Hi! I’m a new contributor so thank you Rachel for having me onboard. I’m Rebecca. I live in Yorkshire, not far from Sheffield, in a small terraced house with my husband (we’ll call him JD) and our insane cat, Ivy. I’m currently unemployed, but I’m about to start an Open University fiction writing course, and I’m writing non-fiction all over the place too. I did my degree in Theology at York St John and graduated in 2005. We got married just after that, when I was 21 and he wasn’t quite 23. My marriage is a lovely but bizarre place to live. I’ll write more about that later.

I lost my dad to suicide last April (2008). He had been suffering from psychosis and sadly took the decision to take his own life. The past year has shown me many, many things, not least of which is the strength that lies within me. I expect that some of my posts will be mental health related.

I am a fat acceptance activist, I am an LGBT activist, I am a feminist. I am a fangirl for music and flail frequently over people in music. I like indie, punk, emo, Celtic punk, rock ‘n’ roll, twee indie, strong songwriters. I see more gigs than is actually healthy. JD plays in a (Sheffield based) band, but he’s a web programmer during the day.

I can be found blogging somewhat normally here at ClumsyKisses.com and I can be found writing about nail polish (yes really) here.

I did a series of posts on LiveJournal in February for the 14 Valentines project. If you’ve never checked this out, I would strongly recommend it. I wrote 14 posts in 14 days on a variety of topics, but one of them was about my life as a feminist. It’s this information that I’ve chosen to copy below to show the standpoint I come from. In the meantime, I look forward to being more involved here

I got thinking about a post that I’m going to write for this project on some women who’ve inspired me. Some were no-brainers; women I’m related to, women who are my sisters in all but blood, the one woman I loved to the bottom of my heart, musicians who are showing us how it’s done, authors, teachers, etc etc. I’m lucky in that I’ve known a phenomenal number of phenomenal women. But then I got thinking about who started me off down a feminist path. And I realised I knew exactly where it started.

I was in my first year of high school, so I was 11, and one of my English pieces of homework was to choose someone to research, someone who had done something we thought was important. I think that was as specific as it got.

Other girls in my class chose people such as Gandhi or MLK or Winston Churchill or someone like that. I do remember that barely anyone chose a woman, although someone did choose Emmeline Pankhurst. I thought at the time that it was such a waste to not choose a woman.

I chose Elizabeth Cady Stanton. I don’t remember how but I do remember reading about her part in getting women’s votes and consciously thinking, Wasn’t that always the case?

You have to remember of where I speak. I grew up in England in the 1980s, in a part of the country wrecked by Margaret Thatcher. Not only did I grow up with women’s votes, I grew up with a woman on the throne and a woman in the highest elected job in the land. So to think that there was a time when that wasn’t true baffled me, but it also made me think.

Stanton wasn’t perfect, but her imperfections make her more inspirational in my eyes. We are none of us perfect – and there’s a lot of pressure on people to be this, that and the other by a certain age or whatever. She was very much of her time, of her class and status, but it doesn’t detract from what she did.

I’ve been thinking about human rights and the people who decide what they are ever since.