Thursday, July 27, 2017

Challenge unaccepted

At some point in your life you probably say, "It's not me, it's you."

At another point in your life, you might say, "It's not me, it's them."

Not everyone shares the same opinions as yourself, it's part of the rich tapestry of life.

This is life
I consider myself to be open to change. Change in opinions, attitudes, behaviour, that just me, not "them"? It would seem to be. Indeed, it would seem that my statement of "I consider myself to be open to change" is in fact another one of those opinions on which not everyone happens to agree.

There have been some experiences in recent times that I'd rather not have happened, interactions with some that lead to angst, anger, resentment and a feeling that I had disappointed people, not just because I presented a differing opinion, but because it was seen as an offensive opinion and taken as a personal attack on those involved. That's a hard place to come back from, in fact it's impossible. Not because you can't change your mind on the opinion given, but because an immovable belief has been placed in the other person's head as to the type of person you are.

It doesn't matter what you say, what you do, what ends you go to to explain or apologise or clarify or point out that what you meant was not actually what was said.

This happened a few years ago and the person in question took great offence at something said, seemingly ignoring the manner, the context, the "quote" aspect of it. Friendship damaged, Michael labelled, end of discussion, end of friendship. Then a bit of public online abuse followed.

Was it deserved? Yes. The person dishing it out believed that 100%
Personally, however, I don't believe it was warranted at all, but then...

I guess I would...
So anyway, I got past all that business, believing that the other person went a bit far, didn't actually hear what I was saying or why and then decided it was a good point to jump off the friendship. Perhaps it was silly of me to think that it was all about this single issue.

And now I realise it probably wasn't about a single issue at all! Perhaps I am seen by others as one of those people who always makes comments that they kind of put up with, but at some stage they think, "god, how can one person be so (insert adjective here)..."

Annoying? Offensive? Vulgar?

But it isn't actually even that, it's how I respond to issues. I get told I'm doing something unpleasant or rude or offensive, and my response is "hey hold on, I didn't mean that, I meant it this way", and then the issue is no longer about the topic, it's about my inability to accept the criticism or the "being called out on shit".

We are familiar with the Backfire Effect, the habit of people who when shown facts that don't align with their own beliefs, they hold on to them stronger than ever before. A seemingly foolish response to being shown the reality of an issue or situation. It would seem I have my own version of that, not holding on to an out-dated or incorrect opinion, but a reaction that makes it seem like I am not open to such a discussion or am too busy professing my own rightness.

Keep in mind, I PERSONALLY think I'm okay at being called out on shit. If I say something wrong and someone is upset, I will own up to it. But maybe that's only if I can empathise with it? Or perhaps if it is so blatant that I think "Oh god, that did sound awful".

I have said of myself, I'm rude because I talk over everyone. It's a personal habit I have been breaking, not because of it in itself, but because it was misaligned with being sexist. Talking over women is sexist, talking over everyone is rude. I am rude.

I am rude.

I am rude.

No excuses, I am a rude person.

I am working on it and it was prompted by the accusation of sexism. An accusation I strenuously denied and continue to do so. An accusation that helped form an opinion of me, an incorrect one, but one used to support other opinions. Mostly negative. A negative view of me which my actions as described previously, only serve to support.

Rude. Sexist. Racist. Unable to be criticised, unable to see how offensive he is.

Well, shit.

I thought I'd been doing okay. I thought I was a nice person, someone with whom others enjoyed company and shenanigans. And sure, I'm told "it's only a few people who say this", but still...

I also am now in a position where to defend myself serves no purpose, the opinions are out there.

My opinions or responses are no longer required to further a conversation with or without me. They are "known"...assumed.

I remember people saying in the past, "Michael, I'm interested in your opinion on....", but not anymore. Nobody needs to ask my opinion. It's a known quantity. I'm a 43 year old, privileged white male. An over-opinionated, privileged white male who hasn't had to struggle in his life, has had everything handed to him if he needed it, has the luxury of ignorance having never experienced hardship, abuse or unemployment, who never struggled day to day, a non-feminist who doesn't get the fight women have had in order to get seen as something other than a sex object, their fight for equality, their suffering at the hands or rather mouth of someone like me, whose language offends, puts down, holds back, perpetuates the sexist attitudes of other males, one who contributes to the rape culture of our society. If you're not with me, you're part of the problem, and I'm clearly not with them...

Don't even start on my arrogance, in denying all that above, in assuming I understand things I couldn't possibly understand because of my privilege. Ignorance of all around me because of this privilege.

Look at his fluffy chin...wait, sexist!
I have stopped giving my opinion to people about anything that matters in the world, not because I don't have them, but because I have no desire to share them. Sure, I'll poke at Trump, I'll poke at the Australian Government if they do something I find unpleasant, but I'm not giving those opinions to friends or acquaintances. My family knows them, they don't need to hear them.

But the main reason I don't share them is because I have no wish to upset people. Not from my opinion, or my habit of presenting the other side so that people can be challenged in their views, but because it is ruining who I am. It is ruining who I am in the eyes of others.

Your toddler opens a cupboard door and wrecks the crockery - you lock the door.
Your cat knocks over the cup on the bench - you move the cups off the bench.
Your friends get upset or disappointed in your views - you stop giving them.
You find yourself getting defensive over things that don't matter - stop.

When your closest friends refuse to challenge you on things you say, you are the one at fault. "That's just Michael" isn't good enough. Michael is being shit. Michael needs to stop being shit. Michael is stopping being shit.

My being hurt at someone telling me how they deal with me isn't them being poor. It isn't them being mean or nasty. It is me creating a feeling that they can't approach me. That's on me.

To get things on the record, I guess I could list some of my opinions as a kind of reference. Just so the reader is clear when they're making their assumptions.

- I am a leftie, but I accept nobody thinks they are doing the wrong thing in Parliament.
- I am an atheist, but I accept religion works for some people. I think most religions are nuts however and those who blindly follow without questioning are missing something in their life that has drawn them to it. Or, you know, family tradition.
- I find many feminists aggressive. I don't like it. I don't like being treated like the enemy, I don't like being painted as a sexist and I certainly don't like being talked to like an idiot.
- I don't care that there is a female 13th Doctor. I can see the positives of course, but then I could see the positives in a male 13th Doctor. I had a personal preference for a male, but that's passed and it wasn't strong enough for me to care that it wasn't. Assuming anything else in that opinion is wrong.

Other than those, here are some random things I have changed my opinion on in recent times.

- I no longer support the death penalty. As hard as that is at times, I look at the Martin Bryant's of the world or Ted Bundy's and think, they deserve/d to die. But not now. Not anymore. And given where I came from, this was a big decision.
-  I used to dislike people drinking alcohol because it made them do stupid things. This was based on a hangup from 25 years ago. I now don't care.
- I have let go of angers from the past because it only affects one person. Not the person I was angry with. Holding onto negative feelings for no good reason is a negative. I wish to fill my life with positives.

I don't promote this blog anymore, I don't announce my posts and I don't particularly care.

Thursday, June 29, 2017

Whoniverse? Myniverse?

I haven't really posted much here in 2017, mainly because I've not really felt any desire to share my innermost thoughts of ponderings...wonderings if you will. My Doctor Who post was fun, an opinion where nobody would have an issue if it was right or wrong.

The steps used to reach a conclusion were not plentiful, but a conclusion that seemed to make sense was established. The more I read or saw, the more weight it gave to my belief of what was going to happen or occur. Yet, I was wrong. Not just a little bit wrong, but wildly and completely wrong.
So? My theory was still better!

But what did I say? "I liked my theory better, they should have done that. What a disappointment the actual conclusion to the issue was..." Other people agreed, "Hey, that would have been better", "I prefer your version".

What happened didn't live up to my expectation or indeed some other people's expectations. But that was entirely on me. It wasn't the writer's fault. I'm not going to say "Well, Moffat sucks cos he didn't do what I suggested and my idea of what's right is better than his."

Just pushing up my glasses...oh, I have none....

Steven Moffat can do what he likes, I can agree or disagree sure, but, he sucks? He did the wrong thing? He's not as good of a story teller as me?

How arrogant would I be if I thought that because something didn't go the way I had imagined it or didn't follow the rules that I create for myself, that it was somehow inferior to my own vision? Because I had built up an idea of something, based on my own beliefs, that when it didn't fit into that narrow world view of things, that it must therefore be wrong or suck.

I've been accused of being judgemental in the past, probably the recent past, in fact, yesterday (I'm joking), but I think when I apply these sorts of analyses to myself, I have every right to be judgemental...of myself.

I liked my theory, it was a good one, entertaining and would have had a bit of a "oh wow" element to it. A lovely nod to Doctor Who of old. However, that's what fan fiction is...your vision, your fanboy jollies written down on a bit of paper, or indeed a computer. I'm sure I could write Doctor Who fan fiction, I've watched enough of it over my 43 years to know the Whoniverse if you will, but that's irrelevant to all this.

Tell us what to do Michael, we're lost without you...oh, and exterminate etc!

I guess my ramblings are all about other people's expectations on others. We each have them, whether it be on elected politicians, sports men and women, those in a position of authority based on their religious beliefs, teachers, the guy down at the shop who saw you had your indicator on to turn into that car park but looked like he was going to drive into it anyway, your friends...your Doctor Who show runner.

There comes a point when you need to realise that you can control a small part of your world, make decisions on what sauce to buy, which football team to support, where to go for the weekend, and cannot control....everything else! You don't always have to be happy about it, but you can control that too. Think of it as grasping a bit of control from a situation that is out of your control.

Being controlling, or at least having a sook when you don't have it, isn't going to leave anyone happy. Doctor Who isn't written by me, it's watched by me. I can express my feelings with respect to an episode any way I wish, but it shouldn't be to say "well, you suck cos you think differently", that's actually immature and pointless.

I like Star Wars, others don't. I may say "What! You don't like Star Wars!?" but, I actually don't care one way or the other. It makes me happy. The End.

Even Freddie Mercury really liked Star Wars! (he lied in the song)

It's good to get along with others, so I'm told 👍but I don't think this includes getting annoyed when they don't live up to the expectations you push onto them, whether it be Mr Moffat or not (who I'm unlikely to meet, let alone get along with), or friends or family. Sure, wipe your feet when you walk into a building or a home, that's common courtesy, but expecting people to do a highland jig when they come to your house, then speak with a Dutch accent on every 3rd word, that's a bit far.

Dammit, now I have Paul McCartney in my ear...duhh duhh duh, duhh duhh duh, duduh...
As with all my posts, I started somewhere and drifted off course faster than Tony Bullimore.

Perhaps I will write my Doctor Who story, just for the sake of proving to myself that I can do it. Not cos it's better, just cos it's different.

Monday, May 15, 2017

Doctor Who Theory - Just puttin' it out there...

Now I could be wrong, in fact, I'm probably wrong, but if I don't put this down, I'll never be able to convince anyone that I was right if in fact I turn out to be right...which I rarely do or am.

Who's behind door number one?

The running tease throughout this season has been the question of who's in the vault? Well my cunning theory works on that question by doing one simply thing.

Losing the question mark!

That's right, I think the Doctor himself is in the vault. But not just any Doctor...this guy!

Wait, I'm dead...
Well, maybe not that guy, but THIS guy!

I'm not dead!
That's right! The Doctor is protecting himself, and here's why this makes sense.

David Bradley was supposedly seen at the studios, let's say that's true cos it helps my theory.

So...reasons for Doctor #1 being in the vault.

- Current Doctor is protecting him, not protecting people FROM him. The clue to that is that he was able to go inside and have dinner with him. If he did that to the Master, he'd get out, or Missy, she'd get out!
- Whoever is inside is grumpy. Doctor #1 was a grumpy sod, didn't like people or children. This is why he played happy music to the revelation that some kids had been eaten.
- The Capaldi Doctor was said to have been teaching there for over 50 years...first Doctor was in London originally in 1963....54 years ago.

Why is he protecting him?

Well, more speculation would be that the Master or Missy is out to get him. I mean really, the Doctor keeps thwarting his/her efforts and what better way to try and get rid of the Doctor than to go back to his original incarnation and kill him off.

The Master can't go back to Gallifrey cos he'd be captured or locked up, so he has to wait until the Doctor leaves. And we've seen him leave, with Susan. He steals the TARDIS and legs it (TARDIS legs it) to Earth.

Fifty something years ago!

So what of the little loophole...where's Susan?

I'm up to something...
The next part of my theory is...

When Capaldi Doctor nabs his original self, he wasn't travelling alone, he had Susan with him. So this means he would have to deal with Susan as well. Capaldi is uncaring at times, but he isn't about to lock Susan away with Doctor 1 for 50 years. But he would still have to protect her, keep her safe and keep and eye on her.


Your theory sucks!
No it doesn't Bill, and here's why.

Why would the Doctor care about Bill? He summoned her!
She came along to his classes, despite being the chip girl. Sure, she's following some other girl to the class, but she's gone along to HIS class.

In the Landlord episode, she kept calling him Grandfather. There is a picture of Susan on the desk. We haven't cared about Susan, HE hasn't cared about Susan for 50 years! So why the photo on the desk now? He also dodged a question about regeneration when talking to her.

What if SHE is a regenerated Susan with her memory locked in one of those watch thingies? Not just for her OWN protection, but for the protection of Doctor 1??

I don't remember owning a watch...

It would also explain why the Capaldi Doctor went to the trouble of getting the photos for Bill of her dead mother. He's tried to look after her, get her adopted out or whatever, but the mother has died and he's giving her some happy memories.

So what do you think? Not a bad theory?

Of course the questions come...but Doctor 1 wasn't in a vault 50 years ago...that's true, but it's Doctor Who...what is true in one episode may not matter. Lots changes, 50th anniversary? War Doctor retrofitted into the timeline?

Timey Wimey!

Addition #1 - Courtesy of Aaron. When the Doctor goes to wipe Bill's mind, she knows what he is trying to do and doesn't let him do it.

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

The secret of success...or should that be, to success?

How do you gauge success?

Not 'you' in general, youse...I mean, you as an individual reading this blog post, and remember, you may actually be the individual reading this blog post.

I think I'm reasonably hard on myself when it comes to deciding on success.

As a kid, I wanted to be a palaeontologist. Of course I didn't call it that, I called it "dinosaur person".
I'm not.

Then, as a teenager, I decided I wanted to work in an area that helped study, research, and be generally a conservationy type person for birds.
I'm not.

Then I decided in late high school that I was fascinated by crime and forensics and wanted to get into forensic medicine in order to help catch bad people.
I didn't.

I applied for a course at uni and missed out, but got my 4th choice.
I completed it, failed some stuff but persisted, got my Masters, did a PhD...mostly, and then got a job in the field...and worked in it for four years.
I don't now.

Much like how the tv series MASH ran three times as long as the actual Korean War, I spent over 9 years learning to be an expert in Remote Sensing and Satellite Imagery, and in my post-University working career, spent probably a grand total of zero days working with satellite images.

My PhD was 3D mapping the seafloor using sub-metre resolution satellite imagery from a brand spankin' new satellite called IKONIS. It was to be a ground-breaking research into seabed mapping that would unmix the water column via the side-looking/tilting capabilities of the IKONOS sensors. The result of which would have been the understanding of what you were looking at in a satellite image of shallow water. It was ace, it was exciting, it was...

Oh IKONIS, you so sexy!
So all in all, I didn't do what I had planned, but I have some sexy letters after my name.
Which I don't use.

But all this is very personal, it looks at success with respect to just my own personal achievements not including anyone else, JUST ME, and harsh or not, I am not overly pleased with my achievements.

Maybe I'm just being hard on myself, or maybe in my muddled up plan for myself, I never actually set any goals and so cannot reach them. That feels more likely.

My best outcomes came when I planned and plotted. Like a good story, doing your planning is crucial, and I don't think I have done that more than a handful of times.

When I have an objective, I succeed. Even if I struggle or fail to reach it, I've tried and get at least some sense of achievement. Of course failure just spurs me on, it was why I went on to do my postgraduate studies in the first place, to prove to myself and others that I was capable of it all.

Shut up Yoda!
So what now?

How to succeed?

It's time to set some goals, short term, medium term and long term.

Yoda can get stuffed, cos I'm going to try to reach them, I'm going to set stupid goals too, ones that have multiple steps and stages, require sacrifices and skills, research and study, regular practice and revisiting.

I will try be the success I once thought I could be.

Thursday, May 26, 2016


A discussion I had with a guy from Red Energy yesterday prompted me to think about what makes me feel old, or if in fact, I do.

He asked for my date of birth and when I said 1974 I suddenly thought...shit, that's not the recent past any more.

The fashions have hardly changed at all!

Those of you who know me know I rarely enjoy acting my age, because part of feeling young and being young is hanging on to that youthful fun streak that you had as a, well yeah, a youth.

The guy on the phone was in his twenties, and after telling me that "nearly 42 isn't bad", I said "yeah, but you know what, when I was your age...", and suddenly the rest of that sentence doesn't matter. Not a bit, not even a little bit.

It's one thing to say that to your 10 year old, but to a 25 year old man on the phone?

Screw that!

"When I was your age..." IS what older people say! It's what parents say, but not just regular parents, parents of people who are also parents themselves (no offence to Mum who probably reads this). It's what you say when you are about to impart some sort of wisdom or 'higher knowledge or experience' onto someone who probably isn't going to listen.

So what about physical signs of ageing?

No idea

Well I've been lucky, cos the main thing that happens to men when they get older, that being, losing your hair, started when I was in my early to mid twenties, so I simply don't associate it with being old, I associate it with dodgy genetics. Besides, I've kind of reached a stalemate with my hair. It isn't falling out any more, partly cos there's not enough left to make an impact and partly cos, well, really, the main bit is already gone! You just don't notice anymore.

Who IS your hairdresser, I must know!?

So I've not felt old because of my hair, even the change in my orange beard to a mottled orange/blonde/white beard. There's still orange in there dammit.

But I looked in the mirror the other week when washing my hands and I thought "heehee, I have smile wrinkles....wait, I'm not fucking smiling!" and that was it. No hair be damned, I have some permanent wrinkles and I wasn't ready for their arrival!

I don't think of myself of my friends as being old, that's right, not mentally I still think of myself as in my 20s. I'm not as quick as I used to be, the weight of the world has dulled my spirits and I am frequently tired, but internally I still feel young.

Red Energy guy (Ricardo) chuckled when I said I was going to party like it was 1999, because he was eight, and he can get stuffed!

And yes, I changed my frickin gas over to them!

Remember my friends, you're all still young looking and lovely.

Just keep your mind young, because once that ages, there's no going back.

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Funny is in the eye of the beholder

Comedy and humour are hard to describe, so I won't try.

They are hugely subjective and even within groups that have a following, be it a Stand-Up Comedian or a tv series, the views can change very quickly as to whether something continues to be funny over time or even within a specific episode or routine.

Well that went down badly...
Some comedy has dated, whilst some remains as funny today as when it first appeared, however, even that is subjective. It's all very much up in the air.

As my brother Pat would say, "only 40% of that is true, and even then, that's only 10% the case,"

Oh Pat, you card (Not really Pat)
So back to comedy and funninessness.

For most people, there are some hard and fast rules, those being things like not offending someone, not offending someone's beliefs, not offending someone's know, generally not being offensive. However, these are also relatively new rules and also amazingly subjective.

I will, however, be saying 'however' a lot in all this, because like all rules, there are exceptions.

However, not always.


It's pretty much the case that in the year 2016 (apologies if you're reading this not in 2016, especially if you're reading it earlier), you simply cannot be racist or sexist. It's all about the ists in the current millennium. Comedy tried its guts out in the 90s to be politically correct, but even in calling 'not being racist and sexist' "politically correct", they kind of missed the point.

Let's stroll back to the 60s and 70s for a moment and check on Mr Benny Hill.

Here are a selection of pictures for you to look at and choose which one offends you most.

I used to like Benny Hill. His songs were clever, his comedy was clever, his timing was clever, and I didn't actually think that what I'm looking at in the above images, was offensive to anyone, because I was young and wasn't part of any of the groups being laughed at. 

Benny dropped out of favour in the 1980s when a different kind of TV comedy came along. The Benny Hill Show is now taboo in the UK, probably the US and probably here too, because there are simply too many people offended by the -ist comedy. 

One of the most famous people to poo-poo Mr Hill is another clever comedian, Ben Elton who came out in 1987 to question the sexist nature of Hill's comedy. Elton claimed that Hill's comedy almost incited a 'rape culture' in the UK.

Much better comedy
Elton is responsible for such comedies as Blackadder 2-4, The Young Ones, Filthy Rich & Catflap. Each very clever and favourites of mine, not filled with sexism, but interestingly, quite rife with violence. I guess that's more acceptable.

What about racism?

Racism in comedy largely died in the 1970s.

Can you imagine 'Love thy Neighbour' being shown today? 'Kingswood Country' tried a comeback, but you know, it's was...what's the word...oh yes, shit. 

Go on, say nignog again, I fucking dare you!
Whether a parody or a comedy, being racist just stopped being funny to the general populations of the world when they realised that it was RACIST! It didn't matter if the show was taking the piss and painting Eddie here as a bigot. It didn't matter that Bill could hold his own, the nature of the show was effectively to lampoon a serious issue. It worked then...probably if you were white.

Making fun of people because of their race or gender just isn't funny now, and probably wasn't even funny then!

Be warned - offensive jokes below, used as examples.

When I was in school in the 80s *SIGH*, these were the acceptable jokes in the school yard.

- How do you kill a blonde? Put a scratch and sniff at the bottom of the swimming pool.
- How many black men does it take to pave a footpath? It depends how thin you slice them.
- What's the worst thing about vegetable soup? Getting the wheelchair in the blender.

As a kid, you laughed.
As an adult, you think "holy shit, those are offensive!"

Now what is the point of this blog post?

Good question Special Agent Reyes

The times, they are a changin'. Would make a good song wouldn't it.

Comedy, like life, like everything these days, is a big fucking gelatinous blob of fluidity, changing, adjusting, doing what all blobs do...blob about a bit. No set answer, no set shape, just a ruddy great blob.

So what fits inside the blob? What's "okay"?

Well, making jokes about ethnic groups or women are right out, minority groups too, because really, why would you wish to lampoon those who are already in a position of disadvantage? And not even just disadvantage, but a group that is already under pressure from every day life? That's just not pleasant.

Stop me when I go too far...

Don't joke about race, sex, religion, disability (possibly slots into religion - see, I can't help myself, as I'm told), age, size, health, financial disadvantage, physical appearance, something someone can't do well, stereotypes, lifestyle choices, sexual orientation, seriously, the list could go on.

I understand that the nature of acceptable comedy is changeable...remember the blob from before? What's funny today may not be funny tomorrow, or even later today.

But please, do yourself a favour, for the sake of the world, don't make everything taboo.

Not everything is funny, but not everything is beyond humour.

I absolutely guarantee that something you find acceptable, be it comedy or not, someone else will find unacceptable.

Perhaps we need to stop expecting society to slot into our own little idea of how people should behave and or laugh at, and accept that people are all different. What I think, isn't what everyone else thinks, what I laugh at, isn't what everyone else laughs at...and that's okay.

If everyone was like me, the world wouldn't be a better place, but the same goes for you.

Thursday, May 12, 2016

The 1%

Last night I had the pleasure of attending a talk by Clementine Ford, columnist, journalist, feminist, several other -ists I'm sure, but you get the idea.

The topic of discussion, or at least the presentation itself, was largely focussed on the appalling messages sent to her by men, supposedly in reaction to articles she has written or views she has expressed about, well, I'm sure pretty much anything.

Clementine's talk was entitled 'Hate Male'.

Oh, Tobey!
Those of you familiar with Clementine's Twitter or Facebook (and instagram, but I rarely use that) would know exactly the kind of hate-filled, vile messages sent to her, and I assure you, hearing her read them out in person actually makes it worse. There are an awful lot of extremely offensive males out there who seemingly think it is quite okay to verbally abuse women, as well as wishing for them to be raped and even killed...and to think it's all okay!

I won't attempt to give examples, you really need to see/hear them for yourself to get a proper grasp on just how terrible they are, and couple this with the manner in which Clementine has managed to regain the control over these people, both in her responses and her non-responses, nothing I say here will come close to representing it sufficiently.

So what about my place in the room?

The screen was bright actually, I may have looked like this
I was certainly in the 1%, it was a female audience, although I saw another guy at the end.
The presentation was no doubt aimed to help empower women, the show Clementine's approach to dealing with the shit thrown her way, however, that doesn't mean it was for women.

I am a follower of Clementine, I know what her messages are and the ways she presents them, and I quite like it. It cuts through the crap and tells it how it is, but to assume it is just a message for women is incorrect.

When our group (five women and me) sat around at dinner after the talk to discuss it, one of them commented on how it was good that I was there, quickly followed by others explaining why their husbands weren't there. Despite it not being a competition, it made me a little uncomfortable that it had briefly become a "oh, my husband would have come, but he's looking after the kids" situation. Nobody thinks less of males for not attending such a presentation. We all have other things on, responsibilities, useful and considered things to focus on instead. These other men are part of the 1% of males who treat women with respect, who actually are good and decent people.

At one stage in the presentation Clementine noted that there were a few men in the crowd and pointed out that, and yes she was making the statistic up but you get the idea, that she was talking to 99% of men and that if you were in the room, you probably weren't actually the problem.

But I was there, and I am part of the problem. Sure, not a huge part, not a terrible and appalling person, not the sort of person you would leave off a guest list (well, not for that reason anyway), but I am part of the problem.

I have many habits that some take personally as a woman, despite them being actually personally about ME. I talk over people, I interrupt, I just talk in general too much, but despite my constant attempts to assure people that it's just cos I'm rude and loud, not sexist and belittling, I don't think that really matters.

I didn't feel intimidated last night being in such a position, I did feel a little conspicuous, but I sat on the end of my row, three from the front and was in an excellent position to watch and learn.

And I did.

I am part of the 1%.

But the 1% is still part of the 100%.

I know the majority of my friends don't believe I am the problem, But much like the zombie hordes from World War Z, in order for someone to get to the top of the sexist or misogynistic tower, they have to be able to climb on the backs of others.

If you don't already follow Clementine, here are some links.
Clementine on Twitter
Clementine on Facebook