A View on a Room

“”There’s an outfit in Walthamstow trying to set up a Women’s Centre. Looks like the plans are scuppered by the Council so there’s a public shindig in February just before Zumba Day to mobilise the locals who care. Or who want something out of it i. e. a place to showcase their business. It’ll not be a free space. There’s money to be made from rents.

Now I like others thought this women’s centre malarkey was done and dusted in the eighties. Its  failure was never explained. The sisterhood hardly happened. The mass surge of rising up the ladder rungs in terms of being where we should be at have been hampered by a changing population with people on the move and they rigidly maintaining their cultural identities which often include the backward practice of FGM. We fragmented as a nation and those who had the opportunity to learn in the eighties about how women are important in society  were never embraced because of their class and colour. We are left with seventy year olds who still believe it’s okay to be in the kitchen serving boys and men, with their daughters who insist on pink trackies for themselves and their daughters, and women who meet in ethnically inclusive women’s centres, who accept their lot and are not comfortable questioning anything and anyway need to be home in time for their husbands’ demands.

It’s a disgrace that funding is still given to outfits to enhance the lives of women through what? art? sewing machines? Zumba?There’s a lot of reinvention of the wheel and very little mind change. Despite women being encouraged to open up their minds to different ideologies and herstories, I am still surrounded by women who refuse to let a girl child play with a battery-operated digger and a boy child play with a doll in a pink pram. Unbelievable. Still women say in my ears how the projects in wood joinery aren’t for them, the breasted ones. And the self-appointed uneducated leaders with lanyards flying  still say in public meetings through their microphones how we all want different shapes, how we want to be slim like Carol Vordaman or whomsoever is pushing their slim away your life programmes.

I go along to projects where I’m called along with other mothers and grandmothers a girl. I am the only one every time who sees that as quite offensive.

I’m expected to agree that any women’s centre is beneficial to every woman around my neighbourhood. I am expected to believe that a women’s centre enhances a woman’s self-esteem. Doubt it.

Under the roof of any women’s centre or room or hub I predict cloth nappy demonstrations, potato-printing, empty rooms, a tailing off of interest, a jamboree on International Women’s Day with cup cakes, organic beetroot salads and Zumba, no bridges across cultures, a maintaining of the way it is and plenty of over-used adjectives  to describe what is in fact neither brilliant nor awesome.

And then I saw this coming out of Waltham Forest Libraries What’s On

I am in despair.

International Women’s Day Celebrations 2015

All Made Up: Mothers and Daughters Make-Up

A fun few hours exploring make-up!

Learn from each other; gain and exchange hints and tips and leave as made up as you want to be.  For female family members from different generations!

 Suitable to Adults, Young People and Suitablly aged Children accompanied by an adult.

The male equivalent would be “Teach your sons how to knock out her lights when the dinner’s not on the table.”



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