Day 16: mermaids in Sheffield

Today I’m wearing: 

  • The Dress;
  • black Levi’s;
  • a silk scarf around my head, supposed to keep the hair out my eyes but didn’t work;
  • Toms, which I had to forcibly remove from my sister’s feet; one of the perils of being the same size.
I am totally shattered. I can hardly keep my eyes open. Today we’ve been to Sheffield, on’t train, to watch my wee sister swim for York in the Yorkshire Championships. She’s part dolphin- she was a foundling from the shores of the Ouse- and really quite good at being in the water. This is unlike me; I deeply, profoundly loathe swimming and I would consider myself a definite landlubber.
M was competing in the relay races. It was her first time in a proper big swimming gala thing and she did her club proud. I must say, I thought York were fierce, but Doncaster, wow. Let’s just say you wouldn’t want to meet Doncaster in a dark swimming pool. Same goes for Leeds; even their logo is a shark. Anyway, M did really well and got Personal Bests for both of her lengths and we sat on the side and burst with pride.
I have to say, that pool was one of the most uncomfortable places I’ve ever sat for a prolonged amount of time in. My gosh, the heat was just unbearable. Apparently the water was pretty chilly; you swim faster in cold water, my mermaid sister tells me?
So now let’s talk jeans. I really struggle with jeans. Actually, I don’t know anyone who doesn’t. I think that there must be a specific body shape out there who fits perfectly into high-street jeans, and it most certainly ain’t mine. I’ve got a pretty small waist, but the thighs of a cyclist. This means I have to either buy too big round the waist and invest in belts, or do the old ‘jump and wiggle’ when putting on. Neither is practical or pretty. Luckily for me, Levi’s jeans come in curve sizes; they not only fit my waist, but also my ‘unfeminine’ cyclist thighs. They ain’t cheap, which is why I don’t own millions of pairs, but they’re definitely worth it.
Since I started this fundraising thing, my misogynist radar has become much more finely tuned. Either that, or there is much more misogynism in the world than I previously was aware of, like this breastfeeding thing. If you hadn’t heard about it, a woman was secretly photographed feeding her baby in public- discretely- the photo was put up on Facebook, I think, and she was labelled a tramp.
What kind of society do we live in that a woman can be applauded for baring her tits in the newspaper, but labelled a tramp for feeding her child? In case you’d forgotten, breasts are for feeding, not as some in-built sex toy for insecure man-children. I completely totally understand if a woman feels worried or hesitant about breastfeeding in public, but we as a society need to support her and make it normal.
I don’t know if it all stems from straightforward inequality of the sexes, or cultural misogyny, or just poor education, but we need to sort it out. Sometimes the worst comes from women themselves; we’re very good at singing songs about being Independent Women, but where’s the sense of sisterhood, eh?

Gender empowerment is a part of what Womankind do, and they have a Herculean task ahead of them. They help women find their voice and claim their rights, and they need your support. A mere £22 can pay for an awareness raising workshop for Afghan women to increase their understanding of their rights within Islam and the constitution. or ODOM50 £2 to 70070 

Finally, I just wanted to say thank you for all the lovely messages I had after yesterday’s post. I did all my grieving yesterday and today was a much better day. So thank you from the bottom of my heart. I really appreciate your words.


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