Saturday, April 19, 2008

I'm off to pastures new

I havent really been giving this blog the attention I should, so am starting afresh with a new blog with a specifically anarchafeminist slant.
So long and thanks for all the fish.
Do please visit my new blog at http://www.feminismistheanswer.blogspot.com.

Friday, January 04, 2008

Defend The Abortion Act - Calling all pro-choice supporters

Defend the Abortion Act
Campaigning for a woman's right to decide
Public meeting - Wednesday 16th January 2008 7pm for a 7.30pm start Committee room 10, House of Commons
Nearest tube: Westminster
The meeting will hear a range of short contributions from invited speakers followed by time for contributions thoughts and ideas from the floor.
Speakers include:Baroness Joyce Gould; Baroness Jenny Tonge; Emily Thornberry MP; Katy Clark MP; Diane Abbott MP; Frances O'Grady, Deputy General Secretary TUC; Wendy Savage, Doctors for a Woman's Right to Choose on Abortion; Anni Marjoram, Policy Adviser to the Mayor of London; Alex Kemp, NUS Disabled Students' Campaign; Katherine Rake, director Fawcett Society;
Parliamentarians opposed to women’s right to choose on abortion would like to use the government’s Human Fertilisation and Embryology Bill, currently speeding through the House of Lords, to drive back abortion rights. Already, Baroness Masham has tabled an amendment to restrict abortion access. Other parliamentarians are expected to try to lower the legal abortion time limit from 24 to 20 or even 13 weeks. Any such restrictions would be devastating for women and must be defeated. Pro-choice MPs are also expected to table amendments to improve the law. These should be fully supported.
Please allow plenty of time to clear security on entering the Palace of Westminster and tell the police outside Parliament that you are attending a meeting sponsored by Emily Thornberry MP
The room is wheelchair accessible and has a hearing loop system. Please let us know of any additional access requirements.
This meeting will launch the pro-choice campaign around the Bill. Have your say and get involved – all pro-choice supporters welcome!
http://www.abortionrights.org.uk/

If you would like to attend, RSVP choice@abortionrights.org.uk

Sunday, December 30, 2007

Some musings on 2007

Well another years come and gone, and 2007 really has been a good one for me. My years like everyone elses I suppose are usually a smattering of ups and downs, with at least a couple of minor tragedies dominating. 2007 however has been a fantastic year for me and I hope it has for you too.
I spent the first part of the year pregnant with my second child. The miracle and wonder of life really hits when its happening inside your own body and this really was a fantastic time for me. July brought the birth of Maggie, yet another beautiful girlchild for me to love and since then I have been living on cloud nine. I love having children, and both of mine make me ecstatically happy. The fact that I planned for and had a home birth further adds to my sense of pride at what I've acheived this year. I'm so glad I'm a woman and have the chance to experience these things.
Feminism has also added greatly to my pleasure and sense of acheivement when I contemplate this year. Although I have been an active feminist for a long time and involved in various other issues and movements, by moving it up a level and joining the management committee of the Feminist Library I really have felt a fulfillment that was missing in my life. I had previously been volunteering at the library and when an emergency meeting was called to discuss the future of this precious and threatened feminist resource I decided to join the managment committee. As a result I have met and become friends with many amazing women, some of whom were and still are prominent in the womens liberation movement, I have visited other feminist resources such as Feminist Archive North, represented the library at gatherings, conferences and other feminist happenings like Feminist Fightback and Reclaim the Night, chaired an open meeting on the future of radical archives at the Anarchist Bookfair, been instrumental in forming a national network of radical libraries and archives and most importantly played a role in preserving the future of the Feminist Library for future generations and in doing so furthering the Feminist cause. The act of becoming involved in feminism is empowering in itself and I really have empowered myself this year.
So all in all its been a good year for me. I'm sure I've probably jinxed myself by going on about how great my life is and no doubt theres some dark event waiting around the corner for me, but hey thats life I suppose and theres no point dwelling on whats ahead. Although we live in a dark scarey world, I feel hope for the future and know that in 2008 I am going to spend even more of my time trying to make the world a better place. 2008 will be a year of revolution, so lets bring it on, the time is now!

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Twice as Nice

My life is twice as nice because of you
Given to me, born of me, mini me,
My child. Grow strong, be brave,
Life is hard sometimes and long.
You and your sister have made mine better,
I love you.

Friday, November 30, 2007

Reclaim the Night '07 photos




Here are some of my photos from Reclaim the Night '07. My camera is pretty shit I'm afraid and most of the photos I took didnt turn out. These are some of the better ones, but are still rather lame. Next year I will definitely try to get a better camera.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Reclaim the Night '07

Oh my gosh, what a fantastic night! Finn Mackay and the London Feminist Network have done it again. Reclaim the Night 07 was even bigger than last year and I reckon that there must have been close to two thousand women there, if not more. It was absolutely fantastic to see so many women marching and shouting against violence against women. It truely was an inspirational night and really motivated me to get even more active with my feminism.
The rally afterwards was so fantastic. I had a table for the Feminist Library and it really was a great opportunity to meet lots of feminists and make them aware of the librarys situation. All of the speakers at the rally were amazing, but in particular Kat the NUS Womens Officer was great, as was the woman from Bradfords Rape Crisis Centre. Finn Mackay though really rocked. She is such an inspirational woman and her speech was so rousing and motivational, the crowd loved her. With women like her around, and the mass of women she brought to central London on Saturday night, it really does make revolution seem possible.
I did take some photos but my camera really let me down, just like last year. I will try to post them over the next few days.

Friday, November 02, 2007

Home Birth - Our Story

On the 16th of July 2007, Maggie was born to us at home. I had decided I wanted to have a home birth before she was even conceived, and am really delighted that I had the opportunity to do so. This is the story of Maggies birth, I hope it will encourage others to consider the possibility of giving birth at home.
My first daughter Molly was born in hospital. Having read Janet Balaskas's "Active Birth" I had planned and prepared for a natural and active birth in hospital. Unfortunately it wasn't to be. I went into hospital 10 days after my due date to have an induction, fortunately however I went into labour myself without the need for intervention. My labour was very quick (i had been drinking gallonfuls of raspberry leaf tea) and also very painful, and the baby was showing signs of distress apparently. As a result I was hooked up to a monitor, and so had to lie on the delivery table throughout the labour, thus making my plans for an active birth impossible. However Mollys birth continued quickly on and she was delivered without the need for further intervention. Mollys birth was amazing and it was the best day of my life. However the hospital experience left me disappointed. I found it intimidating and impersonal, and the clinical setting really offputting and even scary.
Secondtime around I was in a much better position. Having already had a baby I knew what to expect from labour, and just how painful it can be. As soon as I got pregnant I began to mentally prepare myself for labour. I decided I wanted a homebirth, and although my partner was slightly anxious about it, he supported me 100 percent. When I went to the doctor to confirm my pregnancy and book my midwife, I told her that I wanted to give birth at home. She was really dismissive of me and my decision, and insisted that I would probably deliver in hospital anyway so it was best to book me in. I was prepared for this sort of reaction anyway, but she really did shit me up and make me think I was making a dangerous decision. Luckily however when I met my midwife Aggie she was completely supportive and really up for me having a homebirth. As an NHS midwife she doesnt often get the chance to assist at a homebirth, so she was really positive about it.
I had a fantastic pregnancy. The first time around i had tried to prepare myself physically for birth by doing loads of yoga and excercise, this time I realised that the key was actually psychological preparation. Pain is such a psychological thing and I knew that I could conquer pain if I faced up to and conquered my fear. I read loads of fantastic books such as "Spiritual Midwifery" and "Ina Mays Guide to Childbirth" by Ina May Gaskin, "Birth without Violence" by Frederick Leboyer, "Home Birth" by Sheila Kitzinger, and also read lots of peoples testimonies of homebirth online. These books and testimonies were fantastic because they really show another side to birth. We hear so many scary stories about labour and pain and medical intervention, that it leads us to fear birth and expect pain, thus leading to more pain and more likely medical intervention. I read lots of positive birth stories about women and their partners delivering their children without the need for medical intervention at home. I determined that I would not allow people to scare me into fearing the worst, that I would look forward to my labour instead of dreading it and even if it did hurt that I would not allow myself moan and give out. I knew that my body would allow me birth my baby naturally and that my midwife and partner would support me in my task. Every now and again I did have fleeting moments of fear, where I'd worry about whether I was putting my child and myself at risk by not having the baby at hospital, but I would always push the negative thoughts out of my head with positive affirmations about the wonder and capability of the female body.
And so 2 days after my due date, I awoke to a dull ache in my back like a bad period pain. I knew that today was the day. I told my partner and we started to get the bedroom ready. He had a meeting at nine so I told him to go and to come back afterwards. So Matt went off to his meeting and i had a long soak in the bath. My contractions had started getting more regular, so I got out and lay on the sitting room floor with Molly and waited for matthew to come back. He was back just over an hour later and we began to time the contractions. The contractions were coming every three minutes and lasting for about a minute, so we decided to ring the hospital to see could a midwife be sent out. Fortunately Aggie was on duty and said that she would come straight over. I got on with things as much as I could, stopping every few minutes to lean against the wall to succumb to a contraction. I did not scream or shout at all, even though it was quite painful. I felt really calm and in control and just allowed my body to go with it. Aggie arrived with all her equipment. They bring loads of stuff to cover every possibility. She checked me over, confirmed I was in labour and that I was 4 centimeters dialated. She decided to stay as delivery was probably imminent, and rang for backup. Thats another good thing about a homebirth, because it is perceived within the medical perfession as being slightly more highrisk they insist that 2 senior midwives always attend each homebirth and unlike in a hospital where you are sharing your midwife with lots of other women, at home you have both midwives just for you. They layed out all their equipment and just let me get on with it. It was so good to be just left alone with Matt to deal with the contractions. He would just rub my back throughout each contraction and it felt really good. I did not need any pain relief. We laughed a lot throughout the labour and really helped me to deal with it all. Labour is such an intense experience and it really can swallow you whole, but Matts jokes and pisstaking ways really centred me and allowed me let go in a controlled way. I am so proud of myself that I didnt start moaning or feeling sorry for myself. Just before one o clock Matthew had to take Molly to her nursery which is just around the corner.Even though he was only gone for about 10 minutes, it was a long and difficult 10 minutes and i really started to feel overwhelmed and a bit scared. I think I must of been in transition at this stage, hence the fear. The pain increased tenfold and was almost constant now. I decided to ask for the gas and air, even though I wanted to do it without any drugs. Matt was soon back and then the midwife decided to examine me again. She checked me and told us that I was almost fully dilated but there was a small lip of cervix over the babys head. Aggie tried to push this back, and this was very painful. However as soon as she did it, I felt an enormous uncontrollable urge to push. I told them that I needed to stand up, which I did. Matt stood behind me and held me up from under my arms. I started to push but got paranoid that I was going to poo myself. I had thought the same thing the first time around too. After some reassurances from the midwives and Matthew that it was ok and just to let go, I let go and bore down. The urge to push really is mental. You cannot fight it, its such a strong feeling. So I did one big push, and my babys head appeared between my legs. Aggie turned the babys shoulder, I did one more push and my baby was born. I collapsed on my bed, so glad that it was over. I was completely knackered and totally fucked. I had asked for my baby to be given to me immediately after birth, so they put my baby on my belly and we just lay there. The baby began to cry. A blanket was put over us and we stayed there for a few miniutes. I didnt want the cord cut until it had stopped pulsating and the babys breathing had been established. Matt couldnt face cutting the cord so I did it. As I cut the cord that connected the baby to me, I had a right cheesy moment and said something like "go free little one, be free", which really made us all laugh. Then one the other midwife took the baby to clean her up and I delivered the placenta. Aggie checked me for cuts, and I did have a small tear. She told me I could get a stitch if i wanted, but this would have meant that I would have to go to hospital so I decided not to get one. Altogether I was in labour for about 4 hours and had delivered a healthy baby girl weighing 8 lbs 7 ozs. The midwives got us both cleaned up, tidied up the bedroom, changed the sheets and made us a cp of tea. then after an hour or two they went and left us to it. It was fantastic to be in our own home. Molly came back from school and we began our life as a family together straight away. I was buzzing for days. I was so pleased with us all that we had done it ourselves, our way. I knew that my body wouldnt let me down and it didnt. Womens bodies are amazing things and I am so glad that I have been lucky enough to have experienced the opening of my womb twice.
So thats it, my experience of birth at home. i would recommend it to every woman, it really is an empowering experience. If you are positive about pregnancy, birth and beyond then there is no reason why you cannot have your child wherever you want. Statistics show that if you do chose to have a homebirth, you are less likely to have an induction, an episiotomy, or any medical intervention and you are also less likely to need to use powerful pain relieving drugs. And at the end of the day most of our sisters around the world do not have their children in hospitals.
So if youre reading this post and thinking about having a homebirth, then just do it. Dont be scared, just do it.

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Back Again

Its been a while but I'm back.
I took a few months off all things computerish, in order to focus on my family.
I am glad to announce that I gave birth to a baby girl on 16th of July. Her name is Maggie and she is fine. She weighed in at a healthy 8 lbs 7ozs and was born at home. We are all delighted with the new member of our family, and we hope she likes us too.

Friday, May 25, 2007

Summer Sprouting

Here are some photos of the latest crop from my garden, purple sprouting brocolli.....yummee!


Sunday, April 22, 2007

Last Trimester


I am now 6 months pregnant and in the final trimester, thankfully and I have been drinking cups and cups of Raspberry leaf tea (tones the uterus and encourages steady labour. Last time around I drank buckets of the stuff and as a result had a 5 hour labour which is short for the first child). Theres no denying I'm pregnant now, as I'm really quite big. Everything has been going well and I feel suprisingly good, albeit slightly tired. I still have no set ideas for a name, which is worrying me a bit. Dont want to be reduced to calling baby Junior.
Have decided to have a home birth, which I am quite excited about and my midwife is really supportive. So all in all am just trying to stay positive and not worry too much. I know I can do this, I've done it before afterall and I trust my body to do it.
Have been reading some really good books about birth which have really been inspiring me. Number one best childbirth book is "Birth Without Violence" by Frederick Leboyer. This is a really amazing and beautiful book and has really affected my view of birth. This is a definite must read for all mothers and fathers to be. "Ina Mays Guide to Childbirth" is another fantastic book which I have just read. This book is full of fantastic natural birth stories and has lots of fantastic guidance on coping with pain. She has another book "Spiritual Midwifery" which is supposed to be great too and which I am dying to read but have yet to get a copy.
I am starting to get really excited now and I cant wait to see this person living inside me.

Friday, March 30, 2007

Luton Town manager Mike Newell sacked finally.

Now I dont normally rejoice at the misfortune of others but I was quite pleased to hear that Mike Newell, manager of Luton Town Football Club, has been sacked. Mike Newell, you may remember, made extraordinarily sexist and public remarks about female officials in football (see my previous posts here and here.)
He wasnt sacked for being a misogynist, oh no, but for criticising the Board of Directors (all male I think we can safely assume). Still he's got what he deserved finally and that makes me happy.

I haven't been ignoring you....

Haven't been on in a while coz life has just been incredibly busy. What with painting the house (early nesting instinct I think), loads of work to do in the garden (spring has sprung), work and various other things I just havent had a chance to even look at this blog. I still dont really have anything worthy of blogging about so I am going to leave you with a few pictures of the last of my leeks which I pulled from the garden last week. They looked and tasted beautiful!

Thursday, March 08, 2007

International Womens Day

To all my sisters and brothers, Happy International Womens Day.













Unite today for justice tomorrow.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Plane crash in Indonesia

Am really upset to read that there was an Air Garuda plane crash in beautiful Yogyakarta in Indonesia yesterday. 49 people are suspected to have died, although over a hundred escaped alive. This comes the day after a massive earthquake rocked the Indonesian island of Sumatra killing at least 71 and injuring hundreds more. There just seems to be one disaster after another in this beautiful yet impoverished country. How much more can these people take?
Read about some of my experiences in Indonesia here.

Declining populations is linked to discrimination against mothers in the workplace

Quite an interesting article here about declining Western populations.

Thursday, March 01, 2007

Hats off to Hackney - for a change!!!

Hats off to Hackney council who from tomorrow are introducing compulsory recycling. Residents will be fined up to £1000 if they do not make use of their green recycling boxes. Although I'm sure many people will complain and look upon this as draconian, I think it is a great idea and really applaud Hackney council for making this decision to force people to recycle. Hackney has one of the worst recycling rates in Britain, with Britain having the worst rates in Europe. As an avid recycler I know that it does not take much time or effort to recycle. In fact it has never been easier to recycle a vast range of resources. Yet many people simply cannot be bothered and these people are, in my opinion, selfish and lazy and dont give a shit about the world, its people and our future so the only way to get through to them is through their pocket. So let them pay £1000, fine them more! It doesnt cost anything to recycle and it doesnt take much time, but it really can make a big difference and in this stage of our history it really is the least we can do.

well it had to be really

Your Blog Should Be Green

Your blog is smart and thoughtful - not a lot of fluff.
You enjoy a good discussion, especially if it involves picking apart ideas.
However, you tend to get easily annoyed by any thoughtless comments in your blog.

Equalities review explodes the myth that todays women have it all

Yesterdays Equalities Review reported the shocking (not so shocking to us who experience sex discrimination daily) truth about discrimination in this country. The Review reports that inequality in this country remains at an "intolerable" level and that new impetus is needed to break down "entrenched" inequalities which are holding back groups such as working mothers, the disabled and ethnic minorities. The report also found that women with young children suffered the most discrimination at work, with mothers with a child under the age of 11 nearly 50% less likely to be recruited than a man. The report also cites a survey which found that three quarters of recruitment agencies had been asked by clients to avoid hiring pregnant women or those of childbearing age.
While the truths revealed in this report may come as a shock to the government and society at large, most women have known about and been living with these facts all of their lives and know that discrimination in employment is only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the discrimination and downright misogeny we are facing because of our sex. The one thing that is damning about this report is the fact that despite equality legislation and so-called equal opportunites in this country, society does not seem to have changed, especially for women, the disabled and ethnic minorities. And if you happen to belong to all of these categories and are a disabled woman of colour with a young child then what chance do you have of fair treatment in society. Unbelievably there are some people, mostly men, who think that women have never had it better and that feminism belongs to the past, well, hopefully this report will highlight for them the truth about sexism and awaken within them the flames of feminism.


Economic Inequalities - The Facts
  • Women receive on average just 54 pence for every £1 of income received by men.

  • The average man in a pensioner couple receives £261 a week - the average woman £119.

  • Women in full-time employment spend nearly 30% more time on childcare than men in full-time employment.
  • Benefits make up 21% of the average woman's income and just 8% of the average man's income.
Facts from the Fawcett Society

Monday, February 26, 2007

One year to save the feminist library - Press Release

"At an emergency meeting of the Feminist Library management committee, volunteers and supporters, it has been decided to give ourselves a year to try and keep the collection together. If no suitable home - either autonomous or as part of another organisation - is found for the library by February 2008, the collection will be split up and dispersed to suitable libraries and archives across the country, and the Feminist Library as an organisation will be dissolved. Despite the efforts of a number of dedicated volunteers, and a change in management, the library has not been able to get itself out of the crisis induced in 2003 by a sudden vast increase in its rent. The Feminist Library management committee decided to call an emergency meeting in a last ditch attempt to garner support from the feminist community to stop this valuable collection of many thousands of books, pamphlets and ephemera collected since 1975 from being lost. At the well-attended meeting, held on 24 February, a great deal of support was voiced for the library, and it was decided to make one last attempt to save the collection. Seven new volunteers came forward to join the management committee. Taking guidance from the meeting, that the library should retain its autonomy if possible, the reinvigorated management committee will give itself a year to explore the various options and see if it is possible to retain a viable feminist library, either independently, or within another organisition. In addition, a number of volunteers put themselves forward at the meeting to open the library to the public once again, carry out administrative duties and put together a new website. One member of the management committee, Gail Chester, said: "It was gratifying to see such a strong turn out of feminists who support the library and want us to keep going." Jess McCabe, who also sits on the management committee, added: "The feminist community has demonstrated it wants us to keep on plugging away at keeping the library open, and that's what we intend to do." "

If there is anyone reading this blog who can offer any sort of help to the Feminist Library please contact me. What we really need is a viable and affordable space to house the collection, financial assistance, publicity and volunteer womanpower. If there are any skills or time that you believe that you could offer, it would be greatly appreciated. This is the last chance to save this valuable resource and piece of history for future generations.

Friday, February 16, 2007

Last chance to save the Feminist Library, London.

LAST CHANCE TO SAVE YOUR FEMINIST LIBRARY

The management committee of the Feminist Library is calling an emergency meeting on Saturday 24th February 2007 to decide on whether to close the library for good. This meeting is a last ditch attempt to rally feminists to support our library and, if we are not able to come up with a solution, to discuss finding another suitable home for the collection. Those of you who have not been in touch for a while might like to know that the collection now also includes 75 boxes of material that was the Women's Health Library that we rescued from being thrown in a skip over the summer.

For a number of years the Feminist Library has existed in a state of permanent emergency, with a dwindling number of volunteers to take part in running the library, a precarious financial situation, uncertainty about its location, and a lack of womanpower to pursue crucial funding applications.

The current group of volunteers is no longer able to sustain the situation, and the library will be forced to close without an injection of new volunteers. Therefore the meeting will have a dual function: to decide on whether or not the library will continue to stay open, and to gather experience, advice and new volunteers to reinvigorate the management committee, or help the committee find a suitable home for the collection if the decision is taken to close.

The meeting will take place at 11am at the Feminist Library on Saturday 24th February. There will be the opportunity to look around the library and to chat to us, followed by a more formal discussion. The building is wheelchair accessible. Please do let us know if you have any special access requirements.

Please distribute this invitation to attend as widely as possible. Feedback from the many feminist groups and individuals who have an interest in the library is very important to us, as well as the need to get extra help.

As a basis for discussion at the meeting, we are preparing a short document on the library's current plight and what our future options could be. If you would like to receive a copy before the meeting, or have other questions, or are considering volunteering, please contact us by email (feministlibraryappeal@gmail.com) or post

(Feminist Library, 5 Westminster Bridge Road, London SE1 7XW). If you wish to speak to us by phone, please include your phone number in your message and we will get back to you as quickly as possible, although it may take a few days.

RSVP is preferred but not essential.

Yours

Charlotte, Gail, Jess and Polly on behalf of
the current management committee

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

David Cameron smoked weed apparently.....so what!


So Tory leader David Cameron apparently smoked a few joints when attending posh public school Eton almost 3 decades ago. David Cameron refused to comment, but did not deny the fact that he had narrowly missed expulsion from the school because he had admitted to the Headmaster that he had only smoked it and not sold it. Here in Britain no-one seems too perturbed that the leader of the conservative party, who you would think be completely zero-tolerant on drugs, had smoken cannabis and been busted for it while a student and the Home-Secretary John Reid, himself responsible for the criminal justice system in Britain publicly stated "so what" to these allegations. So what is going on with that? The fact of the matter is, I believe, that the majority of people under 40 in this country have at some point smoked cannabis and really do not consider it a harmful drug. In the UK a lot of people, particularly young people, smoke cannabis regularly and manage to live particularly normal lives, going to work, studying, bringing up children. I am not denying that for a few people there can be quite bad side-effects, but for the majority of pot-smokers, cannabis enhances their life. Its not something that everyone enjoys, but then they dont have to do it. So I think its time that we woke up to the fact that there are millions of people everyday breaking the law in this country and smoking joints in the comfort of their own home. They are not a threat to themselves or society, and are not indulging in anti-social behaviour, unlike those who chose alcohol as their drug of choice. So the time has come, I believe, to follow the Dutch example and decriminalise cannabis. Lets go even further and legalise it.

The Campaign To Legalise Cannabis Association

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Just when we thought the Great British winter was gone forever...

After one of the warmest Januarys in England ever, Winter finally arrived today and it really was a lovely sight. I think this is the first time in the ten years that I have lived in London that I have seen proper, fluffy, beautiful snow, that has actually stuck and stayed for longer than an hour or two.
We made 2 snowpeople and had lots of snowball fights. It was great. I love Winter.

Friday, February 02, 2007

Terror hits Britain again......allegedly.

British media has gone completely mad again about the news of another alleged terror plot in Britain. Nine muslim men were arrested a couple of days ago in after a 6 month surveillance operation. They were apparently days away from actioning a plan to murder a muslim member of the British army.
All the tv news have been headlining with this story, and none seem to have learned the lessons of previous recent terror raid fiascos such as the Forest Gate incidents. Nowhere is the word "alleged" been used. Nothing has been proved against these men, yet the mainstream media, nevermind the tabloids, are acting like this plot is a fact. Some have even compared life in Britain to that of life in Baghdad, all murders, kidnappings, beheadings, carbombs etc. What a fucking joke, excuse my language please but it really does do my head in. I cant even watch the news at the moment without wanting to throw it out the window.
The media should be dealing with the real story of terrorism in this country that being the fact the hundreds of thousands, maybe even millions of women in this country are living in constant terror because of aggressive partners. Domestic violence is still going unchecked by the police and only 1 in every 20 reported rapes is resulting in conviction in this country because of failures by police and the justice system. Where are the dawn raids and high profile arrests of the many women batterers, rapists and murderers that are at large in our society? When are the police going to start acting on reports of domestic violence and when are womens complaints against their stalkers going to be listened to? Nothing is going to improve while police resources are being wasted and squandered on alleged terrorist plots that come to nothing.

Monday, January 22, 2007

Blog for choice.

Blog for Choice Day - January 22, 2007

Blog for Choice.

A lot of blogs are blogging today about the issues surrounding female reproductive rights and our non-negotionable right to absolute control of our own bodies.
Pro-choice for me entails the political and ethical view that a woman should have total control of her fertility and pregnancy, and this include the right to access to sexual education, contraception, fertility treatments, safe and legal abortion and protection from forced abortion.
Although it is a basic feminist tenet that every woman has the right to control her own reproductive life in whatever way she see fit, abortion is one of the most emotive issues of the modern womens movement.
As with any issue there are varying opinions and degrees of support for when a woman can have an abortion. Many "pro-choice activists believe that women should have access to safe and legal abortion and, equally, that women should be protected from forced abortions. Some see abortion as a last resort, and focus on a number of situations where they feel abortion is a necessary option. Among these situations are those where the woman was raped, her health or life (or that of the fetus) is at risk, contraception was used but failed, or she feels unable to raise a child. Some pro-choice moderates, who would otherwise be willing to accept certain restrictions on abortion, feel that political pragmatism compels them to oppose any such restrictions, as they could be used to form a slippery slope against all abortions."(Wikipedia)
Myself, personally, I belive that a woman has the right to safe and legal abortion whatever the circumstances and reasons. It is not up to us to decide whether a woman is morally correct in choosing a termination, it is not up to a doctor or government to say when abortion is appropriate, it is up to the woman who is pregnant. It is her body and it is she who will be carrying a child, and her alone who will be deciding the fate of any child which may be born, and as such it is her absolute right to decide whether to continue or terminate a pregnancy. It is not up to others to judge a woman on her decision, merely to respect it.
Living in Britain I feel priviledged to live in a pro-choice country where women have access to sex education, free contraception and free, legal and safe abortion, (although I have heard in recent days that due to NHS cutbacks women are being told to postpone abortions until after 31st March because there is not enough funding). Women in Britain can also receive counselling before and after abortion if they want it. There is also support for women who may chose to continue pregnancy in difficult situations, such as being a young teenager, or a single woman, or a victim of violence or rape. As such women in this country are lucky that the law and medical profession do support our choices, although there are some who would like to our legal right to choice taken from us.
I was born and brought up in a country where womens right to choice did not exist. Although possible to get contraception, in Ireland abortion was completely illegal and hundreds and thousands of women had to leave the country every year often without anyone to support them, to get an abortion in Britain. Women did not only not have the right to chose what happened to their bodies but also did not have the right to information about abortion. Family planning clinics, doctors, magazines were forbidden from providing any information about abortion to Irelands women, so if women needed to get an abortion they had to glean what information they could from friends and numbers on toilet doors. Throughout the years many women also died from getting backstreet abortions. Things have changed in Ireland now, but not much. Women now have the right to information about abortion, but unless a womans life is endangered by a pregnancy it is still illegal to get an abortion in Ireland. So still every year women have to leave the country to get an abortion. Women do not have the right to make decisions about their bodies in Ireland, they do not have the right to choice and the government, church and medical profession are complicit in making our choices illegal.
I am sure that there are many places around the world where women do not have the right to chose what happens to our bodies, and in many places where womens rights are protected by law there are those who want to take them away. It is up to each one of us to fight against this and make sure that everywhere womens rights to choice are protected forever.
Hands off our bodies!

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Carphone Warehouse drop Sponsership deal with Celebrity Big Brother.

Am glad to see that the Carphone Warehouse have suspended their sponsership agreement with Celebrity Big Brother over "alleged" racist bullying by Jade Goody et al. Having watched the programme and heard the comments made by Jade, Jo and Danielle there is no doubt in my mind that the comments they made were extremely racist and I'm delighted that so many people in this country have complained.
It does however make me sad, to see women behave in this way. A lot of people feel, myself included, that when women are in groups competitiveness can often rear its ugly head, with certain women banding together and using bullying and intimidation against another scapegoated woman as a means for group bonding and preservation. I realise that such scapegoating can and does occur among male and mixed groups, however among women it does seem to be a problem. I'm sure that this is probaly some sort of learned strategy which is a result of centuries of oppression whereby we become insecure and therefore competitive about our looks and our ability to get a man, however it is something that we as women have to face and get over.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

January nights warmer than July!


Apparently nights this month in Britain have been warmer than they were during last summers record-breaking July. Night temperatures so far in January have reached 12.6 degrees centigrade compared with an average of 12 degrees last July. Typical night-time temperatures at this time of year average out at just 1.5 degrees centigrade.
Climate change is really happening and is happening now, but most people are still not willing to do anything about it. When are people going to wake up to the reality of climate change and realise that we are destroying this planet for everyone and everything? Altering all our lifesyles in an extreme way is all we can do and we need to do it now. People need to stop buying things and start growing more.

Book Tag

I was book tagged by Sparkle*Matrix 28 days ago, and unfortunatly because I have been having problems viewing her blog have only realised now. Sorry Sparkle.

The instructions:
Find the nearest book.
Turn to page 123.
Go to the fifth sentence on the page.
Copy out the next three sentences and post to your blog.
Name the book and the author, and tag three more folks.

The book I am currently reading in The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying, by Sogyal Rinpoche.

"Ego is so clever that it can twist the teachings for its own purposes; after all, "The devil can quote scriptures for its own ends." Ego's ultimate weapon is to point its finger hypocritically at the teacher and his followers and say: "No one around here seems to be living to the truth of the teachings!" Now ego poses as the righteous arbiter of all conduct: the shrewdest position of all from which to undermine your faith, and erode whatever devotion and commitment to spiritual change you have."

I tag oestre-bunny, Anji, and Maia.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

The Red Tent, by Anita Diamant


I read an absolutly amazing book over the christmas called The Red Tent by Anita Diamant and have got to say that it really is a great read. Its the sort of book that you really cant put down.

The book is set in biblical times and is the story of Dinah, who is briefly mentioned in the bible, who is the daughter of Jacob, and the sister of many brothers, the most famous being Joseph of technicolour dreamcoat fame and later to become King of Egypt. The red tent is the place where women gathered during their cycles of birthing, menses and even illness. Like the conversations and mysteries held within this feminine tent, this sweeping piece of fiction offers a look at the daily life of a biblical sorority of mothers and wives and their one and only daughter Dinah. Told in her voice we are privy to the fascinating feminine characters that bled within the red tent and the traditions and turmoils of ancient womanhood. In a confiding and poetic voice, Dinah whispers stories of her four mothers, Rachel, Leah, Zilpah, and Bilhah--all wives to Jacob. As she reveals these sensual and emotionally charged stories we learn of birthing miracles, slaves, artisans, household gods, and sisterhood secrets and eventually Dinah delves into her own saga of betrayals, grief, and a call to midwifery.

This really is a beautiful and intimate book and I would definetly recommend it as a feminist must-read.

New year, new life.

Another year ends, another begins and now I have to try to get used to saying 2007.
This year looks like its going to be an exciting time for me and my clan because I am 13 weeks and 4 days pregnant...hooray and as I am now officially over the 3 month marker I feel its time to spread the good news.
Dont worry though I dont intend to bore everyone with every little detail of my pregnancy but do expect general rants and musings on motherhood, childbirth, the nhs, the creative power of women, life, the universe and everything. Also am having difficulty coming up with names for boys so if anyone has any suggestions then please let me know. I like unusual, old, celtic, hippyish, natural and just generally beautiful names, so if you know some let me know.

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Happy New Year

Happy New Year to all of my readers, i wish all 5 of you a great 2007.

Housework cuts breastcancer risk.....apparently

Apparently women who fail to keep up with their household chores will be punished with cancer.
Is the same true for men, will housework reduce their chances of contracting cancer?

Friday, December 15, 2006

Urgent Call to Action - Save the Feminist Library, London.

The Feminist Library
5 Westminster Bridge Road, London SE1 7XW
Email: feministlibraryappeal@gmail.com
Myspace: www.myspace.com/feministlibrary

December 2006

LAST CHANCE TO SAVE YOUR FEMINIST LIBRARY

Dear Feminists

The management committee of the Feminist Library is calling an emergency meeting on Saturday 24th February 2007 to decide on whether to close the library for good. This meeting is a last ditch attempt to rally feminists to support our library and, if we are not able to come up with a solution, to discuss finding another suitable home for the collection. Those of you who have not been in touch for a while might like to know that the collection now also includes 75 boxes of material that was the Women's Health Library that we rescued from being thrown in a skip over the summer.

For a number of years the Feminist Library has existed in a state of permanent emergency, with a dwindling number of volunteers to take part in running the library, a precarious financial situation, uncertainty about its location, and a lack of womanpower to pursue crucial funding applications.

The current group of volunteers is no longer able to sustain the situation, and the library will be forced to close without an injection of new volunteers. Therefore the meeting will have a dual function: to decide on whether or not the library will continue to stay open, and to gather experience, advice and new volunteers to reinvigorate the management committee, or help the committee find a suitable home for the collection if the decision is taken to close.

The meeting will take place at 11am at the Feminist Library on Saturday 24th February. There will be the opportunity to look around the library and to chat to us, followed by a more formal discussion.

Please distribute this invitation to attend as widely as possible. Feedback from the many feminist groups and individuals who have an interest in the library is very important to us, as well as the need to get extra help.

As a basis for discussion at the meeting, we are preparing a short document on the library's current plight and what our future options could be. If you would like to receive a copy before the meeting, or have other questions, or are considering volunteering, please contact us by email (feministlibraryappeal@gmail.com) or post (Feminist Library, 5 Westminster Bridge Road, London SE1 7XW). If you wish to speak to us by phone, please include your phone number in your message and we will get back to you as quickly as possible, although it may take a few days.

RSVP is preferred but not essential.

Yours

Charlotte, Gail, Jess and Polly on behalf of
the current management committee

Registered Charity no. 272410
Copies of our equal opportunities policy and access details are available on request.

I am a volunteer at the Feminist Library and I can tell you that it really is an amazing resource and it would be criminal if it were to completely close. Please try to help in whatever way possible.

Call To Action - Reclaim the Night Ipswich December 29th.

Friends,

After the bodies of 5 sex workers were found murdered within 10 days of
each other and the police advising women to stay at home we call you to...

********RECLAIM THE NIGHT - 29TH DECEMBER - 7PM ONWARDS - IPSWICH TOWN
HALL STEPS*******
***

WE HAVE COMRADES VISITING ARRIVING FROM ALL OVER THE COUNTRY TO SHOW
THEIR LOVE AND SOLIDARITY; IF YOU ARE ABLE TO OFFER TRANSPORT OR WOULD
LIKE IT PLEASE CONTACT US AND WE WILL TRY OUR HARDEST TO ORGANISE LIFT
SHARES ETC.

IF YOU REQUIRE ACCOMODATION BEFORE OR AFTER LET US KNOW ASAP AND IT WILL
BE PROVIDED (THOUGH THE QUALITY MIGHT NOT BE GREAT!)

PLEASE BRING BANNERS, FOOD TO SHARE, YOUR THOUGHTS, EXPERIENCES, LOVE,
FRIENDS.

****THIS WILL NOT BE RESTRICTED TO A WOMEN ONLY EVENT****

TELL EVERYONE YOU KNOW!

FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT ipswichqueers@yahoo.co.uk or call TUMBLE
WEED ON 07877 368456 OR STARGAZER ON 07759 068391

(if you are planning on coming; it would be wonderful if you could
contact us so we can get an idea of numbers)

For those in the Ipswich Area we DESPERATELY need your help in
organising this potentially mammoth event; please meet us at Cafe
Direct, Suffolk College at 7pm Monday 18th December (for directions use
the above numbers)

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Serial Woman Killer Still at Large in Ipswich.

Am absolutly devastated to hear that the bodies of another two women were found in Ipswich yesterday afternoon. Five womens bodies have been found in the past 6 weeks, so without doubt the women of Ipswich are dealing with a seriously dangerous woman-hater. The women who have been named as Tania Nicol, 19, Gemma Adams, 25, Anneli Alderton, 24, Annette Nicholls, 29 and Paula Clennell, 24, all worked as street prostitutes.
These women turned to prostitution in order to pay for their heroin and crack addictions. Apparently 95% of all street prostitutes work to feed serious hard drug addictions. These women are so vunerable and so desperate for money that it makes it so easy for men to prey on them. Why else, unless desperate, would any woman get into a car with a strange man who wants to use them for sex and worse. And why would a man, any man, chose to pay a woman for sex who blatantly doesnt want to be there but is just trying to feed her habit? I just dont get it, I cannot understand why men go to prostitutes. Prostitutes have always been at risk from their punters, many are raped, beaten, robbed, and even murdered, but society just turns a blind eye to it. The fact that men go to prostitutes is seen as normal male behaviour and prostitution as a necessary evil. It is only when something like this happens that people show any sort of concern for the thousands of prostitutes in Britain who are getting into strangers cars every night. And when this is all over and the killer is caught, I'm pretty sure that everyone will go back to not caring about what really happens on our streets at night.
I really hope that this man is going to get caught soon before any more women get hurt or die.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Love Of My Life

Had another poem published. Its in a collection of poems called "Mystic Melodies" which is published by United Press.


Love Of My Life
Lying on the Sofa asleep
Your innocent beauty
Makes me weep
So deep and cute and wise and gentle
Often churlish, temperamental
Nine months of hormones, fear and strife
Bears fruit of my womb
Love of my life
Four years on, time passed in a blink
Darling daughter, you've made me think
How lucky and blessed and loved am I
To have and know you, Molly, apple of my eye.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Plane makes emergency landing because of bad flatulance.

Funny story here about an American Airlines plane which had to make an emergency landing in Nashville, USA after passengers smelled sulphur. It turned out that a passenger had done a really bad fart and tried to cover up the smell by striking some matches. The woman did not come clean and as a result all the passengers had to disembark, the canine team were brought in and all the luggage had to be removed and searched.The woman who had an "unspecified medical condition" finally confessed when questioned by the FBI and released without charge.
The poor thing, how embarrassing is that!

Friday, December 01, 2006

The Magdalen Sisters and the devastation wreaked on women by the Catholic Church.

Last night I watched the amazing yet harrowing film The Magdalen Sisters. This film is the true life story of several women who were victims of one of the biggest crimes ever perpetrated against women in Ireland by the Catholic Church.
The Magdalen Asylums have a hundred and fifty year history in Ireland and were set up by the Catholic Church as a place to house Irelands fallen women. Prostitutes, unmarried mothers, women with mental health issues, and women who were perceived as having dubious morals were all sent there in order to seek penitance and rehabilitation. The asylums became prison-like institutions run by nuns and the many women who were forced to live there survived in horrendous conditions. They were forced into hard-labour, often washing clothes, hence the name Magdalen Laundries, which had to be done in strict silence and they were often physically as well as emotionally punished for perceived crimes. Once forced into the asylum women were not allowed to leave , and many spent their whole lives there forever marked as a "sinner". it is estimated that over 30, 000 women passed through these prisons over their 150 year history and the last Magdalen Laundry only shut in 1996.
Although most people in Ireland knew of the laundries, people were not really aware of what went on in them. There was a culture of silence and shame, and in Irelands sexually repressive culture these Laundries kept undesirable women out of sight and out of mind. In 1999 the scandal finally hit the headlines when a former Laundry was bought by a property developer and 133 women were found in unmarked graves. It was only then that the Irish people awoke to the tradgedy in our midst. Hundreds of survivors came forward with stories of imprisonment and trauma, physical, mental and sexual abuse and a lifetime of psycological problems as a result of the treatment at the hands of the church.
The stories of the Magdalen women really really makes me sad and so very angry. It is difficult to truelly understand the effect that the Roman Catholic Church has had on Ireland and its people, culture, society and history. I dont even think that we Irish truelly appreciate the effect that the church has had on our psyche. And as for the effect on women and their lives, Irish women are still living in the shadow of repression created by the church and maintained by society.
it is still illegal for a woman to get an abortion in Ireland unless there is a threat to her life and every year thousands of women travel to england to terminate pregnancy. In 1992 the attorney general attempted to stop a 14 year old suicidal rape victim from going to England for an abortion. Known as the X-Case this sparked controversy in Ireland and resulted in the law being ammended to allow abortion only when there is a risk to the life of the mother. Up until that point it was also illegal for people to give out information about abortion and how to obtain them abroad. British womens magazines arrived in Ireland with pages blanked out that may have contained information about family planning clinics, abortion and counselling clinics. However in 1992 this was changed as the ban on information violated provisions in the Maastricht Treaty. So now in Ireland you may get information about abortion but may not have one in Ireland.
This is the climate and culture that I grew up in, and little girls are being born into it everyday. Ireland is such a religious country. Catholicism is shoved down your throat from the moment youre born. Everybody is christianed and goes to mass every sunday, everyone learns about their religion everyday in school and makes their Holy Communion at 6 and is Confirmed at 12. Every night at 6 the Bells of the Angelus are played on the main tv stations so that everyone can stop what they are doing and prey and after the last programme at night there is the evening prayer. I dont think people who have not lived in Ireland realise the true extent of the influence of religion in Ireland and how widespread its power is. Although Ireland is a great place, there is a very repressive underside to it. Difference is stamped out at an early age, and although everybody appears quite happy and jolly, the truth is high levels of depression, suicide, alcoholism, drug addiction, violence eTC.
It became apparent to me as i grew up how dogmatic and prescriptive catholicism was and when I was around 18 I fully accepted that I did not believe in Christianity or any form of organised religion. i cant believe that I was duped by it for so long, but I had been brainwashed from an early age. i'm so glad I can see clearly now, although I do find it strange that so many people blindly follow prescriptive faiths, instead of using their brain and finding their own way through life. Anyway I'm going to shut up now before I upset people with my anti-religion rants. I do respect peoples right to religion, but at the same time I hope people will respect my right to be anti-religion.
Anyway anyone who has not seen the film The Magdalen Sisters, watch it coz it really is an eyeopener.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Reclaim the Night 2006

Oh my God, what a fantastic event.
Reclaim the Night was absolutly fantastic and i am so glad that I went. it was really empowering to join up with so many fantastic women of all ages and shout about the things that really matter to us. There was at least a thousand women there I would say, probably more and it really made me feel very proud to be a part of such a strong and vocal march against violence, rape and social harrassment against women. I nearly shed a few tears, it touched me so much. We got so much support from passers-by, it was great. Bring on Reclaim the Night '07!!
Below are some of my photos.Unfortunatly their quality is not that good as my flash is pretty crap.
















Alan Carr - Rest In Peace

I was very sad to hear today that Alan Carr, author of the Easy Way to Stop Smoking died last night aged 73 of cancer. I feel like I knew this man very well although I had never met him. His revolutionary book The Easy Way to Stop Smoking helped me and many of my friends free ourselves from the scourge that is nicotine addiction. It is conservatively estimated that he helped over 10 million smokers quit in a pain-free and easy way. His book enabled me to kick an eleven year habit and anybody I've met who has read this book has had complete and immediate success in freeing themselves from the tobacco trap. So Alan Carr i'd just like wish you well wherever you are now and thank you for the great thing you have done for me. I swear I will never smoke again.
If there is anyone out there who is desperate to quit smoking then I would definetly recommend using this book, it really will work.

Friday, November 24, 2006

Sexism in Football


Luton manager Mike Newell has not lost in job over his outrageously sexist remarks about women in football. He has been severely reprimanded and been forced to make a public apology, however suprise suprise he has got away with it. If he had made racist or homophobic remarks i am sure he would have been sacked but as it was only women that he was slagging off no further action will be taken. What a fucking joke!!!!

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Vulva Liberation Week

Maia, Erika and a few other bloggers are participating in a Vulva Liberation Week, basically a week-long on-line festival and celebration of the female genitalia. Maia has started a tag, based around the Vagina Monologues by Eve Ensler and Erika has tagged me so her are my answers.


1. If your vulva got dressed, what would it wear?
Jeans, trainers, t-shirt, woolly socks, just like me.

2. If your vulva could talk, what would it say? (in two words)
"Love Me"

3. What's special about your vulva?
I love the way its so multi-functional.

4. What two words would you use to describe your vulva?
warm, safe

5. When did you get your first period? What was it like?
I got my first period when I was ten. I was staying at my dads at the time so had to talk to him about it. He was chuffed and gave me the old "now you're a woman" talk. He was really supportive though and help me to realise what a special and positive thing menstruation is.

6. What does a vulva smell like?
Not really sure, like me I suppose.

7. What does a vulva look like?
To me it looks like some sort of crazy meaty organ, all holes, and folds and bumps. It always suprises me whenever I catch a glimpse of it coz it is quite wierd looking. I like it though!

8. If your vulva could choose a name for you, what would it choose?
This is a bit of a wierd question. I suppose it might call me Love or Venus or something like that.

Not sure who I can really tag on this one as I suspect most of my visiters have done it already.

Reclaim the Night 2006

Just another reminder that Reclaim the Night is happening this Saturday in London. Assemble at 6 in Trafalgar Square for a rally, and then a march through central London.
Come on ladies, lets make this massive!!!
Hopefully I will have loads of pictures of the event to post next week.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

£25 London Congestion Charge for 4x4 vehicles.



Thanks to Korova for reminding me about this.

Ken Livingston has announced the congestion chage for 4x4 vehicles is likely to rise to around £25. I am delighted by this news. Not only are they ugly monstrosities and extremely dangerous to pedestrians, cyclists and all road users if you happen to get hit by one, but they are extremely environmentally damaging. There seems to be more and more of these vehicles on Londons roads and I just dont see the point. Obviously if you have a large family then they may be necessary for you, but why do other people need them. Whats the likelihood of having to go off-road in London, practically nil I'd say? if you can afford to buy one of these monstrosities and dont care about the cost to the environment which we all share then in my opinion you can afford to pay the proposed £25 a day congestion charge. it should be even higher I think.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Sexism in Football

Posted on London 3rd Wave Feminists website;

"These comments by the Luton manager Mike Newell about a female assistant referee were reported on the BBC website this week (after his team lost, needless to say):
"She should not be here. I know that sounds sexist, but I am sexist, so I am not going to be anything other than that."
"We have a problem in this country with political correctness, and bringing women into the game is absolutely beyond belief."
"It is bad enough with the incapable referees and linesmen we have, but if you start bringing in women, you have big problems."
"This is Championship football. This is not park football, so what are women doing here? It is tokenism for the politically-correct idiots."
My boyfriend, who forwarded me the story, has written to the FA to complain. I thought some of us might like to do the same; I've attached his letter as it laid out what FA Rules were being violated etc.There are signs that the FA may take action, see today's articlehttp://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/football/teams/l/luton_town/6140922.stmbut I think its worth writing anyway.- Alice

To whom it may concern,
I would like to register a complaint and request further investigation with potential disciplinary action regarding the comments made by Mike Newell Luton manager, which I am sure you are already familiar with. I will quote Newell in full (as quoted on BBC website):re: assistant referee Amy Rayner:"She should not be here. I know that sounds sexist, but I am sexist, so I am not going to be anything other than that."
"We have a problem in this country with political correctness, and bringing women into the game is absolutely beyond belief."
"It is bad enough with the incapable referees and linesmen we have, but if you start bringing in women, you have big problems."
"This is Championship football. This is not park football, so what are women doing here? It is tokenism for the politically-correct idiots."
Under Football Association Rules 2006-2007, Section E, Part 4:"A Participant shall not carry out any act which is discriminatory by reason of ethnic origin,colour, race, nationality, religion, sex, sexual orientation or disability."My complaints are as follows:Firstly, I would request investigation of these comments, especially given that Newell acknowledges that he is sexist. and is therefore clearly in contravention of aforementioned FA rules.I feel that the FA have done marvellous work in helping to eradicate racism in football. However, equal action against all the forms of discrimination in the game is an issue where policy is deficient and should be redressed. Imagine if these comments had been made about coloured linesmen? Would the FA respond in the same manner as in this case? I believe they should but I regret that I don't believe that this would occur, which is a sign both of the progress made with racism but also the highly undeveloped campaign against sexual and other forms of discrimination in football.Following on from the previous complaint and simply to illustrate this point, why does the following contact list: http://www.thefa.com/TheFA/ContactUs/Postings/2005/03/Contact_Us.htm , neglect to include referral forms for other forms of discriminatory treatment other than racism?I look forward to seeing what action the FA take in this matter in the coming days. Hopefully you will have received other complaints and will be moved to act.
Thanks for your time, "

Cant believe that a football professional actually went on record to spout such mysogynism, well actually I can. Men like this with opinions like this obviously believe that such sexism is beyond reproach and criticism. I for one will be following Alices boyfriends example and making a complaint to the FA. I urge all readers to do the same. Copy and paste this letter and email to FootballforAll@TheFA.com .

Monday, November 13, 2006

Which Tarot Card are you?

Courtesy of Sparklematrix and Maia.

I am the Hermit.








You are The Hermit



Prudence, Caution, Deliberation.



The Hermit points to all things hidden, such as knowledge and inspiration,hidden enemies. The illumination is from within, and retirement from participation in current events.



The Hermit is a card of introspection, analysis and, well, virginity. You do not desire to socialize; the card indicates, instead, a desire for peace and solitude. You prefer to take the time to think, organize, ruminate, take stock. There may be feelings of frustration and discontent but these feelings eventually lead to enlightenment, illumination, clarity.



The Hermit represents a wise, inspirational person, friend, teacher, therapist. This a person who can shine a light on things that were previously mysterious and confusing.



What Tarot Card are You?
Take the Test to Find Out.

Friday, November 10, 2006

Blair backs MI5 Terrorism Warning

Article here about Blair backing MI5s assessment that we are facing the threat of multiple terror plots. Blair said the threats were apparently "very real" and spoke of "poisonous propaganda" warping the minds of young people.
Tony Blair must really think we're all idiots. Most young people in this country are aware on some level of the fact that Blairs foreign policies, wars and alignment with the US has resulted in the deaths of hundreds of thousands of innocent people around the world. Our minds are being warped by "poisonous propaganda", his poisonous Islamaphobic propaganda on BBC, ITN, Channell 4, the Sun, etc which he gets the MI5 to back him up on. I suppose by "poisonous propaganda" he means independant media outlets, the internet, non-western tv stations like al-jazeera which show the truth of Britain and Americas war in Iraq and Afghanistan. We are not stupid, we know why people might want to bomb us in this country, because our country has bombed them. Blair says this threat will last a generation. Blair is the biggest threat to this generation in Britain. The decisions he has made in our name will result in disaster for this country and the rest of the world. He is just softening us up and preparing us for a massive onslaught on our civil and human rights. ID cards, no right to protest, loss of free speech, these are the things we will all soon wake up to.
Interestingly in response to MI5s warning Massoud Shadjareh of the Islaminic Human Rights Commission, said he accepted that there wasa terrorist threat but that it had to be kept in perspective. "Over 1,000 arrests have been made under anti-terrorism since 9/11 and out of those, 27 have been found guilty. Out of those 27, only nine have been Muslims," he said. Why then are we being made to feel like every Muslim out there is out to murder us? Because Blair and his cronies are feeding us Islamaphobic, terror provoking, mind-warping "poisonous propaganda".


Oxford Street Christmas Lights


Oxford Street Christmas Lights were turned on last night, 6 weeks before Christmas. Although some congratulations are due to the organisers for using low energy lightbulbs, the 260,000 lightbulbs which will be on 24 hours a day until the 6th January (59 days) will deposit 60 tonnes of carbon into the environment. And although this is a 50% reduction on previous years energy usage, it would still take 400 trees 100 years to absorb and offset this amount of carbon. The organisers could offset this carbon at a cost of £4,000, which is a fraction of the money that the 40 million visitors that they reckon will visit Oxford Street to see the lights will spend when they come. They are not attempting at all to offset these carbon emmissions, sefish bastards!
What I want to know is why are there so many lights, why do they have to be turned on so early and why are they left on 24 hours a day? Its a complete waste of resources and incredibly polluting and damaging to the environment.
The organisers, New West End Company, are not, in my opinion, interested in spreading peace and joy and avoking the spirit of Christmas, all they are interested in is sucking people into their stores to spend even more money in the name of Christmas. These 260,ooo energy-sucking, carbon-creating lightbulbs are a tribute to and celebration of the consumerist, capitalist god of money that rules this country, especially at this time of year. But then again maybe I'm just bitter because I didnt get to see Peter Andre and Jordan perform at the opening ceremony, boo hoo.

Reclaim the Night London 2006


Sisters, dont forget that Reclaim the Night London is on Saturday November 25th.
Reclaim the Night is an event held in central London where women and girls march together in protest at rape and male violence, falling conviction rates and the fact that women are not free to live their lives without the threat of male violence. Last year over 700 women and girls marched to demand an end to this violence against women and to speak out for ourselves and those whose voices cannot be heard. The event will begin at 6pm in Central London for a girls and women-only march, followed by a mixed rally and party until late with women DJ's.

"RECLAIM THE NIGHT 2006-women’s march against rape and male violence
International Day to End Violence Against Women
SATURDAY 25 NOVEMBER Assemble 6pm Trafalgar Square by Nelson’s Column. 8pm mixed rally, University of London Union, Malet Street with speakers, bands, DJs and licensed bar til late.

In Britain, there are an estimated 47,000 rapes every year. And each year, an estimated 300,000 women are sexually assaulted (British Crime Survey 2001). Yet Britain’s conviction rate is the lowest ever, at just 5.3 per cent.
In the workplace, 1 in 2 women are sexually harrassed (EOC 2000).
Now more than ever women must come together to say ‘no’ to violence against women.
To get involved or for more information, contact the London Feminist Network: www.ldnfeministnetwork.ik.com or e-mail finn_mackay@yahoo.co.uk
Called by: London Feminist Network. Supporters include: NUS Women’s Campaign, Greater London Domestic Violence Project, Women’s Resource Centre, Refuge, Women’s National Commission, Women’s Aid Federation, BECTU, Abortion Rights, White Ribbon Campaign UK, Lilith Project, Truth About Rape, Object, Schools Out UK, Southall Black Sisters, Sheffield Fems, Vera Media"

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Bye Bye Rumsfeld


Am absolutly delighted to hear that Rumsfeld has been made a skapegoat for the catastrophe that is Iraq and the resulting midterm election losses of George Bush and been forced to resign. In my opinion Donald Rumsfeld is one very powerful, stupid, arrogant and dangerous man and I'm so glad that he has been kicked out of government, although I would be even happier if Bush was impeached too.
Rumsfeld has always been a big player in American business and politics and as one of the founding members of theProject for the New American Century is reponsible for taking this world closer to annihilation than ever before. The Project For the New American Century is basically a neo-conservative, ie fascist, think-tank dedicated to promoting American global leadership. The Project has basically an imperialist and globalist agenda and proposes military, economic, space and cyberspace, global domination in order to maintain american dominance in World affairs. In other words Donald Rumsfeld and other powerfull people in Washington have actively been using their roles in Government to make America the worlds only superpower and eventually global dictator. The Project for the New American Project also communicated the need for a new Pearl Harbour in order to galvanise the American public into backing a military campaign against perceived American enemies. Hence they stand accused, and rightly so I believe, of orchestrating the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Centre in order to enable progress towards their goal of global dominance. Because of Donald Rumsfeld and his cronies, hundreds of thousands of people have died in Afghanistan and Iraq and the project is far from completed. Getting rid of Donald Rumsfeld is just one step to halting Americas dreams of global dominance, however I believe that the American poeple and citizens of the world are ready to stand up against these nazis and halt the Project for the New American Century in its tracks. Donald Rumsfeld is a war criminal and is responsible for gross acts of genocide, as well as corruption and I really hope he gets what he deserves.
Now all we need to do is get rid of Bush, Blair and the rest of the cabal and we might actually be able to salvage life on this planet for our children.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Media Whitewash

Following on from my previous post about the mainstream media whitewash about the chemical explosives found in Burnley. Korova received this response from the BBC when he complained to them about the lack of coverager relating to this incident.

Dear

Thank you for your e-mail regarding BBC News.

I understand you were disappointed a new chemical find was not reported by BBC News recently. The choice of news stories to report in our programmes
is frequently very difficult. Editorial staff always have more news reports than can be fitted into the time available. Their choice has to be selective and no matter how carefully such decisions are made, they are always aware that some people may disagree with them.
Please keep in mind however that you can contact the following BBC Department with any potential news stories you may have. The address is:
BBC News Gathering
Room 401
Bush House
PO Box76
WC2B 4PH
Home news: uknewsplan@bbc.co.uk
Foreign news: worldnewsplan@bbc.co.uk
Nevertheless, please be assured I have registered your comments regarding this issue and have made them available to the BBC News Department and the senior BBC management. Feedback of this nature helps us when making decisions about future BBC programmes and your comment will play a part in this process.
Thank you again for taking the time to contact the BBC.
Regards

Adam Sims
BBC Information

I find this response hilarious. Considering that at the moment in Britain we are supposed to be living in a climate of fear and suspicion with the veil of terror hanging over us at all times, I would have thought that this would be a very newsworthy story and important to get it in the public domain. Also whenever there is an alleged terrorist plot masterminded by muslim people we get hour upon hour of reporting and analysis,regardless of whether the plot is substantiated or not, whereas all this story got was a byline on a local BBC station. BBC have their very own 24 hour news station surely they could have squeezed this story in somewhere. It is the abovementioned editorial staff that are responsible for what becomes news and what doesnt and as such they should accept responsibility for the role they are playing in the climate of fear and Islamaphobia that is spreading accross this country.
Well done Korova for complaining to the BBC about this issue. Check out his full post here.

Feminist Must Reads - Rubyfruit Jungle by Rita Mae Brown


Bought Rubyfruit Jungle yesterday in Oxfam yesterday afternoon for 49p, what a bargain and have already finished it. It is a really good book. This novel by Rita Mae Brown tells the story of growing up lesbian in America. Molly Bolt is born illigitimate and is adopted by a poor Southern couple. Molly is a great character, who beats up the boys, and always seems to be in trouble. She has a strong sense of identity and drive. She loses her virginity to her girlfriend in the sixth grade and soon realises that she is different from the other girls. Her story takes her to Florida, where she gets booted out of college for moral ineptitude, ie being a lesbian and after being chucked out of home she heads to New York to follow her dream of being the greatest filmmaker ever.
Molly Brown is a fantastic character and her story tells of the discrimination faced because of gender, sexual orientation and poverty. She is a true hero who overcomes all the difficulties and barriers placed before her to follow her dream and be the person she is.
Rita Mae Brown is a fantastic writer and tells the story so well. I literally could not put this book down and read it in a few hours. I would definetly recommend adding this to your must-read list. Its fantastic. I will be checking out her other books too.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Feminist Must Reads

Started reading Mary Wollstonecrafts The Vindication of the Rights of Woman last week. I read about 50 pages and cannot go on. Its just too hard-going, so am going to give up on this one. Sorry Mary Wollstonecraft, I realise it was one of the first feminist tracts but I just cant do it.

Media Whitewash

Have been meaning to post on this story for a while but it kept slipping my mind. It is the true-life terror story that didn’t feature at all on mainstream media. On the 6th October, the largest amount of chemical explosives of its type ever found in the country, was discovered. Normally this would be the cue for screaming tabloid front pages, wild allegations about those arrested and the appearance of the Home Secretary to warn us all of the need for further crackdowns in the ‘War on Terror’. Lets not forget the Forest Gate fiasco and the alleged airplane plot involving liquid explosives, how many tv hours and newspaper columns did those incidents provoke.However, this time because the explosive belonged to and was manufactured by white supremacists with BNP links, it didnt feature at all on mainstream news media. Only a few alternative news agencies, namely on the internet, reported on the case. Unluckily for the government propaganda machine, they werent muslim, or brown-skinned, so therefore dont help in demonisation of Islam so therefore its unecessary apparently to publicise such incidents. Robert Cottage, 49, of Talbot Street, Colne, appeared before Burnley magistrates charged with possession of an explosive substance and was remanded in custody. Inexplicably the story didn’t even make the national news.
How blatantly disgusting is this. I always knew that the media were completely biased and had a hidden agenda, but this really does take the biscuit. I'm so fed up hearing about the so called "war on Terror" and the role of Islam in this war. it is so obviously a big manipulation cooked up the government and actioned by the media. It makes me sick. And the fact that the largest discovery of plastic explosives ever in the UK was not reported at all by BBC, ITN etc, just because the plotter was white is an absolute scandal, as well as completely racist. They should be ashamed of themselves.
For more www.pickledpolitics.com/archives/828
Also on Schnews Issue 564.

Monday, October 30, 2006

Feminist Must reads

Maia recommended

  • Female Chauvinist Pigs (Ariel Levy)
  • Miconceptions (Naomi Wolf)

The Bluest Light recommended ;

  • Jane Eyre
  • The Women's Room by Marilyn French
  • The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood

Have added them to the list.

Sunday, October 29, 2006

More recommended feminist must reads.

Here are Erikas recommended Feminist reads.

Happy as a dead cat by Jill Miller
Big fat love by Peter Sheridan
Affliction by Fay Weldon (Let’s face it, anything by her is great)
Ahab’s wife – Sena Jeter Naslund
Virgin Suicides – Jeffrey Eugenides
The tenant of Wildfell Hall – Anne Bronte
Affinity – Sarah Waters
The World’s wife – Carol Anne Duffy
Middlesex – Jeffrey Egenides
The bloody chamber – Angela Carter
When God was a woman – Merlin Stone
The passion of the new Eve – Angela Carter
The mists of Avalon – Marion Zimmer Bradley
Greenham commen (woman at the wire) – Barbra Harford and Sarah Hopkins
A gathering light – Jennifer Donnelly
Monstrous regiment – Terry Pratchett ( no, really, it’s about women soldiers)
The Politics of breastfeeding – Gabrielle Palmer
Fresh Milk – Fiona Giles
Bliss and other stories – Katharine Mansfield

Will add these to the Feminist must read list.I really do have a lot of reading to do. I have read none of these.

Friday, October 27, 2006

Feminist Must Reads

Here are some of the contributors of the F- Word recommended feminist must reads. I am definetly in need of some feminist re-education so am going to try over the next year to make my way through them all. The bold ones are the ones I've read and the blue ones I've reviewed here, pitiful I know. I've got some serious reading to do but at least I work in a library so should be able to get them quite easily and freely, haha.
Courtesy of The F-Word.


  1. "Stone Butch Blues"- Leslie Feinberg
  2. "To be Real" by Rebecca Walker (ed)
  3. "Tales of the Lavender Menace"- Karla Jay
  4. "S/He" - Minnie Bruce Pratt
  5. "Lesbian Ethics" by Sarah Lucia Hoagland
  6. "Herland" by Charlotte Perkins Gilman
  7. "The Colour Purple"- Alice Walker
  8. "Oranges Are Not The Only Fruit" - Jeanette Winterson
  9. "The golden Notebook" - Doris Lessing
  10. "The Poisonwood Bible" - Barbara Kingsolver
  11. "The Lovely Bones" - Alice Sebold
  12. "Rubyfruit Jungle" - Rita Mae Brown
  13. "Reviving Ophelia" - Mary Pipher
  14. "We Gotta Get Out Of This Place" - Gerri Hirshey
  15. "You Can't Keep A Good Woman Down" - Alice Walker
  16. "The Second Sex" - Simone de Beavoir
  17. "A Room of One's Own" - Virginia Woolf
  18. "Brecht & Co" - John Fuegi
  19. "Ophelia Thinks Harder" - Wm Shakespeare and Jean Betts
  20. "An English Miss" - Alicia C Percival
  21. "The Vagina Monologues" - Eve Ensler.
  22. "The Yellow Wallpaper" - Charlotte Perkins Gilman
  23. "Bridget Jones's Diary/The Edge of reason" - Helen Fielding.
  24. "Sex and the city" - Candace Bushnell.
  25. "I know why the caged bird sings" - Maya Angelou
  26. "Masterpieces" - Sarah Daniels.
  27. "Ourselves Alone" - Anne Devlin.
  28. "The Feminine Mystique" - Betty Friedan.
  29. "Beloved" - Toni Morrison.
  30. "Big Women" - Fay Weldon.
  31. "The Shipping News" - Anni Proulx
  32. "The Bell Jar" - Sylvia Plath
  33. "The Vindication of the Rights of women", - Mary Wollstoncraft
  34. "Sexual Politics" - Kate Millett
  35. "A room of one's own" - Virginia Woolf
  36. "Bad Girls and Dirty Pictures" - Alison Assiter and Avedon Carol
  37. "A Return to Modesty" - Wendy Shalit
  38. "Women, Celibacy and Passion" - Sally Cline
  39. "The Female Eunuch"- Germaine Greer
  40. "The Whole Woman" - Germaine Greer
  41. "The Beauty Myth" - Naomi Wolf
  42. "Fire With Fire" - Naomi Wolf
  43. "Virtually Normal" - Andrew Sullivan
  44. "My Secret Garden" - Nancy Friday
  45. "Manifesta" - Jennifer Baumgarnder & Amy Richards.
  46. "In Our Time" - Susan Brownmiller.
  47. "Listen Up" - Barbara Findlen (ed).
  48. "Cunt" - Inga Muscio. L
  49. "Bust Guide to the New Girl Order" - Stoller & Karp (eds). P
  50. "Backlash" - Susan Faludi.
  51. "We need to talk about Kevin" - Lionel Shriver

So how many have you read? Are there any others you can recommend for me?