Thank you. Thank you. Thank you for your amazing comments on my last two blog posts. You give me more hope, and I was already pretty damn hopeful. Thanks are especially due to all those men who sent me amazing messages of strength.
I already believed ‘not all men.’ I am blessed by the good fortune of having wonderful men in my life already. My husband, who tells me how proud he is of me every day. My son who is everything I could wish for and who will, I know, grow up to be the very best of men. My father who is somewhat bemused by the foul mouthed firebrand he has unleashed upon the world but who has never doubted me for a second. My ex-husband, who puts up with me hi-jacking his social media feeds to promote my latest cause with only a small shrug. My male friends who only slightly raise their eyebrows when I talk loudly about my period in the pub. And now you, and you, and you. Thank you.
And to all the women, all MY women. Well, I always knew you were the bomb. You rock my world. WE are legion and we will do this. Together.
So, what next?
There are so many things. So very many, but let’s start with an easy one.
Theresa May is meeting with Donald Trump in the next few days to discuss a trade deal with him. When asked about how she would deal with his misogyny on the Andrew Marr show on Sunday, she said that she thought that him having to meet with her, and knowing that she is a female is enough of a statement.
This is not good enough. Not by a country mile.
So we need to write to her. You can do it by post. Send your letters to: Theresa May, 10 Downing Street, SW1A 2AA.
If you are her constituent, you can send mail to her constituency office in Maidenhead. You will need to quote your full name and postcode for an acknowledgement and reply. The email address is on this link.
You can send a template postcard by clicking on this link and printing one out.
Or you can email her in her capacity as PM by following this link. There is a limit on the number of words, so you may want to send more than one. Your email will not be sent properly unless you click the email they send you to make sure it’s really you. If it isn’t in your in box, it may well be in your spam folder.
It might seem like nothing, but to many people the march seemed like nothing and now figures put us at over 5 million and making history. We have been plastered all over the news since Saturday. That’s not nothing.
If it helps, imagine a flurry of letters akin to Mr. Dursley being bombarded by Harry Potter’s Hogwarts letters. That’s the sort of effect we’re looking for. Your letter will count. But only if you send it.
For those of you who are struggling with what to put may I suggest a variation on what I sent? You do not have to use the text. You can, I am sure, think of a million things to say, but sometimes it helps to have a starting point.
Dear Prime Minister
On Saturday, over five million people around the globe marched against Donald Trump and FOR women’s equality. One hundred thousand of those marchers were in London. They were part of one of the biggest protest marches in history. Not just women, but all genders, ages, races and creeds. They came out in force, they made their voices heard and they motivated themselves to do something, and keep on doing something. These are your potential voters. These are the people I would respectfully suggest, you need to start listening to.
You will meet Donald Trump in the next few days, to talk about potential trade deals with the USA. Your stance on Brexit has put us in a position where we need those deals, but I would ask you if we need them at the expense of our dignity, our humanity and our basic manners?
When asked on the Andrew Marr show at the weekend if you would challenge him over his behaviour towards women you, in so many words, said that it was enough that Trump would have to deal with you, because you are a woman. This, in my opinion is a shameful cop out. Angela Merkel is a woman, arguably a more powerful woman than you. Nicola Sturgeon is a woman, and the leader of a country, like you. They have already managed to speak out, respectfully and with dignity, over Trump’s treatment of women.
You said nothing, and judging by your answer on Sunday, you will continue to do so. You will say, no doubt, that you are not in a position to jeopardise such an important trade deal with such a huge power. I would respectfully suggest that as a seasoned politician you could speak out, and broker a deal. Furthermore, I would like your assurance that when you do broker that deal, that it is one which honours and respects women’s contribution to the workforce of this country and gives them the economic room to grow in parity with men.
Yesterday I was told that I should not complain about my lot, because after all ‘you’ve got a woman prime minister to speak for you.’ Yet you do not. You remain silent. You push through social care bills that penalise women as the main carers in families. Your plans for the NHS push sick people back into the community with inadequate provision for treatment, and women will pick up the slack. Your maternity leave and child care provision push women into part time, zero hours contracts to fit around their children. Your cuts shut down valuable refuges for victims of domestic violence. Your cuts to legal aid mean vulnerable women face their abusers in court. You do nothing to prosecute those who still maintain a gender pay gap, despite legislation having been on the books for over forty years.
And now you choose to turn a blind eye to misogyny personified in the shape of the leader of the Western World when you are one of the few people who could challenge it. If you are already doing this, what does that say about you as a negotiator? It gives me no confidence that you will come away from this negotiation with anything but the scraps from a rich man’s table. How will that feed us all, spiritually, emotionally, economically? Particularly women. We make up over 50% of the population of this country and we are already making do with scraps. How many of Donald’s meagre crumbs are we going to be allowed to have in the future, when the one woman who could speak for us remains purse lipped?
You keep using patriotic buzz words to describe the Britain of the future, the Britain you want to lead. You hark back to our glory days, our greatness, our patriotism. You want a Britain to be proud of. Well, we want a leader we are not ashamed of. You are our figurehead and you as a woman are letting us all down.
A few weeks ago you were criticised over the cost of your leather trousers. Me, I don’t care what you wear. I think women should be allowed the freedom men get to wear exactly what they want, and be criticised or lauded for their policies and actions. 52% of us would like that to be a reality for you.
This may seem like an aside, but I’d like to finish by mentioning that there was one time when I got angry about your clothing. It was when you wore a t-shirt that said ‘This is what a feminist looks like.’
If you are what a feminist looks like, then please stand up to Trump on behalf of all of us.