Respect.

As a woman and a human being I believe I deserve respect and I do not get involved with people who don’t treat me with respect. But it seems that everywhere I look now there are women being disrespected in horrible ways. There was Malala being shot in the head for speaking out in the belief that women deserve an education. There are Nigerian schoolgirls being kidnapped because they go to school. There are women being attacked and raped or having acid thrown on them in India for such crimes as refusing to marry someone that they don’t even like.

Now I don’t think for a moment that any of this is particularly new (unfortunately!) but perhaps because of the internet and the impact of social media on the global stage, I think these things are just being noticed more. And so they should be. A world where women face violence, harassment and persecution every day of their lives is not a world I am happy to live in. It is unacceptable that anyone, male or female, should be treated as if they were the dirt beneath someone’s feet. Everybody deserves to have their dignity respected. So don’t ignore any harassment that you receive or think that it doesn’t matter. It does matter because if you don’t speak out then people will think it is acceptable to mistreat you.

And don’t allow other to be bullied either. If you see someone being picked on, don’t do nothing. If you’re afraid to intervene, then go round the corner and call the police. But don’t just walk away. If we want this world to be better than it is today, then we have to make it that way.

Say no to the thought police!

Ben Franklin quote

As ever, the world seems to be full of people who think they have a God given right to tell us what to do.  We get told that we can’t get married if we’re gay or that we can’t have an abortion if we want one or that its a good idea to let a load of armed guards into schools (and what happens if one of the armed guards has a bad day and goes beserk?)

There are always people who think that they know better than you do.  But don’t listen to them.  Only you can live the life you want.  If you’re gay and you want to get married, go ahead.  You want an abortion; have one.  You don’t have to listen to what I say but you do need to listen to your own heart.  Live your own life by your own rules.  As long as you’re happy and you’re not breaking the law or hurting anyone else; what difference does it make?