Women and men. But mainly women.

Well, they do say write about what you know…

This isn’t going to be one of those concise, to-the-point blog posts. (You know, ’cause I write those all the time.) I’ve got a couple of small, half-baked ideas knocking around up here (you can’t see, but I’m gesturing at my head), but mainly I just like putting thoughts down on paper. Or screen. It’s with a certain amount of anxiousness that I draft these kinds of posts, because they’re inevitably more personal. And those of you who know me, erm, personally, will be joining the dots and going “Yeah, I know what that’s about”. Or, “Yep, well, that’s a reference to me. Good”.

It’s just been a long three days, that’s all. Without going into too much detail, I really, really can’t handle arguing with certain people. My family, that’s fine. We shout and storm at each other and it’s forgotten within a few hours. But I can deal with that, because your family have to still love you. That’s not a connection you can break that easily. Friends and anyone closer than that, I can’t. It scares me; it makes me feel guilty and restless and like a kicked Bambi. And tearful. I cry at everything anyway; the little man in control of my tear ducts has quite the itchy trigger-finger – but when faced with the threat of fucking things up between me and someone whose good books I’d quite like to stay in, I’m like a human water feature. Charlie Dimmock could put me in your garden and I’d just spout away.

It’s probably just a woman thing, to a point. Catch me at the wrong time and I’ll be weeping at puppies, small animals and the “It’s not all doom and gloom” bit at the end of “Russell Howard’s Good News” (gets me every time). If a girl is being ratty, boys sometimes think it’s funny to say “Oooh, is it someone’s time of the month?” If this ever happens to me, I’m going to say “Boy, you have no idea.” I don’t think I’m selling out the sisterhood to say, yes, we are mental (adding “sometimes” is optional), and it’s often to do with pesky hormone gremlins running riot in our brains turning us into arational, stroppy, tearful little monsters.

Sometimes, however, I’ve been forced to contemplate the possibility that it’s not hormones, it is in fact my personality.

So yeah. On the one hand, I know that stupid rows are going to happen from time to time (I should know this by now, having had my parents.) I wish I could be more carefree when throwing strops, and not constantly be second-guessing myself and thinking, “Am I justified in feeling like this? Am I being reasonable?” I admire people who, when they’re upset, just come out with it, throw a bit of a shit fit and move on. I’m hoping that by, say, the end of my twenties, I’ll have learned to not feel guilty for having feelings. I can’t say progess is going to be swift.

On lighter notes, this week, I’ve gone back to ‘Girls’, HBO’s sitcom du jour. I think it hits some kind of stride in its third episode, certainly in terms of humour – though it is still only funny in a “smile knowingly” sort of way.

This episode (S1 E3: All Adventurous Women Do) also happened to feature what I’d like to call “the least sexy line ever delivered that was meant to be sexy”. During an awkward encounter between Marnie (the slightly uptight one) and some artist guy, he tells her, “the first time I fuck you, I might scare you a little, because I’m a man and I know how to do things”. On watching it, I had to rewind to hear it again, going “Did he really just say that?” Good GOD. I’m sure the correct reaction to this would be, “I really hope you’re not going to scare me, because I don’t tend to have sex with men that scare me. I’m glad you know how to do things though, that’s always nice, so could we perhaps downgrade this ‘scaring’ nonsense to ‘pleasant nervousness’?”

 Or even, “Mate, you’ve scared me enough with that sentence right there, I don’t need to know what else you’re capable of,” while backing away, then turning and breaking into a run.

It seems to work on Marnie though; she has to run to the ladies’ room to spend some time by herself, if you know what I mean.

And so to take it back to a serious note, you’d have to have been hiding in your shed all week to have missed the desperately sad Savita Halappanavar case making the headlines. Yes, it made me cry (shocker). Briefly: Savita Halappanavar was taken to University Hospital Galway, 17 weeks pregnant but starting to miscarry. Due to legislation, doctors were unable to do anything while the foetus still had a heartbeat – abortion being essentially illegal in Ireland. Savita reportedly asked repeatedly for doctors to remove the already-dying foetus, but nothing was done. She contracted an infection and died of septicaemia and E.Coli about a week after initially presenting at the hospital.

I’ll say that important bit again: the already-dying foetus.

I know the doctors were bound by the legislation of their country; I am well-aware of that fact. But surely, as a doctor, when you spend so much time wading in the murky waters between life and death, you are well-acquainted with asking yourself, “Are we doing the right thing?”

The best thing that can happen now is, obviously, a change in the legislation regarding abortion. As someone cleverer than me pointed out, if you let a woman die for the sake of her already-dying unborn child, you probably need to ask yourself how “pro-life” you actually are. And yes, there needs to be carefully-examined, extensively-considered laws where abortion is concerned. No-one in their right minds would dispute that. But abortion is a medical issue, primarily. The priority should be the physical and mental health of the mother, and then of the child. And once those things are straight, then we can talk beliefs. But not before.

To lighten things up once more, in Friday’s Times, there was a piece headlined “Why Bella from Twilight is the new feminist icon”. 

I’d link you, but the article is hiding behind a paywall (’cause the Murdochs need all the money they can get, right?). Anyway, the title of the piece was on the front page, and it caught my eye, and prompted me to 1) say quietly, but clearly “What the FUCK?” in Waitrose, 2) hope desperately that it was an ironic piece, and 3) spend £1 on the paper. Fortunately, Caitlin Moran has a two-page feature in Friday’s Times, so it wasn’t a total waste of my money.

It wasn’t an ironic piece. Apparently, because Bella is all glammed up when she’s a vampire (does that make her a glampire?), and gets a bit ass-kicky, she qualifies as a feminist role model for our tweenage, Twi-hard sisters. What, after she’s married Edward so he feels better about having sex with her and upon getting knocked up, literally dies so her vampire-human hybrid child can live? Righty-ho.

I think I need to chill out after all that. I’m going to listen to this in order to do so:

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