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:

Trump Denial

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.

Book Review: Everywoman – Jess Phillips

Everywoman Jess Phillips

 

A lot of people scoff at the thought of going into politics. Even more so if you’re from a less wealthy background because it’s not what someone ‘like us’ does is it? Be prepared to completely change your mind and want to start a revolution of diversity and equality and it’s all thanks to Jess Phillips.

I picked this up after watching an interview with Jess online, I finally saw someone who I could identify with who works in our government. This book is much more than politics, this is about women, empowerment and just giving things a go! Previously, Jess worked for Women’s Aid, an incredibly important charity supporting women who need help most. Some of the stories were harrowing but show the fire behind Jess’s speeches in parliament, such as those about domestic violence.

From Mum guilt to just about getting through university Jess talks about anything and everything. That said, she also touches on some heartbreaking topics. There were many moments in this book that touched me but it was the parts talking about Jo Cox that really got me. Jo Cox was an MP in the UK, a rising star in the Labour Party, Jo was murdered for doing her job and being a compassionate human. Jess was a friend of Jo’s and I can’t imagine how hard it was going through such a horrific loss.

Not only is Jess a kick-ass MP for Labour, she’s a friend, a proud Feminist, a Mum, a Wife and, by the sounds of this book, the kind of person I’d want to have as a friend. This book fell into my hands when I needed it most. I was feeling like I was struggling as a woman, I was feeling a little beaten down by the world. Then I realised I can do this because there is so much to do! It really gave me the pick me up I needed.

I’ve recommended this to almost every one of my friends because it’s the kind of book that can and will start a revolution. Of course, I gave this 5 stars, I could not stop listening to the audiobook at every opportunity I had. I’m pretty sure I’ll not only be buying this as a gift for a few people but I’ll also be listening again very soon!

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!

Sunday 7: Reasons YOU need to vote

Tomorrow is the deadline to register to vote in the UK General Election 2017. But, why should you vote? It’s a difficult time, a snap election has been called and everything feels a bit rushed. I know that a lot of people are irritated and disenfranchised with politics and the government. So, why should you vote?

Because your voice needs to be heard 

We know that there aren’t enough young people in parliament, but that doesn’t mean your voice isn’t heard. Voting means that you can have a voice and be heard.

Because you can make the change you want to see 

Vote in the people you believe will make a difference and change.

Because it helps make the country a better place for you and others like you 

I’ll be voting for what is important for me and the communities that I am a part of. Who will make the country better for your community? If you don’t vote then who else will?

Because every.single.vote.counts. 

There’s no such thing as a wasted vote, your vote could make all the difference.

Because so many sacrificed so that you could 

People died so that you could vote. Don’t forget that.

Because ignoring a problem won’t make it go away

If you have a problem with the way the country is being run, complaining online won’t do anything, actually voting for the person you think is best will.

Because if you don’t, you can’t complain. 

If you don’t vote, you’ve done nothing to try and stop what you want to complain about.

You have until 11.59 on the 22nd May to register, click the link here and make your voice heard. 

Get registering, get voting!

No, I won’t ‘get a life’ over sexism.

Today, once again, the Daily Mail showed its shambolic and sexist journalism. When reporting on a meeting between the Prime Minister, Theresa May and Scottish leader Nicola Sturgeon the paper decided to focus on their legs. Yep, you read that right. As the country is yet again on the brink of Scotland taking independence and Britain leaving the EU, they are focusing on sexist jibes, on ‘Legs-it’.

After an outcry around the world this morning, the Daily Mail decided to respond in an even dumber way than I thought possible. They responded by telling people who were upset or offended by it to ‘get a life’ yep, you read that right. A national paper once again reminded us that sexism is well and truly alive in British society.

These are two of the most powerful women in this country and although, personally, I’m not a fan of either woman politically but I admire the position they are in. Being a woman and getting to the heights they have politically is a big deal. They are smart, educated and strong, to belittle their position is disgraceful.

I will not ‘get over’ sexism. I will not be pushed down and shut up by some bigwigs at a paper. We will continue our fight for equality for ALL women.