Jill Segger's blog

One Billion Rising: working together to end exploitation and domination

One Billion Rising: working together to end exploitation and domination

It is a truly terrible statistic: one in three women will experience violence at the hands of men at some time in their lives. This represents around one billion individuals and today – when so many are celebrating the gentler aspect of relationships between men and women – the One Billion Rising movement attempts to bring people together across 200 countries to call for change. (http://www.ekklesia.co.uk/node/17999)

Social security, bearing reality, and 'the lies that comfort cruel men'

Social security, bearing reality, and 'the lies that comfort cruel men'

TS Eliot warned us: “Humankind cannot bear very much reality.” The incapacity may manifest as a readiness to believe what suits us rather than what is truthful. It is a tendency shamelessly exploited by power.

Virgin Mary crisps: a storm in a lunchbox

Virgin Mary crisps: a storm in a lunchbox

Many years ago, during the first weeks of a music degree, I was in the university library researching for an essay on 16th century instrumental writing. A fellow fresher, an Indian student whose English was still not quite up to speed, asked me in a worried whisper: “Excuse me please. What is wirginals?” I showed him an illustration of the instrument in the book before me. The anxiety cleared from his face. “Ah – I see!” He smiled at his own misunderstanding. “Not like Wirgin Mary.”

Anna Soubry, horseburgers and a failure of policy

Anna Soubry, horseburgers and a failure of policy

During the past week, the views of Conservative MP Anna Soubry combined with the Tesco 'horseburgers' scandal to provide a cautionary tale about the food environment of Britain in 2013.

Letting our lives speak, not our jewellery

Yesterday (15 January 2013) the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) handed down its judgements on four cases in which Christians have claimed to have been made subject to unlawful discrimination.The only claim upheld was that of Nadia Eweida, a member of British Airways check-in staff who had been prevented from wearing a cross on her uniform under a no jewellery policy subsequently modified by the company.

Much ado about bishops: time for a more humane dispensation?

Much ado about bishops: time for a more humane dispensation?

There has been much ado about bishops of late. First, the Church of England's House of Laity rejected the consecration of women, to the consternation of a majority in their own communion and the incredulity of wider society. Then the Catholic Archbishop of Westminster soured the Nativity season - perhaps the tenderest of all our celebrations of the mysteries of faith - with negativity about same sex love and marriage.

The two donkeys and David Cameron's New Year message

The two donkeys and David Cameron's New Year message

Quaker Meetings are not hotbeds of the competitive instinct and in most Meeting Houses you will probably find a poster depicting two donkeys tethered to each other, straining in opposite directions to reach bundles of hay. In the second frame, the animals have realised the futility of their actions and are standing side by side munching contentedly from the same manger. 'Co-operation is better than conflict' is the caption.

The WOW petition: policy makers must listen and learn

The WOW petition: policy makers must listen and learn

The times in which the powerful and the comfortable could decide what is best for lives about which they have little comprehension are passing. Our family saying for this condition was 'VWTGTC'. It stood for 'vicar's wife taking gruel to cottagers'.

Terry Waite: beginning with personal reconciliation

Terry Waite: beginning with personal reconciliation

In 1987, while travelling on behalf of the Archbishop of Canterbury to help in negotiating the release of western hostages captured by Hezbollah, Terry Waite was himself taken prisoner. He was held, largely in solitary confinement, for almost five years and was subject to torture and mock executions during the first year of his captivity.

Poor? Take more risks, says former banker Lord Freud

Poor? Take more risks, says former banker Lord Freud

It has long been apparent that demeaning and demonising benefit recipients to provide a rationale for deep welfare cuts is part of the government's strategy. Given the distribution curve of human behaviours, it is inevitable that some who receive benefits will be feckless, lazy and scrounging, just as these defects will also be found in the more prosperous strata of society. Now, Lord Freud – the Welfare Reform Minister – has found a new slur to cast on poor people.