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Tumblr seems to be taking over any of the time I spend not doing Philosophy and Gender Equality society and actual uni work…so obviously I’m doing the sensible thing and signing up for twitter too.

http://twitter.com/waywardtapper

Fun times.

We went to a meeting last week to help out with the organisation of the International Women’s Day Exeter event. It’s a big un. There’s to be a march, and then lots of stalls and poets and music and activities! The women organising it are brilliant, and we ‘networked’ with most of them after the meeting. Who knew that the uni has an Equality and Diversity officer? Well, apparently we do and she’s lovely! Also met the head of the Exeter WI among other equally awesome women, so that was super exciting! It’s given me a bit more faith in the town and also something to look forward to next weekend!!

So, yesterday was International Women’s Day. I wore a badge to work, and one woman said to me

‘Oh my goodness, is it Women’s Day?? I have a degree in women’s studies and I didn’t know!’

Which says a lot, really. Awareness of this supposedly international day, in England, is very poor. Unless you’re already looking into it, or you live in central London, the likelihood of the average Jane knowing is slim. It’s infuriating, really – the one day that the whole world is supposed to be celebrating women, and England doesn’t really give a shit.

Anyway, it’s delayed but there is one woman I have discovered recently, while trawling through vids from Whose Line is it Anyway? rather than working, who is really quite something. Her name, my friends, is Josie Lawrence, and she’s a FANTASTIC comedian 🙂 It’s unusual to see women on comedy shows (See Mock the Week, Have I Got News For You etc), and it would appear that only a few years ago this wasn’t the case – Josie and many other women took part in the Whose Line is it Anyway sketches…

Nowadays, we don’t hear so much about her. But she’s still going strong. She’s done some work for radio, her latest being on Just a Minute, is playing the lead role in Tom Stoppard’s Hapgood at the Birmingham Repertory Theatre, and had guest appearance in Skins. She has made great contributions to charity – in 2003 Josie spent eight months walking across China, Cuba, Peru and Tanzania for Breakthrough Breast Cancer and in 2005 she climbed Mount Kilimanjaro for Sunfield – a school for children with learning difficulties – of which she is a patron. She is also a supporter of the National Autistic Society’s Make School Make Sense campaign.

So today (in place of yesterday) is my celebration, and while I celebrate women everyday, I’d like to take today to celebrate Josie Lawrence, and all the other female comedians who deserve to be remembered. There are so many brilliant, funny women out there, we just need to give them back the limelight that is rightfully theirs.

Enjoy: She’s So Great

(Oh, there are so many…tis tricky to choose from!)

I’d also like to take a moment to despair. There are no words. Just…despair.

As the wise Bo Burnham says:

George Bush won’t he just yell and rant

But he’s a presiDONT who ameriCANT

Anyway. At work the other day this guy came in, and stayed for AGES. He wanted some music for a talk he was doing about wildlife in Sussex [I kid you not, our conversation literally went like this:

Me: So what’s this music for?

CrazyGuy: Oh, for my talk. I do a lot of talks, this one’s about nature.

Me: Oh, how lovely.

CrazyGuy: Yeah, it’s incredible. If you just show someone a picture of a woodlouse they’ll be unimpressed, disgusted even. But with the right lighting, the perfect music, it can bring a tear to your eye.

Me: …uhhuh.

See – crazy.] Oh, laughter is difficult to silence but silence it I did. However, I didn’t do so well when I was playing CrazyGuy some Einaudi (amazing composer, and it was a cd of someone else playing his piano concertos which I am rather excited about buying at some point). He was enjoying it, I was pretty taken with it myself, and this other guy, let’s call him ObnoxiousIWishHe’dGoAway Guy, ObnoxiousGuy for short, came over to the counter with his daughter. He looks at us and this follows:

ObnoxiousGuy: You could listen to this music all day, couldn’t you?

Me: Yes, definitely (*pleased as CrazyGuy has been monitoring the responses of other customers while in search of emotive woodlouse music*)

ObnoxiousGuy: It’s so…dull. You can just let it wash over you. I mean, there’s nothing to it. A six year old could play this.

Me: …

*My boss continues to serve ObnoxiousGuy, I try to ignore him and then…*

ObnoxiousGuy: It’s like…what’s that awful woman’s name?

ObnoxiousGuy’sDaughter: *laughs in a really irritating weedy way* Oh daddy, do you mean Amy Winehouse?

ObnoxiousGuy: Yeah, Amy Winehouse. Doesn’t she look a state.

Me: Oh, that’s a shame (see, polite :)), personally I really like Amy Winehouse’s voice.

ObnoxiousGuy: Well, I…

Me: And as far as my opinion of music goes, it’s more how it sounds and how much enjoyment I get from the piece of music rather that what the singer looks like that matters.

ObnoxiousGuy: But she is a state. I can’t bear her.

At which point I registered the evils my boss was giving me and shut up. But it’s always the way! Sure, he was one ObnoxiousGuy and he was ridiculous about Einaudi too, but it’s so unusual for someone to say ‘Oh, that Mark Ronson, he’s such a mess. I won’t listen to his music’ or ‘God, Elvis let himself go, I can’t bear to listen to his music now’ but female singers/bands are instantly judged on their appearance and their lifestyles. At some point, sure, their talent is considered. But look at Amy Winehouse – she’s incredibly talented. But so many people hate her, because of the way she leads her life. I think she needs help, yes, and she would probably perform better if she were more healthy. But while I may look at her lifestyle with concern, I won’t let it affect my enjoyment of her music.

Anyway, so that was the ‘fall out’ at work – my boss said afterwards that it’s best to leave things like that (because then ‘they leave the shop much more quickly’ – if it weren’t for me he’d not have stuck around contaminating the shop…) but there are some things that I just won’t let lie. If a customer says something that I strongly disagree with, I’ll say. I won’t say it rudely, and I’ll accept their right to an opinion, but I’ll not silence my own. So that’s that.

And on that note – Adieu!

Just saw this on a friend’s facebook – um, wtf?

Oh also – I’ve changed the blog from Esse Quam Videri to The Token Feminist – it makes more sense than the web address being a totally different blog name 🙂

…International Women’s Day!

I’d blog more, but my rents are taking me to dinner 🙂 So I’ll be back later…

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