Friday Links

I was gutted to hear about Farm Terrace and she’s right. This ruling puts all UK allotments under threat.

Church apologises for role in adoptions in 50’s, 60’s and 70’s. Good it should, it behaved badly. However, one of these women was on the Today Programme on Thursday morning and it seems to me that she was projecting onto the church organisations, feelings she didn’t feel she could aim at her family. Because these women did have families, their families let this happen too. I’m in a privileged position here, this didn’t happen in my family. It could have though. My paternal grandmother gave birth to my uncle in the same home in Ireland that features in the film Philomena and what I remember from the book, is that her brother and father both refused to help her or take her back unless she gave up the baby for adoption. I’m not saying that overcoming the stigma of a baby out of marriage was easy but I keep coming back to the fact that that churches behaved badly because those women had been abandoned by their families. We can’t deflect from the wrong-doing of the churches, they, of all people, should have been more compassionate, but it wasn’t just them, it was families and neighbours and society that allowed this to happen and we do need to acknowledge that too.

Bashing romance novels is another form of slut shaming. I’d never thought of it that way but Sarah MacLean makes a persuasive argument.

‘Do not brand me a failure. I’m a survivor. All unhappily childless people are’ I’m struggling a bit with this piece. It’s not that I don’t get it, I would have loved children and it hurts when people say tactless things to me, I’ve written about it here and here but my problem is the tone of the article. I get the feeling that you couldn’t say anything to the author about children or childlessness that she wouldn’t be angry about, which is no way to live. Also, I’m not a ‘survivor’. Yes not having children is sometimes painful and sad but this kind of melodramatic language to talk about wanting children not getting what you wanted doesn’t help the cause of getting others to be a bit more sensitive. This isn’t at root about not having children it’s about a breakdown in the idea of society. If there is no such thing as society, only individuals and families, then somehow not making a family becomes less respectable. If we recognise that society needs ‘the village’ then being childless becomes another way of being…

Mark Steele on Toby Young’s stupid review of I, Daniel Blake.

How I built a life abroad, with banana bread. This is just lovely.

Are you an Anne Shirley or an Emily Starr? I’m probably an Aunt Elizabeth or Marilla but I love both of them.

The different stakes of male and female birth control. Well quite…

About nicdempsey

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