Fear of women, attachment to schooling.

Sophie Christophy

this-day-in-world-history-9-22-11-photo-witches Edited thanks to reader feedback: this shows a ducking stool, a punishment used when women talked back to their ‘master’. Women suspected of witchcraft had their ankles and wrists tied together, and were thrown in a pond. If they sank and drowned, it showed they  were innocent, if they half-drowned or swam, they were guilty and burnt to death.  

School is necessary. Or is it?

It was the demands of the Industrial Revolution that resulted in mass state schooling. Now we all take it for granted and it shapes our understanding of childhood, teaching and learning. We’ve all been through the system, we accept the system, we believe it’s necessary. We believe that learning and education requires school.

Except that an increasing number of parents are questioning this. In the same way as people are questioning many aspects of parenting and the parent child relationship, so too are parents applying critical thinking to education…

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International Women’s Day.

BeHome Blog

By Joanna Roughton.

Well ladies, it’s not getting any easier.

As I sit writing this blog on the eve of International Women’s Day, I’m staring at two fiercely contradictory studies, both published in the space of a few days.

One hails from one of the ‘big four’ accountancy firms – PwC – the book-keepers formerly known as PriceWaterhouseCoopers.

It states that Britain’s economy could get a £170bn boost if only it were able to mimic Scandanavian levels of female workplace participation.

Specifically, stuffy, patriarchal Blighty, could witness a nine per cent increase in GDP if female employment rose to match Sweden’s.

In a country, like the UK, which has a problem getting its productivity up, that is a hefty hike in nationwide wealth. You can see why the Treasury is so keen to keep changing rules on tax and benefits to encourage more of us to ditch the apron and…

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Valuing the Work of the Home

BeHome Blog

By Joanna Roughton.

“We need to call work what it is — work — whether you do it at home or whether you do it out in the labour force.”

So said Melinda Gates, in an interview pegged to the annual letter published by her and husband Bill, on behalf of their eponymous Foundation.


Bankrolled by Microsoft’s millions, people take a note of the Gates’ missive. Its focus, this year, was on what Melinda described as “those root inequalities that exist all over in society and [which we] just don’t talk about very much.”

Well, this might sound like someone who’s writing-off a century of feminist consciousness-raising (women have been talking about inequalities for some time), but Melinda’s point about work being recognised wherever it happens, is refreshing and most welcome.

Here in the UK, organisations like the Home Renaissance Foundation and Mothers At Home Matter – to name but…

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Super Easy Tasty Bread

scarlet rosita

I don’t even try to make any sort of baked bread to sell commercially anymore as my kitchen is simply not set up for it. Sometimes I’m making raw foods, or chocolates and I don’t have the space.

Screen shot 2016-02-23 at 15.27.02

That doesn’t mean I don’t like bread and I want to be able to eat it but the stuff in supermarkets and sold by most bakers will do horrible things to my stomach. So when I want some bread to eat invariably I end up making it.

I know it sounds like a massive faff – but I have been doing this for over 30 years now and once you have your head set that this is how it will be done then you kinda just do it. Admittedly, a freezer bigger than an icebox would be great – but even that isn’t essential.

Straight away I will direct you to my…

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REVEALED AT LAST: The Hunt-Bottomley link

The Slog.

The one-word secret of Hunt’s success:


His relationship to Virginia Bottomley…..his dealings with the British Council….his inheritance of the SW Surrey constituency….his father’s history in UK Health provision….the Health interests for whom Bottomley now works….his capture of the Health portfolio in the recent reshuffle.

♣  ♣  ♣  ♣  ♣  ♣  ♣

Throughout his career, Jeremy Hunt’s advancement somehow always seemed to involve his path crossing that of the former Virginia Bottomley, known since 2005 as Baroness Nettlestone. Now – with the help of some initial sleuthing by regular Slogger Jackie – I can offer readers a big clue: they are cousins. Laid out below (for anyone with any feeling for the importance of meritocracy) is how still, in 2012, career progress of the type admired by David Cameron – “the leg up” – is alive and well. One where the right tie, who you know, and above all a…

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Why we still need to “Watch our language”

Breastfeeding Medicine

One of the family medicine physicians here at UNC wants to make sure doctors-in-training know the facts. “There are no benefits of breastfeeding,” he tells his students. “There are risks of formula feeding.”

Logically, these two statements are identical, but they feel completely different. In 1996, Diane Wiessinger spelled out the issues beautifully in her classic essay, ‘Watch your language.” Cathy Theys posted it on ABM’s Facebook page Friday. It’s a must-read for anyone who cares about mothers, babies and breastfeeding. Wiessinger writes:

Best possible, ideal, optimal, perfect. Are you the best possible parent? Is your home life ideal? Do you provide optimal meals? Of course not. Those are admirable goals, not minimum standards. Let’s rephrase. Is your parenting inadequate? Is your home life subnormal? Do you provide deficient meals? Now it hurts. You may not expect to be far above normal, but you certainly don’t want to…

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