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JJ Barnes

JJ Barnes writes about parenting, feminism, current affairs and writing

By - JJBarnes

Why I start celebrating Christmas in September…and why I don’t give a damn that it bothers you.

A common complaint of the build up to the Christmas season is that shops get decorations and gift displays in too soon, and Christmas music plays too early. You can’t walk around the high street without hearing people gripe, social media is littered with insults against shops, and moans about early shoppers are aplenty. But me? I love it. Part

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By - JJBarnes

Dealing with post party anxiety and self loathing.

Yesterday my new fiancé and I had our engagement party. It was, by all accounts, a lovely event. Our song is Halestorm’s ‘Here’s To Us’, so we put up the song title and surrounded it with photos of us as a couple and with our children over the last five and a half years, us as a family growing together.

By - JJBarnes

The lies I told myself about the lies I’d never tell my children.

Yesterday my six year old daughter lost her first tooth. This is a significant event in a child’s life and she’d been watching her friends lose teeth over the last year with envy. To finally lose her first tooth was very exciting for her. It would be her first visit from the Tooth Fairy! “Mummy,” she said to me with

By - JJBarnes

Dead rats nailed to walls and public condemnation of rape crisis centres is a devastating sign of the times.

Rape crisis centres are essential. They are a place where women can go in times of the worst crisis for support, protection and shelter. They are run by people who are setting their lives apart to help others. And they’re under attack. To attack a rape crisis centre, in my opinion, makes you an absolute monster. To see people doing

By - JJBarnes

My first political protest march and democracy not being a spectator sport.

I had never been on a political protest march before yesterday. There’s been causes I’ve believed in, terrible things I’ve wanted to protest again, but I had never actually marched. I wouldn’t feel safe taking my children to a march. Some would blame this on inexperience, and several children were in the crowd, but having now marched I still wouldn’t

By - JJBarnes

Why are we so entitled and selfish that we won’t make space to accommodate people with disabilities without a fight?

I wrote recently about privileges and my own experiences with male privilege, white privilege and class privilege. But I only touched on able-bodied privilege. But able-bodied privilege is something I benefit from every day. It is something I haven’t earned, something I haven’t fought for. And it seems to be something so many of us want to fight to keep,

By - JJBarnes

Why I believe in the importance of recognising privilege.

The idea of privilege is pretty trendy right now. Male privilege, white privilege, class privilege. On one side it’s pretty easy to accuse someone of having one of these things as a way of discounting their accomplishments as being merely a product of their privilege. And on the other side, people are accused of victimising themselves by blaming the privilege

By - JJBarnes

How our culture sexualises teenage girls to the point of devaluing everything else about them.

It’s a disturbing fact that our society sexualises teenage girls to the point of valuing little else about them. I remember when I became a teenager and suddenly fell onto a radar for men to ogle, shout at, and pester to the point of being dangerous. I remember realising my growing body suddenly had value for it’s sexuality. I also

By - JJBarnes

Mixed sex facilities, safe spaces, and the girls who get hurt because “it’ll never happen”.

As gender-neutral, mixed sex, facilities that are considered to be “safe spaces” become the new trend, the women who fight against it are being gas lit continually. We are told that fears these open rules will allow men to violate women’s privacy and put women in physical danger are crazy, and that it’ll never happen. It’ll never happen. I wrote

By - JJBarnes

What writing a book with my step-son means to me.

My little patchwork family is made up of myself and my partner, my daughter from my first marriage, his son from his first marriage, and our tyrannical toddler who came along 9 months after my 30th birthday… We’ve been a family for five years now. I’ve looked after my step-son for at least part of nearly every single day since