A small announcement

I’m pleased to be able to tell you all that I’m now writing an opinion column for the Nelson Mail.

My first one is about being an outspoken woman, and the cost of that. It was partly inspired by Laurie Penny’s article What do you do on the day after a death threat.


Click the pic or here to read the column.

I haven’t received any death threats (yet) but I have been subjected to some pretty questionable behaviour – including that of a certain cabinet minister.

And I’m not just an outspoken woman online. I’m a disabled beneficiary, so I’m vulnerable several times over. One of the things I didn’t have space to discuss in the column is what my activism costs me physically and mentally.

If you’ve been sick, even not chronically sick, you’ll know that energy can be very hard to come by. Mine sits on a pretty low ebb most of the time. Writing, being public, taking flack – all of those things drain me pretty damn quickly. They feed me, too, because I’m passionate about what I do. But I have to be so, so careful.

When I use up what limited energy I have, my body has three responses: pain, shutting down my digestive system (my immune system considers itself under attack and freaks out), and depression. What luck! *eye roll*

Anyway, the column will explore more aspects of chronic illness. It will also be about politics and feminism and pretty much all the stuff you’re used to from me, only packaged a little differently. And I won’t be stopping writing here, obviously.

Thanks for all the support!