For our children, for us all – making more noise on …

“Is your husband a sports fan?” my phone provider’s rep asks nonchalantly. Distracted, I reply, “Yes he is but he doesn’t need his phone to…” The penny drops. “Hang on,” I flounder, “Isn’t that kind of sexist? Shouldn’t you ask if I’m a sports fan?” They sound amused, “Well, are you?” I’m flustered. That kind of isn’t the point and I tell them so. I tell them they should not be asking that question, that it reflects badly on their company. Then I move the conversation along quickly because I don’t want them to feel uncomfortable, even though I feel…

Rediscovering intuition, wildness and sisterhood

I’ve experienced culture shock twice. The first time I was nineteen. I’d just moved to Brighton from Trinidad to study English Lit at university. There wasn’t a language barrier (much – there still managed to be a lot I didn’t understand or couldn’t make understood easily) but just about everything else was unfamiliar, from the sense of humour to the cultural markers to the public transport. But I was fortunate to fall into a lot of fast friendships that sustained me through those years and many of those people remain close friends today. In a way, the second culture shock…

How do we smash gender stereotypes for our girl family?

“Three girls! Poor dad!” Thanks, you’ve just told my children their dad wishes at least one of them were a boy. He doesn’t. “You have your hands full. Are they all…?” My eldest has started answering this one, “Yes, we’re all girls.” “Are you going to keep trying for a boy?” I guess the assumption here is that that’s what we were doing the second or third time. I’m always tempted to respond asking for advice on how to do that. I mean, is there a specific position for conceiving boys? Truly, I know that this is meant as friendly…

More of this feminism, please – Katniss and The Hunger Games

I’m late to the party blogging about The Hunger Games but it’s such a luxury getting out to the cinema at all post-baby that I can’t help but mark the event. We ended up seeing it by accident. We’d actually bought tickets for the wrong viewing of The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, which was disappointing when we eventually saw it. We sat for a full 20 minutes towards the film’s end, thinking it must be avant garde, before realising the error. The mix up turned out to be serendipitous. (Warning: This post contains spoilers) Assuming The Hunger Games would be…

That bad word, “homemaker”

I’ve instinctively struggled with the idea of gendered roles in marriage since we got engaged two years and two months ago. I’d like to think I’m closer to settling the matter in my mind by now but every time I turn a corner I find myself pausing, uncertain of where to go.

Choosing childlessness

As a younger teen I often bragged that I would never get married and certainly never have children. Mostly, I got a kick out of making controversial statements. I also considered myself a feminist (still do) and naively felt that this was at odds with pursuing family life. But mainly, I saw marriages suffering all around me, with children caught in the middle, and it scared the hell out of me.

Hello, masses, here’s my pregnant body

Actually, I didn’t start interrogating my body again until pregnancy began to make itself apparent. I felt frumpy. But I didn’t talk about it because I didn’t want to appear shallow or ungrateful for the baby.