when a blogger gets me thinking

I was just having a wee browse to myself through the shortlists for the blog awards when MissMaryMcGill gave me pause. Hmmm. Sexism. Depressingly familiar stuff. I stopped following everyday sexism on twitter, despite it being fascinating, because there was just so much of it.

So what was the pause for? The realisation that I’ve reached the invisible stage. My social life is confined to people/ places I know well. I don’t travel much. Anyone who thinks that I’m a housewife would be horrified at the state of the house. I’m not experiencing everyday sexism in its blatant fashion. I’m not naive, I know the invisibility thing is part of it, that I live in a largely patriarchal society, and that women are bearing the brunt of Dave’s political agenda. In my everyday world I’m bothered by all that, but not experiencing it full on. Unless of course I’m shopping, when the merchanisers think I need my own special ‘women’s interest’ magazines, or a  ‘for her’ biro.

this company don’t know it’s 2012

Generally, it feels like I’ve vanished from view. If I were an actor I’d have been despairing the lack of roles for the last 10 years, but I’ve only just recognised the gap. (Not the sharpest tool in the box, me.)

Now that’s not to say I don’t feel underestimated and disregarded at times. That, I certainly do. I think the basis for that isn’t my gender, per se, but that I’m unpaid. Even some health charities can be inclined to pat carers on head and consider us ‘too emotional’, too unaware of ‘the bigger picture’. A volunteer should maybe be labelling things in a charity shop, not considering strategy, or speaking to politicians.

Sadly for them, volunteering has helped me find my voice again. I’m learning the politics and the varieties of big pictures. I will always care and be driven by experience of emotional and distressing situations. Paid or unpaid, I will not be walked over. My opinion – and those of the thousands like me- matters.

I’m 47. My white hair is dyed blonde. I have a chronic illness and a big mouth. My confidence is returning. I will not be invisble. I will be part of the outside world.

Then maybe I’ll experience that everyday sexism again… updates as they happen…

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Warning, blatant cheeky bit: don’t forget to vote for your favourite blog post this week.

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24 thoughts on “when a blogger gets me thinking”

  1. I don’t like the pastel biros. I drive my family mad by analysing the class-ism, racism and sexism of every advert on TV. Oh boy, does it exist. I don’t care for politics but I do believe in treating people fairly and kindly. 🙂

  2. Agree. Did you ever see Made in Dagenham, film about Ford workers which is hilariously funny and absolutely on the ball re sexism etc. Povertyism is worse, Dave and IDS are neanderthals. It is not safe to get me started on this. …. but I am really happy so I don’t know what to think… hope you are too as you always sound great

    1. Elspeth, one of the things about brain fog is that I simply don’t have the mental energy to spend reading and ranting about the state of the world- I’m hard pressed to keep on top of what’s going on in my wee corner of it. I’m pretty sure though that when you work out what you think, I’ll agree with you 🙂

      Your happiness shines through your posts- great family, idyllic & fascinating locations to visit, wonderful stuff. Yes, I do appear to be happy and contented these days…

  3. When I was young I knew a nurse who would chant “Pink pills for pale people!”, mind you I never heard her say that to my brothers. I was invisible last week in A&E two different people walked into and bumped my very painful foot. I was ready to scream, I didn’t even get an apology.

  4. Sexism is such an awful thing, isn’t it? I’ve spent much of my life trying to convince people that I do in fact know what I’m talking about. I still run into it, even in my forties.

  5. I think I felt this sting a little more when I was younger, Fiona, but that doesn’t mean I’m not very concerned about all that sexism represents. After all, I have two granddaughters I want to flourish in their own right and never feel “less than.” I just stopped and read “isobelandcat”s link to the Guardian. Oh yes…we do have an election coming up that is going to represent, I believe, the potential for a significant shift backwards in women’s freedoms. It’s an interesting debate, and among female friends my age, much-debated. Not everyone feels the way I do…nothing new about that! Challenging reading this morning, Fiona. Debra

  6. I’m going to take a leaf out of your book, Fiona, and bring out more confidence in myself too! I’ve been invisible for quite a while now, and things need to change.
    Your post is the second inspiring one I have read in the last couple of minutes! It’s a sign!
    And they actually make pens ‘for her’?!? Whatever next?

    1. Finding the confidence has taken a while, Tom, but I’m getting there. Life just kept getting in the way!
      Can you direct me to the other post? I’m keen to stock up on rescources 🙂
      Thank you for your kind words!

  7. I’ve almost stopped ranting on about sexism everywhere because pointing it out, in itself, seemed to marginalize me. But before I read your blog today, I had already had to have a rant about a picture on a ‘friend’s’ facebook! I’m sooo glad I’m not the only one who found (their radical) selves again this morning!! Be strong. Be zealous!

  8. You go girl!! I think a lot of sexism is perpetuated by the advertising industry. For most of the last 8 years we didn’t have television, and so we saw no commercials. Recently we started watching Hulu, which does have commericals. What a disgusting shock.

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