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Sunday, 30 September 2012

Respect for Women

Has anyone been following The Sun, Page 3 debate which has been playing in the national media this week?

I watched Harriet Harman on BBC Newsnight arguing the case for finally ending page 3 topless women in The Sun newspaper and felt moved by her sheer tenacity.  Did she really say she has been fighting for an end to Page 3 for 20 years! The ex-editor they had arguing the case for the boobs to stay wasn't very impressive but then what possible intelligent reason could he give. 

A day later I went into Peacocks clothes store with my 11 year old daughter and while waiting to pay was confronted with a pile of boxed 'Stress Boobs' on the counter by the till.  Each box carried a scary looking man eagerly squeezing two skin coloured balls with nipples! And sure enough viewed voyeuristically through the plastic display window were two sad looking stress boobs, staring weirdly out at us.

I mentioned to the saleswoman that I wasn't impressed by the 'boobs' and the queue of people behind me looked away in embarrassment.  Why did they do that?  Were they embarrassed by me complaining? By me saying boobs? By me raising the issue? It would have been nice to be supported. I continued anyway and  tried to explain that at exactly child height they were inappropriate and could she please pass this on as a complaint from a customer.  I asked her what she felt. She said children saw 'much worse all the time, out there'. Is that true? Does that make us too accepting and perhaps lazy, happy to just let these things go, and in so doing help perpetuate this terrible disrespect for women?  Does that make us complicit? And is that why we still have a Page 3?

So let's have a mini campaign.  If you go into Peacocks and the boobs are there, complain. 

Janet Wise

Saturday, 1 September 2012

Overcoming Adversity

'Overcoming Adversity' is the theme for our Armada Speakers get together on 4th September.  We'll be celebrating the amazing achievements of the paralympic athletes and offering our unique blend of prepared and off the cuff speaking.

Please note our change of venue.  We are moving to The Astor Hotel, in Elliot Street, Plymouth and are assured of a warm welcome from Joesph Louei and his staff.  We'll meet in the Churchill Suite at our usual time of 7pm for a prompt 7.15 start.

I'm still really enjoying my Armada Speakers experience because I meet really friendly people there and hear challenging and interesting speeches.  I gave my seventh speech last week and came out the winner in the prepared speech category!  My speech was entitled 'The Perils of Five a day'.  I used a clip from Jamie Oliver's TED speech, about the increase in obesity and crisis with food choices for Americans and their children. I made comparisons with what's happening here in the UK. The content seemed to strike a cord with the audience and I had good feed back.  The 'perils' I spoke of was the misunderstanding I held for a while that I could eat anything I wanted as long as I had my five fruit and vegetables a day.  That didn't quite work out. I'm about two stone lighter now, I'm pleased to have found a better way of eating thanks to help from Ramin my acupuncturist.  Making friends with food is a fundamental part of our work at WiserHealth,  finding a balanced way of eating, exercising and living that keeps us happy and well.

My fascination with and sometimes obsessions with food and health takes me on some interesting journeys.  Does this happen for you?  If you'd like to know more or share ideas please don't hesitate to contact me.

See you on Tuesday at the Astor Hotel, guests made especially welcome.  Don't forget drinks afterwards in the bar.  Let's share our voices, practice being heard and being a good listener and have fun at the same time.

Janet Wise