Monday, 7 January 2013

Shoegate - Sometimes men get shoes donated too

I genuinely want to stay clear of the radical feminism in the atheist/sceptic community if I can, but my friend +Justin Vacula has just posted a video on a story he calls Greta Christina's "Shoegate".

It appears that Greta Christina - who is currently suffering from the fallout of cancer - has been buying shoes on the back of asking for donations. Now, I have no interest in getting too far into the nuts and bolts of this so-called story - to be honest, it is insufferably boring - I just wanted to see the reaction to my last shoe purchase.

Perhaps I should make myself clear on the back story behind these comfortable sports slippers. I am currently in receipt of Government support for mental health issues, and am unable to work. My income - such as it is - does not afford me the luxury of shelling out for professional 'dress shoes'. Accordingly, this pair of shoes was bought at a local retailer on sale for the very sensible price of £26 (down from £40). Unfortunately, I am unable to afford even this much.

The fact is, they were donated to me by my mother: who has been very supportive of my plight. One wonders if I were to ask for a more substantial pair of shoes that would perhaps last me longer and impress the judge at my upcoming appeal against the Government's rejection of my application for ESA (the appropriate benefit for people signed off from, and unable to work), whether or not my mother would have been so generous? Sure, she would want me to be happy, and would wholeheartedly support me in my never-ending fight against Government misrepresentation and discrimination, but if the shoe fits, should I wear it?

Her name is Petal and is 10 weeks old
Talking of donations, my friend +Alison Leah has kindly let me have one of her dog's pure-breed English Springer Spaniel puppies. This is a very kind act on her part as they are each valued at over £300 each (an amount far beyond my means). She'll have her own reasons for this altruism, but given that if I cannot afford a dog from the outset, should I have accepted responsibility for this little peach?

n.b. It should be noted that my mother, again, has been very supportive and has donated her own money to set me up with all the necessary accoutrements that puppies require (I shall find the money for all the injections, worming, spaying, chipping etc.  myself, and I will have insurance cover for emergencies).

The questions I wish to raise here are, "Is it acceptable to ask for donations, when - for one reason or another - the chips are down and you have fallen upon hard times?" and "At which point does the donor righteously feel aggrieved about your spending their money on - what could be considered - luxury or otherwise unnecessary items?". For my part, the answers are, a) yes, and b) when the donor raises the issue.

As I said, this is not a dig at Greta (although I do think she might have been a little more discrete). She has offered to return any donations that donors feel have been abused, and from what I understand no one has done so. I guess I just wanted to show off my shoes and puppy.


  1. Those shoes look really comfortable. ... That's really all I have to say on the subject. :|

    1. They are, indeed, very comfortable. There is no more that need be said on the subject.

  2. I find you, your shoes, and your puppy charming.

    1. Why, thank you very much, Maria. I very much appreciate your thoughts. And coming from such an accomplished blogger, it means all the more to me.


Only Google Accounts accepted for comments.