Puberty revisited by Trevor Plumbly and Susan Grimsdell

Once again, Trevor has taken it into his head that we should have a joint blog, each of us writing our own take on a common subject. This time he has chosen the topic of puberty. Devoted readers will be aware that Trevor often returns to this topic and we can only guess at why this stage in his development looms so large. First flickers by Trevor These days it’s an easy trip: you can blame anything short of climate change on puberty and get away with a sympathetic nod. In my… Read More

Respect by Susan Grimsdell

Vigils all over New Zealand.  People wearing headscarves “as a mark of respect”.  Respect for what?  For the successful oppression by Muslim men of Muslim women? Doesn’t anyone else find it odd that not one single non-Muslim western woman, whether British, NZ, Australian, Canadian, American, European, chooses to go around covering her hair every moment of the day?  Yet many Muslim women do, often depending on age and country of heritage. Let us not ever forget that when a whole cohort of people opt for the same thing, something other than choice… Read More

Child poverty by Susan Grimsdell

I find myself puzzled by something or other every single day.  Today I’ve been giving attention to our NZ government’s declaration that it’s going to reduce child poverty, preferably get rid of it altogether. Children in poverty Now, I’ve never seen a child living in poverty in a well-off household.  Has anyone?  If a child’s living in poverty, surely the parents are too?  I mean, I know people can be horrible to their kids, but this seems to be truly beyond the pale – the parents OK, the child hungry and in… Read More

Pillars of the Community by Susan Grimsdell

We’ve been hearing about fraud in the insurance industry lately.  Do you remember way back in the distant past when the trusted insurance guy would come to your house and tell you which insurances were best for you? Did it ever enter anyone’s head to suspect for one minute that the one he chose for you was the one that gave him the highest commission? Well, the insurance headlines are saying – look again.  The folks dealing in insurance aren’t quite the decent people they seem to be. Don’t bank on it… Read More

Alphabet Soup by Susan Grimsdell

There’s a whole alphabet to describe people’s gender identities, but there’s another letter that in my view should be included in there.  All the letters – LGBTQI  – describe one aspect of people – their sexual preferences.  What about the way people think and what they like to do (other than sex)?  I think we need another letter:  M. And it stands for Misfit. Not conforming to the stereotype I’m a misfit.  I’m female, but I am just not interested in the things women and girls are stereotypically supposed to be interested… Read More