I could have been Rose Reilly’s sidekick for I spent the first nine years of my life living in caravans where coincidentally most children my age were boys and that’s why I was the greatest goalie any boys team ever had. The bandits papped me in goal for they were all destined to be strikers worshipping Pele and George Best. They belted hell into the goalposts at the bottom end of Arnbro in Crieff and sometimes after long days of tadpoling, chucking stones in rivers and catching bees we still had an hour’s energy left, in wellies, to play football. I saved more than I let past me of course. I was never going to let slip that I was feart of failure.
Never did I consider myself inferior or subservient to boys or men. I learned how to enable them to adjust their aspirations to enable me to fulfil mine. But I was the lucky one.
What we have now in Scotland is the disgrace of commentators, pollsters and certain politicians warning that the failure of a political party, its dodgy tired and jaded message will be down to women being feart to vote for Independence – rarely have I read so much piffle.
Scotland’s women are brave, powerful and determined to be heard. And we will be. We are. Scotland’s women are not feart – they are concerned that our governing party has lost its way.
There are dozens of women, candidates for the Alba Party, supporters and members, out on the streets of Scotland every single day. They talk with people who have nothing, no hope, no money, no job. They understand what that means and why Independence is required more urgently than perhaps ever before.
The women of Scotland, far from losing our country its freedom, can and will deliver it. They recognise what it is to be skint, to hunger as they feed their children before themselves. They know what it is to fill a hot water bottle or a flask in preference to keeping the heating on. They know the anger from seeing energy bills double, and worse, and they fear the cost of filling up at the pumps; they have empty cupboards, bare fridges and overdrafts. And they have children, partners and parents requiring fed and looked after. All the whiles those same women know that with Independence those fears will abate overnight.
Don’t blame the real working women of Scotland, the carers, nurses, mothers, daughters, when Independence seems low in the polls – look more closely at those women who have profited as others suffered. Pay close regard to those who pretend not to know the definition of ‘woman’ and there you will find the reason why there are suspicions.
The sharing of women’s spaces in prisons, hospitals, refuges – these are events which middle class politicians and their buddies will never risk; they have comfy spaces to go to. They can pay for fancy hotels when they leave their men. They aren’t left to the risks of a refuge funded by the government only if it agrees to also house trans identifying males, the very bodies which inflicted their wounds and trigger their fears.
So Scotland’s women aren’t likely to vote against Independence – they will deliver it when they elect politicians who respect and prioritise their rights and interests ; me? I’m feminist to my fingertips, I challenge you to prove otherwise. You try and do the same. Scotland deserves nothing less.