Category Archives: blogging about blogging

Back in the saddle

Oof. It’s been a while.

Last time I posted I was gainfully employed (albeit, on my way out), I was just about to leave for Africa, and I was in a little confusion about the state of my relationship-that-isn’t-really-a-relationship-because-I’m-going-to-Africa-and-I-don’t-know-what-I-want thing.

It’s been a while.

What’s changed?

Work:

Having moved on from Big Corporation, I now have a new boss. She can be a bit moody and sometimes she just doesn’t seem to know what she’s doing. So far, I haven’t even been paid! (and yes, this is a stupid way of saying I’m now self-employed)

Joking aside, I’m rather enjoying the ability to make my own decisions, the discipline of having to stick to a meagre budget, the freedom of being able to meet friends for lunch or coffee, the pride of Getting Things Done.

Life:

I went to Africa. I survived Africa. I had my once-in-a-lifetime experience that I never have to repeat. I met some amazing people. I met some not-so-amazing people. I did things I never thought I would ever in a million years do even if you paid me (and, in fact, paid to do it)*. It was an experience. It was nothing like I thought it would be. I’m glad I did it. I needed to do it. I won’t do it again.

And my God, I’m so glad to be home again.

Love: 

So that guy? Yeah, I’m still with him. Despite the fact we both decided that we weren’t going to wait for each other while I was away we… did. And yes, it was odd, seeing him again after 4 months apart. And yes, it was a little awkward at first. But that was at first.

He continually surprises me with his thoughtfulness and kindness, his ability to take situations in his stride that would have me completely freaking out, his relaxed attitude to everything I deign to throw at him (be it a day out with Fursty Ferret to a couple of days with the parents – yes, that happened).

We’re taking it as it comes, I think. Seeing what happens. Enjoying each other’s company and all those other cliches. Let’s see what happens.

And so there you have it. My updated life in fewer than 500 words. Much like I’m targeting 5 meetings a week for work, I should try and give myself a blogging target. After all, this blog is the only place I get to rant to my heart’s content in relative anonymity.

I’m on the case. I’m getting back in the saddle.

* for the very curious, I went skydiving in Namibia. I’m not sure why I said yes. It was absolutely petrifying. The poor chap I was strapped to was completely deaf by the time he got me on the ground. 

 

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What is a woman?

As tempting as it is, any savvy internet geek knows that you should never feed the trolls. Getting a rise is the food they thrive on. The fact that they’ve managed to get under the skin of their victims is the sole reason they exist. The clever thing to do, as shown by my very dear friend, Isabel Fay, is to laugh at them.

And so laugh I will. Or rather, if you’ll allow me the indulgence, I’ll discuss accusations and write a long ranty blog post about it.

As I’ve said numerous times to numerous people, I’ve never seen myself as a feminist. To me, feminism has always been something that I didn’t quite understand. Maybe this is through my own ignorance, maybe it’s because I didn’t want to explore it deeper, maybe it’s because I have my own views that I’m happy with.

I believe in equal rights for women. I do not believe that women should be somehow pushed ahead and gain favour because they are women. This is my view on most -isms. Equality, not positive discrimination. Positive or not, it’s still discrimination. We’re born how we’re born, we all have our good points, our bad points, our points in between. We should be judged on an equal footing with everyone else and their foibles.

I digress (a little). Anyway, so recently, I’ve got to know Ashley and the other ladies who make up AWOT – Awesome Women on Twitter. I talk to them on twitter, I meet up with them and force wine on them, I gossip, email, and laugh with them. They encourage me, listen to me, reassure me, disagree with me, mentally slap me ’round the face when I need it, and generally act as all friends should. A good thing, all in all.

One of the great things about this group of women is the differing views we have. Not only on feminism, not only on the role of women in society, but also which is the best gin (Hendrick’s by the way), how to get the best shine in our hair (some swear by horse shampoo – I’m not convinced it would work for me), the best way to get from Bank to Wimbledon Common (I’m lazy so it’s going to be whichever way’s the quickest!), whether Ryan Gosling is the most perfect human specimen on earth (he is). You know, normal things.

However, ultimately, differing opinions matter not. We’re all the same. We’re all awesome. We’re all women. We’re all friends.

Healthy debate and lively conversation is a good thing. (Can you imagine how dull life would be if we all agreed the whole time?) For the most part, if people have an opinion that is different to me, I’ll take up the challenge and discuss it with them but, in the end, an opinion is an opinion and that’s that. We all have them. We are all allowed to have them. That right cannot be taken away. Agree to disagree etc.

However (and there had to be a however) when opinion dissolves into character slurs, then I feel that I should have the right to reply.

The AWOT website has a pretty open posting policy. It states:

Absolutely anyone is welcome to post on teamawot.com on any topic (bar that of batteries), though the editor retains the right to reject any post.

So, when AWOT was approached by an unknown twitter follower asking whether they could post an article, the response was simple.

if you have a well reasoned and supported argument then yes – but I will not publish trolling disguised as free will

Furry muff. The link to prove the “well reasoned and supported argument” led to a post which, after a cursory read, I declared that there was little to warrant the terms “reasoned” or “supported”. The post was a rant. A slightly strange rant with views which, for the most part, would be seen as a tad extreme for the majority of the population.

Twitter being the wonderful, open place it is, it seemed that my analysis of the blog post was not appreciated by the author. Despite her contesting that I was a “KOOL COW” and that she wanted to “wrestle” with me, I logged onto twitter this morning to be pointed towards not one, but two blog posts which had been written about me.

Now, I know better than to link from here. (Come now, it’s like how you have to write a warning whenever you link to the Daily Mail.) I will, however, outline the key accusations levelled at me and, because I can, try and respond.

A waste of a woman’s life. How many more like her?

As a title of a blog post, I quite like it. It has a strong beginning, it asks the readers a question, it encourages debate. Carry on.

<link to my blog about page>

Although I doubt you have many readers, thanks for the linky love. Shows manners.

This woman seems intelligent and good-natured enough, but she is a slut.   Any old fuck buddy from her university days can send her a text after a casual meeting asking “Fancy a fuck?” and she will say yes.   

Intelligent, good natured, yes – I am both of these things. A slut? Come now. The implication in this sentence (as also seen in a comment left on my last post on friends with benefits) is that any woman who likes to have sex (even if, God forbid, they don’t expect the man to even buy them a drink for the privilege) is a slut. Really? Are there women out there who hate other women so much? As I said, equality. If men are allowed to enjoy sex, why can’t women? Surely sex is better for all involved if both parties are into it? Leaving aside the implication that men have to buy sex with a drink or dinner, the insinuation that having a sexual relationship with no strings attached makes one a slut is, I believe, a painfully old fashioned view. Something backed up by the copious references to “bastards” and children born “out of wedlock” on the website.

The terrible tragedy of it all is that a woman like this was once a friend of mine.  She did get lucky and managed to get married though her gonorrhea had made her sterile .

What a lucky friend! She managed to get married! In spite of the fact she had gonorrhea [sic]. Well, praise the Lord, there are some kindly folk out there who’ll take pity on us slutty types.

Frances Rebecca will probably never grow up and will drink more and more gin as she gets older.  Her friends will laugh with her and perhaps sometimes at her as she gets older and drunker and acquires more cats.

As much as I would love stay young forever (it would take the role of cougar to another level, don’t you think), all of us have to grow up sometime. I have grown up immeasurably in the last few years and it’s likely I will continue to do so. That’s what maturity and changing priorities brings. Yes, it’s probable I will continue to drink gin. Yes, it’s probable that my friends will continue to laugh with, and continue to laugh at me. That’s what friends do.

She tells herself she does not care for children, but perhaps most of us cannot bear children if they are not our own.  If she did have offspring she would surely feel the whole gamut of all the sublime maternal emotions, but this state of married motherhood is now only the privilege of a select few in the matriarchal West. 

Honestly, I really don’t care for children. At least, not until they’re at the age where you can have a conversation with them. Yes, no doubt, if I had one of the things, I’d grow to love and coo over the endless puking and pooing and screaming. I am, after all, human.

The assertion that the state of married motherhood is the privilege of a few is slightly bizarre. It’s true, there are many people who have children out of marriage. There are those who don’t want to get married to their significant other, there are those who *can’t* get married but still want children (oi, equality laws, get a move on) and there are those who want children but don’t have both requisite parts. However, in a lot of countries, and a lot of cultures, getting married before having children is still seen as the norm. Neither way is the *right* way. They’re just different ways.

She is not completely stupid as she managed to get a degree in English at a good university and even learnt Latin at her private school, but perhaps, if she had managed to find a husband at the appropriate time and become a mother she could have passed her genes on.  

As we know, my sole purpose in life is to pass my genes on. It is, after all, why I read English at University and learnt Latin.

I’m not sure what time the “appropriate” time is for finding a husband. Was it at 18 when I had just started University. Maybe my University boyfriends should now be my husbands? Maybe N. Maybe I should have stuck with that one? Obviously, now I’m 30, I’m totally over the hill. I should just get my wimple out.

Sadly, for her and the next generation, it sounds like she already has a drink problem.   It will probably not get better for her the way things are going.   

I find it interesting that, because I go out, because most of the things I blog about happen after a couple of glasses of wine (or gin, I suppose), the natural conclusion is a drink problem. I know people with drink problems.. I know people who, on cleaning up a spilt drink, found themselves sucking the mop to get at the alcohol. I agree, there seems to be a prevalence of binge or bust drinking among those a little younger than me. This is not a new problem – ’twas ever thus – and doesn’t mean that the next generation has a drink problem. It means they have a problem with their drinking.

She is yet another victim of feminism – yet another tragic unwitting victim.  This must stop before more lives are wasted.  The Aztecs practised human sacrifice, but surely what we do now is a form of human sacrifice too?

I’m not sure how I’m a victim of feminism. If anything, I’m an example of how the feminist movement has progressed society and societal attitudes. I’m educated, earning a good wage. I live on my own and provide for myself. I am confident and able to stand up for what I believe in. I vote and take a healthy interest in politics. I treat those around me as my equal. Win all round, I’d say.

Let us have fewer women called Frances and Rebecca take to gin and mother’s ruin.  Let us have more women called Frances and Rebecca married with children.

I’m not sure what the focus on my middle names is (a laziness perhaps? Latching onto the fact that I went to public school and have “posh”  middle names as another reason why my downfall such a sad indictment on society?) however, what the author fails to take into account is that ultimately, it’s all about choice.

A woman is not defined by her husband and ability to procreate. She is defined by her character, her ambitions, her dreams, her hopes, her successes, her failings, the people around her, her family, her lack of family… A woman is the sum of the choices she decides to make and her right to make them.

A woman is defined by who she is, nothing more, nothing less.

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