Monday, 17 October 2016

We will not comply

This half-term my kids have been sent home with a form asking for their country of birth and nationality. My husband and I strongly suspect that the final data set will be used for political gain and to curb immigration. 
We will not comply with this Conservative Government's blatant xenophobia so we've written to the headteacher and governors. We strongly recommend you do the same and since it's easier to adapt what someone else has written than to start from scratch here's a copy of what we wrote.

"Dear Head Teacher and Governors,
Thank you for your Data Collection Form Autumn 2016.
We have been looking into why the DfE wants this information and have found out that parents are not obliged to provide it. We will not be.

You can find more information here:
Here is the relevant paragraph:
"The rules place an obligation on schools to ask parents for the country of birth and nationality of their child. But there is no requirement for either parents or pupils to supply the information.
Parents can refuse to provide the information and, in this case, schools can record that refusal in their census submission. Schools also have the option to tick either ‘not yet obtained’ or ‘not known’."

We therefore request that you record that for both our children information on their 'Country of Birth' and their 'Nationality' was withheld by their parents.
Yours sincerely,"

Friday, 14 October 2016

Poem - Because I am a Woman

A poem a wrote a few weeks ago.

Because I am a Woman.

Because I'm a woman I should smile because it makes the world a brighter place.
Because I'm a woman I should make the most of what you charmingly call my assets.
Because I'm a woman they can tell me I have to wear high heels to work which will hurt my back,my feet and slow my day.
Because I'm a woman they can comment on my skin like its a work qualification

Because I'm a woman I should accept their shouts and the beeps of their horn because they are a compliment.
Because I'm a woman I can wear low cut tops but not breastfeed my baby in public because that would be gross. 

Because I'm a woman I will cross the road if I think he's following me.
Because I'm a woman I carry my keys in my hand placed individually between my fingers.
Because I'm a woman I will keep my thumb poised between the call and video button on my phone.
Because I'm a woman I won't take taxi on my own but I do know the way home with the best lighting. 

Because I'm a woman I will drink out of bottles and keep the top covered.
Because I'm a woman he thinks my smile is an invitation.
Because I'm a woman he thinks my short skirt is practically asking for it.
Because I am drunk he thinks I won't mind.
And because I'm a woman, my previous sexual history is his defense.

Because she's a woman I won't let my daughter out late on her own.
Because she's a woman I will teach her how to hide, how to kick, how to run and what to do.
And because big crimes start with little misdemeanors I will find the strength to call out those actions as misogynistic. 

Because I will report them.
Because I am a woman.