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Happy International Women's Day

Happy International Women’s Day!!!

Dear Friend
Woman - A Song for international Women’s Day
I offer this with some images of the searching eyes and powerful protests
of women across the world.

Click here to donate to Plan International
campaigning against child marriage and supporting girls to have an education.
About The Song
This song, which is probably one of the more feisty things I’ve written to date, comes from the awarenesses that

1) There is a tremendous amount of work to be done
Action is what is required, whether it be educational, societal, political or personal. We need to become the change we want to see, by participation and action. Everyone can take responsibility and have a part to play when it comes to emancipation, empowerment and transformation. - Annie Lennox
The realities of existence for millions of women and girls are absolutely shocking, as Annie Lennox outlines in her powerful article.   I wrote this song aware that the spectrum of experience of women ranges everything from girls sold into child marriage to millionaire catwalk models.  Both ends of the spectrum are subject to the same patriarchal conditioning that sometimes seems as tangled and deeply rooted as the bindweed in my garden - the pervasive, undermining attitude that women are inferior.  I sometimes feel scared, unsafe and sabotaged by those pernicious beliefs whilst also acknowledging that I am in a position of immense freedom - I can sit and write this in the safety of my home without fearing a black eye from my partner or religious retribution.  This freedom comes with a tremendous responsibility to take action and raise my voice wherever I can. This song is a small contribution and comes with an invitation to join me in supporting Plan International who campaign for the end of child marriage and support the education of girls.

2) The Power of Women is Vast
I am not afraid. I was born to do this - Joan of Arc
People sometimes talk about feminism as if it’s something that happened in the 60s, women burnt bras, got the Pill and the Vote and went to work and that was that. In truth the work has only just begun - my mother just told me that she was not allowed to have a mortgage in her own name only 30 odd years ago.  Amazing young women like inspirational Malala, who narrowly survived death for pursuing her education, are raising their voices to tell us just how much is yet to be done.  Yet in the most oppressive of situations throughout time, women have and will continue to rise up and raise their voices.  From Joan of Arc and the Suffragettes to women who are daily survivors of abuse, women have the power within themselves to get up and live the days of superheroines.

3) Gender is fluid
We act as if that being of a man or that being of a woman is actually an internal reality or something that is simply true about us, a fact about us, but actually it's a phenomenon that is being produced all the time and reproduced all the time, so to say gender is performative is to say that nobody really is a gender from the start - Judith Butler
As a conventionally biologically classified ‘woman’, I’m aware that even these basic biological definitions are not at all fixed and that there exist many other gender possibilities.  This is to be celebrated - the fluidity of gender allows possibility, change, transformation of fixed norms, roles, identities and stereotypes.  The ‘Woman’ of my song is not just any one thing - she is multiple, shifting, growing - and she is so much more than we even know yet.  

4) It’s about Humanity and Human Rights
Feminism is the radical notion that women are human beings. - Cheris Kramarae
Ultimately, as I say to a man on the 468 bus who has just told me that male supremacy was designed by creation, there is no one on this earth more special than anyone else. We are all human - we live, we die, we breathe, we shit.  Women are daily being challenged over their most basic human rights  - to have their NO respected in intimate situations, to have their childhood protected, to give birth in dignity, to be safe in their own homes, to be educated, to have access to sanitation, to be fairly renumerated for their work.  This inhumanity is a form of insanity and we are all still in the asylum.  I appreciate that it’s as hard for men as it is for women to recover from this crazy illness of inequality.  The man on the 468 says I’ve made some good points and asks for my number. He is surprised when I say no.  As I get up to go he says the problem is that women give the responsibility to men to make the decisions in the home. I say that my mother made lots of decisions in my home and take my leave.  If I was Jane Eyre I might also have said to him:
I am no bird; and no net ensnares me: I am a free human being with an independent will. - Charlotte Brontë, Jane Eyre
Wishing you a Wonderful Woman’s Day