Wednesday, 31 July 2013

Catholics and the "sisterhood"

I count myself as a feminist, and am also a Catholic, but I am finding it increasingly difficult to be both.

I sat through a very Christian wedding (much more overtly Christian than I have ever been to before) yesterday, where there were a LOT of references to the bible passage that talks about women submitting to their husbands but men only having to love their wives. I found myself wanting to tell the minister to fuck off, which is hardly a Christian thing to want to do. The man is the head of the household - fuck off. If a man loves his wife and only wants to do the best for her what wife wouldn't submit? - fuck off. Hearing "obey" in the vows - fuck off. Having children is God's will - fuck off. The bride being "given away" by her father - fuck off.

I appreciate that this particular wedding is not typical of Christianity as a whole, and my friend has actively chosen to have this type of ceremony (she was always very sensible back when we were at uni, but "found God" a couple of years ago and I hadn't realised quite how much she's bought into it).

How do other Christian feminists reconcile both viewpoints, or do you find yourself picking and choosing which bits to take from each?

Reference to the source article.

OK first of all I have to say that I'm not a Catholic and indeed I'm not even that religious but I do find it strange that the poster can say they are a Catholic but then say that disagree that "Having children is God's will". If that is what the Pope and/or Catholic dogma says and you disagree how can you still be a Catholic?

I don't think that feminism and much of organised religion are ever going to be on the same page. Look at the whole sorry story of trying to get women bishops in the Church of England or the Magdalene Laundries debate that shows exactly what the Catholic Church in Ireland thinks and thought about women!

Monday, 29 July 2013

BLOG REVIEWS - #1 to #6

She describes her blog as random ramblings; which is a fairly accurate way to describe it!

Good points – lots of decent quality photos.

Points to ponder (1) – why does she centre all the text?

Points to ponder (2) – she doesn’t post that often because at the moment she is in Germany on a work placement.

Prognosis – This blog might struggle to attract readers with so many other blogs being launched: especially as it doesn’t (yet) have a unique selling point.

She describes her blog as one for sharing her thoughts with the world.

Good points – at the moment she seems to be posting little but often.

Points to ponder (1) – None

Prognosis – This blog might struggle to attract readers with so many other blogs being launched: especially as it doesn’t (yet) have a unique selling point.


He describes his blog as being solely travel related. True, it does exactly what it says on the tin.

Good points – Pleasing and well-polished writing style.

Points to ponder (1) – The images are very small and do not seem to expand when I click on them.

Prognosis – Will be appreciated by people who have travelled (or will be travelling) to the same destination. Others might find it rather dull?

Described as being for all things “student”. The horribly cluttered front page seems to concentrate on the commercial and leisure aspects rather than the academic.

Good points – Some amazing glacier and railway photos.

Points to ponder (1) - But I would have liked to know exactly what I was looking at. The what, where and when of each photo I suppose?

Prognosis – Will such an overtly commercial blog inspire, demotivate or annoy the typical student reader?


Clearly a well-established blog that has been around for 12 months+. The expansion away from just poetry offers more scope for picking up readers.

Good points – Lots of photos of things you don’t often see in photos!

Points to ponder (1) – Sometimes the chosen justification of the text looked ugly.

Prognosis – Certainly one to watch. Likely to be around for the long haul.


Very much a blog that you hope you never need to read since it explores how she dealt with parental bereavement.

Good points – The author writes clearly and well without getting over emotional.

Points to ponder (1) – Is the scope too narrow for a long term project?

Prognosis – The ultimate niche blog probably helping the writer as much as the reader?

Friday, 26 July 2013

Interviewing staff - the results

I gave the job to #2 but also gave the Head Groom a pay rise (an extra £20 per week) because she would now have a larger team to manage. #2 had the experience but I do agree he might not stay long which would mean starting again!

If #2 had turned it down I would have offered the job to #4 with the idea of sending her on a 1 day a week day-release course. I think she would have stayed here long-term which was a big plus point.

#1 didn’t seem able to do parts of the job and although her references were very good people  were very careful not to mention her skills in anything to do with driving. Just too many question marks for me to risk it.

#3: I don’t want to work with an aggressive person or one who seemed like a grumbler. Easy to hire, tough to fire!  

Thursday, 25 July 2013

Interviewing staff - that sounds rather posh doesn't it!

I interviewed 4 candidates for a job as a groom today. This was the first time I have done every stage of the process on my own - from drawing up the job specification, creating the advert, shortlisting from 7 applicants down to 4, taking up references, doing the interviews and supervising the practical tests and eventually making the final decision. It was all down to me! Gulp!

Candidate #1 – She looked really good on paper with qualifications from the British Horse Society. She also interviewed well but was rather disappointing in some of the practical tasks, especially anything to do with the two horseboxes. She rather under-sold herself on the salary she was expecting which made her sound a bit desperate to get the job. Her references were easily the best of the four candidates.

Candidate #2 – He didn’t have any formal qualifications but as an older candidate had loads of experience in similar jobs. He has been a Head Groom at least twice and so I was a bit surprised that he applied for this job. He expected quite a bit more money than I had expected to have to pay and it would have been rather close to what we already pay the Head Groom. Easily the best of the four on the practical tasks, basically he was perfect. His references were OK but nothing very special.

Candidate #3 – She had an ABRS certificate and was fine on the practical tasks but she came across as rather aggressive in the interview and she made it seem to me as if following my instructions was going to be a daily “issue”. Her references made her seem like a really good member of a team so perhaps it was just nerves making her seem difficult. I do know of her family although I don’t remember meeting her before.

Candidate #4 – Very keen and fine on the practical side as she has been riding for several years but there was very little theory to back this up and it worried me what she would do in an emergency. But she was a really pleasant and seemed like somebody who could be trained up though day-release. No references because she hadn’t had a paid job other than in one livery stable that closed down. Her suggested salary was exactly what I thought I would have to pay.
Who do think got the job and why?

Wednesday, 24 July 2013

Maggie waiting for the school bus


TITLE - "Maggie waiting for the school bus"

WHERE and WHEN - The end of the lane, February 2012

ARTIST - Anne Ellis

TECHNICAL DETAILS - Photo of an original oil painting 

Sunday, 21 July 2013

Life down on the farm.

I don't think I have ever heard the word feminism spoken in my rural backwater. We seem to be stuck in the Middle Ages with little potential for change. Virtually all the money and assets (very much not the same thing BTW in farming) are controlled by men with zero interest in giving up male control.

I am the only girl in my immediate friendship group who will inherit the family farm! All around me its going to be an older brother or a younger brother who will gain control of the farm. All my friends will get will be a few, sometimes a very few, tens of thousands of pounds in cash while the sons will inherit hundreds of thousands or even millions of pounds of assets.

How much publicity does this injustice receive? Almost none!

Another problem is the extreme isolation of many girls in rural areas. If I'm working on Home Farm the only ladies I will see in a day will be my Mother, my younger sister and the two grooms. Once a month when I'm off seeing the tenant farmers it is slightly better because it is the Farmers' Wives that usually do the paperwork. The sons usually go the Fathers to market once a week, the daughters seldom if ever go.

How can the feminist movement move forward against this background?

I’ve been going out with my boyfriend for seven months. But a few days ago was the first time I had been invited to travel over the 30 odd miles to their small-holding.

His Mother had suggested that we might go out for a (horse) ride in the afternoon which was fine with me. So at the correct time +/- 5 minutes I drove up and parked in the yard. His Mother came out and the visit went fine for the first 30 seconds, right up to the time when I mentioned that my horsebox, complete with John Boy (my horse), were just a couple of minutes behind me.

It now seems that bringing my own horse was bad but getting somebody else to bring him over for me was “pretentious” and so doubly bad. Honestly it had never occurred to me that it would be a problem.

Any suggestions as to what I might do to get back into favour?

It is all quite simple. I like reading some blogs and want to come back to them each time there is an update. On the other hand some bloggers write about things that don't interest me - like fashion (well what do you expect, I'm a farmers daughter and farmers don't do fashion!) - but that doesn't mean that I don't have anything to learn from what you write and how you present your work. I would like to showcase the blogs I like and explain what it is about them that makes me want to follow them.