Sunday, 29 July 2012


my first commenter is clearly a misogynistic troll.

The End of Science Fiction By Lisel Mueller

This is not fantasy, this is our life.
We are the characters
who have invaded the moon,
who cannot stop their computers.
We are the gods who can unmake
the world in seven days.

Both hands are stopped at noon.
We are beginning to live forever,
in lightweight, aluminum bodies
with numbers stamped on our backs.
We dial our words like Muzak.
We hear each other through water.

The genre is dead. Invent something new.
Invent a man and a woman
naked in a garden,
invent a child that will save the world,
a man who carries his father
out of a burning city.
Invent a spool of thread
that leads a hero to safety,
invent an island on which he abandons
the woman who saved his life
with no loss of sleep over his betrayal.

Invent us as we were
before our bodies glittered
and we stopped bleeding:
invent a shepherd who kills a giant,
a girl who grows into a tree,
a woman who refuses to turn
her back on the past and is changed to salt,
a boy who steals his brother’s birthright
and becomes the head of a nation.
Invent real tears, hard love,
slow-spoken, ancient words,
difficult as a child’s
first steps across a room.

Thursday, 26 July 2012

A place to stand

partly I'm looking for a place to stand. the world changes. Maybe its an age thing, maybe its a running out of energy thing. maybe you just get to a point where its all stripped bare of its bulshit and you realise that its only what matters that matters, everything else is just chaff on the wind.

Mainstream and even not so mainstream feminism has left me deeply dissatisfied, there is a hollow at the center of it. It has been swallowed by the status quo, it has been distracted and then consumed by consumerism as if we could buy liberation. It seems to be becoming more defensive and demanding of femininity and less accepting of lesbianism, butchness, masculinity in women or just a refusal to take part in the work that femininity entails. I cannot even count the number of times I've heard a feminist say "being a feminist doesn't mean you're a hairy legged lesbian!" There seems to be a thread in feminism that is getting stronger of being deliberately non threatening, of making sure men are comfortable and this excludes women who men do find threatening or women who wont or cant change themselves to make men comfortable around them.

There's a focus on middle class professional women in the work place without an acknowledgment that most women are not middle class professionals and so face very different issues around work, unemployment and childcare.

Mainstream feminism if it remembers disabled women exist at all pays the bare minimum lip service to accessibility, in fact most of the feminist groups and conferences I've attended  are at least as abelist as the rest of society and often more so. I have too many stories of being dismissed, ignored or forgotten about when I try to talk about accessibility issues.

And radical feminism, I have a lot of time for radical feminist theory and radical feminist history but it seems that women who call themselves radical feminist don't actually know much about radical feminism. The tend to be very young and think that just being anti porn and anti prostitution makes one a radical feminist. I am anti porn and anti prostitution but I don't want to talk about it all the time, in fact due to personal history I don't want to talk about it much at all, and there are other issues that are just as important to the liberation of women as issues around porn and prostitution.

And theres lots of vicious transphobia in radical feminism that I'm deeply uncomfortable with, which also seems to be an obsession at least amongst radical feminist bloggers.

Feminism tends to be dismissive of religion, of women who are religious and my religion is important to me, my feminism and my Christianity work together fine and I'm sick of feminist telling me I'm not a real feminist because of my religion.

One thing that bothers me about social justice in general it the utter lack of compassion within it. the acknowledgment that  we are all damaged by the society we grow up in and we all make mistakes and sometimes the choices we make are for reasons of survival than ideology and that's okay. I think if  compassion is not wound into and through everything we believe and in the way we engage with and understand the people who are fighting the same or similar battles, who are also oppressed, then what we create will lack compassion and a compassionless world is an oppressive one

Thursday, 19 July 2012

Jemma getting Married

you will give away
your name
your time
your talent
your energy

you will give away
your sense of the east anglian sky
that big wide horizon
that you have always been looking for

You will give away

He will give away

Saturday, 14 July 2012

Heterosexual relationships and misogynistic damage

Men do terrible things to women, terrible, life destroying, life shattering, wounding, traumatic things to women, we know this and we talk about this. We talk about how to change this, how to challenge men that do this, how to challenge a system that this happens in.

But what we don't talk about is the insidious erosive damage that most heterosexual men do to the women they are in relationships with - even the "good" men, even the men who are not overtly abusive. They leech energy and time from their female partners while not giving anything back. They expect their female partners to know every detail of their lives while being completely uninterested  back. The female partner is expected to have no hobbies or interests of her own, or if she does to always put her partners wants before them, to have them last on the list of things she is doing with her life after taking care of all his emotional and practical needs. She is expected to do the bulk of the housework: the washing, the food shopping, the laundry, the tidying, without any thanks or appreciation from him, yet when he does one thing that he doesn't usually do or that is considered domestic she is expected to shower him with praise.

He doesn't take her relationships with her friends seriously and yet expects that she will be fine with him spending hours and hours doing tedious immature stupid shit with his male friends. His career invariably comes first, he will demand that they live where he wants to live, he will demand that her career fits in with his need to be paid attention to at all times whether it fits in to her life plan or not. Even if it means giving up on the things she had her heart set on

And if she is brilliant, creative, passionate, as so many women are he will slowly erode her sense of self, her sense of place in the world until she believes she is none of these things, until she believes she's lucky to have him. Until she believes that all the choices she made to give up her brilliance, her creativity, her place as an individual in the world were her choices

and I am so sick of this, and I am a ball of fury, I am angry with a world that lets men not grow up, that allows them to avoid learning how to be self sufficient. I am angry with women who make excuses for them and I'm really angry with feminism that really seems to have dropped the ball on this issue. Theres an increasing trend in feminism thats all about trying not to upset men, about making feminism comfortable and accessible for men. and this is at the expense of many many women in heterosexual relationships who, if they really felt supported by feminism, by other women, might find the strength to say to their partners "grow the fuck up or get lost"