What's Cooking Cysta?!

Did you know breast tissue naturally fluctuates throughout a woman's life? Breast cysts are very common, occurring at times when a women's breast tissue is changing: during the monthly cycle, at puberty, during peri-menopause and in the menopause itself.

The good news is that there are a number of tried and tested methods for reducing the size pain of breast cysts, and I'm happy to share them with you...

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Dress Your Breasts!

"A bra can perform an important task; much like a good sheepdog, it rounds ‘em up and points ‘em in the right direction" says Jo, Style Consultant "so how can we corral our puppies when they roam free?! Here's my guide to breast-dressing."

You're welcome.

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"Braticle"

Why can’t we love the bodies we have? Well, I think it’s pretty damn hard to, considering society has indoctrinated women to be our own worst enemies, and gender-based conditioning has taught us to be shy and coy, rather than bold and confident. Bralessness makes me question why I should conform...

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Queen of the Snoods

Buried away in a tiny mews in Brighton is a Queen with a wide, cheery smile and oodles of glitter. Known as Fizzy Snood on social media, Sara Cutting is very busy taking her post breast-cancer pledge - to wear a different item of headgear each day upon her shaved head - to "infinity and beyond!"

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The Good Clothes Philosophy

Can we start with the premise that clothes are important? I mean not just important, but very, very important. Let's admit that they do much more than their original purpose of protecting from the elements - they provide an image, an identity even. 

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Should Sexist Comments Mean the End of a Petition?

This week 38 Degrees took down a petition to sack Laura Kuenssburg as BBC political correspondent due to her anti-Corbyn bias. As might be expected in this day and age of anonymous social media trolling, the petition attracted sexist commentary. Citing the sexist comments that had been linked to the petition 38 Degrees wrote that their decision to remove it was a difficult one and even that it "may not have been the right one" but they wanted to show that "sexist bullies can't win". 

The removal of the petition was wholly backed up by Everyday Sexism Project Founder Laura Bates who said of those who thought sexist comments less important than freedom of expression and the right to take valuable action that, 

"suggesting that such issues can wait until later sets up a hierarchy of priorities. It ingrains the idea that sexism is acceptable, if we are told that there are certain circumstances in which it is an unfortunate but tolerable price to pay for victory."

There is no doubt in my mind that sexism is institutionalised and ingrained in this country. There is no doubt in my mind that everyday sexism exists and that people of both genders make comments that are sexist without even knowing it due to our conditioning. There is no doubt either that this is an issue we need to address constantly and thoroughly by calling it out when we experience it and checking ourselves for sexist behaviours. However I disagree that we should give those behaviours, when uncontrolled in others, the power to dictate what we can and cannot do. Taking down this petition because it has attracted sexist comments means that any petition about a woman that attracts similar comments (and my goodness they will, like flies to dog poo), should be taken down. Taken down along with the right of people to express their rational concerns, objections, differing viewpoints. Taken down along with the potential to build online communities of like-minded voices. Taken down along with the right to free expression of opinion and valuable action.

I was once working on a committee alongside a woman whose view was quite different to mine. We both felt passionately about our common cause but were quite sure that our own way of approaching it was the best way. I tried to meet and converse with this woman about what we both wanted to achieve but every time I put my view forward she would cry. The same thing would happen in meetings in front of the rest of the committee. She would become upset at my opinion, tears would stream from her eyes, and meaningful discussion halted for fear of upsetting her further. After a while my compassion dried up - I felt manipulated by these tearful episodes. They had the effect of drowning my arguments and eliciting sympathy for hers from fellow committee members convinced that she must have something to cry about and that I was the Bad Guy. Eventually we muddled our way through, but debate and issues were clouded by the power of her tears, and I became convinced that she was using them strategically. The moral I learned here was to be awake to the abuse of sympathy and political correctness. 

Joe, who originally started the petition, said in a statement that it had been "hijacked" and that sexist trolls had attempted to "derail it". Forgive me, but by taking it down, isn't that exactly what he has done? Derailed it?

My fear is now that any petition can be taken down if it attracts sexist comments and that we will lose the potential for valuable change, as we may have just done with regard to Kuenssburg's fitness for her job. My fear is, ironically as it may sound to Laura Bates and 38 Degrees, that at the end of a nasty day, sexism has actually won.

 

Karen Dobres,

Chef Freedom Fighter

Mind, Body and Dispirited

The Mind, Body, Spirit Festival just took place at Earl's Court, London. It was billed as 'inspirational, awesome, new and stimulating'. Our intrepid Arbiter of Taste (self-appointed), Jane Anderson, went amongst the shamans, healers, yogis, vegans and 'thought leaders' to feel the vibe and ended up... a bit low. She writes...

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