My thoughts on #Twittersilence

It’s amazing, isn’t it?  I mean, the capacity for some of humanity to be utterly, utterly vile.  All week I’ve been reading about rape and bomb threats made to women on Twitter.  Women who dared to campaign for equality, or identify themselves as feminists, or be successful enough to have a verified Twitter account or, even it seems, just to be female and on Twitter.  Whatever.  But, of course, this isn’t something that’s unique to women. Gay people, people of colour, people with disabilities, people without disabilities, famous people, non-famous people; Trolls don’t discriminate, they’re just utter cunts.

So, some Twitter users have chosen to boycott Twitter today. Fine. Good luck to them. I didn’t.  Why?

Because I don’t think the best way to draw attention to bad behaviour is to stay silent.
Bullies love it when their victims stay silent.  The only way this has made such a shit-storm in the press this week is because people have been vocal about the abuse they’ve been receiving. Stand up and shout about it. Shame these idiots. I mean, come on. Really? What kind of ‘man’ sends a threat to rape another human being (men get rape threats too). Think about how ludicrous that is – how small, pathetic, and insecure you’d have to be to resort to that. “I have a penis, and I am stronger that you, so I am going to forceably insert it in you, because I can and it proves something about me.” Really, it’s laughable.

Because the vast majority of Twitter users are perfectly reasonable, decent human beings.
The fact that this has created such a massive shit-storm proves this. Most people are outraged by what’s going on.

Because I don’t blame Twitter for the behaviour of a small minority of its users.
Twitter is a free speech platform.  These Tweets go way beyond free speech, but there is already an existing report function for offensive/abusive/threatening behaviour. There is also the Police, who take rape, death and bomb threats very seriously. Trust me. I’ve had death threats. It wasn’t nice but the Police were awesome. Where there is a communication medium, someone will find a way to abuse it. My death threats came over the telephone, but I don’t blame BT for that –  I blame the silly, small minded, jealous woman who did them.

Because I choose not to let other people’s ridiculous behaviour affect my own.
OK – I have a massive issue with people who say ‘you really offended me when…’. No, you cannot be offended, you can only take offence. Nobody can force you to be offended by something – you make that choice yourself. People can say all the shit in the world, but if you choose to, you can laugh it off. Yes, threats of physical violence are scary and need to be dealt with by the authorities, but insults? Do you want to choose to allow that to affect your whole day – or not? When I tell people I don’t give a fuck, I’m not kidding. Why waste time worrying about what other people think? Those who mind don’t matter, and those who matter don’t mind.

Because there was something a bit painfully middle class and elitist about this boycott.
Let’s be honest, as I mentioned above, Twitter abuse isn’t old news, but now it’s affected a particular section of the ‘Twitterati’ and suddenly there is much wailing and gnashing of teeth over their Fairtrade skinny lattes. Yes, I’m stereotyping – that’s fine. It’s a stereotype that I personally fit into, but I don’t feel like ‘the sisterhood’ is being attacked. I don’t feel like I need to be a member of a little club of people all doing something and screaming ‘look at meeeeee, I’m doing something‘. I want to see an end to threats to every human being. I want to see the spotlight thrown on all the dark corners, on every little dirty troll hiding behind a keyboard. I want to see positivity, support, genuine appreciation and respect for our multitude of differences put out there.

I want to see people being decent to each other, for fuck’s sake.

Is that too much to ask?

I thought it was just me…aka…irrational hatreds…aka…men in red trousers

You know that thing you really hate?  The thing that really irritates you, yet you know it’s so completely ridiculous that it must just be a ‘you’ thing, right?  Well that’s how I feel about red trousers. Or, to be more precise, men in red trousers. So, I was kinda surprised to see this article on the BBC Website yesterday – Why do people mock men in red trousers?

So, this is officially A Thing then?  It’s suddenly okay to point and laugh?  Alright, I don’t do that – unless it’s at Euan King, who owns the aforesaid offensive garment. But this is a man who once, while drunk, held me personally responsible for the English persecution of William Wallace – no, I have no idea why either. It probably had something to do with me being English, and the fact it was his round. But, I digress.  While I have no intention of sniggering behind my hand at any member of the male sex who decides to don a pair of burgundy slacks or crimson jeans, the fact remains that, deep down, I’ll be willing them to change into something…well…a bit nicer.

I’ve had a think about where this prejudice comes from. In the BBC article, Lisa Armstrong from The Daily Telegraph says “it’s the brightness and ostentation that offends in a country where menswear styles are typically conservative and muted.”  But this doesn’t wash for me.  If a bloke was to wander along the street in bright pink trousers, for instance, I’d be dead impressed.  My ire is uniquely reserved for the red trouser brigade.

On reflection, the only reason I can think of is that, pretty much, every man I’ve ever met who wears them has turned out to be a twat. Except for my friend Kelly Eva May’s boyfriend, who’s lovely and currently driving halfway around the world for charity, so he can wear whatever he likes.  And Euan, I suppose.  But he has only ever ventured out in his red trews on stage for 3some, so on some level he must know, subliminally, as they nestle deep in his wardrobe, that they’re wrongity wrong.

So yes. My name is Lisa and I am trouserist.  Who knew??

A domestic interlude

Elisar and I have been married seven years. At this point we’ve managed to sort everything out in the home so that it works relatively smoothly. He does the cooking and washing up, I do the laundry. Sorted.  There is a reason for this.

We just got back from holiday. Yesterday, Eli announced he was going to do laundry.  He asked if there was anything I needed washing and I asked for my day to day clothes to be washed. Off he toddles.

He washes my bikinis, the beach towels, my evening dresses and his shirts and trousers. Everything BUT my day clothes.  He hadn’t realised what my day clothes were…or so he says.

So, yeah. If you spot a woman walking around North London in a bikini or an evening dress, that’s probably me. Do say hi.

Hello and all that

Blogging. Apparently it’s the new black, or something. Everyone’s doing it and I hate feeling left out, so here I am.

Although, it’s all slightly worrying. You might just actually finally work out that I am a little bit of a grumpy old woman. In fact, I’m quite a big bit of a grumpy old woman.  The most vocal supporter of me starting this blog has been my husband, Elisar. This is mostly because he hopes that me ranting online will reduce the need for me to rant at him in real life.  Poor, misguided soul, he is.

I am also always right. Ask anyone. Ask Peter Halpin, who coined my nickname Lisa ‘I’ve said it so it’s fact’ Gifford. Damn skippy!

Not really (well he did give me that nickname, he even wrote it on my press night card for 3some – see)Pete's card

but, on the contrary, one of the great things about aging is the older you become, the more you realise you don’t know, and the less judgemental you are as a result. It’s brilliant. Not that I don’t have opinions – I’ve got a million of ’em. Hence this blog.

So yes, if you’re familiar with my Twitter feed you’ll know the kinds of things I’m likely to gob off about on here. Or you can always read my ‘About Me’ page.  Anyway, look out for mutterings about feminism, gay rights, animal rights, food, writing, the state of the British Film Industry, the state of the British TV industry, Honey Boo Boo. Yes, for the record, I am a huge fan of Honey Boo Boo. She is awesome. Get over it.