Cytolene rides again

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My most unpopular opinion

Hospitals need more admin staff.

I know, I say that and everyone roars that there is too much admin and not enough front line staff like doctors and nurses.

But wait.

Last year, my 90 year old aunt lost an argument with a lawnmower and lost three fingers. She was rushed to a major hospital where they were amputated.

Image result for mater hospital

She recovered well from the operation and luckily didn’t remember much about the accident. One blessing of a touch of senility.

I used to visit her every day and stay for a few hours. I was the designated person of contact for her so I got to see what was going on.

Obviously she could not go home until there was a system set up to look after her. She needed a couple of weeks in a nursing home that did rehab and physio who could teach her how to get washed and dressed with only one hand. She needed meals on wheels, a public health nurse to change her dressings, making sure her own doctor knew about new medication, etc. Without all those in place, she would not be able to look after herself and would be back with gangrene.

All this involved a lot of phone calls and paper work. And the people doing the work were doctors and nurses. I’m convinced each ward should have had a pair of clerks to do this work and free up the medical professionals to do operations and give injections.

Because of the delays in sorting out an aftercare system for her, she was in the hospital, being cared for by medical professionals, for nearly a week longer than necessary.  That’s a week where she was taking up a bed, and taking up a lot of medical resources.

A couple of good admin people working in that ward could have reduced that time significantly.

A hospital requires paperwork. Why are we wasting the time of medical professionals doing it?

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Who rules the world?

“Women rule the world, you know,” he said.

“They do? Because I’m not seeing it.”

“Oh yes, look at Theresa May.”

“You do know women make up 24.1% of parliaments world wide? And 8% of all national leaders and 2% of all presidents? That’s hardly ruling the world.”

“Well, they are playing the long game.”

When I pushed him about the long game that women were playing, it mostly consisted of waiting until men died to get their house.

He did insist that women were the power behind the men, manipulating them to do what women wanted. Which, no doubt, explains why countries with a high rate of men in power tend to have such women-friendly policies.

Iceland now leads the world in equality, with almost half of all members of parliament women. And co-incidentally, they have pledged to close the gender pay gap by 2022.

All those women ruling from from behind men in Ireland, for instance, seem to be falling asleep on the job, as women in Ireland are still paid 14% less than men, based on figures from the Central Statistics Office. No doubt it’s because we are so busy ruling the world, in between picking up the kids from school and mentoring the intern. And nothing do with the fact that the Dáil is only 22% female.

Sorry, but if you are a man who says that women rule the world, or that women are playing a long game, you know perfectly well that they don’t, and you are trying to justify the fact that women wield so little political power.

Before you can solve a problem, you have to admit it exists. That means that you have to acknowledge that women are generally on the outskirts, and the occasional woman who manages to make it to a position of power is not evidence that women rule the world.

When three quarters of a parliament is made up of women, and no one notices because that’s as normal as three quarters being men, then you can say that women rule the world.

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How do you know for sure that she has consented?

Actual conversation:

Couple naked on a bed, doing sexy stuff.

Guy: Wait, should I be checking in with you that you are consenting, like that college consent course said?

Her: We just spent an hour chatting on the sofa, establishing what was and wasn’t on the menu.

Guy: That was establishing consent?

Her: Yes. What did you think it was?

Guy: But doesn’t everyone always do that?

Her: No. Lots of men try to Oops women into sex.

Guy: “Oops ”?

Her: They are watching a film. He puts his arm around her shoulder. Oops, his hand is touching her breast. He moves a bit. Oops, he is touching her nipple. No screaming yet, so he shifts around, and Oops, his hand is inside her top. She hasn’t pushed him away, so he reaches for the Pringles, and Oops, now his other hand is heading for her knickers. And so it continues until Oops, his dick is inside her. And with no actual discussion of consent anywhere. He’s just waiting for her to shout No!

Guy: That’s insane! Why would any man do that when you could drink coffee and find out what sort of kinky shit she wants to do?


Short answer, you know she has consented because you have discussed it first. Then any change of consent is a simple matter of modifying what was discussed.


This is an answer I posted on Quora to the question, “How do I know for sure she has consented?”


It seemed pretty simple to me. You discuss what you want, rather than worrying that you might ruin the mood and cause her to say, “No.” Newsflash, If she says no when she’s got time to think about it, then you really shouldn’t be having sex with her.

But I got dozens of answers insisting that the way to do it was to keep pushing for more, and she would say, “No” when she withdrew consent. Quite a few from women as well as men. Women who said they would get up and walk out if the guy asked them for verbal consent. He’s supposed to read her mind, damnit.

Also, a lot of men who were highly indignant at the idea that woman would not feel 100% safe to say, “No” at any point, and that she might be afraid withdrawing consent would result in an angry, pissed-off aroused man who could be unpleasant if not dangerous.

I made the point that if she was keen on kissing and caressing over her clothes, and this was agreed, then both of them got to enjoy the kissing and caressing without expecting it to turn into more. But without the discussion, she couldn’t enjoy it because she was waiting for the hands over her clothes to turn into hands under her clothes, and then she would have to face the awkward scene where she said, “That’s enough, I want to go home now.” But both men and women told me I was out of my mind, sex should be organic, with him reading her body language and just knowing by instinct if she has withdrawn consent.

And of course, the pre-sex discussion also lets you cover birth control and STI status. When you are both naked and sweaty is not the time to discover you don’t have condoms and one of you has herpes.

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I Believe her

I believe her.

Not just because I’m a good feminist and believe in women, although I am. But because it doesn’t make sense not to believe her.

But she might be lying.

She might be out to get revenge on him.

A false accusation will ruin his life.

She was asking for it.

He genuinely believed she was asking for it.

She’s looking for attention.

She’s trying to make money out of it.

If it really happened, why didn’t she scream and make a fuss at the time?

Why didn’t she report it at the time?

Why did she put herself in that position? She must have known that going to his room would result in rape.

She was drunk and can’t remember what happened so she’s making it up.

Did you see what she was wearing?

Every time there is an accusation of rape or sexual harassment, questions like these are trotted out. The focus is on the victim to prove she did everything right, that she did not contribute to her own rape, that she was a genuine victim. I’ve heard that phrase being used: “The real rape victims”. Which means that the woman who was out feeding the homeless and got raped at knifepoint by a gang of violent strangers is a real rape victim, and the rest are not. Unless she was wearing fancy knickers because she was meeting her lover afterwards, in which case she was giving off, “rape me” vibes.

There#s a very simple reason why I believe women who say they were raped or molested: Why would they lie? Why would they make up a story and go public with it? What’s in it for them?

There is no upside to making a rape report. At best, you will be subjected to a rape kit, which no one thinks is fun. And then you will be questioned and cross questioned on every aspect of what you claim happened.

If you pass that test, and the police manage to gather enough evidence to take it to trial, then you face being cross examined by a lawyer whose job is to make you look guilty. Your past, your preferences, your personality, your testimony, will all be ripped apart. You will have to justify every single decision you made that night, from going out in the first place, to what you were wearing, to how much you drank, and every aspect of your interaction with the rapist. If you were raped by more than one man, you are cross examined by multiple lawyers.

It’s not illegal to go out for the evening, to wear a crop top or short dress, to drink, to flirt, to go to someone’s hotel room. It is illegal to rape. But somehow it seems to be the other way around when it comes to the rape trial.

Even if you manage to keep your cool and appear sympathetic and truthful to the jury, and he’s convicted, the chances are that he’ll get a ridiculously light sentence (Brock Turner, anyone?) and you’ll be known as the girl who was raped.

More likely, he’ll get off, and you’ll have to watch the community line up to congratulate him on escaping your evil mechanisms. Then you’ll be known as the girl who made false rape accusation.

I repeat. Why would anyone put themselves through that? There is no upside.


According to the Home office in the UK, about 4% of rape claims are “no crime/unfounded”. This ties in with European and US figures which vary between 2 to 6%. But it’s important to note that “no crime/unfounded” doesn’t mean a false and malicious accusation. It covers cases like someone who has no memory of the night before and asks to be examined to see if they were raped. Or relatives asking if a particular relationship between teenagesr is legally considered rape, as well as cases where rape probably occurred but there isn’t enough evidence to proceed.


But lots of men are convinced the world is full of vindictive women eager to ruin their lives with false rape accusations.


Just an FYI. If you’ve had sex with a woman and it was halfway decent, she doesn’t want revenge on you, shes going to be pretty pleased with herself. If the sex was exceptionally bad, you might want to ask yourself why.


But leaving all that aside, if I was pissed at a man, and wanted to ruin his life I would not accuse him of rape. I’d say he stole from me. Yes, we were out for a drink, I went to the toilet and came back and found him taking money from my wallet.


I could go to the Gardai and report this, and they would take my report seriously. They would not ask me what I had been wearing, if I had a history of allowing men to take money from my wallet, if I had forgotten giving him permission to go through my wallet, if I had ever made up stories about men taking money from my wallet before.


And all my friends and colleagues would believe me too. There would be no “he said/she said” debate. And it would ruin him professionally far more than a claim of rape.


it would make you wonder why anyone would go to the trouble of claiming to be raped unless it actually happened.

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Gotta get to the snow

It’s snowing in Val Cenis and I’m getting excited about going skiing in January.

Image result for snow in val cenis

I’m also scrounging up my money to pay for it, and wondering if perhaps there is a cheaper way to do things.

We’re staying in the Centre International de Sejour, and paying €559 each for seven nights. By the time we add in flights and transfer and ski hire, we’re looking at around €800 each.Image result for CIS val cenis

A bus just went back the window of McDonalds saying, “Dreams do come true, a ski holiday for €345.”

Damnit, have I overpaid?

I logged on and found the €345 holiday, four people sharing a self-catering apartment in Chamonix. That’s a good deal. What is included? Flight, transfer and apartment. So I need a lift pass. €222. Not the worst. Wait, that’s the senior pass, the regular one is €261. And that’s only the local pass. The Mont Blanc pass for six days is €309.

Skis and boots. Let’s go for the cheaper option and get the intermediate ones. €119.

Insurance is €37.

So we’re up to €810 already. And that’s before we’ve eaten or drunk anything.

The price in Val Cenis includes all meals: breakfast, four course lunch, three course dinner and wine on tap. (Literally – there is a tap in the dining room where you go up and fill your jug with red wine). And the lift pass.

And the apartment in Chamonix is a kilometre from the pistes. In Val Cenis you can ski to the door of the ski room.

Yep, feeling a bit better now.

Roll on the snow.Image result for husky rolling in the snow

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75 Days to skiing, let’s get fit


With thanks to the Telegraph, how to get fit for skiing.

Find the perfect knee position

Watch Octopus Clinic video 85 shows the knee position exercise in more detail.

Find the perfect pelvis, hip and back position

Watch Octopus Clinic video 84 shows pelvis, hip and back corrections in more detail.

Build leg strength – quadriceps

Try these drills: Step downs and split squats are both great ways to work quads in the ski/snowboard way. Use the posture exercises above to make sure you stand correctly as you do them and start with 30 repetitions. Then add weight gradually, by holding weights – or if exercising at home, by wearing a backpack containing tins of food for example. Work the muscles to fatigue, then take two days off so they to recover between workouts.

Don’t, however, bother with sitting against a wall squats – they can lead to skiing with weight too far back. For snowboarders they can make it harder to turn on the toe edge.

Watch Octopus Clinic video 30 for step downs and 23 for split squats shows these exercises in more detail.

Build leg strength – gluteal muscles

Try these drills: First is the clam exercise. Lie on one side with hips and knees bent. Keep ankles together and lift the top knee, then lower it again, like a clam opening and closing. Hips and pelvis should not rock backwards as you open the knees, and you should feel the muscles working on the upper side of the buttock. Repeat 30 times on each side then practise a similar movement in a standing position, so you learn to use the same muscles in the way you would on the slopes.

Second is the wall ball exercise. Stand with a wall at your side and a long mirror in front. Put a ball between knee and wall, then twist both knees out slightly as you lift the foot on the ball side up behind the same knee. Push yourself away from the wall gently using the knee, keeping shoulders squarely over hips (no leaning). If you feel an intense sensation in the outside of the buttock furthest from the wall you’re doing it correctly (stop if you feel pain anywhere else). Next, bend and straighten the knee ensuring the knee stays in line with the second/third toes. Repeat until you can no longer maintain the alignment or sensation in the buttock. Aim for 30 on each side, but it’s better to do a few reps perfectly than many with poor alignment.

Improve propulsion

Why do it? Once you’ve built up strength, it’s time to move onto propulsive movements – being able to propel yourself into the air is particularly important for off-piste steeps and moguls.

Try this drill: Jump sideways onto then off a step, starting with a low step and gradually making it higher, always making sure position is perfect of course.

Watch Octopus Clinic video number 34 shows how to do propulsive exercises.

Improve spacial awareness

Try this drill: Stand on one leg with eyes closed for two minutes twice a day. When this gets easy, add some small movements, such as little knee bends or brushing your teeth. Hover your hands over a stable surface, so you can grab it if you lose balance.

Watch Octopus Clinic video 72 to progress and do exercises on an uneven surface like the ones on a wobble board or squashy disc.

Train heart and lungs

Ski fitness: squat jump with lunge jump

Try this drill: Cycling or using a step machine works some of the muscles used in skiing and snowboarding. Aim for three to four 20 to 30 minute interval training sessions a week, working harder to increase the heart rate for two minutes, then working less hard to drop it right down for a minute before doing the same again, throughout the session. Remember to build up the exercise slowly and incrementally.


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That bathoom battle is back

When North Carolina passed the infamous bathroom law, which prohibited trans people from using the bathroom of their perfered gender, it caused so much protest that it seemed like a dead duck.

President Obama weighed in and said that federally funded schools could not prevent trans kids from peeing in the right bathroom.

But now it’s all coming back, and with the Trump/Pence combo announcing they are going to repeal as many of Obama’s laws as possible, in particular about LBGT rights.

They are convinced that the country is full of evil trans woman who are really men in a dress who are going to assault their daughters in the bathroom.

The irony of Trump complaining about evil men going into a place where young girls are getting dressed…..

I’ll just mention the one thing everyone seems to be forgetting. While they are worrying about trans women (who ARE women, even if some of them stand up to pee) going into the women’s bathrooms and want them to use the men’s bathrooms, that means sending all the trans men into the women’s bathroom.

Men like Buck Angel


Or Laith Ashley


Or Loren Cameron



Or Eli Perry


I could go on, with so many pix of hot trans guys, but I’m trying to behave.

Just bear in mind that when you insist trans people use the bathroom that corresponds to their birth gender, you are not only sending women into the men’s bathroom, you are sending some seriously hot men into the women’s bathroom.

Just saying….


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Pockets are a feminist issue

Pockets are a feminist issue.

I found the perfect pair of trousers in Penny’s recently. Black velvet, long enough for my legs, and most important, with pockets. I got home, tried them on and they were comfortable and flattering. So I went right back to Penney’s to buy another couple of pairs.

Grabbed them off the rail and took them home in triumph. I was sorted for the next six months.

Put one pair on this morning and discovered they didn’t have pockets. Only the first pair did. Still, they looked good, felt great, so no problem?

Until I picked up my phone, a bottle of hydrogen peroxide and some cotton wool balls (we have a badly trained lurcher, don’t judge) and headed down the stairs. First problem. No pockets meant my hands were now full, and I was going down the stairs without being able to use the bannisters. And that badly trained lurcher had left hair brushes, a hot water bottle, a pine cone and a couple of plastic bottle strewn on the stairs. I did make it downstairs safely, but only just.

And throughout history, this has been a factor for women. It’s not too bad now, when we can wear trousers, and stairs are built with steps all the same size, but for a woman in a long skirt, it’s essential to have a firm grip on the stair railing or you risk breaking your neck. And if you have anything in your hand, you have to chose between holding your skirt up, or holding the railing.

Hence the necessity for pockets.

Every woman is aware of how difficult it is to get clothes with decent pockets. Even jeans which come with five pockets, tend to have ones so small that they are fashion details and totally useless. “Putting anything in the pockets will spoil the line of the garment,” the fashion guru says. “You don’t want to look lumpy, do you?”


Actually, I’d put up with a few lumps if to be able to carry my wallet, phone and keys in safety.

Oddly, men don’t seem to have the same problem. Lumps are not a deterrent to masculine pockets. They have pockets that can hold their stuff, as well as a decent hanky, and if you are American, even the odd hand gun.

One of the funny things at fetish events is seeing men coping with the lack of pockets, often for the first time in their lives.

Even babies’ clothes have better pockets than most women’s clothes.


It’s not just a minor inconvenience. It can put women in danger. Everyone has to carry the same stuff – phone, money, credit cards, keys, perhaps medication, tissues, a comb, a pen. Nothing big, but all stuff that’s necessary. Without pockets that will hold those items, you need a bag. This effectively means that women are functioning with one and a half arms, since keeping hold of the bag takes attention.

A bag which holds your valuables is a magnet for thieves. So you have to be aware of security at all times. You can’t just walk through the streets, swinging your arms and enjoying the exercise. That bag is makes you a potential victim.

When you go shopping, you have to mind your bag. Trying on shoes while minding your handbag, that’s fun. In a cafe, you have to pull out your special little hook to hang your bag under the table in case someone tries to steal it. And don’t get me started on what it’s like going dancing in a club….

Notice how men don’t have this problem. They put their stuff into their pockets and off they go.


It’s interesting that the clothes which are deemed most feminine and attractive rarely have functional pockets, while the ones that do, cargo pants, dungarees, overcoats, all have butch overtones. Opting for the functionality of pockets is almost an admission that you are opting out of femininity. You’re sacrificing desirability for practicality.

Except it’s nonsense. So demand pockets. Refuse to buy clothes that don’t have decent pockets. Don’t let some idiot’s vision of fashion restrict your life.

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Things not to say to a parent who lost a child.

baby-coffinShe’s in the best place now.”

No. No matter how bad things were, how horrible the disease, the best place for a child is in her parents’ arms.

It was meant to be.”

No. Sometimes the most terrible horrible things happen for no reason. Trying to find some sort of divine meaning in the death of a child is just adding torture to the pain the parent is feeling.

You’re young, you can have more babies.”

Next time you are at a funeral where a woman is burying her husband, tell her that she’s young, she can go dating again, there are plenty more potential husbands out there. No? You don’t think that would be a good idea? So why would you think it’s acceptable to tell a parent they can replace a dead child?

At least / be thankful”

No. There is no way to reduce the grief of losing a child, and trying to downplay is just makes you look like a dick.

Time heals all wounds.”

It doesn’t. If you lost a leg, time does not make it grow back. Losing a child hurts worse than losing a leg. The pain never goes away. The best you can hope is that you learn to live with it.

I know how you feel.”

Unless you are a bereaved parent, then you don’t know. Losing a parent or a pet is not the same. No matter how much we love them, we know that we will outlive them. No parent expects to outlive their child.

What you can say

Nothing. Give them a hug and be there for them.

Tell me about her.”

You are not going to upset any parent by talking about their dead child. You’re not going to remind them, they will never forget. They do want to celebrate what they had of her life.

I remember the time…”

Share your memories. It helps.

I brought pizza / I’ve hung out the laundry.”

Life goes on, and food and laundry are necessary. Don’t say, “I’m here if you need anything.” Instead, offer to do something specific.

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