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.
I never realised when I first started doing the Facebook thing that it would turn me into a grammar nerd. The urge to correct bad spelling and grammar is so strong that sometimes it is really hard to resist. One of the most prominent and frequent errors occurs around the words ‘there, their and they’re’. So let me explain.
‘There’ refers to an unspecified place, as in “The Beatles are over there.” ‘Their’ refers to things that belong to them, as “The Beatles have their hats on today.” ‘They’re’ is an abbreviation of ‘they are’ as in “The Beatles have arrived and they’re on stage.” I hope this clears things up. I know a lot of people on Facebook will continue to get it wrong.
I can understand if English is not your first language or if you are dyslexic or have other learning difficulties; fair enough then. But if English is your first language and you went to school I can’t help thinking that you should know this stuff. Perhaps that makes me a pedant but then so be it!
There is what I find a disturbing trend on the TV nowadays and that is what I call the modern freak show. There are programmes about people who have terrible crippling disabilities and diseases and the cameras are delving into every aspect of their lives.
I know that some good might come of this in helping publicise rare medical conditions and perhaps encouraging research into these disabilities and if it helps people in the future then it can’t be all bad.
But personally I never watch these shows because it would make me uncomfortable. There’s an element of schadenfreude about this sort of thing. It reminds me of the old Victorian freak shows where they would charge admission to look at badly deformed and disabled people.
Obviously the programme makers have permission to do these programmes or they wouldn’t be broadcast but I just find this whole sort of thing extremely unpleasant. Am I wrong? What do you think?
I hate fox hunting because I think it is unbelieveably cruel! I can understand that if someone is a poultry farmer and a fox gets into their hen house then they might have to shoot it to save the lives of their hens. But if they must kill it, then do it with a quick clean shot. To tear a panic striken animal to pieces with a pack of dogs is an act of barbarity that should not be allowed in the twenty-first century.
Some people will say it’s traditional but that is a pathetic argument. It’s the same argument they used to try and justify slavery. If it was traditional to be a peodophile, then would that make it okay to be one? Of course not! Just because something is traditional doesn’t make it right.
And there are those who will say it is a sport. No; tennis, football and rugby are sports. Ripping wild animals to pieces with dogs is not sport; it a an act of gross brutality.
My favourite place is Glastonbury! I just love it there! I want to go and live there some day. Its such a lovely place and I always feel so relaxed there. I love all the eccentric people wandering around in purple cloaks and green velvet hats (or whatever else they’re wearing)! It reminds me of Hogwarts!
I feel that Glastonbury is the place where it is easiest to be my authentic self, I don’t have to pretend there, I can just be. I see it as a spiritual centre and a seat of learning as well as being a warm, welcoming and healing place. And whenever I go there, it feels like a homecoming.
I wrote this poem when I heard about the tragedy at Sandy Hook School in Conneticut. It’s called “Twenty Six”.
Twenty Six is just a number
But once they were lives;
Lives of children and teachers.
Now they are gone,
And no-one knows why.
Why is the question we all ask
To try to make sense of this tragedy;
As if knowing the answer
Could stop evil in its tracks.
Evil lives among us.
It seeks to divide us,
Make us argue over gun laws
Or politics or religion.
Evil wants to divide us into us and them.
We cannot let evil win.
The way we defeat it
Is to stand together in love.
There is no ‘them’;
There is only us.
I have noticed, particularly in current American politics, that there is a trend to be divisive. There are a lot of people who like to say “I’m right and you’re wrong” but I would rather have a friend than win an argument. Surely it is obvious that the world would be a better place even we all learned to get along with each other. So let’s try to make 2013 a year of peace. We might not manage to stop international wars but let’s not make war in our own hearts. I am well aware of how easy it is to get angry. I am a red head with a temper to match!
But whenever I lose my temper I almost always end up regretting it. So this year I’m going to try not to be so grumpy and when people irritate the f**k out of me, I shall do my best to just walk away. Peace man!