Who IS this Woman?

Habits of Successful WomenLast week’s column (my last ever *sniff*) was shared to Facebook for the first time. Not my own FB page OBVIOUSLY, the paper is getting all social folks – isn’t it a glorious thing? It was the piece on The Donald and his heinousness. Heiniosity? That should be a word. Living in the darkest depths of Devon, I suspected it would provoke the rage of a thousand angry people who do not share my fairly liberal peace and love views. My maths were off but I was broadly right: social media gave it an exposure that print never has and that is not a dull place to be. Terrifying? Yes. But certainly not dull.

Knowing that the comments section is the place humanity generally goes to die, I pushed my millennial self-loathing deep down inside and resisted looking. However, when my dad shared a screenshot of the column’s nascent infamy, he also captured the first keyboard warrior asking ‘who IS this woman’?

It’s a good question Mr Whatsisface – who AM I?

Well, since you asked: I’m a week shy of my thirty third birthday. I’m a wife, step-mother, professional something or other and enthusiastic cheerleader for our wonderful Devonish corner of the world. If I could eat pepperoni pizza for every meal I would happily do so. I love to sing but am abysmal at it, I skilfully hid this from my husband until well after the wedding – it is a truly offensive noise. I say hello to every single dog I meet without fail. I am clumsy, so very clumsy. But I am also articulate and determined and ambitious and kind. It’s been said that I have half a brain, I think it was a compliment.

I believe, however naively, in the ultimate goodness of people.

I am a woman terrified about the world my step-babies, and in time their babies, will inherit. I am a person who has known the sheer joy that travelling freely around the world brings. I work full time and hard to pay my bills and my taxes and my student flipping loans. I vote. I feel saddened at the persecution faced by people different to me in only the most superficial ways. I recognise just how privileged we are to live in this country in this day in age with all the freedoms that allows and don’t believe that is something to take for granted. Ever.

I could go on but I suspect what you really wanted to ask is what gives me the ‘right’ to discuss *gasp* the politics of planet earth? Above all, I am a human being. THAT is what qualifies me to discuss what is happening in the world on whatever platform I have at hand and damn well choose to  use. It’s a wonderful right denied to many.

Thanks for asking!

Thoughts From My First Park Run
Tiny Acts of Resistance
  • I have been loving your posts recently Michelle, and this is just another one that had me nodding along with you. Love the brilliant way in which you summaries why it’s important and good to care. There will always be someone who doesn’t agree with you, or who has to get online and write out a nasty reply or attack your values, but we should never be afraid of standing up for what is truly right, so thank you. I’m sad to hear it was your last ever column for the paper too – are you moving onto something else related to it, or is it just because the paper is going digital? – Tasha

  • K Fryett

    I expect they are the sort of person ‘who doesn’t like dogs’…

  • Nice to meet you Michelle. You are right, we shouldn’t take our freedom or opportunities for granted as there are too many people in the world who never have either. Let’s hope that the world improves to the point that our babies and step babies can go out and explore the world safely, just as we did. And I am waiting for the day any animal I say hello to, says it back, that would be goats, horses and chickens on top of the dogs and cats. I can’t help myself.


  • Go Michelle! Woohoo!
    Who are you? A pretty awesome woman indeed. Saying hello to every dog should be compulsory practice for everyone – the world would be a happier place! (Apart from when the owners pull it away looking at you as if you are Gollum or something).

    On a serious note, yes. Yes to it all. Well done lovely. xo

  • I think you’re fabulous for standing up for what you and so many of us believe in. And you must have a cast-iron willpower to not pour over every single comment! I love your response to ‘who is this woman!?’, and I think you’re someone I’d count myself very lucky to walk into on a dog walk indeed. 🙂 🙂 🙂 Big kisses to you, Michelle!

    Flora x


  • Fabulous, as always. Perfect response, though sorry to hear your column is coming to an end, but what a way to go?! x

  • I love this post! What a fab response 😁

  • Nicola

    Well said Michelle!

    The last six months or so have shown me that I have created a lovely bubble for myself – full of kind, generous, empathic people, both in my real life and on social media. It’s been a bit of a shock to discover that, if the voting is to be believed, the majority think differently to me and my pals.

    But I choose to continue to be surrounded by like minded people and I’m just not going to waste time reading the views of bigots.

    As my mum used to say ” it’s tomorrow’s chip paper” .

  • Well said. Well. Said.

    Although, since Nicola also said that just below me, my comment is now a little redundant.

    On a similar note, I am also abysmal at singing, it’s all high pitched and, I suspect, pretty monotone as well. I didn’t bother to hide that before marriage and he still married me so I guess that means it’s love, right?

  • Alexandra Donnelly

    You is pretty darn great if you ask me! Well done lady!

  • Very, very well said! I don’t understand the rationale about thinking that some people shouldn’t talk about politics (e.g. Streep) surely they affect everyone, right? x


  • When I see you next week I am going to hi5 you SO HARD.

    Ahh so well said and as always, made in such good humour. Well done! xx


  • I love this so much, if I could high five you through the tinterweb I would.
    Peta x


  • Ellie

    Late to the party on this one – real life apparently gets in the way of reading blogs – but you. are. awesome.