Last month was International Women’s Day. It saddens me that such a day is still necessary is 2019; and yet here we are. I find myself not wanting to identify with ‘feminists’ because of the associated connotations; and yet here we are. I keep believing in equality, and hoping that will be enough…and yet – Here. We. Are.
Inconspicuous Toxic Masculinity
Last night as I drove home with both my young daughters in the car, up ahead I saw two cars approaching us, but their behaviour momentarily confused me – I couldn’t make sense of what I was seeing.
And then I realised that what my eyes were telling me was real: one of the cars was overtaking, and zigzagging towards us on our side of the road.
They were some distance off, but nonetheless I had mere moments to decide how to react. I didn’t have time to consider that my daughters’ safety was paramount – my reactions were driven by instinct. I slowed down whilst doing a recce of our position and the width of the road to see what options I had.
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I was not able to turn around and so, as the crazy driver before us screeched to a halt in front of the car he’d overtaken, blocking our path but still some distance away, I focussed on not allowing my girls to become aware of my mounting anxiety. As the driver exited his vehicle and aggressively approached the second behind, I breathed deeply, willing my eyes not to see yet not daring to look away.
I watched his arm swing wildly at the other driver and feared what I was witnessing and how this was going to end.
My girls remained quiet in the back of the car, my youngest – still rear-facing – oblivious to the drama. I fervently hoped that my eldest was otherwise engaged and that if I didn’t speak she wouldn’t be inclined to look up and see what was unfolding.
As quickly as the incident began, the young man got back in his car and tore off. I can’t tell you the relief I felt when the second driver got out of his car and looked unhurt: the cretin had damaged the vehicle but not its owner. Small mercies.
Why am I telling this story? Because it reinforces to me the reason I and my girls will never be equal to men. I can’t talk about International Women’s Day and not touch on misogyny and toxic masculinity. I felt entirely impotent in those moments, and I am furious that a vile, violent man forced me into a situation I wanted no part of and which I was powerless to shield my young daughter’s from. And yet here we are.
He reminded me that my resilience and strength of character is no match for the physical strength of a brute.
For as long as episodes like this occur – and of course they always will – women will be intimidated by males. That’s reality; that, sadly, is life. Which is why, despite wishing it were not necessary, I will always be a huge advocate for International Women’s Day and everything it stands for.
But rather than focussing on the negatives surrounding the necessity for this day, I’d far prefer to focus on the myriad reasons for celebration.
As I write there have been three excellent pieces of news reported in the last week, all of which are in the spirit of International Women’s Day (and far more deserving of our time and attention than the juvenile delinquent I refer to above):
ICO Fined Bounty For Exploiting Vulnerable New Mothers
This is something that’s been a long time coming and I was personally delighted to see. Frustratingly the fine levied, though not small, is a fraction of that which could be enforced post-GDPR. Of course Bounty were slick enough to not only fully comprehend their exploitation of vulnerable women, but also to limit any fine by changing their practices before GDPR became lawful. You can read more about the ruling here, and see some of my followers opinions about it here:
Female Scientist Succeeded in Photographing Black Hole
It took Dr Katie Bouman and her team years to make the breakthrough, and she’s since been hailed a genius. She’s 29 years old. At that age my greatest achievement (after having a baby) was brushing my hair before my husband returned from work.
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Upskirting Became a Criminal Offence Thanks to Victim’s Campaign
Of course, this is in spite of moronic Christopher Chope’s previous block on the bill – the first but not the last time his ego has interfered with common sense laws being passed to protect women and children. With such pompous priorities, clearly driven from a place of arrogant privilege, does this man belong in politics?
I think I speak for the vast majority of the country when I say I’m profoundly disillusioned with our politicians.
It says a lot, don’t you think, that it was a member of the public who fought to bring this bill, and a white, male politician who attempted to block it. Shame on him.
Nevertheless, Gina Martin and the majority of the country rejoice following her successful campaign.
Keep Fighting the Fight
So, there’s plenty to be done, but there’s also much to celebrate.
We may never win the fight for gender equality, but we will sure as hell keep battling for our daughters.
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I decided to write this post, and then thought ‘oh no! I’m too late – #internationalwomensday was yesterday.’ . And then I realised that’s perfect. ❤️ . This post is *because* of the incredible women in my life, both close to me, and some who don’t even know I exist. It’s about those who positively impact my life. And I don’t need to be shouting about them on the single day dedicated to such things – the whole point of yesterday is to remind us that we should be building each other up EVERY day. 💪 . I’m having a wobble. For various reasons I’ve found my confidence shattered. And yet I’ve not had the space to fall apart. Why? Because the following incredible ladies have reminded me, in person or from afar, that success doesn’t always come easy, and anything worth having is worth fighting for. I hugely admire them all. 🤩 . Several have also been coaching and championing me through my wobble. . Success comes in many forms. One of my greatest personal successes (creating mini humans aside for one moment) is finding myself able to call many of these inspiring women my friends, and in some cases, my family. 💗 . @amytreasureblog @arthurwears @katykicker @marshmallowphotography @naterradarainha @whatkatysaiduk @genuineplacebo @lovefrommim @baby_led_weaning_club @somethingaboutbaby @gorgeousgsmama @tobyandroo @poutinginheels @emmareed @intolerantgourmand @amummytoo @fivelittledoves @rocknrollmother_ @cherryhealey @sjdooley. . Thank you to those of you who have picked me up this week. 😘 . I’m creating the #youinspireiadmire hashtag for anybody else who would like to shout out the inspirational women in their lives. . #grateful🙏 #lovemyblog #mamapreneur #womenwhoinspire #mumswithhustle #solopreneur #mycreativebiz #calledtobecreative #abmlifeiscolorful #abmlifeissweet