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One Salford Feminist

All radical, all of the time...

Updated: 2017-10-23T10:46:25.680+00:00


For the Record...


Judeophobes are unwelcome here.

There's Still Time


to get in touch with your MP before tomorrow's Human Fertilisation and Embryology vote. I did. I have yet to have a reply but I will let you know what it says when I do.

I quote from the government's website: "Amendments to abortion law are likely to be introduced during the passage of this Bill." We need to be all over this like a rash. The bill is before committee as I type and you can watch the privileged white men argue about what happens to women's bodies if you go to - but don't blame me if you end up frothing at the mouth and looking for someone to beat senseless. I'm late with this post because things IRL came up and overtook me, but PLEASE, if you have two minutes to spare, e-mail your MP or phone the House of Commons on 020 7219 3000 and ask to speak to, or leave a message for your MP. They need to hear us.

Oh, You know how it goes...


This goes on and on in my city and elsewhere, perhaps because of this. As an antidote to which, I suggest reading this. And for those of you with a strong stomach and a taste for the extreme, I point you at this. Enjoy.

Guess What!


It's now legal for women to drive cars in Saudi Arabia!! After an 18 year ban, women may finally, legally, get behind the wheel without fear of imprisonment or losing their job. Now, how about some other rights for women and girls in Saudi? Like the right not to be gang-raped and subsequently sentenced to a vicious beating and imprisonment?

And, yes, I know that the "Qatif Girl" was pardoned. I also know that she broke the law and probably understood the consequences. I UNDERSTAND that there are people out there who will tell me that there are cultural issues and differences that I ought to consider. And my answer to those people is an unequivocal NO. I will no longer be tolerating the abuse of women and children simply because it can be explained or excused by men as cultural or religious practise.

How can anyone can argue in favour of disenfranchised women, or the enforced wearing of abaya: full body covering that women must wear after they begin to menstruate? How can anyone accept that women's testimony in court is unequal to her male counterpart? Just like Female Genital Mutilation these are obvious human rights abuses. Cultural codes and norms be buggered. I'm sick of it. Getting behind the wheel of a car is a dramatic, empowering act; I hope it is the very beginning of successful protest and liberation for Saudi women.

This week I have been mostly


putting my hands into bags of unusually wet, mouldy clothing and discovering that said clothing is in fact soiled bedding. Actual poo, people. Poo on my hands. And the thing is, the person who "donated" the diarrhoea-smeared sheets actually looked me in the eye and SMILED at me as she handed me the bag. I have also cut my hand on a bag of broken porcelain figurines. I hate this job. I've ranted before about this and I hate to sound jaded but shitty sheets and smashed up pots? Really?

But! I have also opened bags of the most amazing donations: a gold sovereign, first edition books, beautifully cared for and cleaned clothes, brand new unwanted Christmas gifts! When this happens I love the job. Even though I'm busy being charitable (!) I'm still looking for something PhD related so if anyone has any suggestions? I am working on an article for an academic journal and I am hoping to branch out a bit and write something for our local paper about various Salford-based women's groups.

Oh, and today I am grateful for last night's yoga and also for tasty mushroom cup soup. Yay!

My haitus.


I went AWOL for three weeks because I got notice that my viva was scheduled for 13th December. So I went yesterday and bugger me if I didn't pass! I got my PhD. It seems unreal to me and I feel a bit flat about it yet. I'm hoping for euphoria at some point. I think I deserve it!

I have minor corrections to do, and I am actually looking forward to working on them. So, normal service will be resumed here as of today. Carry on!



Here it is! The Carnival's in town. Get your comfy boots on and throw on an old, warm jacket, it's November and we're going for a long, satisfying walk round Radical Feminist country. First off, Holly Ord at the wonderful and thoughtful site, Menstrual Poetry, posts about Planned Parenthood and talks positively about how the organisation is a champion of woman's health issues and reproductive rights. The Truth About Planned Parenthood. Holly also provides us with an eloquent post on the "pro-life" agenda and the hit-and-miss results that blogs get with Google ad-sense in her post Fun with My Google Adsense Holly says "Whenever looking at this site, I always find myself going through the ads Google has deemed as appropriate for my website. As most know, most of the time Google comes up with some rather interesting ads to display, sometimes having nothing to do with the content on your website." And finally Holly gives us LOL Fetus? Holly's own take on Gary Cangemi's "pro-life" cartoon Umbert the Unborn. Copy it, paste it, pass it on! Tracee Sioux steps up with a grand post questioning the apparent Pornification of Halloween. Tracee asks "When the focus is on what girls are wearing for Halloween are we blaming Lolita for Humbert Humberts perversions? Girls walk a tight rope of acceptability now that the pornification of everything girly has become normalized." I absolutely couldn't agree more. And don't get me started on the whole "ugly" witch thing...Felix at BayRadical presents her interview with lesbian feminist photographer Cathy Cade. The photos that accompany the post are beautiful, powerful, startling and joyful. We need more of this positive celebration of lesbian radical feminism! You Can't Stop Me – an interview with Cathy Cade Marcella Chester at Abyss2Hope talks about the difficulties surrounding traditional police procedure and the treatment of rape victims in her post Troubling Police Interview With Alleged Rape Victim Marcella comments that "With all the emphasis on false confessions and false convictions, many people still accept retractions of rape allegations as if they can never be false and obtained through abusive tactics."Marcella also posted about Anti-Feminism And Rape saying, "This is my response to a man who claims that feminists are like Klansmen." This is a searing response to the ludicrous and unintelligent accusation that Feminism encourages the wholesale abuse of men in a way that is comparable to the abuse of people of colour by Klansmen. Fear not, Marcella dealt with it! Maggie Jochild got all excited and showered me with fantastic fodder for you womyn!! I loved the look of her blog, lots of photos to engage the eye and the heart. We'll start with WHO WERE THE WITCHES? a mega-post that begins with a contemplation on the meaning and celebration of Halloween and morphs gently into a wonderful historical overview of the works of Bonnie Lockhart and The Berkeley Women's Music Collective. Maggie's next two submissions focus on living with disability. LIFE IN A WHEELCHAIR and DISABILITY 101: SOME GUIDELINES are two beautifully illustrated posts about the politics and practicalities of disability. Disability 101 is, if you'll pardon me, a fucking brilliant lesson in how to talk about and understand varied disabilities. If I give you the technorati tags (Adriene Rich, Class, BMI, Crooked Timber, Fat, Gay and Lesbian Couple Visibility, Sexism, Title VII, Womensspace, Red Stae/Blue State Regionality) for Maggie's next post, that should give you some idea of the range of her thinking! It won't, however, prepare you for the stunning photo accompaniments. Enjoy! BROAD CAST, 8 NOVEMBER 2007: DELVING DEEPER FOR TRUTHApril Spreeman submitted Sexually Vulnerable Black Women: Can America Empathize? It's a short critique for such a massive subject, but the bones of something eloquent and important are there and April, I would really like to read [...]

Random Search Terms


For your edification I give you the two wierdest search phrases that led people here this week:

1. Boobs are Everywhere

2. Who has smelliest shit faeces?

Just when you think you've seen it all...

Just a Little Note


The Carnival of Radical Feminists is here in November/December! Get your submissions to me by 24th November and I'll get down to work. I can't wait! You can e-mail me at

Get submitting.

But of Course!


The National Right to Life Committee doesn't support SCHIP*! How completely unsurprising! What a non-story. Is ANYBODY shocked that an anti-woman, anti-choice group doesn't actually appear to give a shit about the foetus once it pops out of the host?

Forced to continue a pregnancy? Compelled to give birth to a child you can't afford and can't care for? Child sick and in need of affordable medical insurance? Tough titties! The National Right to Life Committee have done their bit. They only want to know when there's someone else's uterus involved. After that you're on your own.

*For those of us Brits who don't know, SCHIP is a US initiative: the State Children's Health Insurance Program, providing low cost health insurance for Families who earn too much to qualify for Medicaid but can't afford private insurance.

According to the website: Families that do not currently have health insurance are likely to be eligible, even if you are working. The states have different eligibility rules, but in most states, uninsured children under the age of 19, whose families earn up to $36,200 a year (for a family of four) are eligible. For little or no cost, this insurance pays for:

doctor visits
emergency room visits

Oh, How I hate that word...*


Do you "slow down for whores"?** I ask because if you are the driver that does, there's apparently a bumper sticker you can buy, letting other drivers know that in the event of you espying a woman who, in your estimation, is in fact a whore, you will drop your speed to some ludicrously slow level in order that you may do whatever it is that you do when you have your whore in sight without causing some kind of horrendous pile-up.

I wonder, how do you identify your whore? Is it dress? Hair style? Attitude, location, general air of downtrodden misery? Is the only qualifying factor her evident femaleness? Does it even really matter to you that who choose is actually a prostitute? Will any woman do in a pinch? A man even? I'm guessing that big breasts are essential, given the logo that accompanies the info on your bumper sticker.***

While I'm at it, just what is it that you do? There seems to me to be a notable distinction between stopping for whores, and slowing down. If you're only reducing your speed, you clearly aren't paying your chosen whore for any service. Unless you expect her to stick her head/arms/bum through the car window and get swept dangling alongside as you get blown/wanked/fucked while you drive? Are you slowing down to shout advice? Are you slowing down to toss out money that you owe from earlier encounters? Are you slowing down to ogle, sneer, laugh and generally degrade your whore-elect? What? What's your intent? I don't get it.

Well I'll tell you something you stupid, ignorant pig, your bumper sticker demeans me. It demeans your mother, your sister and your wife. It demeans your daughter. It demeans all women, whores and otherwise. Not only that, (and which I suspect will worry you not at all) it makes you look fucking stupid. You know, you really aren't cool and edgy. You are in fact tedious and simple. And the next time I'm parked behind you in the supermarket, that bumper sticker is done for. Idiot.

* I hate it. I really do. Just so you know.
** Actual bumper sticker I saw yesterday.
***The sticker read "I slow down for whores" and had that awful mudflap woman logo on it. Sometimes I despair.

EDIT: It isn't the mudflap woman, It's similar but not quite the same. I just located the source of the stickers, you can find it yourself if you search using the sticker phrase in quotation marks. I'm not linking. Yuk.

Pippa, Bored.


I am. Really, really bored. I have no work to do, no reading that must be done, no writing, editing, chewing of pencils. There are a thousand things that I could do, and many that I OUGHT to do, but all I really want to do is work on my thesis. And I can't, because it's over.

All the time I was writing it I wanted to get to the end and move on. Now that I have, I want it back. There are a hundred things wrong with it, and I know that and could correct them. I am re-excited by my primary texts! I can see the value of my study in a way that escaped me before. So, I'm pining away at my computer, and getting more bored by the minute. I hope it's a phase.

On Charity


I mention sometimes that I work as a volunteer in a charity shop. I love it. I get to meet some of the most generous, loving, thoughtful people in my community. Every person has time and thoughts to share and you'd be surprised how often I get a free cuddle from somebody! I really do consider myself blessed.

And then the shit happens. Someone with an overly flashy car pulls up and donates their stuff. Or we get a request to collect donations from some huge house in a leafy suburb. And then we spend the afternoon marvelling at the thought processes that enable someone so conspicuously wealthy to consider donating dirty nappies, broken toys and stained, unusable clothing to charity. It is utterly mind-boggling. What the fuck do they think they are doing? If it's dirty, smelly, broken, incomplete, or, in the case of food items, PAST its sell-by date, we can't use it!

I kid you not, since I've been working in this shop I have seen the smelliest, most faeces-ridden, urine-soaked, sweat-stained rubbish I have EVER come across. And I've worked in skips and tips. I have opened donation bags and dry-heaved from the pit of my stomach at the contents. I have cut my hands more than once on broken pottery, glass and unpackaged needles. And every time one of these particular treasure-filled bags arrives for sorting, it arrives in a posh car. I do not understand it.

Don't get me wrong, not all the wealthier people donate total (and literal) crap. We get amazing donations and we are so grateful for those. But some people really seem to think that people who shop in charity shops deserve nothing better than ripped, piss-stained trousers. Or damp clothes on which a heavy layer of mould has grown. Or broken toys and incomplete jigsaws. Or dirty underwear. Or wet and stained bedding.

I could be bang out of order, complaining like this. As a charity, perhaps we ought to be grateful for anything we get. But really, should we? I wonder if there's something about privilege and social awareness wrapped up in this somewhere. Does having money affect perception? Have the wealthy got so far away from the poor that they don't know or don't care that thrift store purchases need to be clean and useful? Don't they think that people in straitened circumstances deserve better? Do they somehow imagine that our customers fall on their magical bags of gruesome and hazardous largess like starved Victorian street urchins? I'm pissed off because I am starting to think that they do.

Told you So!


Indeed we did!

Us feminists know a thing or two about women, and we know about abortion. As it turns out, safe and legal abortion REDUCES the incidence of abortion. Why don't the anti-choice brigade get that? Why don't they care that "desperate women who are denied access to safe abortions often turn to charlatan doctors, poisons, sticks and coat hangers, procedures that often result in death, infertility or permanent physical injury"? Misogynistic attempts to deny women their reproductive choices and freedoms just don't work. Yet the woman-hating continues.

Well, guess what? It doesn't work.

We told you so (does strange but happy little dance, wiggling bottom and stamping feet). We told you so.

Well, That's that.


I did it. I finished my thesis, wrote it up and sent it for printing. Tomorrow I submit and then who knows what? I feel tired and emotional and deflated and happy all at once. I may not pass, I may never look at my work again, but I set out to finish and finish I did, and for that I am thankful. And a tiny bit proud. It's over, and I can move on.

My new life starts here...

Little Updates


Thanks to you who commented and gave me support over the last few days! I feel better, my daughter is happy and coping, the house still feels empty but I'm getting used to it quite quickly.

My neighbour passed away this morning. I mentioned a couple of posts ago that he had cancer, it has taken less than three weeks from diagnosis for him to succumb. I am glad for him that it was fast and that he was unconscious during most of those days. I am sad for his family, who will miss him and mourn him and who had no time to get ready for this. I know that no-one can really ever prepare for cancer and death, but really, this was FAST.

I have six days left before I pack up my books and head off to submit my PhD thesis. It can't be done in the time that I have left. Except that it must be. And then my life will change and that scares me. What will I do? Who will I be without my thesis and my writing? I'll let you know when I find out!

Waving Goodbye.


Today I left my astonishing, compassionate and beautiful daughter in a town 130 miles away from home, in a strange town, with strange people, so that she can learn new things and get all clever and come home with a degree. And right this minute all I can think of is that her room is empty and the cat misses her and there is less "stuff" all over the house and I feel lonely. She is destined for great things, as, I firmly believe, are all of our young feminist children.

About My Daughter: If you feel lonely, she will hold your hand. If you are frightened, she will stand behind you, holding you up, or in front of you, guarding you. If you are hungry, she'll give you her food. You may absolutely always no-matter-what count on her.

But it's her first night living away from home. I hope she's okay. I hope she's not missing me. I hope I feel better than this tomorrow.



This just makes me all kinds of delighted! I think it's about time we all started shouting about civil partnerships vs. marriage; separate but equal isn't fucking good enough. What an awesome dad!

How Did I Miss This?


I know I've been a bit slow blog-wise these last few months; but really. When The Vatican gets into it with Amnesty International, a radical feminist, pro-abortion, potential catholic convert ought to be on the ball. So, not a moment too soon, here's a link to the relevant info. Amnesty International News

Three cheers for that paragon of Christian charity, Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, who is reported to have said: “Violence cannot be answered with further violence; murder with murder; for even if the child is unborn, it is still a human person. It has a right to dignity as a human being.”

No mention of the right to dignity of the woman whose body has been brutalised and invaded by a clump of multiplying cells that carry the DNA of her attacker. Nope. No dignity for her then. Oh, but he did bang on a bit about ending violence towards women, blah blah. You know, the trivial stuff. The church treating women less as chattel and more as capable, intelligent, morally self-determining human beings might kick start that process. Just a thought.

Oh. Sad.


Anita Roddick died. I feel quite sad today. The Body Shop was a huge and unusually powerful thing when I was growing up in the greedy, finance-driven 80's. The very presence of a woman-owned big business that had some heart and was focused on ethical trading and ecological awareness was a strong influence on my developing radical feminism. I gloss over what happened next: all the accusations of selling out and secret exploitation. I forgive her pushing of the "beauty" message that I now find so loathsome.

Anita Roddick was, for a long time, a strong and generous woman whom I very much admired. And so, today I shall mourn her passing.

I Guess I'm Just One of Those


lazy arsed Radical Feminists getting such a bad name in some parts of the blogosphere recently.

I have just been catching up with the latest round of blogwars! Hurrah! I learned that intellectual theorising is meaningless. I learned that stripping and getting sexually humiliated and ass fucked is all about whether I like it or not; if I do, then it's feminism. I have learned that if I identify with Radical Feminism then I am useless to REAL women in the REAL world, preferring as I do to sit and pontificate the politics of gender, sex, patriarchy and oppression. I am a dinosaur. I know nothing of reality. I sit on my duff and read Dworkin. I am humourless, sexless and dry.


I do my part. I get off my arse and DO stuff for people. I volunteer my time, I give what money I can. I work HARD. And I still recognise and celebrate the women who do the thinking. The kind of hard thinking that allows me to operate within my own moral and ethical codes. The kind of hard thinking that exposes subtle inequality and highlights oppression. We humans NEED our philosophers. Women NEED feminist thought and theory. And you know what? There are women who blog Radical Feminism because that's where their contribution to the cause lies. That's their best fit, and that's fucking awesome. There's room for all of us. The REAL LIFE activism has its genesis in the theory that some amazing women spend so long learning and developing.

So that said, from this moment on I will not be engaging my brain in any more debates about who does most for women. I won't be fretting about my intellectual feminism versus my "real life" activism. I won't be listening to any denigration of Radical Feminism. I will be Radical Feminist, embracing all the facets of my life. Join me!

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Margaret. And Me.


I got my internet back! Sporadically. So I'll do my best to catch up with you all when I can. I've been active on the radfem front, the yoga front, the kitten front and the PhD front. Only four weeks to go before I must submit, so posting here will be light until then I'm afraid. Until then, I could use your good thoughts. I feel a tad overwhelmed and lacking in ability! Here's how Margaret is helping me out in her own special way:


She's totally lovely and she smells fantastic. I love burying my nose in her fur! She is my sweetheart. I forgot how goooooood cats are.

At Last! A tag...


Mwezzi tagged me. I feel honoured. So here we go (from my mother's tiny screened computer)

A. Each person lists 8 facts/habits about themselves.
B. The rules of the game are posted at the beginning before those facts/habits are listed.
C. At the end of the post, the person then tags 8 people and posts their names, then goes to their blogs and leaves them a comment, letting them know that they have been tagged and asking them to read your blog.

Eight facts about me:

1. I had all my wisdom teeth removed and kept them in my jewellery box for ages. They were perfect and strong. I miss them.

2. I have a "finger bud" on the left hand little finger. It's hereditary and should have been a sixth finger.

3. I love brussel sprouts and can eat a plate of them with no accompanying food. And no unpleasant after-effects. Mushy peas on the other hand...

4. I do everything naturally left-handed except writing.

5. I got pregnant at sixteen.

6. I don't regret getting pregnant at sixteen.

7. I crochet things to relax my mind. And I'm really good at it now. Name your winter clothing item, doily or whimsical bag and I can whip it up for you in an evening.

8. I have had a nightmare every single night of my life. Thirty five years of vivid dreaming, and I can remember pretty much everything that I dream and I am able to revisit the dream later. Sometimes this worries me...

I tag Spotted Elephant, Ms Jared, Anne Bartow, Arantxa, Merdeen, Kitty Glendower, lost clown and witchy! Most of whiom, I suspect, have already been tagged! That was fun. Thanks!



I'm internet-less. I can't STAND it. I'm reduced to snatching moments on other people's computers, until the techies can get my line up and running again. And at the last update the time frame was five days. So posting will be light, but hey, what's new there then? Oh, I'm soooo frustrated.

Margaret had DOUBLED in size. She is the most affectionate kitten ever and just flops over on her back and goes to sleep when she is my arms. I love her so much already! More pics when I get up and running again.

I'm off to my dentist in a minute, to sit and be irritated in the waiting room for half an hour. She does botox and the like as well as dentistry and every single poster that advertises that service depicts a white, slim, middle-aged woman. No men. No fat women. No people of colour. I feel singled out and wrinkled. So I'm going to complain today, just as soon as she has her pointy metal implements out of my mouth. Wish me luck!

I miss you...

Introducing the Mighty Margaret!


Hee! Looks who lives with us now:


My old boy is not overly thrilled by Margaret's tail fetish!:


Margaret is seven weeks old and she's lived here for two full, anxious days. She didn't poop until this morning and she's being really picky about her food but she'll settle down soon. She's totally unafraid of anything and completely clumsy! We love her to bits already. Our house is catfull again!