End Rape Culture and Victim Blaming!

Today I need to write about something I feel very strongly about. Of course, as I am a big activist and feminist, I have lots of topics to choose from, but the first one that came to mind was the problem with victim blaming and rape culture. Throughout this article, I am going to be explaining what problems our society has with victim blaming, going into my own and others stories of why we don’t speak out, and why there’s so much stigma around being sexually assaulted. This is quite a heavy-hitting topic so a trigger warning for anyone who is sensitive towards sexual abuse and the topic as a whole. Stay safe, I love you all, and let’s raise awareness about our shitty society! This article took me a super long time, researching, putting all my thoughts into words and making those words actually make sense. This is probably one of my favourite blog articles because I’m so proud of it so please let me know if you prefer articles like this which are more structured and informative 🙂

How can we get rid of #RapeCulture ? - Forum - Know My Rights Clothing Co.

What Is Victim Blaming and Why Is It Bad?

For anyone who doesn’t know, victim blaming is, quite simply, putting the blame of what happened onto the victim instead of the perpetrator. In the UK, only 15% of people who have been assaulted reported it to the police. There are many reasons why people don’t say anything and why the #MeToo movement was ground breaking as it showed that lots of people have suffered from abuse without speaking out. As you can see in the image above, those are some of the most common reasons that people are afraid to speak out. The world we life in presents such a stigma around being sexually assaulted, that rape culture and victim blaming is a common thing.

After my story was reported, I had lots of people ask me extremely personal questions, and try to put the blame on me. this is not ok. This promotes the fact we live in a society which sexualises people for what they wear, claiming that “if you wear a skirt that short, you are clearly asking for the attention” which is total bullshit. Wear whatever you want, do whatever you want, as I always say, as long as you’re not harming yourself or others in any way, go wild, do whatever you want. If it makes you happy, do it!! It’s despicable the amount of victims who haven’t been taken seriously because of what they were wearing, their alcohol intake at the time, and if they were flirting or not.

Some Photos To Think About:

Vancouver student Rosea Lake's photo etitled "Judgement" has gone viral, with more than 280,000 people liking and re-blogging it on Tumblr.
"Não meça o valor de uma mulher por suas roupas"
"Não meça o valor de uma mulher por suas roupas"

The way we dress doesn’t mean yes!

Literally every single woman, ever.

Those Who Assault and Why Many People Don’t Come Forward

Unfortunately, being assaulted is something you have to constantly be cautious about. If you are a female, I’m pretty sure you’ll know the fear you get when you walk alone anywhere. If I even hear so much as a patter of footsteps, I completely freak out and my brain goes full panic mode. The most worrying fact is I’m no longer fazed by catcallers and people yelling out to me, it’s an occurrence I’ve being mostly desensitised to. In the recent years, people (mostly men) who have either yelled abuse, cat-called me or said/done something inappropriate to me – a minor – is staggeringly high. It’s gotten to such a bad stage that when my friends see something like that, they freak out in situations I just shrug off. I used to love walking alone, putting in my headphones, listening to Taylor Swift, feeling like I was in some sort of music video, but now my friends (bless their little overprotective hearts) always make sure I’m not walking alone, or that if I am, that I message them once I’m home. They like being there to protect me and, even though I’d never admit it to them, I feel a lot safer with them around.

However, in many ways, being catcalled by someone who you have never met before is so much better than being sexualised or made uncomfortable by someone you know. You know that society has a problem when I have to choose one of those to nightmarish situations as a “preference”. God our world is f*cked. Statistics show that 90% of victims knew the perpetrator prior to the abuse. (Leaving all links to my info at the bottom of this so you all know I didn’t pull these percentages out of thin air). This is one of the reasons that I didn’t report as I was afraid I would be seen as provoking him. That’s the problem with being abused by your childhood friend, no-one will believe you because you still act as if everything is fine and dandy because you’re just so desperate to go back to how things were, even though you know there is no hope of that ever happening.

After My Story Was Told – My Experiences

I remember the entire day that everything came out like it was yesterday. I’ve spoken about it multiple times now and if you’re new around here, welcome and you can check out all of that here. As you know, the case never got convicted, which is a very common occurrence. Conviction rates for rape and sexual abuse are so much lower than other cases, with only 5.7% reported rape cases ending in conviction. We can’t expect to be taken seriously when almost all cases are acquitted before they’re even opened.

Something else which my abuser did after he started abusing me is he claimed to be gay. God, the poor LGBTQ community, you get enough hate as it is. He claimed to be gay two months after the abuse began, and continued to be vocal about “how hard it is to be homosexual” – when he’s… ya know, not. I learnt something the other day when I was watching stand up comedy which honestly made me laugh so, so much. Now I’m writing this I’m still laughing because it makes me sick and I can’t deal with it any other way. I found out that Bill Cosby and Harvey Weinstein – two of the most notorious Hollywood sex offenders – decided they were now also gay because their lawyers were failing them. I have no issue with famous actors and actresses who are gay, but when they fake it so they can avoid sexual assault charges? Oh, sweetie, someone will be getting hurt and it’s not going to be me.

Why I’m Still Shouting This From The Rooftops – Statistics Which Make Me Shudder

A third of people believe women who flirt are partially responsible for being raped (Amnesty, 2005)

Approximately 85,000 women and 12,000 men (aged 16 – 59) experience rape, attempted rape or sexual assault by penetration in England and Wales alone every year; that’s roughly 11 of the most serious sexual offences (of adults alone) every hour. 

Approximately 70 women commit suicide every day in the US following an act of sexual violence.

During 2019, 13% of all women in California were victims of rape.

A quarter of male victims of sexual assault were under 10 years of age.

Infographic showing the number of people victimized in one year. Number broken down by inmates (80,600), children (61,000), general public (284,000), and military (18,900).

Take This Away:

If you take anything at all away from this article please bare this image in mind…

I snapped 🌪🌬 – Daddy's little angel

Remember: It’s not your fault, it never was, you shouldn’t have to be held accountable for someone else’s actions.


Information:

https://rapecrisis.org.uk/get-informed/about-sexual-violence/statistics-sexual-violence/

https://www.rainn.org/statistics/scope-problem

Black Lives Matter – Taking a Stand From Home

Once more, the world is in a state of political unrest. Alongside the virus, there are protests happening worldwide supporting the Black Lives Matter movement. If, like me, you are unable to go out and protest, I can assure you there are ways you can support the movement. Hopefully, if we all continue to unite as we are currently, we can make this world a safe place for all – not just certain races. If you know anymore ideas or have any advice to give, please comment it. It’s about time we made some change around here and it is important that we are all as educated as possible on the matters at hand.

If you are unaware of the situation in America currently, there are protests taking place over the murder of George Floyd and the punishment of the policeman responsible for his death. These protests have begun to spread around the world and if you want to do something to show your support for the movement but are paranoid about leaving your house due to… other events, I have compiled a list of things you can do to help while staying safe and home.

  1. Remember their names. As unfortunate and horrific as it is, George Floyd is not the first instance of police brutality to a person of colour. It is so important that we remember all those who have lost their lives simply because of the colour of their skin. It’s dumfounding how many victims there are, but it’s just all the more proof that this should have been changed a long time ago. We can’t change the past, but we can at least change the future.
  2. Sign petitions. Change.org have so many petitions about this movement and it is a well trusted website which will – quite frankly – get shit done. It’s such a quick, simplistic way to make a difference and I assure you, you’ll feel so much better after you’ve done it. Sign up for updates and you can sign even more petitions.
  3. Be respectful to all those around you and the victims friends and family. Such an important one. This is definitely not the time to start an all out race war. This is the time of political movement and change. This is not the time to claim all white people have a superiority complex or that all cops are racist. This just gets you no-where and you have no evidence for your facts. Don’t accuse someone of something they have not done. We need to learn to spread love and not hate, the sooner the better.
  4. Educate yourselves. I understand that everyone has differing views on this whole protest and that’s okay, you just need to remember to learn and back up your points. If you have a differing view it’s important to educate and learn as much as you can about the situation before forming an opinion.
  5. Buy from black-owned companies and support small businesses and avoid buying from companies just profiting of others struggle. Lots of big name brands are unfortunately using this time to profit off of the racism in the world. If you want to support, yet again educate yourself on which companies you should avoid. Buying and supporting from black owned companies is a step in the right direction towards acceptance and equality.
  6. Call people out on their racist behaviour and educate them. Lots of people make jokes. That’s fine! However, some people cross the line and their “jokes” are plain offensive. It’s important that if you see a joke or comment that makes you uncomfortable, spread the word that what they’ve said or done isn’t acceptable.
  7. Boycott racist companies and influencers. In this day in age lots of companies and people are being exposed for their racist ways. The only way we can show these people and companies that it’s not okay is by not buying or promoting their products until they change their ways.
  8. Speak up and speak out If you have had a negative experience involving your race, get your story heard and share it. The more people who speak up, the better as it shows the government and those in charge that this is an actual problem.
  9. Donate to charities and causes. Yet again you’ll need to do your research, but donating as little as £1 can go a long way and you can help change the future. If you are unable to donate, then share and spread the message to show we stand together.
  10. Attending protests. I am aware this isn’t easy at all, but if you can, try your best to show up to show your support. Make sure you stay safe and healthy and go do your part.

This time isn’t easy for anyone. If we try spread support and love and raise awareness, hopefully our voices will be heard and the world will change for the better.

This is a time that will go down in history, you just need to stay safe and support others.

All the love,

Tati xx

Tati and the Trouble With the General Human Population [Pet Peeves]

I like to pretend I am a very calm, chilled out type of person, but in reality… that’s not exactly true. I am very hot-headed and I speak without thinking a lot and I’m not one to keep my opinions to myself (as you can see by my entire blog). However, there are some types of people who really grind my gears, and I thought it would be very cathartic for me to talk about things that people do which rattle my ribcage. This is just me angrily typing at crazy-o’clock but I feel like as a population, we don’t speak about people like this enough or how toxic they can really be. Make sure to read to the end because I have big news!

  1. Shirtless guys in public. I spoke about this to my friends merely the other day and we came to the following conclusion: unless you are on the beach or about to go swimming, keep it hidden! (I really wish we made something which rhymed.) In all seriousness though, no-one wants to see that, it makes everyone uncomfortable and there’s just no need as it won’t do anything to help you cool down and it definitely won’t prevent sun burn.
  2. Two faced people, AKA Fakies. People are mean, there’s no way around it. However, when someone acts all nice to you then talks a bunch of crap behind your back, that’s when I have a problem with you. First of all, if you’re the one who’s getting spoken about, it’ll really mess with your self-confidence, make you develop trust issues in the future and it simply isn’t good. Even if you’re the person who is talking sh*t, no matter how much you think the person “deserves it”, it’ll make people question if they should be friends with you as you may do the same to them. It’s mean, unneeded and I can’t stand it.
  3. People who self-diagnose themselves with mental health issues. I have never known someone who made my blood truly boil until I met someone like this. Since I first met one of these attention seekers, I have met a handful more and that is exactly what they are: a handful. They constantly go around claiming they have “depression” when it’s more than obvious they just feel sad. They make people with mental health super uncomfortable and give a bad name to the mental health community overall. One of the main reasons I write so much about mental health is because there is enough stigma as it is, let alone with all of the qUiRkY pEoPlE who have “uwu depression” – my fellow teens will understand exactly what I mean and it brings me quite smoothly onto number four…
  4. People who make mental health an aesthetic. It’s triggering and it makes people who struggle daily super uncomfortable. There are lots of issues with the media glamorising or romanticizing mental illness and this needs to stop. Depression isn’t listening to emo music, wearing black and joking about self harm, it’s a serious condition which makes me struggle to get out of bed and do basic tasks like eating, getting dressed and having a shower. It really upsets and triggers me when I hear someone joking about suicide/self harm in graphic detail, explaining all the who’s, what’s, where’s, when’s, how’s and why’s. I knew people who described it in such unbearable detail that I’d become so close to relapsing back into that vicious cycle and I can’t stand it. There need to be more rules in place about what is and isn’t socially acceptable when it comes to talking about self harm and jokes about it. Jokes are a coping mechanism and I get it because I use that mechanisim all the time. However, I have an issue when someone says [trigger warning – graphic details about self harm in italics] “haha I’m going to go slit my wrists!” That is not okay and is super uncomfortable. Number four took a darker turn but I’m super happy I have now gotten that off my chest. Quickly, I’ll add in a slightly lighter one!
  5. Roadmen/Chavs/F***boys. If someone calls me “peng” unironically or talks about how I’ve got “mad batty bruv” best believe I have beef with you. If you don’t understand any of these words, I am very jealous of you. Roadmen roam free where I live and I hate it. They objectify women, start fights for no reason, offer you drugs because they can and I honestly think they just live on this earth so I can make fun of them. You can typically find them smoking outside McDonalds, causing a nuisance in their matching tracksuits, fake Gucci belts, some sort of designer trainers and bum bags (fanny packs in America). Why do I hate them so much I hear you cry?! Because they try to get you to sleep with them for no real reason other than that they can. If a roadman reads this, I have a feeling that they’ll try attack me… emphasis on the try. Honestly, to all the roadmen I’ve rolled my eyes at before, I hope you have a bright future ahead of you and I genuinely wish you all the best 🙂
  6. People who fake r*pe claims. Honestly there is no further explanation needed, I despise people who have done this and they should honestly be ashamed in themselves. They are one of the reasons that people rarely believe victims which isn’t good.
  7. People who are convinced the world is against them and that everyone is horrible – people who just act like the victim. These people just make my eyes roll! They don’t ever realise they have it so well off, and they just find little things to moan about.
  8. People who make sexist comments 24/7 or just pick people apart based on looks for “laughs”. If I make a good point, I don’t want you to just say “gEt bAcK tO tHe kItChEn” I want you to talk to me like the equal I am, not pick apart my looks and gender. It shouldn’t be as difficult as people make it, honestly.

There you have it! Eight types of people who really anger me! If you liked this blog post please like and comment if you wish, and follow if you want! I post once a week about anything and everything – high quality content here! If you want me to write about anything in particular, please let me know and I’ll be happy to do so.

BIG NEWS!

Some people are already aware of this, but my Totally Tatiana Blog is now on a list for Top 100 UK Lifestyle Blogs! I’m number 76 and it’s a huge achievement. I’m just a teenager, juggling this blog around in my circus of a life purely because I enjoy writing on it, but this shows I’m doing something for the greater good – which is really exciting for me. If you want to look at who else made the list, please click here as I honestly feel honoured to be put on the same list as massive bloggers. Thank you so much Feedspot, I’m very grateful, and I’ll see you all next week!

This has been Tati, ta-ta! xxx

p.s – I found the featured image on WordPress and I loved it so the angry boy stays.

Voting Age – Tati Talks

Politics is shambles. You don’t really know what’s going on and neither do the leaders for about four years but then you blink and suddenly everyone’s having Brexit parties for some reason or another. There’s always some sort of non-political politics related scandal about an MP being a not-so-secret bigot or a US presidential candidate being accused of some horrific act which makes your blood boil. But hey! That’s politics! What a world we live in am I right? So, now I have stated my ever increasingly controversial opinion on politics, might as well go right to the deep end and talk about UK General elections voting age.

Figure One

Looking over these rules, overall, I don’t really have an issue with them, except for one. That one is the age. I have such strong opinions on it, I wrote a whole essay on it in my Year 10 mock citizenship exam. It was an 8 Mark question and I wrote well over two pages (I did get full marks though which is cool). So, to reiterate my point but to a larger audience, I think the voting age should be lowered from 18 to 16. There are so many reasons, but I am here to discuss a small three with you. Please comment your opinions below, I love hearing from people, and I love debates! DISCLAIMER: for many of these points I will be using hyperboles, and so even though the facts are true (I’ll leave the links I used at the bottom of this article) my opinion may be exaggerated to prove the point – debates must do. This is a controversial subject but I am not one to shy away and so I am going to face this head on. I mean no disrespect to anyone; these are just my thoughts and feelings.


Firstly, I think that the voting age should be lowered because anyone who is registered as a UK citizen can vote, and those under 18 are UK Citizens also. This includes perpetrators like those who have committed heinous acts against society. So, if we are giving permission to serial killers to express their freedom, why can’t we allow innocent 16-year olds to express their basic human rights to freedom and expression? (Article 19 – Universal Declaration of Human Rights). At this point, it begs the question, is this just a basic act of human decency Britain, or is it a deprivation of the human rights that we get taught about as soon as we start school?
Statistically, people do not want young people to vote because they feel there is no point as the voter turnout will not be affected. This is a valid concern since in 2017 43% of 18-19-year olds did not vote in the general election. This is staggering compared to the fact that a mere 16% of over 70-year-olds did not vote. However, the reason why so many young people did not vote is because they did not understand the concept. They were not fully educated on the matters which meant they did not understand what the difference between voting for lib-dems or the conservatives would make. There is a simple solution to this “conundrum”: We educate the younger generation on voting – we explain how to vote, why their vote matters, all the different parties, left-wing vs right-wing etc. Not only does this make young people more prepared for their future and make them more well-rounded individuals, but it also makes the voter turnout greater, meaning that Britain will be a true democracy with equal amounts of different demographics voting.

If we look at the laws that sixteen-year olds hold, they are very questionable and at some points controversial. The laws a sixteen-year-old hold are shown in figure 2:

Figure Two

Many of these laws are very controversial and would raise a few eyebrows. Furthermore, when you are aged thirteen, you are told you must choose your GCSE options, something which greatly shapes your future. The fact we are giving young people this control, but not to choose something which greatly shapes the future of this country is definitely wrong.
In conclusion, I think we should lower the voting age from eighteen to sixteen because it is the young peoples future, it gives them good life skills for the future and it increases the chances of an equal democracy.
Thank you for reading, please like this post if you enjoyed it, comment your views and opinions on this topic and follow this blog if you want to see more about what I write 🙂


xo baby, Tati xoxo

REFERENCE LINKS:
http://www.youthoria.org/home/life/rights/what-can-i-do/1238766403.391/
https://www.gov.uk/elections-in-the-uk
https://yougov.co.uk/topics/politics/articles-reports/2017/06/13/how-britain-voted-2017-general-election

Why I Love the Colour Yellow

At school, I am known as the “yellow girl”.  I have a friend in a younger year at school who dubbed me that whenever she forgot my name and it’s stuck.  It’s a nice name, a lot better than other ones I’ve been called I can tell you that!  But not many people know why I love the colour yellow.  Typically, people assume it’s because I love Heathers the musical and I’m going to extreme measures to live out my Heather McNamara fantasy.  Others just know I go overboard with my obsessions and that’s why I own so much yellow.  However, even though those two assumptions are partially correct, the real reason I love yellow so much is because of what it means to me.

I have briefly mentioned in the past I have some friends who I have fallen out with so badly that the damage is irreparable.  I won’t go into all the details because it’s quite personal and I don’t want to share that just yet.  However, one of the reasons we drifted is because I never fit into the “mould” of a girl they wanted.  They wanted shy, submissive, quiet, smart, subtle, and everything I am the total opposite of.  In one period, I was being forced so much into this mould my vigilante-self came out and I began standing my ground – a quality I’d never shown to others before then.  You may be wondering where yellow comes into this so here you go…

When the colour yellow was a big fashion trend, my friends hated it.  I’m still unsure why but they despised the colour so much, but I found it strange.  The clothes some of these girls were wearing on non-school-uniform days were beautiful.  It honestly made some of them glow like the sun. However, it made my friends red with anger.  So, me being me, I decided to buy something yellow.  As silly as it sounds, I decided to stand up for the colour yellow by buying yellow.  I love the film Clueless and I wanted a skirt like Cher’s and when I saw someone in London with that yellow skirt, I knew what I wanted.  I begged my Dad and he bought me the skirt from Pretty Little Thing.  I was so excited when it arrived, I immediately took countless photos of it and set it as my profile picture on WhatsApp.  I felt so empowered!  I hadn’t worn a skirt before then since I was 5 so it was exciting.  To me, this skirt wasn’t just an item of clothing, it was a fragment of another world I’d been trying to get into for so long, but I had been so afraid to.  This skirt was a new perspective of the world for me, a perspective where I could be a feminist and wear girly clothes.  A perspective where I didn’t have to be worried about what he would say.  A perspective in which I can wear whatever I want and not have to be worried about what people say.  When I put on that skirt, I wasn’t Tatiana, I was Cher, a slightly (well completely) clueless teenager who people loved who did make mistakes, but she owned up to and grew from them.

To this day I still wear that skirt and without fail, whenever I wear it, I feel strong, empowered and fearless. [I also feel hella cute – but that’s beside the point!]

There you have it!  That’s the story of why I love the colour yellow so much.  It’s because of what it represents.

Viva le resistance!  xo baby, Tati xoxo

P.S – Random Fact: I used to love the colour yellow when I was a titchy Tati so full circle!

Ethnicity and My Identity

This is definitely the most taboo subject I’ve written about.  I have been working on this post since February and I’ve been editing, deleting, rewriting, and considering this article.  Finally, I mustered up the courage to post it.  Here goes nothing!

DISCLAIMER: This is in no way to diminish anyone else’s experiences; I am simply here to inform and place my views and opinions of the subject.  

First, I think this will run a lot smoother if I explain my heritage to you. I am mixed race, half Asian (1/4 Guyanese and 1/4 Bangladeshi) and half white British. So, I could be as informed as possible, I spoke to all my grandparents, asking them about their heritage.  I found it fascinating learning about all their histories, so I just want to thank all my grandparents, they were incredibly helpful, and I found it remarkably interesting looking at your lives.  So, in their own words, here is their stories:

Grandad A – My Mum’s Father:

Born in Guyana (previously British Guiana) on 17 March 1947 in a place called Ruimveldt – was a town about three miles from Georgetown, the capital of Guyana which is located on the Atlantic Ocean side of South America near the equator.  We were a British colony with people brought there from different parts of the world: Indigenous American Indians, Blacks from West Africa, East Indians from India, Chinese and Europeans. Our language was English. Brought to Guiana from India by the British colonists during the latter half of the nineteenth century. My grandparents were indented to the sugar plantations where they worked in servitude for the rest of their lives. My parents though born in servitude were released from the sugar plantations towards the beginning of the twentieth century when Queen Victoria abolished slavery. family of seven sons and three daughters (one sibling dying at a young age). in 1964 my parents decided to send me to England to complete my studies in Accounting.   I followed my three elder brothers who had emigrated to England as part of the mass immigration from the Caribbean to work in London transport, nursing, and clothing industries. College for a total of three years where I qualified as an Accountant.”

Grandma A – My Mum’s Mother

I was born in India in 1949.  This was about two years after India was split into two countries by the British who were ruling India at the time.   The land was divided on the basis of which areas contained the most Hindus and which had the most Muslims.  Hindus were allocated the vast central part of the country and retained the name of India and the Muslims were given two tips on the east and west at the top of the triangle and named East and West Pakistan.   My father’s family came from Mushidabad which was situated near to Calcutta (now known as Kolkata).  My mother’s father was in the tea business and his family had been in the trade for many generations. I was born in a small village near Darjeeling which is at the foothills of the Himalayas.  It was and still is a beautiful region but, my parents left the area to move to East Pakistan as they were both Muslims and Bengalis.  Both sets of my grandparents remained in India when our parents moved to East Pakistan.  After a few years, my father was promoted and we moved to Chittagong which was the main port for East Pakistan he was promoted again and given the opportunity to move to England to be based in Liverpool to look after the welfare of the many Bengali seamen who travelled back and forth from Chittagong to Liverpool at that time.  My father went to England as an employee of the Pakistani government and not as an immigrant.  Over the years, he worked his way up until he became a Diplomat.  By then, we were grown up and had started careers of our own.  We all decided to settle in England.”

Grandad I – My Dad’s Father

“Born in Nov. 1943 in Middleton, a typical NW Mill Town, in the home of my maternal grandparents, William and Ethel Berry. My mother Winifred gave birth to twins, Janice and Robin, about 18 months later.  When my father, also called William, came home from the army in 1945 we moved to a very small house directly opposite a textile mill in the poorer part of Middleton. The house was blessed with a bathroom, unusual for that part of the town, but the toilet was outside. In this part of town, the streets were still cobbled, and deliveries of milk were by horse and cart.  My father had a brother, Samuel, and my mother had a brother Norman and a sister Ada all married and produced children. I am the eldest of that generation. We all lived within walking distance of each other. Robin, Janice and I were known as “latch key” kids in that our parents worked full time so from the age of about 9 I would meet up with my siblings after school walk home and let ourselves into the house, make a jam butty and go out to play. I failed my 11+ exam so ended up attending Secondary Modern School. Qualifications such as GCE’s were not offered at the school so I left in the summer of 1959 without any qualifications and started work as an assistant in the Laboratory of a local Textile Factory. Realising I would not get far in this environment without qualifications I set about obtaining some. Initially at Night School, 3 nights per week. These were 12-hour days with an expectation of considerable additional home study. This course of study I followed and eventually graduated in 1967 as an Associate of The Plastics Institute. I left home at the age of 16 and lived for 3 years as a lodger in the home of a friend’s grandma. I returned to live at home at 19 when my father had a stroke. I continued to live there until I got married in 1966 and bought the house, I was born in. I had to sell my Motor Bike to pay for the deposit on the house. Back to commuting by bus until I could afford my first car, a very old Morris Minor, in 1970. In about 1972 we moved to Uppermill in Saddleworth. A new position demanded that I relocate to the Midlands so in 1989 I moved to Leicstershire.”

Grandma D – My Dad’s Mother

“My parents were brought up on outskirts of Manchester. They lived a couple of streets from each other. Went to the same school. They married just after the war. I was born a year later and lived 5 doors away from my grandparents who had a hardware shop. My house was very similar to the ones you see on Coronation Street. A terrace house with a back yard. I left school when I was 15 to work in an office that did motor insurance.  It was a very old building in the centre of Manchester.”

I began primary school in 2007.  As crazy as it seems now, there were only five people who weren’t Caucasian.  You had me, my friend who was Chinese, and two other kids who were Indian.  When I was younger, I never really thought myself as different – mostly because I wasn’t.  However, people are mean, kids especially.  I can’t speak for the other four, but I was constantly questioned and scrutinized about my race.  This, in turn, made me very insecure and unsure about my race.  I remember asking my Mum why people always said I looked different and them asking me where I came from.  I remember crying when I found out I was half Indian.  As crazy as it sounds now, I had heard so many stereotypes about being Indian and I found myself never fitting any of them.  I was always embarrassed to be asked about my race even though some people went on holiday and came back darker than me.  I don’t know why my primary school looked down so much on Indians, especially as now lots of Asians go there.  It’s crazy how times have changed, even in a mere five years since I left.

I never told my parents about this lack of confidence I had surrounding my skin tone until very recently.  I think I finally opened up to them this year, explaining to them that I had a lot of kids tell me to “go back to where I came from”.  My Mum was completely mortified and felt awful I never told her.  To be honest, I think I did the right thing telling her when I did as if I told her as it was happening, I never would have gone through my journey of self-acceptance and I’d still be feeling unsure.  I’m proud of my genetics because they make me who I am.  I have my Mum’s smile, her beautiful black hair, and the same characteristics. I have my Dad’s height and insane sense of humour and vocabulary (we have an aversion to the big words my Mum uses).

As aforementioned, I was extremely insecure and unsure about my race.  At this time I developed anxiety and it wasn’t easy as people I knew kept on complaining about how theirs “nO wHiTe RePrESenTatIoN iN thE MeDiA” [which is the biggest bit of insanity I’ve heard since they said I was asking to be assaulted – that’s another issue in itself though] even though they have almost all the Disney princesses and I’ve yet to find a mainstream TV show or film which includes mixed race people.  However, I found a YouTuber who changed all of this.  Her name?  Liza Koshy.

Liza posted a video called “MIXED KID PROBLEMS | GROWING UP MULTICULTURAL”.  Of course, being a fan of Koshy’s iconic and hilarious videos for some time prior and being a mixed kid myself, I had to watch this video.  Watching it I felt as though I could finally identify with a social media influencer.  She explained it better than I ever could so here’s the video if you want to watch it:

After watching this video, confidence in myself and my race began to grow and blossom.  I referred to myself as “milk chocolate” and found myself being proud of who I was.  This was a first for me and I seriously couldn’t have done it without finding Liza Koshy online.

It wasn’t until I was looking back on old videos of me when I was three or so this evening that I realised I looked up to other diverse women.  The only difference between these women and Liza Koshy is the fact that these women are… fictional.  I have an entire article explaining these characters but in brief, I looked up to Princess Jasmine and Pocahontas as they had long black hair and slightly tanned skin.  I’m really happy that tiny Tati looked up to those two Disney princesses as a child as they are (in my opinion) the most forward-thinking Disney Princesses of their time.  Seeing these women in mainstream media gave me the push to keep going long before YouTube was even invented.

Once I came to terms with my ethnicity, I realised how freaking cool it is to be mixed race.  My Mum and her side of the family can cook the most delicious curries, chicken tikka and kebabs.  Meanwhile, my Dad and his side of the family make the most iconic British meals and the tastiest cakes with gorgeous icing.  It’s not just that, I have a plethora of religions in my family, and even though I myself am not religious, it’s so wonderful to learn about different cultures and expand my global knowledge.  This got me thinking.  Even though we’re all the same on the inside, we all have so many differences.  Why to we fear those differences?  Surely, we should embrace them!  If we all embrace different cultures instead of introducing idiotic immigration laws and forbid different people from coming to our country, our country, nay our world, will surely be far more peaceful and accepting.  Once we get this racial tension crap sorted, we can move onto equality for the LGBTQ+ community.  Too far?  I don’t think so.  We should learn to love, and all be equal.  I still can’t believe I’m having to preach this in the 21st Century, but I guess some people don’t listen.  So, until they do, I’m going to be here, and I’m staying here, fighting to get everyone’s voices heard.  And until we all accept each other, I’m afraid you won’t be able to shut me up buckaroo. Good luck trying – you’ll need it 🙂

This article has been a long time coming and so I’m going to talk about some issues we’ve had in the past four years.  First, I’m going to dive straight into the controversy pool and say it.  The way the media present terrorist attacks is the most bogus, insulting, and backwards way.  Surely, you’ll still be able to get views on your trashy tabloid article without blaming… I don’t know, China for all your problems.  How about we don’t place Muslim’s in the same category as mentally unstable killers?  The media is the reason Megan and Harry decided to quit royal life.  Why did they attack her so much?  I’ll tell you.  It’s because she was mixed race and had been married previously.  I’m going to say it.  Why on earth is that an issue?  We are in the 21st Century! We have people making cars which can drive themselves and the media are focusing on the fact that this inspiring woman is not the stereotypical image of royalty.  I know she’ll never read this, but if for whatever reason Megan Markle stumbles across this article, I want her to know that she inspires me so much and I hope to become as successful as her one day.  If you want an even more recent example of racial tensions around the world, lets look at how people reacted when COVID-19 first came about.  If people saw someone who “looked Chinese” sneeze, sniffle or even sigh, people ran a mile.  What?!

It sounds a lot like I’m just preaching problems and, yes, while that is what I am doing, I’m here to provide us with solutions too.  I’m about to get very political and even more controversial.  If you have an issue with it, leave a comment and we shall discuss in a calm, cool, collected way.  I’m open to other people’s opinions, especially in topics like this.  Okay let’s dive right into the problem pool!  As I have explained my issues with the media, here are my solutions: crack the whip on the IPSO code.  No more trashy tabloid articles with nonsense news articles talking about how “the Jews are to blame for all our problems!”  It’s 2020, we’re not under Nazi rule, so let’s not point fingers and find solutions instead of sitting down and complaining.  There’s only so much a fifteen-year-old girl without any qualifications can do to get her voice heard, so I’m leaving that up to the older generations. 

What else?  Here’s one: let’s enforce the Human Rights around the world.  We have so many organisations so we should use them to our advantage instead of listening to the leaders of our country threaten to build walls and pinning things on “post boxes”.  If anyone in power is reading this right now – please contact me, I want this to be sorted because I do not want my nine year old brother coming home telling me that the colour of his skin is ugly and he hates it.  No more please I beg world.

In simple terms, if you could just keep fighting the good fight – viva le resistance baby!  Our identity is made up of so much more than just race so why are we so quick to define people like that?

If you enjoyed reading this article, please like it and leave a comment about your thoughts.  This is by far the most exhausting post I’ve ever written, and it’s taken me months of planning, writing, rewriting, editing and compiling and I’m still not proud of it.  It is currently 01:11am and I am going to publish this article and sleep.  I love you guys, stay safe,

xo baby, Tati xoxo