Women and Porn

By April 18, 2011 Blog

Six out of ten women view internet porn. However you package it, that’s quite a stat, (Guardian, 7 April, 2011 ). It is not a minor issue and nor is it confined to men. I’ve rarely heard it addressed in the secular media, let alone in a Christian context. Yet it’s a huge problem – particularly for the 17 per cent of women who claim to be ‘addicted’ to porn. (Internet Filter survey, 2006 ). And not just outside the church. A …Read More

Born This Way?

By April 16, 2011 Blog

As Christians, what do we do with the fact that some people are born happier than others? Research suggests that some people are born with lower levels of serotonin (the so-called ‘happy hormone’), than others. These people are therefore more prone to mental health disorders such as depression or eating disorders. They’re naturally more likely to see the glass as empty rather than full. We may want there to be a thick black line between body and soul that keeps …Read More

Divine Circuit-Breaking

By April 15, 2011 Blog

Ever get yourself into a bit of a tizz? In fact, scratch ‘tizz’. Tizz is for part-timers. What I’m talking about here is FULL-BLOWN MELTDOWN. With enough time and effort, (particularly in the early hours of the morning), what starts as a mental hiccup can escalate into an existential crisis of global proportions. That is, if I let it. Anxiety, can often be a choice. It’s like a circuit I’ve hard-wired in my body and brain – one tiny trigger …Read More

What I’m Really Thinking (Part 2)

By April 14, 2011 Blog

The Woman With ME ( from The Guardian) “Twenty years coping with the symptoms of ME is bad enough, but 20 years of coping with people’s reactions to it adds insult to injury in the most literal sense. First was the era of “yuppie flu”, when people you’d never met before felt entitled to interrogate you as to the validity of your illness and your presumed psychological deficiencies. Nowadays I get either the “you need to pull yourself together” brigade, or …Read More

What I’m Really Thinking

By April 13, 2011 Blog

Don’t buy the lie that you – or others – are the size of your waistband. From The Guardian’s ‘What I’m Really Thinking’ column: The Obese Woman: ‘I hide myself in swathes of baggy, saggy, grey layers: my attempt at invisibility. But moving  around is not comfortable. Trousers ride up and flap around white calves, T-shirts gather at the armpits and are dragged down at the neck. It’s hard to have dignity. I hide away inside this large frame, my …Read More

Wicked Games

By April 12, 2011 Blog

‘Raising’ children is primarily a matter of teaching them what games to play’. So argues Eric Berne, in his fascinating book, ‘Games People Play: The Psychology of Human Relationships’.  And, as  you’ve probably guessed, he’s not talking about Scrabble. Berne defines a game as a repeated series of social actions with a hidden agenda.  Every game, he claims,  is fundamentally dishonest.  This is because its object is not an honest request but a way of manipulating the other player or …Read More

Lifestyle Envy

By April 11, 2011 Blog

What on earth is a ‘lifestyle’? And where do I get one? From tea-bags to wall-paper, if the advertising’s true, then none of our choices are neutral.   Whether it’s a nubile twenty-something parachuting to the strain of ‘Woooah Bodyfoorm’ or a hunky exec practically vomiting with excitement over his 714-blade razor, even the wrong choice of toothpaste can brand us ‘Losers’ in the lifestyle stakes. It’s essentially a grown-up version of the playground cliques.  And as someone who’s naturally four …Read More

De-Clawing The Lion

By April 10, 2011 Blog

I wonder if, like me, you sometimes point people to safe religion.  A system of morality, with a  domesticated, pocket-sized Christ at its head.  It’s not necessarily intentional and it can be for what seem like good reasons.  But as Bonhoeffer observed, cheap grace is no grace.  A little god is no God at all. What are some of the processes behind this? Well, I can see myself as the Lord’s one-woman press office.  He needs me you see, to …Read More

Managing the Menopause

By April 8, 2011 Blog, identity

It’s the life-blood of many a stand-up and even the subject of a musical, but when it comes to the menopause, the reality can be far from funny. And despite the fact that it is something we women will inevitably face (or already have done), it seems that this is an area that is strictly off-limits. A number of my friends have either gone through, or are going through ‘The Change’, (yes sounds like a dodgy 70s werewolf  film – …Read More

Reverse Anorexia

By April 7, 2011 Blog

It’s easy to think that when it comes to body image and insecurity, we women have a monopoly.  Yet as the rise of eating disorders and depression in men indicates, this is far from true.  When it comes to self-esteem and gender expectations, Batman may be just as damaging as Barbie. There’s a reason why Mr Right is described as tall, dark and handsome.  For guys, size matters – and it’s more than just a cliché.   As Nancy Etcoff observes …Read More