Monday, December 8, 2008

We are all made from Star Dust...

A Brain Cell Totally Looks Like The Universe
see famous look-a-like faces

I don't care if I know nothing about science, I don't care if this picture is technically incorrect. As a Witch this speaks volumes to me. We are The Universe.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Searching for Polly Pagan

LANGUAGE WARNING: I swear a bit in this one! :P

There is an article on Witchvox at the moment, about Polly Pagans. It makes for an interesting read.

Prudent Pagan, Silent Pagan? Looking for Polly

While I don't agree with every single thing she says (and I am assuming the writer is a she) a lot of it resonated with me. I am for live and let live and all that guff, and I really don't give a monkey's arse if you think you are Otherkin, a hereditory Witch, or self-initated Wiccan. As long as you are aware that not everyone is going to agree with you, and they have every right not to. But I do wish more "normal" pagans were around. The ones that don't shove their 12 inch pentacles in your face, or going around being "all alternative".

The thing is, I know lots of proper alternatives out there, and they don't scream and shout about it all the fucking time. No-one cares how speshul you are, and Emo gets a bit tired once you are past the age of 17! (Yes, I am a bitch. Had you not noticed?) And as for the bleeding "love and light"ers, if I am honest, I just want to slap them. I am all for fluffy, but it needs to be with a big dose of reality as well.

Us average boring pagans, the ones with kids that aren't called Taliesen or Sapphire Moonlight or are Indigo/Rainbow/Crystal children, the ones that realise that boundaries and children are important, the ones who aren't casting spells left, right and centre, the ones that actually realise that you don't have to invoke the Goddess for every single bleeding issue. The ones that have a spirituality that doesn't smack you in the face when you meet them. Well, there aren't that many of them around. Not publically anyway. Not enough that you can meet them at moots, and not have to put up with wannabe Gurus and HPs'.

Where are the people who aren't headcases? The ones that you can have a conversation with about magick and not think you are nuts, but also you can just go out for a coffee with too? I know that sounds really really snobby of me, and perhaps it is. But there is part of me that knows if these people are the only ones that Joe Bloggs public ever come across, we are never gonna lose the tags of Freaks and Weirdos.

I am all for the strange. But let's make it have something to do with the music we listen to, the art we like, all about our hobbies and lifestyles. Not about our faith and spirituality. It makes us look like prats.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Being green, a personal view

I am really trying hard to live a green life, and I will admit sometimes it is a fecking struggle. I would be greener if I could be, but I feel that my home does conspire against me on occasion. We have a leasehold maisonette, ex council, and it is bloody awful really. We need a new boiler and central heating system, but can't afford to change it. We have really badly installed double glazing. So while we try to manage our heating responsibly, sometimes we are fighting a losing battle. We have a tiny, shittily laid out kitchen which I loathe. Seriously, I think it was laid out by someone that never cooked as it really isn't sympathetic to cooking. Which is a bit daft for a kitchen.

We do cook from scratch a lot though, which makes a small and messy kitchen worse, but it is worth it in the long run. It means that I know what my children are eating, how much it costs, and nothing goes to waste. We still occasionally get take-out, but it's not often and very much outweighed by the good stuff.

We recycle a lot. And it gets a bit ridiculous in a tiny kitchen. What we need is a larger kitchen with beeegbins! But it isn't really going to happen. So we have piles of cardboard, paper and plastic bottles in a corner of the kitchen. Oh, and don't get me on about fecking plastic bottles. (Evil things!)

We are on our 2nd compost bin. A big one which I am quite proud about. Just unfortunately, our garden is soggy, so don't get out there as much as I would like. We would have a waterbutt, but our gutters are enclosed and made of something very hard and unbreakable. We don't have a roof for solar panels, and a mini windturbine wouldn't work either.

Oh, another thing I don't do! Clean! LOL! Sorry, not really. But I am not so worried about keeping the place spotless. FFS, I have 2 kids, a cat and a dog, and a Hubs who teachs Tech! Tidy ain't ever really gonna happen! I am slowly decluttering the flat though. We are looking to moving in a couple of years, so the less crap we have the better. Finally got rid of our table and chairs on Freecycle, and have replaced them with my nan's old table and chairs which takes up a lot less room. I realised looking around my living room that there are only two items of furniture that aren't second hand. I really am not bothered by the "new and shiney" so will happily make do with quality second hand stuff.

I don't drive and we don't have a car. I do say that's because we are really green and worthy, but really if I am honest it is down to lack of opportunity and cost. But still, if it gives me extra greenie points I will be smug about it! :P It is a pain in the arse though sometimes, like today, when I have to get to Bishops Stortford with children in about an hour! Might be do-able. Will just have to do it and see.

We are looking into getting an allotment. We did start trying to grow stuff in our garden, but it is really too damp and dull in there. We have huge leylandii that I am trying to love. We didn't put them in, and they are so big now it would cost us an absolute fortune to get them removed.

I think that's what I am moaning about really. All the things I would like to do would cost money, we can't do since we are a leasehold, or we just don't have the space. When we move, hopefully all the plans that I have in my head will be able to come to fruition. In the meantime, we do the best we can and I know we are at least trying.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008


Bent double, like old beggars under sacks,
Knock-kneed, coughing like hags, we cursed through sludge,
Till on the haunting flares we turned our backs
And towards our distant rest began to trudge.
Men marched asleep. Many had lost their boots
But limped on, blood-shod. All went lame; all blind;
Drunk with fatigue; deaf even to the hoots
Of tired, outstripped Five-Nines that dropped behind.

Gas! Gas! Quick, boys! – An ecstasy of fumbling,
Fitting the clumsy helmets just in time;
But someone still was yelling out and stumbling,
And flound'ring like a man in fire or lime . . .
Dim, through the misty panes and thick green light,
As under a green sea, I saw him drowning.
In all my dreams, before my helpless sight,
He plunges at me, guttering, choking, drowning.

If in some smothering dreams you too could pace
Behind the wagon that we flung him in,
And watch the white eyes writhing in his face,
His hanging face, like a devil's sick of sin;
If you could hear, at every jolt, the blood
Come gargling from the froth-corrupted lungs,
Obscene as cancer, bitter as the cud
Of vile, incurable sores on innocent tongues,
My friend, you would not tell with such high zest
To children ardent for some desperate glory,
The old Lie; Dulce et Decorum est
Pro patria mori.

8 October 1917 - March, 1918

Dulce et decorum est pro patria mori - it is sweet and right to die for your country.

Armistice Day

Perhaps it is because I am pagan that I feel there is such a resonance that this day is when it is. I know it is just a complete coincidence that it happened so near to Samhain, but I don't think that takes anything away from it. We remember our dead.

I find this day very emotional. There are only three men left alive from the First World War. Soon they will be no more. Will we still remember them? It isn't long until the 100th anniversary of the start of WW1. One Hundred Years. In my son's eyes it might as well be a thousand. How do we pass onto our children that these things need to be remembered? Not glorified, not rationalised, just remembered. All those sons and daughters, husbands and wives, sisters and brothers that never come home...

The World Wars are such a major part of our cultural history. Yet as people grow older, we lose the generation that actually lived through the experience, so everything we tell our children is secondhand. How do we still keep it relevant to them?

One of the saddest sights of all is the Armed Forces Memorial in Staffordshire. It lists all the names of those who have died since WW2. The list is long. It also has a blank wall...for the names of those yet to die...

Since WW2, the UK's armed forces have been involved in all these conflicts...

Palestine 1945-48,
Peshawar 1989-90,
Malaya 1948-60,
Namibia 1989-90,
Yangtze 1949,
Gulf 1990-91,
Korea 1950-53,
Kuwait 1991
Canal Zone 1951-54 ,
Irag/Kuwait 1991-2003,
Kenya 1952-1956,
Western Sahara 1991 to present day,
Cyprus 1955-1959,
Northern Iraq/Southern Turkey 1991,
Suez 1956,
Cambodia 1991-93,
Arabian Peninsula 1957-60,
Former Yugoslavia 1992-2002,
Congo 1964-69,
Sarajevo 1993-98,
Brunei 1962-64,
Georgia 1993 to present day,
Borneo 1962-66,
Rwanda 1993-98,
Cyprus 1964 to present day,
Angola 1997,
Radfan 1964,
Croatia 1996-98,
South Arabia 1964-67,
Kosovo 1998-2002,
Malay Peninsula 1964-65,
Sierra Leone 1999-2002,
Northern Ireland 1969-2007,
Falklands 1982,
Congo 1999 to present day
Dhofar 1969-78,
Kosovo 1999-2007,
Rhodesia 1979-80,
East Timor 1999,
South Atlantic 1982,
Ethiopia & Eritrea 2000 to present day,
Lebanon 1983-84,
Macedonia 2001-02,
Gulf of Suez 1984,
Afghanistan 2001 to present day,
Gulf 1988-89,
Iraq 2003 to present day...

I certainly don't always agree with the politics of war. I think War is a horrific thing. However my liberal views aside, men and women are still being killed, and deserved to be acknowledged and remembered. I may not want my children to join the Armed Forces, I can't understand why anyone would want to, and I pray to the Gods that my children are never enlisted. But I still think that those that do choose to fight don't deserve what they are given nowadays.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Following the Wheel of the Year

The modern Pagan has discovered that following the Wheel of the YearTM as laid out in the books is full of problems and predicaments. Historically there is no evidence to support the idea that our ancestors followed the wheel of the year or gave it any particular significance. Certain celebrations evolved into their Christian versions that we are more familiar with over the years. The original Pagan meanings of these festivals would have been diluted beyond recognition, so to claim that one is following the ancestors is at best naïve and at worse ill researched.
The Greater Sabbats, Imbolc, Beltane, Lughnahsah and Samhain were better known as Candlemas, May Day, Lammas and All Hallow’s Eve (later Halloween). These celebrations were based on seasonal changes such as what the weather was doing, and what the plant growth was like. However as time went on, each celebration became associated with a particular date and these dates have become standardised for the modern Pagan to follow.

In these modern times of climate change, seasonal drift and erratic weather patterns has meant that using specific dates for the Greater Sabbats seems to have lost it’s relevance. To follow a seasonal Wheel of the Year would imply that those seasonal changes would dictate when they were celebrated. But if Spring has started weeks before the 2nd February, or the Hawthorn has bloomed too early or too late for the 1st May, then what is the modern Pagan to do? If our ancestors followed anything like the Wheel of the Year, then they would not have followed a specific timetable, so why do we?

Yet another factor to consider is that we no longer an Agrarian society. Our lives are not bound to working the land and we are not reliant on the erratic whims of nature for our survival. Even agriculture today is not subject to the same conventions as in the past. It seems incongruous for the modern Pagan to try and fit around an idea that is factually erroneous in the first place, and doesn’t work for today’s society.

However, does this mean that we should drop the Wheel of the Year? The average Pagan seems to place a great deal of significance on some of the Sabbats if not all of them (depending on what system of belief they follow). The Sabbats seem to answer a need for a system of celebration. So perhaps that is all that they should be considered to be? Since it is fairly standard knowledge that the Wheel of the Year as it is known today was made up in the last hundred years or so, how should a modern Pagan follow such a system? Should they follow it at all?

Rather than looking at the Wheel of the Year as most perceive it, perhaps it should be seen as standard points of the year where we can stop and contemplate their associated meaning. Using them as specific dates and setting aside time like other set holidays, would mean that our lives would have the time to reflect that we don’t tend to have in a modern world. It gives our lives a pattern to follow that our frenetic lives no longer have. Humans like patterns and systems, so even artificially created ones can be beneficial to us.

Perhaps it is time to step away from the insistence that something must be historically correct to have spiritual relevence. We are modern Pagans, no matter what we claim, we cannot look back on our ancestors' day to day lives and try to make them fit our own. The best we can do is take inspiration from them, and live our lifes as true to ourselves and the world we live in.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Re: The Last Post


I have missed a trick there. They already are, and have been for a while!

The new President of the USA

America has a new President-elect, who will become President for real in January 2009. Barack Hussein Obama. The first Black president. (Although, tbh, I don't think that was as big an issue as it was thought to be. I don't know for sure, since I am not an American).

This after 8 years of George "Dubya" Bush. And they hurt. They gave us the war in Iraq. Guantanamo Bay, increased Fundamentalist Religion in American Politics, the "war on terrorism". The list goes on and on.

Now, I don't actually think that Obama is the answer to all our prayers. But as a friend said, unless he blows up the US, he can't make it any worse. He has some views that I don't agree with, but since I don't live in the US they won't affect me directly. But hopefully he will start the long road that the US has to take to bring it into a peaceful, clean and safe future.

What saddens me a great deal are the comments from some of the Americans that didn't vote for him, refering to him as "Hussein" like this is an insult! Since when is having a Muslim name been a bad thing? Or could it be part of the "war of Terrorism" that Bush started, that has systematically tried to tar all Muslims with the same brush of Fundamentalist Fanaticism? He is Pro-choice (to a certain extent); like I said in a previous post, pro-choice doesn't make one pro-abortion. It just means that you can look at the bigger issue that is at hand.

Comments are being made that "morals should be more important than money". Yes. All very worthy, and I am sure when you are sat there trying to work out where the money will come from to pay your mortgage, and feed your children because you don't have enough to do both, that your moral values will be at the forefront of your thoughts! However, the implication is that Obama isn't moral? WTF? Where did that come from? Especially when you compare him with the previous administration. I am not saying he is perfect, no, he isn't. But he hasn't actually done anything wrong yet.

Maybe this is the time for the Republicans to take stock and move away from the Fundamentalist Fanaticim of the "Christian" Right? To get back to its original values that have been spoken about. (I don't really know what they are, since the earlist president I can really remember was old Ronnie Reagan, and I think the slump started there.)

I am just waiting for the mad "Christian" Right to say that Obama is the Anti-Christ. Although, they probably already have.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Ugly Betties

This isn't going to be a very empowering, gungho post about feminism, politics or witchcraft. It will probably read like a whingey, emo, teenangst blogpost that we all hate. But it's just how I am feeling at the moment.

I am not beautiful. This isn't a cry for sympathy or people to tell me "oh, but you are, blah blah blah..." It is simple honesty. Most of the time I don't really care. I know I can be beautiful, if I can be bothered to make the effort. But the basic scrubbed me is pretty much a plain jane. There should be nothing wrong with this, and like I said, most of the time I don't care. But sometimes I do.

I am fat too. I am doing something about it, not because I need to be slim, but because I want to be healthier for myself and my kids. My family's health is not great as they get older so I would rather sort it now when it is relatively easy to do. But add plain janeness and fat together and I feel like a total ugly lump.

It makes me feel a bit pathetic though, still being hung up on what I look like. It really shouldn't matter. So why does it? Why does it to me, and why does it to society? When does the mature assurance kick in and you really really don't give a fuck?

I feel like I am in a limbo some of the time. I am too old at 35 to be wearing stuff from Top Shop and the like, but my mum (54) is buying her clothes from Next and Wallis. My mum is cool, but I don't want to be dressing like my mum yet. Is that silly of me?

Okay, maybe there might be a bit of feminism in here. :P

I consider myself to be an feminist, trying to avoid falling into the traps of stereotypes of all forms, yet I don't seem able to get myself out of this one. I know I am worth more than my looks. So why is it still so important to me that I can have days where I can't bear the sight of my reflection. I wouldn't think so little of someone else, so why do I beat myself with this stick?

Answers on a postcard please...

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Ban the Bunny -The House Bunny

Why there isn't a bigger fuss about this film, I have no idea. However there is an interesting article in The Guardian about it today.

Seriously, WTF do they think they are playing at, making a film like this?

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Maenad Prophecy by Starhawk

When kings wage unjust war,

When poison fills the skies,

When the rich prey on the poor,

When hope for justice dies

When a spell lies o¹er the land,

Of malice and of lies,

Then a wild and fearless band

Of women shall arise

Crazy saints, yoginis,

Peering through the gloom,

Maenads and dakinis

Witches grab your brooms!

Sweep away the stench

Sweep away the sneers!

Sweep away the clench

Of hunger and of fears

Dance to feel the passion

Dance to wake the wild,

To honor deep compassion,

For the forest and the child,

Dance to keep the Arctic cool,

To keep the jungle green,

Dance for every holy fool,

For every wound unseen.

Dance for justice, dance for peace

Dance for life to thrive,

May beauty, health and joy increase

For every being alive

Dance in love, dance in wrath,

For chains to fall apart,

Dance to choose a better path,

Dance for strength of heart,

All across the nation,

Bankers quail and glower,

Cracked is the foundation

Of the bastions of power

Strong walls crumble,

Kings face their final hour,

An angry earth shall rumble,

Down shall fall the Tower.

And through its stones shall weave the roots

Of a living tree

That offers us its shining fruits

Of truth and liberty

Fruit to fill each empty hand

With sweet gifts of the earth

Dance to heal this bleeding land--

A new world comes to birth.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Pro Choice does not equal Pro Abortion

I am completely, fundamentally, utterly Pro Choice. And I don't like abortions. But, seriously, who does? The Pro-lifers would have us believe that being Pro Choice means that we think abortion is a glorious thing, something to be celebrated. How wrong they are. I have been pregnant 3 times, but I only have 2 children. I was pregnant in Dec 06/Jan 07 and I had a miscarriage. It was one of the most horrible experiences of my life. But if, and it is a big if, I was ever in a situation where I knew that I could not cope with a pregnancy or a child for whatever reason, I would consider an abortion. I possibly wouldn't have it anyway. However the point is, that would be my choice and my choice alone.

Choosing have an abortion is probably THE most difficult decision that a woman would ever have to make in her life. I know of no-one who has ever taken the decision lightly. Abortion cannot be limited to only medical reasons, for incest or for rape. It must include the emotional reason, the financal reason, infact any reason why a woman would need an abortion. Why? Because ultimately, in my view, the lives of the living must come before the lives of the unborn. Women do not just become incubators as soon as they become pregnant. Once pregnant, personality does not step aside and the unborn foetus becomes the dominant force.

I wonder if the Pro Lifers feel that an embryo/foetus does not have a soul? Because to me, whatever is that spark of life that makes us what we are is rewoven into the universe (whether that be heaven or whatever) when it's human life ends, and it moves onto where-ever it goes next. (I personally feel that a spirit of an aborted or miscarried embryo/foetus would create itself once more in another pregnacy.) I ask because it would seem that they don't think they have a soul otherwise surely they would feel that an aborted baby would go straight back into the loving hands of God?

What a woman does with her body is none of anyone else's business. If pro-lifers don't like abortion then perhaps they should campaign for other linked issues. Health care, contraception, education, poverty, all those issues that have an impact on abortion rates. If our children were educated better, including about contraception, they wouldn't get/cause pregnancy. If poverty was abolished, then women wouldn't have to worry about raising their children. Simple things, but ones that would actually take some more effort than just lambasting women for their sexual choices.

(As an aside, I can not understand the Pro Life brigade that believe that the life of an unborn child is completely sacrosanct, yet as soon as it is born, commits a crime, than that's it, game over.)

(Second aside, other than Thou Shall Not Kill, which is conveniently ignored once you are born, there is absolutely no reference to abortion in the Bible. Check out this link to )

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Words of Power

As Witches we all know that words have Power. As Women we know words have Power. So why do so many people get irritated by the words Wimmin, Wombyns, Herstory and other words that have been created by the Feminist and Dianic movement. I will admit I did for a while, they just sounded so silly. But then I understood it, their silliness aside, it is important to have these words because they make people think. They jump out of you, and give your subconscious a nudge. They make you question the status quo, and realise that yes, History does alienate women. It is HIs Story. woMEN, etc, etc...

People that say these things have no effect, I will ask you, so NLP doesn't work then? For those that don't know, NLP is this,

NLP is about Language

Language affects how we think and respond. The very process of converting experience into language requires that we condense, distort, and summarise how we perceive the world.

NLP provides questions and patterns to make our communication more clearly understood. NLP teaches us to understand how language affects us through implicit and embedded assumptions.

The English language is full of traps and pitfalls for the unwary communicator... for example, if you are told NOT to think of a kangaroo, you will immediately think of a kangaroo, which is the opposite result from that intended!

Listen for the use of implied assumptions when you use the word "but". For example, "I like the way that you did that piece of work, but... ." The listener tends to forget everything that went before the "but", waiting for problems to emerge.

Since advertisers, the media and politicians use language to convey their messages, learning about language through NLP can increase awareness and "consumer protection" for your mind.

Words have the power to change, to ridicule, to support, to harm, to do magick. So surely changing words that have hidden agendas is a valid exercise? Whether you like them or not.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Veh serious posting...

see more puppies

Or Not!

I just thought I would spread the puppy love. I am so puppy broody it is untrue.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Profit is God.

What's the saying, America sneezes and the UK catches the cold?

Listening to the news and hearing the US government continue to negotiate a deal to get themselves out of the situation that they got themselves into in the first place is scary stuff. Fortunately so far, the stock markets over here seem to be relatively stable. I say fortunately, but in reality it doesn't do much to alleviate Mr & Mrs Average's worries.

I am going to use some nice popular cultural references to describe my feelings about this whole situation.

When did we turn into the FUCKING FERENGI!?

This quote is gacked from the interwebz,
"Ferengi culture is so devoted to unregulated capitalism that concepts such as labor unions, sick leave, vacations, or paid overtime for workers are considered abhorrent, because they would interfere with the exploitation of workers. In addition to the Rules, the Ferengi also recognize the five Stages of Acquisition: infatuation, justification, appropriation, obsession, and resale. They value similar traits in other species as well — Earth's Wall Street is regarded with religious reverence by Ferengi, who routinely visit Earth to make pilgrimages to the "holy site" of commerce and business."

Am I so weird that I really don't understand this obsession with money? I don't have a creditcard, and when I did my debt never got out of control (or over £5k for that matter.) All I want is enough money to cover my bills and a little bit more for savings and spending. Yet I am one of Thatcher's Children. Why did I never fall for the all-encompassing greed that we were expected to have? Why is it, when I look at my peers, I am the only one (really) that is interested in more than my plasma screen tv (don't have one), my new as new can be car (don't even have an old one) trampling over others to further my career?

I just don't get it.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

This is so sweet.

To Autumn - John Keats

Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness,
Close bosom-friend of the maturing sun;
Conspiring with him how to load and bless
With fruit the vines that round the thatch-eaves run;
To bend with apples the moss'd cottage-trees,
And fill all fruit with ripeness to the core;
To swell the gourd, and plump the hazel shells
With a sweet kernel; to set budding more,
And still more, later flowers for the bees,
Until they think warm days will never cease,
For Summer has o'er-brimm'd their clammy cells.

Who hath not seen thee oft amid thy store?
Sometimes whoever seeks abroad may find
Thee sitting careless on a granary floor,
Thy hair soft-lifted by the winnowing wind;
Or on a half-reap'd furrow sound asleep,
Drows'd with the fume of poppies, while thy hook
Spares the next swath and all its twined flowers:
And sometimes like a gleaner thou dost keep
Steady thy laden head across a brook;
Or by a cyder-press, with patient look,
Thou watchest the last oozings hours by hours.

Where are the songs of Spring? Ay, where are they?
Think not of them, thou hast thy music too,--
While barred clouds bloom the soft-dying day,
And touch the stubble-plains with rosy hue;
Then in a wailful choir the small gnats mourn
Among the river sallows, borne aloft
Or sinking as the light wind lives or dies;
And full-grown lambs loud bleat from hilly bourn;
Hedge-crickets sing; and now with treble soft
The red-breast whistles from a garden-croft;
And gathering swallows twitter in the skies.

Those Barbarians!

I am a big fan of those programmes like Time Team, Meet The Ancestors, Time Watch, most of the UKTV history programmes infact. I find them quite fascinating. Most of the time they are done quite sympathetically, and don't try to pass off the ancients as being these barbaric heathens.

I find it really irritating when programmes make out that our ancestors were savages who went around raping and pillaging. They seem to think that the world they lived in then was full of fear and violence. Who are we trying to kid here? This year alone almost THIRTY children have been murdered by OTHER CHILDREN in London!! What the fuck is going on? Our ancestors aren't the savage barbarians! We are!

Thursday, September 25, 2008

A quick simple post

Everyone should read Margaret Atwood's The Handmaid's Tale.

And then think of the state of affairs mixing religion and politics.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Fertility at any cost?

What Is Fertility?

1. The state or quality of being fertile.
2. Biology. The ability to produce offspring; power of reproduction: the amazing fertility of rabbits
3. The birth-rate of a population
4. (of soil) the capacity to supply nutrients in proper amounts for plant growth when other factors are favourable.

Fer*til"i*ty\, n. [L. fertilitas: cf. F. fertilit['e].] The state or quality of being fertile or fruitful; fruitfulness; productiveness; fecundity; richness; abundance of resources; fertile invention; quickness; readiness; as, the fertility of soil, or of imagination. "fertility of resource." --E. Everett.
And all her husbandry doth lie on heaps Corrupting in its own fertility. --Shak.
Thy very weeds are beautiful; thy waste More rich than other climes' fertility. --Byron.

In today’s society there seems to be a never-ending quest for fertility. It is the new Holy Grail. But in reality is it really our poisoned chalice? I feel rather uncomfortable writing this since I have two healthy children, and I wonder what my position would be if I was unable to have children, but I still think that we are warping fertility into something that it isn’t, and we will undoubtedly have to deal with the repercussions in years to come.

As scientific methods move forward, it is becoming more and more achievable for women of all ages to conceive. However, whether this is morally the right thing to do is a question we have to ask ourselves. But, and this is a big but, do we have the right then to tell other women what they can do about their own fertility just because of their age? As much the idea of an elderly woman getting pregnant might make us uncomfortable, it is a very slippery road to tell them they can’t. What would be the difference in that and telling someone they can’t have an abortion? If women have the right to control their own bodies, then this includes when and how they have babies.

That said, just because medically something is achievable, this does not necessarily mean it should be normalised. There is more at question here than the rights of a woman to reproduce at any cost. Why do women feel they MUST have children? Hormones aside (although they are an important factor), are we still in a situation where a woman’s worth is based solely on her ability to conceive and bear children? Are we still being pushed into motherhood because it is the “natural” role?

Women that say that they don’t want to have children are still often seen as abnormal. Often they are told, “ah well, you will change your mind eventually”, or “Well, don’t leave it too late”. Is a non-maternal woman such an anathema? Where is the freedom to find fertility in other forms? Why is fertility in its other forms considered to be inferior? So many questions that need answering.

We need to move forward and accept fertility in all its forms, whether it is the biological child, or another worthwhile endeavour. We must not alienate either woman, the one that wants a baby outside of “normal” ideas, or the woman who doesn’t want a child at all.

Feminism for all?

Feminism For All?

There is an argument that Feminism is only for white, middle-class, university educated young women. That only those with money and education can have the capacity to question the status quo of patriarchy. That Feminism is some kind of hobby or pastime for women who have nothing better to do, and who don’t live in the real world and have to deal with what “normal” women deal with.

Undoubtedly, many women come to Feminism via a university education, especially when faced with the delightful subject of sexual, textual politics, but I feel that this misses a much bigger issue. Feminism deals with so many important aspects of what is wrong with today’s society, and in particular these issues that impact the lives of all women. Poverty, Education, Health, to name only a few, are important and relevant concerns for all women, but are young, white, middle-class, graduate women the only ones discussing them? If they are the only ones discussing them, then why isn’t everyone?

I also take issue with the presumption that Feminists now are young, middle-class, white graduates. At 35, I don’t consider myself to be that old, but I am not that young either. I am certainly not middle-class, growing up in Edmonton, North London. My parents were working class, and although now my mother is in a professional job (teaching), it was through hard work and perseverance, not privilege. I did go to university though, but so did most of my non middle-class peers from my comprehensive school. And in case you are wondering, I am not officially white, since my paternal Grandfather came from Bangladesh.

This presumption that you can put all Feminists into the same bracket is at best limiting, and at worst, playing into the patriarchal tactic of dismissing something as unimportant because they are all the same.

Let me ask some questions;
· Do you think that single mothers are not the reason for all society’s ills?
· Do you think that women have rights over their own bodies?
· Do you think that everyone deserves the best education, healthcare and opportunities?
· Do you think that everyone has the right to walk down the street without fear of attack?
· Do you think that everyone has the right to love as they wish?

If you answer yes to those questions, then you are a Feminist. It is that simple. Feminism isn’t about subjugating men in some kind of matriarchal revenge. It is about the sexual and political equality and recognition of all people and their rights.

It worries me a great deal that Feminism has become disjointed and something to be sneered at. If a woman says they are a Feminist, then they are looked at as something a bit odd. There are people that say that Feminism isn’t necessary anymore, that women are equal, the fight has already been won. (!) There are those that say Feminism is all about man hating. I personally feel that these people are completely missing the big picture.

How do we get Feminism back into mainstream life as something relevant to all people? How do we teach the next generations of women AND men that Feminism isn’t gender specific and that patriarchy hurts us all? These are questions I ask myself, and will continue to do so.

TBC probably

Friday, September 19, 2008

The obligatory introduction post...

Introductory posts always leave me a bit cold. I never know what to say, and really no-one cares that much. People want the interesting anecdotes and wry observations, not the reasons behind another new blog. However, I will give it my best go, and hopefully something interesting might come to light.

Who am I? Well, apparently to some of the other mums at the school gates, I am the prim and proper one, the quiet one who doesn't swear. Needless to say, these women don't really know me that well. I am the slightly overtired mother of two beautiful children, who are completely fantastic and adorable, and have driven me ever-so-slightly round the bend. I am married to a decent bloke. He is one of the best example of what a man should be that I have ever come across, so I am pretty glad that I married him. I am the daughter of an intelligant and hardworking mother, and a troubled father. I am a Pagan Witch, who follows no particular creed or tradition. My politics are very liberal and green, however I do find deliberate ignorance and arrogance very offensive.

What do I want? I do have other blogs elsewhere, but sometimes I want to get my thought of different issues down "on paper". Hopefully they won't just be a pile of wiffle and might hold something of interest.

If anyone ever reads this, hopefully they will get something from it...