school shooting

BOUDICCA BITES BACK

The warrior woman has awoken.

No longer will she polish her husband’s shoes, bring honour to her father’s name, pamper and praise her little boys. No longer will she sit silently while men decide her fate. She has been silenced and shouted down and shoved into subservience while being polished and pinched and powdered pretty in pink and poked and preened and pawed and played for cheap thrills.

She is not a plaything but playful. She is not a trophy although you can earn her love. She doesn’t nag, she expects respect and says so. She won’t let men make rules that hurt her. When she says ‘enough!’ she means it and ‘no’ always means ‘no’ no matter how hard you try to bend it.

It’s 2018 and it is an awesome thing to be a woman. As the dawn of Aquarius rises, it brings a chariot with a new breed of Boudiccas, waving and shouting and singing and celebrating…the fact that they are strong and smart and hopeful.

I am a writer and I have written young adult books with strong female characters, girls who inspire, girls who make sacrifices and work to make the world a better place for not only their daughters but also their sons. They build a world for the future where women and men stand beside one another without the handicap of sexism or racism or ageism or any other ism.

In the wake of the most recent school shooting in the US, a new chant has arisen led by the youth who will be our future and for the first time in a long time, I have renewed hope for that future. I listened to Emma Gonzalez so powerfully speak out against the system that allowed a 19 year old boy to buy a gun and kill seventeen of her school-mates in cold blood. Gonzalez is the role model young women need today. She is standing up to the conservative white men in suits who line their pockets with money splattered in children’s blood. She is owning the President and the NRA like a boss!

In the wake of the election of that misogynist scary clown to the position of US President, a wave of women’s voices began to roar. A ‘man’ who admitted to sexual assault so casually, so flippantly, was elected to the nation’s highest office. He stepped into the shoes of great men. But he was a scab on a diseased society, a man-child with grabby hands and a petulant pout. Women picked away the scab and let the pus pour out. #METOO was born. Women are being heard.  More importantly, women are being believed.

I have a teenage daughter and I said to her this morning, ‘In a world of Kardashians, be a Gonzalez.’

Don’t back down. For so long, these old white men have run the joint with their power-hungry, gluttonous greed and trampled over women’s rights, immigrant’s rights, refugee’s rights, almost every basic human right that didn’t directly benefit themselves. It’s time to stand up and tell them that we don’t live in their small world. The ants are resisting the grasshoppers. The crumpled suits may well represent the one percent but we have the numbers. We are legion.

The revolution is here and Boudicca is on the frontline.

My book Victorieux, a young adult novel about three powerful young women who resist the patriarchy and wave their swords confidently, shouting ‘Bring it on! BRING. IT. ON’ will be released in October this year.

My three Boudicca-babes are

Jeanne Hachette – a poor French maid who led an army of women in resistance against the Burgundians, who sought to sack her town in 1478.

Betsy Grey – an Irish lass who was a part of the underground Irish movement against the British occupation of her beloved country in 1798.

and

Fiona McKechnie – a girl who gets caught up in the power and passion of the protest movement at a Brisbane university and marches against conscription into the Vietnam war (1968).

It’s never been a better time to be a woman. Or a young adult writer. Catniss Everdeen kicked down the door and strong girls are rushing through it en masse and it makes my heart glad. We write stories not to entertain but to inspire young people into action. They are our tomorrow.

The fight is real. The power imbalance is still unacceptable. But when a tragedy occurs that unites us all in grief and anger, it is heartening to hear the voice of a woman like Emma Gonzalez bursting through the ashes…

We are women….hear us roar. We have the blood of Boudicca pulsing in our veins. Don’t stand in our way or we will eat your frickin’ entrails!

VIVAMUS FEMINUS TEMPORE

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DEAR AMERICA, YOU ARE A PSYCHOPATH.

Planet Earth, we have a problem.

It’s called the United States of America.

Dear America,

Yesterday, I watched, with the rest of the world, as the horror of another one of your school shootings unfolded in real time on our screens. Children running in fear, the heart-jolting terror in screams recorded on teenagers’ phones laid over the somehow unreal sounds of the patter and pop of gunshot. Aerial footage of SWAT teams, ambulances being loaded, the raw grief on the faces of the mothers and fathers and teachers and students, the shell-shocked Sheriff.

And then came your whining, glib, pathological call to not ‘politicize the  tragedy’ and your heartless, diseased, ice-cold and calculated plea to blame ‘mental illness’ for the tragedy because guns don’t kill people, dontcha know? People kill people. As Alan Alda said, we can all agree that people kill people but it’s also true that they do so, and far more effectively, with guns, than with their own bare human hands.

Some of you agree with me. Keep shouting the good shout.

But to the America that believes it has a god-given (that’s a bit rich) right to bear arms and worship at the teat of the NRA….

YOU ARE THE PROBLEM. YOU. ARE. THE. PROBLEM.

Yes, people kill people and the YOU are the people doing the killing with your tools of death….your toys…your rifles and shotguns, your machine guns and sub-machine guns, your automatic, assault, personal defense handbag-sized, lolly-gobble-bliss-bomb bullshit pistols. The most recent boy to inflict such pain into the community of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Florida was definitely not of sound mind but he had one thing in common with you…a love of guns. And it was that that killed those school children.  An irrational and deadly love affair with guns.

Guns are good for one thing only. Death. That’s it. Oh sure you can go and play target practice….it’s just a game…sport….(go for it….you get more points if you hit the human outline in the head). So it makes sense eh, that where you’ve got a lot of guns, you’ve got a lot of death. It’s really pretty basic. In the US gun deaths are off the chart. Here in Australia, they are rare. I’ve never seen or held a gun outside of the war museum. Never once in my entire life would a gun have helped me out of a situation. Not once. I am the mother of five and grandmother of one and none of us has ever needed a gun…or seen a gun…or held a gun…other than an over-sized plastic water gun.

Civilians are safer without guns. Civilians would be more civil, without guns.

But, America, you have more than just a problem of having way too many metal death sticks firing bullets into every man, woman, child and pet; more than your politicians being owned by the big NRA dollars; more than disenfranchised, frustrated and confused young white men with questionable racist tendencies hammering bullets into the bodies of innocent school students, children killing children; more than your paranoid fear of immigrants….

more than that

I believe that you, the United States of America, may be a psychopath. Like every human body, countries are made up of good and bad bacteria that have to co-exist. It’s naive and counterproductive to call it red and blue, right-wing and left-wing. But when your showy, loud and angry voices demand that you be able to cling onto your precious gun-rights, while a troubled teenage boy can legally buy a AR-15 and wander into a school and not only take seventeen lives but destroy hundred of others left behind, then there is a problem and you ARE THE PROBLEM. Your bad bacteria is out-of-control because you have more than 300 million guns floating around in your body!

You numbskulls offer your fricking thoughts and prayers while your head honcho sociopath wearing the orange crown of antisocial postulating, decries the terrible problem of ‘mental illness’, all the while having his butt kissed by gun lobbyists. You people make me sick and not just me but the whole rest of the world. We felt sorry for you once, twice, hell repeatedly, but there comes a time when you have to start taking responsibility for your own health and broken condition and admit it and start making amends.

This time, America, you’ve gone too far. You are that parent who is so dysfunctional they can’t look after their own kids. You need to wake up. Stop loving your guns more than your own children!

STOP LOVING YOUR GUNS MORE THAN YOUR OWN CHILDREN.

We had a prime minister who was largely a giant jerk but after our worst massacre, he banned guns, tightened the laws. BANG! And now, I don’t have to worry that my toddler is going to blow my brains out all over my peanut butter toast at breakfast time.

I DON’T HAVE TO PANIC EVERY TIME I HEAR A SIREN DOWN NEAR THE LOCAL HIGH-SCHOOL.

If I lived in your diseased country, I would be too afraid to send my children to school…any school. EVER.

America. Your schools are not safe. Your streets are not safe. America, you are not safe.

I’ve long wanted to visit you and see your Grand Canyon and shop in New York City, go to Disneyland and surf at Malibu but as long as you are suffering from this dangerous mental disorder, I just can’t risk coming anywhere near you.

America, you are a psychopath and you need help.

Your antisocial behaviour, impaired empathy (because after Sandy Hook….Vegas….Columbine….YOU DID NOTHING BUT PRAY), impaired remorse (you should feel guilty, really guilty), egotistical sense of self-worth (you are not that great and are in no immediate danger of becoming so)…..

it all points to the one diagnosis of ‘psychopath’.

You have some decent, intelligent voices over there advocating for strict changes to gun laws. They are the voice of reason. Listen to them. For the sake of your children.

Over 30, 000 people in your country die each year from gunshots. Yes they are fired by human beings but your addiction to firearms is fuelling an epidemic and you are so bound up in it you don’t know that you are sick. But take it from the rest of the world ….you need help. You can change and you need to urgently.

Don’t let those seventeen beautiful souls who were murdered by a gun yesterday become just another one of your many, many, many, many, many, many statistics.

Admit you have a problem and seek to cure it.

Love the rest of the outraged world. xx