Well, I'll go to the foot of my stairs...

Often startled, frequently amused, sometimes scared; rarely speechless. Can be found at witchywoo22@yahoo.co.uk

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Witchy-woo has been wowed...

...by a few things this week - not least of which is the generosity of spirit of those who read this blog!

After my last, truly cranky, ill-tempered and ranty post - which I decided to leave up in the interests of 'warts and all' honesty - all I've had in response to my vent is acknowledgement, understanding and support with some affection an appreciation thrown in!. Wowed? 'Amazed' only just covers it...

Witchy-woo has wonderful readers.

But this week's Wednesday Wow is a piece in response to the news about the NHS 'postcode lottery' for women wanting IVF. reSISTERance makes some critical observations about the hetero-normative and patriarchially judgemental thinking around this issue which is in the news because of recommendations made by the British Fertility Society who say there is "a wide disparity" on the social criteria used for acceptance on to an NHS programme of treatment.

v says:
Ultimately I can't help thinking that it all ties into this one simple and warped idea, that a woman must have both a man and a baby to have achieved her role as Woman - anything else marks her as failure.
It's an excellent post - please read.

Monday, August 28, 2006

I’m fed up...

I’m fed up with continually having to explain that, because I have breasts, I’m not ‘simply entertainment’. I’m fed up with having to explain that, because I have breasts, I am somehow made the ‘other’. I’m fed up with having to explain that my breasts feel pain and that the ‘otherness’ of that pain makes it somehow ‘less than’ that of the testiculared variety of human being. (According to MS Word, testiculared is a non-word. Hey, peeps, I just invented it. Live with it

I’m fed up with being made voiceless by those millions who belong to the “it’s only harmless fun” throng. Who has the fun and who isn’t harmed are my questions – but no-one seems to hear them, let alone voice an opinion.

I’m fed up with being classed as a sexless, humourless feminazi beeatch. But I can live with that, considering where it comes from.

I’m fed up with having to hear all the pro-pornstitution arguments defended by so-called feminists beginning with ‘I’.


What makes ‘you’ more important?

You’re a feminist, right? You care about your sisters, right?

Do you actually see your sisters?

And I’m not talking in individualistic terms here, I’m talking ‘Class’.

I’m fed up with women who call themselves ‘feminists’ simply because it’s trendy or they need a fucking label for their whacky money-making techniques.

I’m fed up with internetty cognisant Class Woman making it kind of “ok” for the results of their actions; making it “ok” for what happens to the rest of us. IT ISN’T FUCKING “OK”, RIGHT??? Oh, but it is….as long as you’re making a quick buck, right?

That isn’t feminism. That's pandering to patriarchal capitalism, surely?

I’m fed up of trying to explain to some women that our lives are so much bigger than patriarchy defines them.

And they call themselves feminists? They want me to put my daughter in their hands?

Yay the radicals, as far as I'm concerned.

Give me a woman with vision…..anyone?

Friday, August 25, 2006

simply wondered suggested it...

...and here it is. Witchy-Woo's one off Thursday Thrill*.

I love ms jared anyway. I love the way I feel like I'm eavesdropping on her conversations with her mum and yet I'm kind of included in them at the same time. I love the openness and 'familiarity' of her blog. I love her cats and I love the way she loves her cats. I'm a huge jared fan!

But this.... this has pulled me out of the slough of despond. This has made me yell "hell, yeah!" at my screen. This has put me firmly back on track. This is sisterhood in action and I love it. It's thrilled me!

*ok...so it's actually Friday. It's still my Thursday, ok?

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

There's no Wednesday Wow this week...

...because, like amananta, "I'm having a less than stellar day. "

That's not to say there aren't some fab posts out there because there are. Ginger has written an account of some really creepy racial objectification of women that she witnessed whilst on a night out and I just found Women/Womyn/Wimmin at Linguistic Concerns which I found a very interesting and thought provoking post.

But no Wow - mainly because I'm not feeling 'wowable'. I feel tired and jaded and when I read amananta's first line...
Is it okay to say “I need help, I’m drowning”?
...it resonated with me. I commented there about the need to take time out and look after yourself and I've realised I really should take my own advice.

Nothing much will change if I take a day off - the world won't even notice - so, no Wow this week.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Witchy-Woo's Wednesday Wow is about...

...communication, this week. There seems to be so much discommunication amongst people who say they have the best interests of all women at heart.

I'm looking antiprincess's post of 11 August.

Just because women need stuff - ordinary, everyday stuff that everyone needs, it's ok to prostitute ourselves because we're women....and that's our worth? We become 'sex' because we need the same stuff as everyone else?

As Anti-P says
"Regardless of how I feel about prostitution in the abstract, right this very minute some vast uncountable number of wretched and miserable prostitutes wish they could get into some other line of work. Right now, some vast uncountable number of women and girls are being sold into sexual slavery all over the world.

That's awful, if it's true - and I believe it to be true. I'd love to do something about that. I'd feel good about that - like I really helped women. I would love to put some time and money into helping them. I'd feel righteous and proud and good about myself if I did that.
But spot the feminist confusion so beloved of the patriarchy...
How you fuck, or whom you fuck, or whether you even fuck at all, does not make you superior to me.
And all I have to say about that is: everyone fucks. How you fuck, or whom you fuck, or whether you even fuck at all - and why you fuck (mine) - does not make anyone 'superior' but, all too often these days, is designed, dictated and designated by the patriarchy to make someone less than you are.

The comments are fab and telling - please, go read.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Witchy-Woo's Wednedsay Wow...

...this week is a total scream - in more ways than one. Dr Socks at Reclusive Leftist is in a bad mood because of the stupidity of men as illustrated by quotes from letter writers at Salon about female pubic waxing.

Her post is pertinent in itself and has inspired some fabulous comments from Manxome and Dr Socks herself. There are eight comments there at the time of writing this - undoubtedly there will be more before too long.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Can anyone explain to me...

...why male athletes in most track events wear a vest and shorts and female athletes wear a bra top and tiny little knickers - for the same events?

Seriously, I can't think of a reasonable explanation.

We were watching the athletics this evening (well...it was on...) and I voiced this question to my companions.

"Maybe it's something to do with aerodynamics? Perhaps there's more speed to be gained from running with more skin exposed?" was suggested. I dismissed that one - after all, if there was any advantage to be had from running with more skin exposed you can bet your bippy that's how the men would be dressed too.

I'd like to know if there is a sport-related reason or if it's just another case of sexing-up and dumbing-down anything women do for the entertainment of the male gaze. So, if anyone can explain to me why men get to compete in their PE kit while women have to do it in their underwear, please enlighten me.

Friday, August 04, 2006

I've been tagged...

...by my dear friend Spotted Elephant for the practically impossible book meme.

I have to choose one book - yes, just one - to answer each of nine questions about books and me. How impossible is that! I'm a voracious reader - something that I attribute to the fact that I grew up in a household without TV. My siblings and I had the wonderful world of radio and books, books and more books to stimulate our imaginations and provide our escape routes. This is going to be so hard!

But here goes....

1.One book that changed your life?
Just about every book I've ever read has done that in one way or another but the one that immediately springs to mind is Illusions by Richard Bach. I was given a copy of this book by a close friend at a time when I was deeply troubled and unhappy. Nothing was said; just "here's a good little read for you" - and it is a very little read but it had a huge impact on me. It put me back in touch with parts of myself I'd all but forgotten about. It put me back on course.
I still read it whenever I'm emotionally/spiritually depleted by all the everyday shit that happens and I've given it to many of my friends whenever I've had the thought "s/he could probably do with reading Illusions".

2. One book you have read more than once?
Apart from Illusions? Letters from a War Zone by Andrea Dworkin. I love the way Andrea writes. I love her passion and her humanity. I love her outrage and her courage. I love the way her words reinforce me. This book, in particular, starkly reminds me of everything I'm fighting for.

3. One book you would want on a desert island?
The Guinness Book of British Hit Singles because I'm guessing I'll be singing a fair bit while I'm making myself comfortable, fighting my fears and waiting for that rescue plane to spot me. If it doesn't turn up for ages I'm going to need to be reminded of songs I know because I'll get bored singing my all time half a dozen favourites for months on end.

4. One book that made you laugh?
Rotary Spokes by Fiona Cooper made me laugh. It also made me cry. Bloody good book.

5. One book that made you cry?
Schindler's Ark by Thomas Keanally. The capacity for cruelty, courage and kindness of the human spirit had me in tears of despair and tears of joy. Reading that book completely exhausted me.

6. One book you wish had been written?
The one I have in my head! You never know... maybe one day....

7. One book you wish had never had been written?
Probably the Bible. I don't mean to offend anyone with this but I wish the original records hadn't been manipulated and re-jigged to suit those in power at the time to produce the Bible as we know it because, in my opinion, that's caused more long-term harm to humanity than good.

8. One book you are currently reading?
One Flew Over the Cukoo's Nest (again) by Ken Kesey. Just a fab book.

9. One book you have been meaning to read?
I've had A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius by Dave Eggers on my bookshelf for about eight years. I bought it solely because of the title. Maybe I'll take it with me next time I go on holiday...

10. Now tag five people. I tag:

Phew! Did it!

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Witchy-Woo's Wednesday Wow...

...comes from Screaming into the Void and is a few days old now. Amananta not only writes so well but she does an inordinate amount of work too.

Her post "I love being challenged like this" is a thoroughly researched piece of writing with a ton of links that illustrate her point beyond argument. And they really need to be read. Anyone who can manage to read them all in one go deserves a prize. I couldn't do it! But I'm aware that amananta had to wade through all that poo, and more, in order to write that post - another reason for this being my Wednesday Wow.

amananta - I salute you!

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

What exactly is...

...'freedom of speech' anyway? Wikipedia, that completely impartial and revered oracle [/sarcasm], says:
Freedom of speech is the concept of being able to speak freely without censorship.
Hmmm. Ok. That comes pretty close to what I've always thought of as freedom of speech - being allowed to say what you think without fear of recrimination or retribution. The Wikipedia entry goes on to state:
The synonymous term freedom of expression is sometimes preferred, since the right is not confined to verbal speech but is understood to protect any act of seeking, receiving and imparting information or ideas, regardless of the medium used.
In practice, the right to freedom of speech is not absolute in any country, although the degree of freedom varies greatly.
I wonder whether the right to absolute freedom of expression would be a healthy thing for humans. It's a fine idea, in principle, don't you think - total freedom of expression for everyone; no come backs, no accountability, no responsibility? Mainstream pornographers obviously think it's a fine idea in practice because that's how they defend their product - even though a product directing the same level of venom as is directed at women by pornography would be universally reviled as hate speech if it were to be directed at any other group, anywhere.

If pornography is "freedom of expression" I wonder what "information and ideas" it's seeking to impart... But, anyway... according to pornographers, their right to express hate speech against women has to be protected at all costs. After all, there's a lot of money to be made from whipping up latent misogyny and reinforcing it through male orgasm and, once you've got 'em hooked, you gotta keep 'em coming back for more otherwise your profit margins slump and you find you no longer have an outlet for the expression of your 'information and ideas'.

No need to worry. There are so many apparently willing consumers of the pornographers' products it seems they'll never run out of business; it seems the freedom of their 'expression' - women hating 'speech' written with - on - the bodies and lives of women - needs no protection. Yet the pornographers and the consumers of their product make such a stampy-footy, waah-ha-ha whenever any criticism of their product is made, whenever the slightest voice of dissent is heard. I wonder why? They believe in 'freedom of speech', don't they?

Freedom of speech. Being able to speak freely without censorship.

If pornographers and the consumers of their product believe in freedom of speech and expression then, surely, that's a universal - what applies to them must, by definition, apply to everyone? Or have I misunderstood? Does freedom of expression only apply to pornographers and the consumers of their product and any voice of dissent is not free and must be silenced?

A little, tiny website - The No Porn Pledge - has been hacked by consumers of pornography. It's a teeny weeny site where people can go and simply pledge not to use pornography. The site doesn't advocate censorship or, indeed, any kind of action against pornography, pornographers or the consumers of pornography - it's completely apolitical. It simply exists so that people can make public their avowal not to use pornography in their lives - for themselves, for whatever reason - and yet it has been deemed fit for invasion, partial destruction and pornographic intrusion by a group of pornography aficionados. Exactly who is censoring who, here?

So what, excactly, is 'free speech' again? Does it stop at the assumed 'rights' of pornographers to peddle sexualised misogyny and the actions of the bully-boys who belong to the pornographers' club? According to them, it would seem so. The 'freedom of speech' of pornographers effectively silences women - those used both in its making and its consumption - and the bully-boys act in defence of the 'rights' of pornographers and attempt to stifle even a tiny voice of dissent.

'Free' speech? Only applies, apparently, if you agree with the money-making misogynists. If you think for yourself - forget it.