Again I was to sleep in a comfortable bed in the home of kind and wonderful people. It felt like I was following a trail. The following morning I drank tea at the big kitchen table while Maddy’s husband cooked us a delicious English breakfast with bacon and eggs.
Maddy shared ideas for people I should find, books to read, then the conversation moved on to women’s liberation.
“So much of it is overcoming learned behaviour and internalised oppression.” she said.
“Yeah,” I agreed “It’s all around us, reinforcing the behaviour, so we oppress ourselves and each other. Do you know that rule to look for in films?”
“Checking for two women who talk about anything that isn’t men?” she asked.
I nodded. “There’s very few films that pass it. And if you then check the nature of their interaction, positive or negative, there’s even less. So all the time films are telling us, other women are your enemy, they can not help you. Your status and safety in this society comes only from men. You must please men to survive or succeed or live through your sons. Evil stepmothers, bitchy colleagues, false friends will hurt you.” I said.
“It’s such an unhealthy message, that we have to see and to overcome. Strong communities will be so important to survive the future.” said Maddy.
Maddy told me what she had learned from Ruth Cole from Center for Sustainable Energy (CSE) about disaster preparedness.
“In an area near a city all the plans focus on the large population centers. There’s limited resources so in times of disaster, Bristol would get all the emergency services and emergency aid. The smaller rural populations here will be left to fend for themselves.”
“Wow. Yeah, I hadn’t thought of that. Yeah, I used to be involved with emergency exercises for pollution when I worked at The Environment Agency. When there was flooding we would all get drafted in from other departments to help. But when something really big happens, you can’t possibly have enough staff or equipment for for the might of nature. It’s just so huge. Communities have to be able to help themselves and each other. We could do a lot more with reserves than we do. They have things like that in Canada, because of the distances. Training up ordinary people so they are ready and in the right place. We’re much less self-reliant here.”
“Part of it is a lack of awareness. It’s important to show the weaknesses of the system and make the corporate criminals visible. Otherwise it carries on in the background.” said Maddy.
“Yes…but how? Showing the truth about the criminal actions of corporations. Undermining their image of legitimacy.” I said.