Biology for Dummies or how to fall foul of twitter’s women hating algorithms.

So, I’ve been shadow banned from twitter for what appears to be two reasons. Firstly, I am banned because I have a vagina. Secondly, I am banned because I refuse to relinquish my belief in the political significance of said vagina.

Now, obviously, I can’t do much about the vagina. I was born this way.

The latter is a little more complex. I could pretend to be a liberal feminist who believes that prostitution is a service industry, and that there is very little difference between serving up teacakes and serving up tits and ass. I could pretend to believe that women and men were biologically interchangeable, and therefore oppression was not rooted in our differences, and the patriarchal exploitation of them to the advantage of men, but was actually based on our gender. This, of course, would require me to redefine my understanding of the word ‘gender’, and indeed, the word ‘oppression’.

In order to come to believe that women are oppressed because of their femininity, and not their female bodies, I would have to first believe in an in-ate femininity. Liberal feminism suggests that I, a female, that does not openly define as trans or non-binary, must be, by default, cis.

Only, I’m absolutely not cis. In order to be cis, I’d have be to be aligned with my femininity, and I’m not. In fact, this absence of alignment has got me in so much trouble over the years. My big mouth, for example, directly conflicting with a feminised woman, whose mouth is small and dainty, and above all else, shut. Except, when she’s performing oral sex for money, which is a perfectly valid way to earn a living, and absolutely no different than being an accountant.

Then, there is my flat size nines, that I use to wade in to situations and offer my opinion. In stark contrast to the feminised foot, which is smaller, higher and dances around stuff a lot, careful not to knock things over. Perhaps, having an opinion on matters trans is a perfect illustration of this. Feminised women, often simply self refereed to as cis, defer to their trans sisters on matters of gender, especially trans gender. The logic is that a biological woman lacks the lived in experience of a biological man, who thinks he’s a woman, and therefore, has no skin in the game, and no right to debate the issues. Yet, here I stand, steadfast in my right to a view on what constitutes a woman. And, I do this, with no nail varnish adorning my toes.

Another non-cis thing I do is all the household chores, even the manly ones. This week alone, I’ve emptied bins, changed light bulbs and put together a five tier bookshelf. Admittedly, my young son did most of the technical stuff, and it took nearly two hours, and I got incredibly frustrated… but, I did not manifest that annoyance in a girly fashion. In fact, I kicked the wall and swore, twice, which, when you think about it, is setting a bad example to my son, thus making me a bad mother, itself defying the feminine ideal of always being a good mother.

Truth is, I can’t help but give two fingers to society’s expectations of how I should do femininity. But, I also give those two fingers to femininity itself. What a pile of incoherent, ill conceived, constantly shifting, entirely baseless bollox it is? Being feminine doesn’t make me a woman. In reality, it mostly gets in the way of it.

I am a woman because of my biological make up. That is not to say, as patriarchy would have it, that I am not more than the sum of my parts. That is not to say, as patriarchy would have it, that I am less than the sum of my parts.



Do the wheels on the bus still go round, or is that subjective now?

I woke up this morning with a banging headache and a child banging on about sport’s bags and missing math’s homework sheets. I medicated the migraine and mitigated the impending math’s class crisis, fed and watered the child and cat, and took the former to school. On arrival home, I filled a sink with water and piled in the dishes. As they soaked, I paid a few bills on-line, and had a ten minute conversation with my landlord, where he lied constantly. Now I’m bent over my laptop at the kitchen table, hoping to bang out five hundred words, before I have a much needed shower.

None of this seems particularly remarkable, until you consider, I do not exist.

I have been erased.

You may think I’m speaking metaphysically, but I’m not. Metaphysics is dead. It went down a year after irony, and just before literally. Literally now means not literally. Facts are no longer objective, and objectivity is no longer a thing. Here, in this post modern minefield, all that matters, at any given moment, are the thoughts in your head. As long as they are the right thoughts…obviously. If those thoughts are wrong, then they must remain forever in your head. You must never be allowed to speak them publicly, for fear you will contaminate the subjective thought pool.

It probably sounds more ominous than it is. In reality, the rules are quite simple.

Are you a biological woman? If you have answered ‘yes’ to this, then we are not off to a good start.

Let’s try again. Are you a biological woman? If you are afraid to answer, then we are getting somewhere. I’ll help you. There is no such thing as a biological woman. The closest approximation we have to it is a cis woman.

But, what if you are not cis? What if you don’t even know what cis is? So, ignorance is no defense, and actually no-body knows what cis means.

If you are not cis then you are a trans, and deserve a seat at the front of the bus. If you are neither cis, nor trans, then you are probably non-binary, which makes you infinitely more interesting than cis, but not quite as special as trans. Go to the middle of the bus.

Everybody else, to the back of the bus, and away we go…

But, what if you are neither cis, nor trans, nor non-binary? What if you were born female, and identify as none of the above, or none of the other inane multi gender options available? What if you are politically opposed to the subdivision of the clear sex classes into meaningless, abstract, entirely subjective gender categories? What then?

Anyone following the bus metaphor can see where this is going…





In defense of the TERF, because we are all,in fact, TERFS.

So, I’ve been an online TERF for quite a while now, and I’m more than aware what a murky core lies beneath the surface of trans ideology. This week, I saw it, in action, in the real world, and it doesn’t get any prettier, close up.

On Valentine’s night, I had the privilege of attending a woman’s event organised by women, for women, about women. A Woman’s Place U.K. had hired out a Leith venue to facilitate a much needed conversation on gender recognition and where current and future legislation impacts on women’s rights. The fact that it sold out, well in advance, is an indication of women’s interest in this subject, and their desire to speak openly about it. So far, so pedestrian.

Except, the night, as it unfolded was anything but average. To access the venue, women had to walk past  a masked mob, banging drums. The group, calling themselves Sisters Uncut were there to protest the meeting being allowed to proceed. Women shouldn’t be allowed meet with other women to talk about stuff that affects women. See? If you are finding it difficult to understand their motivation, then it will not help at all if I tell you they are a domestic violence collective. Yes, you read that right. A group whose primary purpose is to draw attention to the huge deficit in government funding for domestic violence victims, spends its time and resources opposing women centered meetings.

Far be it for me to tell any group how to organise, but it’s difficult to comprehend how stopping women meeting to talk publicly about women’s things, including domestic violence, in any way furthers the aims of the group. It would, in fact, seem counter intuitive. What thrives in secrecy? Domestic violence.

That’s why I’m starting to suspect that Sister’s Uncut isn’t an anti domestic violence collective as much as the almost armed faction of the trans activist community. The ones on the ground, willing to do the dirty work, in order to back up the insidious threats their bots, trolls and armchair activists spawn on-line. It is impossible to have sentient awareness of domestic violence and simultaneously threaten and intimidate women for participating in public life.

It was this thought that occurred to me most, as I sat in the meeting, surrounded by women speaking about their lived in experience as women, and tuneless drums attempted to drown out their individual and collective voices. It didn’t work. The women spoke louder, as so often happens, when you try and quieten them down.

For those of you reading, who think none of this matters ‘coz TERFS are just bad people, and they shouldn’t be allowed to meet in public. Ask yourself, have you ever met one? Have you ever conversed with one? Have you ever held the hand of one, as they went through a psychiatric assessment, or a rape exam, or a police interview? TERFS are women who know their own boundaries, and won’t move the goalposts to suit the whims of a minority. TERFS are women who know that the term ladycock is an oxymoron. TERFS are women who reject the term CIS for the meaningless paradox that it is. TERFS are women who were told not to ask questions, but raised their hands anyway.

At a deeper, and more profound level, we’re all TERFS. Every last one of us. Even the transfolk. See what i did there? Used trans as noun? Classic TERFdem. If you don’t know that, you’re probably a TERF. ‘Coz we all know the difference between a man and a woman. It’s not our fault. It’s hard-wired into our D.N.A. and vital to our ability to survive and propagate. It’s as in-ate to us as our ability to smell and see. Why we have chosen to collectively lie, I cannot speculate, but because we all know we are lying, there is no escaping the truth. We are all TERFS.






CBB’s India and the cult of no man’s land.

It’s very difficult in these hyper-emotive times to put forward an opinion that doesn’t have woke credentials. By woke I don’t mean the past tense of wake, I mean right on. That’s not the dictionary definition, but that’s okay, because definitions are very last year, possibly even the year before last. Definitions belong in some place, in the past, when words had meaning.

Sometimes, the universe makes it easier to shine a spotlight on an opinion, in a place in time. This January, in the U.K., through the medium of reality tv, it has become easier to speak about trans ideology, and to voice rarely permissible concern. India Willoughby  is a gender critic’s dream. For those of us, trapped on the outskirts of liberal feminism, unable to embrace an ideology that has a deeply religious core, we can abbreviate all our concerns about trans ideology into one word – India – and we don’t mean the country.

India’s just one deeply unhinged human being, one could argue. A entire ideology does not rest on India’s shoulders, which is a fair point, except…

India ain’t really that special. India’s policing of people’s language and sexual boundaries can be found in A Basic Introduction to Trans – Page one. Who among us, even three years ago, could be sure what a pro-noun was, without thinking about it? Now pro-noun awareness is as necessary to social survival as dental hygiene. It is imperative that we defer to people’s internal experience of reality, rather than our own external, objective view. When someone says ‘Call me Ze!’, it is considered the height of ill manners to retort, ‘Catch a grip of yourself, you’re a girl, a teenage girl!’ Instead you must say ‘Sure Ze!’, suspending dis-belief, like you were in an audience participation fringe show, not an early evening pub quiz. It’s as if our ability to intellectually speak about this, ripe for rational dissection theory, has been swept up in a tornado of politeness, and what remains is a large number of almost redundant reasons why objective not subjective experience, must be the measure of a human being.

So, why are preferred pronouns an ethical and political minefield? Is it not just good manners, to refer to people as they would like to be perceived? In which case, refusing to do so, would be considered, at worst, rude. Only, that’s not how it plays out… A rejection of pronoun pandering leads to an all out assault on one’s character. Only ignorant bigots and religious zealots don’t comply. All those who voice opposition are framed as right wing, regressive, conservative, God fearing, gay bashers. The type of people who pathologically fear progress. Except, this doesn’t account for the number of left wing, atheist people, mainly, though not exclusively, women, who have expressed apprehension about the rise of trans dogma in mainstream culture. It also doesn’t account for the vast number of lesbians who have come out against trans ideology. It doesn’t have any space for the hundreds and thousands of average human beings, who continue to know that men have willies and Adam’s apples, and that only women bear children.

But this blog isn’t about ordinary people, it is about an extra ordinary person, India. And I’m arguing that India is undoubtedly special, when compared to your average woman, but decidedly average in terms of trans activists.

When not getting hot under the collar, every time the mask slips and some one shouts ‘I see you.’, India’s time in the house has been spent desperately seeking sexual validation. Sexual validation is a little known, but highly valued right, that trans activists seek. Riley J Dennis makes a living, analyzing the consent out of of people’s sexual boundaries. The logic goes as follows, ‘You wouldn’t reject all women with blue eyes, so how come you reject all women with penises?’ Those of us brave enough to point out the difference between reproductive organs and eyes are decried as vagina obsessives, reducing womenhood to body parts, as though one could live a life independent of one’s body. In the dark recesses of twitter, where gender critical meets trans activist, sexual boundaries are perceived as a manifestation of inner trans hostility. Everyday, on my timeline, I witness lesbians being harassed and vilified, because they don’t do dick. But, lesbians are synonymous with an embargo on penis. It is lesbianism 101, or would be if lesbians framed their sexuality around men. Lesbians love the vagina. That’s their thing.

And their-in lies the conflict with transwomen. Transwomen are women, we are told, again and again. By individual perception, not objective observation, they shall be known. In order to accommodate, we have to change the definition of woman, and once we do this, we, by inference, change the definition of lesbian. In real world terms, these concessions, because we don’t wish to appear frightfully rude, see lesbians shoved into a new box called progressive heterosexuality, and forced to get on board with ladydick. Of course, nobody will call the new box progressive heterosexuality, and even if they did, it would make no difference, ‘coz words have no meaning.

But actions still do. And the action that provided the most reasons for India’s nomination was bed-gate. Bed-gate saw India refuse to relinquish to Anne Widdecombe the bed reserved for Anne by Big Brother, until forced by Big Brother to do so. India’s rational, ‘I got here first!’ held no sway with a room full of womb bearers, who had been socialized into respecting their elders and accommodating others. For me, I saw India’s colonization of a single bed, and subsequent rejection of the nurturing part of  womanhood, as the perfect metaphor for trans ideology.

‘I am a woman.’, the transwoman says. ‘Define woman, without using the word woman?’ the trans skeptic might ask. It cannot be done. Unless we refer to the dictionary definition, which is an adult human female. Instead, what we get is a set of badly drawn stereotypes, as a man, defines his understanding of a woman, through his biology and socialization as a man, and the limitations placed on him by a gendered world, and an abysmal absence of imagination.

See, acting like a woman is easy, if you are a drag queen, and you know you’re acting. Being a woman, that’s actually a lot more complex. It’s navigating the world as other. Not primary. Less important. Less safe. It’s learning survival skills from an early age, that include, but are not limited to, playing nice, acting dumb, laughing at jokes that are not at all funny. It’s not being believed. It’s being blamed. It’s being left, holding the babies. It’s having those same babies snatched from you, if he wants to hold them. It’s being object in a world where subject is male. You can’t become a woman, any more than you become a hairdryer. We are born this way.

So, when a woman tells a transwoman, ‘Of-course, you are a woman’, what she means is, ‘Of-course you are not a woman, but I have been trained from an early age to accommodate your emotions, and to lie to protect the fragility of your ego.’

My debut novel Nailing Jess was published by Cranachan in June 2017.

There ain’t no cis in sisters.

I’m not really sure what a cis woman is, which seems unfortunate given I am one, allegedly. I am sure what allegedly means, it’s an unproven claim. I know that word well because every time a woman is raped or sexually assaulted, the media gets that word in. Because it might not have happened. The woman might be making it up. Women do. Cis women, I mean.

Cis women have no real expectation of justice. This is reflected in the fact that only 15% of rapes are reported to police. So, those crimes you read about every day, that allegedly happen to cis women, are actually the tip of the iceberg.

Well over a million cis women will experience domestic abuse in the England and Wales this year, if last year’s statistics are an indicator.  20% of these women will see their perpetrators face criminal proceedings. That means the vast majority of these women victims will never see a man punished for his crimes against them. By inference, many of these perpetrators will go on to abuse, beat and maim other cis women. Two cis women will be killed this week by their male partner or ex partner. It’s almost as if putting the word cis before the word woman makes her no more lightly to to gain any measure of fair treatment.

Cis hasn’t really taken off in the real world, but is huge in feminist circles. Yeah, you read that right. The average woman on the street will give two fingers to the idea that she has to put a three lettered word before her sex, but self declared feminists are queuing up for a more complex way to describe their sex than plain old woman.

The fact that it is linguistically impossible to be cis and feminist seems to have gone over these women’s heads. Cis, in this context, means to be aligned with the gender that was determined at birth. No feminist ever aligned themselves with their birth gender. Whatever individual event, or series of them, took them to the door of feminism, their core motivation is always the same. An inability to accept the limitations placed on them by gender roles they were assigned, after their sex was determined. The very act of becoming feminist and standing up for women’s rights is a slap in the face to the gender expectation of women to be submissive. See?

Women are a class of people that are oppressed by another class of people (called men) under a system of oppression called the patriarchy. The patriarchy maintains its stronghold through violence and resource control. An obvious example of this is the universal obsession with birth control which leave women’s most basic health in the precarious hands of various religions and ideologies that value the seed she carries over her right to life.

Men don’t fear dying in child birth or being forced to carry a fetus they don’t want because men can’t get pregnant. There! I said it. We all know this, of course, ‘coz anyone old enough to read this started life the same way. We all had to serve our time in a woman’s womb, and whether pushed out of her vagina, or cut from her belly, we all had to sever that umbilical cord, before we took our first breath. So, lets hear it for all women everywhere, who have made the writing and the reading of this blog possible.

The cisters won’t like me now. What with the cis feminist is a paradox and men can’t get periods admissions. The cisters hate it when you talk sense. It confuses them, profoundly. This is evidenced by the censorship their ideology demands. Disagree, and we will call you TERF or SWERF  (These are real acronyms, I’m not making them up). Disagree louder, and we and we will demand your exclusion from our conversations, in the interests of inclusion, obviously. Disagree loud enough and we will get you fired, or at the very least, make sure you are never safe to speak publicly again.

In the past month, Linda Bellos has been no platformed, Julie Bindel has been harrased whilst promoting her new book and Helen Steel was surrounded by a mob at the anarchist book fair. Yeah, you read that right too.

As feminists, and as women, we need to ask ourselves what is progressive in telling women to STFU? As feminists we need to fight for all women to be heard. Even…cis ones.


Spoiler Alert – The Dr Foster ending is s***! (also lots of other spoilers!)

I’ve never been a huge fan of the B.B.C. What with the pedophilia, and the sexism, and the bias reporting and the licence. I object to the idea of paying a fee to watch the B.B.C., because the quality of material they produce does not amount to a fair return on investment.

If I wasn’t politically opposed to paying a licence, I would have bought one to watch Dr Foster. I’m a big fan, or I was, until today, when I watched last night’s episode. Now, I’m no longer a fan. I hate it.

If you haven’t seen it, don’t watch it. If you have, you’ll know why this advice is so pertinent. They took a beautiful and very rare thing, an intelligent, vengeful woman, with the ability to carry out a master plan to military precision, and they made her pay.

For loving her child, she paid. For hating her philandering, violent, gold-digging husband, she paid. For protecting herself, she paid. For protecting his new wife, she paid. For protecting her son, she paid. For facing the truth, and refusing to lie, she paid with her’s son life.

Not death, but the fate worse than that, the runaway child, who ain’t ever coming home. Because of her, see? She was a bad Mother, obviously, that’s why her kid is roaming the streets of some British city, alone, and utterly unprepared for what must surely now lie in store for him.

Only I thought she rocked. She could raise me any time. She put food on the table, and clothes on his back, and she was always kissing him, and asking him if he was okay. Sure, she f***ed over his Dad, but only in so far as he drew first. And in this series, she was a ball of re-action. There was nothing she could do from week to week, except respond to his ever increasing megalomania and his inability to take any responsibility for any facet of his existence.

The five week drama took an unexpected up-turn, last week, when the eponymous doctor ran her violent ex down…or so we thought. This week we learn, she swerved. He lived and contemplated suicide, including a few convincing attempts. By then, she’s compelled to talk him out of it, aware the son has internalised every s*** action he’s committed. Whilst saving her violent ex from himself, her self hating son flees.

The moral of the story is a Mother most never exact any level of righteous retribution on her ex.  To do so will so damage her children beyond all repair, they will abandon her and she will be left alone, with a bad hair-cut, to contemplate her moral and maternal failings for all eternity.

My first novel Nailing Jess was published by Cranachan in June this year.




TRIGGER WARNING HAPPY Trigger Warning: This blog contains no trigger warnings

The ‘Trigger Warning’ is having a moment. Much like after the bankers f***ed up the economy and ‘austerity’ went from being a word mostly found in Dickensian era literature to common usage overnight. In fact, it’s only very recently that ‘austerity’ has fallen out of favour as the blanket explanation for all the profit focused policies that have post dated it.

I could be wrong, but I don’t think ‘Trigger Warning’ is even a decade old. It is certainly very new to find it everywhere, all the time. Perhaps, it’s just the circles I frequent. The feminist ones, especially. They are just wall to ceiling ‘Trigger Warning’. Many make you agree to adding a ‘Trigger Warning’ to everything you post. Think about that, for a moment. Feminists sites that ask you to designate your feminist content potentially harmful to other feminists.

Perhaps I sound flippant? Like, I have missed the point. Trigger warnings are there to protect people, who may be experiencing P.T.S.D. (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) from being triggered by other people’s stories or even opinions. So far, so sensitive. But, ultimately, not sensitive enough, because here’s the type of content that might make a traumatised individual feel unsafe. F***ing anything!

Such is the nature of unresolved trauma that a smell, a sound, a taste, or a picture may resonate with some part of our deep sub conscious – where all the bad s*** lurks – and make us feel vulnerable, alone, sad. Such is the real dark stuff that happens to people in a patriarchy, that many spent their entire life’s a bit or a lot broken. Trigger Warnings won’t resolve their conflict. Truth and affirmative action is much more plausible.

When did feminists become so f***ing sensitive to the needs of everyone, all the time, whilst so simultaneously desensitised to the needs of women? Seriously, what is that about?

It’s all part of a wider conspiracy to make feminism so dull that only suburban house-wife’s and aspirational career types need apply. All the thinkers, all the truth seekers, all the herstorians – nope, it’s not a typo – will be either dead, or living in some underground compound in UTAH waiting for a post apocalyptic future with a less bleak outlook.

Can we stop censoring women? Can we stop patronising women? Can we recognise that talking about trauma is not inherently traumatic? It is not even as traumatic as not talking about it. Can we stop boring each other’s pants off with long, convoluted explanations of what feminism is? Can we narrow down the definition of feminism to more realistic aims? Can we make sure the draft includes stuff about women and their oppression under a patriarchy?

So, in summary, feminism is not an ideological version of a health spa. If you want to feel good about yourself, you need to see a life coach, or an emotional freedom therapist, or even a good old fashioned shrink. If you want to fight for the rights of women you need to find yourself some like minded women who call themselves feminists, but are also interested in such matters. And that, in this current climate of schizophrenic women;s rights, is a pretty hard find.

My debut novel Nailing Jess is available now from amazon and all good bookstores.


Everyday Feminism – I’ll take mine to go…

So, now that I’ve launched my book, I need to get back to blogging regularly. Blogging’s hard. You have to think up stuff to write about and then write about it. You have to have an opinion and be sure where you stand on something and the older I get, the less certain I become about where I stand on anything. Take feminism, for example. I used to be so sure of what feminism was. Then I discovered twitter. Some time later, I came to realise that my own understanding of what feminism was, which had come largely from the academic writings of the second wave feminists, was no longer relevant. Feminism had morphed into something entirely different. It had been re branded so that it might appeal to a broader section of society. And in theory, that’s a good thing, surely?

Everybody knows you’ve got to de-radicalise to maintain viewing figures. Remember New Labour? But, at what point, do you lose all credibility? At what point are you looking from the misogynist to the feminist, and then from the feminist to the misogynist and scratching your head? ‘Course it could be simply that the movement has evolved too fast for me, and I’m stuck in the rigid thinking of a by-gone era when feminism was all about fighting for women’s rights. Most especially, their right to control of their womb. Their right to live free from male perpetrated sexual and physical violence. Their right to protect their children from male perpetrated sexual and physical violence. Their right to an education. Their right to be self defined autonomous individuals, with control of their own destinies. Their right to live free of oppression and fear. It was a very rights based time.

And these sisters got shit done! Between all the toking and the dancing around naked and hairy in the gardens, coz body hair is a very political thing, they achieved practical, massive stuff. They got us divorce and abortion and contraception and women’s refuges. They got us better pay and working conditions and opportunities. They radically changed our lives. Then, as far as I can tell, they packed up and moved back to suburbia, in time for rush hour at the fertility clinic. There endeth the second wave. Now, we’re in the third wave, I think, it’s hard to keep up. Some even talk of a fourth, so it could be like a tsunami soon. Only, that’s not the feeling I get. This third wave seems very sketchy to me. I’m not even convinced it’s a wave, more of a series of ripples. Okay, enough with the ocean metaphor! But you get my point. Feminism is having a moment.

Everybody’s feminist right now. It’s not just Emma Watson. Teresa May is a feminist, she literally bought the t-shirt and that Canadian prime minister bloke, and of course Obama and also Ryan Gosling, though that could be an irony thing. There’s even talk that Kim Kardashian is a feminist. They are f**king everywhere! So, here’s the thing? How is it that the patriarchy can withstand the force of their numbers? ‘Coz latest update on the patriarchy is, it’s still standing strong, holding its own, making gains in many areas. Globally and locally it continues to win a war many feminists on the ground will tell you no longer exists. So, what’s up with that?

If I was a conspiracy theorist, which I’m not, I’d say that patriarchal thinking had infiltrated the feminist movement to such an effective degree as to render it neutral. The movement is now so lacking in threat that it is allowed to grow, wild and without nurture, in the corners of the most feeble brains.

Feminism is an ever evolving concept, we are told. There is no need to know its history before you sign up. Only, there is, and it’s there in those very words. His Story. And he owned the words. And as long as he didn’t educate her, she might always believe he was smarter than her. ‘Course these days she’s educated, in some countries, and in many she can get her hands on the internet. And how must he play her now?

It calls to mind a recent article published in the Gaurdian about a feminist that attacked a life size statue of Trump during its unveiling ceremony in Madrid.  She was one of that femen crowd, so she was topless. Femen, you may remember, was the topless women’s rights movement, set up by a bloke. And yes, origins matter, as anyone who is familiar with the tale of Adam and Eve, can validate. What I want to know is why?

I know that makes me a philistine, ‘coz art, especially performance protest art speaks for itself. And also, to be fair to her, she was very clear. She wrapped her fist around Trumps plastic, clothed crotch and painted ‘grab patriarchy by the balls’ on her naked back. I still want to know why? To what effect? For what purpose has she stripped and risked arrest? Greater purpose that is, than five minutes of twitter notoriety and a story to bore her dinner guests with in a decades time. And, when you break it down, what was her real, exposed body, groping a plasic effigy actually saying? Her slogan echos very hallow against the stark portrayal of her powerlessness. And, I don’t think that was the look she was going for.

I’d like to compare the lone wolf femen agitator for social change with the more logical, considered and ultimately liberating Irish feminists, who in 1971, took a train from Belfast, carrying contraceptives where they were restricted but legal, to Dublin where they continued to be completely illegal for another eight years. In fact, it wasn’t until 1993 that condoms became freely available. Picture that, folks! A world without johnies! This huge publicity stunt co-existed with the underground provision of contraception, thus the grassroots and the political, working together, created meaningful social change. And he quaked in his boots, ‘coz she created laws to stop him kicking her.

And that takes us the full circle back to what is feminism for? Take this Everyday Feminism, and after a quick scan of their vision, I’d rather leave it. Wtf are they selling? Seriously, it reads like a cross between a brahma kumaris leaflet and an early draft of some HR speech on political correctness for octogenarians still in the workplace. See, I like my feminism a bit more feminist, you know? I mean, its all well and good to save the dolphins and recognize the rights of indigenous people to self identify, but what are you doing about the rapists and perverts and the paedos? What’s your plan to keep the refuges open? When they close, more women have to remain living with violent men, and it’s really hard to find your zen when you’re not sure if you or your kids will make it though the night without a beating. How’s the fight for reproductive control going? ‘Coz if we lose that, on top of the refuges, and the legal aid, well then it’s going to take a lot more than a spot of yoga to redress the balance, don’t you think?

So, to summarise, yoga is great if you want to detox and re energise, but has proved singularly ineffective when used as a weapon of war, as the exiled Tibetan monks would surely testify. Feminism is a movement to agitate for the rights of women. When working properly it can change laws, create new laws, allow women autonomy over their own bodies, generate finances and power, facilitate education, free women’s minds and empower them to self realize beyond the confines of their patriarchal jailers. When defunct, it can’t do much, except spit out mindless art or intellectually warped philosophy and distract. And oh, how he laughs, but these oh so clever people, they don’t get the joke….

My debut novel Nailing Jess, published by Cranachan, is available for download for 99p on Amazon for the month of July.

Indyref2: A Resident’s Perspective

So, I don’t usually write about conventional political stuff like elections for a number of reasons, the most compelling being that I don’t know very much about such things and I don’t want to sound stupid. In recent years catastrophic national and global events like the failure of the Scottish Independence campaign, the failure to campaign of the U.K’s Remain in the E.U. campaign, and the mind-blowing headf***  that resulted in Donald Trump becoming president of the United States have made me somewhat less hesitant to voice my opinions. If I say something dumb, who might notice?

If the mainstream media are to be believed there are two major losers of this election, namely Theresa May and Scotland’s chances of holding a second referendum on Independence.  The immediate and constant conflating of these two separate issues serves to make all put the most ardent ‘Yes’ supporter (of which there are many) head for the Brexit highway and accept their fate. You could be forgiven for thinking the impending independence referendum had already been held and resoundingly lost.

As someone living in Scotland it’s left me feeling a bit confused. On the one hand, the mainstream media are selling Scottish Independence as dead. On the other hand, I speak to activists on the ground and they laugh at the arrogant suggestion that the fate of Scotland has been decided by a Westminster government.

They have a point. Whilst the SNP sustained losses, including the formidable Alex Salmond, they are unquestionably still in the game. Whilst a Tory revival is never a happy event, it is the predictable consolidation of the ‘No to independence’ vote behind the party least likely to ever lose a square mile of the once great, but now simply British, empire.

The message of these activists appears to be ‘Game On.’

So who to believe?

Is it possible that they could both be telling a truth?

‘Independence is Dead’ shouts the mainstream media and these very cries inflict blows on the cause.

‘Independence is Alive’ responds the ‘Yes’ movement of Scotland, and you have to believe them, because their actions breathe life into their campaign.

I wish I cared.

I did care. Last time around. The 2014 drive for Scottish Independence was so vibrant and infused with promise, expectation and possibility (much like the Corbyn movement) that I caught the bug and became one of those people that believed change was possible. I put a ‘Yes’ poster in my living room window, and pinned a ‘Yes’ badge on my handbag, and reveled in the comradeship on the street. Once awkward silences in the supermarket queue had morphed into animated conversations about our future autonomy and all the fun we would have and all the social justice we would create. I have since read a number of articles from ‘No’ supporters who campaigned under the now hallow ‘Better Together’ slogan portraying a time of deep division and bitter conflict, and I don’t recognise their descriptions. It was actually a blast to be living in Scotland in the run up to the last referendum.  There was as much hope as you will ever find in a people not noted for their cheery disposition.

Then we lost. It was a dark day. All those prospects of a bright future eclipsed by the power of the status quo. I was very sad. Many people were very sad.

But not the core activists. Strangely enough, they claimed their loss as a victory. Much like Corbyn’s team are doing right now. And the subsequent elections every year since have, more or less, validated their position. The S.N.P. are the biggest party in Hollyrood. The S.N.P. are the biggest Scottish party in Westminster. However you spin it, enough people in Scotland continue to support them to make the possibility of another referendum on Independence a valid option.

This may seem like a political broadcast on behalf of Scottish Nationalism but it isn’t. It’s an observation of how things actually are in Scottish politics, at this point in time. I’m not even sure how I’ll vote, when or if there is another vote on Independence. I do know that there are far greater threats to global security, and even British security, than the Scots flying solo.

My debut novel Nailing Jess is being released by Cranachan Publishing on June 26th.










Patriarchal Rumours

I’ve decided to splash out on some professional photos to aid with my metamorphosis from unknown writer to global brand.  I got them done yesterday, it only took about half an hour. That was the camera stuff, obviously. The pre shoot hair and make up took an awful lot longer. It’s not, I must say because I’m in particularly bad nick for my age. In fact given that I’ve never been a mistress of what theses days we call ‘clean living’, I reckon time’s been quite kind to me. It’s just I do look my age and that in our youth and image obsessed times is utterly unforgivable because I’m a woman. If I was a man, it would be absolutely fine because everybody knows men age.

Given that I’ve written a book where feminism is a major theme, then my look becomes even more important. Yes, I do hear the irony but with the rise of ironic sexism, feminism needs to catch up. Of course eventually we will reach a point where everything is ironic and the word irony shall cease to have meaning but people say we’re not there yet.

As a writer I spend a lot of my time in comfortable clothes, face bare, hair in scunchy, chipped nails pressing keys on a computer and I have to say, it’s a good look. Without getting too biblical it’s how God intended me to be, and given we have so little common ground, I want to give him this one. It’s not even that I’m a natural slob, it’s just that life is short and netflix is vast and there feels like so many more meaningful ways to spend my time than in front of a mirror painting out hard earned living. I guess what I’m trying to say is that I’m low maintenance, itself a sexist phrase but only when not used in an ironic context.

I worry that my attitude to my image will prove a barrier to global domination, but I can’t see me changing much at this stage in life. See, I know they say women can have it all only I’ve never been convinced. I’m not even sure who they are and where they came by their definition of ‘it all’.  It obviously wasn’t in a dictionary. Because of the elusive nature of ‘it all’ and in the interests of only producing, quality, researched blog material I typed ‘what does the ‘it all’ in the phrase ‘women can have it all’ mean?’into google and I have to say I didn’t find a lot of consensus. The general theme for ‘it all’ seems to be striking some kind of harmonious balance between professional and family life, and I feel compelled to point out that as a definition of ‘it all’, it falls far short of even a very broad one.  There are many more things in life that belong under the umbrella term of ‘it all’. What about stella artois? What about scented candles? What about pirated copies of the award winning ABC network show ‘How to get away with murder?’ What about the search for existentialist truth and the core connectivity of all living things and all inanimate matter?

The more I think about it, the more annoyed I get at the phrase ‘women can have it all’. Bet I know where it comes from to, it’ll be one of those patriarchal rumours. Think about it – The sum of a woman’s desires reduced to working,nurturing and fucking, it’s got to be the patriarchy. For those unfamiliar with the term ‘patriarchal rumour’ – It’s a rumour, spread by the patriarchy, that is completely at odds with all scientific data and known information about the same subject. Other well worn examples include ‘Hell hath no fury greater than a woman scorned’ or ‘The hand that rocks the cradle is the hand that rules the world.’ Even the scantest amount of thought employed very quickly reaches the conclusion that the above statements like the aforementioned ‘have it all’ theory have no basis in fact whatsoever. Put simply, they are all utter bollox. I must say I’ve had it up to here with misinformation spawned by the patriarchy passing as truth. In fact, I think I’m going to drop them a line and tell them just that. If anyone is inspired by my bold move and wishes to follow suit then I shall provide an address for the patriarchy at the end of the post.

Dear Patriarchy,

Re: ‘Women can have it all’ rumour.

I don’t believe you and furthermore I, and I’m willing to wager, many women don’t want ‘it all’. In fact, were there to exist greater awareness that the sum of ‘it all’ equates to not very much at all, then I’m willing to further wager, even more women wouldn’t want it. Can you please desist from clogging up consciousness with ill conceived  gender generalizations and perhaps instead spend your time redressing the gender imbalance within the hierarchical structure of the workplace and the institutionalized misogyny in the legal system that leaves us struggling to get our hands on close to half of it. In layman’s terms – Stop stealing all the good stuff and most of the all right stuff and leaving us with all the shit stuff, when you leave us anything at all, and then maybe you wouldn’t have to make it up to us with empty promises and past their sell by date roses from a twenty four hour Tesco garage.

Thanks for taking the time to read this letter.


Triona Scully

Address for the patriarchy : The Patriarchy, F***ing Everywhere.

My debut novel Nailing Jess is released by Cranachan Publishing on June 26th.