Sunday, 26 September 2010

Sian is on holiday

So I won't be moderating comments until Saturday 2nd October.

if i was a superhero

I should warn you that this is an angry post filled with rage, anger, a desire for revenge and a deep sadness about what I see happening in the world. But I know what people may comment so please be assured that I am not talking about all men, or all women, or all of anything, I am just expressing an anger. There are lots of great men and women, and terrible men and women. There are lots of men and women working to solve the world's problems, and I am grateful to them. But I am angry today and this is me being angry.

If I was a superhero...

I would start by finding all the men that have hurt, abused, sexually assaulted and raped my friends.

I would make them parade through the city streets, whilst we pelted them with rotten veg and fish. I would make sure everyone knew what they had done, so they could never lift their heads in pride again. I would make sure that they knew that they were guilty of a great crime, that they would pay for for the rest of their lives.

And then I would take on the men who hurt, abused, sexually assualted and raped all my sisters all over the world. I would make the world stand up and notice. I would tell them that they were the scorn of society, lower than the dog shit on my shoe. I would make sure they never ever did it again.

And i know it is not just men that commit these crimes, and  i know women who have been assaulted and hurt by other women. I would make that stop too.

And then I would find all the millions of women who are missing, as described in Half the Sky. All 100 million of them. I would stop them from being left to die.

And then I would raid the brothels all over the world that are full of trafficked women, and full of vulnerable women, and all the strip clubs where customers can retreat in to their pre feminist fantasy of dominance and I would wait outside the doors and I would make the leaving punters listen to the stories of these women. The stories of the women who are beaten, who are raped, who give birth in a brothel and know their daughters will be forced in to prostitution too. The stories of all the women who live in fear, who are hurt, who are left with PTSD...The stories of the women who are sexually assaulted, the women who feel trapped in an industry that sees them as disposable objects...I would make them listen. And once they had listened I would make them apologise, until they were so sad and sorry and ashamed, they would stop seeing their need for sex as more important as a woman's life and freedom. No one died from not having sex with a prostiture or not going to a lap dancing club.

And I would find the cinema owners who showed 'deep throat' because it is a 'cult classic' and i would raid the cinema and i would stand there and read to them what happened to linda lovelace, and make them see that they are watching live rape, over and over and over again. I would make them say sorry for validating the rape of a woman and calling it art.

And I would raid the offices of the daily mail and friends, and make them print an apology every day to women every where for endlessly printing false accusation of rapes, and not covering the issue of rape. And I would make them apologise every day for insinuating that women are to blame for the violence committed against them, unless their rape or attack happened according to the strict definitions believed by the daily mail.

And I would stop religon being used as a tool to attack women, and i would stop so-called honour killings and rapes, and I would stop the view of women as being male property who do not deserve rights.

I would build schools to educate women and girls and men and boys, so that the endless cycles of poverty and degradation would end. 

If I was a superhero...

But I'm not.

And yet, we have insititutions in places that could achieve this.

We have the police, who have had the funding cut for powers to prevent domestic violence, and the funding cut for an investigation in to their handling of rape.
We have the PCC who could regulate the media and ask them to not print lies about women being liars.
We have the UN who could have maybe done something to stop what is happening in the Congo.
We have a government that have decided to hold women to ransom.
We have an EU directive to stop trafficking that the government has decided not to sign.

We have wonderful charities and aid organisations who work tirelessly to make the world a better place for women and men and children, against all the odds. Thank god for them.

And thank goodness for all the women who survive, and the women and men who are there to ensure and enable survival, the mothers and fathers and sisters and brothers and everyone who says no to the scourge of gender inequality. The fathers who stand up to outdated tradition and the brothers who stand up to the people who want to hurt their families, the women who face horrors i cannot even contemplate and who survive. And mourn for the women who don't survive, and the men too.

If I was a superhero, I would do all the things the leaders of the world should be doing anyway.

Thursday, 23 September 2010

Tuesday, 21 September 2010

DJ-ing at Brisfest

Hey all

If you want to dance very early in the morning, and get in to the mood for a fun time fabulous day of Bris Fest, then why not start your festival times by coming to see me DJ at 11.30 am (in the morning) at the Ovi Music stage.

It's going to be a great lineup, including two of my favourite Bristol Bands, Countryside and the Kick Inside.

Be there, or be square. As they say.

Monday, 20 September 2010

Why did you become a feminist?

Please tell me what it was that inspired you to become a feminist.

What was that light bulb moment where you realised, yes, i am a feminist.

I am collating people's stories and experiences to try and put something together that explores what inspired men and women to become feminists.

Whether it was a growing realisation, or a flash of lightening moment - share your introductions to feminism!

Sunday, 19 September 2010

I'm in the telegraph

Those are some words i never thought i would say.

But the Sunday Telegraph have written a fair and balanced article about the Hooters debate. (take note, Evening Post. that's fair and balanced)

Although they call me the founder of the campaign, which i am not, it's a good piece.

Comments are already moronic though. Stop calling me ugly! And, although i am having an age crisis, what with my birthday coming up next week, I'm turning 26. So i'm not middle aged and jealous either.

Friday, 17 September 2010

Thursday, 16 September 2010

i'm in a list!

Thanks to inspirational feminist, blogger and amazing woman Cath Elliott, my blog has been put in a top blogs list!

woop woop!

take that hate mail senders! You are in the minority my dears.

you can read the full list here:

And you will also find listed a whole panoply of inspirational and fantastic feminist and leftie blogs to peruse, enjoy and learn from.

As well as sister blog to myself,

Cath, and so many feminist bloggers, are such inspirations to me. It is through their words that I first started feeling connected to other feminists all over the country, and the world. A true honour on what was actually a rather bleak day (woken up by nightmares that have left me blue all day).

Wednesday, 15 September 2010

The government's war against women continues

This is bad news

The Inquiry in to Police Handling of Rape Cases has been shelved due to funding being cut.

Coz, you know us women. We just lie about it anyway. don't we?

How many women a year need to be raped for the government to take us seriously?
How many men need to not go to jail and rape again and again before the government take women seriously?
How many false rape accusation articles can the daily mail write?

Theresa May stood on stage at the womens aid conference and said 'actions, not words' when dealing with violence against women and girls.

Actions that include, so far,

Proposing anonymity for rape defendants
Slashing domestic violence police powers funding
A budget where 70% of those worst impacted are women
And now this.

The funding for this was £441,000

That's a drop in the ocean for the government. When you think of the billions of pounds spent on trident, the money lost by tax evaders employed by the government, the private fortunes of our leaders.

So we will continue with this ugly road where women are not believed. Where police don't arrest rapists because they are 'respectable men'. Where the rape conviction rate is 6.5% and the annual number of rapes is 100,000. Where women don't report to the police because they know there's 'no point'.

Actions, not words. Thanks Theresa. Thanks LibCons.

Daily, you betray the women of Britain.

Sunday, 12 September 2010

this video is amazing

Having lived in Dalston pre-trendy era, and spending too much time in start the bus wondering what the hel is going on, and having had my old local nambucca taken over by johnny-two-hats, i love this video

It's called 'being a dickhead's cool' and is the next generation of nathan barley.

Tuesday, 7 September 2010

what about my freedom of speech?

I realised that i didn't post something on this blog (but did on UK Feminista) because i didn't want to deal with the comments that attacked me.

I realised i will no longer talk to journalists from the local media because i don't want to have to deal with the comments that attack me. These included verbal attacks on my family, as well as attacks on my perceived personal appearance, perceived sexuality and even a discussion about my breasts.

The blogosphere is such a wonderful example of free speech in action. We can write our thoughts, opinions, share them with the world, and challenge the mainstream media.

But people abuse this free speech by using the commenting section in blogs to abuse and shout at people. They use the cloak of anonymity to say things they would never dare say to my face. They intimidate, frighten, dominate and derail debate.

It isn't fair. Why should my freedom to write my thoughts be repressed because people don't have the common decency to be polite, fair and sensible? Why should i be made to feel scared of writing? Why does having an opinion and daring to express it mean i deserve to be called names, why does it mean my family deserve to be called names?

My family, for fuck's sake! Who have nothing to do with what i write.

I'm tempted to think it's a gender thing. In fact, more than tempted. Male bloggers and male activists - do you get called names about your looks? I'm not saying you don't because i don't know, I would like to know because I want to see how the insults are different or the same. I know male bloggers/commenters get called homophobic names too.

We live in a country or society where we have freedom of speech. it isn't cheap. it is a luxury, a privilege, in a world where many don't have the simple right to speak out. As a woman, my sisters all over the world are denied a voice. men all over the world are denied a voice. We are lucky.

Think about that luck, think about that privilege, next time you use your freedom of speech to call me fat, or crazed, or insult my family.