Opportunity to Buy Tickets for Feminist Comedy on 10 October

// 24 September 2009

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Kate Smurthwaite has details on her blog about the feminist cabaret show being held at the Comedy Pub in London on 10 October, after the Feminism in London Conference:

It’s downstairs at The Comedy Pub on Oxenden Street (between Piccadilly Circus and Leicester Square – SW1Y 4EE), doors open at 8pm and show at half eight, though you can arrive before that and buy tickets if there are any left have a drink in the main bar any time.

The line-up is still being tweaked but I have confirmed appearances from Eve Webster (the impressionist who shredded Ann Widdicombe at the recent Abortion Rights fundraiser) and fabulous headliners Chambers and Nettleton.

There’s a link to buy tickets online over at Cruella-Blog.

Comments From You

cara // Posted 27 September 2009 at 8:18 pm

Right, I’ve got to say something –

I consider myself a feminist. I have seen Ms Smurthwaite on TV and find her an interesting orator. I am also a frequent visitor of this website for three years, and find myself agreeing with much of the sentiment expressed in certain articles, especially considering equal rights, the right to pay.

I am also pro-choice, and have been for a long time. But I find the word ‘shredded Ms Widdecome’ really, really offensive. Yes, her views are abhorrent to some of the people on this site, but she has the right to hold them. As far as I’m aware (and I’m not a tory voter), she doesn’t want to ban abortion completely, just lessen the date of abortion. As I have expressed, this is her right to belief it. Yes, impressionists have the right to attack politicians and critique them, but this attack seems to be only on her anti-abortion views.

Abortion is a very, very difficult subject. Call me a troll with a humour bypass, but it is not something to joke about, either way. I thought feminism was a positive movement, to allow freedom of choice, not to critique women if they don’t fit with the view. My aunt worked in an abortionist’s clinic, and she told me the realities, from the physical dismemberment of the feotus, and the psychological trauma women had to go through. I have expressed that I am pro-abortion, as I do believe in a woman’s right to choose. but i do wish we would stop slandering women who present the other side of the argument.

Daniela Vincenti // Posted 28 September 2009 at 12:31 am

Dear Cara,

I’m going to let off some steam here so please do not get offended in case this comment is not moderated.

I am very sceptical of people who claim to be feminist and advocate the curtailing of abortion rights. In fact I would go further than that. Politicians like Ann Widdecombe are actively undermining women’s rights by campaigning against abortion.

When a woman gets pregnant it is her body that is carrying the fetus. She is the one who is taking the risks and making the sacrifices. If the father decides to bugger off then most of the time she will have to take the responsibility to bring up the child single-handedly. How can anyone have the temerity to oblige a woman to continue with a pregnancy when she does not want to? Don’t you see how humiliating it is to disempower a person from any autonomy she has over her own body? Do you want the status of women in society to be reduced to that of animals on a farm?

If a woman seeks a late abortion there is usually a reason for that. Do you think a woman will wilfully continue with a pregnancy and present almost at term for an abortion, just for capricious fun? The circumstances of an individual can suddenly change, or a woman might have had difficulty in accessing medical care. Some women are also threatened with violence if they seek an abortion so it may take some time for them to summon the courage to do so.

I know that some women believe in the sanctity of the life they are carrying in their womb and would not consider an abortion under any circumstances. This is their choice however, and they have no right to impose their moral standards on other women.

With due respect to our first wave sisters, I regard the right to abortion as even more important than the right to vote. The recent campaigning for the limit to be brought down to 20 weeks means we must brace ourselves for an important battle here and it is vital that as feminists we show a united stance. Few things make me angrier than seeing women campaigning against abortion rights.

Holly Combe // Posted 28 September 2009 at 1:43 am

I wasn’t sure if Ann Widdecombe had ever described herself as a feminist but I’ve just done a quick search and, interestingly, there do seem to be a few references here and there to her saying she apparently identified with 1970s feminism! Regardless of that, I do think the reasons Daniela outlines make it entirely understandable that feminists would be very angry at Widdecombe and possibly satirise her in a no-holds-barred fashion. Yes, we should always be mindful that our criticisms of anyone (whoever they are and whatever they think) are not unfair or focussed on irelevant details but, having not seen the performance Kate refers to, I can’t really comment on whether it oversteps the mark that I get the impression you’re quite rightly upholding. Admittedly, one could say the word “shredded” is perhaps a little all-encompassing (i.e. with an implication of Widdecombe’s entire character being “shredded” rather than just something she said) but I’d still suggest it is not an entirely problematic term when you consider that feminism is, indeed, a movement that allows “freedom of choice” and Ann Widdecombe supports legislation that would take that away. I’d say we have every right to critique her for that.

Cara // Posted 28 September 2009 at 8:11 am

I don’t object to politicians being ridiculed . it’s a principle of a democracy. But one of the House Rules of the F word is ‘Be nice’, and that is an important tenet which applies not only to those who agree with us, but also those who disagree with us. Ms Widdecombe is an intelligent woman, entitled to her opinions, and as I stressed in my previous post, we have to respect them. I don’t want to turn this into a ‘feminists have to be pro-choice’ debate, I am merely stating my distaste at the word ‘shred’

It implies any woman who is ‘pro-life’ ( which as I also stated in my first article, I veer on the right to chose) deserves to be metephorically ‘shredded’ for her beliefs. But if we condemn other people for their rude, insulting language towards us (the Buckinghamshire professor is one example), we cannot then ‘shed’ other people for their differing opinions from us. Feminism should be about educating women with the facts about abortion, and then letting them choose where they stand, rather than demeaning them if they choose pro-life. Abortion is a difficult subject, not one as simple as objectification or free pay. Criticise Widdecombe constructively of course, but don’t shred her – it sounds as though you challenge her right to free speech, a tool of patriarchy not feminism.

Holly Combe // Posted 28 September 2009 at 11:47 am

I don’t think anyone here has challenged Ann Widdecombe’s right to free speech and I doubt if Eve Webster’s performance (or Kate’s passing assessment of it) will have led her to somehow fear speaking out. Her attitude towards the way politicians regularly shred each other seems pretty robust , from what I can gather, so I think it would be hard for us to convincingly argue that being lampooned by a comedian is likely to silence her. Just like the Buckinghamshire professor who you mention above, Widdecombe is free to express her views and we’re equally free to call her out on them if we disagree. Let’s not forget that the right to free speech includes critique.

Of course, the point you raise relates to the rules of conduct that apply to that critique and, as I said, I haven’t seen the performance Kate was referring to so I’m not able to comment on whether the “shredding” was within the bounds of decent conduct. Are you saying that you think I should not have used the quote from Kate’s site because of the use of the word “shredded”? I realise we say “be nice” to commenters and expect ourselves to abide by that code of conduct ourselves but we’re not responsible for the exact way any quotes we use are worded and, in the absence of any ‘isms, I don’t think we can be reasonably expected to pick every single one apart.

My post was intended to function as a quick nod to Cruella Blog so that people who might be interested in attending the comedy night could click on the link. I didn’t personally think the word “shredded” was problematic enough for me to digress from the original intention behind my post (i.e to pass on information) in order to critique it. However, it also stands that the original intention behind the post has now been served so I’m happy to address what you have to say about it and have the discussion here.

You say you don’t object to politicians “being ridiculed” but isn’t that exactly what shredding someone is?

As a side point, I don’t actually think objectification is a simple straightforward issue and I’m not sure what you mean by “free pay”. Can you clarify?

LouiseR // Posted 28 September 2009 at 12:16 pm

I kind of agree with Cara, actually, though I’m not sure I can explain why! I am pro-choice (not “pro-abortion” as I think it is always better not to be in a position where abortion is necessary, but since we live in the real world it often is) but I also recognise that abortion is a difficult and sensitive issue, hence the reason why MPs are given a free vote on this topic and do not have to follow party whips (as it is seen as a matter of conscience rather than a party political issue). While I have little time for Ann Widdecombe, who I disagree with passionately on practically everything, I believe she is a committed Christian who probably has deeply felt views on the sanctity of life. Disagree with her by all means (I’m sure she can take it), argue against her in the strongest terms, but why subject her to ridicule?

Cara // Posted 28 September 2009 at 1:00 pm

Exactly Louise. I’m not saying we don’t have a right to judge her- of course criticising politicians is a right, and debate is important between politicians. What i’m saying is that placing stigma on women who are pro-life is not helpful. What I meant by free pay was equal pay – I wrote it too early this morning :)

Cara // Posted 28 September 2009 at 1:11 pm

And by the way, my comments were not in support of Ann Widdecombe. I just think as a representative of the ‘pro-life’ movement, by attacking and ridiculing her, you demean women who share her views but are not as ‘robust’ as you put it, to deal with it.

Holly Combe // Posted 28 September 2009 at 1:45 pm

Just to be clear, I don’t think anything I have said on this site has attacked or ridiculed Ann Widdecombe. I probably don’t need to point this out, as I guess you are talking about how we go about criticising pro-lifers more generally but you do say “you” very directly and, as I explained in my most recent comment, I really don’t think I have done anything wrong in my role blogging for The F-word. I simply used a quote describing an event to direct people to another site. Whether that quote was problematic is a matter of opinion (as is being discussed here) but I really don’t think I can be viewed to be personally mocking Ann Widdecombe by including it.

cara // Posted 28 September 2009 at 2:07 pm


At no point in my message did I personally criticise either you or your blogging on f word. If you are offended, I apologise, but I still stand by my beliefs abortion is a tricky subject, and as explained in my prior post, we should not attack pro-lifers.

For whatever reasons, many people find abortion a difficult subject, from whether all life in the womb is sacred, to a woman’s rights over her body. There is no simple ‘this is right, that’s wrong’ attitude to abortion. Feminists can argue about all sorts of things, there is no single standpoint on it. Lets end this debate by me classifying the term ‘you’ was not a direct attack on ANY single feminist, merely a word I used for wider social attitudes. I would never highlight a particular person or their viewpoint on a website such as this. You do not have the publish this, but I think it is important for me to explain my position without causing offence.

Holly Combe // Posted 28 September 2009 at 2:15 pm

Fair enough. That sounds reasonable :-)

Daniela Vincenti // Posted 28 September 2009 at 6:52 pm

Cara and Holly,

Sorry but I cannot let this matter lie just yet. I’m afraid that this is one of the few issues that are black-and-white for me in feminism.

The way I see it, (and although this is quite a radical view I think most feminists agree with me) pro-life = anti-feminist. As such I consider anyone who is publicly pro-life to be actively campaigning for the oppression of women, and I am ready to counter their arguments with due vigour.

I am not going to indulge in insults or character assassinations, but I do not think that the word “shred” in the context of winning an argument in a debate is offensive.

Pro-life women have a right to self-identify as feminists just as much as I have a right to point out why I don’t think they are feminists.

Since this thread has veered off at a tangent, how about veering again? Holly has mentioned that objectification is not a clear-cut issue and I fully agree with her. I would venture that objectification is acceptable within certain limits and social contexts.

The equal pay issue is also more complex than appears on the surface. Naturally if two people with the same experience and qualifications are doing an identical job the pay should be identical. I don’t think we can simply extrapolate this to the entire workforce however, and other variables such as the risk or unpleasantness or physicality of certain jobs that attract mainly men need to be examined.

Cara // Posted 28 September 2009 at 10:27 pm


I wished to end this issue as I felt we were turning into merely offensive comments which weren’t getting us anywhere. To start with, as I have stated in ALL my previous posts I am, as Louise put it pro-abortion, as to eradicate it would lead to the deaths of many women at the hands of untrained, unskilled professionals, a dreadful return to the 1960s. But I still think that it is a very difficult subject, one which I have had personal experience in (as my relatives worked in abortion clinics.)

I also went to a catholic school, where we were shown the aftermaths of abortion. Yes this tactic was unfair to show impressionable children, but it left an indelibable mark on me, indicating the difficulties of abortion, and how there is no easy answer to the debate. My faith and personal beliefs, although I am not a strident Christian are very important to me, and whether your a christian or not, the question of when life begins is a difficult question , one which cannot be answered by religion, philosophy or science. As far as I am aware (and I proclaim, I am not politically astute as some on this board) no political parties are for the entire eradication of abortion, only to decrease the age limit. Many people forget that at 28 weeks, the feotus is fully formed, in vitro, with a spinal cord. To argue it is still an appendage of the mother, when it could be separated from the womb and stay alive, can be difficult.

But I am still pro abortion, but to a certain point. You say that if we stop abortion, we reduce women to breeding machines, but there is a point to be raise. Animals cannot use contraception or the pill. Perhaps if we encouraged greater birth control, there would be less abortions.

But I can see we are going to disagree on this matter, and I have no desire to change your opinion. But allow me also to have my viewpoints, faith and morality, and don’t tell me i’m not a feminist.

Kristy // Posted 29 September 2009 at 1:32 am

“she doesn’t want to ban abortion completely, just lessen the date of abortion”

It is one thing to believe that abortions shouldn’t be done after a certain age, but it is COMPLETELY another to put this belief on every women needing an abortion after the stage SHE considers ‘wrong’ – how is that choice?! If you really are prochoice, surely you would leave it to the individual woman to choose whether her pregnancy is ‘too far’ or not?

gadgetgal // Posted 29 September 2009 at 9:00 am


Hi – I’ll state right now that I’m pro-choice, however in the context of this debate that’s entirely irrelevant. Your comment that pro-life=anti-feminist was quite offensive, as was your claim that most feminists agree with you – I’ve just done a straw poll of women in my office (engineering, so we’re actively working against sexism day-to-day) and since they all have different backgrounds, different beliefs and different political views the only consensus was it’s not about feminism, it’s a matter of personal opinion. I’d say that of course that means you’re entitled to express yours in whatever way you choose, but you then followed it up with “Pro-life women have a right to self-identify as feminists just as much as I have a right to point out why I don’t think they are feminists.”

If you’d like to replace the words “pro-life” with either muslim, christian, trans, black, or any other number of groups that have been denied equal footing in the feminist sphere and you’ll begin to see how incredibly offensive that statement is. Yes, you have a right to disagree with what people say and tell them so. No, you don’t have the right to tell people what they are and what they are not.

I thought these pages were moderated for this kind of thing?

childerowland // Posted 29 September 2009 at 10:27 am

As far as I am aware (and I proclaim, I am not politically astute as some on this board) no political parties are for the entire eradication of abortion, only to decrease the age limit.

The reason why no political parties (apart from the BNP, I guess) come out as being in favour of making abortion illegal is because they know that it would be a very unpopular move and would therefore not work. Instead, those politicians who are anti-abortion (such an Ann Widdecombe) favour a ‘drip-drip’ approach – getting rid of abortion rights one step at a time. First get the time limit down to eighteen weeks, then twelve weeks, then work to make it illegal.

Do you really think that Ann Widdecombe, who stated in an interview: ‘The one occasion where I would not outlaw abortion is where the mother’s life in danger because then you have a choice between lives’ would stop her anti-abortion crusade after lowering the time limit by a few weeks?

Holly Combe // Posted 29 September 2009 at 5:04 pm

Hi Gadgetgal: There were some interesting comments on whether a pro-life stance is incompatible with feminism in the thread for Ellie Levenson’s guest post back in July. I didn’t get involved at the time but it did make me think about a few obviously feminist women I’ve known who have surprised me by having serious reservations about abortion. However, I found the marked difference between their views and Anne Widdecombe’s was that each of those women said they ultimately supported a woman’s right to choose and, as Childerowland points out, Anne Widdecombe has said she would outlaw abortion in most cases.

I realise there are many factors (such as those Cara outlined) that might lead a feminist to conclude that abortion is not a clear-cut subject but, when it comes to those who would support an outlawing of abortion, I have to say that (like others in the Ellie Levenson thread) I have very strong doubts about whether such a view can really be squared with feminism. That’s not to say I wouldn’t be able to recognise that a hardcore pro-lifer could possibly be feminist in other ways and I certainly wouldn’t discount those contributions as a matter of course. I just struggle to see how a person can really make a stand for women’s rights while working so hard to push women into carrying pregnancies to term, regardless of whether those women want them or not.

In terms of the moderation here, Daniela didn’t seem to me to be presenting her comment as The Final Word on whether pro-life women can actually be feminists (i.e my interpretation was that she as much recognised that pro-life women “have a right to self-identify as feminists” as she did her own right to say she doesn’t see them that way).

Much as I support your argument that we don’t have the right to define others, I don’t think the resistance pro-life feminists often meet within the feminist movement can be compared to the appalling prejudice people in marginalised groups face just for being who they are. The pro-life movement relates to a very specific topic and, though I appreciate it’s rather too easy to end up making sweeping generalisations about anyone who identifies as “pro-life” and this should be avoided, I don’t think the anger people feel about pro-life politics stems from a fundamental desire to supress others. Resentment towards whole groups of people because of their looks, colours, backgrounds, identities, genders, sexualities or abilities is another matter.

I think we need to be very careful that our sense of fairness doesn’t lead to us being dragged into a particularly dirty game of oppression olympics where those who seek to restrict the rights of others or retain privilege can claim that anyone who vehemently disagrees with their oppressive behaviour is exhibiting an ‘ism.

gadgetgal // Posted 30 September 2009 at 8:26 am

Hi Holly,

You make some interesting points in your stance on the pro-life versus choice issue, and I have to say I do agree with you – I even began my post with the comment that I am pro-choice and always have been. However I have to also stand by what I said, which wasn’t about whether I was pro-life or pro-choice, it was about a problem I have with feminists telling other feminists that because they don’t agree with the nuances of the discussion that makes another person “less” of a feminist. I can see how you would think it would be difficult to square certain beliefs with your idea of feminism (I do too) but I’ve seen the lack of ability to put those differences aside absolutely kill US feminism in the eyes of a lot of women there. It’s already bad enough here – this was the first country I ever heard a phrase begin (out of a woman’s mouth, by the way): “Well, I’m not a feminist, right, but…” And this was perfectly well excepted because feminism has such a bad wrap over here. I may not agree with someones’ idea of HOW equality might be achieved, but until either one of us is proved right or wrong it’s a matter of opinion.

And bear in mind that while the “pro-life” stance may be a very specific topic, there are a great many women (feminists included) who because of their cultural and religious backgrounds won’t agree – I have two friends specifically in mind here, both Muslim, both feminists, who not only are pro-life (which is a tenet of their beliefs and culture) but one of whom also wears a headscarf, something I’ve always found difficult to reconcile with my own views on feminism. Does this make either of them any less feminist? And who am I to make that judgement call? If religion or culture come into the equation suddenly it’s not just a question of a moral or political standpoint but a question of privilege.

And when you said “Daniela didn’t seem to me to be presenting her comment as The Final Word on whether pro-life women can actually be feminists (i.e my interpretation was that she as much recognised that pro-life women “have a right to self-identify as feminists” as she did her own right to say she doesn’t see them that way)”, I have to say her actual comment says otherwise: “Pro-life women have a right to self-identify as feminists just as much as I have a right to point out why I don’t think they are feminists”. It’s this kind of intolerance that not only makes us look like the crazy in-fighting harridans that we’re portrayed as, but it also makes us lose out on numbers – there are many women, some of whom I know, who have been put off the feminist movement entirely because they’ve been told by one or more other feminists that they’re just not feminist enough, or only feminist “in some ways”, because they don’t agree with them on every issue. This is not good, however you look at it – argue with people, disagree with people, shout at people, tell other people what you think, but don’t label them or de-label them according to your own opinions, it’s just going to make them walk away.

Holly Combe // Posted 30 September 2009 at 2:43 pm

If religion or culture come into the equation suddenly it’s not just a question of a moral or political standpoint but a question of privilege (Gadgetgal)

I’m completely with what you say here and it’s certainly one very good reason why, as I said, I think making sweeping generalisations about anyone who identifies as “pro-life” is something to be avoided. However, I would still say there’s a big difference between a woman is pro-life and would never have an abortion (for whatever personal reasons or beliefs) and the kind of pro-lifer who would actively campaign against abortion (eg: hanging around abortion clinics and handing out leaflets to try and stop it). Again, I think it would be a mistake to refuse to recognise such an individual as possibly feminist in other ways if s/he happened to identify as such but, regardless of the reasons that had led to a pro-life position, I think it would be very hard to argue that such obstructive behaviour could be called feminist in itself.

That said, I do agree that the labelling and de-labelling we have seen taking place in feminism when people don’t agree is potentially problematic. To an extent, I can vouch for that on a personal level because I’m very aware that some feminists probably don’t think I’m a real feminist due to my not being anti-porn. My personal feeling on this is that if people want to call my credentials into question, that’s their opinion and their right to think and say what they like. It has no bearing on how I identify myself. However, I’m also aware that I’m in a far more privileged and relatively safe position within the movement than, say, a sex worker who is at risk of not being accepted in the movement if she is proud of her work and has no desire to exit, a trans woman who could be ridiculed by cis women who refuse to recognise her womanhood or a Muslim woman who wears a headscarf and is likely to be patronised for that.

I do hear what you’re saying about the way our behaviour, as feminists, can make us look (i.e fuelling the stereotype of us as “crazy in-fighting harridans”) but I can’t help wondering if being overly mindful of this sometimes leads to us basically having to tiptoe around apologetically and be twice as good and well-behaved as in order to justify our existence. As with any group on the receiving end of a prejudice, we’re painfully aware that putting a foot wrong or behaving like a normal fallible human being will lead anti-feminists to say “see, that’s what feminists are like” or, more crucially, “that’s what women are like”. And so, in our effort to be good ambassadors, we end up jumping through more hoops and pandering to their misogynistic demands because of the bad tip they had us on right from the start. It seems our PR has to be second to none in order to convince women of an “I’m not a feminist but” persuasion not to let the anti-feminists capitalise on the fact that not all feminists agree with each other and thereby divide and conquer the many kinds of women who, in some way or another, threaten the status quo.

Holly Combe // Posted 30 September 2009 at 2:46 pm

Gadgetgal, I think we’ll have to agree to disagree about the interpretation of Daniela’s comment.

You have highlighted my interpretation and followed it with Daniela’s actual words and I have to say I am struggling to see some essential difference between the two. My reading was that the words “Pro-life women have a right to self-identify as feminists” meant exactly that and that Daniela speaking of the right to point out why she doesn’t think pro-life women are feminists simply outlined her belief that she has a right to have her own views and question theirs .

Daniela, can you clarify?

childerowland // Posted 30 September 2009 at 3:26 pm

Personally I would prefer to be part of a smaller feminist movement that focusses on achieving equality than a gigantic feminist movement comprised of anyone and everyone who wants to call themselves a feminist regardless of what they actually believe.

A ‘feminist’ movement that embraces overtly sexist beliefs simply in order to be inclusive, is useless.

Of course, people can call themselves whatever they want. But to argue that all someone has to do to be a feminist is to call themselves a feminist renders feminism completely meaningless.

Daniela Vincenti // Posted 30 September 2009 at 7:47 pm

Dear Holly and Gadgetgal,

I can understand why my stance pro-life = anti-feminist is controversial. I would only call someone an anti-feminist in cases that I consider extreme and would never use it lightly. In fact being a rather moderate feminist (on most issues) I have often been on the receiving end of the stick and many a hard-liner has branded me a patriarchy apologist or devil’s advocate.

Needless to say I would never call someone an antifeminist because of race, sexual orientation or religious beliefs, etc. That is a totally different ball game but Holly has already dealt with this so I’ll move on.

Holly says here that she is not anti-porn. I am generally anti-porn but would definitely not call her a non-feminist or anti-feminist. I would only raise this accusation if she tied me to a chair and forced me to watch a porno or if she supported some crazy legislation obliging women to participate in a porn movie against their will.

To give another example, many years ago when I was an activist in Italy we would occasionally organise demonstrations against street violence and get help from women in all walks of life. Some of these would hold rather old-fashioned and strong opinions, like advocating strongly that the place of a woman was in the home and that working mums were selfish, etc. Needless to say we found this rather irritating, but none of them went as far as wanting to make it illegal for women to participate in gainful employment. When they went on their smug little rant on how the husbands of working mums would all have affairs and their children would all do drugs I just bit my tongue and popped an antihypertensive. I accepted that they had vey different opinions but at least they did not campaign for their views to be imposed on all women, so I was happy to accept their help and participation on issues we could agree with.

On the other hand, we did not welcome pro-lifers who campaigned against abortion rights and always dissociated ourselves from them. The distinction between holding views that are not really feminist and seeking to impose those views on other women is vital in my opinion. Other examples of people I would accuse of being anti-feminist are those who wanted the wearing of headscarves to be obligatory or those who campaigned for obligatory genital mutilation.

Coming from a Catholic country I have a strong personal moral aversion to abortion so I will give this rather sad memoir to explain this superficially paradoxical statement. One of my closest feminist friends, who was a staunch pro-choice campaigner, was diagnosed with a tumour late in her pregnancy and was advised to terminate and start treatment to have a reasonable chance of cure. She could not bring herself to do this however and insisted on having a Caeserian when the baby was viable before starting therapy. Unfortuneately she passed away after a few months and her daughter never got to know her mother. Yet she could draw consolation from the love that her mother showed for her in virtually sacrificing her life so that she could be born, whilst simultaneously campaigning so that all women would have the dignity to be able to make that free choice.

To try and summarise, I will always publicly criticize pro-life views and their exponents as antifeminist but now that I am a bit older I might try to collaborate with them on issues that we agree on as long as this help is given below the radar.

gadgetgal // Posted 30 September 2009 at 8:50 pm

To Daniela: Fair enough – even if we do it quietly, so long as we all still stick together on most issues I’m totally down with that – I just want to make sure we keep getting the numbers up while there’s still so much to be done!

And Holly (and all the other contributors): I have to say that I’ve blogged a few times over the last few days, and it’s the first time I’ve ever done it – I really like the way this site is run and the variety of people that use it, it’s really made me think and re-think about lots of things I’d got too busy to ponder lately. Keep up the good work, you do a really important job here!

Holly Combe // Posted 30 September 2009 at 10:04 pm

Thanks Gadgetgal and everyone who has commented so far. It’s always nice to get positive feedback, as I get the impression that doing a good job doesn’t always warrant a response but getting something wrong tends to kick people into action.

It works the other way too. Indeed, I initially saw your comment, thought “cool”, hit publish and left it at that. It seems to be so much easier to jump in and go the extra mile to find the right words when there’s a political issue to argue about!

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