Power to the people…

I’m utterly disgusted at the election results. Beyond that I am saddened & scared. English & Welsh working class voters supporting Tories is incomprehensible. To sell out hungry children, homeless & disabled people for Brexit is vile. The future looks terrifyingly bleak. Our NHS is in real danger & the most vulnerable people in our society are likely to persecuted further. I am grateful for the limited protection being in Scotland offers me. It has never been more clear that we need to be free of this rotten union. My heart goes out to all those who fear what the future brings under another Conservative government. More than ever we have to do what we can for those who will be left in need.

This women’s world…

I hate the damn patriarchy. I hate the structures that allow it to continue to function, the men who deny its existence and those who just close their eyes to it. I am tired of rape culture and wage gaps and micro aggressions and attacks on reproductive rights. It all sickens me. However, what angers me most are the women who refuse to join the feminist ranks. The traitors in our midst are worse than the enemy at the gate.

The simple truth is that women must fight for each other. Allies are great, but we cannot rely on anyone else to secure our rights. Although men may care about the treatment of individual women, the have proven that they aren’t all that concerned with our fight for genuine equality. Even so-called decent men exhibit shock when women discuss the nitty gritty of our lives and how misogyny affects us. If almost every woman you know has been sexually assaulted or harassed, how is it possible that almost every man in your life has no idea that it was happening? How can women be cat called, groped and demeaned from the moment the grow boobs and no men ever participate or see it happening? It is isn’t possible. They know. Just like they know we’re side-lined in the work place. They same way they are completely aware that women still carry most of the burden of child rearing and home keeping. Not to mention the emotional labour of explaining this (& oh so many other things). Our patriarchal society is very comfortable for men. Hoping they will tear down their own kingdom is naïve. We have got to have each other’s back.

Shall we start with the basics?
Other women are not the competition. The pie is big enough for everyone to get a slice. You do not have to engage in that ‘I’m not like other girls’ bullshit. Women don’t create anymore drama than men. Female bosses aren’t inherently bitchy. Slut shaming isn’t cool. Trying to distinguish yourself at the expense of the entire sisterhood is a stupid move. Everyone knows what you’re up to and almost no one likes it. You think you’re winning cool girl points with the men folk, but they’ll stomp on you just as quickly as they do anyone other chick who gets in their way. In short, don’t be a desperate pick me. It’s just sad.

Offer genuine solidarity.
Support other women in all aspects of life. Vote for the women who deserve to hold office. Consume the art of talented women. Shout out your friend’s endeavours. Fight for representation with your voice and your purse. Don’t judge women for every little thing. Stay at home Mum’s aren’t better than those with careers outside the home. There is no perfect size. Trans women are women. We’re all real and we’re all just trying out best. If your feminism isn’t intersectional, it’s worthless.

Actions speak louder…
If there is any chance of breaking down the barriers that women face, we must be prepared to stand up for each other in practical ways. We must be willing to stand with our sisters even when it’s difficult. Don’t automatically dismiss reports of misconduct against men that you like. Abusers (of all types) often cultivate a nice guy persona precisely because it makes their predation easier to get away with. Listen and be prepared to question.

Back female colleagues. Shut down mansplaining and the co-opting of ideas. It is so easy for a third party to interject a simple ‘I think X already covered that’. Do not tolerate inappropriate talk. Don’t laugh or ignore sexist ‘banter’. Be clear that you are not amused, and you will not work in a toxic environment. If you witness discrimination, harassment, bullying approach the victim and offer your assistance. Not just a shoulder to cry on, but pragmatic help. Go on record with HR regarding what you’ve witnessed, testify at tribunals etc. This is even more important if the woman in question is also a member of another oppressed group. Use whatever power you hold to institute practices that make your workplace a place that women can thrive. Then fight to have to those polices enforced. Protect and encourage the warranted career progression of women who utilise maternity or family leave. We must be willing to stick our heads above the parapet. Even/especially when we may be the only female voice in a room.

Do not reward collaborators.
This is very simple. Women who purposely back the patriarchy do not deserve your support. If they are willing to inhibit the opportunities of other women for personal gain, they are not worthy of your backing. Don’t vote for, align yourself with or rely on them. A sisterhood of women is a very powerful thing. Devote your energy to building and sustaining your own.

You know you want it…

I really want to write about the whole Kavanaugh debacle, but I find myself too filled with rage to be coherent. He is the perfect example of how deep misogyny runs. From the tired old ‘why did she wait so long’ & ‘boys will be boys’. To his openly disrespectful treatment of female senators and the hypocrisy surrounding how male displays of belligerence & tears are strong and riveting, whilst a women doing the same would be hysterical and unfit for the public office. It’s the patriarchal home run. The really horrifying thing is I’m not convinced any of it will stop his confirmation. We keep thinking we’ve made progress, but it’s lip service. Crumbs.

I am disgusted. And exhausted.

Someone else summed it better. I’m just going to leave this here.

For the avoidance of doubt, I Believe Her. Dr Blasey Ford is a hero.

Woman of the week…

It’s been a while, but a truly incredible woman inspired me to bring back the honour roll . This week’s epic woman is the fearless Hannah Gadsby

I had picked up on a little social media buzz about her latest stand up show, Nanette & headed onto Netflix to give it a watch. I expected some laughs. What I got was the most raw & uncompromising show I have ever seen. Hannah Gadbsy is a feminist hero. She begins by mixing jokes about her trauma with humour & explains how she balances tension to create relief with a punchline. Then, she bravely recounts her stories without relief. She gives us her reality.

Hannah Gadsby

She rails against violent misogyny & homophobia. She describes unflinchingly how being raised in an environment that teaches you to hate who you are cripples a child. She throws in the quips, but she never let’s the audience off the hook. She forces us to recognise her truth and her anger. She exposes her (& all our) need to honestly tell our stories. Her pain is palpable. Her courage is beautiful.

I beseech you all to watch Nanette. It is a masterpiece

You say you want a revolution…

If you are even fractionally sentient you will be aware the Donald Trump visited the UK last week. He did so with all his usual grace & charm. Yup, that’s right, none. Instead he gave us his standard fare; lies, ill manners & fuckwittery.

I’m delighted to confirm that we weren’t standing for it. A reported 250,000 people took the streets of London to protest Trump’s arrival on our shores. In Glasgow the crowd was smaller, but no less passionate.

I’ll happily take every opportunity to denounce the U.S. President & his vile administration. For me it boils down to one really simple fact; if you don’t loudly condemn their actions, you’re condoning them.

I don’t consider it hyperbole to describe the current GOP as fascists. Trump’s government displays every single facist warning sign. Rampant racism leading to dehumanisation comes straight from the nazi playbook. Language such a infestation combined with policies like family separation & Muslim travel bans are undeniably examples of this. Extreme sexism is unavoidable when the commander in chief is a sexual predator. When you combine his misogyny with the increased power of the religious right you create a dangerous situation. Reproductive rights, access to health care & basic human rights for LGBTQ+ people are at serious risk. Assaults on the free press. An inability to conduct himself in reasonable & decent manner add to his horrors. When mocking disabled people is fair game, but denouncing white supremacy is not, you have a society in serious trouble.

It isn’t possible to recount all of Trump’s bad conduct in one blog post. He represents all that I find repulsive. His Presidency puts vulnerable people within & without America at severe risk. I think all decent people have a duty to resist. I’m proud of my city for making our revulsion clear.

I spent the first half of the protest sharing a bench with some elderly Americans who thanked me for our support. They also asked me to explain some of the signs, which proved a little awkward. ‘Fud’ is not a word that lends itself to polite translation. It was, however uplifting to share a laugh and all that we had in common.

Protest is important & powerful. Please join in whatever capacity you can. Be that matches, rallies, direct action or even donations. Be safe, but be strong.

You can put your money to good by donating to these organisations.

RAICES provide free & low cost legal services to immigrants & refugees in Texas.

The ACLU fight through the courts to defend the civil liberties of all Americans.

The Coalition to Stop Gun Violence does exactly what it says on the tin. The campaign for & work on legislation that will introduce gun restriction laws which will reduce gun violence.

Planned Parenthood provide sexual health services, screening, abortions & much more. They are essential for many Americans who cannot otherwise access affordable healthcare.

Keep your rosaries off our ovaries…

Today I joined the counter demo against catholic anti abortion group 40 days of life. Regular readers may remember that I also attended this protest last year & I am incredibly frustrated to have had to return today.

40 days of life are an international group who use their faith as an excuse to harass vulnerable people outside hospitals. They have taken American style anti abortion protests global. It both saddens & enrages me to see them operating in my city. During lent the group protest outside the maternity buildings of various Glasgow hospitals. Their claims of wanting to help people planning abortions are belied by their actions. I have seen this group standing outside my local hospital & they are helping no one. Their chosen location is outside the maternity building, but also at the main entrance to the hospital, providing maximum opportunity for intimidation. Regardless of the situation no one is happy to discover an unwanted pregnancy. To seek to cause distress to people in an already difficult situation is cruel. To add to the burdens of persons who may be traumatised or desperate is sickening. Their talk of kindness & love are incongruous with their actions. As is the fact that their hospital vigils cause unneeded stress & upset to expectant mothers, women who have miscarried, women with seriously ill & premature babies. All of whom use the building they protest outside. Their signs & prayers can be seen & heard from various wards in the building. Their presence causes untold harm.

Photo Credit : Elaine Graham

I was truly sickened today as I listened to their lies, inaccuracies & smug self congratulation. I could barely believe my ears as I heard Robert Colquhoun (40 days of life, international director) praise the group for their work. He talked of how happy he was at protests in Argentina & how he hoped they might prevent a proposed change in abortions laws. For the record Argentina currently only permits legal abortion in cases of risk to mother’s life or rape. In practise even in those cases abortion is by no means guaranteed. The influence of Catholic Church is a major factor in current abortions laws in the country. The result of which laws is huge numbers of illegal abortions. Many people die as a result of unsafe illegal abortions. Many suffering treatable complications also die because there are legal penalties for those caught undergoing ‘back street’ procedures, thus many are afraid to seek medical help. As always those living in poverty are hardest hit. The poorer the person the less likely they are to be able afford decent care, making them more likely to experience serious complications, death or be plunged further into poverty by the responsibilities of additional children. This is a situation that Coluqhoun & his cohorts are actively trying to maintain. To call such an organisation pro life is laughable.

Colquhoun went on to identify a clinic in England that performed the majority of late term abortions in England. He talked of wanting to protest that clinic in an attempt to stop those procedures. Let me remind you that late term abortions (after 24 weeks) are performed in the UK only in extreme circumstances. Namely that the physical or mental health of the mother is at extreme risk, that continuing with pregnancy would pose a threat to their life or that the fetus is found not to be viable or to have a condition or disability that would severely impair their chances of any quality of life. In plain speaking those who have late term abortions are about as vulnerable a group as it is possible to find. We are talking about abused children, raped & tortured adults, people who want to continue with their pregnany, but face death if they do so & those whose unborn child will be still born or so severely ill they are likely to live only short lives filled with pain. Is there anyone amongst that group who you would wish to see harassed? To have possibly one of the most painful periods of their life debated in public? These are the very people that 40 days of life today cheered the notion of obstructing. That they would pin point a clinic performing such essential procedures is evil. All their talk of God’s love & the sanctity of life amounts to deliberately tormenting & shaming people who have already suffered more than anyone should ever have to bear.

These are just two of the selfish speaking points. There were many more disgusting acts celebrated. Many lies told. It is crucial that we do not let this go unopposed. These American tactics are new to UK & we must not let them take hold. Religious extremists (for that is what they are) must not be allowed free reign to abuse people undergoing lawful medical treatment. We have to stand up & protect the right to choose. Access to safe abortion saves lives. Beyond that every child should be born to parents who both want to & are able to properly care & provide.

I passionately believe that everyone has a right to quality sex education, access to contraception and complete bodily autonomy. I am absolutely prepared to fight for those rights. I hope that you are too.

Do you want to know a secret?…

I have a secret. It could be argued that keeping this secret makes me a bit of a hypocrite. For all my body positivity, there is one thing about myself that I cannot learn to love; my facial hair. 


Until about I was about 30, I wasn’t a very hairy person at all. My body hair was all fair & fine. As such it wasn’t something that I gave much thought to. To begin with I had a little bit of fine hair on my neck, which I put down to getting a bit older. The hair quickly progressed to my chin, then to my upper lip. I started waxing it & so began my facial hair war. 

As the hair got thicker I consulted my gp (as a person who had crazy periods, sometimes 1 a year, sometimes lasting 6wks) PCOS should have been any easy diagnosis. In actual fact it took 6yrs to convince a dr to even investigate. Blood tests revealed increased hormone levels & that was that. I was prescribed medication to regulate my periods, which thankfully worked. The beard, however, remains. I’m too pale & fair for laser removal and nothing else really does the job. The hair continues to get worse. I’ve tried waxing, hair removal cream & even a No!No!; none of which keep my face smooth for more than a day or two.


I can love my fat & my scars. I don’t even care what others thinks about my often hairy legs. I feel no compulsion to remove my pubic hair other than when I feel like it. I don’t wear make up daily & my hair is most often to be found in a very messy bun. I have skin tags & moles & birthmarks that it has never even occurred to me to feel self conscious about. I am almost entirely impervious to societal demands upon my body. Expect it seems when it comes to my increasingly hairy face. 

A hairy face appears to be my line in the self love sand. I cannot get past the notion that it renders me repugnantly unwomanly. As I write those words I know how stupid & misogynstic & backwards they are. Yet, none of my strident feminist views prevent me from being utterly ashamed of my stubbly chin. 

The fact that I have internalised this patriarchal bullshit makes me so angry. I know I don’t have to measure up to some nonsensical notion of femininity, but part of me still wants to. I hate that. I hate how much energy I waste on getting rid of this hair. I hate that despite my best efforts I have bought into such a narrow definition of what being a woman is. 


Maybe part of this is the same as any other stigma, no one talks about it. Well, not outside hushed, unhappy tones with our closest ones. Or whispered exchanges with professionals who might rid us of the dreaded hair. I know other women who have PCOS, but none of them have visible facial hair & I’ve never asked. Are they too constantly removing fuzz? I wouldn’t know because I’m not sure if talking about it would be rude or even out right offensive. So, I just carry on feeling like the only person who could have a side job in Victorian freak show. 

Until now. I’ve decided to come clean. Yup, I have a beard. I may not ever be ready to let the world see it, but at least I can start talking about it. It’s just hair, right? Fuck it. Girls can be furry too. What’s the worst that can happen? Someone might even have a good tip on how to get rid of it! 

Keeping up with the misogyny…

Last night I watched Keeping up with the Kardashians. Someone asked me to write a thing & I thought I could include the Kardashians in the piece. Full disclosure I’ve never really followed them. I’d seen the show a few times with my sis in law & obviously know snippets from the pop culture dominance. I’ve never had strong opinions about them. Their popularity confused me, but I thought them ultimately begnin. Now, I’m not so sure. 

It may sound dramatic, but I found it pretty disturbing. In the episode Kim & a bunch of people, including her sister’s ex Scott, travel to Dubai. The whole episode centres on how heartbroken the ex is as that the  sister has moved. He’s even relapsed  into drinking because he’s discovered that Kourtney is seeing someone else. It all seems fine, everyone  is sympathetic of his feelings & concerned about his wellbeing. Then it gets really weird. 

Kim & shit load of people turn up Scott’s hotel room. Someone spots a handbag & they all decide to go trawling around looking for it’s owner. Scott, looks terrified, which is bizarre. After all he’s a single adult, surely he can have whoever he wants in his hotel room? 

Anyway, the whole troupe complete their search & discover the bathroom door is locked. At which point Kim starts acting like crazy wronged wife. She screams about ‘scaring the fuck’ out the unknown woman. Then, with her whole gang watching she forces the bathroom door open & unleashes a tirade of abuse. She humiliates, bullies & slut shames another woman for the crime of spending the night with a single man. She calls her a tramp & a whore. The bit that disturbed me most is she’s loving it. You can see she is enjoying abusing this person. It’s horrible. Oh & none of the ten ish other people intervene. They all just watch this happen. 

It’s a really nasty display of someone using their power to attack someone in a weaker position. Why did she need such a big audience (& a camera crew) to confront this women? Why does she even think she has a right to say anything in the first place? 

Kim has railed against people slut shaming her for her sex tape, naked selfies etc, but relishes tearing into this stranger with the same kind of language. It’s toxic. 

The whole incident had a very sinister feel to it. Not least the scared man who allows it happen. It’s very creepy that he didn’t just ask them all to leave, right? Even weirder that her friends don’t tell her to stop. Seriously, would you watch your friend do that?

In summation they spend their trip talking about how not together Scott & Kourtney are. They celebrate her healthy decision to move on. Then they collectively lose it when the 100% single guy has a girl in his room. Kim searches someone else’s hotel room, forces her way into a locked room & viciously harasses someone for maybe having consensual sex. Let’s face it, that’s really cunty behaviour. That’s before you even figure in how intimated you’d have to be to hide/ask someone to hide in the first place. 

This is not my idea of entertainment. It’s just abuse caught on camera. For all Kim’s talk of female empowerment & body autonomy this is sheer misogyny. It worries me that hoardes of young women & girls look up to this family.   I’m watching & hoping for a backlash. This bullshit is not ok. 

Power to the people…

If like me, you are firmly planted on the left of politics, you are probably despairing at the moment. Trump has been in power for 13 days & he’s already making terrifying changes. It’s easy to feel far away & powerless, especially when you have a disability. However, the truth is there is lots we can all do & it’s essential that everyone does what they can. 


The most obvious sign of dissent are protests. Taking to the streets & making your opposition clear can be very powerful. I know this can be difficult & sometimes down right impossible for those with disabilities. The most important thing is not to feel guilty about missing protests. You have to put your health first. You can still engage with the movement by sharing details and pictures of marches on social media. If you can manage for 10 or 20 mins, go for that time only. Every little bit counts. 


Another great way to combat Trump’s facist agenda when differently abled is to make strategic charitable donations. 

Southern Poverty Law Centre is an organisation that fights intolerance. The monitor & inform the public of hate groups, help the most vulnerable seek justice, educate communities to reduce prejudice & much more. Racists & extremists are emboldened in the current climate, funding a group like this pushes back. 

American Civil Liberties Union defends freedom of expression & equal rights for all. The first weeks of this new administration have already shown signs of hostility towards free press. Rumoured changes to laws protecting the LBGTQ community are very worrying. Now more than ever a group that can fight injustice through the courts is required. 
Planned Parenthood Aims to provide affordable health & reproductive care to all women (& others who need their services). Along with vital access to contraceptives and abortion PP also offer sex education, sti testing,smear tests & breast exams. With a president on record as believing that people who have an abortion should be punished, this safe access must be preserved. The entirety of PP’s services save & improve incalculable lives. It is an essential organisation.

There are of course many other charities worthy of your support. From refugee orgs to LBGTQ rights groups, there are no shortage of worthy non profits. Anything you can give will help. If eveyone gave even 50p it would make a massive difference. Having said that, I know not eveyone has any money to spare. Again, you can help by sharing groups on social media & getting their message to a wider audience. 

Try to engage with bigotry in your own friendship/family groups. Trust me I know how infuriating this can be. It hurts so much more to discover someone you care about holds these vile beliefs , but some folk can be saved from the dark side. Know your history & use it. There are so many similarities to be drawn between the period between the world wars & the period after the financial crisis. For example the conditions in Germany during the Weimer Republic helped to create an environment for Hitler to flourish in. Compare Trump’s strategies to that of Hitler’s, the parallels are frightening. Learn about American history, having an understanding of it’s story helps to illustrate what is so wrong about modern racism, xenophobia misogyny. Do remember it is also ok to withdraw. If someone stubbornly sticks with toxic views, you are entirely with your rights to ditch them

Share your message in as many forums as possible. Share articles & graphics on social media. Join local political groups, help distribute leaflets or raise funds if your health allows. Talk about your opinions on the ‘alt right’ on your blog or in your art. Make your voice heard in any way you can. Their is value in solidarity, it is massively comforting to know one is not alone. 

Last, but absolutely not least, do not forget about what’s happening at home. Post brexit Britain is no picnic; hate crimes have seen a 40% increase since the referendum. Our government is purposely defunding the NHS & cuts in benefits for the most vulnerable members of society are ongoing. There is work to be done  here too. Write  to your Mp about important votes & any issues you feel are critical. Apply all of the suggestions above when fighting on the home front. 

Finally, support local charities too. This month I’m turning my charitable attentions to Refuweegee. They are committed to ensuring refugees arriving in Glasgow receive a warm Glaswegian welcome. You can donate money or goods & even write a nice letter for our new arrivals. 

Go forth & fight the good, inclusive fight! 

Woman of the Week…

I couldn’t march on Saturday because my stupid body is stupid. I am gutted to have missed such a massive assembly of strong women. 



I was especially delighted to see so much intersectional feminism on display along with a big turnout of kids & young adults. It heartens me to think that right here in my city the next generation is woke. I am proud that so many parents everywhere are raising their kids right. Which brings me to one of my favourite videos from the March on Washington.




By now I am sure you have all seen Ashley Judd’s recitation of Nasty Woman. It was a memorable performance of a powerful piece & credit to Judd for bringing to the attention of so many. For me what makes it even more inspiring is that it is the work of Nina Mariah Donovan; it is she who is my woman of the week. The 19 year old from Tennessee wrote the poem last year in response to Trump’s growing campaign infractions. Judd attending the event at which Nina originally performed the poem. The writer’s own delivery of the piece is every bit as commanding as her famous fan. 

Ashley Judd of course sought & received permission to use the work & Nina expected some backlash. Ridiculously Trump supporters are disgusted with Donovans’s description of Ivanka as her father’s favourite sex symbol, whilst having no issue with Trump’s own incestous comments. 

Nina Mariah can be found on YouTube, where she posts videos of her incredible performances. She writes on feminism, social justice, her Puerto Rican heritage & pop culture. I’m blown away with the intensity of her words. Her stage presence & mastery of language are stunning. Do yourself a favour & start following her now. I dearly hope this young woman’s  redoubtable talent is about go BIG.