Category Archives: current affairs

Me too

Let me start by saying that so much has been written on this by people with way more depth of knowledge , by better ,more articulate writers but holding my thoughts on this in are starting to drive me nuts . So this is merely the 2 pence worth of a blogger with an opinion.

Everyone has seen the #metoo hashtag over social media the past couple of days. In the wake of the Weinstein allegations and Rose Macgowan’s subsequent suspension from Twitter over a tweet she sent about another actor a call for women to boycott Twitter in protest went up.

The point was raised and I agreed wholeheartedly that by reacting to women being silenced by voluntarily silencing ourselves was not quite right . That instead let’s speak out, let’s shout,lets flood Twitter with our voices telling our stories.

#metoo is women telling their stories of sexual harassment and sexual abuse in a bid to show exactly how widespread it is.

It’s also women not wanting to , some not able to talk about their experience. Not wanting to give light to their trauma but using #metoo just to stand in solidarity and say yes this has happened to me too.

I truly believe that there are very few women who have never been subject to harassment and abuse of this kind. Most of us have numerous occasions we could talk about. When I first heard about me too I immediately off the top of my head recalled half a dozen occasions. That was without even sitting down and thinking about it. Most women I know would say the same I think.

We’ve been yelled at out of cars and vans , felt shame at the “nice tits” comments and immediately yanked up our tops.

We’ve been rubbed up against on public transport , our space encroached on ,our bodies forced to make contact with an unwanted crotch.

We’ve been touched inappropriately yet felt too ashamed to cause a fuss!

We’ve been in one on one situations with creepy guys and felt so intimidated we’ve nervously laughed off inappropriate comments and behaviour, worried what the consequences of not would be.

We’ve been pushed further than we want to go sexually , pressurised , bullied to get us to do things we’re not comfortable with.

We’ve been raped.

Out in the street we should be safe walking down.

In our own bed , a place that should be full of comfort, by a man who we’re married to , who says he loves us as he abuses us.

By relatives , by friends , by co-workers.

These things , all these things have often happened repeatedly , they’ve been happening since we were teenagers.

We’ve often never spoken about them .

We feel ashamed , and embarrassed.
We blame ourselves , we know others will blame us too.

We can’t articulate what’s happened or we downplay it.

So if just by saying me too that makes other women feel less alone , or shows how many of us have suffered then just those words can be strong.

I hate leaving a post on a depressing note but on this one I can’t do any other. 

The thing is , I think in ten years time nothing much will have changed. 

I don’t have all the answers , I wish I did.

I fear though that our daughters , our friends , our neighbours in a decade’s time will still be saying #metoo



Bringing up Georgia


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A little bit in awe of teen girl , an instinctive feminist…

My teenage daughter , she won’t mind me saying , has previous for being a bit of a pain in the arse. I wrote this a while back about why , although it can be frustrating I don’t necessarily see it as being a solely bad thing.

I suffer great mum bias of course but as well as being kind and funny and beautiful and ridiculously cool in a way I certainly was not at 14 she just seems to ‘get it’. 

I would certainly label myself as feminist and maybe some of my preaching that I often feel is falling on deaf ears to all 4 of them is filtering down after all but she’s an instinctive feminist. I think I learnt feminism. I think I saw things happening in the world I didn’t like and then looked to people more knowledgeable than myself to ask questions to and to ask what I should be reading and what I could do as an individual to help.

Eldest girl though , she just seems to know it , she feels it . I’m in awe of that.

The other day we were walking back from the shop. Chatting about the new bank notes. She mentioned there hadn’t been as much as a fanfare about the new £10 note as there had been the £5. I , said ah that’ll be because there are no men on it! We then spoke about what a struggle it had been to get Jane Austen on the note. I told her about all the vile abuse and threats that campaigner Caroline Criado-Perez had received throughout the campaign to get a woman on the note. 
My daughter’s response came immediately.

 “Well you know why that is don’t you?”

“Because those men took offence to being excluded” I offered.

“Well yes , but especially excluded from being on money . Those kind of men who behave that way see money as power and certainly don’t want replacing by women.” 

This had never occurred to me . Yes I’d concluded that the men threatening to rape and kill Caroline Criado-Perez for daring to campaign for a female face to join the Queen on our currency were suffering from such fragile masculinity that they couldn’t stand to see men removed from on a bank note. To equate that with money and power being synonymous had passed me by. Not her though.

Her feminism gives me hope. 
Her feminism means she rolls her eyes when comment is passed about why she can’t dress more ‘like a girl’ (” I’m a girl , I’m wearing clothes I AM dressed like a girl)
Her feminism means when the boys at primary school refused to pass to her on the football team as she was a girl her reaction was to win player of the match rather than have a row.
Her feminism means pulling up girls at school who are telling her friends they should be on one ridiculous diet or another. Telling them they’re spreading dangerous nonsense . I’m super proud she told me she did this whist munching on a chip butty but that’s just me.
Her feminism means pink and blue kinder eggs anger her , that nothing irritates her more than being told she’s ‘ too pretty ‘ to play rugby and should be looking after that face , that has rejected gender stereotyping from being a little , little girl.

Yes she likes the last word , yes she drives her brothers mad winding them up just for fun , yes she’s overly argumentative and yes she has a temper and can strop like a toddler at times. 

I’ve always thought and always said though that this girl can and will change the world one day. 
I think maybe she already is. 

I’m sorry to let the side down, but I am scared 

Since the horrific terror attack on Manchester on Monday night I’ve shed  a lot of tears. Tears for those lives lost  , tears for the families with a part of them now gone, tears for those hurt and injured, tears for those who walked away without physical injury but who have lifetime of mental scars. 

I’ve been moved to tears by acts of kindness and stories that highlight the very best of people. 

I’ve shed tears feeling a city coming together, standing strong, uncowed, unbeaten. When Tony Walsh read his poem, as spoken about here, at the vigil on Tuesday night I felt that poem in my soul I’m sure of it. 

I’ve heard the lines we tell one another. I’ve said them myself. The strong lines.

“we must carry as on normal ”

” we can’t let them affect our daily lives”

“If we live in fear then the  terrorists win”

I am scared though. I am fearful. I’m terrified. 

My elder 3 children are teenagers. They want be out doing their own thing. I have to let them. Sending independent, good people out into the world? Well that’s the parenting goal isn’t it? 

Most anything my youngest at 9 considers a treat is in Manchester city centre. Her birthday was a couple  of weeks ago and for her birthday treat she really wanted to go to the CBBC tour at media city then then go to a ‘posh’ restaurant! You have to book a the tour quite far in advance so this weekend we were due to go. 

I’ve wrestled internally with it. Should I still take her? One half of my brain saying “you must go – you can’t live in fear”. The other half very much shouting “but WHAT IF ….??” Could I let her down and age appropriately discuss my fears? Probably not. I’m mummy. I’m the one who reassures worries. I’m meant to calm her fears, that’s what she expects from me. 

So do I brave it out? Head off to the city centre, try to feel strong and defiant. That “What if??” though, it’s loud and it’s chilling. 

Thankfully the decision was taken out of my hands and I received an email to say tours were cancelled. 

The relief was immense. 

I know we cannot give in to cowardly, vicious bullies. I know that. 
When cowardly, vicious bullies though have no  qualms in targetting families, in murdering children… 

Yes, I’m scared. 

I’m scared my boys might head off to a football match one day and be targeted. 

I’m scared my teen girl may go to a concert with her pals and not come back. 

I’m scared small girl could be out with daddy one day and become some evil, less than human’s victim. 

I’m scared small girl and I could head out on one of our jaunts and leave the elder 3 motherless. 

I know we’re still in the midst of grief and shock right now. I know we’re still hearing about these poor people killed, hearing their stories, seeing their faces. So very close to home it could have been any one of us.  Feeling guilty for daring to feel heartbroken knowing the friends and families of those murdered, those injured are the ones going through a torturous hell. 

Days, weeks, months will pass. This shall never be forgotten but  I’d imagine I’ll be back strolling through Manchester, taking the kids to sporting events, having one of my solo theatre dates. These times will come back around I know. Because love is stronger than hurt. Kindness is the antidote to fear. 

Manchester. You rock. Your strength of character and awesome people are inspirational. 

For now though-for today, for tomorrow. I am scared, and for that I am sorry.