On Being A Friend

28 Sep

Being a Friend

It’s been rough being alone for so many years down here in Little Texas. It’s beaten some rough edges off me though.

I was so angry, oh good Dog, eight years back. Betrayed by people I cared about, mostly liberal men. And confused sad women.

How I wish I could go back and talk to these women differently. How I wish I knew then what I do now. How hard is for women in this patriarchal culture. How much we should excuse each other for, how gentle we should be with each other. How much we need to be listened to, even when we do what patriarchy has conditioned us to do.

I’ve only tried to make friends with a few women in this small, conservative, mining county I’ve lived in since 1996. I never really knew how to perform femininity, let alone want to; and they seemed alien when they did. I didn’t get it. I felt left out. We could not talk about men in a way I understood.

 Why are we always talking about men? Why aren’t we climbing up on a roof or a tree or building forts? Why aren’t we doing what we did back when we were girls, or what I wished I was doing with my girlfriends back when I had girlfriends when we were girls.

But I never had girlfriends like that. I knew some girls in high school. They were members of our protogang. I wasn’t close to them. I finally felt social power, because I was smart and had access. I had access to stuff our primarily male protogang was interested in. Grass! A country place in which to get high!

And we did that, and it wasn’t at all bad. A lot of it was pretty sweet. One of the most lovely parts of my childhood, until, of course, as always, they started plotting to get me raped by one of them. A seventeen year old man I thought was one of my very best friends.

It’s an old story. He didn’t do it but he made me admit in a dark locked room that I’d let him.

And then I fell in love with him. Sweet sixteen.

In retrospect, it got boring after that. I don’t know any of those people anymore. That’s good.

I’m writing this for my friends who will get what I’m saying. You are whom I write for now. You are who I have. 

I’m getting old. I’ll need you. I’ll be here for you much as I can.

I’ll do what I can.

I promise.



25 Sep

I deactivated my Facebook account suddenly because I was feeling so tired. I’ve been there before. I deleted my last account, they made me wait two weeks.

But this time, I was not angry at anyone. I just got tired.

I emailed a few friends.

I can reactivate it. I didn’t ask for my account to be deleted this time.

It just started seeming thin.

And everybody is always so sad.

Ask Aunt Battleaxe | Welcome to the mummy wars

22 Sep


This is great.

Originally posted on Paperhouse:


Every Monday, Aunt Battleaxe will be here to cast a strident eye over your feminist woes.

Dear Battleaxe,

My woe is not a new one but a woe nevertheless. I have two young children. I love them, they’re adorably cute. I also work part time for a charity. I love it, and I’m pretty good at it too. My problem is this: I’ve been offered an amazing promotion, a good thing in itself you’d say. But it’s full time. And not just even full time, it’s full time plus. Having trialled it recently I managed not to see my youngest from Tuesday morning till Friday night as I was up before she woke and home after she went to bed.

Do I take the promote up and glittering career opportunities it offers but become a bit part in my children’s lives? (And lose touch with all school mum friends who…

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In which I consider some pragmatic, rational responses to male violence

3 Sep

In which I consider some pragmatic, rational responses to male violence.

Brain sex does not exist

1 Sep

Well worth revisiting.

Brain sex does not exist.

The end of an era – with dire consequences for women and children

30 Aug Featured Image -- 1167

Originally posted on Radfem Groundhog Day:

Today is the last day that feminists run the Sydney domestic violence shelter “Elsie”, Australia’s first domestic violence shelter for women and children fleeing male violence. Elsie had its 40th anniversay earlier this year.

Back in 1974, the only place abused women and children could find temporary shelter was at a Salvation Army facility, which provided a bed for the night but banned traumatised families from residing there during the day, and provided no health, legal or social services. Most women ended up returning to their violent partners.

Feminist Anne Summers was then a 29-year-old post-graduate student at Sydney University when she saw a documentary based on Erin Pizzey’s Scream Quietly or the Neighbours Will Hear, about domestic abuse in England. As a result, after a two-day Women’s Commission Conference, plans were made to start a refuge in Sydney.

From there, a gradual development of feminist-run refuges were implimented…

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“Poor children are seen as worthless, as Rotherham’s abuse scandal shows”

28 Aug

Originally posted on Anti-Porn Feminists:

Have you ever tried to explain to a 14-year-old girl that she does not have to have sex with all her boyfriend’s friends to show that she loves him? That she has, in fact, been raped? Have you taken her on the bus to get her contraception, only to watch her throw the pills out of the window on the way back?

I had to do this, when young myself and working as a residential care worker. It was my duty to report a child missing if he or she did not come back to the home at night. For some girls, that was most nights. The police and my co-workers cheerily referred to these girls as “being on the game”.

If you want to know about ethnicity – as everyone appears to think this is key – these girls were of Caribbean descent, as were their pimps. The men…

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