WOOF!

If I were going to be a full-time “Leftist Gender Warrior“, I’d look like THIS:


Ooooh yeah!

Since I’m only in it part-time at the moment, I look like THIS:


I get complaints from J every time I mention the words [“cut” “all” “hair” “off” “dye” “red”] you see. *sigh*
And in real life, I’m not meant to set fire to the floor.

But the cat SO has wings.

We call her Cat. I think she appreciates this. In any case, she is definitely evil enough to become my panther companion/minion when I upgrade to full-time!

Make your own here.
And then cackle.

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Be disgusted:

This is American.

The age of consent in America is 18.

That girl is a girl; ie, a lot younger than 18.

And she’s wearing a T-Shirt with the words “Mike’s Girl” above a heart-framed picture of a guy (presumably ‘Mike’) with his arms around her.
And a pair of knickers with the word “Mike’s” on it.

WHAT. THE. FUCK????

She’s practically prepubescant!
And some dickhead has decided to use her in an advert to market “sexy clothing” that clearly implies that both she and her cunt (presumably for sexual purposes) are the property of “Mike”, whoever the fuck “Mike” is.

This is what feminism is about – protecting girls and women from the crap that flies their way every single day, just because their genitalia goes in instead of out.


Race and Gender in Music

In the Guardian today is a short interview of a woman called Remi Nicole, a new ‘singer-songwriter’. I’m sad to say I know nothing about her music, but damn, do I love her attitude! A couple of choice quotes….

– on her new single, Rock’n’roll: “it was written out of frustration at people… saying that because I’m black I’ve got to listen to black music. What they don’t realise is that everything stems from rock’n’roll.”

– on race: “I’d like to see a mixed race crowd at my gigs, but I don’t care who listens to my music. I’m not making music for races, I’m making music for myself and for anyone who can and wants to relate to it.”

– on gender: “There are 100,000 boy bands out there and no one has a problem with it but you get pure grief if you’re a girl.”

And, my personal favourite…..

– on being compared to Lily Allen: “The only similarity is that we both have ovaries and breasts.”

I loved that quote, which made me laugh out loud on a crowded train and, not surprisingly, earned me some baffled looks from fellow commuters.
But any woman who is confident, and sarcastic, and funny enough to say something like that to a national newspaper (especially when that woman comes from a “minority” ethnic group, often underrepresented or misrepresented in the media) gets my respect.

As I understand it, she is part of the Indie music scene – which, while not quite to my taste (dedicated Metal girl that I am!), I can tolerate better than most other genres – and for that reason she is something of an anomaly in the celebrity world.

The photograph says it all. She’s perched on a pavement, looking straight at the camera, not smiling, just being – and she’s fully clothed. She’s wearing the skinny jeans that mark her out as Indie, rather than the lack of clothes that every other genre seems to aspire to, she’s not wearing that come-fuck-me smile that would mark her as ‘just another sexy woman in the media’.

After so many women like Beyonce, blithely singing songs about “independent women” whilst strutting about in their underwear, or tiny frilly skirts, Remi Nicole sounds like a welcome change.

Now, let’s see what her music’s like…….!


A Conversation With My Brother

The other day, I was sitting with my brother (who is 6), helping him with a jigsaw puzzle.

It was a cartoon scene of about five little boys in various positions of playing football, all copied and pasted so that there must have been a good forty children in the picture altogether.

He was grumbling because the fact that there were only five different faces meant that the puzzle was a lot harder. So, not really thinking about it, just making conversation, I asked him what he’d change, to make them different.

“Well…. I could make some of their tops different colours….”
“Ok…”
“Or their shoes….”
“Anything else?”
“I’d put some black boys in,” he said earnestly. “And some brown boys. And some tanned ones.”

I sat and stared. I had honestly not expected him to say that – he could have changed their socks, or their shorts, or their hair, or…. well, anyway, he still had some clothes to go, is my point.

Yeah…” I said, thoughtfully, “because your school’s not like this picture, is it?”
“No,” he replied casually, “there are girls as well.”


Hello, Creepy Guy!

Yep, the cold weather approaches, and evidently Creepy Guy and his Creepy associates are in need of a little warmth in their beds….

I am walking down the station platform at just after ten on a Saturday night. There is a man who, for some reason, makes me feel uncomfortable. It could be the way he has looked at me – as though, in this most urban of places, where nobody looks at anybody else, he has noticed me. So I carry on past him, towards the front of the platform. I stand closer to a couple who take no notice of me whatsoever, because they are probably safer.

And so the train pulls in. I look up from my book, board the train. Funnily enough (as though I hadn’t been predicting it), Creepy Guy takes it upon himself to get on behind me.
I have many bags, and these I spread out all over the seat next to me, as if to say, attempt to sit here and you die.

He sits opposite me. *sigh*.

Now, I have a book. The Queen’s Fool, actually, by Phillipa Gregory – it is rather good, and I would quite like to sit quietly and read. Just as I picked it up, however, Creepy Guy took it upon himself to strike up a conversation. To which my responses were:

“It’s late. This is not the time to be talking to strange women on the train.”
“This is not appropriate. Stop it.”
“I couldn’t care less what you think of my body.” (This last one was immensely satisfying to say, by the way; I hope to use it more often!)

So he stopped, and I continued to read, thinking that perhaps he had got it into his thick skull that his advances were not welcome. But, no – it got worse.

“But I am Bulgarian….”
“I don’t care. It is inappropriate for you to be talking to me. I am going to move. Do not follow me.”

And so I did. I gathered up all my bags, and books, and strode off down the carriage. As I did so, a young man who’d been blatantly eavesdropping, stood halfway up out of his seat, to ask me, very kindly, “is that guy bothering you?”
“Not anymore,” I said, “but thank you.”
And the young man, who was a nice, reasonable human being, said only “ok, if you’re sure” and sat back down, pausing only to glare at Creepy Guy.

I conclude three things from this.

  1. If somebody makes me feel uncomfortable, they are likely to turn out to be creepy
  2. Glaring and telling them off makes me feel a hell of a lot better than just sitting there meekly, hoping they will understand through telekenisis that I want them to fuck off
  3. Contrary to popular belief, there are also nice people left in the world, ready to give a helping hand (or glare) if you ask them.

Volunteering Information

I don’t normally do personal things here. Not really. It doesn’t feel appropriate. But this is different.

You see, I never set out to post about race. In this, as in other issues, like the LGBTQ scene, I often don’t feel “other” enough. I am occaisionally attracted to girls, but not enough to feel that I could identify as anything other than straight. Certainly not enough to post with any confidence about LGBTQ issues, other than where I feel that what I think might be of interest to people who identify as being part of that community.

Because I am so often mistaken for a white English girl, it seems reasonable to assume that at those times I have the white privelege that comes with it. So, often, it feels hypocritical to be mentioning race at the same time as taking that privelege. But I am not white. And that privelege comes and goes.

So this is to remind myself – and others – that while I may sometimes look like a white English girl, that’s not who I am. This is who I am, and it is likely to be the nearest anybody online will ever get to knowing what I look like. The man is my grandfather, and I love him dearly. He is the reason I feel so strongly that I am not English – because I do love him dearly, and it would feel disrespectful to ignore his part of my heritage.


(This is, of course, a fairly old photo.)


Another Memory

I’m sitting in the kitchen with Mum. I’m in Year 5, which makes me nine or ten years old. And we’re having “The Conversation”.

Except it’s not about sex, because I’ve got a book for that, and both my sister and I were told years ago that while it was fine to play with our own bodies as much as we liked, it was a pasttime best kept in the privacy of our own bedrooms.

It’s about racism. I don’t know to this day why Mum chose that time to talk to me about it. Maybe she’d had a bad day of it. Maybe she’d had a bad day a couple of days beforehand, and wanted to talk to me about it as soon as she could deal with having that conversation. Maybe I’d told her something about school that she’d identified as racism. Maybe she just thought that I was old enough to hear it. For whatever reason, she told me.

She tells me that some people have strange ideas about other people. She tells me that sometimes people use words that they shouldn’t. She tells me that sometimes they would use those words because they didn’t know any better, and sometimes they would use them because they wanted to upset me. She tells me that it was important to be able to recognise it.

Mum had great timing. Later that week, a boy in my class called me “Paki” as a term of abuse. It was the first time I’d ever had it directed at me. It was the first time I recognised it as racism. And it stayed with me. I’d heard of some forms of racism, of course. My headmaster was a wonderful man, who routinely did assemblies based on stories like that of Martin Luther King and Rosa Parks. As well as the Titanic and various Greek legends. But they were stories. I knew they’d happened, but Martin Luther King and Rosa Parks lived years and years ago in America – which was practically the moon as far as I was concerned. And they were fighting against slavery and segregation and White people being racist to Black people, which wasn’t the same thing as what had happened to me, not even a little bit. The boy that called me “Paki” that day was a black boy.

Since then, many other people of many different colours and races have used that word against me, or in my hearing. I’m lucky, in a way. If only one group of people had ever done that to me, perhaps I too would have become racist, shunning every person from that group. As it is, I would have to shun everybody who didn’t hail from my ethnic background. Since my ethnicity is a confusing thing, which encompasses Anglo-Indian (Indian, Portuguese, Dutch etc.), English and Irish, it would be something of a Herculean task to find anybody remotely similar. Except my siblings, of course!

This incident, the first that sticks in my mind, goes a long way to explaining why I am the way I am, in certain situations. That boy was probably acting on something he’d heard his parents say. He said it, very likely, because nobody had taught him that he couldn’t. And so I don’t feel I have the luxury of letting comments slide. Because a society that doesn’t act on comments like that, even throwaway comments, is a society that condones them. And a society that condones them is not a society that I wish to be a part of.

People need to speak out about these things. Because if you don’t say anything, you’re just like that kid at school, that watched the bully put someone down, without doing anything to help.
And it could be a remark as simple as

“I’m off to get my dinner from the Chinky”, or
“that Paki guy in the corner shop said…” or
“that’s gay” [to mean “stupid”] or
“don’t be such a girl” [to mean “weak, feeble, silly”] or
“urgh, you spaz/ retard” [to mean “idiot, silly person”]

but whatever it is, it’s still wrong. Somewhere, somehow, it will affect somebody, and they will be offended, hurt, upset, fucking furious.

To quote my father: “It’s not big, and it’s not clever.”