On how I’m not a feminist (but I am really) and privilege checking

I’ve been thinking about this for weeks now. I don’t really think I’m a feminist, I’m sure some rad-fems out there would agree and here’s why. I can have levels of SIA (stroke inducing anger) at the discrimination heaped on women by the patriachy and still laugh at Jim Jeffries.

I can watch Funny Face whilst thinking it’s possibly the one of the most sexist films I’ve ever seen, actually enjoy it and not have my head explode. I still have a huge thing for Steven Tyler, even though he had the 3 month ‘affair’ with a 15 year old which he needs to apologise for and apologise to the girl involved at the very least for doing what he did. He was the adult, she wasn’t, it was his responsibility to not have done it in the fist place.

I think that people are people and should be treated equally. Equally, there it is in a nutshell. I think I believe more in equalism than feminism. I think that people should be able to have a fabulous education regardless of socio-economic backgrounds. That we should live in a meritocracy  where, regardless of gender, sexual orientation etc. you should get to be really good at what you are good at because you are good at it. That, although you shouldn’t go out of your way to offend somebody you do not have the right to go through life never being offended. That language matters and what you say, even when you know that you’ve hurt somebody to the core by the words you use, if you continue to use those words? You’re a twat.

I luff Delilah by Tom Jones and will sing  my heart out even though it’s about VAW (violence against women) and she’s the victim not him.

I watch and relish the reboot of Dr Who even though Steven Moffat has some SERIOUS ishoos with women.

I believe that if people want to become sex workers they should be able to and that they should be able to do so without judgement and safely. I think people who think they can buy people are a psychologically unwell.

Those and many other things should raise my levels of cognisant dissonance to the point where I’m physically ill.

I’m white and cis, this gives me privilege, not as much privilege as a white, cis male in our society but more than trans people or people of colour for examples. When these people talk I shut up and listen to their experiences. I try to stamp very hard on the voice in my head that says ‘I don’t do that’ because, by my simple accident of birth, I have privilege that others don’t. I don’t tell people that how they experience the world is wrong because it’s not how I experience the world or personally treat people. I may share examples if I am in a group sharing and have similar life experiences but my life experience is not of more value than somebody else’s. I won’t stand by and allow people to tell me that I act in a way that I don’t or consider morally wrong. Should I ever get a chance at the table I hope I know enough to make space for those who can’t even see the table to speak, far to often the voices of the oppressed in our society are the voices that need to be heard.

I’m going to make a suggestion, if you’re in conversations with somebody who doesn’t have the same level of privilege as you  DO NOT tell them that’s now what you do. The person speaking isn’t seeking your validation and does not need it. They are relating to you a life experience as experienced by them. Listen, ask questions of the person – if it’s general ask Google, most people are to busy living their own lives to educate you – listen to the answers and examine your own behaviour. Modify yourself in light of new information, in the end it’s the only way we’ll ever reach equality.

Rant over

dxx

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#silentnomore

there’s a new campaign starting with the hashtag: #silentnomore it’s about the misogyny that women who tweet/blog/post about women’s issues face every single day. It doesn’t say our pain is worse than any other person facing cyber bullies, it doesn’t say we’re better than anyone else. It says this happens, it’s wrong and we are NOT going to take it anymore.

There have been a whole lot of people who belong in the more-right-on-than-you club who have been vociferous in their criticism, why aren’t you doing something about x type of cyber hate or bullying or y type., You know what, this is specific, it looks at what does and can happen to 50% of the population if they post things that aren’t agreed with. If it opens the lid on cyber hate and cyber bullying, and, if by doing this it helps even more people great. If it doesn’t and it only helps 50% of the population to be able to speak without the fear of going through what Mary Beard has gone through it’s still doing a pretty fucking good job.

Mwah mwah

dxx

Open Letter to Mr Jamie Oliver

Hola,

Yes I don’t post anywhere near the amount I should to get a blog going but that’s because of real life getting in the way of important stuff, I promise to try to do better!

Anyway, I heart Twitter, you guys may know that already. I follow (and am honoured to be followed by) a bunch of truly great women and men who are concerned with the polarisation of wealth, opportunity and nutrition in this country.

The very lovely Sandra Bradley (who writes this rather brilliant blog about how to keep home costs down,) came up with the really good idea of bringing back British Restaurants as per WWII but with an update to make them relevant for now.

Of course the creative and wonderful women I follow wouldn’t let it just stop there and came up with some great ideas for the kinds of things that people really need to help them move forward and eat well. But, you KNEW there would be a but, this kind of idea wouldn’t get off the ground if it was just us – sad but true fact, you don’t get ideas like this launched without somebody who is a) famous or b) already recognised as a voice for this kind of work. Hmm, so who do we know that would fit this particular set of requirements, yes, everyone’s favourite Essex chief and campaigner Mr Jamie Oliver!!!!

So here, is the first draught of my open letter to Mr Oliver:

Dear Mr Oliver,

As you are more than aware the state of nutrition in this country is (in certain areas) dire, a group of us who are concerned about this talk to each other on Twitter and thought that bringing back the idea of the British Restaurant. The British Restaurant, as you may already know, was set up by the  Ministry of Food during World War 2 as communal kitchens to ensure that communities and people who had run out of rations had enough to eat. The Restaurants were run by local communities on a non-profit basis and meals were purchased at a set price.

The need for people in this country for people to just eat is seen through the various food banks set up around the country such as this food bank in Stockport http://stockportsouth.foodbank.org.uk/ or the queues that can be seen for free food anywhere it is available. I’d suggest looking at the queues at the Hare Krishna donations at Senate House.

I’m sure none of that is news to somebody who campaigns on nutrition, we think that something set up in a similar way to Food Revolution combined with the ideas of the British Restaurant are sadly needed at this time.

We envisage a location that provides affordable, nutritionally high value meals available at the front with education at the back end. Education taking the form of teaching people how to cook, budgeting, what is high quality and what is low quality and above all else how to do this cheaply. There would be the opportunity to engage other professionals at the back end (in the manner of Crisis at Christmas) to help people who are having issues with money/benefits/writing cv’s/getting back to work. We think that initially it would start with volunteers but could quickly be taken over by those it was designed to help, which in turn would provide much needed bulk to many peoples cv’s whilst teaching valuable skills for the workplace such as computer literacy.

Local businesses could contribute food that would otherwise go to waste to help keep down costs and boost the local community. There are some amazing blogs out there about how to budget etc during this time of economic crisis and we could try to involve those bloggers in teaching their skills in workshops etc.

This is of course a long time commitment and investment in local communities and a huge undertaking but we can’t be the only people in the country thinking of this. We would suggest a pilot scheme in a few under privileged areas to see if it could be rolled out across the country.

We know you are very busy but really hope that you could find the time to consider this proposal, I’m more than willing to discuss this with you at any time.

Yours sincerely

Dawn Sinclair
MiddleAgedCred
Lynn Schreiber
Sandra Bradley
Ronaldinhio

Right, how do you feel about this, please leave comments and I’ll amend as you do. Also, if any of you don’t want to be included or want the links to your twitter accounts etc taken off I’ll do that.

Mwah, mwah

dxx

25 really awful presents for under £10

Following on for presents for your geeky guy some friends of mine are meeting up in London just before Xmas and are planning on Secret Santa. However, they are aiming to outdo each other in the oh my word look at that tat stakes so I thought I’d see what I could find. Here it is for your reading pleasure:

  1. The Queen in a head scarf mask – never again will you need to queue, simply take out your mask and start waving! £3.50
  2. Index fingers – I promise I’m not making this up, post-it notes in the shape of index fingers £2.95
  3. A shower cap bobble hat – look like Super Gran in the shower £4.50
  4. Borat mankini – seriously who is buying these things?
  5. An iPad writing pad – trust me it’s not what you think it is £9.99
  6. Microphone tongs – because that’s what you want to do with things designed for contact with food £8.99
  7. Benedictaphone – give the pope your confession so you can send a memo later!
  8. Fetus cookie cutter – I know this is the USA but it was just too awful not to include $11.99
  9. Inflatable fruit cake – again from the USA but once you look you’ll KNOW why $8.50
  10. Screaming flying monkey – does what it says on the tin really £4.49
  11. I heart the hoff mug – why? for the love of god why? £7.00
  12. Cliff Richard autobiography – please don’t buy this for anyone under the age of 80 New and used from £0.01
  13. Dog mustache – it’s not even slightly funny. £9.99
  14. Michael Quackson – words fail me £7.99
  15. Belly button brush – why? Just why? £4.60
  16. Plop trumps – for people who find whoopee cushions the height of humour £4.99
  17. Pick your nose cups – for people who find the thought of not having a nose on display just too much £7.00
  18. Indicatears – so you can avoid those annoying collisions with people and they know which way you are turning £4.44
  19. Retro weather magnets – so you can patronise people and tell them there will be no hurricane £5.99
  20. Potty fisher – hilaaaaaaaarious #not £9.99
  21. Willy wear – how to break up with the man in your life in one easy step £8.99
  22. A Touch of Morris – erm, ok if you want to listen to bells £4.30
  23. Bacon wallet – I know that us geeks love bacon but really? £8.99
  24. Slipper Genie – now you no longer need a brush up your bottom. £9.99
  25. Santa toilet seat cover – last but by no means least £4.75

Disclaimer, all prices are correct at time of posting, we make no claim that these are the cheapest available.

We also make no claim that any taste was used in picking these items unless it was bad.

Neither have we used some of these companies and can’t vouch for their service.

I’m sorry I put you through this – have fun.

Mwah mwah

dxx

25 stocking fillers for your geeky man

I saw this blog 25 Stocking Stuffers for your Manly Man! and as I haven’t got a manly man but I do have a rather lovely geeky man I decided to do something similar, that can all be  bought in the UK and all for under 10 of your British earth pounds so here it is:

  1. Magic rotating globe
  2. Space food
  3. Monkey usb stick
  4. Magic IQ box with something personal inside, usb with pictures etc
  5. Bubble wrap keychain
  6. Titanium spork
  7. Batman ice cube tray
  8. Drinking bird
  9. Personalised rain poncho
  10. iTunes card – seriously, you want a link for an iTunes card?
  11. Blade Runner directors cut – or any other movie he wants but doesn’t have that is as awesome!
  12. Panda phone screen cleaner
  13. Star Wars mints
  14. Bacon salt
  15. natural history museum dinosaur torch and projector
  16. Glow in the dark loo roll
  17. Star Wars chopstick sabers
  18. Eggsterminator egg cup
  19. Caps Lock bottle tops
  20. Like/Dislike stamps
  21. Periodic table mug
  22. Space Invader multi-tool
  23. Credit card underground map
  24. Wallet lock picks – for when he’s pretending to be a spy 😉
  25. Lego drinking bottle

Please note I’ve only posted the links to demonstrate the products, we don’t endorse the suppliers or recommend them at all.

Please feel free to add your own to the list in the comments the list is by no means exhaustive – have fun adding stuff.

Mwah mwah

dxx

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