Engineering social change?

I have just finished sewing on the final badge on my daughter’s brownie sash after completing her Brownie promise ceremony. This is a rather bizarre ceremony where she is spun round a few times in front of a tin foil dish (representing a pond) while the others chant to turn her from a person into a Brownie. She insisted that Daddy was present along with baby boy (who slept through the whole event). I was proud that she had learned the promise and guide law off by heart and it clearly was important to her, which in turn made it important to us (although hubby mumbled something about it being a bit girly unlike cubs). Personally I think separating the  sexes in this way is all a bit ‘old hat’ and many Cubs and Scouts groups take girls because they do more outward bound stuff but Brownies has also been modernised too…..although not convinced by things like the ‘hostess’ badge. But the principle of helping others is a good one.

I only lasted a week in Brownies, but back then it was all about sewing and baking, neither of which I do particularly well. As evidenced by my pin-pricked hands after sewing her sash.

I watched the last in the series of Guy Martin’s speed challenges, which focused on achieving the fastest speed  in nothing but a gravity powered go-kart. To help him achieve his goal were a team of female engineers, scientists and a champion luge racer. One of the engineers helps the army build tanks. I said to my husband, if our daughter gets involved in something along those lines I would be as pleased as punch. Women portrayed as anything more than models of style or looks is still a rarity in mass media so to have female professionals on mainstream TV working on a project was brilliant.

It made me wonder what inspired them to choose a career path which is still relatively difficult for women to enter? I doubt it was due to Brownies but am hoping things will change….

This blog is for Unicef.

Thanks for reading.

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Blog Action Day – Inequality

Blog Action Day has existed since 2007 to bring about discussion and awareness of key topics affecting our global society. Writing, filming, sharing any kind of media content about the topic can bring key issues to the surface on a global scale.

Tonight,I have an axe to grind on inequality.

My husband and I have been happily married for 10 years. In that time, we have had one major argument that nearly broke us and it was in that period when I was a full-time housewife and he was a full-time ‘breadwinner’. I was as busy as him but in a different way. Because I wanted to do other things in addition to childcare (such as volunteering and sport) my husband felt I was better off working if I had time on my hands to be able to do those things. But I was between a rock and a hard place because I couldnt afford to work because of childcare costs. I was forced into this position through being a mother (which I loved) and being a woman. Once my first born went to school I went straight back to full-time work. Until then, every time my hubby returned from work, I felt like I should be standing to attention at the front door read to report on what I had been doing that day. It was hideous and made me feel very small – we were not equal.

Now with my second child, I have been forced to give up work again because of childcare costs and he has returned to the role of hunter, gatherer and……..nag. We are rowing every other night because he wants to know what I have been doing with my time. Anything remotely ‘lady of leisure’ as he puts it is frowned upon (having a couple of hours ride on a friends horse while my son is at nursery). No, I should be spending every minute of the day working, doing chores and being a housewife. I do, i just want a couple of hours off thats all.

I went for a job that earned a good wage but he was going to have to take a step back from his career if I did it. So I didnt proceed with the interview.

Being a woman is the hardest role of all wherever you are in the world regardless of ethnicity or social status.

why?

Because women have not been on equal status with men since the dawn of time and we keep on ‘sucking it up’.

This blog is for Unicef -thanks for reading.

Solace in the ‘go tos’

Everyone has their ‘go to’. Its not until you feel s*** that you realise how many ‘go tos’ you have. For a situation where I need to feel better about myself, my ‘go tos’ are edible and drinkable. Following a big argument with my hubby tonight over work (I wont bore you with the details but from where I was standing it was ‘hubby doesnt like new job and length of commute so turns to wife and wonders why she isnt doing ‘more’. The answer: I could earn more but this would mean hubby doing more on childcare side, which he wont do. I cant earn a low average salary because childcare costs would cancel out my earnings. So, I can only earn peanuts’. Sound familiar?

So, my go to for feeling inadequate were (in the precise order that they were consumed):

Salt & vinegar crisps

Peanut butter on toast

The children’s chocolate (which I will now have to replace), consisting of: Twirl and Fudge – enjoyed eating until I felt mildly sick followed by mildly guilty (because I am on the no sugar diet).

My 8 year old daughter also bore witness to the trials of life as a modern woman (i.e perform miracles earning a fraction more than the minimum wage while looking after  toddlers, covering school runs and keeping the house one hoover away from looking like a bomb had just hit…..oh and walking the dogs, and occasionally making contact with all the in-laws and doing the shopping, buying all the Christmas presents and doing the washing, and exercising so body is still in a good shape (though cant do much about the pelvic floor…..get the brownie points for pushing them out but marked down for other reasons that you might hazard a guess at).

Sound bitter?

Your Goddamn f***** right.

This blog is for Unicef.

Thanks for reading.

When bloggers come together

On 16 October I am joining hundreds of thousands, even millions of fellow bloggers to take action against inequality. The gap between the super-rich and everyone else is widening, so this day will be an exchanging of ideas on wealth re-distribution to make the world a better and fairer place.

Do you fancy joining us? If so register here – http://blogactionday.org/

Right, I better start getting my thinking cap on.

This blog is for Unicef.

Thanks for reading.