Tag Archive | Women

Fifty shades of abuse?

 

 

 

I heard today a UK charity called for people to hand over their copies of Fifty Shades of Grey so they can be burnt in a huge bonfire.

 

While I don’t like the idea of burning books or any forms of extremism and intolerance (remember the Nazis?)

 

"North Hampton is a Domestic violence fre...

“North Hampton is a Domestic violence free-zone” (Massachussetts) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

, I can see their point. I like to listen to both sides. That said, I’m really uncomfortable with the idea. Burning books, burning flags? No. What will this achieve?

 

 

 

One can only hope this is done to shock in hope of garnering publicity for the charity and highlight what victims of domestic violence go through. I can also understand this charity’s frustration as authorities cut down on the services they provide for these victims. Not so long ago some of these women were told by their local authorities to go and sleep in the Occupy movement tents because of a lack of hostels.

 

Really? What a ridiculous suggestion!

 

 

 

When I was asked, as an author, for my views on the Fifty Shades phenomenon, I declined to comment, pointing out I hadn’t read them. No problem, they said, we’ll send you a copy right away. Ah thanks, not my type of book was my reply.

 

I have toyed with the idea of reading them since everywhere you look, someone is talking about it. Comments, reviews, articles in newspapers, you can’t escape the wildfire.

 

The more I read, the less I was inclined to read these books, even though I enjoy reading different genres and have at times been nicely surprised. It’s just not for me and that’s fine.

 

 

 

The fantasy of the young virgin being taken in charge by a millionaire is nothing new, but I baulk at the idea of reading a novel where someone enjoys inflicting pain. Oh, but he has a tormented past. Hmm, so what? Many more have had a difficult start in life, no reason to turn on others, on the contrary. There is a time when people have to grow up and make their own choices.

 

While victims can find solace and healing with others, this sounds a bit extreme. Most of the healing has to start from within. Imagine if all of us who had a difficult childhood did this? In reality, you can’t just change people, not unless they want to.

 

Some will say this is a novel, no harm done. Perhaps, but will it do anything to help change attitudes about rape and violence?

 

Each to their own, but let’s not forget the vulnerable, the victims. While everybody are making jokes, they’re still suffering.

 

 

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Woman and writer on the Verge

I’m a woman on the verge

Women on the Verge is a wonderful community of women, not afraid to speak their minds, coming from all walks of life and spread over the world. All wonderful women with stories to tell, experiences to share and most of all very supportive of each other.

It is an honour to be part of this wonderful community. I’d never joined one before but I’m glad I was introduced to WOTV. Wish I had more time to chat to all of them and in particular  Ana, it’s been a funny year, so much happening !I created my first post on their site, never realising how much I’d love it and how liberating it would be.

I’ve always found writing a good way to exorcise pain. As a novelist I write fiction, although there’s a little piece in me in everything I write and I don’t mean the blood, sweat and tears…Writing blogs posts on WOTV prompted me to start my own blog. Sharing experiences and pain lightened my soul and it’s amazing the response you get when you opened to people.

I’ve often been in tears because of it. Even if you only help one person by writing about abuse, heartache, grief… it’s a blessing. We all have a voice and experiences to share, it’s a powerful and amazing way to help each others.Long live women on the verge!
So go have a look :

http://www.womenontheverge.net/

This is a repost as Elle is not well. Thank you for all the good wishes.
Steffi
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Chick lit vs Women’s fiction

Chick lit is dead”

“Should we mourn the end of chick-lit?”

The headlines keep coming along with the stereotypes.

Exactly what is chick lit?

No, you don’t have to spell it out to me but do we need this term?

Many authors have been labelled as “chick lit” just because they are women.

Does it matter?

I suppose it depends how you view yourself.

I for one do not like stereotypes. I write women’s fiction, i.e. stories that will mainly appeal to women. Still, it doesn’t mean men don’t like reading my stories.

Many women authors have been blighted by “pink covers” or ones adorned by stilettos and such. This reflects a lack of imagination from publishing houses. Let’s not forget many authors have no say when it comes to choosing the artwork which is meant to sell their books.

Here’s an article I read in the Guardian 

http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2011/oct/02/death-of-chick-lit-debate

And here is the comment I left:

As I keep saying women’s fiction does not equal chick lit.
Let people read what they want without attaching patronising labels.

I’m glad to report I write women’s fiction and no pink cover is associated to my name.
Unfortunately authors do not always have a say when it comes to their book covers.
We can try and make our voices heard though.

Let’s focus on writing good stories, ones readers want to read and let’s get rid of stereotypes.

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Would somebody explain?

the reasons for all this nastiness?

People belittling others, why?

Would somebody explain why women are supposed to have no sins, be better behaved than saints in order to make a complaint?

I’m talking in general. Pity those who have been abused for if they do want justice they will go through another hell, having to defend their own reputations and behaviour.

To all who are quick to judge, have you never lied? People who have never suffered abuse cannot begin to understand.

I do not know the ins and outs of various cases. All I can say is I feel compassion for all victims.

Express yourself

Writing, blogging and … marketing?

Until recently I never saw my blog as part of a marketing process. Shock Horror!  I created a blog to express myself, because I love writing. Then my editor said, ‘Why aren’t you doing this and …’ Blah Blah Blah

I’ve always written posts because I wanted to, I’m very reactive and instinctive. I see something in the news and bang, I just have to add my piece. I love writing about everything and anything.

Which identity should you wear as a blogger?

Your own, of course. I stay true to myself and form my own opinions. Society likes to fit us into neat little boxes, I like to merge in between. I don’t belong to cliques.

So, I am a Mummy blogger, I do blog about parenting and my kids, some of the time. I react to news and events, especially those concerning women. I write about life as it twists over time, and of course, I am an author so I blog about writing, and books.

Is that wrong? Will I stop?

I also blog on Women on the Verge, where I feel free to express any views I like. I suppose I went through a phase where I felt restricted on my own blog as various people said maybe I shouldn’t be so outspoken, that I should see my blog as a way to market myself. Two words I struggle with. Yes, I know… I know…

That’s not me, so I went quiet for a bit. I’m crazy busy as it is, so I do tend to have seemingly quiet moments. I also have my private moments, when I need to retreat for a while.

So, I hope you enjoy reading my ramblings. Lovely to read your comments, thank you for your time.

Why have a blog if we cannot express ourselves?

This post was inspired by reading Kirsten Lamb’s post:

http://warriorwriters.wordpress.com/2011/06/15/more-sacred-cow-tipping-common-blogging-misconceptions/

PS I’m not a Madonna fan, just one of these crazy people who has a song bursting in their heads in response to anything.

Praise VS Naipaul

Let’s all bow down to VS Naipaul.

No, really? Feeling this superior must be divine.

Oh, I’m sorry. I’m a woman. I have feelings. I’m sentimental.

I’m glad we are ‘different’, very glad.

So we should be, and we should embrace, celebrate those differences. Do we want to live in a world made of clones? Do we want to read books all in a similar style?

How can a person be so pompous and so arrogant?

VS Naipaul finds no woman writer his literary match – not even Jane Austen

Nobel laureate says there is no female author whom he considers his equal.”

Literary critic Helen Brown described them as “arrogant, attention-seeking”.He should heed the words of George Eliot – a female writer – whose works have had a far more profound impact on world culture than his.”

Also from the Guardian:

Well, it was fun while it lasted. After 15 years, novelists Paul Theroux and VS Naipaul have finally ended their bookish bust-up, with a little help from Ian McEwan. Friends for three decades, the pair fell out in the mid-90s after the Trinidadian sold off one of Theroux’s books – personally dedicated to Naipaul – for $1,500. Theroux responded with a memoir of their friendship, Sir Vidia’s Shadow, which labelled Naipaul a racist, an egoist and a mercenary.

Life and the universe

A while ago, I was asked to come up with some personal quotes. I’d like to share them with you. Many have been taken from various posts I have written and magazine articles.

Hope you will enjoy my “philosophy”!

  • We do not have to suffer our lives or wait for some miracle to happen so let’s embrace life. Even on the darkest of days, there is always something to be grateful about, some small mercy.
  • Learn from your past, whether good or bad and then move on!
  • This madness possessing me, the one that stops me in my tracks, forcing me to write, so compulsive and obsessive.
  • As a young child I believed and hoped, it made me a survivor.We are free to survive our lives and to live them to the fullest.Given time and hope, it is amazing what you can accomplish.
  • Writing a blog, I find is an excellent way to let out the torrent of thoughts and ideas raging in my head.
  • Feminism means different things to people.For me,it just means respecting women as much as men and thus giving women the same rights and opportunities as men.
  • What I have learned that it is ok to be different,we are not clones after all! We are all different ,some of us just a little more than others.
  • I explain to my children that life is a long endless cycle.Many things may happen,little and not so little tragedies but sooner or later there will be rejoicing again.It’s the circle of life.
  • The more you learn , the more you realise how much more there is to know.How exciting it is to be on a perpetual voyage of discovery!  The constant struggle between my brain, sleep and words.
  • So many reasons why food no longer is about eating and becomes the focus of your problems, masking the real issues.
  • I’m very instinctive and mostly I write because it keeps me sane, I hope !
  • Don’t change your perception of me once you learn where I come from, because you’d be wrong and I’m so tired of having to justify myself, my roots or my nationality !
  • One thing for sure, all the women in my family are strong and stubborn, my daughter is following the same path, in a good way !
  • More than ever I respect life as always, life is precious and we all have something to give, sometimes it just takes time to appreciate what we can all achieve.
  • I suppose I’ve always had a strong survival instinct, a belief deep down that there is always a light at the end of the darkest of tunnels.
  • So many obstacles,  Yet, we do go on,  Giving up is not an option.