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My miniature Dachshund is in her month of the moon. She’s swollen and sore and refuses to get up in the morning. I’ve seen my dear Labrador pawing at her back in a clumsy attempt at massage. She’s mad for cheese and the cat is annoying her more than ever.

I feel sorry for her, but she is the size of Toblerone. I’m not getting her spade as I worry she won’t make it through the operation. Although she yaps and wees on rugs and generally drives me mad, she’s spunky and I love her. I see a bit of myself in her. I had a hysterectomy and have never felt fully woman since. I don’t want to do that to her.

Anyway, I was walking her on the beacon, when a furry dog appeared from nowhere and started doings things to her that I wouldn’t allow on a first date, or even a second. She didn’t seem to mind. I picked her up and explained no one would buy the cow if it gave away the milk for free. ‘At least get his name first’ I said, while the owner of the fruity dog tried and failed to get it on the lead.

‘He’s had a sniff of her now’ the owner said to me, in disgust ‘He’ll be sex mad all day.’ I laughed, but he wasn’t joking so I decided not to mention the dog being a typical male. I just shook the humping hound off my leg and walked on.

Not two days later, whilst out in the same spot, my dog was accosted by the furry-fiend again. I swooped her up quickly and tucked her under my arm. The dog, who we’ll call Marlow, jumped up and poked a hole through my Bat Man leggings with his long claws. Instead of an apology, a woman (I assume the wife) came over to me tut-tutting.

I’d had my Weetabix that morning and the lemon-yellow sun was shining. I was in good cheer, so smiled and said, ‘I think your dog likes me.’ Instead of laughing she sighed and said, ‘It’s not you he likes is it? It’s her.’ I thought that was a bit rude. I can be quite likeable, but before I could tell her as much, she added ‘Is it in season?’

I felt like saying no. That ‘it’ wasn’t in season, just to annoy her, but she was annoyed enough so I said ‘Yes, it’s her special time of the moon’ and the woman said, ‘She should not be walked in a public place when she’s in season.’

The angry feminist in me rose from her slumber and opened a beady eye. ‘I’m sorry? Are you saying that my dog should be punished for having her period? That she should be banished to her basket while she bleeds, while your dog gets to romp about as he likes? It takes two to tango. Why should your dog get to horse about, off-lead, while mine has to stay at home wearing a scarlet letter? I put it to you, good Sir, that your dog needs to done.’

My miniature Dachshund is in her month of the moon. She’s swollen and sore and refuses to get up in the morning. I’ve seen my dear Labrador pawing at her back in a clumsy attempt at massage. She’s mad for cheese and the cat is annoying her more than ever.

I feel sorry for her, but she is the size of Toblerone. I’m not getting her spade as I worry she won’t make it through the operation. Although she yaps and wees on rugs and generally drives me mad, she’s spunky and I love her. I see a bit of myself in her. I had a hysterectomy and have never felt fully woman since. I don’t want to do that to her.

Anyway, I was walking her on the beacon, when a furry dog appeared from nowhere and started doings things to her that I wouldn’t allow on a first date, or even a second.

She didn’t seem to mind. I picked her up and explained no one would buy the cow if it gave away the milk for free. ‘At least get his name first’ I said, while the owner of the fruity dog tried and failed to get it on the lead.

‘He’s had a sniff of her now’ he said to me, in disgust ‘He’ll be sex mad all day.’ I laughed but he wasn’t joking so I decided not to mention the dog being a typical male. I just shook the humping hound off my leg and walked on.

Not two days later, whilst out in the same spot, my dog was accosted by the furry-fiend again. I swooped her up quickly and tucked her under my arm. The dog, who we’ll call Marlow, jumped up and poked a hole through my Bat Man leggings with his long claws. Instead of an apology, a woman (I assume the wife) came over to me tut-tutting.

I’d had my Weetabix that morning and the lemon-yellow sun was shining. I was in good cheer, so smiled and said, ‘I think your dog likes me.’ Instead of laughing she sighed and said, ‘It’s not you he likes is it? It’s her.’ I thought that was a bit rude. I can be quite likeable, but before I could tell her as much, she added ‘Is it in season?’

I felt like saying no. That ‘it’ wasn’t in season, just to annoy her, but she was annoyed enough so I said ‘Yes, it’s her special time of the moon’ and the woman said, ‘She should not be walked in a public place when she’s in season.’

The angry feminist in me rose from her slumber and opened a beady eye. ‘I’m sorry? Are you saying that my dog should be punished for having her period? That she should be banished to her basket while she bleeds, while your dog gets to romp about as he likes? It takes two to tango. Why should your dog get to horse about, off-lead, while mine has to stay at home wearing a scarlet letter? I put it to you, good Sir, that your dog needs to done.’

It’s International Women’s Day on Friday 8th March. The theme this year is ‘building a gender balanced world’ but I want to talk about balancing support for mental health. This week, Keith Flint from the Prodigy killed himself. His green-hair picture is more shocking than the news story, because male suicide no longer surprises us. We tut and say, ‘tragic’ and turn the page.

There are always patchy reasons why it happened. Divorce, cancer. We need something to pin it on to make us feel safe. None of us are safe from mental ill-health.

Depression is not a weakness, it’s a deficiency. We have no problem taking cod liver oil, or an effervescent vitamin C tablet, but antidepressants are the social outcasts of supplements. The neighbours who leave mattresses in their front garden.

We can only see the world through the kaleidoscope of our experiences, beliefs, politics and persuasions. We cannot see someone else’s life from someone else’s perception, so we judge them from our own. I’m not scared of wasps. My brother is. This doesn’t make him weaker than me. I will take anxiety medication for the rest of my life, but I am not scared of wasps. I am not weaker than him.

My post-natal depression got to the point where I didn’t want to wake up. In my head the Stone Roses sang ‘Stop the world, stop the world, I’m getting off.’ Luckily, I had midwives and health-care visitors checking up on me. My struggle was spotted I was inundated with support. I told someone how I felt. No shame. I got some sleep. I ate oranges. I learned to love myself.

Men don’t get the same care offered when they become fathers. There is no male midwife-man to talk to about lack of sleep, financial worries, or the fact their wife has become a stranger since becoming a mother.

Men are being left out in the emotional cold. You don’t see Radox adverts of men relaxing in the bath, and spas advertise women with cucumbers over their eyes.

I don’t know what to say about Andy Hill being acquitted of the causing 11 deaths. Maurice joked once, when we took the kids to a steam show, and moaned it was boring, that it wasn’t fun, and it wasn’t fair.

Life isn’t fair. People get away with murder. People who save lives get paid less than people who kick footballs and drink drive. Money buys privilege and freedom. If Andy Hill had been driving a car and killed 11 people, the outcome would have been different.

Was it a fair trial, a fair jury? My husband was in the RAF for seven years. He went along to the Old Bailey while the case was being heard and didn’t have a clue what they were all on about, so how could Joe public have stood a chance? The judicial system was not fit for purpose. A technical case needs a technical jury.

Life is full of back-handers and secret-handshakes and money crossing palms. People are not always innocent until proven guilty. Sometimes they are guilty until their innocence is brought. It’s a scary thought, and as the Idles sang ‘Fear leads to panic, panic leads to pain. Pain leads to anger, anger leads to hate.’

I don’t want to be full of hate and resentment. It’s like drinking poison and waiting for the other person to die. I don’t want to be full of cancerous thoughts. I want to be full of life. That is the privilege taken away from the 11 men, whose names I don’t believe Andy Hill had any right to read out loud.

If I were to die suddenly, at the hands of someone else, I’d want the people I love to live harder than ever. Not less, not with a belly full of rusty nails and bitter lemons.

I’m not saying it’s easy, or achievable. My thoughts are with the family and friends of the people who died. They were carved from us without warning, like an ice cream scoop in the heart. Stolen from the lives they were leading, the people who needed them, and the places they were supposed to be.

So, Hollywood star, Chris Pines did a full-frontal nude scene for his role in the film Outlaw King. This should be nothing shocking, literally. Female nudity is expected in films, but when because a man did it, the world went mad. ‘Pine’s penis dazzles’ claimed Vulture.

Its rare men get their equipment out on film, a monumental moment, cause for celebration. Rather than salute the 'done' part though, we all saluted the dong. Instead of applauding Chris for daring to bare, women went all giggly and rated it by size. Exactly how we’ve been judged for years. Exactly what we hate.

This was an opportunity for women to set the tone for how nudity should be received. Pine was all for women power. He said ‘“Florence [Pugh, his Outlaw King co-star] shows her breasts and her body and no one’s talking about it. Is that because she’s expected to do that as a woman, and I, as a man, am not? And why am I not expected to do that? Because it shows vulnerability or a weakness? I just don’t know.”

I get that women are sick of being objectified, and this was our change to show men what it’s like to be a piece of meat. Didn’t we grab it with both hands though? Vulture wrote an article called ‘How to see Chris Pine’s Penis in Outlaw King’. It detailed exactly when the big reveal comes (45.31) and included the sentence, ‘Feel free to go back and watch it again and again. Make an event of it. Pop some popcorn. Tell your roommates. It’s been a rough week. You deserve this’

I worry this puerile response to a penis is going to discourage other A-list actors to get their crown jewels out. Don’t get me wrong. I’m not desperate to see more flesh from men or women in film or on TV but a change is a good as a rest.

So here’s to you, Chris. May your peen pave the way for other men. I salute your bravery. More power to your um, elbow.