Weeknotes 7 — Taking Action

Week commencing 15th March

Posters in Madrid for 8M (International Women’s Day)

It’s so strange to read my weeknotes from last week in light of events over the weekend and the images emerging from the vigil at Clapham Common.

This week I have felt angry and helpless. So I did what I often do and revisited my 10 year plan — a jumble of thoughts started 3 years ago on the advice of a coach to help me capture the life I choose. Following a process she introduced me to and which I refer to in times of need I realised I needed to take some action. I feel like a bystander in a world which is moving in a direction I feel deeply uncomfortable with. Whilst I am small (in height not circumference) I can be mighty strong in my beliefs.

So, again in a break from my weeknotes format, here’s a list of actions I have taken this week:

  1. Been in touch with a political party I joined a short while ago to take on a more active volunteer role. I don’t feel I can share much more than that at the moment as I feel the boundaries between politics and work are difficult. It feels like time to be part of policy making if the majority of policies in place do not support women.
  2. Stopped reading the news — I suppose I’ve taken an action of inaction on that front
  3. Actively asked people I work with — mostly women — how they are processing events of the weekend and the broader context. This has been a humbling experience, I feel so lucky and grateful to work alongside such incredible women.
  4. Taken a community project I’m involved with in Madrid to the next level — it’s about starting a Toy Library as a way to reduce toy waste and its impact on the environment. It feels good to focus attention on something practical and positive.
  5. Had some difficult but critical conversations with my husband about women and safety. I amazed myself at how little I haven’t told him about my own experiences. I’ve known him since I was 19 -we’ve been through so much together and yet part of my habits are so ingrained that he just wasn’t aware. We were remembering that whilst at university I gave evidence about a sexual assault that happened to me about someone who assaulted another girl much more seriously. One of my university tutors (male, over 50) tried to talk me out of giving evidence, he said I would ruin the mans career. I gave the evidence, but I can’t believe I wasn’t more outraged at the time about the insinuation that a mans career is more important than a woman’s right to being safe and not assaulted. Madness.

I just can’t stop thinking about the idea that my daughter — who is 15 months- might have to march in future to campaign for the safety of women when she’s 30. If she does then things are truly broken.