Marxist. Trade Unionist. Socialist-feminist. Author. Poet. Speaker. Tutor. RMT ex-Exec. Workers' Liberty. Autie. Bi. PUFC fan.

Sexism

Lighting, Rigged

Submitted by Janine on 11 November 2019 at 09:35

Thirty-five years ago, I was sexually assaulted at a gig. I never told anyone. But over the last few years, some stuff has prompted me to finally address it - by writing this poem.

Standing by the ticket table,
flogging run-off, stapled zines
Hold as much as I am able,
twenty pences in my jeans

Report: ETF Women's Conference 2017

Submitted by Janine on 6 June 2017 at 14:10

RMT's delegation to the European Transport workers' Federation Women's Conference comprised Mary Jane Herbison, Michelle Rodgers, Lorna Tooley and Janine Booth. The conference was, unfortunately, squeezed into a short time on a single day. It still managed to do its business and hear some interesting and relevant contributions.

Report on the ETF Women's Committee's work 2013-17

Disaffected Middle-aged Women

Submitted by Janine on 3 March 2017 at 19:51

A new sociological category to scare the establishment ...

Somewhat like the angry youth
But rather longer in the tooth
We're gobby, feisty, loud, uncouth
We're Disaffected Middle-aged Women

Kicking our heels against the wall
Plotting in the shopping mall
Go tell them we're not playing ball
We're Disaffected Middle-aged Women

Measuring Up to be Microwaved

Submitted by Janine on 2 February 2017 at 12:39

Yesterday was my radiotherapy booking-in appointment. So, off I went to the basement of Bart's hospital to be fitted and measured.

Some more forms to fill in and consents to be signed - this time, consenting to have permanent marks made on my body. Until now, I have avoided having tattoos: it just doesn't appeal to me, though I've sometimes thought I might take it up in later life. Never did I consider that the design would be three small dots. But there you go: I'll think of it as abstract art.

Strip to the waist again, and put on this gown. I share the waiting area with a hairless woman and her two kids, a young adult daughter and a teenage-ish son. She's having radiotherapy to her brain. I ponder on how lucky I am.

Then it's off to the radiotherapy room, past a door marked "Mould Room": I think I'll stay out of there.

My team of three radiotherapists - two women and a man - are all friendly and kind. When I mention I'm a poet, they ask for an ode, and the only one that comes to mind is Jeremy Hunt. Really, you can't go wrong  having a go at Jeremy Hunt to NHS staff. My joke about sending my tumour to the USA goes down well too. "We've got a comedian here", they advise colleagues.

Rude Words

Submitted by Janine on 10 October 2016 at 10:43

When Donald Trump said
"Grab them by the pussy"
The objectionable word
was not "pussy"
It was "grab"
His words were not "lewd"
They were violent

Railway Woman

Submitted by Janine on 6 June 2016 at 10:26

I am a railway woman, love my job
I take you there and back, I take your fare
Sometimes behind the scenes, sometimes you’ll see me
I fix the track or operate the signal
I clean the station, guard or drive the train
And when you need me, here I am to help.