When We Don’t Listen to Women

Now, I don’t blame you if you don’t spend time trawling over the news. It’s pretty gloomy no matter where you live; here in the UK we’re dealing with the Brexit mess, in Europe we’re seeing a rise in racism and then we have the United States.

In the last few years, I’ve taken a lot more of an interest in politics. Firstly at home, and then internationally. Recently, there has been another set of outrage in regards to sexual assault. The current President was accused by many and heard on tape glorifying sexual assault. Now, his choice for the Supreme Court is also being accused.

While, unfortunately, the accusation doesn’t surprise me the level of shaming the accuser is facing is sickening. There have been calls that she is ‘messed up’ from the very people who will decide if this man is to be given the highest judicial honour in the states, before hearing her testimony. Even the president has waded in on Twitter, saying the following:

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Yep, that’s the President.

Again and again we see women being ridiculed, ignored. Despite the fact that we’ve had the Me Too Movement, Times Up, that there are incredible feminist writers. That women are proving again and again that they are capable and the rights that have been fought so hard for are being denied.

This blog isn’t just about what’s happening in the world of politics. For me, personally, I’ve been ignored many times just because of my gender. In fact, just yesterday during a meeting with a Gynaecologist, he spoke over me, ignored me and pushed an option I didn’t want again and again.

This is despite the fact that I am living in my body. He didn’t care about my questions or queries. His opinion was I had a coil or I had a hysterectomy. I had to push, almost cry to explain to him that this needs looking into further. Now I have another 6 months to wait. There was no concern or care, I didn’t have a voice about my own body.

When we don’t listen to women, we get closer to going back in time. To forgetting everything we’ve been working so hard to pull together and are still working towards. In fact, as a society not listening to women could be detrimental, because if people hadn’t noticed we’re a big part of the world, you know, 50%.

I know that I might be preaching to the converted here. I just had to get it out there because it is alarming, it is worrying. Is it just me that can’t look away? I’d love to know your thoughts in the comments below.

Together We Rise – The Organisers of The Women’s March

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The Women’s March went global last year. After America chose to swear in a proud misogynist, women decided to take action, and so they did. This book details the marches and more importantly, why we marched. As soon as I saw this I wanted to speak to you all about it and seeing as it’s Women’s History Month, what better time is there to speak about it?

I’m really pleased to be working in collaboration with Harper 360 for this post after reaching out to them. As you know I’ve written about the London Women’s March in earlier blogs and why we needed it but what about over a year on? This collection makes it clear that we still need to stand and be counted when it comes to society.

The book is divided into four parts; Before, The March, After and Now What, each looking at the importance of these four periods not only in relation to the march itself but also within a wider context. What I find particularly interesting however is that each part is further broken down into the reason an individual woman marched, as well as some incredible photography of the day itself. We are also treated to insights from some well-known names such as; Rowan Blanchard, Senator Tammy Duckworth, America Ferrera, Roxane Gay, Ilana Glazer, Ashley Judd, Valarie Kaur, David Remnick, Yara Shahidi, Jill Soloway, Jia Tolentino, Congresswoman Maxine Waters, and Elaine Welteroth.

I think this is both an important and accessible book, giving insight into the thoughts, feelings and power that the March created. It’s also one that you don’t have to sit and read in one go, you can pick it up when you want to feel inspired or are struggling. I can’t wait to have this on my shelves and dip into it, although I’m definitely going to be tempted to dive in and read it cover to cover!

Are you planning on picking this up? Have you already? Let me know in the comments below!

 

Blogmas Day 7: Book Review – Trump’s Christmas Carol by Lucien Young

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‘I have the best ghosts, everyone says so’

President Ebenezer Trump is a rich old fool whose heart is as small as his hands and his words as false as his hair. On Christmas Eve, he is visited by three spirits, all intent on changing his evil ways….

Back with another cracking piece of Satire Lucien Young this time turns his attention to Donald Trump. After the brilliant Alice in Brexitland , I was super excited when Ebury got in contact with me to ask if I would like to read Trump’s Christmas Carol. This follows the American president as he is visited by the ghosts of Christmas, that is Nixon, Clinton, Obama & the ghost of Christmas to come.

Of course, this does take a dark route at times, I did feel a little uncomfortable in regards to how Ebenezer views Ivanka and that, perhaps, it didn’t need to be added but that’s just my own view. I have no issue with the criticism and satire of Trump himself, in fact, the kind of things he says have been seen as comedy gold. So for the majority of the story, this truly reflects the situation.

Of course, this pays homage to Dickens original A Christmas Carol so we have a Tiny Tim, this time, however, he’s under the threat of losing health insurance with the end of Obamacare. Oh and thanks to Trump’s irresponsible tweeting America is a nuclear wasteland in 2025.  I absolutely loved this detail, because despite the humour in this there is an underlying issue with modern America and the Trump era. This is one of the things that Young gets right he makes us laugh at the ridiculousness of our political situation without forgetting the issues at hand.

I really enjoyed this as a quick read with a lot of humour. I gave this 4 stars because I really think that Young has a true talent for satire. Of course, there are some wonderful illustrations too which add to the comedy. I would highly recommend this as a Christmas present for anyone who likes politics and satire. Thank you so much to the author, publisher and Netgalley for this digital copy.

Feminist Friday: Westminster

Last week we saw a scandal in Westminster, one that unfortunately wasn’t at all surprising. UK Defence Secretary resigned amid allegations of sexual assault, following this an avalanche of accusations from all parties in UK politics. While Downing Street called the accusations ‘deeply concerning’, leader of the opposition Jeremy Corbyn addressed the ‘warped and degrading culture’. No one outwardly said, we have a problem and it’s been swept under the rug.

In the past year, sexual assault has been in the media particularly in the face of powerful figures. With the recent Hollywood conversation more and women and men are coming forward to share their stories about the abuse they had to deal with. In light of this, I believe that ultimately, we’re going to see more and more people coming forward because this isn’t an anomaly.

Recently, comedian Jo Brand hit the nail on the head as the only woman on the panel of Have I Got News For You when she said;

 “If I could only say that as the only representative of the female gender here today, I know it’s not high level but it doesn’t have to be high level for women to feel under siege in somewhere like the House of Commons. And actually for women, if you’re constantly being harassed even in a small way, that builds up and that wears you down,”

And that is exactly what needs to be said. If, in the place that our laws are made and passed a woman feels unsafe, what hope is there for the rest of the country? Personally, I’m grateful for these women that are reporting and standing up to powerful people because it makes people recognise a problem that has, I’m sure, been happening for years.

I’m hoping that this is the start of change. That the voices that are speaking out and finally starting to be heard can break down the protection of those in power, in regards to sexual violence and assault.

As always, I want to hear from you and your thoughts! Let me know in the comments below!

Book Review: Alice in Brexitland – Lucien Young

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‘You don’t have to be mad to live here but it helps’

Every day in the news all we hear is Brexit, Brexit, Brexit, for young Alice it’s something she’d rather forget. Lucien has taken a classic about a young girl falling into a crazy world and, well, put her in our crazy world instead. Based on the Lewis Carroll classic Alice in Brexitland is political satire at its best and the best part? No one is safe!

I love a bit of Satire and after seeing copies in the shop I knew I wanted to give it a try. While I wasn’t a big lover of the original novel as a child, this is an absolutely brilliant new take. All of the original favorites The Mad Hatter, Queen of Hearts (our very own current Prime Minister, Theresa May), White Rabbit, Tweedle Dumb and Tweedle Dee, the Cheshire Cat and Caterpillar have all been transformed into the hot shots who were in the fight for Europe one way or another.

Another part that I absolutely loved was the illustrations that accompanies the tale not only are they incredibly well done, they’re also hilarious… I don’t think I’ll be able to view Borris Johnson the same way again!

I gave Alice in Brexitland 4 stars. While this is a short review for a short book I can guarantee it will create a lasting impression. There’s a lot of doom and gloom at the moment in politics, so if you’re a little bit fed up (aren’t we all) or the drama and want a quick read, a bit of fun and ridiculousness then this is the book for you, there might even be another political figure who’s in the firing line…

As always thank you to Netgalley, Lucien Young and Ebury Press for this in exchange for an honest review.

General Election – We proved them wrong

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I’m breaking my normal schedule today because I am filled with pride. While the General Election didn’t exactly get the result I was hoping for, there was one piece of good news. There was a lot of talk in the last few months about how Millenials won’t vote. For some reason there was a multitude of false reasons about why were, apparently, weren’t going to vote. Some of my favourites were:

  • We’re lazy
  • We’re self obsessed
  • We don’t care
  • We didn’t bother before

Well, yesterday 72% of 18-25 year olds turned up and voted. We were engaged and I firmly believe that it is because of my age bracket that the Conservatives did not get the majority. I’m hoping that this sends a message to the government now. That young people want change and we want to be respected. More than anything I’m proud that people are going to take control of their future. We made a difference.

Now, I am nervous about what is to happen. I don’t think the next 5 years are going to be easy BUT we will get through them. We’ll get through whatever happens with Brexit and we’ll carry on. That’s that. I’m hoping that in the next general election young people continue to vote, I’ll be 27 (!?!?) so not classed as a young voter anymore but I will continue to use my right to vote and encourage others.

Well done Millenials, I’m so proud to be one of you!

Feminist Friday: Is having a Vagina a pre-existing condition too?

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I woke up this morning and was flicking through my news app and my hazy eyes focused again on a smug picture of Donald Trump, this time with the headline ‘Obamacare is dead’. I’m not American, nor do I live in the US but have watched the past few months unfold with waves of nausea after being faced with the blatant problems with sexism and racism in the US.

Once again ‘making America great again’ will have a nasty impact on many. The list of what is being considered a pre-existing condition is horrifying. As I was reading though I realised something, once again women were having someone choose their options for them because they own a vagina.

Things such as

  • Pregnancy
  • Breast, Cervical and Ovarian Cancer
  • Acid Reflux (often a problem in Pregnancy)
  • Cesarian Section

would all stop you getting coverage under Trump and his party. It must be recognised there are also issues such as enlarged prostate and testicular cancer that will impact only men, this is an issue for everyone. It’s horrifying and harrowing that people are fearing for their lives because of something they cannot help. America is supposed to be one of the most forward-thinking countries in the world…I doubt that now seeing as birthing the future leaders of the world will now mean you might not be able to get insurance.

I’m incredibly lucky I live with the NHS, if it was the same in the UK there is no way in hell I would be insured because of previous problems I’ve had. It’s a scary reality when dystopian novels such as The Handmaid’s Tale are getting chillingly close to real life.

At what point do Republicans just make having a Vagina a reason for exclusion officially? At what point do they fall backwards in time and make it so women are legally second class citizens. We need to talk about this, we need to make ourselves louder than ever all across the world to make sure it is known to the misogynists that not only are we equal, we are strong and capable.

What are your thoughts on the new bills being passed? Are you going to be impacted by them? Let me know in the comments below or drop me a tweet @chloemetzger!