Wednesday, 22 April 2009


Subtitled: How not to bring up your daughters. When I was a little girl, two particular trite sayings were dinned into my pretty little head. I say that with some irony, as I was never told I was pretty, or complimented particularly. One doesn't want one's little girl to turn into a vain little thing. Or even worse, confident with her own appearance. Back to the tritisms. 1) I want never gets. Please may I have stands a chance. This was repeated endlessly. Apparently my father suffered it, so felt it appropriate to din it into me. I was rather dismayed at the rude behaviour of my current Partner when I met him. He did not say please very often. If at all, although thank you seemed to feature in his vocabulary. What a terrible upbringing he must have had, I thought to my superior self. For 20 or 30 years I dutifully went round saying please at every grovelling opportunity. One day, the scales fell from my eyes. I want does get. Please may I have stands a chance of being totally ignored due to such wimpy unassertive language. 2) Little girls are seen and not heard. Note. Little girls. Not little girls and boys. Or little boys. Or little children. Just little girls. Now why is that? Ah, good training for when you grow up and your opinion, views, intelligence etc etc are all worthless because you are a woman. So, just keep quiet and don't say anything. Nor is it attractive behaviour to sound off about what you think. Women who do, are most unattractive. What man would want a woman who voices her opinion without being asked for it? Speak when you are spoken to, no less. (Another one I have just remembered). The trouble is, that all this tosh is just that. It is absolute garbage and the worst possible way to bring up your daughters. It is indoctrinating them with an inferiority complex, total lack of confidence and assertiveness, and of course, just passing on all those cool subliminal patriarchal messages. Well, clearly at some point I got out of it. Maybe it was when I noticed women who weren't still stuck in their childhood corner and seemed to have rather a nice place in life. Maybe it was when I noticed women getting exactly what they wanted by saying so - and men too of course. Maybe it was when I just grew up.

Monday, 20 April 2009

Just another depressing post

One of my friends said recently that she was embarked on a course of self-destruction. We didn't discuss it at the time, but I can empathise with that. For me, it's a relationship thing. I really can't handle them. I'm either incredibly immature (almost certainly) and/or just incapable of handling a nice relationship (equally almost certainly). I can never believe that something will last - if it feels nice it must be too good to be true - and I'm always waiting for the bitter and inevitable end. And maybe that's why I feel like rushing it along, hastening the end, to get past the bad bit and move on. Or I'm not sure whether I feel exposed when I share part of myself with people, and want to rush back into my shell, just venturing out on the odd occasional foray. Or whether I am like a stray dog, wanting to take the scraps offered but frightened that the hand that feeds me will hurt - so I bite it instead. Maybe I can't handle all-round perfect nice people. They seem to bring out the worst in me. I like people to have faults. And be real. Or perhaps I don't trust people. They usually let you down in the end.

Sunday, 12 April 2009

Easter eggs

Just in case anyone thinks I have stopped marvelling at the incredulous activities of Pope Ben..... I see he has sent chocolate Easter eggs to victims of the Italian earthquake. That is so kind and thoughtful. If I had lost my home, possessions, possibly members of my family/close friends, a chocolate Easter egg from the Pope would so make it all right.

What rescue dog?

Well done Obama, you fucking hypocrite. You have just done jack shit nada for promoting the attractions of rescuing dogs from shelters. Despite the much-publicised comments from the family during the presidential campaign that they wanted a rescue dog - what have they ended up with? Surprise surprise. A nice little pedigree pup. Wow!! Naturally there are reasons for this. Of course. Plenty of 'em. 1) It's a present from Senator Edward M Kennedy of Massachusetts. 2) Portuguese water dogs apparently rarely end up in shelters. 3) The previous family and the six-month-old pup were not a good mix. 4) Just fix the problem with money - the Obamas are going to make a donation to the DC Humane Society. Now why does this story make me want to vomit? Why do I think maybe a runty little rescue cross-bred mutt doesn't really quite fit the Obama family image? I know it's not too difficult to find labradoodles and the like on the internet at rescue societies because I looked previously when someone claimed she couldn't find any. (A similar allergy problem to the one Malia has). Why is it all right to harp on about wanting a rescue dog during a presidential campaign and then - pfff once elected - the idea just vanishes? And most of all, why on earth do you think making a donation makes it all right? How many dogs are you guaranteeing to keep alive with that donation? Money buys everything right? We know it does so that's a rhetorical question. Do you not think it would be setting a slightly better example to rescue some unwanted pup from a shelter? No. Obviously not. Oh and to anyone who comes out with the really boring old comment that rescue dogs are difficult to home, and may have behavioural issues but pedigree dogs are just so good because of their lineage blah blah blah - pedigree dogs often have worse health problems (slight problem with the in-breeding) and can be more temperamental than a blue blooded racehorse. Why do you think so many pedigree dogs end up in rescue shelters?

Wednesday, 8 April 2009

A newspaper round-up

Sitting in the bus station the other day I picked up a Spanish paper, and as usual depressed myself. It seems young people in Spain, ie those under 30, have one of the highest unemployment rates in Europe, 30.4% compared with say 16.2% in the UK. How sad that young people, at the very age when they should be starting and building on their careers, can't even get a job at all. Then of course, I found something about that knowledgeable wise old guy who lives in a posh house in the Vatican City. Yes, dear Pope Ben (aka Joseph) was attracting media attention again. As this was a Sunday paper, it was more of an analytical piece and was focusing on his general ability to make the most crass decisions possible. The paper regarded Ben's asinine comments about condoms as yet another of his out-of-touch policies following two other hugely controversial actions this year. The first was his decision to rehabilitate British bishop Richard Williamson, a breakaway bishop who had been ex-communicated by John Paul II. That in itself is of little interest to those of us who are not gripped by every move of the Catholic Church, but the fact that Williamson denies the Holocaust and the murder of Jews in gas chambers puts a somewhat different light on it. However, it seems, in spite of the offensive nature of Bishop Williamson's obnoxious views, that the unity of the Catholic Church is more important. By legitimising Williamson (and three other ex-communicated bishops), the Pope has not only undermined the actions of his predecessor, but shown his total and utter lack of respect for another religion and the families of all those who were killed in that allegedly mythical holocaust. The second controversy the paper highlighted was ironically, the ex-communication of a Brasilian woman and the medical team who performed an emergency abortion on her nine-year-old daughter who was four months pregnant with twins. The girl became pregnant after allegedly being raped by her stepfather, which police believe had been happening for some years. They also accuse the stepfather of similar crimes against the 14-year-old handicapped older sister. But wait, the most important thing here is the lives of the two unborn foetuses. Never mind that the nine-year-old girl - who has been raped - needed an emergency life-saving operation. Nope we should be putting those unborn innocent little twins first. So the naughty doctors and the naughty mother who consented to the operation have been kicked out of the church. One wonders why the nine-year-old wasn't kicked out too, but I suspect she was too young and probably hadn't been confirmed, or no doubt she would have been ejected unceremoniously from the all-important and oh-so-righteous Catholic Church. Apparently even Lula da Silva praised the medics and criticised the Pope. Quite right, Lula. Oh, what about that unpleasant piece of work - the stepfather? Well, it seems that although he may well have committed a rather nasty crime, it isn't bad enough to get him chucked out of the church. Abortion, as we all know, is a far worse crime than raping your nine-year-old stepdaughter. If there is any justice, when Joseph Ratzinger arrives at the pearly gates, I do hope God sends him down to burn in hell for eternity. Moving on, and back to condoms, in Spain now. Arantxa Quiroga, the new president of the Basque Parliament, featured in an in-depth interview in the paper. Senora Quiroga has four sons, and is a member of the Opus Dei. So it's hardly surprising that she was totally in agreement with the Pope's comments about condoms during his Africa trip, and she's proudly gone on record as saying she would never use one. Very helpful Arantxa. Are you aware that some of your compatriots in Spain can not afford the luxury of having four children? Anyway, the article finished off on a particularly stupid note. Regardless of Senora Quiroga's religious views, it would seem she is a successful politician. So what was the final comment of the article? Apparently she is now wearing heels (tacones). And her friends have noticed that she seems more confident. Naturally that is all a woman needs. It doesn't matter that you may be intelligent, successful, motivated, hard-working, ambitious - just pop on a pair of high heels and the world will be your oyster. I despair.