Category Archives: harrassment

Is “Fat a Feminist Issue?”

Hell no!

Walk down any street, any public place ( any private place come to that) and you clearly see that FAT is an everyone issue!

What is similar though is the contradictory and cynical way which both the issues of “Fat” and “Feminism” are treated by the government and the media. They are such hypocrites. Magazines and TV programmes selling the next great way to lose weight are also laden with calorific-bomb recipes from the newest chefs, just as the government show “concern” at the ever-increasing girth of our children while allowing/supporting both food manufacturers and retailers to continue pumping menus aimed at children full of toxic and health damaging ingredients. I feel desperately sorry for the children of to-day. I believe the weight issues they will have as they get older will make mine look like a walk in the park.

Similarly women are still experiencing discrimination in the workplace (and others) whilst all the time being distracted with non-sensical demands which do nothing but help keep fellow women back from actual equality.

Fat, food and weight are a big problem for me; they have been for what seems like all my adult life.( me and a few squillion others). Oh yes, it’s dead simple, – eat less and move more. But just like our crappy food, we want all of this yesterday and with bells on! We want to lose weight ( and years) and snap back to what we looked like as teenagers ( you know, like the movie stars).

And what of equality? What is it each of us wants for the next generation?

I want a fair crack of the whip, regardless of whether you have tits or a dick. It’s just about who is best for the job. It’s that simple.

We all look for an “edge” at an interview, but seriously guys, if that edge comes down to your “six inches”( in your dreams! -….or maybe ours!!) then the world is still tits up! (pun intended)

Hi There..

Here I am, back again and very glad to be so.

We all see the good and bad in people in our everyday lives, but usually to a more mundane extent than I have witnessed this last few weeks. I have already written about finding who your true friends really are, when it really counts and your back is against the wall.

Well, very sadly, a remarkably good, kind and much-loved person died last week and I attended their very moving funeral, a service full of love and support for the surviving family and friends. What was mentioned time and again was this persons love for life, right up to the end, their lack of bitterness at the cancer that was taking their life, way too early, and their loving thoughts for those they were leaving behind. What this individual and their wonderful family faced was awful, not deliberate or in any way avoidable, but completely life-changing for all concerned. Yet, despite the palpable sadness of loss, the overwhelming feeling in the chapel was of love for a life well-lived.

Now, I have always had an issue with that certain meanness of spirit I have found in some people throughout my life, the kind of people who take joy in the misery or misfortune of others, seemingly begrudging folk the air they breathe, but, standing in that chapel all I could think was of the total futility and waste of time it is to spend even one precious second of my life carrying anger or hurt in my heart at the actions of others.  It changes nothing and that burden weighs heavy, leaving no room there for love and affecting my ability to take joy in the rest of my life.

So I will take some of that positive energy from the way this good person both led his life and faced his death and use it to drive the fear and negativity from my mind and from my soul.

Thankfully, kind, loving and warm people still vastly out-number the shitty ones.

But It’s Not Fair

I’m talking the talk, but not walking the walk. I understand what is happening and how little control I have over the desire of others to inflict pain and hurt, but the child in me wants to yell, through streaming, stinging tears,

“It’s not fair!”

But to what end?  “Are they bovered?” as the great Catherine Tate would ask. Of course they bloody aren’t! And this is the thing that pulls me back to reality.

I have ( am still ) running the full kit and kaboodle of beating myself up for the appalling behaviour of others, of it coming to a point I have spent years trying to avoid by working harder, doing longer hours and going so many extra miles I have lapped the world, but to no avail. If someone is THAT determined to do you down , they will. I feel I have let my family down, exposing them to possible financial hardship, let my clients down, set my young adult offspring a bad example, and so on and so on.

And it is ridiculous, completely ridiculous! Not one of those I love, and love me back, is judging me this way. Only me!

So what can I do?

Well, I will dig as deep as I can, as I must, to find my backbone, to find the ballsy, courageous woman I know is hiding within the quivering-lipped, gibbering wreck that devoured me five days ago.  I will be my own best friend, acknowledging my strengths, cutting myself some slack and kindly urging myself back into the real, functioning world.  I will look outside of myself, outside the tiny sphere that has become my world over recent days, and seek out solutions and new possibilities.

Something wonderful is waiting for me and the only way I can get there and realise its potential, is by taking this desperatley difficult journey. It is frightening, terrifying in fact, but we all fear change; even if we know where we are now is awful we instinctively fear leaving the familiar.

I hope you all find the courage you need for your convictions and the strength and support to see them through.

The Calm Before The……..Whatever

I keep checking the mirror to see if I still LOOK like me, because I sure as shootin’ don’t feel like me! I should be running around , crying, ranting, chewing my fingers to the bone, but I’m not. I feel strangely calm with just flutters every now and then of mild panic, quickly subsumed by this… “peace.”

I highlight this because it is common to a few situations close loved-ones have found themselves in lately as well. They have gone through horrendously stressful times, struggling with a life-changing decision, only to find that having taken the leap this same strange peace or calm descends. Other strong forces (sadness, grief, regret) can still take their toll, but, for me, the knowledge that matters have come to the only conclusion they could and should have, make the rest of it bearable.

But I am very, very fortunate. This could all sound incredibly trite to others without the level of support and kindness I am blessed with. I may yet be typing another entry in this blog with one hand, while tearing lumps of my hair out by the roots, cursing myself for putting my own happiness before my duty as a wife, daughter and mother. But what use am I to anyone without my soul and what example would that set to my adult children.  “Yes kids, live your lives but don’t believe that you deserve happiness, or peace, or self-esteem, or joy, or hope.”  No, I don’t think so.

I remember when my children were born saying the “only” thing I wished for them was that they be happy, truly happy. Some friends of mine hoped their children would be doctors or dancers or successful….you get the picture.  At this stage of my life I look back and think my wish may just have been the most ambitious.

The Worst of Times………and More of The Same

It’s really hard to pin-point exactly how I feel, having discovered that a way of life I have loved will have to come to an end. And on top of that to find that, even though I have thought for a long time people could no longer surprise me, well, guess what, they can!

I often wonder where some folk get the energy and spare time in their lives to inflict such pain and malice on others and, sadly, the last eight months, in particular the last ten days, have left me breathless with incredulity at the levels people can sink to. I feel a heartache and sadness that, at one point, I honestly did not think I could bear.

BUT, life is never just black or white. It is, it seems, one of the many( even more than 50) shades of grey; because there they were, those that I love and love me back, lifting this weight from my shoulders, buoying me up with kindness, understanding and peace. They offer me strength not pity, comfort not criticism. And when self-doubt threatens to engulf me I look at the quality of those close to me and think; “I can’t be that bad when these people care about me.”

I still panic at what lies ahead, but I believe things happen in life for a reason, that this will take me down a path I am meant to travel and I will travel that path in hope.

We Say No To Revenge Porn…….,

though I just wish a lot more people would say “No” when  this idea is put to them or they come up with it all of their own accord!

I fully understand that some people feel they have no choice for whatever reason and were forced into it, but that still leaves an awful lot of people who seem to think getting naked, taking photographs and then giving access to these pics to their latest nearest and dearest is a good idea. Eh, get the hell over that one please!!

Even if you could trust this person with your life, just how many “celebrities” do you have to witness having their bits and bobs flashed all over the various media platforms to get the message that this is NEVER a safe thing to do. EVER!

It reminds me of the stories of some of the tribes in far-flung continents who were afraid of having their pictures taken, fearing the camera would take their soul and with that their power. Guess what, they were right.

Let anyone have pictures like this of you and they have taken your soul and with it your power. It’s not just a digital image anymore; that’s your future you are giving them.

Think about it.

Just How Far Have We Come?

I was watching a programme on TV last week where they talked to one of the first women to use the, then new, legislation to prosecute for sexual harassment in the workplace. She was a very brave woman and her life was made a living hell during the process. At the end the interviewer asked her if she thought we were in a better place to-day. Her answer did not surprise me. As far as she could see the sexism and harassment is still as prevalent, but is now harder to prove as it is not so overt; slipping under the radar of regulation.

I started to think about those other lovely “isms”; racism, sectarianism and so on. Are we any better now than, say, the 1970’s, any more enlightened? I believe we should certainly know more about each others cultures, but apparently it does not necessarily follow that this leads to more tolerance.

Coming from a country where some used to claimed a legitimacy for murder because of religion, I believe it has changed, to an extent, but it will take a lot more than signatures on pieces of paper to remove the biases and bigotry of generations. Turn on the news at any time to see the evidence of this.

There are wonderful and inspirational examples of enlightenment within working environments and communities out there, but is this because of changes in law, or because of good people doing what good people have always done?

Maybe we are looking at a “Darwin-esque” scale of evolution before we can look at each other as human beings first, sex, colour, creed coming way, way after.

I’m laughing now thinking of Star Trek, Star Wars etc. Holy shit! How long did it take them to become so comfy with planetary aliens??

Hurry Up and Wait!

I have often wondered how thin the veneer of fellow- feeling ,even ( or sometimes especially) around Christmas is. Well, thanks to a balls-up at the air traffic control center, I had a mixed picture of it; up close and personal.

Amazing how NATS kept highlighting the speed with which they fixed the “glitch” and yet the knock on effect kept spreading, the repercussions being felt by thousands. One family, with young children, and already travelling for 26 hours, were hoping their flight to Montreal would get to take off; another young man going to miss his sisters wedding back in Germany. And so on and so on………..  All remarkably calm and accepting that no-one actually set out to piss us all off.  And certainly I did not witness anyone take their frustrations out on the airline staff; all doing their best to help their customers and work their way through the huge queues.

I had plenty of time to observe those around me and came to a conclusion! The folk that got grumpy and felt hard done by, behaving like the worst kind of diva, will, most probably, behave the very same way in any and every other aspect of their daily life; and so will those that laughed and joked, offered their seats or a helping hand to their fellow sufferers.

You cannot blame circumstance on your bad temper. It is ALWAYS a choice.

Frustration, helplessness; yes. I felt that, and so did most of those I could see , but I had some great conversations, met some lovely people and had some really terrific laughs! I chose that path.  Hmmmm……..here endeth the nice me…………..

My flight was cancelled. Okay, no problem. Long schlep to collect my checked luggage and then verrrrryyy long queue for a taxi to a very expensive hotel for the night. Okay, still no problem.

Woken by the phone belonging to the pillick in the next room who had gone out but left his bloody phone behind, and it rang, and rang and rang! Getting a bit cross at this point!

Then some silly bitches( pished as farts), attending a Christmas party in the expensive hotel, decided to declare their love for one another outside my room door for what seemed like hours and at the top of the voices. Oh happy days!

And just to top it all, the DJ( not sure if they are still called that, but I did manage to find a few new names for him)played Wham’s “Last Christmas” and the entire works of the late, great Michael Jackson until the wee small hours of the morning, with one of the speakers about 10 feet from my room door.

The night manager explained to me the next morning that I was lucky to get that room as they close these down when a party is on!! They only opened these four rooms when they heard about the problems at Heathrow.(to help out and not cash in I’m sure)

Ah, bless………..Now that’s the Christmas spirit for you!!!!!!!!!!

Thoughts on “10 hours walking in NYC” video

I have replied to a few blogs on various aspects of this video and it has brought to mind some of the many instances I have  experienced, throughout my life, of this type of behaviour from men.

The time, place and context of each occasion made a huge difference to my reaction, depending on whether I felt afraid, embarrassed or just plain pissed off.

It’s funny though how at the time I thought a lot of it was just a fact of life and had to be put up with. Now that I have two daughters of my own though, and also because of a lot of hard work by women’s groups world-wide, I feel quite differently.

I can take a “joke” with the best of them but unfortunately there are still too many men getting away totally inappropriate behaviour and passing it off as “having a laugh”.

It seems that having a penis, even if it is coming out of the middle of their foreheads, still gives SOME men a feeling of superiority.