Thursday, 24 December 2015

George Osborne and The Food Bank - A Christmas Tale.

[The events below probably bear no relation to what actually happened in the Cameron and Osborne households this morning. But Foie Gras Lobes are real and do look like ears. See below..... ]

It was the morning of Christmas Eve and George was feeling a little excitable. He'd already whipped Nameless and Replaceable, his trusty valet, with a sprig of Mistletoe, and thrown a copy of Ayn Rand at the dog. He had stroked little George as usual and it had taken so little effort even Nameless and Replaceable looked taken aback. Actually he had taken it on his back. But still. George was in high spirits.

He speed-dialled his bestie.

Osborne : "Dude! I'm off down the food bank. Can I get you anything?"

Cameron : "Gee Gee - you cannot continue to joke about our failure to provide a basic standard of living for the most vulnerable in society. It is intolerable."

Osborne : [Stays quiet]

Cameron : I was saying to Samantha this morning as we whisked round Fortnums, it is utterly shameful that we are in here with so much money to spend on products that the poor have never even heard of and whilst they eek out a miserable existence on high carb, low cost, staple foods we are shamelessly buying a hundred Foie Gras Lobes at £75 a pop to hang on the library Christmas tree, just to give us a grin, because they look like ears."

Osborne : [Stays quiet]

Cameron : My Christmas speech brought a tear to my eye last night. I thought... what a shame someone else has written this. It is so lovely. I'm so lovely. I'm like John Lewis. But more givey. A lot more givey. I think we should give more to people next year Gee Gee. Lets give the people stuff. Let's kick Duncan Smith's head in and promote Margot Fonteyn - you know that blonde lezzer one.... and let her do some giving all over the place. I'm tired of all the hating.

Osborne : [Stays quiet]

Cameron : Gee Gee? Are you there?

Osborne : Have you finished?

Cameron : I'm serious!

Osborne : Fuck sake Dude. You get like this sometimes. May 2010 you were fucking appalling. I had to lock you in the wine cellar for 2 days post-election remember? You couldn't stop wanking on about resurrecting the NHS and full benefits packages for economic migrants. I tell ya bro. If you believe your own shitting press one more time we are up shit creek without a Sunseeker.

Cameron : Sam's here. She wants a word.

Osborne : Do not put that horse-faced cow on. She'll be asking me about fucking free wallpaper again and my dad was only saying last Thursday "If any of your douche mates want wallpaper they can go to fuckin B and Q until you put the fuckin top rate tax threshold up to £3m." I can do that can't I? I told Dad.

SamCam : Horse face here Gee Gee.

Osborne : Horse face!!!!  Come and sit on mine?

SamCam : No can do Boyo. Busy wrapping presents. I got you some of that stuff you like.

Osborne : Eau De Blood Of The Poor?

SamCam : No ....the stuff made of eggs.

Osborne : Corbyn?

SamCam : Sharp as an economic spike that never comes this morning aren't you fucker?

Osborne : Haven't you got hay bales to snuffle?

SamCam : I'm putting the soft lad back on - have a word. He's talking about tripling Universal Credit and putting a statue of Keynes in the bog.

Osborne : Put him on. I'll sort it.

Cameron : Listen Gee Gee. Even Justin Bieber has become charitable. I could tweet out my message of goodwill and promise a thousand pounds each to the homeless peeps and pledge to open a dozen refuges for hurting feminists and ....

Osborne : Corbyn screwed your sister.

Cameron : What now?

Osborne : Corbyn. Took her up the shitter.

Cameron : The little Toad. Good grief. Those socialists are bad uns through and through. Oh dear Lord of all that is Holy..... I feel sick.

Osborne : Would you stop talking like a Christmas Carol you fucking loser and focus. How do we get him back?!

Cameron : Hold on. Which sister?

Osborne : The fat one.

Cameron : I don't have a fat one.

Osborne : My mistake. It was your brother.

Cameron : [Goes Puce] Right that's it! I am fucking selling the police and the ambulances and the local councils to China. Fucking get on it - £20 the lot.

Osborne : You haven't got a clue dude. That could take months. I've done the trains though. What else can we do?

Cameron : Let's kidnap Andy Burnham!

Osborne : No one gives a shit.

Cameron : Yvette?

Osborne : Dude. You drinking?

Cameron : I know. I'll give Liverpool to the Saudis as Human Rights Practice Area. No more Cilla Blacks for us.

Osborne : Right. Done. So ...a little test. What are the poor?

Cameron : Vermin.

Osborne : Where do we want em?

Cameron : In the sea.

Osborne : When do we want it?

Cameron : Around about January 2020 before they can vote again.

Osborne : I'll ask again. Anything from the food bank?

Cameron : Nah. Go down and torch the fucker!

Osborne : What did you get Rebekah Brooks for Christmas?

Cameron : Her fuckin freedom - that's what!

Osborne : See you at the Carlton about 5. Wear lace. Drinks are on me.

George smiled. Christmas was back on track.

Monday, 7 December 2015

Shhhhh. How the abuse goes down.

A year or so ago. I went to Nottingham Women's Conference. I arrived late. I arrived after beginning to drive home once I realised a woman I "knew" was spreading lies about me with women I also knew well. I came back because another woman texted and said I deserved to be there. I had received a standing ovation and I wasn't allowed to be there for it. It doesn't matter. I love the women that stood and applauded. It meant a lot. If you were there - thank you.

I drove back to see Julie Bindel. I was desperate to see Julie Bindel and Bea Campbell. They are bloody legends. They are feminists. Not the wishy washy kind. I missed Bea - I was too late. When I arrived I was shaking. I knew the woman spreading lies was there. In truth. I still loved her. We all love our abusers. I was just coping with the end of our "relationship". I thought I would just sit in a corner and keep quiet and enjoy Julie's speech. It was a fucking fine speech incidentally. 

When I first got there I went to a speech by an FGM activist and an activist doctor. It made me cry. I sat to one side and cried relentlessly, along with lots of women. My heartbreak over the abusive woman I'd been with was fuck all. That brave activist had endured having her clitoris cut off. She was cut and stitched by women she loved. She stood on a stage and talked about it whilst crying, What happened to me - was, and is, in comparison- fuck all. 

At the end a number of women, women I have eaten food with, began to exit the conference room. They were women I had known and loved. I still do. I smiled of course. These were feminist women. They wouldn't take sides. 

Most of them blanked me. At point blank range. I am just a woman. It did what you would expect it to. It fucking hurt. Massively. 

I drew myself high - because I am me and I am a fuckin fighter - and I went to the Bindel speech. It was great, but I was shaking. I was scared. I was scared of the woman I loved coming in there. She had apparently "decreed" that I should not approach her and of course I never would have! I respect boundaries. I now see it was because she had told so many lies and I might have made a mockery of them.

I left at the end. I knew I had been strong. I went home and fell apart. Who wouldn't? I got chips and fish. I'm northern. Fuck it. There's nothing potatoes in fat won't fix. NOTHING. 

I have an enormous heart.

It is fucking huge. It ought to be shrivelled and blue. It isn't. I'm more proud of that than many things. It makes me human. I can still love. One day I will love someone again. I'm trying. 

Woman who abused me. Get help. Stop abusing women. Take photographs of the world and it's beauty and stop abusing women. You are really good at the photography. What a shame you can't be happy with that. You are REALLY good at the photography. 

There is nothing you can do to me now. You did it all. You have nothing left but coming at me with physical violence. I will be waiting. I'm afraid, but I will face you. I couldn't once. I can now. You mean nothing to me. 

Some terrible things have been said about me over the last year. You may have heard them and believed them. I know why they were said. I know how easy it was to believe them. It's ok. Women who stuck by me. I love you. Women who did not. I love you. Women who are now speaking out. I love you. 

I sit here shaking. Wobbly. Numb. Tense. Light-headed. 

When you aren't believed at first you keep shouting thinking it all makes such sense. When you aren't believed for a long time you go quiet. Then more quiet. Then you just stop talking about it in case you sound mad or bitter or abusive. Except to those you trust. Some of them you shouldn't trust either. 

Throughout all of this I may have laughed and joked about some women. I may have been unkind about a few in a lighthearted way. I was hurt. I was using humour to try to stay strong. I was still wrong and I apologise. 

What I did not do was cross boundaries. If you made it plain you wanted nothing to do with me. I stood back. I stopped saying how unfair that was. I just took the wound and moved on. I dusted myself down so many times I was like fucking Havisham with a Dyson hand-held. 

What I don't miss are the fucking seeds. That woman and her fucking seeds. I'm not bitter .... but fuckin ell. There is a reason for all the fucking lemons. (women who have been there - you get that).

Women who have been harmed and silenced. We are all here for you. We appear to be a fuck load of women. Jesus now. That might just be feminism for you. Forgiveness, understanding, belief and fighting. Well how about that. We could bring the men to their knees with that shit.

To the women who finally stood up. I salute you. No holds barred. I tip my fucking hat. 

Any woman who wants support. I'm here for you too. I am very very sorry I wasn't brave enough to help you before. 

Woman who is "loved" right now. We will all be here for you too. Don't worry. We will be here. 

Men. You fuckers are still the leading cause of you being fuckers. 

Love JH x

Sunday, 15 November 2015

I am not part of a male WE. The Paris Attack.

David Cameron - "However much WE prepare, WE in the UK face the same threat..... WE stand with you united."

Francoise Hollande : " WE are at war, and because WE are at war WE are taking exceptional measures"

Barack Obama: "WE stand prepared and ready to provide whatever assistance the people of France need to respond"

Three statements yesterday which suggest that "WE" are heading for a lot more fighting. WE are under threat. WE are going to fight back in the face of "THEIR" attack. WE are the good guys. WE will be doing all the good fighting against THEIR attacks. 

Fighting talk. Man talk. 

WE love this too....

we shall fight on the beaches,
we shall fight on the landing grounds,
we shall fight in the fields and in the streets,
we shall fight in the hills;
we shall never surrender
                                         Winston Churchill.

It gets OUR blood racing. It gets US foaming at the mouth for brave action. It puts guns in OUR hands and OUR boots on the ground. Fires US up.  Makes US patriotic. 


I'm not WE. I'm part of the WE that is women. WE don't wage these wars. WE don't perpetrate terrorist attacks on Paris. WE weren't on a Tunisian beach shooting at tourists. WE didn't fly planes into the Twin Towers.

WE died though. Lots of US. WE still are. Sometimes in war. Sometimes not. WE are killed by men. 

WE pick up our children to escape those wars waged by men. WE die on boats with our children at night trying to escape the violence in Syria. WE live in the camps at Calais subject to terrible conditions and vulnerable to sexual assault. WE are the ones raped and sexually assaulted in times of conflict as acts of vengeance/indulgence by soldiers who feel it is a "reward" of war. WE are placed in situations of danger throughout the world by the terrible mistakes of men who engage in conflict. WE often fight in those conflicts as military personnel too. It does not mean WE are responsible for the weapon placed in our hand even then. It just shows that WE are brave despite the intolerable foolishness of men who lead us into wars. There are some mighty and astonishing mistakes and most result from power, money and resources (land, oil, gas etc).

OH! I can hear it coming on down the line .....on the 10.56am from Luton.... "MRS THATCHER THOUGH!!!" - Here young man - have a banana and sit over there and eat it in the corner like the monkey you are. One evil woman does not make the rest a target for your daft. 

Next..... careering in driving an Audi A6 from Alderley Edge...... "ANGELA MERKEL THOUGH!"...... here ya go... have a kiwi fruit.... it will last longer and is a bit more intricate as that took you a bit longer to think up. (You're still a bit of a dick. Merkel has also successfully rescued an economy and is under constant and incredible pressure from men trying to oust her despite that. She's doing what she needs to do I guess. She also extended the hand of Germany to refugees whilst men dithered and let them die.) 

Finally..... here comes the helicopter. From Hertfordshire somewhere. Anywhere. "BOUDICCA THOUGH!" ... you win the pineapple. You really do. Boudicca was leader of the Iceni and she defended against the Romans. Who were bastard men and raped a shit load of WE. Pineapple. Arse. Insert. 

Because below is a list of current armed conflicts..... not including the joint military intervention against Islamic state. They are 100% waged by male leaders. 

When you discuss the IS intervention the countries jointly involved - listed below- are 86% "initiatives" led by countries headed by men. That would be 90% but for Portugal.... new women in charge. 

Your WE looks a bit fuckin shaky eh?

 I do condemn the actions of Islamic State. I am horrified by events in Paris. I do think Islamic State are barbaric and I do think they pervert Islam as a justification for inhuman acts. I do hope that their actions don't plunge us into a situation of racist accusations and racist suspicions but I don't doubt for a second that men up and down the pubs of the land last night were proving my hopes futile. 

David Cameron, Francois Hollande, Barack Obama, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, Putin, Assad, etc etc etc.... My WE is women. Your WE is male violence. 

List of Ongoing Armed Conflicts : 

Afghanistan, Iraq, Nigeria, Cameroon, Niger, Chad, Syria, Israel, Palestine, Turkey, Somalia, Kenya, Nigeria, Sudan, Pakistan, Mexico, Libya, Yemen, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, CAR, South Sudan, Ukraine, India, Iran, Myanmar, Thailand, Colombia, DRC, China, Ethiopia, Algeria, Tunisia, Burundi, Russia, Lebanon, Mali, Burundi, Indonesia, Philippines, Malaysia, Angola, Peru, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bangladesh, Djibouti, Eritrea, Mozambique. 

100% male leaders. 100 % of the "WE" is male. 

Military intervention Against ISIL :

 United States - male 
 United Kingdom - male 
 Iraq - male
Syria Syrian Opposition - male
 Australia - male 
 Belgium - male 
 Canada - Woman
 Denmark - Male
 France - male 
 Germany - woman
 Italy - male 
 Netherlands - male 
 New Zealand - Male
 Norway - Woman
 Portugal - women just took over and are being subjected to sexist behaviour from men. 
 Spain - male
 Turkey - male
 Bahrain - male 
 Jordan - male 
 Morocco - male 
 Qatar - male 
 Saudi Arabia - male 
 United Arab Emirates - male
 Egypt - male 
 Libya - male 
 Nigeria - male 
 Cameroon - male 
 Chad - male 
 Niger - male

86% of the "We" is male. Dropping to 90% if Portugal is not included because I think the women just elected mean to fight for significant change and a bit of sexism isn't going to stop them. *Salute*

Saturday, 7 November 2015

PS - I don't love you.

Twitter has added something. It has added love. I wish they hadn't bothered. 

It used to be until very recently that if you agreed with something someone said on Twitter or liked something they posted then you could click a little star ... it was a bit like awarding them a gold star.

It meant I suppose...."Well done" or "Nice one" or "Ooh....I think that too." 

Twitter is very much for the sharing of ideas and dissemination of news and articles and viewpoints. The "favourite" feature in the form of a star was not too "gushing". It was not like Facebook where people post tedious selfies of themselves in a new frock and all their friends pile on in to declare "Looking good babe <3 <3 <3".

Even the banal Facebook only has this though.... 

 and even though it is just a thumbs up it can imply so much more. People who are skirting and flirting around each other frequently try to decipher "So... are we a thing? He/she liked my post. Does that mean I can ask them out on a date??" etc. Unfortunately this can be misleading when one person intends to simply say "Nice one!" and the receiver of the "like" ... reads it as "Babies? One day? After the holiday in the Carribbean and the buying of our first fridge together? Can't wait to see you and get this romantic show on the road!" 

Facebook be Facebook. It is full of cats and weird. Twitter I expect more from.

This is what Twitter decided was a good idea.... 

They changed the "nice one" gold star into a lovely throbbing red heart.  It's now....."I LOVE YOUR TWEET!.... (and possibly you xxx) "

Ever so simply the Twitter game has changed. 

The connotations when we see a red love heart are completely different to those of a gold star. We are conditioned to soften and see passion and affection and a declaration of deep emotion. 

So when once I could have "liked" a tweet for criticising the news reporting of a rape trial... I now have to put a throbbing red piece of love affirmation next to the discussion of an abhorrent topic or not bother. 

Someone pointed out this morning that they used to use the favourite button as a bookmark. A sensible marker for when they had more time to read. No longer possible. 

However, I have bigger concerns. 

My concern is women who are negotiating men who don't understand the same codes and conventions. How many times have you considered yourself "just being friendly" whilst a man has considered it "she wants me... I can just tell.."?

This has happened on occasions since my teen years. I used to only realise when the hands were where they shouldn't be or when I was fending off a kiss I hadn't expected. At all. 

It still happens. I am still convinced that there are men who I can chat with both online and in real life who will not be deciding whether or not they can access my vagina in the next three days. Sadly. It's rare. It seems to have got worse. I am now naturally suspicious of motives. There have been times that I have made it very very clear that I have no sexual interest in a man. I have used the words "I have no interest in you sexually at all." It has meant nothing to him. He has convinced himself that I didn't mean it or was playing hard to get. It has not ended well. 

I used the "love" word last night. Randomly. Not in a serious sense. But there was a moment of "EEEK! She said "love"..." and my "shit... I just said 'Love"... I didn't mean "LOVE!"... but it was fine and the awkward passed. 

I posted some Neruda yesterday. That man knew how to love. He didn't waste that on a Twitter button. Look. This is love expressed properly..... 

It is not this.... 

"<3 babe".

So until Twitter stop being dicks and go back to creating a place where people can just approve of something without wanting to marry it.... I'll say this. Men...unless I know you in person and we know where we stand with each other... I will not be loving your tweets. (It doesn't happen very often anyway as there are far too many brilliant women to admire).

Women.... if I gift you a red throbbing Twitter heart.... it means "nice one". 

I will save my love until I feel a Neruda moment. It does happen. 

Saturday, 17 October 2015

Once were warriors.

I was told yesterday that the way to get young girls "into" feminism is to stop frightening them by showing you hate men. Or some such rubbish. I was told it by a man (of course) so I had already put my fake ears on. They look like I've got listening equipment on the side of my head whilst in reality I'm just working out ways to push a fake custard pie in his face.

I have no idea how to target young women and make them become feminists. It's not my bloody job. It's not anybody's job. I've kind of assumed that the bright, young hip fems like Caroline Criado Perez and Sarah Ditum etc are doing enough good stuff,  loudly enough, to get feminism to look cool and then young women will find their own way in.

I have been of the optimistic view that young women are automatically "into" feminism in (at the very, VERY least), a "lib fem" way by default ....even if they don't know it. They surely know what they've gained from it? I hope that they will tip toe around the edges a while (sometimes in denial) until something happens and they fall into real feminism. I'm too old and too angry to push or drag any woman. I will fight tooth and nail to keep men out though. Men are not feminists. They are men.

I'm wrong about the girls.

The man wearing the custard pie is right.

Something is still keeping young women at a distance. Go and sneak a peak at a gang of them today (just as you walk about I mean....not in a scary behind-a-tree way obviously!). They all look the same. Great gangs of young women have been cloned. Long hair, dark eyeliner, pose and pout lips, handbag over arm. Giggle, twirl, giggle. They don't have time to think about injustice. Even when it is being heaped upon them. Even when they are rope-tied tightly together by body fascists, rape apologists, victim-blamers and misogynists. Or as we know them better... the media. They are at best offered wishy washy feminism by pop stars gyrating along to the tune of "empowerment" packaged by their male management who sit back counting the cash.

Young women who resist this cultish indoctrination. I applaud you. You're playing a tough gig to a rough crowd.

Sadly, the message can't get through to most of them. Patriarchal Fuckability Tests are still imposed at 12 ...and sometimes younger if you show talent (breasts) early. Sit them, pass them ....or you are out of the system. On your own. A "weirdo". Friendless.

The young women I do hear who take that risk and step in are still scared. They've still been "trained". I hear them say "But you can't exclude boys from feminism! Boys are feminists too!" They look like they've been slapped if you point out that they aren't and ask "Where have they been for 2000 years?" Why the rush to "help" now? Why do they want to come in? Because boys and men do - if you say they can't. They demand it. That's the fucking point and that's exactly why we shouldn't let them.

Who gives the young feminists a membership pack that tells them to include men or it isn't "fair"? Who tells them, in advance that radical feminists are "the wrong kind" of feminist? Who tells them that their feminism is and has to be about choice? Choices that include men and their needs? Choices that may affect other women but they don't need to think about that?

Who? Who the fuck gets to them before ordinary feminism can be heard? Because it isn't "radical" it's just "feminism" most of the time.

Men do. Men have stormed into our war and taken away the guns. We didn't even fucking see it. But when you take away the young women that would be our warriors and you give them a mascara wand instead.... and tell them you want to have screwed decades of hard work. You done good dudes. You fought sly.

When young feminists turn their backs on second wavers because they are "old" or "it was different back then... they didn't know better..." or whatever causes them to reject the women and their activism, who fought for all the "choices" they get to make I want to cry.  For the young. Because there is a beauty and a richness and a dignity and a fire and a blazing pathway of achievement screaming at them to follow and run with ....and young women are rejecting it in favour of a liberal feminist road being tarmaced smooth for them by men. I owe those second wave women and so do women younger than me. You can't skip off to see "Suffragette" and then skate over the hard work of the 1970's without a glance and suddenly arrive at "Woohoo.... porn! I'm so empowered by my choice to watch it and get fucked up the arse if I choose!". You have to take the full train. You have to see the tracks that were laid for you.

How do we get our future warriors back? I don't know. The men have them held tight either as anti-feminists or as feminists bound to male definitions of what it is and can be.

We can't make radical feminism fancy. We can't give out free fucking cake and badges and iPhone stickers. We are too busy trying to stop those young women being raped and beaten and fucked up the arse by porn magnates as misogynist fuckers on the internet target us with death and rape threats. Soz about that young 'uns. Let yourself in. Do it quickly.

It isn't the fun kind and it never was. It isn't for men and it never was.

Young radical feminists. You are bloody amazing. I know you are out there. Keep fighting.

Happy Saturday women x

Saturday, 10 October 2015

The Beer Police

This week Amazon were hosting this product. A product you can see is imported by Orion Costumes. It is distributed by Simply Fancy Dress.

This is funny. Apparently. This is because men who drink a particular brand of lager .... vaguely depicted by the outfit .....have a tendency to drink too much, lose control of themselves and attack a woman. Maybe regularly. Maybe to death.

What's not to laugh at according to the 3 companies above?

I've had the familiar derailing arguments directed at me this week for objecting to this product.

"You've lost your sense of humour. You never had a sense of humour. You should be objecting to something more important like FGM and Saudi Arabia. (I'm never sure why all feminism has to begin in Saudi Arabia ... and apparently end there. There is no need to ever object to anything outside Saudi Arabia. I blame the camels.) Not all men beat women. Not all men drink lager. You're a lesbian. You eat carpets. You should be bothering rapists about their raping not wittering on about halloween costumes (yes....that always goes so well for me...)

On and on the men go. Presumably these men are angry because they want to drink lager, beat women and enjoy Halloween. All at the same time. Why shouldn't they? "WHY CAN"T I DRINK LAGER, BEAT WOMEN AND HAVE A LAUGH WHILST I SEE OUT OCTOBER. WHY???? "

I wonder what happened to knocking on a door, not hitting the woman who answered it in the face, and then running away laughing.

Beyond that why am I so angry about the fact that this costume was conceived as funny, distributed as hilarious and hosted as side-splitting by the three businesses involved?

Anecdotally, most of the times I was thumped hard that particular brand of lager had started the evening. Not anecdotally.... men who abuse women are sometimes drunk. More than that men who stop drinking alcohol can significantly lower their perpetrating of violence against women.

This Life In Recovery survey by Sheffield Hallam University, analysed the results of 800 respondents in recovery from addiction to alcohol or drugs and yielded the following startling results.....

This was echoed by the Life In Recovery survey in Australia also conducted by Professor David Best of Sheffield Hallam University. Figures were even more stark with half the respondents in recovery from addiction to alcohol and or drugs reporting living in a family/household where domestic violence was perpetrated or suffered. Again this dropped sharply to less that 10% when in established recovery. The statistics are not gendered. I wish they were. I would like to see the level of male violence more distinctly highlighted.

Even without a gendered study we can assume that the men who beat women do it more often after drinking.

Some of those women die.

In 2014 ...149 women were suspected to have been killed by a current or former partner. That is more than 2 a week. (Statistics recorded by Karen Ingala Smith )

Linking the two things  - it isn't difficult to assume that some of those dead women are dead because men had been drinking. If men aren't using alcohol or drugs they are less likely to beat women. I'm not afraid to say that the main perpetrators of domestic violence are men and the main victims are women. Enough studies bear that out. In cases where women are perpetrators the reasons, incidence and reporting conditions are very different.

So...... a costume which laughs at either of these sets of statistics is incredibly damaging. The costume itself worries me as does the trend established in the 1990's of blaming the brand of lager and not the man with the lager in his fist (which he subsequently used to batter a woman). At some point he put the lager down and it sat impotent on a table or floor. The man however perpetrated the violence on the woman. He is not absolved of that in my mind whether dependent or not. That would be far too easy. This would mean men could deny their agency in violent acts against women.

Going back to anecdote. I know that virtually every time a man hit me that man had been drinking. Sometimes the build up to the violence was before a drink. Sometimes the beginnings of the incidence of violence would flicker during the drinking. At the end of the drinking the man would either be unconscious or he would be abusing me physically or emotionally.

I learned to police beer. I was ever alert. I knew how much alcohol lay around the house and how quickly it was being consumed. I knew by every movement and facial gesture of that man exactly how much alcohol had been consumed before he reached the house. I knew to look for the signs that he was slipping into unconsciousness and I knew to try to retreat silently to bed at this point. I knew to sleep lightly and listen for doors. I think I knew the fridge door had opened at 3am before the automatic fridge light did.

I learned to cull alcohol. I spent years hiding it from him. I'd slip out a bottle of wine into the washing machine under the clothes. I'd take 3 cans of beer and pop them at the bottom of the shoe cupboard. I would pour a couple away.

If I wasn't successful or if I'd become relaxed or distracted and probably had a drink myself and wasn't spotting the signs,  then things would quickly slap me in the face. A gentle slur would quickly become a snarl. A conversation swiftly slam into a shouting match between one slurp and another. A smirk slip into a scowl at the whoosh of a ring pull.

At this time there is no retreat. There is no culling. There is no way to pull back the tide of drink that fuels that man and washes over you. He is coming for you and your children and your belongings and he will swallow them all in his cruelty.

Drink does not excuse this. Drink does not make his behaviour irrelevant or excusable. Violent men are responsible for violent behaviour.

I am glad however, that studies like the one at Sheffield Hallam University show a hope. If SOME men can stop drinking then SOME women can have better lives free of violence. Some men will kill women whether they have been drinking or not and we cannot forget that for a moment.

Amazon saw sense over this vile product and took it down after many complaints and lots of pressure from feminists. Well done to @SueVeneer on Twitter who led on highlighting this.

They still host many other vile products though. It is time they had a good look through what they unacceptable agree to host.

The company Simply Fancy Dress can be contacted here.....

Their Twitter is @SimplyFD

Orion Costumes can be emailed here ....

The Life in Recovery Survey is ongoing and the team behind it include Dr Jamie Irving who is @JgiSHUcriminolg on Twitter and Professor David Best who is @DavidBe13551581 on Twitter.

Laughing at women who are abused and or killed by men is never going to be funny and no mention of Saudi Arabia will make me forget that.

Happy Weekend women, stay safe...

JH x

Wednesday, 30 September 2015

Ethical porn - where women are a bit like carrots, cars or beer. Just don't mention their vagina.

A friend called me on Monday night and said...

"I am going to ruin your entire Tuesday. You're welcome. Sleep well."

Well .. he didn't. He just said ..."I'm listening to a debate on ethical porn on Radio 4. You should listen."

Friends eh? Sometimes they're like monkeys on crack with guns. Only less loveable.

Here's the link if you're interested. I suggest you snort a bowl of asbestos instead and pretend Radio 4 died.

Introduced by a young journalist named Nichi Hodgson was the ridiculous notion that the porn industry can be all smoothed out by a few rules and regs and that all the lovely amenable porn magnates will just sign right up for it. Nichi likes to ignore double anal penetration, throttling and gagging and prefers to promote an acceptable fluffy bit of "ethical" porn where pretty, hippy couples named something like Sven and Sveness lick each other senseless on scatter cushions whilst planning a weekend in Scarborough. Or something. I genuinely couldn't decipher what exactly Nichi thinks "ethical porn" is and what it isn't. Because really... whatever is going on in Nichi World is like a consensual fumble in the broom cupboard at Hogwarts whilst the Armageddon of the real porn war rages outside and saying.... "Look though. Look how cool we are here amidst the mops and the Mister Sheen. This can't be too bad. Why don't you all come and watch? That'll make it ok. It WILL!"

I don't think the throbbing big boys who thrive on multi-million pound empires shaping our young children to the point where they no longer even feel each other's bodies as they act out their PornTubeRedHub sex on each other really care what Nichi is doing in her health and safety sex cupboard as long as she legitimises their bit and they get to keep throwing sex grenades at women and children without anyone stopping them.

Dr Gail Dines admirably, calmly and brilliantly pointed this out (as she does every time). I wish Gail Dines was the voice over to every porn film ever. Just gently and huskily pointing out that you have no real right to be watching a woman dehumanised and reduced to a variety of available fuck holes.

This morning I voiced my dissent. It always feels like you are holding your hand up to the incoming tide of the North Sea when you say "Nuh huh. Nope. Porn is bad for women. Something that encourages men to scream vile names at a woman whilst they squirt semen in her eyes and she cries.... that isn't good for women. That's really quite bad for women actually. It's probably bad for the men who are watching it if we really think about it." ... well saying that really quite obvious stuff brings all the cool young folk to your yard.

I soon found @Seanchuckle keen to tell me the porn was ok. I'm wrong he thinks. I'm all kinds of wrong about porn.

Sean is Sean Biggerstaff (verified with a blue Twitter tick sign dontcha know... played Oliver Wood in Harry Potter apparently... yeah ... don't worry... I don't know either and I've seen Harry Potter.... must have been one of the ones who died quickly. Probably from wanking off his wand.).

Sean was very keen to *sigh* at me for not liking porn and for me saying that he was bound to say that because he was a man. Poor men. They just can't catch a break at being able to express themselves without a woman not listening because they are male. Being silenced and ignored is a pain. Women today eh? If only there was some sort of movement men could join to fight their oppression.

I think Sean is a mate of Nichi. Sean pointed out that he wanted more orgasms.

Does that exclude the woman who has been penetrated painfully for 8 hours in various uncomfortable positions whilst not being fed or paid appropriately? Does she get hers? Does she even want one anymore?

I like sex. I like orgasms. I like being asked how I would like to have one and when. I like someone to care that I have one. I like to care that they do. I like the feel of the body of the person I'm having sex with and I like to look in their eyes. I am not a "prude". I am not "shrivelled up". I am not against other people enjoying sex. All of those are common accusations when you say you object to porn. It's like saying you object to sex. That is a ludicrous jump made only to discredit objectors to male violence.

Actually I am saying I object to an industry where women are sexually exploited and degraded by sex that is not sensual, free from violence and misogyny or consensual. A massive power imbalance, politically and economically, between the owner/producer and the purchased "raw material" they transform into "finished product" ensures that it can never be fully consensual.  When the images of these women are fed to men who see them as a product and subsequently transfer that right to commodify the body of female humans onto the women they encounter in real life, then the whole sexual experience has been changed by an economic and mental transaction. You cannot bring a new product to market ..."ethical porn" ...and expect that the other product will be replaced or become of higher quality simply because yours is there morally guiding the other producer. This is naive bullshit at best and wilful participation in legitimising continued exploitation of women at the other end of bad.

Back to some of the rather astounding comments by Nichi and her sidekick Sean of The Dead (hand).

Nichi offered this....

I don't think the porn industry gives a fuck about you. I don't think they are waiting for you to adopt them and make them moral. I really don't. I think they are laughing their raw cocks off at you.

I thought the difference between vaginas and carrots was obvious but the porn defenders love a good analogy. Anything that doesn't mention an anus or a vagina or a mouth. These are the actual things that have a cock shoved in them over and over again. Usually accompanied by a tirade of misogynistic abuse and sometimes accompanied by the cock of a misogynist friend or two. Sometimes in the same orifice at the same time.

Women can also be compared to beer...

I had suggested that we don't need to see a woman sexually brutalised for the enjoyment of others and wondered why that need and "right" was not allowed to be challenged. That makes me "judgey"? Well Ok. I will judge the shit out of people who do need to see that. Why would you need to see a woman harmed to achieve sexual climax? How did you get to that stage?

Women can be compared to cars too.

I suggested a solution to the brutal porn industry would be to lower demand....

Sean found this mind-blowing. It was like saving the planet or something crazy like that!! So.... y'know.... look away from the vaginas.... cars... look at them!

Nichi was a totally different case. I think Nichi is made entirely of feathers and bunny fur. Life with porn is just like playing with Kool and The Gang. We radical feminists just need to start dancing along.... Celebrate good times.... don't think of the dick tearing up your arse as you start to sing....

Nichi got a bit evangelical. Selectively. I'm not sure what she wants to do with the "other" bits of the porn industry. Presumably those exploited women will just "manage" with all the violence sex and exploitation. The rest of us will be just fine with having ourselves represented as objects for male violence masquerading as "enjoyable" sex. 
I got bored of Nichi. She didn't seem to keep up with the conversation terribly well and pointed out an analogy that wasn't mine was inaccurate. I pointed out it wasn't mine. Nichi didn't celebrate or even acknowledge this. She must have been having an ethical wank. With fairy lights and glitter.

She knows a LOT about vaginas though....I could learn a thing or nothing (more likely) from Nichi.

But I must ask.... really... help me out.... what on earth is Nichi trying to say here... that vaginas are big people. Drunk people. Whole drunk people. Oh Nichi. Go and play with your nipple tassels quietly with Sven whilst the rest of us fight a massive, violent industry harming women on a huge scale both within it and outside it.

Meanwhile today.... over on Planet Nichi.. she seems to have forgotten journalism in favour of ... well... this.... twitter pimping?

Ethical Porn is nonsense. It cannot be divorced from the vile and violent porn industry as a whole. The industry would swallow it, use it and march ever further towards a point where violent sex is increasingly normalised. I don't want that for me, or my daughters or any of us.

I wear pyjamas. £300 for me in pyjamas with a tantalising book anyone? Nah.... for free.