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Thursday, 22 March 2012

Everything and nothing has changed

I listened to a Woman’s Hour phone in yesterday on the joys and problems of being a stay at home mother or a working mother. Among the calls was a lady – can’t remember her name but she was very positive and cheerful and basically said, ‘Come on – things HAVE changed. We can go out to work if we want or more likely NEED to, we shouldn’t apologise for wanting more than caring for our children – we work to pay bills not because we’re selfish and even if we do want things like status and a sense of satisfaction in working – what’s wrong with that? We shouldn’t have to feel guilty for having ambition. Things are different for our generation. And I thought – yeah good on you.
And then I read Dennis Waterman blaming Rula Lenska for him hitting her because she’s a 'clever woman' and you know what it’s like with these uppity wimmin and their cruel tongues making less educated men feel bad. Well according to Waterman she (surprise!) provoked him and I think no – nothing’s changed at all. 'It's not difficult for a woman to make a man hit her,' he says. No Dennis, all she has to do is say the wrong thing. Or just get in the way of his fists. The ‘he or she made me do it,’ is the classic abuser’s excuse as we all know. I remember reading some horrendous piece where a paedophile pointed out that little girls were actually very seductive and what's a guy to do? Or the girl who goes out wearing a tight skirt and 'gets herself' raped. Or in this case – clever women deserve to get hit. It’s all the same really. Victim blaming. Nothing has changed. Dennis Waterman – you are an anencephalous tosser. Clever enough for you? And Minder was shite.

PS: After I posted this piece I read again the Christina Odone piece about it in the Telegraph, linked above. And then I scrolled down to the comments. Read them if you want to be depressed. Out they come the 'jokes' about never hit a woman (no matter how much she deserves it) - oh ho ho, and about how the domestic violence figures are skewed in favour of wimmin. Where are the figures for this? I know that there are women who hit men and men are often too ashamed to come forward. But why when there's a piece in which a man admits to having hit a woman and then basically blamed her for it, are practically all the comments of the 'la la la what about men la la la wimmin are bitches la la la' type?

Wednesday, 7 March 2012

How to be a contented mother

The woman who threatens commmunity websites with ruin if they disagree with her shows you how to grow a Contented Little Baby is back! And this time she's not ordering babies about but mothers, in her new book: The Contented Mothers Guide. Basically it tells new mothers, very very new mothers, to slide some nice underwear over the leaking c-section scar, ignore the red, swollen breasts and put out for their husbands. I'm sure it tells you other stuff too like how to stay at home and how to go to work. Or maybe work part time. Oooh yet another book telling us how to do parenting proper. Lovely.
But as Ms Ford is notoriously litigious I will say no more.

Gina Ford and Marjorie from Fat Fighters. Are they related?

I have to go to school tomorrow dressed as a Roman

So I was sitting in front of my laptop musing whether one character’s newly shuffled arc would impact on the other main character’s arc when The Girl comes pounding into the study. She’s got this habit of repeating the question in exactly the same tone of voice until I break.

Mummy I have to go to school tomorrow dressed as a Roman.
Hang on a minute I have to finish this.
Mummy I have to go to school as a Roman.
I said HANG ON
But Mummy I have to go to school tomorrow dressed as a Roman.
Did you not hear me? I have to have five minutes to finish this.
I have to go to school tomorrow dressed as a Roman.

I swear to God she could be used by M15 on stubborn suspects.
It was at this point that I realised that a) the word ‘tomorrow’ was appearing a lot and b) I’m shit at sewing. Not like my mum who made me an Alice in Wonderland costume from scratch when I was nine years old. She even made little pantaloons. I can’t even sew a pencil case. No I’m not kidding. When we made pencil cases at school which involved cutting out two rectangles of fabric and stitching them together, mine ended up looking like some dodgy Rhombus sewn by a drunk person. And my stitching was so bad that the single pencil I put into it fell out almost immediately. But it was time to put my pencil case shame behind me and ransack my wardrobe for anything remotely Roman looking. I tried to persuade her to wear a sheet but The Girl was adamant. She was going as Flora Roman Goddess of Flowers.
So thanks to an old slip, some gold braid, a needle and thread, some glue and a LOT of swearing, The Girl had a costume. And she looked lovely. And I still haven’t sorted out the character arc problem.