Friday 5... Detectives
Yeah not real detectives, fictional detectives, detectives that the fictional police don’t employ because these freelance detectives don’t play by the rules; but they like their style. Detectives who manage to get people to talk to them, to visit them in their art deco style office and divulge intimate yet details they didn’t tell the uniformed officer on the night of the ‘incident’. Today we applaud these crime fighters and their little grey cells.
Moon over Helen Sharman
Image: NASA Goddard Space Flight Centre
There are many spectacular pioneering women out there who don’t get the recognition they deserve.
Doctor Helen Sharman (OBE, PhD to give her full dues) is one pioneering woman I'd like to discuss today.
Helen Sharman was the first Briton in space. In fact she’s still the only person with sole British nationality to go into space (every other British person to go into space has joint US/UK citizenship, or UK/South African in one case). She remains the only British woman to have left Earth, and is one of less than 50 women who have been into space (roughly 10% of all astronauts have been female).
Who to Believe?
Lalala can't hear you Image: Patrick Lentz
It’s thought of as lazy journalism to write about what is now called a Twitter Storm. However the use of the hash-tag #ididnotreport has not come from nowhere, it was put into use by the Mumsnet We Believe You campaign around the same time as Women’s Hour, The New Statesman and other media have been asking if feminism is excluding men. Women were tweeting about #ididnotreport as the court of appeal chose not to quash the criminal conviction against ‘Sarah’, the woman who falsely retracted an accusation of rape against her husband.
BFC let's them eat cake
Image: Flóra Soós
Brighton Feminist Collective is is running a project called 40 days of treats for our local BPAS clinic. 40 Days of Treats has been written about before on Squeamish Bikini. However, as the project has gained ground it has received criticism and misunderstanding, so here’s Little Spy to clear things up
Currently Brighton Feminist Collective is undertaking a project, called Brighton 40 Days of Treats. This project was inspired by the original 40 Days of Treats campaign; a campaign set up to counteract the impact of the 40 Days for Life protests which they call 'prayer vigils', outside BPAS and Marie Stopes clinics.
Now, I'm aware there are a lot of '40 days' in that paragraph so let’s break it down a little bit. 40 Days for Life in the UK is an offshoot of the 40 days for Life campaign based in the United States and led by Coalition of Life. The Coalition of Life is committed to ending abortion full stop, irrespective of reproductive rights, individual circumstance or medical needs.
Feminists! Haven't you trained your cats to clean yet? Image:Sammydavisdog
Forty years in, the Institute of Public Policy Research think tank has proof that feminism is a total bust. Why? 8 out of 10 married women say they do the bulk of the housework. Oh well, forget the whole thing then.
The difference in the allotment of chores for women born in 1958 and women born in 1970 is… 1. 8 out of 10 54 year olds say they do more laundry and ironing than their partner compared to 7 out of 10 42 year old women.
For some reason both the Guardian and the Daily Mail have chosen to place this problem at the door of feminism, because guys, it’s been 40 years now where’s this equality you’ve been banging on about? Sadly there’s still racism in this world too but I don’t see headlines claiming the civil rights movement has been piss poor, let’s not bother with it every time there’s another hate crime.
Positive Social Status
HIV infected T Cell Image NIAID
Good enough. It is an international motto, I suspect. We all enthuse about raising awareness for various causes. Then forget about them. Lalala. One such topic that enjoyed advertising campaigns, pop lyrics and the attention of TV soaps and dramas was HIV. In fact, if like me you grew up in the 90s I think we could be forgiven, considering the abrupt stop to much of the HIV awareness campaigns, for thinking HIV was no longer an issue and AIDS had been eradicated.
Well, we aren’t there yet but put it this way, Saatchi & Saatchi aren’t busting a gut thinking about what rhymes with HIV. As it happens we are currently witnessing the first HIV+ babies who have reached adulthood, as the Guardian reported yesterday: “… the first cohort of teenagers born with HIV shows every sign of rude health. In what must be the most under-celebrated triumph of modern medicine, in the last two years, the oldest survivors of childhood HIV have grown into young adults.”
How do you pick just 5 earworms? There must be hundreds of songs that float up from the subconscious to wrap themselves around your brain during a moment of silence. It seems best to pick the ones that create an irrepressible internal soundtrack the moment you read the name, or someone mentions them… Of course thinking about earworms has brought to mind that playground tune ‘I know a song that will get on your nerves, get on your nerves, get on your nerves…’
Swelling Magazine Sales
Jessica Simpson Image:John Vanderhaagen
I am of that age now where many of the teen pop stars of my yoof have settled down with their second fiancé and are baking a new generation of child stars for Pepsi to sponsor and MTV to film as they make their way through life’s twists and turns.
This is fine. It’s a little odd, but only mildly odd because Britney et al tend not to text me up or anything so my mind spends time thinking about literature, DIY nail art and what I’m going to have for tea tonight. Plus it’s not a race guys and as it happens even if it was Britney, Christina et al are a little older than me so it’s all just FINE.
Meet us on the Street
Tomorrow is International Women’s Day, which I hope you will all note. If it takes you a little by surprise (I admit it this happened to me last year, cue me greeting people in my office with a cheery “Did you have a good International Women’s Day… yesterday?”) don’t worry, because it’s never too late to celebrate Women and, most importantly, mobilise.
From the 18th until the 24th of March it is international Anti-Street Harassment Week. Expanding into an entire week after the huge response to 2011’s International Anti-Street Harassment Day, when more than 2000 people from 13 countries participated.
Men and women took part to end street harassment in Delhi, Cairo, Washington DC, Kabul and New York. All inspired by Stop Street Harassment blog founder Holly Kearl.
Hair gets in your eyes
Hair. As with most endangered things hair is quite the hot topic. I recently directed a production of The Vagina Monologues, which contains one speech about pubic hair. During rehearsal it was the Hair monologue that everyone got a little shifty in their seats. This was either due to the imagery of a razor nicking the woman’s “vagina” or perhaps the cast’s intimate rhinestones were digging in, answering Cosmo’s question, "Can you vajazzle and be a feminist?"
The answer is of course: I expect so.
In turn the next question is “I’ve got stubbly armpits, does that automatically make me a feminist?”