Monday, January 29, 2007
"The Girls of the Playboy mansion" is a reality TV show that I could have done without knowing about. It's a bit of a feminist no-brainer really but I was drawn to it like a horrible accident...
"Wouldn't you like to lounge around someone's mansion in your bikini? Who wouldn't? What a life." Said the male program announcer on Living TV.
Hmmm....and what a FASCINATING program it was. Barbie got a new dog; so cute! Silly Blonde met one of Hef's old girlfriends and decided she was jealous because she was no longer young. Big Boobs jumped up and down when Hef bought her a fluffy Playboy rabbit pillow to go in her bedroom....
It was at this point I turned off.
Ok, so, easy target this program? Yes but the reason I am blogging about it isn't the program itself but the announcer's comments before it. It struck me that I come upon this attitude all the time from men, especially about porn 'actresses'.
"But they get lots of money, they live a great life, they're not oppressed...in fact I wish I lived like that"
it's only a step away from...
"You're just jealous because you're not pretty enough to get all those privileges"
Do you really want to live like them Mr. Man?
Is your opinion of male approval so high that you would undergo the humiliation and dehumanization that goes with being a bunny girl?
I think a lot of men DO value their OWN opinion so highly that they couldn't think of a higher accolade than them wanting to fuck you. So with the eyes of so many men turned their way how could these girls possibly be anything but totally fulfilled as women?
Hmmmm......How long would Mr. Continuity Announcer last walking around someone's house in a bikini (Having sex with an old man, always being looked at and judged, having a shelf live of a few years and thrown out when you reach 25, totally relying on someone else for your food, home, clothes, basic human needs, not allowed to have a normal emotional relationship that involves love and mutual respect, always competing with others for your place in the Hef Hierarchy etc, etc) before he shouted "ENOUGH, I AM MORE THAN THIS! I AM NOT A PIECE OF MEAT!"
Well, he wouldn't would he?
These thoughts lead me down a path that asks; why is male rape considered more horrible than when a woman is raped?
Answers on a postcard please and are these two topics related?
Friday, January 26, 2007
So…there is an international OUTCRY to the casual racism in Big Brother. Jade is a figure of hate and is living in a safe house away from her children due to death threats.
Whatever you think about the ‘events in the house’ (and everybody HAD to have an opinion) another hate crime of equal, or more enormous consequence has slid under the radar.
Dirk ‘I’m a twat’ Benidict has been making comments that, if they were about race, would cause a bigger outcry but it’s about the girls, so that’s alright then…
“If this was a house full of men we would all get along, none of this would be happening”
“I have voted for two women so either way we’ll get the number of girls down in this house”
I wonder what that sounds like with a racial tone?
“If this was a house full of white people we would all get along…”
“I’ve voted for the two black people …to get the number of black people down in this house”
“You know what their like…black people and their hormones…”
Hmmm….sounds a bit more like an international debate now doesn’t it?
Why is it perfectly acceptable to hate women?
Why does everyone still love Dirk ‘I’m a twat’? Because he was in the A-team? That’s a crap reason.
Thursday, January 25, 2007
I've been tagged by the book tag thanks to Maia.
I could go upstairs and try to find an intellectual or impressive book: I could find my favorite or a book I know will be full of wisdom; one that will show what a great feminist I am to have such books lying about.
I feel like going and finding the worst book I own just to be contrary: The De Vinci code, Adam and Eve 2020 (the WORST book I have ever read) or The girl-watchers guide (picked up in a charity shop and full of the most horrendous misogyny you will ever find).
But no, I will be true to myself and not try to prove anything. I am going to use the book that I am currently reading.
So...'Vicious circle' a Felix Castor novel by Mike Carey.
It is supernatural detective type novel with an excorsist as the protagonist. A bit trashy and far too many fight scenes; Felix seems to be able to go days without sleep or food or healing and is still able to come up trumps in the final battle (I find most crime/thriller/who-dun-its are like this).
So...page 123 fifth sentence, copy three sentences...
....But that would have entailed a hell of a lot more explanation than I wanted to get into right then.
"I'll stop by tomorrow," I said "You can either give me a progress report or stick an assult rifle up my nose. If you get anything juicy before then, call me, okay?"
and that about sums up the book in three sentences.
Not very deep I'm afraid but it's taken me all day just to get this post finished. I started at 9 in the morning and I am only just posting at 6.35 pm...blah, the life of a mother...
Friday, January 19, 2007
1. I read. I have read. I shall read some more. It all stays in my brain somewhere and I learn something from every book.
2. Somehow…somehow…only the Goddess knows how….I have two wonderful kids and a man who loves me. I don’t think it’s got much to do with me but I haven’t messed it up YET and that’s the good bit. (I keep expecting to wake in the rubble of our home with three dead bodies next to me. I expect the plague that will wipe them out and leave me alone forever missing the days when I had no sleep. I look into their faces for signs of illness. I pray everyday for them to be real, not hallucinations brought about by too many drugs. Perhaps I am locked up in an asylum and this is my fantasy world…I will never complain again…let this be real…pleeeeeeeese….)
3. I’m alive, by jingo, I’m alive. How did that happen? Once I was dead on a table and now I’m here. Once a man held me really still whilst he slashed a knife a few inches from my throat just to show me he could do it. Once the frail boundaries of my mind were shattered but I’m HERE and ALIVE and HAPPY. I want to shout it from the hills “I AM ALIVE. I AM HAPPY”
4. I guess I don’t hate my body anymore. I’m not sure I love it or like it. I’m grateful that it was strong enough to make my children and I love feeding them with my boobs of hugeness. Hay, that’s pretty good stuff there…revise that, I DO love my body.
5. I’m a big hippie.
That was quite hard to do as I am having a bit of a funny day. I’m very tired as my children are playing tag team sleeping and I’m very skint as the government have just reduced our benefits by £10 a week…which is a lot for us; quarter of my shopping money or one trip to the soft play area. Who thought up a policy that takes money away from you when you child is over one? Surely we need more now he is eating more and growing out of his clothes. In the soft play place they have just uped the cost of Solomon getting in from £1 to £3.75 because he has turned one.
Bolloxs. That’s what I say to that.
Tuesday, January 16, 2007
I have had my teeth cleaned and I feel AMAZING. The last 20 years of smoking (I no longer do that), drinking red wine (nope, none of that anymore) and tea had left horrible brown stains on my teeth but now they are GONE! I must be the only person in the country with an NHS dentist and by jingo I am glad I have. I will not get the 'Treadwoth look' which is crumbling or no teeth.
Sadly I know one woman who is in her early twenties with only blacks stumps for teeth. How did it happen?
I know one child who had the same but that was from coke in a bottle...yep they do that here. URH!
Bright blessings to everyone out there.
Saturday, January 13, 2007
Crochet and Maths met and have this beautiful baby.
This is the 3D representation of chaos theory IN CROCHET!!!!!!
Be still my beating heart.
Friends....beware...this may be the only present I give from now on.
bugger...can't get the picture to upload...you'll just have to follow the link
“OI COME BACK HERE!” Shouted a 50-something man leaping out of the car. I looked to see if I could spot the toddler he was shouting at (I recognized the tone; I am a shouty mum!) and was confused as I could see no children.
He started running after the person he was shouting at. I spotted a woman’s back in the crowd of people. She was walking as fast as her heels could carry her. There was fear in her body language. She was trying to escape but also knew the futility of her attempt.
The man gabbed her, spun her around, shouted at her some more. I have heard people speaking to dogs like that but never another human being. He started to ‘escort’ her along the road.
I was walking on the other side of the road, pushing a pram and trying to stop my 3 year old from running away.
“Do you need help?” I called “Can I help you?” The woman looked at me and I will never forget that look. It was a mixture of ‘no, you can’t help, it’s fine’ and ‘there’s no point’ and ‘you can see it?’.
“Is he bullying you?” I called, what a stupid thing to say “Shall I call the police/”
He had got her to the car, shoved her in the passenger seat, climbed in the other side.
I watched the car pull away and then I saw him hit her…hard.
I rummaged in my bag to find a pen to take down the number plate…they were gone.
What would I have done with the number of that car? What more could I have done? Had I made it worse for her?
I spent the night playing a variety of scenarios through where I ran over, punched the man, rescued her and helped her to a life of freedom, or the one where she left him just because someone saw the violence and acknowledged it.
Ultimately I could do nothing and it hurts.
I'm loving hearing the comments on this, never mind sharp political debate, bring on the weird foods...
1) Brie and ginger in syrup sandwich
2) Chocolate and chili...I know it's been done a lot but it was still a surprise when i bit into the chili cream in my chocolate tasting club box...YUMMY!
3) Chips dipped in ice cream
4) Corned beef and monster munch sandwich (arh...student days...)
5) Port sucked up through a chocolate finger
Wednesday, January 10, 2007
There was once a girl who really hated herself. She had grown up with all kinds of people telling her that she was ugly and therefore worthless. She didn’t have much luck in love; mostly her relationships were with men who kept telling her how ugly she was. Once a boyfriend told her that he couldn’t touch her “Look in the mirror naked to find out why” he said. She bowed her head because she knew it was true. She should be grateful anybody would want to be seen with such a hideous monster.
Children shouted insults at her on the streets; she was truly a miserable girl.
As she grew to adult hood she realised her childhood dreams of jobs she had wanted to do were all closed to her because of the way she looked. She worked behind a counter in a shop but was horribly aware that this job made her visible to the public and their ridicule. She self-harmed and developed eating disorders, there were several suicide attempts but she lacked the courage to do the deed properly so still she had to endure life as the monstrosity that she was.
Then one day, when she had settled into her life and lowered her expectations, somebody asked her if she wanted to take her clothes off and have her picture taken. She was shocked, amazed, flattered, confused; why would anybody want to see her naked?
Three men came to her house and spent an hour and a half of telling her to get into all sorts of poses. They didn’t touch her and they didn’t ask her to do anything but pose. She had to bend over, lick her own nipples, you know, all the porny poses.
When they had finished they shoved a couple of hundred pounds in her hand, made her sign something that she didn’t read and left.
Afterwards the girl’s attitude to her body changed; it had earned her money! SOMEBODY wanted to see her naked (She had a nagging suspicion her pictures would be in a specialist magazine, one for real sickos) she was astounded. She started to feel a bit better about herself, she had some lovers, she grew up some more and her life continued.
She never saw the pictures of herself anywhere.
When she was asked about her porn experience she said it had empowered her; that made her love her body; that it was a good thing to have happened to her.
In the context of her life at that time she was right. It had been a good thing and it did change her BUT she knows that it is never that simple.
She knows (because she’s grown up a lot now) that if she had not been made to feel so hideous all her life then she would have not said ‘yes’ to that offer. She knows that the porn industry that she saw for two hours goes on working every day of every year and it is a sleezy and horrible thing. She knows this very industry is one of the pillars of the patriarchy that made her so desperate for male approval.
She does not regret it (she makes a point of not regretting anything for the Goddess knows she’s done worse things to gain male approval) but she feels sad and sorry for the girl who was brought down that low in the first place.
Her crime, her deformity, the reason she is covered in scars and has damaged her digestive system forever and has had to be admitted to hospital with overdose after overdose?
She was fat.
Fuck you Patriarchy and the terrible things you do to young girls.
Saturday, January 06, 2007
I was sitting with Osiris watching a bit of TV , he was playing at my feet with some cars and some sweet wrappers. I asked him what he was playing and he showed me his game. He had a blue car, a red one and a yellow car and a blue, yellow and red sweet wrappers. He was wrapping the cars up and experimenting with what colours the cars turned with what colour sweet wrapper. He'd got purple, orange and green sorted out.
Then he looked at me and said "Two threes make six, I have six things here. Two groups of three."
Wow; he is three and a half.
He was playing but using his game to explore the world.
I guess that's what autonomous learning is all about.
Friday, January 05, 2007
…Which is surely like shooting fish in a barrel?
Depression, OCD, eating disorders, social and emotional disorders….I thought this defined teenage behavior. Not because it is an inherent part of growing up but because when you are starting to become an adult and live by the adult’s rules, you realize what a stupid, pointless, horrible society you live in, they are all out to get you and you’d rather be dead than try to please these idiots and nobody understands the deep emotional pain you are feeling and they are all out having fun and you feel differently to them and the discos are full of hollow laughter…I’m just off to listen to Nirvana whilst reading Silvia Plath and I will be in my bedroom writing poetry if you need me…which you don’t…because nobody loves me…
Yeah, some of us are teenagers until we are in our thirties!
ANYWAY…in one test they found that 50% of the teenagers tested showed signs of mental illness. I can only guess that the ones who didn’t were the ones who were pretty, sporty, popular and will have their breakdown when they leave the fishbowl of high school proms, get into their forties when their looks and popularity has left them and realize that everything they valued was a horrible lie.
So they march these kids into the test room to answer a few questions to see if there are any potential suicides; which is, apparently, the point of this exercise. This test can diagnose their condition immediately and they can go to the doctor to get happy pills.
Let’s explore this…
Do you feel like harming yourself?
Do you think about killing yourself?
(And before you think these questions are too silly…these are the EXSACT questions from my post-natal depression questionnaire)
Kid A goes in and answers (a) to both, not because he has thought about these things but because he knows this is the right answer if he wants to gain himself some extra time on his assignments; “sorry sir I can’t possibly do my homework, I’m on suicide watch”.
Kid B hides his sliced up arms everyday, he hates himself and spends most of his time in his bedroom holding the razor just above his wrist wishing he had the courage to cut deep enough. He answers (b) to both questions because he knows they are the right answers to someone who is so alone that they cannot contemplate that there may be help for them. He doesn’t want anybody to know about his pain because it is too deep, too personal.
Even if the damn thing works (which it won’t) where is all the music and poetry going to come from if the next generation of teenagers are dosed up on Prozac?The problem with diagnosing anybody with a mental illness is that the medical profession are eager to ‘solve the problem’ by medication. “Depressed…here, have some drugs…your mother has just died? Never mind, you still shouldn’t be depressed, repress your feelings like the rest of us and take your pills like a good little proll…
Wednesday, January 03, 2007
RANT WARNING!!!! RANT WARNING!!!!
In my line of work (breastfeeding supporter) I hear a lot of things that woman say that annoy me but I have to nod and be nice and say something encouraging and empathic. I (hopefully) manage to do this most of the time.
I don’t bloody feel like it though when I hear the same thing over and over:
“I want to get myself back”
SO, you wanted a baby, tried really hard for one, got a baby – Whoopie! You’ve been through those bad few weeks of hurting breasts and no sleep – GOOD FOR YOU! You love your baby and have introduced foods to her, taught her how to sit up, stand, walk – AMAZING!!
But now you’d like to “Get your life back”
Where did it go?
“Get myself back”
You’re there, I can see you…look, there you are!
This IS your life; you’re a mother; you have a baby, she’s your life. She is only going to be this tiny age for a small while. It won’t be long before she’s off drink alchopops and won’t want to cuddle up to you, she’ll hate you and say “I never asked to be born” so why are you trying to wish this wonderful bit away?
I understand the need to get some sleep, do something that is not baby orientated, take a bath, read a book, crochet a jumper…it’s all an important part of who you are; I am not just a mother, I am (insert name here.
This “getting yourself back” takes many forms. Some of them are: Stopping breastfeeding, going on a diet (trying to loose that ‘baby fat’), going back to work, sleep training, going out more to the pub.
I’m NOT criticising any of these things individually, nor am I criticising the mothers who choose to do them but it is the idea that somehow these things will make you life like it was before you had the baby.
It’s not going to happen; you life has changed forever; the baby does not go back into the box!
Ok, so it’s easy to slag off mothers; it’s a national pastime in the media.
BUT when you start to hear the same things again and again you start to wonder…what is going on here?
I saw a book the other day called ‘How to have a baby and still live in the real world’. I think I may have stumbled upon the answer here…you’re not in the real world if you dedicated your time to your child.
So there it is. These mothers do not want to “get themselves back” - they want to be seen as real people by everyone else; not ‘just’ mothers. They want to have a value and an existence beyond their child because childcare is valueless. They want to be taken seriously by other people.
Back to the patriarchy then; motherhood is devalued even though it is the MOST important job anyone can do.
Tuesday, January 02, 2007
The festive season is over and we are all back at work or school. Some of us did not stop working over the holiday because we are MUMS! We don’t get time off…not even for New Year’s Eve…DAMN IT!!!!!!!!!
I spent the new year at my mother’s house…which, I can tell you, was the best option. Sad isn’t it? But I did have a baby who was very ill so I really could not have left him with anyone or gone anywhere with him. He needed to be snuggled up with his mummy in a quiet place. Still…it’s a far cry from 7 years ago when I spent the night on Glastonbury Tor and we saw the most amazing fireworks all around us. The Tor was covered with fire flares; it was quite magical. But I am not sad that those crazy days are past, I have my children and there is happiness in spending New Year with a hyperactive 3 year old. He had a sip of champagne and said it was too spicy for him!
I now understand why my mother hates New Year; she’s a mum! I’m sure there are plenty of mums who looked after the kids this year as it was just ASSUMED that they would.
I’ve decided to blog a bit more now that all that Christmas stuff is over and done. It’s all part of clawing back some ‘me time’, not that I have a problem dedicating myself to my children but I feel that my mental health is going to suffer if I do not.
I had some interesting chats over Christmas; one with someone who told me that Benny Hill LOVED women and that he never wanted to upset anyone (I tried to point out the difference between artist and muse and an equal relationship) and one with someone who told me that if women had ‘excessive body hair’ they had too many male hormones and were not really women!!!!!
Never mind…one can only explain calmly once before an egress is sought.