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Thank you for sharing your journey of awakening to feminism here. We are a similar age and my introduction to feminism also began through a kind of osmosis…looking at my mother asking my father for more housekeeping and him tutting etc and vowing to myself that I would never to be in that position was the start. A brother who was very involved in politics also influenced me. Lucky enough to be at university in London late seventies when there was a lot going on, I joined the women’s group and sat very quietly! I also had one very outspoken feminist lecturer who was a massive influence and I started via studying to put theory into the picture. Once you view the world through the lens of feminism you never see anything without it. In those days we had CR groups and you found your local one via Spare Rib. As soon as I went into the workplace where feminism was a dirty word I joined one and four of us still meet today. Thank you for your brilliant work.

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Thank you so much

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God I'd love a CR group now

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aye

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Thank you so much

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I remember the handing over of the housekeeping money!

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Me too

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Spare Rib period checker showed me my period happened every 33 days. Oh the joys!

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I remember well!

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Thank you for this. Beautifully and movingly written, with great clarity, empathy for women, and a fierce sense of justice. I've been a feminist since I was a teenager, when a feminist book helped me make sense of my childhood. I'm a supporter of the Nordic Model and an opponent of gender ideology thanks to your books. Never doubt the impact and value of your work. You're right up there with Dworkin and all the greats.

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Thank you

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My 32 year old Daughter managed to get a copy of Dworkin.'s wonderful book last year. She was so happy 😊

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Totally agree 👏🏽👏🏽👏🏽👏👏👏👏🏾👏🏾👏🏾

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Thank you Julie for your bravery, anger and energy and how you have used these for all us women. You are an absolute star 🌟. Your writing here took me right back to my school days and dark times which followed. Not just for me but for many of us. Most women I know have been sexually abused and assaulted. And it continues. I always thought our lives as women would improve...sadly this is not the case. It's becoming more menacing. We all appreciate you, your courage, steadfastness and love x

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xxx

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Thank you for all your work Julie. I bought my 15 year old your book, we need our daughters to wake up., we are not even close to a just society for women, if anything we are going backwards.

I know exactly what made me a feminist. In 1983, aged 14 I watched the vicious campaign to put in place a constitutional ban on abortion in Ireland. The Madonna/whore versions of womanhood horrified me. The following year Anne Lovett died alone in a graveyard giving birth, she was the same age as me. That’s when the rage started.

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You have come so far & your story is so crucial to how we understand the story of feminism. I came very late to it - I spent most of my adult life just assuming that my mothers generation had smashed through (my mum was a commercial pilot in the 70s) and that women from then on would all be free to get on with smashing the glass ceiling etc.. How wrong I was. The fact that some women were able to crash those barriers for whatever reason - personality, circumstances, geography, I don’t know - didn’t mean that all women would be able to break free in the same way. Men continued to have a sense of entitlement over women &, to my shame now, I probably behaved in a way that enabled men to continue in their sense of entitlement, by going along with & using it to my own ends…

But I’d like to think that I’m making amends now by supporting those wonderful women like you Julie, who have taken this cause and run with it.

Never pipe down! Your voice is a clarion call, and I hope that all women will flock to follow.

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Thank you so much for sharing your experiences - horrendous as it was to read. And thank you for everything you do. I find it completely incomprehensible that there are women dismissing the need for safe female-only spaces and calling other women bigots for simply standing up for, and wanting to protect, other women. Men, I can understand - but women?

So much love for you, JKR and all the other fabulous, brave women standing up for all of us. xx

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xxx

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I will never understand this either. I want to shout and swear from the rooftops...I'd be put in a psychiatric ward as would we all. The state is enabling this madness and too many men and women are falling into line ffs.

It's beyond my comprehension. Women, especially Sturgeon, who has her own perverted agenda cf her creepy video...wtf is that about? I'm auld but my Daughter isn't. She will carry on for all of us, even although it's affecting her career too. Fucking shameless.

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I don't like Sturgeon - what has she done?

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If you don't know you haven't done your homework

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Thank you 😊 Very kind

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Thank you Julie so much for this - the descriptions of growing up lesbian and frightened even of the word - and look where we are now - my journey to feminism beginning watching my mother, servile, waiting upon my father - and taking Sociology A level at Harrogate College of FE - I would have been in Harrogate for 2 years around the same time as you - our paths never would have crossed - I also managed to get to Hales bar, frightened, the only gay bar back then - and I heard there was a woman's group in Harrogate at that time - I took down the number in the library but it had closed...then I finally was honoured to get to meet you at the Labyris Lit event at Filia - the journeys we've all been on to get here are so long and hard - we can't take that away from us. Ever.

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xxx

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I am very fortunate to have never been raped (yet), though I’ve had some close calls. But I’ve had a fear and awareness of it since I was about 11. I have locked doors, closed windows, avoided underground parking lots, walked down the middle of the street at night, crossed the street when someone is behind me, etc. my whole life. So when my 57-yr-old brother announced he was actually a woman I was enraged--enraged by his years of carefree hitchhiking (including across war-torn Africa), by his incessant naked swimming, by his fun adventures with random strangers, and then when he started to complain about harassment at work and how it made him cry, I laughed at the ridiculous mildness of this harassment and how, as a woman, I had learned to shuck off so much worse--the recognition of which made me even more enraged. And when I support the Vancouver Rape Relief and Women’s Shelter, I do so not only because we need it for so many women, but also because there will always be the possibility, for the rest of my life, that I may need it too.

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x

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True

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A very moving piece, thank you. I well remember those train carriages and the terror of finding yourself a lone female in one with assorted flashers and masturbators.

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Indeed

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Thank you so much for sharing your story with the world Julie. In Iran we are also fighting for change and take comfort in seeing our sisters across nations stand up for themselves. May we strive together. 💚🤍♥️🌷🌷🌷

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Love and solidarity x

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This. The way we internalise a sexual assault. How our brains file it under ‘that didn’t happen’. A survival mechanism.

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Yes

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Bloody ninjas chopping onions near me, making me cry.

Beautifully written Julie, very powerful and, apparently emotion causing.

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This is such a beautiful piece of writing, thank you Julie, from another Darlo lass x

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Hello Darlo!

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Domestic violence and the family court did it for me. Im glad i understand it now. Better late than never..

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Good for you

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Julie, you and I are of an age and I am saddened to read what happened to you. That this caused you to take up your warrior sword and armor and fight for the rights of other women is very inspiring. In a strange way I myself have come to value the instability and abuse of my own childhood because it protected me from similar abuse as an adult. Meaning my own internal bullshit detector and red alert warning system was hyper-honed . This can be a disadvantage, as I do not trust easily; but overall it has been very useful in saving me from so many of the traps and pitfalls this world has for women. The pushing of males into female spaces on all levels is something I think that more traditional cultures found ways to limit. Of course usually the women were blamed if those taboos were violated, but at least on the communal level it was agreed that women should be protected. Now I feel we do not even have that basic collective agreement in western society. We are being 'punished' for daring to demand equality and for being clear and strong. The story goes something like this: So hey you gals want equality? Then us guys get to violate your private spaces with total impunity and no social consequences. In fact you women are now to be framed as the evil agressors if you dare to fight back. The world is under enormous stress on multiple levels. It makes it even scarier and more dangerous to be big and powerful as a woman especially. I so deeply honor the bravery and committment of every woman who is doing her best to make this world a better place for women and girls everywhere!

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We should not have to tell these stories, but we do. Thank you, and thank you for doing this week for this reason. ✊️

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