What message?

Keep going!
Keep going!

I’m constantly at a loss when interviewed when asked “And what is the message behind your books?” The answer seems obvious to me. The message is whatever the reader takes away from it which may well be different for each person.

In both my Cameron and Ailsa works I hope that one of the themes is that people are people and free to do their own thing, treated with respect and admired for whatever they do well. However I came up against my own prejudices yesterday and it was like hitting a brick wall. I’m a feminist. I was in there at the start, remember the bad old days and am still fighting for equal pay and treatment for all. Incidentally this includes non- discrimination against people who choose not to have children.

Riga, the female main character in the Alchemy series is making her own way in a still mainly- masculine dominated world despite the banning of the phallocratic religions. She works on an equal footing with her colleagues and has the same philosophy as me “take me as I am or walk on by”.

Rope Trick
I’ll show you again

My dilemma came when I found my books being advertised along with underwear that I consider (along with the so-called “beauty industry”) to be demeaning and degrading to women. Fine, everybody can wear what they like and choose to look like any kind of clown if it suits them. I find the brain-washing of females to conform to a certain norm (dictated by men) to be distasteful. I’m not a prostitute. Why should I have to dress like one to ensure a man finds me attractive? Personally I think they look like a Christmas Turkey tied up with strings but is that is what they want to do, bits of flesh bulging out of the “forgot a bit” spaces… well fine. This was how I dealt with string!

Attractive is as attractive does in my book. I would much rather someone tell me they would like to get inside my mind than inside my drawers. That is my preference.

Flight Sgt Familiar
Hands off Ma’am

Maybe it is because I have had to work in a mostly masculine world where that kind of outfit would have been hazardous and inappropriate. It didn’t stop some men finding me attractive although this Flight Sgt got his ears tweaked for suddenly hugging me before the photo was taken. I was in charge, mainly teaching survival to these youngsters. The fact that they treated me with respect but still as a “pal” was a great accolade. (And if you are wondering why I am not wearing any headgear in that photo it was to avoid being saluted). We were dressed as Army in that comp as we were playing the enemy in a Casualty Evacuation exercise.

So, given that my books are another blow in my constant battle for women not having to pretend to be what they are not, for them to be accepted for what and who they are, I don’t want them advertised next to exploitative crap.

Do I enjoy getting dressed up? Oh yes! I love being a pirate or a fox ..



4 thoughts on “What message?

  1. Hi Ailsa, you might know I’m all for women (who isn’t)
    But I had to laugh when I read your post today and you all but accuse men of wanting you to dress up in the skimpiest things and display your wares when just a few days ago I was reading a blog about the furore when Susan Sarandon made a speech in a very revealing top.Some men suggested she cover up because of the nature of the speech and show respect which created problems with ladies being unhappy that men shouldn’t want them to display themselves and suggesting the men were insulting the age of her breasts.
    Sometimes you just can’t win.!
    My favourite mode of dress was during the 60’s and the maxi dress had it’s heyday. I thought the mystery was much more appealing than the display. I hated the mini skirt ( not that it ever suited me).
    xxx Massive Hugs xxx

    1. Not all men, David. To be fair there are a lot of men who are like me and go more on personality and mental ability than tits. I don’t mind who shows what. I just resent the brainwashing of women to dress like Victorian prostitutes in the bedroom. It’s the same as “spend all your salary on making yourself look different”. I too loved the maxi and still wear long skirts in the summer as they are cooler. I suppose nobody can win – if it is a question of winning or losing. It’s opinions. I agree that there is a time and place for revealing dress – just as much for men as for women. I dislike sweaty topless men in food shops and I’d hate to see one at a funeral. Question of respect maybe?

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