dangerous women

Even the least of us can be seen as ‘dangerous’. Some time ago, ME patients were described as ‘dangerous activist nutcases‘ by a psychiatrist on twitter. I was both outraged and baffled, but that’s no surprise.

Spurs Fan and I went to a concert in a church this week, and it was fabulous. Bridget O’Neill, Mary Coughlan, Aoife Scott, Frances Black and Sharon Shannon amazed us with their talent and their power. Frances sang of her politics, Mary sang of her troubles- I knew my oldies would have enjoyed Seduced  and songs of social justice from an altar. Entertainment with an edge. The edge makes all the difference. The edge is risk taking, taboos and danger.

But reading books and listening to music isn’t often dangerous in these parts. Real life is.

Dangerous women have been in my head all week, because of the 4,000 dangerous mothers article by my mate Sharon Thompson. It’s a powerful, shocking, moving piece. Please read it. When I grow up I’m going to write as well as Sharon does.

A danger is defined as ‘a hazard, threat or menace.’ The business of motherhood is very dangerous. But you’re told, ‘you’ll be fine. You will know what to do.’…

So – Your child and yourself are alone. Tired beyond measure you’re surrounded in scary, essential equipment. Things like feed pumps and machines that beep. You hate it all but had to fight tooth and nail to get the cumbersome stuff…

This will happen again you know it will. But when? How? Will they be screaming in pain next time? Will you know what to do? Will it be at a time when you finally have a nurse? It’s right to want your little one here with you always –isn’t it?…

There you are, sipping your cold tea, watching your child’s thin chest move up and down…

I myself surveyed 36 mothers of life-limited children. One question stood out. ‘Do you feel you can cope at home with your child’s condition?’ 34 mothers out of 36 said – ‘No.’ One asked me not to ask that question…

Wanting and demanding that your child’s life and death is as safe as possible should not be considered dangerous. Yet in 2016, these women are supposed to cope alone, with meagre charitable supports and when it’s all over – they’re expected to disappear and be silent. These women are expected to no longer be dangerous…

 

For further thinking on what it means to be a dangerous woman, see the Dangerous Women Project, full of challenge and learning.

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3 thoughts on “dangerous women”

  1. To be honest am not sure where to start in laying down a comment, edgy or soft. So I will just say am thinking. That is isn’t a cop-out is it? Raw and or edgy this has been to read and learn, but sometime but that is where one has to go from time to time. In life, in art, in …………..

  2. Sharon Thompson’s article is deeply moving. It’s almost incomprehensible to me to think that any civilized society would callously look the other way and not provide utmost support to the mother of a life-limited child. But of course, I shouldn’t be at all surprised. With all their resources devoted to caring for their children, these women don’t have time to be truly dangerous. Their collective voices are important, though. Every mother with perfectly healthy children (and grandchildren) feels a deep tug at their heart with these words, Fiona. Thank you for introducing me to the Dangerous Women Project. I have much to learn!

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