Tag: opinion

Why I disagree with gender neutral parenting

Gender

Gender neutral parenting was in the press recently. More specifically, the press reported that Harry and Meghan, aka the Duke and Duchess of Sussex are planning to raise their child gender neutral.

Of course this very probably isn’t what they’ve said at all. I’m sure they’ve said that they will raise their child without traditional gender constructs, which is what parents with any common sense do anyway. You know the thing – if they have a son and he wants to play with dolls that’s fine, and if their baby is a girl who wants to play with cars that’s also fine. That’s not gender neutral parenting at all. That’s just being a good parent. And a modern parent. Both of which Harry and Meghan are able to be, despite the fact that they’re royals.

He or she?

Gender neutral parenting is raising your child without acknowledging their gender. Not calling them he or she. Not referring to them as a boy or a girl. Allowing them to find their own way and decide on their gender as they grow up and experience life

Now I am neither a parent or ever have the intention of being one (regardless of the suggestions I mentioned in my last post!) so you may think my opinion is a moot one. That said, this is my blog and I pretty much have an opinion on everything, ergo I’ll proceed.

Bonkers

In a nutshell, I think that gender neutral parenting is absolutely bonkers. If you’ve followed this blog for a while, you’ll be aware that I have no issue with gender fluidity or changing gender. I very recently posted about an enlightening and heartwarming transgender documentary I’ve been watching. If you haven’t been following then let me make this statement – I very much believe that people can be and are born in the wrong body, and that they should be entitled to treatment to correct biology’s mistake. Science says it’s real, the experiences of actual humans say it’s real, and so, for me, it’s real.

But I’ll say it again, gender neutral parenting is, in my opinion, bonkers.

How are you supposed to know what you are, or more specifically what you aren’t, if you’re brought up without an identity? Surely transgender women know that they’re women, because they’ve been raised as a boy and know that doesn’t “fit”. And vice-versa, obviously. If you’re raised as “they” then what do you rebel against? You have nothing to identify with, and therefore nothing to compare yourself against, surely?

Special treatment

Imagine sending a child to nursery or childcare, and insisting they do not be referred to as he or she. Immediately you’re setting them apart as different; as deserving of special treatment. They get called a different pronoun to any of the other children, and the other children maybe want to know why? What toilet arrangements are made for them? Because, like it or not, male and female toilets are still a thing in life. Not everywhere, of course. But if a young child comes across male toilets and female toilets and no “they” toilet, what is that telling them? Isn’t that stripping them of an identity? Making them, from a young age, into something that doesn’t always exist?

The difference between adults and children

Gender neutral adults can handle situations like this – they’ve been around long enough to know that we live in a gendered society (even if they don’t agree with it). But young children don’t have that understanding. Why would you choose to set your child apart in such a way?

I’m no expert, obvs. Some would argue that starting with gender neutral parenting is the way to achieve a gender neutral society in the future. But, for now, I can’t help but think some parents are trying too hard to do the right thing, and in doing so they’re doing something very wrong.

Your child is born a girl or a boy. If at some point they tell you they’re the opposite of their assigned birth gender, listen to them. Support them. Be there for them. If they tell you they are neither male or female then the same applies.

That’s good parenting.

Gender issues

In the meantime, if your son wants to play with dolls and has a toy cooker, that doesn’t mean he has gender issues. If your daughter tells you she wants to be Superman instead of Superwoman, that doesn’t mean she’s transgender.

In trying to do the right thing, parents are going too far. They’re creating something that doesn’t need to exist at birth. Experience and research shows that children who are transgender will begin to self identify at a young age, regardless of what they have been labelled as in early months and years. Jazz Jennings is perhaps the most prevalent case of a boy knowing they’re a girl. Thankfully Jazz’s parents listened to her. Would gender neutral parenting from birth have helped? Who knows.

All I know is that if and when my nephew (due July this year) wants to try on my shoes, I’ll be right there suggesting the ones that look best with his outfit! Experiencing different things, with no restrictions because of what society might think is appropriate for your gender, is the best way to become a well rounded person.

I’d love to know your thoughts. Let me know in the comments!

Thanks, as always, for reading. x

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A grumble about charity

As I sat watching coverage of the London Marathon on Sunday, I was struck by how many people were running to raise money for charity, which is obviously an amazing thing to do. Charity is an important part of our society, supporting needy causes that don’t get public funding.

It started me thinking, again (I’ve been thinking this for a while), about how wrong it is that some needy causes have to be supported by charity. That there is no government money for them.

Look at Cancer Research UK, for example. 1 in 2 people are now expected to get cancer during their lifetime. Shouldn’t there be more government funding available for something that affects half the population? What about sight loss charities? People who are born blind often have to rely on donations in order to get adapted equipment for the home or work – how is that right?

The thing that really got my goat during the marathon though, was the firefighters running to raise money for the community affected by the Grenfell Tower fire last year. I’d heard them interviewed on the radio on Friday, and then saw more interviews on the TV coverage. 18 firefighters who attended the fire, from North Kensington and Paddington boroughs, who’ve already done so much to rescue survivors during the disaster, were running in full gear including breathing apparatus (an additional weight of approximately 30kgs per person) in order to raise funds. But millions of charity donations already exist, and sit in the hands of the UK government who haven’t fully or correctly distributed them to survivors and those affected. Huge pots of money, donated in good faith by the British public who were saddened by the tragedy, not making the difference it should to the people who need it.

It’s morally and financially wrong.

Of course, some charities themselves are not above reprehension either. CEOs on 6 figure salaries, mismanagement of resources – it starts to add up to a really badly organised use of public cash which was donated in good faith.

It’s maddening.

Not to end on a bad note though, I salute every single person who put themself through 26.2 gruelling miles of running, in the hottest London Marathon temperatures ever recorded, to raise cash for a cause they believe in. They’re all amazing. I just hope their donations get used in the proper manner.

Thanks, as always, for reading. x

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“Lady doritos?” Twit of the Day!

It’s been ages since I’ve done a Twit of the Day post – not because there aren’t any twits about; mainly because very little shocks me at the moment in terms of the amount of stupidity in the world.

But I couldn’t let this story pass without comment. The CEO of the manufacturers of Doritos – PepsiCo –  has publicly announced that they’re looking into creating “less crunchy” crisps for women, that “fit more easily into a handbag”. Apparently women don’t like to crunch too loudly in public, or get their fingers covered in flavouring and have to lick it off, or tip the almost empty bag up to filter all the last bits of tastiness out of the corners (the best bit, IMO).

I have two questions here.
1) Who are the idiot women who responded to this survey? (presuming this is based on actual research and not some hair brained idea from someone within the company)
2) How patronising are the Doritos people?

I know there are certain unspoken rules around food consumption, like don’t order spaghetti bolognese on a first date (although I say stuff that, if you want it have it – food before dudes every time! Then again it’s easy for me, as a smug married, to surmise how I would behave, when in fact the world of modern dating and it’s throw away culture scares the bejesus out of me).

But really, crisps for women?

At a time when female equality is probably receiving the most media exposure of recent years?

At a time when the UK has just marked 100 years of women being allowed to vote?

What’s worse, PepsiCo’s CEO is a woman…

I do hope they’ll be in a pink packet.

Indra Nooyi, you’re my Twit of the Day!

What are your thoughts? Are you a loud and proud eater? Or would you welcome more discreet snack options? Let me know!

Thanks, as always, for reading. x

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5 things I just don’t get

I know the world would be boring if we were all the same, and I’ve posted before about blogger trends I don’t understand, but here are 5 things that seem quite prevalent at the moment that I don’t understand either (and I think that some of them may be because I’m getting older, which means I’m turning into a generational moaner!)

Tea

Tea

I mean, tea isn’t a new thing obviously, but the people in my office drink buckets of the stuff and in this hot weather I just can’t comprehend it. I’m not a tea drinker anyway, I’ll have the odd cup every so often but very rarely, but the thought of drinking a hot drink on a hot day is absolutely nuts to me! (I appreciate I’m very much in the minority here, in England at least, the Brits love a cuppa)

Vlogs

Vlog

I’m old school. I like to read information and consume content via words. Occasionally I’ll watch an instructional YouTube video if I need to know how to do something. But watching people open boxes or show make up swatches is an alien concept to me. I don’t understand the popularity of it (apart from maybe to be nosy?)

Love Island

Love Island

I have never watched an episode of Love Island, and that’s ok. In fact I’m quite proud of it. I know it isn’t a new program, but it seems like it’s EVERYWHERE this year and people are obsessing over it and I don’t know why? Back in the early days of reality TV – like Big Brother – it used to be fun to watch people interact with each other. Now reality TV is just a stepping stone to “fame” and I don’t believe anyone truly thinks they’re going to find lasting love on a TV program that’s all about ratings. All I seem to see on social media is who’s shagging who and it all sounds vacuous and false and absolutely hideous.

Furry sliders

Furry sliders

So, fur’s for keeping warm and sandals are for keeping cool. Why then would you mix the two? Surely, on a hot summer day, you’re just going to end up with sweaty feet? They don’t even look pretty?!

Contouring and highlighting

Contouring

I understand these two things, and the reasons behind them, but it seems like so many girls are obsessed with changing their appearance and looking the same. I’m all for make up to enhance your appearance but unless it’s done well you just look like you’ve done a really bad make up job and it looks silly. Plus it’s so much effort for everyday. Do it right or just avoid it totally.

Whinge over! What are your bug bears?

Thanks, as always, for reading! x

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Who’s the real threat?

Crikey. What a rotten time London has been having lately. Between the terror attacks and the Grenfell Tower fire, there seems to have been very little focus on what’s going to happen with the government. Obviously the focus needs to be on those who have suffered and continue to suffer from a tragic couple of weeks, but the fact remains that the Conservatives didn’t get a majority in the General Election, yet Theresa May and co seem to be proceeding in a business as usual fashion. The Queens Speech is going ahead today, and the Brexit negotiations have started led by a Tory representative. I know things can’t remain indefinitely on hold, but is this constitutional? Is she using the fact that people are rightly distracted by tragic human events to get in through the back door?

Who's the real threat

I see a bigger threat to our country at present than terror attacks. The real threat, for me, comes from the government. Arms deals into the Middle East and wars under the pretence of “protecting” vulnerable citizens. We’re shocked and horrified by people in the UK being killed by terrorists, yet seemingly untouched by civilians losing their lives in the Middle East – where numbers killed by terrorists and Western bombs are much higher than those we’ve seen in the UK. Where are their pop concerts? In fact, where is their media coverage? Can we be surprised that our country is under attack from extremists, when we’re party to attacks on them?

And the Grenfell Tower fire – another seemingly government caused tragedy. Everything seems to be pointing towards the illegal use of flammable cladding on the outside of the building – where would that decision have come from? Why weren’t there sprinklers in the building? Residents don’t make these types of decisions. Councils do. Councils who form part of local government, which in turn forms part of the overall government.

Such decisions lead to tragedies which put additional pressure on our already stretched emergency services. Why are they stretched? Because the government have cut their numbers and refuse well deserved pay rises so that, for some people, the role becomes untenable. When you read stories of nurses working 12 hour shifts but having to use food banks to feed their families, you know something is horribly wrong.

How about the media? Their biased reporting of Theresa May compared to Jeremy Corbyn in the run up to the election. Their biased reporting of the “Muslim terrorists” who “attacked” people as they enjoyed their Saturday night, compared to the “White Van Driver” who “collided” with Muslims as they celebrated their religion. Luckily many people see this bias for what it is, and are able to read between the lines and draw their own conclusions. But what about those who can’t? Those who trust the media and therefore respond accordingly; by blindly voting for Theresa May, or shouting abuse at peace loving Muslims in the street.

Having taken such a battering as a country in the past few weeks – because it does affect the whole country, not just London and Manchester – people seem to be opening their eyes to what’s going on; wanting answers and wanting change. We deserve those answers and that change. Something isn’t working. The system is broken. And we can’t just carry on as we always have done, because the gaps in society are just getting bigger. The gap between rich and poor. The gap between Muslims and non Muslims. The gap between Remainers and Brexiters. A divided society will eventually implode, and there’s nothing British about that.

Let me know your thoughts.

Thanks, as always, for reading. x

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5 things that annoy me about Black Friday

Obviously I’m not averse to money off deals, because that would be really stupid, but I’m so sick of hearing about Black Friday!

black-friday

Here’s why:

  1. The clue’s in the name. Friday. If you’re still advertising Black Friday deals the following Tuesday, you clearly don’t understand the Gregorian calendar. The same goes for pre-Black Friday deals. If you’re doing them early then it’s just a sale.
  2. It’s a US tradition (and has been since 1952, according to Wikipedia) that the UK has latched on to, seemingly just for the hell of it, to keep up with our American cousins. Stores can’t just have a pre-Christmas sale now, it has to be a Black Friday discount. Why?
  3. A lot of the Black Friday deals really aren’t all that. Surely the idea is to issue a massive discount on products that is only available once a year? Not 20% off and free delivery from High Street stores, who regularly issue discount codes and sale offers. Make it 30% plus and it might look attractive and different to you usual discounts
  4. It creates a furor of activity, anger and rudeness in stores, as people fight over a new TV (that they probably don’t need) or trample each other to get to cheap Christmas toys for their kids
  5. It’s now spawning other stupid and pretend days, like Cyber Monday! Which is fine, if it was just cyber deals, but I’ve had emails from clothes shops advertising Cyber Monday deals too. Stop jumping on the bloody bandwagon!

Although I’d love to see any Black Friday bargains you guys have bought, let me know!

Thanks, as always, for reading! x

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5 blogger craves I just don’t get

Scrolling through various social media platforms there are certain things that come up time and time again – and each time I think to myself I just don’t “get” it. The only way I can explain it is I feel like an undeserved hype has developed around these things that is, in my opinion, over-rated. So I thought I’d share them with you and see if anyone agrees (or am I just a square blog peg in a round blog hole!)

Lush

lushHow anyone can spend any length of time in a Lush store without choking is beyond me – it’s just so smelly! Overwhelmingly overpowering, with so many different scents cloying against each other; it gives me an instant headache. Not only that, it seems bloomin’ expensive for what it is (then again, I’m not really the pampering type, so that has an impact on my feelings). You could count the amount of times I’ve been in a Lush store on one hand. Most recently I popped in a couple of weeks ago, to look for a lip scrub (I’ve read good things about them) but the flavours were just too icky sickly sweet and I couldn’t find one that agreed with me. I think some people buy into the prettiness and the ownership and sharing thereof rather than the actual products (I will admit that a Lush soap bar is imminently more instagrammable than a bottle of Nivea showergel).

Autumn

autumnFrom 1st September my Twitter and Instagram feeds were filled with people getting excited about leaves changing colour and wrapping up in boots and jumpers. No! Autumn, for me, is a time of mourning – lamenting the end of summer and feeling sad about less daylight and saying goodbye to sandals. Not only that, autumn is ridiculously unpredictable and difficult to dress for, meaning an outfit that’s appropriate at 8am may leave you sweltering by midday. It would be better to go from summer straight to winter, literally overnight. Then at least you know what you’re dealing with.

Starbucks

starbucksThis is partially down to the fact that I’m not a coffee drinker (I have one double espresso at home, every morning, and that’s it – I don’t actually like long coffees) and I really don’t understand the terminology and all the choice! I mean, what is a mocha Frappuccino caramel latte anyway? But it’s also down to the cost (so expensive!) and the calories (so much sugar!) I don’t understand paying for posh coffee. I don’t understand the modern obsession with coffee shops. I’d much rather to go to the pub and have a glass of wine. Even if it is breakfast time.

MAC

mac

This is, I think, another cult brand that some people buy into because of the kudos of ownership, rather than because it truly is a better product. Blog posts sharing a MAC lipstick stash are common, but I don’t see anyone doing the same with their Rimmel lippies. I can’t genuinely comment on the quality or value because I’ve never used any MAC products. I couldn’t justify spending so much money on a lipstick because I have a habit of losing them. My bad.

Yankee candles

yankee-candles

I like candles. I like nice smells. I don’t like paying a whole heap of cash for something that I’m just going to set on fire! Seriously, candle burn times are generally pretty short, so on a cost per use basis I don’t understand why you would bother. I have a habit of falling asleep in front of the TV which means that some of the burn time and fragrance would be a complete waste of time. I’ll stick to my Ikea tealights, thanks.

So, what do you think? Am I nuts? Miserable? Tight? Hit me up with your thoughts (or let me know which craves you don’t buy into).

Thanks, as always, for reading. x

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Botox for balls? (Twit of the Day!)

The beauty of the internet is that you find out about things you would never usually come across in everyday life.

Similarly, the horror of the internet is… Yep, you get the drill.

People, I give you…SCROTOX.

Literally botox for bollocks. What the actual living, chuffing hell?

wrinkly-nuts

Who does this? Who thought of this? Who would pay £2,800 for this?

Find out more, including the supposed benefits here.

Now, I’m no expert (after all, the husband might be reading), but aren’t balls supposed to be wrinkly and a bit sweaty?

Haven’t men (and women) managed for years without sticking needles in their plums? Aren’t good hygiene and clean pants enough to keep the downstairs region fresh? Do balls need to look bigger? Does it make a difference? I’ve never judged a man on the size of his knackers.

(also, how many more words for testicles can I fit into this post????)

Scrotox givers and receivers doctors and patients – Twit(s) of the Day!

Thanks, as always, for reading! x

 

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Is this the final nail in the coffin for Donald Trump’s presidency bid?

Like so many people across the world, I’m apoplectic with rage at Donald Trump’s latest misguided, idiotic, foolhardy and downright stupid comments in his bid to become a presidential candidate.

For anyone that might have missed it, Donald Trump believes that abortion should be made illegal, and any women having an abortion should be punished.

2016-03-31-12-26-47--1575949556

I feel very strongly about the right to abortion.

If you choose to read on, then please respect that these are my thoughts, my opinions, and this is my blog. I will respect your right to share your own thoughts, but will not tolerate rudeness or personal attack.

I’m very vocal about my beliefs and quite often end up in “discussion” with people on Facebook threads.

I believe that abortion is a woman’s right, for whatever reason she chooses.

I also believe that no man should have a say in that right. If you haven’t got the physical bits to carry a baby and give birth, then butt out.

You might conclude from this that I’ve had an abortion myself. I haven’t. But if I had, I wouldn’t be ashamed. And here’s why.

A woman’s body is not just a vessel for carrying babies. I’ve posted previously about how annoyed I get when people assume women will grow older and procreate. We’re about more than that. And that’s fine.

But, let’s face it, mistakes happen. Contraception doesn’t always work. People get caught up in the heat of the moment and make ill informed decisions. Accidental pregnancies are a real thing.

I believe that a woman has as much right to abort an accidental pregnancy as she does one that isn’t viable for health reasons, or as a result of rape. The reason for aborting the latter two types of pregnancy is completely obvious, and anyone who disagrees with that needs their head looking at. If you think it’s better to progress with a pregnancy created through violence, or one that will result in poor quality of life for the child, then you’re not pro-life. You’re a sadist. Even if your argument is that the birth mother could give the child up for adoption, you’re still not pro-life. Because living in a foster home waiting for new parents, for who knows how long, maybe forever, isn’t living. It’s existing. Being in a children’s home where bullying and abuse is often rife is robbing a child of any life. Putting a child through the pain and suffering of an incurable illness to sooth your own conscience is selfish. Better not to be born at all.

Back to accidental pregnancies though. If a woman falls pregnant unintentionally; through failed contraception, or a bad decision, or even being careless, why should she be consigned to a lifetime of unwanted parenthood? Why should one brief experience define her life forever more, if she doesn’t want it to? Why should she be forced to go through with having a child she may not want, a child she may not love, or may not care for, just because the law says so?

Here’s the crux. I’m probably a prime candidate for a child. I’m happily married, settled, own home, well paid. But I don’t want kids. And do you know what? If I fell pregnant now, accidentally, I would have an abortion. No doubt about it.

And do you know something else? I wouldn’t feel guilty about it. Because it would be the right decision for me, and the right decision for that collection of cells, because I know I couldn’t give a child the very best in life – purely because I don’t want to. I don’t think that’s selfish in the slightest. I think that’s realising that, despite all the great things about having kids, I don’t want the whole package.

I don’t buy the belief that all women feel guilty about terminating a pregnancy, and will think about it forever more. If a woman is making the right decision for herself, based on her own personal circumstances, then why would she feel guilt? Sure, at some point you might think “what if?” But that’s not to say it will be a whistful what if! Personally I would feel relief. Relief that I live in a progressive society where a woman has the right to choose and take control of her body.

Relief that I will not be punished for making a decision that, ultimately, affects me more than anyone.

So, Mr Trump, you have completely isolated all the women out there like me, who believe in “our body, our right” (as if we didn’t already hate your guts for your vile thoughts about Muslims and closing borders).

But that’s ok I guess. Because all the pro-lifers will be on your side and you’ll guarantee their share of the vote, right?

Wrong.

In a statement, Jeanne Mancini, president of the March for Life Education and Defense Fund, said Trump’s comments were “completely out of touch with the pro-life movement and even more with women who have chosen such a sad thing as abortion.”

“Being pro-life means wanting what is best for the mother and the baby,” Mancini said. “Women who choose abortion often do so in desperation and then deeply regret such a decision. No pro-lifer would ever want to punish a woman who has chosen abortion. This is against the very nature of what we are about.”

Ha, have that you orange bigot!

Worse still, upon sensing he’d dropped a massive clanger with his comments, Trump has back peddled and suggested he meant punishment for the doctors carrying out abortions.

Oh, so that’s ok then? No it’s not! A doctor, a medical professional, carrying out a legal operation that a woman has requested? Would you punish plastic surgeons who are going against the natural grain with breast enlargements and nose jobs? Because I don’t think that’s what God had in mind when he created Adam and Eve.

What next? Surely some homophobic slurs and a vow to reverse the decision to legalise gay marriage. Making it legal for police officers to shoot black people on sight. Hell, let’s even give the KKK some political power. Sounds far fetched?

Unfortunately, I think anything is possible with this vile excuse for a human being.

And you know what’s worse than him?

The misty eyed dim witted followers that agree with him.

Thanks, as always, for reading! x

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Sexism? It’s alive and well in British politics…

Just when I think I can get on with posting frivolous things like what I’ve been buying and wearing, along comes another public matter that I just have to have my say on! Damn being so opinionated!

There are two things that have caught my eye (pardon the pun, in relation to the first one).

Sexism

MP Alison McGovern has released a letter that she received, presumably from a member of the public, following an appearance on Channel 4 news earlier this year, which criticises her for displaying cleavage.

You can read it in full here.

To summarise, the letter accuses her of using her feminine form to attract attention to herself as a Labour Party spokesperson, suggests that it’s a “strategy”, and mentions that her “prominent cleavage” distracted male viewers from hearing what she was saying.

Say what?

Firstly, she wasn’t dressed in any way inappropriately, or courting attention. She was wearing a more than respectable top, under a blazer, all in very sombre colours. Quite fitting of a politician, some would say dull.

Newsflash – women have boobs. 2nd newsflash – we don’t live in a Middle Eastern country where we have to hide our flesh.

Secondly, as an educated woman and member of the shadow cabinet who one would assume is in the role due to her own merits (and I don’t mean tits), suggesting that she would use a strategy is really very insulting to both her and the person who appointed her.

Thirdly, who are these male viewers who become deaf when any hint of a woman’s curve is on show? You’d hope that they’re watching the news for an insight into the world. It’s Channel 4, not bloody Babestation. Last time I heard, your ears don’t become full of cotton wool because you can visualise what’s under a woman’s top.

Gah!

Issue 2 is the news that Labour Leader candidate Jeremy Corbyn would support the idea of female only train transport if women thought it was of benefit.

How about you jolly well sod off, and instead implement tougher laws and punishments for the dirty dogs who think it’s ok to make women feel vulnerable on trains?

Here’s the deal – both of these cases clearly intimate that men can’t control themselves. Alison McGovern, in not wearing a Victorian blouse up to the neck, has invited all of these poor defenceless men to sit and leer over her, and in doing so the poor souls have missed out on all the important intellectual stuff she was talking about.

Such a shame for them.

Jeremy Corbyn, rather than punishing men, realises that they’re weak and can’t help themselves when in a public place with women they don’t know and so he is protecting them from themselves by segregating the genders.

My heart bleeds for their torturous existence.

How about, instead of the fault lying with women, we look at the situation for what it really is. Because, for the most part, men are pretty OK. They don’t generally go around perving and blaming other people. I know a lot of men who are respectful and non pervy. You know, normal men. And those men are probably pretty pissed off that they’re being lumped into a big ol’ sleazy can’t-control-themselves category. And rightly so!

For all the progress we’ve made with women’s rights, we seem to be going backwards. Did Emeline Pankhurst burn her bra for nothing?

I suppose she was just trying to show off her bangers.

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