I follow a wide range of folk on social media. It’s what makes it useful and interesting I think.

One of my recent favourites is Jack Monroe who is @bootstrapcook on Twitter.

She is a whizz at finding very cheap ways to make very tasty meals.

I don’t know much about her other than that. I think she’s mentioned being a lesbian but don’t quote me on that. I’ve tried some of her recipes and they work.

I do know that she is gaining a measure of fame and her books are really beginning to sell.


One thing I don’t like is that with this fame come a great many people who use the anonymity of the internet to have a pop at her.

She occasionally expresses her own views on current affairs which we are all allowed to do (as long as it causes no harm).

This riles people who not only feel that she has no right to free speech but that they can then hurl insults at her.

Many of them seem to be men for some reason.

Now I try to ignore most of the nonsense that goes on around me. Life is too busy to be offended by people’s silliness but the hate that is aimed at her has made me think.

Much of what is written comes out of Jack being someone who doesn’t cling to a stereotype. Folk don’t like that.

Much also comes because she is a woman.

I struggle with this line of thought and opinion.

You see my Mum and my dad’s Mum were both strong women. They struggled with disabled husbands, pitiful incomes, and all that life could throw at them.

This gave me and my brothers a fairly unique view on the whole gender thing.

The shape of one’s genitals isn’t a good indicator of ability or of which life choices are available to you.

If you choose it to be then bully for you.

I understand that I’m arguing against history here and that there is a worldwide domination of power held by middle aged men.

There is also an inertia prolonged by many women who choose the safety of traditional gender roles rather than following their dreams.

However, I do believe that who you are and who you want to be starts with a good long look in the mirror. Gender is something you’re born with but what you choose to do with it and how you allow it to steer your life is entirely up to you. (I’ve recently learned about gender fluidity, non-binary sexuality and suchlike).

My brother is a nurse, my daughter was a cub (and a brownie at the same time), I did filet crochet for years until it hurt my eyes and can still knit, most of my managers have been women and my immediate manager is a woman half my age.

And you know what? It doesn’t matter.

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