They told Me to Write a Poem (Spoken Word)


They told me to write a poem,

one to celebrate the art of rhymes,

structures and creating



I’ve always hated the ritual

of celebration,

its infatuation done wrong.

My poem was awful,

shameful and



They told me to write

something beautiful.

My body was my blank canvas,

and I wrote the words

to my life.

I carved out the paths,

echoed out my tales,

told them something


I wrote them lines

of dreams and

stanzas of nightmares.

They did tell me to

write something


My writing skewed as I

recalled my past,

and felt the tears

of regret stain

the page.

They tried to wipe

them away,

but it was something


I recalled every bruise

and scar,

I pointed to my

stretch marks and

they were beautiful.

They asked me why

I was doing this.

I couldn’t answer as

my words stopped in my

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University administrators allow fraternities to turn colleges into rape factories

Watching the Wheels

Aug. 31, 2015

When I was an undergraduate at Emory University in Atlanta, the fraternities had a little Sunday morning ritual called the “Walk of Shame.” After all the big Saturday night parties, brothers would drag lawn chairs into the front yards of their campus frat houses and berate women who were walking down Frat Row, heading home the following morning. Many of them would hold up cards ranking the women’s attractiveness from zero to 10.0 in what one frat called the “slut Olympics.” Odds are that some of those women were the victims of date rape but none deserved to be devalued in that way. But that was the 1980s. Stuff like that doesn’t happen anymore, right?


Lately news stories of rapist frats have to compete with news stories of racist frats so it’s easy to get confused. Last week’s story about the banners hanging on the Sigma Nu house…

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Falling through the branches of the Ladybrain Tree


Years ago, back when New Labour were desperately trying to justify the invasion of Iraq, I remember the arguments being compared to a monkey falling from a tree. He clings to one branch (WMDs), but that branch breaks, so then he grasps on to the next (humanitarian principles). The branches keep on breaking but he keeps on believing that this one, the one in his hand right now, will hold firm. Crash, crash, crash. He does not learn from experience because it is not in his interests to learn. It is in his interests to cling on for as long as possible.

I’m reminded of this whenever the topic of male and female brains arises.

The belief that male and female brains are inherently different has been around for thousands of years. The same cannot be said for any proof. We know that there is another possible reason — perceived reproductive…

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Feel like laying blame?

Want to blame all Muslims / Islam for all the extremists?

Then by that logic…..

Blame all men for rape

Blame all children for playground bullying

Blame all Christians for George Bush

Doesn’t sound fair? That’s because it isn’t.

Dutch cabinet approves partial ‘face-covering clothing’ ban

continued oppression of human rights then… this time by the dutch. great.
A friend of mine who is an atheist no less, still believes that it is a woman’s right to wear whatever she wants, whenever she wants.

Ned Hamson's Second Line View of the News

The Netherlands has taken a major step toward introducing a partial ban on wearing face-covering garments in some public places. The move is seen as targeting the full-face Islamic veils worn by some Muslim women.

via Dutch cabinet approves partial ‘face-covering clothing’ ban.

Major fail by Dutch!

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solidarity in the 4th wave?

Exactly Gemma, we are all learning. Part of that seems to me to be about not feeling ashamed. Shame is a big part of this. We can only defeat it if we pull together.


As I’ve learned more about sexual objectification and the damage of gender roles over the past few years, it has become clear how much it affects society, predominantly women, in different ways. From victim blaming, unequal parental responsibility, rape and domestic violence – and the victim blaming that comes with it. There has yet to be a day without an example of it in the news every single day. They are huge issues affecting most, if not all women and girls every day. My social media and contacts are filled with those who claim to feel just as passionately about changing the world for the better by making a stand against these issues but there are a few problems, Tokenism, picking and division,
Tokenism. This is the most frustrating for me. I hear you care about this stuff too. I hear you want violence against women to be addressed and this is great! Lets…

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A talk about media sexism

The NMP3 campaign has been effective because, as the petition and general feedback has shown, there are 240,000 + women and men out there who were sick of seeing bare breasts in a family newspaper.
I have heard so many women say that the soft porn on page 3 of the sun demoralised them and contributed to their low self esteem about their bodies and it took them a while to realise this because page 3 is normalised as part of mainstream culture.
So many people were sick of seeing it.
The campaign has been effective because it’s stayed polite and has used humour. It’s never asked for legislation, it’s just asked The Sun politely to stop printing soft porn.
So many excuses have been used to keep it and we’ve kept asking the question ‘why are half naked women needed in a family newspaper?’

The very talented poet, Hollie McNish, wrote a poem called Just One Day where she imagined that roles in the media were reversed. This is my favourite bit!

For just one day, I’d like to see a newspaper take a double page spread about Obama’s arms when he wears short sleeves.
10 pages to talk about David Cameron’s choice of socks and hand cream.
Whilst focusing on Kate Middleton’s degree and how she feels about personal freedom next to images of Prince Williams’ top ten jackets worn this season”

At last count, the NMP3 petition had 242,683 signatures. We may have won a battle and bare boobs seem to have disappeared from page 3 of the sun but the war on media sexism is not over.

The NMP3 campaign supports the 50:50 campaign because, well, it’s a no brainer, right?

But I truly believe that if there was equal representation in parliament, then back when Clare Short first complained about page 3, she would have been listened to as opposed to bullied and harassed in the national press. She was called crazy and mad. The Sun called her a fat, jealous, ugly cow and even got male MPs to pose on page 3 with topless models as part of their campaign of hate against her. Even if those insults had been true, when has that ever disqualified a man fitting that same description, from having an opinion?

Only on Monday night, Junior Equalities Minister, Jo Swinson, slammed the Tories for refusing to back an enquiry into Everyday Sexism in newspapers.

It’s funny right? 2 days before we gather to talk about 50:50 representation, an article on buzzfeed appears about the culture secretary Sajid Javid immediately blocking any kind of enquiry into media sexism.
I’m trying not to judge anyone here, but I find it fascinating that a man chooses to block an enquiry into media sexism. Even the Tory equalities minister, Nicky Morgan was open to the idea of an enquiry!

I think Bridget Christie; one of my favourite comedians sums it up nicely when she says

“How did we end up a generation of women crippled with self loathing, eating disorders, body dysmorphia and agitated mons pubis?
Something has gone badly wrong when hundreds of thousands of British women have chosen to walk around with silicone in their mammaries. Yes! We have the vote but we can’t get down to the polling stations because we’re incapacitated by malnutrition, low self esteem and vajazzle adhesive”

In order to prepare for tonight, I asked 60 random people to complete 2 sentences for me. Media Sexism affects me because…..
Unequal representation in parliament affects me because…….

These people were mostly strangers to me, were of all ages and their views were mostly collected on International Women’s Day on the NMP3 stand.

The majority of people’s responses centred on self esteem issues and a huge amount of women were concerned about their sons and daughters. They are worried that their sons will grow up to view women as objects and that their daughters will have the same self esteem issues as they do.

Lots of people simply said that the way women are portrayed in the media is demeaning and presents women as objects to be judged. We all of course have the choice to seek out this kind of content but when it is in front of us on every newsstand in the shops, on millions of breakfast tables and on display in the houses of parliament, where is that choice for those of us who would rather not see it?

What kind of future do we want to create?

Do we want to continue on this path of devaluing human beings to make money?

Or can we start making life better, not just for women but for all of us?

We seem to have this massive preoccupation with image. And I don’t think that anyone can deny that women are the main target of this.

Whether it is a top human rights lawyer being judged on who she married and what she is wearing or whether an Oscar nominated actress has had her mani-pedi, it feels like you cannot escape the constant scrutiny of women’s appearance no matter what the actual celebration is supposed to be for.

So I’ll leave you with another quote from one of my favourite blogs, My Tights Won’t Stay up who call out media sexism on a weekly basis.

Now, I might have got this wrong, but aren’t The Brit Awards, and awards ceremonies in general (except fashion ones), about stuff what people have done good, or vaguely good, or a bit middle of the road but made a lot of money, so let’s pat everyone on the back? Anyone would think they’re a shop window, advertising women posing with their hand on one hip and doing that awkward knee thing for looking adorably gauche and youthful. Oh goody, let’s JUDGE THEM! Who’s thin?! Who’s hot?! Who’s mutton?! Who gives a giant flipping fuck? Clue: Not us… Oh lawd, thanks Daily Express I have a jeffing opinion about a famous person’s dress. Someone please drown me in a puddle of C-listers’ tears.

Switch over to the Itsy Bitsy network…



No slave is ever freed, save he freeth himself.

~~ Smart Bee ~~

Artist’s rendition of Mars One Colony outpost: picture from

It won’t do. It simply won’t do…. Unless, of course, it does, in which case, we have no opening…. SIGH. Well, ffolkes, I seem to have done it again…. Here I am, clueless as to how to begin, again, with a large amount of blank white covering the screen, and, my mind’s inner vision…. I wouldn’t want to put any blame for this anywhere it doesn’t belong, but, pretty soon, I’m going to have to assign a scapegoat of some kind, to get rid of all this angst; at least, then, I’d have something to feel guilty about….

I must say, though, I’m not much into guilt, having decided long ago it’s a pretty useless emotion, based generally on misconceptions of entitlement having nothing to do…

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If your belief makes someone else feel bad, is it right to have that belief?

Or if you flaunt your belief to make someone else feel bad and conform, is that right?

If your belief is yours and through general conversation you find out that you share that belief with other people so that there are more people with that belief, is that okay?

If you take all those people who believe the same as you and collectively make other people feel bad and conform is that okay?


If someone breaks a glass, or drops an open bottle of milk, or pulls the handle off a cupboard, would you smash them in the face?

Can we agree that even if they did it on purpose that violence isn’t a fitting punishment for these crimes?

There are people in the world who agree with this except when it comes to themselves… They believe that they deserve to be violently punished for small infractions that would normally mean nothing. Thery appear to choose to stay with other people who do believe violence is a fitting punishment for anything that makes them angry.

We exclaim to the people who stay, ‘why do you stay, why?!’ but it never occurs to us to ask the punisher, ‘why do you react this way, why?!’ We always seem to justify their violence somehow. That’s just how it is or it’s human nature. All the while questioning the ones being punished as though they were the ones causing harm to another being.

This is not an original thought or a great epiphany, it is merely another person attempting to articulate their utter despair as aggressive action after aggressive action continues to roll on through our world on the back of aggressive words and images.

It is so embedded and engrained in our minds that it’s all so normal that anyone who asks why is, wait for it, verbally or physically abused in some form or another. Maybe even indirectly.

It’s amazing how that view can transpose itself into any form of life on our planet. The violent people choose their reason or have one already and exploit it. And exploit others around them by encouraging the violence. All the while ensuring that the ones who stay near them continue to believe they simply don’t deserve anything better. No matter how intense or obvious the violence is. No matter how subtle the coercion.

And they like it this way. It creates fear and confusion and conflict. Divide and rule. Oldest trick in the book?