Some of them just can’t handle the truth.

You know those times when you tell friends about the sexist behaviour you’ve experienced?

If your friends are women, they will probably nod sympathetically or roll their eyes in that “tell me about it” way. Men will be shocked and appalled but they will commonly phrase their reaction as, “I find it hard to believe anyone behaves like that.”

You hear their sympathy, but listen to what is really being expressed with that response: disbelief.

As a woman, I have been experiencing sexism since before I even understood what it was.

When we weren’t allowed to wear pants at school…


Simultaneously perceived as goddess and garbage based on our response to an entitled man’s advances.

We all know that catcalls of Hey, beautiful, can turn into Didn’t like you anyway, in a heartbeat, if we choose to ignore the attention from an entitled man; their opinions of us can turn on a knife-edge if we don’t give them what they want. Smile honey, it might never happen — it’s a coded threat that all women recognize for what it is. What we really hear is — act compliant and look pretty, or I’m gonna turn nasty.

We all exist in superposition like Schrodinger’s woman; simultaneously perceived as a goddess or garbage depending on our response…


Being single gives you an edginess that non-singles don’t have.

I got dumped recently. It’s not something that has happened to me very often. And it made me realize that in the past I’ve sometimes thought of my single status as being between relationships rather than a valid option in its own right.

When you’re single you should relish it as a time for growth and not as a stagnant position of waiting until someone else comes along to be your other half. You are already whole on your own.

There are so many advantages to being single, at any age. If you’re still licking your wounds after a breakup…


The fear of better options might be preventing you from making the right decisions for your life.

Does it take you hours to make a simple decision? You might have FOBO. Fear of missing out has a more anxious sibling that could stop you going to social events — or choosing what to have for dinner. So what is behind the fear of better options and what can you do about it?

The Fear Of Better Options is a modern dilemma, and it’s a biggie. From making decisions about relationships, to college applications, new jobs, or choosing takeout coffees, multiple options can be overwhelming and cause the most decisive people to freeze and falter.

Science shows, the…


The news reportage is playing havoc with my hypochondria.

We all love to check our symptoms on the internet and go down the rabbit-hole of all the possible illnesses we might have. I’ve got a strange pimple- is it cancer? I coughed a couple times- is it coronavirus?

Google has been creating hypochondriacs since 1998.

I’m totally pro-vaccines, they save countless lives. We’ve eradicated smallpox on a global scale, to name but one killer disease. Many others are much less common thanks to vaccines.

But I’ve not been feeling so great about the AstraZeneca vaccine that my immune system is at war with right now. …


Is the old chestnut of “boys will be boys” going to be rolled out again?

Trigger Warning: this article contains descriptions of sexual harassment and abuse that may not be suitable for all readers. Fearless community, please read with care.

Boys and young men are allowed and enabled to get away with harassment and abuse on a daily basis. Girls are sent home from school for wearing “provocative clothing” but what have we been doing to tackle the problem of the boys who are behaving inappropriately in schools? A big fat nothing.

Until now.

Britain’s elite schools are now at the centre of a major Whitehall investigation involving police chiefs and government officials over their…


You can’t change your personality but you can make it work for you.

When I sat down to write this morning, I was side-tracked by a question posed in a Facebook writers’ group asking what we would all be doing if we were not writers. I started thinking about my ambition to be a sign language interpreter and off I went on one of my non-writing tangents.

Half an hour later I realised I had learned 100 basic sign language gestures on YouTube instead of writing 100 words. Oops, I did it again.

But hey, here I am writing about it now.

Some of the most famous people of all time have been…


How to confidently respond to the naysayers and abuse deniers.

We’ve just celebrated International Women’s Day again, designated the 8th March, when women’s achievements are highlighted. It’s also a day that acts as a focal point in the movement for women’s rights.

To mark this day every year, Jess Phillips stands up in the British parliament debating chamber and reads out the names of all of the women killed by men in the UK over the previous year.

Year after year, the list gets longer.

“I read these names not only to continue to highlight how male violence can terrorise ordinary women’s lives but to pay tribute to them and…


Words are better on a page than spinning around in your head.

It used to be a lonely existence for a writer. It still can be sometimes, but it doesn’t have to be that way.

It’s no longer necessary to be the stereotype of a struggling author, holed up in a draughty garret, working on a hefty manuscript long before the hope of any publication looms. Now anyone can publish their work simply by hitting a button on a screen.

“Writing, to me, is simply thinking through my fingers”. — Isaac Asimov

Thanks to Medium and a multitude of writing platforms and online communities, whatever you choose to write about, you can…


And other morning routine ideas explored.

All over the internet there are articles on how to fix all of your problems with a few “easy” additions to your morning routine.

If it was easy for everyone to do all of the recommended things on these morning listicles, we’d all be doing them already. We’d all be much more productive, successful and have no more problems. Right?

I used to sometimes get up really early and go running before my kids woke up. Now I feel lucky when I go to bed feeling bone tired and wake up feeling marginally better.

Which is why I see these…

Rosalind Pagan

Defying the odds and fighting the patriarchy since 1970. Writer for Curious, Fearless She Wrote, P.S. I Love You & others. Editor of Lighthouse.

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