Sunday, November 23, 2014

A Lot To Answer For And Ballater

So we have Bill Cosby, one of my favourite TV dad's. The all American dad, the man in fuzzy sweaters who could make anything funny, is now accused of rape.
Not by one woman, or another woman who 'jumped on the band wagon' as some internet trolls like to call victims, but a slew of women working in the business. What does Bill do? He refuses to discuss it. Refusing to speak seems like the best way to avoid discussion. It has been used a million times historically, the best way to avoid a situation is to 'not talk about it' according to Bill.
When my daughter was four I caught her throwing talcum down the toilet, the whole thing splattered the loo and the floor. She didn't want to talk about it. I accepted she knew it was wrong as she was four years old and slunk off looking for a teddy bear to be her lawyer who would assure her 'not talking about it' was a great defence. Her face spoke volumes.
Bill Cosby's face on the latest Associated Press's video looks much of the same. Except Bill never threw talcum about the toilet to resemble the final scene of Scarface, he is accused of raping multiple victims.
When will he speak out? The New York Daily News printed a front cover today saying "It's Time For America's Dad To Talk" so it's not going away.....come on Bill. Speak.
I am currently writing this blog from Ballater, me and my pal Shirley are having a week at the timeshare lodge at Craigendarroch. It's basically a huge complex of country lodges beside a big hotel with a swimming pool nestled on the hill above Ballater. It's Royal country, all the shops vie for who has the biggest royal seal of approval above their wee blue door. There are faded photos in windows of Diana clutching a bag of dolly mixtures as she heads towards a car and a wonderful museum dedicated to Queen Victoria in the now defunct railway station, full of wax models and mock up royal train. Very cutesy.
I think it must be hard to survive as a business in these small villages, so fair play to them. I love the village of Ballater I have to say. The butcher's has the best meat on the planet and the shops are stocked with everything from gun cleaning fluid to fags and tartan hedgehogs.
Me and Shirley have been doing art projects, I love painting and drawing and she has been joining in and encouraging me to draw things I normally feel is out with my talent scope. I even did a landscape and auctioned it on Twitter and raised £150 for Loaves and Fishes food bank in Glasgow. Am very proud and thanks to Stephen K Amos, the food bank got some well deserved cash.
The silence is wonderful, and the scenery is stunning. I go and swim most days and just lie in the warm pool and float about, so swimming is a very elaborate excuse for what it is I actually do in the pool.
I am missing Ashley, husband and my dad of course but the break is brilliant.
Shirley on the other hand, despite being a good pal likes to scare me. She has done this in all the places we stayed from London to Boston. She can stand still in a dark corner for ages just to jump out at me...I battered my arm off the door to the sauna the other night when she did it. Yes, we have a sauna and Jacuzzi in the lodge.
I don't like sauna's as to me they are one step above water boarding.
We sit out at night on the balcony in the dense darkness and can hear nothing but some birds or animal or something making a weird noise, but it's lovely. I always look at Shirley to make sure it isn't her cawing to scare me, but it's not.
Days pass in a lovely haze of swimming, eating and sleeping surrounded by brilliant autumnal colours blazing through the windows and laughing with my pal.
This is the perfect time to relax before the busy Christmas period and as we have had this lodge for 28 years, I recall Ashley as a toddler throwing talcum down the toilet in the lodge. Ah...happy memories.
So thanks for reading, if you want follow me on twitter @JaneyGodley for updates and daily shenanigans.

Sorry my blog's have been less regular than promised...been hectic.


Friday, November 07, 2014

Dapper Laughs and Julien Blanc.

In 1979, I recall walking into work in my boyfriend’s dad's pub in the notorious area of The Calton in Glasgow. There seemed to be not many street lights outside and it felt very dark. The pub was full of drunk, young and old men. The only woman in there (other than me) was an ancient old prostitute who sat alone singing into her glass as the guys looked on laughing.

This was the same bar in the early 80s where some of its regulars had gang raped another drunk vulnerable woman and after getting bored with her, slashed her flesh so much that she almost died. Nicholas Fairbairn the infamous politician had to resign as he declared her gang rape and assault as 'not worthy of a trial' as she was a 'damaged woman'. It took a kind hearted lawyer to bring the first civil law suit to jail my customers and they served prison time. It was the Carol X case. Her rapists were guys who drank in my bar.

What am trying to say is some of the Glasgow men back then in The Calton didn't really respect women much. I witnessed this every day in that bar. Women were treated with utter disdain, abuse and I even witnessed women running away from the 'grabbing' men who all laughed heartily at their 'attempted assault'. The guys openly discussed the size of my breasts and sometimes when I ventured out into the main bar area to clear up they would make an effort to curtail their behaviour as my boyfriend's dad was not to be messed with, so I effectively was 'off limits'. I was safe.

Yet I was constantly shocked at the way they spoke about women, for example I had a guy in our bar who used to say he "Tarzaned" women, which was a reference to Tarzan grabbing a woman and swinging her away. 'Tarzaned' can be equally read as raped. Things slowly changed, the area changed, lots of those original guys became heroin addicts and were now not so cocky and either died or faded away or just gave up on life.

The 80s came along and new customers with families and jobs and self employed business's started using the pub and they weren't as 'grabby' or sexist or misogynistic as their predecessors.

But there was still an element of old school sexism in the air. Good news was - it was changing.

It's 2014 and we now have Dapper Laughs and Julien Blanc in the media telling us how to grab women by the throat for a dating technique or  openly laughing at women and asking to 'smell their gash' and generally being demeaned by men in groups. I thought that was done.

 I had hoped the term 'Tarzaned' was an isolated Glasgow urban myth....but its back and people now pay to hear it. Maybe I should open a 1979 theme bar and have men grabbing women as blokes laugh at the hilarity and we can have Dapper Laughs Vines on a loop, girls can giggle as they are throttled near the juke box and women can scream with pleasure at being noticed as they try to hide the smell of their gash near the boys!

Or men like Dapper Laughs and Julien Blanc can grow the fuck up and people who pay to see them can realise that one day their own daughters, sisters and female pals will suffer from this perpetuated 'lad syndrome' and maybe one day if things change WOMEN ONE DAY can walk into a bar without fear or humiliation from badly raised stupid men.

So thanks for reading, if you want follow me on twitter @JaneyGodley for updates and daily shenanigans.

Sorry my blog's have been less regular than promised...been hectic.