My Feminist Manifesto 

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This blog post may alienate people, I may lose followers, I may get blocked by a few. It’s fair to say that I’m struggling with feminism right now, I know that I am one, I just don’t know where I fit in. 
When you don’t live in London, or have disposable income, you’re not a minor celebrity, you don’t have a column, you’re too tired/busy/ill/restricted by having young children and no one to look after them ….. You being to wonder what good you do at all. The most I do these days is to tweet. I’m pretty run down with my MEcfs, depression and constant UTIs. It takes the shine off any activist badge I may have had (metaphorical badge obvs). To add insult to injury, the one charity I did support have drifted off and no longer seem to need me 😦 All in all, I feel pretty useless to the cause. 
Going back to my point about not knowing where my place in feminism is, here’s what I do believe in ….
Women are wonderful and I believe in the power of sisterhood. It can be uplifting and healing. 
Male violence; two words that are not any where near enough to describe the devastation that males cause to women. The statistics are out there to prove it. One woman or child dying or being abused at the hands of a man is too many. I don’t have a solution, no one does. I believe that men need to do more to call out friends, society needs to do more to cultivate boys and women need to occupy far more positions of power and influence than they do right now. That’s not something that can be done in my generation. 
In the meantime, women need safe places to flee abusers. They need support and guidance and this requires money and lots of it. 
Women should always be believed. Yes, some women do lie but often they are individuals who need mental health support. Society needs educating on victim blaming. It’s far too easy to dismiss issues like rape by focusing on things like what she was wearing or how drunk she was. The whole CJS needs an overhaul. 
You cannot change the sex you were born with. That doesn’t mean that you can’t change your gender. I appreciate that there are people in the world that suffer huge distress over their gender identity. It’s not for me to tell people who they are. Once again, society has a huge part to play. The whole ‘pink for girls’ and ‘blue for boys’ is creating an environment where children are seen as different just for liking something that has been arbitrarily assigned to a different gender. 
The trans issue that is ripping feminism apart right now is a place I don’t even dare to tread but I must. I believe that everyone has a right to be safe and to be respected. Everyone. 

I have been called a terf for not recognising penis as female. Terf is not a word I will ever use to describe a woman. 

Maybe I am on the wrong side of history but that’s a place that doesn’t appeal to me. 

I believe in safe spaces for women. Sometimes this will create conflict. I don’t believe that trans women or men are seeking to gain access to sex segregated spaces to harm women. This was a common fear when gay men were fighting for equality. I do think that men will abuse this and they have done. 

Trans people are affected by male violence esp trans men and this needs to be addressed. 
I worry about the erasure of women in society. Natal women are not womb owners or bleeders! Our biology has created unique joys and problems! These should never be neglected. 
Women should not be slut shamed, have to look and act like a doll, force themselves into shape wear etc Leave women alone! Respect our boundaries! 
I’m pro Nordic model and want to see an end to demand. Women and girls are not holes to be fucked! 
I’m pro abortion and I’m not afraid to say that. Her uterus is none of your business! 
I’m not anti men, I’m exasperated and pissed off with a lot of them though! As a Bi woman, I will never be ashamed to say that I find some men sexually attractive. That doesn’t make me less of feminist. It would be wrong of me to lie about that. 
I’ve ranted on for a bit now. I wrote this for my own sanity and you are free to disagree with me. Please don’t expect me to get into a debate with you though. These are simply my opinions and I don’t matter to the world of feminism anyway so you needn’t worry. 
E xxx 

The Absent Feminist Part 3

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Something I have been thinking about today ….. Just need to get it off my chest …..

I don’t know where I am with feminism right now. I feel pretty sad about the whole thing. It’s such a minefield out there and I often worry about getting stuff wrong and alienating people. That’s probably more a part of me than of feminism. Unfortunately, I’m quite a sensitive soul.

When it comes to feminism , I’m a bit of a fence sitter. I recognise that. There are feminists out there that I agree with and there are feminists out there that I don’t agree with. I do try to listen to all sides and there are occasions when I have had my mind changed by something someone has said/tweeted.

I do have my feet firmly in the ‘being there for all my sisters’ camp, that’s my one strong belief. A lot of my other beliefs are built around my experiences of abuse at the hands of men. Being abused has changed me, it has opened a door to a world of injustice. Not just injustices that I have faced but that many women face, every day. I actually count myself to be very lucky.

The way my life is right now, I am very limited with what I can do to make a change for others. I would like to be more proactive and it does upset me that I can’t do more. I’m still finding my place in feminism, I don’t understand it all. I know I have said this before and I do remember someone telling me to read up on stuff …… Reading is actually a skill I have lost since my CFS relapse. I can write and I can cope with snippets of info but I can no longer digest vast quantities of literature.

So anyway, dear sisters, please bear with me. I will do my absolute best to support you and defend you. If you need to call me out on something, then do (just be mindful that I am quite a fragile soul right now!).

Love, tea and hugs
Exxx

The Absent Feminist Pt 2

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I have to confess that the title of this blog is a little misleading ….

Today, I weighed myself. This doesn’t happen very often as I don’t have bathroom scales in my house. I had an idea of my weight as I have been in and out of hospital recently and they like to weigh you ALL of the time.

I didn’t like what the scales said. Since September I have put on almost 3kg. I am now back at the weight that I was before I had my nervous breakdown (for want of a better term). In reality this is a good thing…..that’s not how I felt. All the weight gain has gone to my stomach, I’m an apple shape, and I hate it. There we go, I said it, I hate the way my body looks.

This is why I’m writing this under the heading of ‘absent feminist’. If I were a strong woman who didn’t give a damn about what people thought of me, I would be a feminist. Instead, I’m letting the side down by worrying about having a bloated stomach. It’s really quite pathetic of me and I am truly sorry that it bothers me.

I’ve had issues with food since I was 9. Whilst the label ‘anorexic’ has been thrown at me a few times, I’ve not let it stick. At the age of 17, I weighed 5st and the doctor told me that if I were to lose any more weight then I would be sectioned (I didn’t and I never was). This whole episode occurred because I developed a huge fear of stomach bugs after being sick when I was 9. This is so hard for me to write! It looks so ridiculous on screen. So much suffering in the world and I couldn’t eat because I was afraid of being sick.

When I didn’t eat, I would feel sick and so the fear of being sick would get worse. My psychologist told me that is was a positive feedback loop – don’t eat,not sick so not eating is helping me to not be sick. I figured this out on my own, so my psychologist told me that I knew exactly what I was doing and couldn’t help me anymore. Anyway, that’s just to put today into context for you.

I’ve always wanted to have a wonderful body, free of stretch marks and moles and hair and all the stuff us women are told are ugly. They certainly sold it to me and that’s one of the many reasons why I can’t call myself a feminist (there’s a lot more :/ ). I still see my beauty as a physical thing, I don’t apply this to other people, just myself. I strongly believe that a lot of the problems I have had over the last 20 years can be put down to my body shaming.

I don’t have the mental energy to write anymore today but when I do I will come back to this subject. Horrible feeling I might regret this post …

The Absent Feminist

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I have a confession to make….there’s a feminist shaped hole in my life and no, I’m not talking about the lacking of a special woman in my life! I am, however, talking about my inability to really grasp the feminist nettle.

I regard myself as somewhat intelligent but when it comes to feminism, I am a lost soul in a sea of lentils! There are so many new words to learn for a start. My foggy CFS brain struggles with processing any information other than ‘get out of bed’ or ‘cook dinner’ – sad but true.That’s not to say that I am not interested in learning, I really would like to jump feet first and soak up all the knowledge. But where do I start?

Here’s a little list of my struggles:

  • Cis, trans, binary, non binary, structural, misogyny, misandry, MRAs ….Help! I’m still learning what all these words mean and tie myself up in knots trying not to offend anyone.
  • Our bodies: women should be able to do whatever they like with their bodies but then again, I don’t like Page 3….I don’t like walking past so called gentleman’s clubs with my children. I respect a woman’s right to choose to use her body for work and yet it bothers me. Should it bother me? I don’t know :/ You see, it’s not so easy is it?
  • Do my views matter? As I am not a famous academic, a celebrity or high profile campaigner does my voice still count? I’m not sure it does and I certainly feel left out of feminism. It actually hurts me to say that. 
  • I don’t hate all men and want them all dead……..*hides*. Yep, there are a lot of shitty men out there but I also know decent ones, my dad is a very good example of a decent man. I could never hate him because of his gender, I love him. No doubt someone will tell me that I am missing the point.
  • I want to help to ‘smash the patriarchy’ if only I knew how to. I’m guessing a sledgehammer is not what is required……

 

I so want to think of myself as a feminist. I love women. Women are amazing. Seeing other women go through pain caused by abuse, poverty, injustice, sexism etc is just soul destroying. That is something I care about, that is something I would like to do something about. I’m just not sure that anyone is listening.

 

But I will always offer love, tea and hugs to ALL my sisters,

Exxx