb.
  • Zec RichardsonZec Richardson Posts: 131Member, Community champion Chatterbox
    Do the adverts need to represent disabled people?
    Is it right for any group to expect to be represented?
    Like the BBC quiz show rule that every show must include at least one woman! Why?
    Now this may sound like I'm being a bit in PC, however life will never be balanced and fair and we can't force it.
    Before the character Donna appeared in EastEnders we used to joke about "token wheelchair man" who would in every episode be wheeling though the market just to make sure they were being inclusive.
    It's a bit like the disabled toilet sign, yes it should represent everyone but how can you represent all disabilities? The sign would be huge.
    If we sit there looking for reasons to complain, judging everything for not including the disabled, women, Asians, lesbians, etc etc well we will drive ourselves mad!
  • Sam_ScopeSam_Scope Posts: 1,933Administrator admin
    I think so yes!! I think our media (TV, film, books, adverts, etc) should represent our society.  Real society has men and women, it has people of all different ethnicities, it has people who are LGBTQ+.  I want to see the people I see in real life represented in the media I consume.

    Why should the BBC include women? Because historically it shows white men and no one else. Isnt it odd to not showcase women on TV? 

    As a disabled, mixed ethnicity woman who has an LGBTQ+ child, I want to be represented on TV.  I want to see people like me.

    If you went by who is shown on TV, you'd think that the world was made up of  90% white, middle class men.  So, yes, I think we should absolutely represent the society we live in.  
  • AlexAlex Posts: 846Administrator admin
    Great post!

    I agree that there's nowhere near enough representation.

    I think it would help attitudes a lot if things like advertising and television were reflective of society - whether that's disability, gender, age, sexuality or race. It's a shame that that hasn't happened naturally. Things like diversity targets can feel very forced and tokenistic - but I think they're necessary until it becomes the norm.

    People like Channel 4 and the BBC are leading the way and there are many other areas which have much bigger problems (for example, I find it fairly unbelievable that the percentage of companies being led by women is still so small, the percentage of disabled people in charge of companies is probably tiny).

    Hopefully one day it'll just be so normal, that we won't even mention it!
  • Zec RichardsonZec Richardson Posts: 131Member, Community champion Chatterbox
    That's not what I mean, they should be represented but not in a way that makes it obvious, if that makes sense?
    Like 'token wheelchair guy' yes it was right to include and see someone in a wheelchair but not necessarily making sure he had to be in every episode!
    With say 'Have I got news for you', it should be inclusive but is it fair to say it has to have a certain ratio for every show? 
    Equality is important, we have to make sure that people feel represented but as a disabled person I don't expect to see a wheelchair in every programme. However it's nice to see them x amount of shows.
  • Sam_ScopeSam_Scope Posts: 1,933Administrator admin
    Like Alex says, it may feel forced and tokenistic, and isnt that sad? That we have to have an enforced diversity quota?  But before quotas, shows simply used white, able bodied, heterosexual men.  Probably because the companies are run by white, able bodied, heterosexual men and we promote what we know.

    I learnt about blind auditioning for orchestras, there has historically been a HUGE gender bias in orchestras, in 1970 only 5% of the top orchestras were women.  It was generally believed that men were just better at playing instruments! 

    And so they began doing blind auditions, candidates audition on a stage behind a screen to play for a jury that cannot see them, researchers determined that doing this makes it 50% more likely that a woman will advance to the finals.

    There is a gender bias, an ethnicity bias, a sexuality bias in the media.  But if we don't do anything to try and amend this, then we, as a society will never change.
  • AlexAlex Posts: 846Administrator admin
    Yes, I agree that tokenism isn't very good.

    I'm sure comedians want to be on "Have I got news for you" because they're funny not because they tick a diversity box.

    But the counter argument is that having incentives / targets in place forces people to address the bias and barriers that might exist in their industry. It shouldn't be about forcing people into roles - but looking at why they aren't already in those roles - and changing that.
  • Zec RichardsonZec Richardson Posts: 131Member, Community champion Chatterbox
    I think the BBC are getting it right, people in programmes that feel right. 
    Like Donna in EastEnders and Liz Carr as Clarissa in Silent Witness who is so good, they should be there on merit not because they have to insert someone because a rule says so.
    Damn it feels good to be able to discuss this, I daren't on social media because you get attacked if question these things lol
  • Sam_ScopeSam_Scope Posts: 1,933Administrator admin
    I am so glad you feel like that @Zec Richardson we should be able to discuss and debate these issues without fear of being attacked! 
  • Rainbow_wheelz16Rainbow_wheelz16 Posts: 27Member, Community champion Whisperer
    It goes deeper than valentines  day. I think it ties in with disability, relationshipS and the taboos surrounding this issue. Can disabled  people  be loved and be  in love? Seen as someone  who can be loved like everyone  else?  I  don't think people with disabilities are generally seen by society, on the whole, as sexually desirable, or probably not seen as relationship material. Some people  may even question  if disabled people  can be in a long term relationship! If we are not seen as sexually desirable or someone you  can actually be in love with, then I think this has a  impact on people's  views, it's ridiculous and very  sad., we are human after all!! It's  like the friend zone but not relationship  zone thing.  

  • FundamentalistFundamentalist Posts: 134Member Talkative
    It goes deeper than valentines  day. I think it ties in with disability, relationshipS and the taboos surrounding this issue. Can disabled  people  be loved and be  in love? Seen as someone  who can be loved like everyone  else?  I  don't think people with disabilities are generally seen by society, on the whole, as sexually desirable, or probably not seen as relationship material. Some people  may even question  if disabled people  can be in a long term relationship! If we are not seen as sexually desirable or someone you  can actually be in love with, then I think this has a  impact on people's  views, it's ridiculous and very  sad., we are human after all!! It's  like the friend zone but not relationship  zone thing.  


    Hi from Fm. I think this is why it's no good trying to find a partner from the successful normal crowd because they will only want someone from their own crowd who can be on equal terms with them and be able to offer what they expect which in my opinion is all too often far too much. I've listed some of it in another post about being locked out of love life because of disabilities. I think folk who are disabled need to find someone who they can be on more equal terms with, someone who will accept them as they are and not expect far too much as they all too often do. They have their standards and I have some of my own a bit different to theirs. In my experience far too many "dating" sites are far too elitist and are generally only used by professional classes. I also think it depends on what kind of disability(s) you have, in my case I'm so severely disabled it's so far proved totally impossible to find anyone remotely suitable but then who would have someone who can't do near enough any of the things that couples normally do together? But I CAN certainly still LOVE someone, but in our western culture that's never enough is it? Far too many out there are far too used to having far too much far too easy for far too long. Fm.
  • ChrisKzChrisKz Posts: 33Member Whisperer
    Too much hype and commercial crap , why on earth do people believe in this pathetic garbage ?. Is there some law that being single is taboo , I am enjoying life ( 57) not really dated in 17 years .. I can do,eat ,go wherever I want and answer to no one . No one to "snap" at when pain takes over .
      I have had long term relationships  never married , last relationship resulted in loosing my soul mate to ovarian cancer .. Never dated since. Just be happy with and in your life , do what you want to do , as being in a relationship sacrifices will have to be made .
  • FundamentalistFundamentalist Posts: 134Member Talkative
    Hi from Fm. I am absolutely sick and tired of all those who arrogantly brag about how they so enjoy themselves.I certainly DO NOT enjoy having to be alone all the time by force and not by my own free will all because of absolutely APPALLING conditions forced on me by a totally unfit parent and because of him I can't be a parent either. Now I know what all those other folk feel like who so want a child but can't have any, full stop! I can't even adopt any because I'm so totally unfit. So I don't want to hear about those going "look at me, aren't I so free" I can't put the rest of it here. Perhaps it's time I left this site if this is how I'm going to be treated. It's alright for those who have a choice, some of us DON'T, it's all been decided by someone else who couldn't care less and only thought of their self. Only yesterday ( 16/02/17 ) some really stunning and really young natural brunette tried to get my attention but she was worlds apart from me as she was in some fancy restaurant so she wouldn't want to know me if I told her anything about any of the absolutely APPALLING conditions forced on me. I'm absolutely sick and tired of seeing those who are supposedly so disabled but can still have a right rip-roaring joyride life and who go out of their way to so smugly and arrogantly BRAG about it, I think that is blatantly anti-social! And if anyone thinks that's a bit strong I stand by every word! Think what you want. There is an enormous difference between being unsociable and blatantly anti-social! Fm.
  • Zec RichardsonZec Richardson Posts: 131Member, Community champion Chatterbox
    Seriously?
    People can't post that they enjoy things despite being disabled and or suffering from a chronic health condition!

    I am housebound, but I don't berate people who post that they have walked the dog!

  • ChrisKzChrisKz Posts: 33Member Whisperer
    OMG .. someone seriously has mental health issues .. Don't take "enjoying" as a jet set lifestyle .. It simply means that I prefer my own company rather than gripe, whine  , moan and generally bring anyone you come in contact with , to a depressing level that makes you feel better and upset them . I don't go out , I don't drink I don't smoke . I did 1800 miles last year . and that was just doctor/hospital appointments , and grocery shopping . Quit feeling sorry for themselves and wallowing in self pity . None of the Disabled people wanted  to become unfit , that is how life is dealt .
  • Chris_ScopeChris_Scope Posts: 695Member Chatterbox
    edited February 17
    Hey guys, just a reminder that we want the community to be a safe and supportive place for everyone, and that we ask you to be mindful of using language which may be offensive or insulting to others.

    Most people on here have their own unique challenges, and we ask that all users respect each others opinions and right to voice them, even if (and especially) if they disagree with them.

    You can view the community guidelines here if you wish.
  • FundamentalistFundamentalist Posts: 134Member Talkative
    Hi from Fm. That's all they ever show on TV, especially on the regional news, people who are so supposedly "disabled" but still fully sociable and revelling in it in some kind of "social" centre. They never show anyone like me at all and there's two sides to every coin or biscuit etc. and disability is no exception in that respect. Why don't they show anyone like me and give the normal viewers a more wide and full view of disability, what's wrong, do they see folk like me as too "negative", so they want folk to think it's all so happy and wonderful and totally deceive them in the process just like they do with stories about Israel and Palestine where they go out of their way to stir up public opinion against Israel and try to make it look more like South Africa under apartheid. There are no "apartheid" type laws in Israel. That's an analogy. And it's the same with disability, too much one sided propaganda and never realistic enough. My existence is more like a life sentence in some dreadful military prison run by totally tyrannical robots with absolutely no feelings whatsoever. Any woman who tries chatting with me is in for a serious shock, she'd better be sitting down first. I've tried "defying the odds" and trying to join disabled "dating" sites only to be locked out because of some stupid technicality, and when I try to contact them I just get completely ignored no matter how long I wait. What's wrong has some hateful type somewhere "blacklisted" me because they've somehow found out I'm not a "preferred" member? That's what it looks like. And I have an absolutely zero tolerance of blasphemy and so should the site as I know for absolute fact that there is an all seeing, all knowing and all powerful God up above and I have absolute respect for him. I don't just blindly believe, I know. And it wouldn't matter what site I tried to join, I bet it would be the same even if I could get registered. I can't understand why dating sites make it so ridiculously difficult. It's not like that with other sites. I've come to the conclusion that there's no place for anyone like me in this world, it wouldn't matter what rules or laws or policies any politician came up with, it would only work against anyone like me as in my experience it always does, that's how it's all been set up with me, I can't help but notice. And I don't see any of that as "moaning" or "whinging" etc. but just simple fact. Fm.
  • Zec RichardsonZec Richardson Posts: 131Member, Community champion Chatterbox
    Not true, I have seen recently on TV a piece about a girl who is confined to bed through ME. She wears noise cancelling headphones and people have to whisper and the room is kept dark.
    There are instances of this being shown on TV and online but disabled people are a minority and so there are fewer instances of them being shown or portrayed.
    TV is getting better, disabled people are being represented more and it's good news, but we can't expect to see all disabilities portrayed all the time!
    I'm in pain 24/7 and they aren't really sure why, some people are just in pain and I'm housebound. I don't see that shown on TV but it doesn't bother me. 
    I have enough of pain and the lifestyle it causes and I don't want to see it as well, I love countryfile and yes I miss being out there enjoying it but I don't moan that they are doing it
    Being unwell and disabled does make us grumpy, it's my hobby but sometimes that can drag us down, so going on @Fundamentalist post a happy post, I know you can!!!!!  :)
  • FundamentalistFundamentalist Posts: 134Member Talkative
    Hi from Fm again. I'm glad "valentine's" is over at last. I am never "happy" and never have been because I'm under absolute constant brutal attack, it's not just disability that affects me but all sorts of appalling things to the point where I'm furiously wound up virtually all the time 24/7 because I just absolutely never get a break. I just end up going absolutely stark raving mad and smashing things, I recently had to get another second hand monitor because I put my fist and a hammer right through the other one. This is how I've been all my life and I'm absolutely sick and tired of it and my parents kept having the outrageous cheek to keep blaming me when it was their fault. They infected me with the appalling things. And I don't expect to see folk like me on the TV all the time, that would only have the whole nation complaining. But what I do expect is like I've told the BBC I don't know how many times is that folk like me have to pay the same licence fee as anyone else and therefore should have equal representation, Why not have someone like me occasionally appearing on "eastenders" for instance instead of just someone in a wheelchair. And another thing that really furiously annoys me on TV is how they keep making such a fuss about folk who choose to screw up their own life with stupid drink and drugs, there's always such sympathy for them, well I've no sympathy for such folk as it's their own fault, no-one forces the bottle in their gob or the needle in their arm etc. Even as I try and type this post it's systematically driving me out of my skull because it keeps systematically screwing up and screws up even more and more when I try desperately to correct it. And the more I seriously need anything the more it's absolutely ruthlessly withheld from me and always has been and everything that can be done is constantly done to keep it that way which absolutely ENRAGES me! So now you know. Fm.
  • GeoarkGeoark Posts: 260Member Chatterbox
    Sam_Scope said:
    I enjoy Valentines Day, I don't need gifts or anything expensive but I think it's a nice reminder to tell your loved ones that you love them.

    I do agree though that disabled people aren't represented, I didn't see any adverts including disabled people. But that is probably across the year, not just on 14th Feb.
    @Sam_Scope

    Not sure if you have seen some of the recent malteser adverts which came ouf during 2016? They were done in collaboration with Scope, I loved the use of humour to challenge views and hope there will be more.

  • Zec RichardsonZec Richardson Posts: 131Member, Community champion Chatterbox
    @Fundamentalist we can change, anger hurts us more than anyone else, trust me I have been there!
    It is possible to let go of anger, believe me it feels good when you do.
    Smashing inanimate objects serves no purpose, anger at them and raging where no-one can hear you is only making you feel worse.
    Try to get help, try to take deep breaths and count to ten, I know it sounds like a cliche but it works. Letting go of anger feels very good, you feel so much better.
    This doesn't mean you can't have a moan and a whinge about life, we all do but learn to realise that lashing out is fruitless and dangerous to you.
    Please try it! 
    Zec 
  • FundamentalistFundamentalist Posts: 134Member Talkative
    Hi from Fm again. The reason why I end up going absolutely furiously mad and smashing things is simple but the solution is anything but. People are not designed to be absolutely relentlessly and systematically tortured out of their skull, everyone needs a safety valve, just like a steam boiler or a compressor does to relieve excess pressure otherwise it will explode. And so do people if they're not relieved of pressure, it HAS to come out one way or another and the cause in my case is way beyond medical help, that I know for absolute certain, there is no maybe. I NEVER have anything even remotely nice or even half-decent happen to me ever, just absolutely relentless meticulous hounding and persecution, it goes way beyond disability and is caused by things I was forcibly infected with at birth if not before and I can't really discuss it on this site as it would most likely cause a serious storm of protest against me and most likely get me kicked out which wouldn't be the first time. I can't even type anything without being constantly hounded. Unless of course the management want me to discuss it but I warn you it would be a seriously emotive subject but it is the cause of all sorts of so-called "mental health" problems and all manner of other conditions too dreadful to talk about here and far too many folk, including far too many "professionals" won't even accept it but I know for absolute fact it's absolutely real and it's possible to inherit it as I did, you don't get any choice about who your parents are and what they're carrying. And for me there is no so-called "feelgood" factor, how can there be when it's the so-called "feelgood" stuff that causes you to be so brutally tortured in the first place so there's no escape and everybody needs to. So I'm NEVER "elated" or excited or even remotely "happy" and never have been in 50-odd years! Fm.
  • frasermathiesonfrasermathieson Posts: 9Member Whisperer
    Valentines is very difficult for someone with a disability.  I have CP and being of my speech and walking, the looks of 'seriously who you think of you as a boyfriend' is unbelievable.  I have tried to get girls, and I do see girls that are nice looking, but on the scale of things why would you look at someone who is disabled against a 'normal' person.

    It hard when you see adverts who paint a perfect life, gorgeous looking models etc and it is obviously Valentines is a money-making thing but wouldn't it be nice if someone could show someone else love.
  • FundamentalistFundamentalist Posts: 134Member Talkative
    Hi from Fm. I don't bother watching the stupid TV ad's anymore, I stopped watching them years ago because they always show a totally unrealistic perfect world where everybody has a nice perfect life and it really winds me right up so when the ad's come on now I just switch over to my security cameras for about five minutes. And I know just what you mean when you mention such prejudice, when I was much younger, in my teens I was constantly mistaken for a gay bloke and relentlessly abused and hounded because of it and it wasn't just locals either, it was just about anywhere, even in Den Haag in Holland would you believe! It was just as well I wasn't as aggressive as I am now or they might've had an international incident on their hands. And that went on for about 18 years and I got windows smashed by local idiots and then later on gays were becoming more accepted so some stupid empty-headed git decided to falsely accuse me of being a filthy child-molesting pervert instead and that soon got the local yobs going all over again and what really infuriates me about situations like that is how so many folk just automatically believe it without even a shred of evidence. And unfortunately all the time we have too many liberals in charge of our country it will only breed further impunity and therefore more instead of less prejudice. And as for TV these days I usually just end up watching the shopping channels without the sound and just admire the babes. I think what you need is to find a dating site for disabled folk but first have a read of my post on finding a safe dating site. And you most likely won't find anyone from the normal crowd's dating sites as they're usually far too elitist and are generally only used by professional classes in my experience and they only want folk who are on equal terms with them. And at the end of the day of course it all depends on the attitude of whoever you meet and how caring they are, I wouldn't bother with anyone so prejudiced and hateful as it would never work with them, after all if they hate someone just because they're disabled then how can they really love anyone? They're not worth bothering with are they? Fm.
  • Zec RichardsonZec Richardson Posts: 131Member, Community champion Chatterbox
    Oh @Fundamentalist I know you are really all smiles, fluffy and happy.
    You don't have to pretend around us!
    Good night 
  • FundamentalistFundamentalist Posts: 134Member Talkative
    Hi from Fm again...I'll only be happy when I'm properly fully healed and I've got some nice company who accepts me as I am and who cares! Not before. Fm.
  • Zec RichardsonZec Richardson Posts: 131Member, Community champion Chatterbox
    We may never be healed, I have been told that I will always be in pain and so we can't wait for that to happen.
    We have to look for the positive things, find the cracks of light in the darkness otherwise you just spiral downwards.
    Right now I have just woken up, I'm in a lot of pain today because I showered last night. It's horrible, I hate it, I have lost all my friends and I am stuck at home but right now, I can hear the birds and it makes me smile.
    Even on the worst of days, I try and find something that is a positive.

  • FundamentalistFundamentalist Posts: 134Member Talkative
    We may never be healed, I have been told that I will always be in pain and so we can't wait for that to happen.
    We have to look for the positive things, find the cracks of light in the darkness otherwise you just spiral downwards.
    Right now I have just woken up, I'm in a lot of pain today because I showered last night. It's horrible, I hate it, I have lost all my friends and I am stuck at home but right now, I can hear the birds and it makes me smile.
    Even on the worst of days, I try and find something that is a positive.


    Hi from Fm. Who told you we may never be healed? Whoever it was they must be awfully pessimistic. I've been healed before from other things and I know it's possible to be healed further as I know for absolute certain that there IS a God who CAN heal and I will NEVER give up seeking his help. Sometimes he wants to see how determined folk are. Fm.
  • Zec RichardsonZec Richardson Posts: 131Member, Community champion Chatterbox
    There are some things that can't be fixed, it sucks and it's hard to deal with. However if we constantly fight for a fix when there isn't one, then we waste that time. Something has gone wrong with the way my body perceives pain, I had many knee surgeries and after the last one the pain didn't go away.
    Even a cold shudder is excruciating pain when it goes through my legs.
    I now don't worry about a fix, this is how I will be until I die and so I focus on making the best of my situation.
    As for a deity healing me?
    If there is a god, why would he choose to heal me when there is so much more that needs healing and sorting out. The truth is that it won't happen, some things can't be fixed and we have to come to terms with that and accept it!
  • frasermathiesonfrasermathieson Posts: 9Member Whisperer
    Interesting thoughts about being healed - unfortunately, this will most likely not happen and yes I do believe there is a God, but realistic at the same time.

    I've tried dating sites for people with disabilities - yeah not a good experience.  Found this 'charity' worker doing a gap year in Nigeria who was from Brisbane.  Sent gorgeous photos of her, really stunning and not when I think about it, how naive I was.  Said she would travel to UK and agreed to pay half the fare.  Then was told that she had to pay £400 for a visa because British Airways imposed a visa charged.  Alarm bells, done investigations and found it was all a scam.  Felt so embarrassed and ashamed and too me a long time to get over it or trust someone.  Since I work as a professional in IT, I thought I would be able to spot this, but desire for something can cloud your mind and thinking.
  • FundamentalistFundamentalist Posts: 134Member Talkative
    Hi from Fm again... Honestly, what a dreadfully negative attitude, I don't want to sound unfriendly or in any way prejudiced but with that attitude you really are your own worst enemy. I too have suffered constant pain and constant torture for over 50 years but I know there is DEFINITELY an all powerful God up above but he won't force himself on anyone, we have to be open to him. We don't live in a perfect world, it's a mess, just look at the news. But I know from real life powerful EXPERIENCE that there is a God above because I have received powerful healing in the past. I suggest you have a look at Prophetic Vision's site, I can't remember the exact address but I can soon find out if you want and write it here. It's run by an Evangelist in Yorkshire called David Hathaway and he has got countless thousands of people healed from all sorts of dreadful conditions over the last 60-odd years in Russia and eastern Europe and elsewhere. There is also another chap, A German Evangelist called Reinhard Bonnke and he has got millions healed in Africa over the last 40-odd years and he has an organisation called Christ for all nations and he will have a website too most likely. So why not check him out too. People get healed all the time, it just doesn't get reported on the secular TV because they're too prejudiced or too scared of ridicule. And Britain really has lost touch with God too badly, it's about time the remaining 3 million or so Christians in this country of ours got their act together and got the message out proper. You should see how active Christianity is in Africa, There's real passion for God there. ANYTHING can be healed if people will only be determined enough and open their hearts properly to God instead of rejecting him so much like they do so often in this country which really has gone too far down too many wrong roads. Anyone who believes such dreadfully pessimistic stuff really won't get healed if they keep taking such a dreadfully wrong attitude. That's what typically happens in this country because there isn't anywhere near enough passion for God here like there is elsewhere in the world and it's about time there was. It seems to me you really have been talking to the wrong folk, if anyone tries to tell me "nothing can be healed" I will get them told proper because I know different. I'm only trying to help, what you believe is up to you at the end of the day. Fm.
  • frasermathiesonfrasermathieson Posts: 9Member Whisperer
    I thought this was about if valentine's represents disabled people, not about an existing of a God and the power they have.  This is my last response to any of your posts @Fundamentalist on the subject, as it a getting away from the point of the post and you are turning it into a religious post.  I do not believe in discussing religion given the issues it can cause.  Sorry I know its your opinion.
  • Zec RichardsonZec Richardson Posts: 131Member, Community champion Chatterbox
    Oh damn that made my day, I actually laughed so hard!!!
    @Fundamentalist said I'm negative  :D
    I'm happy, I function very well, just worry about yourself
    I was trying to help
     :D  :D :D 
  • Chris_ScopeChris_Scope Posts: 695Member Chatterbox
    @Fundamentalist, as discussed previously, please avoid discussing topics which are not relevant to the post. This is a post about Valentine's Day and is not the right place for religious discussion. 

  • frasermathiesonfrasermathieson Posts: 9Member Whisperer
    @Chris_Scope thank you for reaffirming this, I put it as realised it was heading into a potential dangerous area which could offend people and wanted to take no part if it headed this way,
  • Sam_ScopeSam_Scope Posts: 1,933Administrator admin
    Geoark said:
    Sam_Scope said:
    I enjoy Valentines Day, I don't need gifts or anything expensive but I think it's a nice reminder to tell your loved ones that you love them.

    I do agree though that disabled people aren't represented, I didn't see any adverts including disabled people. But that is probably across the year, not just on 14th Feb.
    @Sam_Scope

    Not sure if you have seen some of the recent malteser adverts which came ouf during 2016? They were done in collaboration with Scope, I loved the use of humour to challenge views and hope there will be more.

    I did! I loved them, especially those with the brilliant @samantharenke16 who is also a community member here!  :)
  • Sam_ScopeSam_Scope Posts: 1,933Administrator admin
    Valentines is very difficult for someone with a disability.  I have CP and being of my speech and walking, the looks of 'seriously who you think of you as a boyfriend' is unbelievable.  I have tried to get girls, and I do see girls that are nice looking, but on the scale of things why would you look at someone who is disabled against a 'normal' person.

    It hard when you see adverts who paint a perfect life, gorgeous looking models etc and it is obviously Valentines is a money-making thing but wouldn't it be nice if someone could show someone else love.
    I get where you are coming from, but I think that advertising is so far removed from reality in most walks of life.  As a woman, I see millions of images of what a woman 'should' look like, that is usually white, young, able bodied, thin and conventionally 'beautiful'.  When you are none of those things it can feel like you don't fit in, but I have to look past all of that and remember that adverts are not real life. 
  • Sam_ScopeSam_Scope Posts: 1,933Administrator admin
    Interesting thoughts about being healed - unfortunately, this will most likely not happen and yes I do believe there is a God, but realistic at the same time.

    I've tried dating sites for people with disabilities - yeah not a good experience.  Found this 'charity' worker doing a gap year in Nigeria who was from Brisbane.  Sent gorgeous photos of her, really stunning and not when I think about it, how naive I was.  Said she would travel to UK and agreed to pay half the fare.  Then was told that she had to pay £400 for a visa because British Airways imposed a visa charged.  Alarm bells, done investigations and found it was all a scam.  Felt so embarrassed and ashamed and too me a long time to get over it or trust someone.  Since I work as a professional in IT, I thought I would be able to spot this, but desire for something can cloud your mind and thinking.

    Oh that is terrible, but you shouldnt feel ashamed.  Scammers attack people and it can be easy to fall for it, they rely on those people being too embarrassed to speak about it and warn others. 

    Sorry you went through that.
  • frasermathiesonfrasermathieson Posts: 9Member Whisperer
    Oh yeah, totally agree with than @Sam_Scope.  You see it all over the place - white teeth, perfect hair, people living in pent houses in NYC (yeah do you know how much they cost?) and it is meant to be a run-of-the-mill, everyday person - not reality at all.  From a man's point of view, you see buffed mem, perfect six-pack, glamour model on their arm and it does make you feel bad about yourself.

    People tend to forget than personality is sometimes more important than looks.  Just take celebrities who are made up but underneath they are the nastiest people with one agenda - theirs.

    it's still nice to think one day someone will look past your disability and see the person you truly are.
  • Sam_ScopeSam_Scope Posts: 1,933Administrator admin
    Yep, we are bombarded with photoshopped and unobtainable images! I wonder if it gets easier with age? I know I am more open minded and less shallow as I get older, I realise that personality is everything.  

    I know it might seem daft but I remember thinking when I was 16 forward to my future "How can I ever fancy a 50 year old man?" but now at 35 I look to my 45 year old husband and I dont see age, grey hair or wrinkles, I see his sense of humour, his kindness, his interesting stories. 

    He married me and I since got ill and have had a lot of surgeries, I now have a chronic illness and an ostomy bag.  I wrote a guest post about it for Scope as we had to overcome these changes together.
  • FundamentalistFundamentalist Posts: 134Member Talkative
    Hi from Fm. What's wrong with having a nice fuller figure? Those models in the ad's are just unrealistic, have you ever seen what modelling agencies do to their models and how they insist on them slimming right down to little more than skin and bone. It's so cruel, I can never understand why they want them to be so totally unrealistic. I prefer a woman with a nice curvy figure, what's wrong with being about size 14? I think that's a good size to be. And as for dating scams, what happened there is unfortunately all too common a practice with international dating sites. The simple answer there would be to only bother with potential partners from your own region and simply don't hand out any money to strangers. You should make a firm decision about that beforehand. The crooks running such scams have it all worked out. Fm.
  • FundamentalistFundamentalist Posts: 134Member Talkative
    @Chris_Scope thank you for reaffirming this, I put it as realised it was heading into a potential dangerous area which could offend people and wanted to take no part if it headed this way,

    Hi from Fm. Contrary to popular and totally wrong belief Christianity is absolutely no danger to anyone, in fact only the complete opposite, the idea of it being supposedly "dangerous" somehow got started years ago by someone somewhere who either doesn't properly understand it or else they're just plain hateful. But of course it goes without saying that there are some other schemes going on, either "religious" or political that certainly are dangerous that I know and far too much of it keeps getting aimed at vulnerable children. Fm.
  • Sam_ScopeSam_Scope Posts: 1,933Administrator admin
    Hi @Fundamentalist I don't think anyone is saying that Christianity is dangerous, more that the topic of religion can be a treacherous one.  People feel passionate about subjects like religion and politics and so there are times and places for those discussions.

    A post about Valentines Day is probably not that time or place. 
  • chasnbonschasnbons Posts: 58Member Talkative
    Good morning everyone.

    Ok so I thought long and hard about posting this and have decided if others are allowed to post their views no matter how rude, negative or offensive they may be, then other members should have the same rights in their replies.

    I have been contacted in private on another site by a member from here (who wishes to remain anonymous due to their fragile mental state at the moment) and we have ended up chatting on the phone.  I was asked about what I thought about another members posts on here and whether or not I thought they should be allowed to post the things they do as they may have a negative effect on some members.  I told them that this person was the person I had on ignore and was asked to unblock the said person and give my opinion.  Because I wanted to try and help someone who was upset, stupidly I did.  So........

    I can't believe that the people running this site are still, after numerous warnings, allowing such arrogant and offensive posts to be made.  Such posts are doing no one any good and from the replies in the thread it seems they are only serving to upset people, at least two in this thread alone (who have had the guts to reply)

    So my question is this, how long are you going to allow this sort of behaviour to continue?  Your warnings have gone unheeded and the posts just keep coming. I know that everyone has the right to their own opinion etc, but there are ways of getting opinions across without resorting to being rude and offensive.

    I thought that this place was here for people to get help and maybe have a chat and feel a bit better about things/themselves?  Sorry but that isn't happening when posts like some of the above are allowed to be made.  It's quite clear that this member is only happy when arguing, being offensive and upsetting people. Their viewpoint is the 'only' one that matters to them and if you have the 'gall' to disagree then it would seem you get 'both barrels'.

    In the past I've recommended this site to lots of people who have needed help, as being a place to get that help and support without any aggro, but sadly I won't be doing so any more whilst this sort of thing is allowed.

    My advice to anyone else who feels the same is to ignore the person who writes things you find offensive, this can be done by clicking on your profile, then click 'edit profile' to the right of your username click on 'Ignore List' on the right of the page towards the bottom and add the name of the person you wish to ignore in the box provided, then click OK.  Before doing this I also suggest that you flag any post which you find offensive so that a member of staff can have a look at it.

    Thanks for reading and best wishes to you all, and I hope that 'Doris' passes you without too much damage or upset.
  • frasermathiesonfrasermathieson Posts: 9Member Whisperer
    @Sam_Scope you are totally correct in that statement.  Religion is a subject that gets peoples backs up and can snowball in to dangerous situations - dangerous in that it can lead to blown out arguments, same as politics - we all have our beliefs and opinions - thats why we live in a free-speech country - but on a message boards not designed for a religious topics, this shouldn't become the fundamental thread through them, which is why I am not replying directly to anyone who is using religion as a leverage point.

    I don't set out to offend, criticise or annoy people, and I don't expect anyone to do the same and force their beliefs onto others.  I apologise to anyone who has taken this view.
  • frasermathiesonfrasermathieson Posts: 9Member Whisperer
    @chasnbons great post.  I had a look about on the forums on other topics and have seen a common trend being reached by a certain contributor.  I'm only recently new on here so unsure how to ignore or report a post yet but thanks for the advice.
  • GeoarkGeoark Posts: 260Member Chatterbox

    @chasnbons

    at least two in this thread alone (who have had the guts to reply)

    Just wanted to say I chose to stop posting to this person in this thread, and it had nothing to do with not having the guts to reply. On at least two posts I could have easily responded to the person, the problem is it would have quickly escalated and become much uglier quickly. This would not have been good, and I expect would have caused problems for others.

    Over the years I have been involved in numerous forums as a member, moderator and owner. One thing I have learned is to trust moderators to deal with problem members and not get involved if I am just a member. Moderators run  fine line, especially in support groups like this one and getting the balance right can be difficult at the best of times.

    That said I did agree with what you had to say which is why I clicked the like button.
  • chasnbonschasnbons Posts: 58Member Talkative
    @frasermathieson Thanks, I've had reservations about the member for some time now and have emailed Staff in the past regarding the issue but not said much in threads.  Last night was the proverbial straw though, listening to someone so upset on the phone isn't something that should happen, or be caused by, a site such as this. I've tried to get the point across without being rude or aggressive but felt I had to make the post as enough is enough.

    As for reporting a post just click on the little purple flag in the bottom left corner of the post you want to report.  Hopefully you understood the instructions on how to ignore someone.

    I personally haven't found anything you've posted offensive or annoying.  You seem to be an intelligent person who can see both sides of things and have the capacity to reply fairly to people.
  • frasermathiesonfrasermathieson Posts: 9Member Whisperer
    @chasnbons no it isn't nice having someone upset on the phone (have spend hours with a close friend on FB after something similar).  I am a very open minded person and wanted to share my experiences on the subject in question and not divert it to a tangent.  I too choose not to reply directly to a certain poster and that was very early on.

    Slightly off topic but even though I work in IT and design websites, I tend not to go onto forums, surprisingly, so not up to speed yet with it all - should be with the type of job I do but meh :smile:
  • Sam_ScopeSam_Scope Posts: 1,933Administrator admin
    Hi @chasnbons

    I am sorry you feel like this, as you say, you have been in touch before now and I hoped we had resolved your worries by introducing the ignore feature.  It's a shame that you don't feel you have trust in the community team, we are always here supporting the community and always on hand via email if anyone has any concerns.  

    As you say, you have the ability to ignore members and everyone has access to that feature.  It is sad and confusing that a member felt the need to reach out to you rather than the community team.  If anyone has issues please do get in touch at community@scope.org.uk 

    Our guidelines are there to keep the community safe, we regularly ban people who are spamming the site.  But just because you disagree with a member or feel their posts are opposing to your own views or lifestyle doesn't mean that they are breaking rules.

    If any member would like to report a post, they can do so by clicking the flag and pressing report and one of the team will look into it.

    I hope all members can understand that a lot goes on behind the scenes, the team is working together and speaks to many members off site and our sole aim is to create a place where everyone is welcome, somewhere that people who are struggling, in a difficult place can come and gain information and support as well as a place for debate, fun, support and making friends.  

    Again, if anyone wants to get in touch with the team then we are on hand at community@scope.org.uk 
  • chasnbonschasnbons Posts: 58Member Talkative
    Geoark said:

    @chasnbons

    at least two in this thread alone (who have had the guts to reply)

    Just wanted to say I chose to stop posting to this person in this thread, and it had nothing to do with not having the guts to reply. On at least two posts I could have easily responded to the person, the problem is it would have quickly escalated and become much uglier quickly. This would not have been good, and I expect would have caused problems for others.

    Over the years I have been involved in numerous forums as a member, moderator and owner. One thing I have learned is to trust moderators to deal with problem members and not get involved if I am just a member. Moderators run  fine line, especially in support groups like this one and getting the balance right can be difficult at the best of times.

    That said I did agree with what you had to say which is why I clicked the like button.
    @Geoark

    Sorry but I might have used the wrong phrasing as I only meant the 2 who replied by now would know the sort of reply the would get, yet still felt strongly enough to make their posts.  There was never any intention to have a dig at anyone who hadn't commented on his posts.

    I too in the past have run forums and been a Moderator on quite a few and agree with what you say.  I initially quietly reported the issue to Staff members and hoped things/he would change.  This was first done on 15.12.16. Unfortunately though over 2 months have now passed and it's still being allowed to continue, in fact possibly getting worse, despite warnings being issued by Staff.  This is the only reason I have now posted my reply in this thread, as it seems to be effecting more people yet it is still allowed to continue.

    Over 2 months is plenty long enough for the powers that be to make a decision as what to do about it, rather than just keep warning him, which has no obvious effect.
  • GeoarkGeoark Posts: 260Member Chatterbox

    @chasnbons

    I didn't take what you were saying as a dig at anyone in particular, just wanted to point out the reasons I stopped responding.

    Hope things are well for you?

  • chasnbonschasnbons Posts: 58Member Talkative
    Sam_Scope said:
    Hi @chasnbons

    I am sorry you feel like this, as you say, you have been in touch before now and I hoped we had resolved your worries by introducing the ignore feature.  It's a shame that you don't feel you have trust in the community team, we are always here supporting the community and always on hand via email if anyone has any concerns.  

    As you say, you have the ability to ignore members and everyone has access to that feature.  It is sad and confusing that a member felt the need to reach out to you rather than the community team.  If anyone has issues please do get in touch at community@scope.org.uk 

    Our guidelines are there to keep the community safe, we regularly ban people who are spamming the site.  But just because you disagree with a member or feel their posts are opposing to your own views or lifestyle doesn't mean that they are breaking rules.

    If any member would like to report a post, they can do so by clicking the flag and pressing report and one of the team will look into it.

    I hope all members can understand that a lot goes on behind the scenes, the team is working together and speaks to many members off site and our sole aim is to create a place where everyone is welcome, somewhere that people who are struggling, in a difficult place can come and gain information and support as well as a place for debate, fun, support and making friends.  

    Again, if anyone wants to get in touch with the team then we are on hand at community@scope.org.uk 
    Hi Sam, hope you're well.

    I posted my last post before I saw what you had posted.

    I'm not against anyone having views on anything, or their right to post them.

    What I do have an issue with, is someone continually being allowed to be rude and offensive (something with Staff must agree with seeing as they keep giving warnings to him).

    You say ''Our guidelines are there to keep the community safe'' I'm sorry but allowing his offensive and aggressive posts on the site to continue, which were the only cause of the upset I tried to help with last night, isn't what I'd call 'keeping the community safe.  How many more people are feeling the same way about him but can't find the voice to speak up, is unknown, but one thing that is definite is, the one last night is one too many.

    One answer might be to moderate his posts before allowing them to go public? 

    Whatever is decided I honestly think he shouldn't be allowed to speak to people the way he does.
  • Sam_ScopeSam_Scope Posts: 1,933Administrator admin
    We did receive your complaint two months ago and have not had any others since.
    I would recommend anyone who has an issue with any member or post to get in touch at community@scope.org.uk 
  • Zec RichardsonZec Richardson Posts: 131Member, Community champion Chatterbox
    I have decided to leave Scope!
    I tried being nice to a certain difficult member but their long rants make this a place that isn't great.
    Thanks all 
This discussion has been closed.