Tag Archives: women

Femininity in the family

My feminine influences growing up!

I was raised by an unglamorous tom boy, who was never without her pair of jeans, white t-shirts or turtle necks under thick jumpers or oversized blouses, she preferred sandals to heels or trainers and she never wore make up and her hair was always cropped short and her nails were always bitten back and sore looking.

That thankfully, was not my only feminine reference growing up and I yearned for my mother to be more like her sisters or cousins, because the majority of my family oozed femininity – even my mum would say she was the black sheep of her family and to see her amongst her sisters and cousins in photo shoots you’d believe it!

I spent a lot of my childhood being shunted around – again, thankfully!  Because I grew to be influenced by other people about what it means to be a woman rather than taking guidance from my mother, which was practically non-existent!

What did my mother teach me about being a woman?  That women are always burdened upon and are doomed of having a life of sexual harassment and fighting for their rights on a constant basis.  That when you get married you have to train your husband  and she was being serious too!  She really believed these things!

She never wanted me to grow up and have a relationship or have children, but she did tell me if I were inclined to do so that I’d need to get a professional man who doesn’t want children and who is smaller than me and submissive!

Not on your Nellie, that’s not my type at all mum, sorry!

My influences were from women who insisted that just because you are married to a man it doesn’t mean you let yourself go, you know?  You have to keep a certain standard, you have to make an effort or then whose fault is it if they strayed?

Don’t bite your nails dear, put nice things in your hair and if you are not going to bother wearing make up at least make an effort to pinch your cheeks and wear lip gloss instead!

You want a nice man who will look after you, protect you and make you feel loved and safe and you want to be able to support him as much as you can and treat him like a king!

Hearing this being spouted to me at a young age, my mother’s reactions was often covering my ears up and giving short nasty criticisms to whoever was poisoning her daughter to become a man’s slave!

Shame on you!  Shame on the lot of you and to think where women have come from, only for stupid women like you to talk the next generation back a hundred years! 

Don’t you listen to them my girl, they are wrong; you don’t need that, you are better off far away from all of THAT!

That was my influence growing up and I still stick to my aunts and cousins concepts and steer well clear of my mother’s!

On my dad’s side of the family, up until the 90s it was quite common for the older generation to help you look for your husband if they knew you were leaning towards wanting a family at a young age.  My mother hated that about them – my grandmother knew when I was fifteen that I only wanted a career because my mother and big brother expected me to have one of their choosing, not my own.  But ultimately I wanted a large family and work from home either as a writer, designer or childminder. 

When I was seventeen my grandmother had found some nice young gentlemen to set me up with, but my mum got furious about it and it is one of the many reasons why mum decided never to speak to my dad’s mum again.

I had to listen to my mum, though I liked what gran was doing, because it’s been a thing I’ve wanted my whole life – a large traditional family.  Had I of started young, it would have been fun to see how many children I would have had by now!  I know a second cousin who is the baby of 17 and she too had 17 children of her own so large families are not uncommon in my family!

But I am forty now and only with one child and it really has never been my intention to have such a small family, fate was taken out of my hands.

It has left a deep hollow in me; it is something I have never accepted looking back in my life.  I am hugely envious of women who are running alive with kids!

I think I would have been healthier for it too, if I had got my way.  I don’t live for myself, I live for other people and when you have just one child and his father completely takes over and pushes your nose out of the way all the time, it makes you feel unwanted and useless – I think that’s why I got sick.

On my dad’s side of the family, they are feminine too, but they are a different kind of feminine than my mother’s side of the family.

My mother’s side of the family are very glamorous and are often mistaken for rich women.  The kind of women who feel naked without make up, stink of expensive perfume, wearing heels and have three inch long decorated nails with diamante on them.  One or two are unethical fur enthusiasts and all of them spend an hour on their hair a day!

Their focus is mostly to please their man, care for their looks, socialise with friends and then the children come somewhere after all that! 

My dad’s side of the family are the old fashioned but very maternal types.  To the women in that side of the family, it is you feed the man and take care of him when he is sick and support him in most of his endeavours if he is sensible, but outside of this you don’t dare come between a woman and her children!

The children come before everything after the basic care of the husband, the house cleaning is next, self-maintenance and then friends if you have the time – but as long as self-maintenance and friends doesn’t interfere with you becoming a good citizen, volunteering at charities and attending church or entertaining the elderly in nursing homes.

These women dress in simple country clothing, floral dresses with lace and mid shin and tend to wear pearls.

They also have the same ration ratio per family, the man gets the biggest portion, then the kids and the women tend to go hungry if they are poor or have meagre rations in comparison.

This is why almost all the women in that side of the family are gardeners, they grow most of their own food and have a “be prepared” attitude to life, as most of them were girl guides in their past!

They are the women who will eat left over from the day before or make soup from them, unlike my mother’s side of the family who seem to have a phobia of all food once it’s been opened or cooked!

As I was growing up, my mother’s family regarded me as an anomaly, because there I was a mere slip of a girl telling them what they can do to budget their food and how to save money.   Because I had learned it all by staying with my paternal relatives!

My dad’s family also taught things like sewing by hand, basketry and all sorts of things. 

Whereas my mother’s family knit only when they are past 50yrs of age and before then have no idea about darning socks and whatnot.

My family to onlookers would appear to be like Last of the summer wine ladies at tea Vs the Kardashians.  Or putting them as individuals my dad’s family as a whole woman would be Emma Thompson’s Karen from Love Actually vs Elizabeth Taylor.   Whereas my mum is more like Ellen Degeneres!

I like to consider this has made me more like Dolly Parton, well eventually lol!  She is like a good healthy mix of the two!

Anyway, those are my feminine influences according to how I was raised by my family and I have a lot of sprucing up to do, because being sick for so long has made me lazy.  I am looking forward to transitioning back to the old vain me again! 

Thank you for reading!

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Filed under Home and Family, What inspired me?

Existentially challenged

For a woman I am strange, I think anybody who knows me in real life will validate that.

But what exactly do I mean by strange?

Perhaps I mean dorky, weird, and eccentric but also some people have labelled me as confused or having a split personality.

I might do, though I prefer the stance that I am existentially challenged.

I am a female, that occasionally wakes up and wishes for just that particular day to be a man, but it’s only occasional.  On another day I will wake up and want to be kawaii or gothic, or a child or an adult, or anything as the feeling grabs me and it is often a part of my depression when I can’t morph my body into how I feel for the day.

Mostly though, I want to be tall and strong athletic looking woman and have perfect long straight brunette hair in a long plait, wearing a tight white camisole and black jeans and heeled boots and don’t have the need to wear spectacles.

But alas, I am fat and hideous, my hair is the colour of straw with flecks of white and I indeed need spectacles.

Image aside, this isn’t what I meant when I first started the post.

What I wanted to say is that, I am strange because I am like an old fashioned man, or rather an old man.  I say this, because some people online believe I am not a woman at all, but I am.  I am just a weird one that’s all.

I was a weird little girl too. 

I was a bug catching little girl, who had pet snails that escaped in the night in my bedroom sliming the walls in the morning, creeping my OCD clean freak mother out with the things she’d find hiding in my room every morning.  One day she found a squirrel I had tamed, sitting on the desk looking like it owned the place and it screamed at her when she screamed at it.

I was a frog catching little girl too and I’d scrump my neighbour’s apples, well, I used to pick my neighbours apples from their tree that was above my swing, which she allowed – to be a true scrumper meant I stole without permission, but that wasn’t the case.

As a child my biggest emotional and creative influence was my dad and two male cousins.  As a child I had more male friends than female and as a child I loved things that most little girls shy away from.

I was the little girl who asked for matchbox cars at Christmas, Gremlin and monster toys, scalextrics, books, art supplies, dinosaurs, trump cards and anything to do with wrestling.

I was the kind of little girl who scoffed at soap operas and sat down with her father and grandmother on a Sunday afternoon watching horse racing and Laurel Hardy movies and other oldies.

I’d learn all the words from those old movies, so that when mum worked the night shift at the retirement home she worked in, me and dad would re-enact them together fully, like we were putting on a spectacular theatre production. 

Sometimes we did for my aunts when visiting grandma on Sunday afternoons if they were visiting gran too.

I was the kind of little girl who made solar system models and studied encyclopaedias like a bible, because my access to education was sparse.

My dad was mostly into science, war and film history and gardening and he was the most active in educating me those things.  I got heavily into understanding the history of automobiles and aviation and some of it still sticks to this day!

I was like a son to him, I am sure.

My mum I think was jealous and that is why she treated me badly, I didn’t grow how she wanted me to.  She wanted me to be image obsessed, watch all the soap operas with her, devour all the romance books she bought and gossip about people behind their backs viciously, like some plastic girl from the movie Means Girls.

Which was odd really, because she as a tom boy too! She never taught me make up etc, it was like she had hoped that me being a girl I would teach her those things – but its a mothers job to teach the girl!

But I wasn’t like that, so she made my life hell.  Really, it was like living with a school bully with no escape, she only backed off me when I caved in and pretended to be the Barbie she wanted me to be, which was difficult as I was a fat child who was a bit of a jock.  Yes, you do get fat jocks!

But I’d rather go to a local park with my dad in the evenings and play on their big adventure playground pirate ship and re-enact scenes from The Voyage of Sinbad or Blackbeard the pirate, with my dad and if I am lucky, my cousins.

I am still very masculine to this day in my ideas, hobbies, likes and dislikes.  I even took a psychological test once to find out what I am and found out my brain is a lot more masculine than an average woman, in fact, significantly so.

I am bisexual, I do like to cross-dress and be masculine from time to time and I don’t make friends easily with women, unless they are similar to me.  Usually creative, hippy or bohemian, or tom boyish too!

The strange thing about all of this is that I am also glamour puss. Weird contrast I know, but I love dressing up elaborately, like a proper classic Hollywood star, but I can’t be in perfection mode all the time, it would drive me up the wall.  I love maxi dresses and sandals, I like jeans and camisoles, rainbow coloured dungarees and weird shit like that, oh and cosplay. 

I am a chameleon I suppose, yes, I guess that’s the right thing to say about me – I am a chameleon.

You never know what you are going to get day to day and if you are comfortable in rigidity, we can’t get along, because I have to flow with my emotions.  Don’t judge me for changing my style yet again, get used to it, why so stiff and judgemental?  Don’t be stiff… unless of course… I digress! 

It’s the flow again, the water that is me.

I’m like a river, now isn’t that going to be a lovely poem?

I am off to write it now…

Happy reading…

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Gender pressures on children

People who write for children often presume that children are contemporary creatures and that anything retro they recoil from, I think that couldn’t be further from the truth – in fact, in my experience the children I have known and I have known a lot, especially as I used to work with children, they don’t really develop a sense of time and past until around the age of ten or eleven.

Children do have very prominent likes and dislikes that are very unique and different with each child, it is usually around the age of ten that they allow their peers and other influences dictate what they start to like and dislike, in other words, I believe around the age of ten they become more aware of other people and factors in life, they start to broaden their minds and often lose themselves in trying to be accepted by others.

My son has very narrow ideas about what he likes and dislikes and for the majority of people, they find him strange, but to me, I find him quite normal for a child.  My experiences with children show me that children generally are retrospective and like things from historical resources.  Some children gain the awareness of others earlier, some later, some keep true to themselves throughout their lives, but they are rare creatures.

Therefore some children become shy when you try to get to know what they really like, because adults and older peers think that it is either outdated or rather unusual, so they feel insecure in being honest with you about it.

For me, I remind Henry almost on a daily basis that everyone is individual and unique and therefore have different ideas about everything, that the only person you should ever please in your life in regards to what you enjoy, should be yourself!

Here is a little idea of what Henry loves and is motivated by, it might surprise you; Dolly Parton, Doris Day, Lady Gaga, Riverdance, steam engines, robots, wrestling of the 80s and 90s, British comedy of the 50s to the 90s, royal history of Europe, math and physics, cooking, baking, pink and fluffy things, tortoises and sea turtles (is an obsession, he cries whenever he sees them on TV), litter picking and sustainability, robot wars, cyberpunk art and lifestyle and current affairs. 

Henry also likes long hair with bangs for men or feather layer cuts.  He is also angry at the world for not accepting boys who wear pink and bright yellow, he is often shouting about why the fashion industry insists that boys must always wear black or blue or camouflage and denim, and he wants cotton suits and button up shirts and tailored clothing for everyday wear. 

He also wants to know why boys can’t wear perfume and use moisturiser and make up etc (I told him they can, but he raises his arms above his head, shrugs and says, but society says no)!

Henry was very upset once and had a meltdown when he won a prize at the school fete and was given a choice of two prizes, one was a rainbow unicorn soft toy or a cream rabbit, he chose the unicorn but the lady said, but you are a boy and the girl after you would want this and he got the rabbit – I agree with him that was totally unfair and against freedom of choice. 

Henry has a very hard time understanding why there are defined ideas about boys and girls and from what I understand he is not the only one at his school!  He best friends are a group of four lesbian and tomboy girls, they are very open about it even at the age of twelve and thirteen. 

At least half of the above are things he wouldn’t ever share with his peers for obvious reasons – he has given permission to talk about it here because he feels it could raise world awareness.

I had similar problems as a child, with the things that I liked – for example, they were mostly for boys and not little girls like me or were completely age inappropriate!

I loved dinosaurs, vampires, 1930s to 1950s fashion, monsters and bats and insects, comedy horror, Barbie, Lego, wrestling, gardening, writing, arm wrestling, marbles, woodlands and shelter building, helping dad with cement mixing and carpentry, roleplaying, super heroes like Batman and Superman, hard rock and metal music, glam rock, classical music, opera and medieval history, particularly ancient warfare and torture/dungeon procedures. 

I was considered an anomaly and my mother though she was a tomboy herself always tried to make me dress tomboyish but maintain feminine charm.  I never liked being forced to wear trousers because it was convenient for my mother to maintain my modesty that way!  If I had the choice my clothing would have been flowing skirts and dresses and I would literally look like a little gypsy running around as that was me, I was a nature’s child!

My mum wasn’t used to that as all my siblings were techno-heads who shut themselves away in their rooms and were obsessed with the latest gadgets and all I wanted to do was gardening, fort building and digging holes with the dogs, whilst scrumping from my neighbours overhanging our fence apple tree!

Yes the majority of the things I loved were boyish, but I wanted to be feminine nonetheless.

My niece is another example of how society shouldn’t try to define gender roles – my niece had an obsession with soccer and wanted to be a soccer player as her career, but society talked her out of it and told her to be a good catholic girl and calm down.

I just think that humanity has advanced so much in their diversity and acceptance of various things, but they are still supressing their children and it really shouldn’t be that way anymore!

So what if your son loves pink and rainbows and fluffy bunnies?  At least he isn’t interested in killing anyone and has a good sense of pride, justice and respect!

So what if your daughter loves soccer and dreams of being world champion at boxing whilst still maintaining the notion that, yeah, I want kids too!  Women aren’t as docile as you make out anyway!  Stop trying to pretend!

My son has mental health issues, he doesn’t want to exist anymore, because he feels the world will always have a problem with who he chooses to be, no matter what he does!

This post exists because I wanted to share with writers for children, that you shouldn’t think that kids are contemporary or actually want to conform with society ideas about what normal is. You should write for the kids you know, not what you think the general kid population might be like today!

A majority of the kids I personally know do cling to their devices, because it is the only thing that gives them attention, many of these kids explain that they feel refreshed when they find an adult who engages with them and their hobbies away from technology, but they are hard to find… please think about that!

Happy reading everyone!

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Combat sports and feminine culture

Combat sports is another big influence in my stories; being a former judoka from the age of ten, I was just six weeks shy of the Commonwealth games trials of 1998 when I was rushed into A&E with a serious mastoid infection that literally ended my career before it could even begin, because I couldn’t do any kind of self-care for two years after the life-saving surgery I had to undergo.

This devastated me totally on a mental health level, because I used judo as a means to train my body for the hard knocks I was preparing it for as a professional wrestler, when I left school for college.  My grandfather was a backyard wrestler in the early 40s and 50s and he was a huge wrestling fan and I wanted to make him proud of me as he looked down from heaven and saw his “little cocker” as he called me, as world women’s champion!

But that was never meant to be, because my surgery meant that I had lost certain bones at the back of the right side of my head, which meant any future impact could be life threatening, so all dreams of combative sports had to end right there and then!

I love combat sports of all kinds, judo, karate, cage fighting, boxing, you name it, and I love it.

A lot of the various gimmicks in professional wrestling and other forms of fighting, whether it is combative entertainment or real, had influenced a lot of my characters and sceneries in some of my books – particularly those of the dystopian and cyberpunk genres.

I have a lot of background knowledge in fighting terminologies that can help with understanding the jargon, but I do know that a lot of my readers will not be au fait with the sport jargon that could be in the books, so I have honed in my skills as a very good describer of action scenes – of which a former English tutor is rather impressed with and says is a rare talent.

Along with my love for combat sports, I have a massive love for war history and battle games such as Rome total war, Warhammer, Medal of Honour and such the likes.

Back in 2004 I became an online player of Rome Total War’s original game that was based on my favourite TV show “Time Commanders”, as an avid devourer of history books, this was a massive thing for me and I soon became one the top five best generals in the world on their game leader board for two years!  Under the name Raven Warrior!

More recently I follow the artist Jazza which lead me to finding his brother’s channel of which I enjoy immensely “Shadiversity” which talks about the history of weapons and how good they are or not.  This is another tool which has helped me a lot in writing action scenes and accurate war scenes in my books.

You will find that there is a lot of fighting in my stories usually, but it is not constant mindless violence, I hope you will agree someday.

I’ve never been a girly girl and seeing ultra-feminine and helpless women in fiction is rather irritating for me, my characters tend to be female lead, strong-minded and independent women that save themselves because of hard times dragging them through into survival mode; usually they don’t have time to sit back and daydream of their perfect love life, they are usually dreaming about freedom and where the next meal is coming from! 

Thanks for reading!

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Confessions and rants

I have a couple of horrible confessions to make! 

The reasons why I have not been producing new blog posts, especially during lock-down is because I find it hard to write at all when my son is home from school, because he is very demanding and unforgiving regarding my work.

Another reason is because I moved my computer again, because my old desk broke and I have a new one that is very uncomfortable and it took me ages to get used to typing again at different angles. 

My health has never fully recovered from the ‘supposed’ bronchitis I had at Christmas, which Paul and I suspects was probably one of the UK’s first ever Covid19 cases, because it was particularly bad and is still partly with me.

But ultimately, people have gone crazy during lock-down and I am finding it hard to be active on social media recently – the drama llamas, the ‘I am so much more special than everyone else and suffering more than anyone else in this lock-down fiasco’ attitude, I have virtually lived in lock-down all my life, so I find it very grating!  I am also very frustrated because of lock-down, because most of my life I have been forced into isolation and it has been only for the last five years I have been truly free to do whatever I want, only for fate to take over and decide that I am going into isolation again – the story of my fucking life!

Whoever created me is determined to make sure I don’t have a full and happy social life.

I keep getting the feeling it wants me to reside myself to that and I don’t want to.

Because I knew my posts would be mostly ranting about how hard done by I am regarding the fates, I haven’t posted until now.

Poor excuses I know and I have had writer friends email me on Facebook telling me that this is a prime opportunity for me to post on my blog as there is a wider community ready to read my stuff because of sheer lock-down boredom, I didn’t take the bait, but since lock-down is loosening in the UK and various British social media posts are becoming (if at all possible) a little saner I feel I can go back onto social media without losing my mind too.

But I have to say it – lock-down has been fantastic really, especially in the creative community.  The entertainment community has vastly improved in my opinion, the innovation that lock-down has caused has been amazing.  Also, people of my generation and younger are actually starting to care more about other people and are actually getting off their arses to learn how to fucking cook and sew, which is great and a skill everyone should have, not just because they’re bored!  I mean come on, for thousands of years women have cooked from scratch and made their families clothing, why is it that in the past fifty years it’s been different?  Laziness that’s why!  Don’t you dare attack me for these statement feminists, it’s great to be a feminist and all of that, but you got to know how to bake a fucking cake for Christ’s sake!

You have got to know how to feed and clothe your family if the system falls down – take a leaf from the scout’s book – ‘BE PREPARED’!  What good is it that your nails are nicely manicured and painted and you slag off men – if in the crux of a societal meltdown you’re burning your house down to feed your family and you’re dying of the nuclear winter because your sewing and/or creative skills are non-existent? 

Take a moment to think on that please.  I hope lock-down due to Covid-19 has shown people that nothing is permanent and everything can falter, hugely at any given moment, I think this is a valuable lesson to show people to not divert away from too much traditional housekeeping.  Remember, as a woman you should be proud of your heritage more than men, because ultimately you keep men going by feeding them, clothing them and keeping their families together!  That’s powerful and the feminists I know don’t see the power that women REALLY do have with the traditional aspects of our cultures.  It’s a shame many traditional skills are being lost because of this illusion that to know how to cook and sew means you’re not being valued as an equal member of society, it’s a stupid illusion and needs to fucking change!

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We all fall down

Nation against nation a war has begun, people prepare with their bullets and guns.

Soldiers are ready at the foot of the brawl, women weep as their children fall.

Many are mane and many die many scream and many cry all live in hope for the war to end

please not let a war come again.

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