My mum died in 2009. My emotions about her life and passing are not always easy to handle. They lurch around quite a lot.
Last Friday, I went for a fish and chip lunch with my Dad. For some reason, we got talking about women’s lot in life.
Regular readers will know that I think women get a very raw deal in society. We still don’t have equal pay, we still are expected to be perfect in all arenas with very little in the way of support, women still die every week from domestic violence, the streets still are not safe for us, blah, blah. Well, you get the picture.
Dad shared things Mum used to say, think and feel. These included ..
1. How she hated being financially dependent on any man
2. How she was keen to work as a woman in her own right
3. How she had strong views often very much the opposite to his particularly on political issues (Middle East, Ireland etc).
4. How she used to define her wage/pension as her income not taking into account his work wage/pension. “I only get £40 a week and am expected to live on it” over and over again.
5. How she hated how he paid the Poll Tax when she was opposed to it. She felt he took away her right to protest or go to prison for not paying it.
6. How she resented how his work got in the way of family life leaving her to manage it and sometimes struggle with it all.
7. How when she could not find a job she threw herself into community work.
8. How she cracked under the pressure at least once and had a nervous breakdown.
9. How she was involved in associations that were women-only.
For those who read my blog regularly or know me well, some of those things sound very much like me.
Mum went mad when I got all ranting about women’s issues as a young woman. She used to say she had no idea why I was so “anti-men”. “Bloody Hell, Cath, we can’t even watch a bloody advert without you analysing it and banging on about how it is sexist and puts women down”.
I am not my Mum. In many ways, I am very different. However, can I deny that actually I am her little legacy, still banging the drum for women getting a fair deal? Why is that Mum? Is it because I listened to you as a child and wanted to make a difference to the things that mattered to you?