Everyday Sexism – Laura Bates

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In an attempt to broaden my reading and fuel the fire to my feminist nature I picked up a new book that became not only an eye opener but changed my perspectives on so many things. I’d only ever read one feminist book prior to this one. I reviewed ‘I Call Myself a Feminist’ late last year.

Staring off as a social media project back in 2012 The Everyday Sexism Project is the first book I have ever come across that talks about real issues rather than ignoring the facts or simply overlooking what is now becoming (and has always been) an everyday occurrence for women and girls across the world. The twitter handle is still very active. I urge you to have a gander, you can find them @EverydaySexism.

Continue reading Everyday Sexism – Laura Bates

Why cant we just back off?

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The first photograph of the new UK Cabinet was released today. Its no real secret that this is my political party of choice. This cabinet is one I am quite excited about. Its a cabinet of my generation and a cabinet of people I know.

Politics aside. Media mogules have poured over the image, ridiculing every element.

The Guardian has this to say:

Take Theresa May, her legs neatly folded away from Amber Rudd on her right.

Justine Greening, a picture of misery…

The Mirror pointed out these facts –

Justine Greening and Amber Rudd – both of whom keep their chair-footprint to an absolute minimum.

And Theresa May herself maintains a narrow stance, even as she positions her legs at something of a jaunty angle.

But the big story of the day thanks to this photo was Bois Johnson ‘manspreading’.

Manspreading : The term is used to describe the way men, particularly on public transport, take up more space than they should, often at the expense of women sitting next to them.

The Sun, The Huffington Post, The Guardian and a whole host of twitter hashtags have been set up to talk about it. The Mirror even estimated the width of his leg spread saying “his knees [were] an estimated 18 inches apart”.
Is it just me or is this a bit ridiculous?

It does make a welcome change from the ridicule of the ladies for example when Prime Minister May, then Home Secretary, had news articles devoted to her shoes rather than her policies at last years conference. Its nice for them to pick on someone else but moaning about the way a man is siting! Give us a break! Maybe he just sits like that. Why do we have to read in to it anything more than that?!

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Ik heb a confession.

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In just 10 days I am returning to my home land. Well ok, not necessarily my ‘home land’ because that’s England but the country which has my heart will soon have the rest of my body I nit for a few days.

i-see-your-mouth-movingWhen I first started this blog I was all about the language, I threw myself in to learning Dutch and loved it. I even got 2 certificates and by March 2014 I could hold a pretty normal conversation, my final exam was a discussion on animals and fun facts about the long neck of a giraffe. But with just 10 days to go I have to openly admit my Dutch has melted away to nothing. There we go, I’ve put it out there. Ashamedly so Ik heb geen Dutch.

As much as I am ashamed by this, I spoke very little Nederlandse in the Netherlands anyway but I fear slightly that I won’t remember enough to pick up on conversation topics. I am rather hoping that once I hear those dulcet tones on the aeroplane security video it will all come flooding back (fingers crossed).

I can’t wait to get back onto the Lowlands for a few reasons, a few of which I am going to share here.

  • twitter-fed458I am long overdue a hug from my Dutch family. My best friend in particular – is that too much to ask? I’ve had a pretty trying year and some 500+ days since my last trip has left me almost desperate to see them.
  • I miss the Dutch people. I am a people watcher, no matter where I am or who I am with I like to watch people and the Dutch way of life fascinates me and always has done, from the relaxed style of the guys and gals to their very active cycling chic and questionable supermarket items.
  • It the place I feel most relaxed. In my nine years of visiting NL it feel like my second home, I know where I am (to a certain extent) and being away from the UK in a place I find so comfortable helps me to put my every day stresses to one side. I get the chance to just be me and with my ever growing responsibilities to my family, as a new home owner, and in full time employment in Politics life gets pretty stressful at times. In the Netherlands I am anonymous and don’t have those responsibilities. I even get the chance to let someone else decide what I do and what I eat every day. (No it’s not just indecisiveness – I really don’t mind if we do anything or nothing).
  • Singing in the car. Dutch radio is one of the greatest assets to The Netherlands. I just love it. It’s so varied and one minute it’s the latest number 1 and the next track is a belter from the 80’s followed by some Dutch song I’ve never heard before but am singing along to by the 3rd chorus. Variety really is the spice of life over there and that’s something we don’t get much of here.  the-radio-was-on-a-commercial-break-the-whole-time-humor

So off I go, here I come. I simply cannot wait to get back to the land of clogs, the cheese eating, fish swallowing, bike riding, lanky lands of Orange. There will always be a piece of my heart in Holland. Its a love that words can’t describe and a pain that only return tickets can heal.

Sex Ed – Did you learn enough?

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I am currently reading Laura Bates’s Everyday Sexism and I’ve got to tell you there are some pretty shocking facts and figures throughout the book that make for some difficult reading. The book follows commentary by Laura around submissions to the Twitter handle @EverydaySexism
where women share their experiences of sexism in their everyday lives.   Time and time again reports from school age girls come in about sexual harassment and rape. A new report out today from the UK Govt. Women and Equalities Committee is asking for more Sex and Relationship Education within schools. Is it needed? What exactly *is* needed? Is the simple answer to teach kids not to touch each other at all?

Continue reading Sex Ed – Did you learn enough?