June 2009


I’ve just been trawling through pictures on my computer and found a bunch of pics of Sheffield Fems out and about to share.


So here is a selection (plenty more to come). These a mostly from a while back.

Reclaim the night Manchester


I was shopping around last week for car insurance for me and JD. Now, I have the same surname as him, because I liked his name and I chose to take it, etc etc. He didn’t care either way – his family is a sprawling mess of steps and halves, so name isn’t a big part of his identity. I didn’t like my surname too much so I chose to change it.

To begin with, I was always Mrs. Recently, especially while I’ve been looking for a job, I’ve taken to using Ms. I feel like prospective employers take in my married status and my age (25) and assume that I’m going to immediately get pregnant and need maternity leave, and leave them trying to cover that leave. Maybe I’m overreacting – and it would be highly illegal for them to even imply such a thing – but anyway, I’ve taken my rings off for interviews and taken to calling myself Ms. I like Ms. It says “I don’t consider you close enough an acquaintance for you to know the exact details of my marital status”.

Anyway, car insurance. My renewal came through and I wasn’t happy with the quote, especially given that I turned 25 this year – shouldn’t it have gone down considerably? JD’s did, when he turned 25. So I shopped around, found a deal, phoned up (because I couldn’t get the website to work), and was offered a ‘multi-car deal’, for both of us/both our cars. It was much cheaper than any of the quotes we’d each found separately, so I went for it.

She started taking details, and I told her I was Ms Married Name. She asked for my date of birth, the length of time I’ve held my license, and so on. Now I dunno about you but I got my licence “a long time ago”. Thinking back to exactly when that was is hard, so when  the same questions came about JD and his car, I REALLY had to think. (And I’d wager he couldn’t answer those questions about me. He’s lovely, but a bit vague.)

Anyway, my point to all this is, when the (very helpful) woman asked me fos JD’s name, she then hesitantly said, “Male or female?”. You see, JD has a name that can be used as a girl’s name or a boy’s name, although I’d say it was more male than female, but maybe that’s just me. But he and I have the same surname. I’m actually impressed that the woman asked.

Did my use of Ms. confuse her? Was she forward thinking enough to realise that just because two people have the same surname it doesn’t mean they’re a) married or b) of opposite genders? Does she have to ask the question? I don’t know, but I am impressed. Kudos, insurance lady.

I can’t find a clip right now, but I just saw an advert for Vagisil Cream, to ease ‘feminine’ itching caused by pads, thrush, life, etc…

Well, firstly, ‘feminine’ itching? In my ‘feminine area’? Methinks someone is making the ole ‘feminine = female’ mistake again! (Cue polemic about how the very notion of scratching oneself would be contrary to feminine ideals, yadda yadda, I’ve been there already).

But secondly… it was followed by an advert for cream cheese.

There was MUCH lol’ing, to the utter bewilderment of my little brother.

Happy days.

Previously, in a couple of Weekend News-Surfing posts, I’ve had cause to comment on Scotland’s woefully inadequate sexual offence laws.

Well, happy days, because the new Sexual Offences Bill has now been passed.

One Green MSP (Patrick Harvie) abstained, all other 121 votes were in favour.

A rudimentary Google search did not turn up any newspaper-quoted reason for his abstention, but his latest twitter update (when, oh when, will people stop doing this kind of thing?!) which is featured on his own personal website, says this:

Patrick Harvie MSP twitter quote

Patrick Harvie MSP twitter quote

“Listening to politicians debate drugs and alcohol is bad enough, but hearing them debate sex is just dismal.”

Given that the news of the Bill’s passing was reported on the BBC website at 18:21 UK time (GMT+1), I think it’s fair to assume that we’re looking at the same thing here.

You know, I can’t speak from personal experience (of either circumstance), but I reckon that having been raped and knowing that under the old laws you’ve got a whelk’s chance in a supernova of getting a conviction is a bit more fucking “dismal” than sitting in a debate about how those laws can be made appropriate and helpful.

Also, and I can’t quite believe I’m having to say this when talking about a sexual offences bill, but seriously: sex and rape are not the same thing. That’s why we legislate against one and not the other, and it’s a pretty bloody basic distinction. Consensual activity: not a crime. Nonconsensual activity: should be a crime, if it isn’t already.

Anyway, that’s my one small gripe over. The good news is, everybody else was in favour, and the bill is really very good. I read it, in its entirety, when I researched it last time, and you can read that there, so I’m not going to do it again. Instead, I’ll leave you with this comment from Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill:

“This is a journey, not simply in terms of legislation, but in terms of Scotland becoming a modern, progressive country, recognising the position of women and treating them with the respect they are entitled to.”

Via The F-Word, Samantha Orobator has not been sentenced to death.

It’s a sad world when this is the best we can hope for.

However, this is the world we’ve got, and these are the circumstances we’ve got, and in any case, staying alive is pretty bloody vital, generally speaking. Here’s hoping for a her speedy return to the UK.

Revolutions can start with tiny pictures, right? I’m sure they can. I saw this on Tumblr but I’m not sure of its origin. (If you don’t know Tumblr, there’s a feature called ‘reblogging’ which can get so out of hand that it’s impossibly to find who did what first.)

This post will be sticky until the elections are finished, 10pm on Thursday.

I have little inspiration, and less time, so I will simply say:

Please don’t vote racists into Europe.

The BNP are hate-mongering douchebags, as we’ve reported previously.

UKIP (UK Independence Party) seem unaware of the irony of a political party that want nothing to do with Europe standing in the European elections. For that reason alone, don’t vote for them. Also, when even Robert Kilroy-Silk calls them a “joke”  (which he did), the party is clearly not even fit for a talk show, let alone politics.

These elections are decided by proportional representation, which means your vote really does count.

Please use it for something other than hate.