The first International Women’s Day in a decade where I didn’t attempt to find everyone asking the question and let them know the date. I had made this decision last year, though even if I hadn’t, I think to fully commit to this enterprise would have been too exhausting post surgery. I gave up mainly because it was too emotionally stressful and the more extreme people on both sides of the argument were becoming more belligerent and threatening. It turns out that a few of these people came to find me anyway and I wasn’t fully able to resist engaging a little. Ultimately it still made me feel drained and discontent. There’s not much you can do to change hearts and minds on this and some people just insist on using International Women’s Day to spew stats of where they think men are disadvantaged on the one day they shouldn’t be doing it (and almost certainly don’t bother to do it on the day that they should - November 19th if you’re interested).
Amazingly over £6000 was donated to my 2019 gofundme page for Refuge in memory of past triumphs and possibly in memory of my erstwhile testicle. The fact that the day had begun raising money for this great charity was the one thing that made the decision to stop feel slightly selfish, so it’s good that Refuge still got a nice chunk of cash (I think including the total over the last five years is something like £380,000 + gift aid). Do chuck in a bit more if you can
. Sadly Refuge desperately need it.
Oh and as a special treat (and so you could easily buy anyone who asked the question a copy) the Problem With Men was only 99p on ebook today (and is going to stay at that price for a couple more days), so in the unlikely event that you haven’t snapped it up. Get it wherever you get your ebooks eg here
Tonight I watched my old gym buddy
and his wife being interviewed by the world’s second best celeb interviewer (she didn’t even ask him if he’d tried to suck his own cock- amateur). It was a difficult interview to watch (but everyone still managed to fight through to watch it all) and it almost made the idea of having a royal family seem insane. Although Meghan Markle must be the only person in the modern world who has never googled someone that they are dating or indeed to google herself (lots of people at the Fringe say they don’t read their reviews, but even at that level, someone will tell you if you got a good one - and probably a bad one, so it’s hard to believe that a Duchess’ PR team wouldn’t keep her informed, even if she has the strength to keep away from Google), my sympathies are still with this couple and it’s nuts that the Royal Family seems to have learned nothing from what happened to Harry’s mum and still expects people to soldier through the mental strains of the insane trap they’re all in. But then we’re not getting the whole story - the newspapers here don’t seem to want to report on a marital infidelity that must be putting a big strain on the people at the centre of the whole shebang - and it’s hard not to conclude that the antipathy towards Meghan is driven by at best, an anti-American sentiment (and I don’t think it’s her being American that is the problem).
In the end though, watching this and The Crown and the footage of that sad, lost boy at his mum’s funeral, I can’t help feeling sorrier for the people left stuck in the trap. Harry has escaped and he’s certainly not going to have a normal life, but he will have a degree of freedom that his dad and brother cannot hope for. It’s like a terrible Twilight Zone episode where a family are given all the riches and fame and adoration in the land, but are ultimately imprisoned by it all like flies in a web.
I don’t care that they are doing an interview when they’ve supposedly called for privacy (have they? Or have they just asked for the press not to intrude into areas that they are not welcome) and I’d like the whole thing to fall apart and for our country to move into the 21st Century. But there is a sense that these are the lucky two, though a dreaded fear that they are fated to have more sorrow heaped upon them. They’re in love and they have been pushed closer together by all that they’ve had to face. Maybe they have been bullies (be very surprised if any royal can claim that they have not acted all hoity toity with the staff, because, isn’t that what being a royal is?), but I don’t think any of their crimes would be in the top five, even if you were just looking at Philip, Charles, Andrew and Wills’ misdemeanours.