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JJ Barnes

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

By - JJBarnes

Why Strictly Come Dancing tells me I’m insecure in my relationship.

I love watching Strictly Come Dancing. I love the froth and the glitz, and music and the fun. And, to my shame, I love the scandal. Every year I love to guess who’s dance floor chemistry is real. I love to guess which smiling partners are actually dying inside, watching their beloved dance a passionate rumba with some stunning dancer.

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By - JJBarnes

I cannot keep my house tidy, and I think it’s time to stop apologising for it.

I live in a messy house. It’s not just messy, it’s full. There’s three children with three different interests and they’re all young enough that they still play with toys. A LOT of toys. They go through quantities of clothes because of their frequent proximity to chocolate, and mud, and their version of cleaning up is to throw whatever it

By - JJBarnes

We should end gender stereotyping by getting rid of labels, not adding new ones.

I’ve written before about raising my children without gender stereotypes, letting them be free to explore the world without the pressure of working out if things are for boys or girls, and whether that should change what they do. Gender stereotypes are damaging to children. When children are raised to conform to stereotypes they miss out on experiences that matter,

By - JJBarnes

My daughter, the six year old author.

My daughter, Rose, asked me if we could write a book together. She didn’t want to write one of the books she makes with felt tipped pens and held together with Sellotape, she wanted to write a REAL book. The kind of book I write. I told her it would take work, and it would take time, but if she

By - JJBarnes

When people are in pain, they try to cause pain in others. But you don’t have to be their punching bag.

I remember growing up my mother always told me that the girls who were so cruel to me were in pain. She told me only people in pain would try to cause pain in others, so instead of being afraid of them or angry at them for the way they treated me, I should pity them. I’m pretty sure she

By - JJBarnes

Men finding liberal feminism so easy to get behind is a clear sign it’s not about women.

I’m known amongst my friends and contacts as The Feminist one. So much so that I’m regularly tagged in articles and memes about women’s rights issues, or anything connected to feminism in any way. Recently I was tagged in a post about women’s rights to go topless. The image of a topless man and a topless woman, the man’s chest

By - JJBarnes

You tell artists to get a real job, but you’re glad they don’t. So stop it.

I’m a writer. It’s all I’ve ever wanted to be. I want to write and tell stories, I want to turn that writing and those stories into books, films and television. And I’m working really hard, every day, to make that happen. And, finally, I’m starting to get somewhere. So much so that people in my life are starting to,

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

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