I am aware that my last two columns have been No Fun. Next time, I promise we'll have some fun.
Also worth noting that the usual 90-days’ notice to vacate can be reduced to 42 days if the house is sold or is wanted by the landlord for a family member. This is not uncommon and is a panic-inducing situation for the tenant.
This happened to good friends of ours. The "family member" turned out to be "bulldozing the house and building a retirement village". After the stress of having to find somewhere else to live on short notice, none of the tenants wanted to take the landlord to the Tribunal, they just wanted to get on.
Worst. Sports commentator. Ever.
Seriously. Worse than Justin Marshall.
Although perhaps the Colemans were told that Eileen’s birth was, say, July 1891 as it would put Eileen’s date of birth before the divorce had been applied for, i.e. while Eliza was still legitimately married to Winter.
Ah, yes! That would make sense of it. I was puzzling over this yesterday, because normally you legitimise a child by making them younger than they are, not older.
or more male-oriented discussion? I’ve got a few thoughts, but am wary of clogging up this thread and talking-not-listening.
The internet is a very big place. You may think it's a long way down the road to the chemist, etc...
But seriously. You get this discussion is about men, right? And the most valuable part of it is men actively engaging with it? I appreciate that you've distinguished "talking-not-listening" from just talking, but we need men talking about this. Women, like Tess says, have always talked about it, but quietly, in corners, where men wouldn't hear.
After you've actually listened on this topic, it's hard to shut up the next time one of your mates jokingly calls a woman a "fucking slag". But I reckon it's even harder after you've actually engaged on this topic, listened and responded.
To be crystal clear, no thread of mine has ever been a place where men aren't welcome to speak, and I'm not going to start now. There are women-only spaces for people who find that too uncomfortable. Likewise, whatever discussion you want is out there somewhere, if this is too uncomfortable.
but then I discovered her special affinity to cemeteries
Hey, I was really well-behaved. I didn't even drag you off to make you look at the Jewish section of Linwood cemetery.
Because it is at the front of my mind, and I have no compunction, that I would use her as a weapon if needs be.
I have been in this position, and done just that. It was broad daylight, I was 13, and out walking my dog on the waste land across from my Mum's house, with a friend. A guy grabbed my friend and tried to drag her away, and I set the dog on him. Huge stupid friendly labrador who just wanted to be allowed to jump all over someone, but it worked.
Every time this stuff has happened to me gradually, or from someone I know, I've ended up just freezing up. But the one time it was a sudden shock? A guy grabbed me from behind, walking alone in Timaru at night, and on reflex I shoved my cigarette in his face. This is how far it gets inside your head: every time I smoked, I was aware I was holding a weapon in my hand, and no-one would realise.
To be examples of people in the process of change and encourage society to accept that it is not easy to unlearn these habits and thought patterns, but it is possible and it is a change worth making.
This. We all fuck up sometimes, all of us. I've seen people change their minds and never acknowledge it - so someone who's pushed the 'car keys' metaphor for rape is on the other side of that argument the next time it comes around - but it takes even more courage to say, as Bart and Robert have here, and some of you have on other threads of mine, "I used to think this/say this/do this, and it was wrong, and now I try really hard not to." Those are the moments I do this for, to be honest. It's what it's all about for me.
Don’t offer retribution.
This is a big one, and maybe not so obvious. Because the script for a man when a woman they care about is hurt, is to leave her alone by herself, and Go After the perpetrator. "I'll go punch him in the nuts for you," doesn't actually help, IMO, it just makes you feel worse.
Be a safe space. Let people know that you’re safe.
To put it another way, how can a woman tell you're not That Guy? She's not psychic, and you shouldn't expect women to assume all men are safe until proven otherwise. It's a bit bloody late then.
Question: are gendered terms more helpful when they are positive, like girl power?
Is "girl power" a positive when it's used about grown women?
Gender stereotyping is always a mix of positive and negative traits. Women are caring. Men are strong. Those are positive things.
I think it pays to sometimes stop and think about why you're using a particular phrase. When you say something like "girl power", what is it you're actually describing? Is it specific to one gender? Is it something shared by all or most members of that gender? If the answer to either question is no, is there a reason to use a gender-specific term to describe it? If not, maybe don't.