Author Archives: doubleantandre

Um…fuck you??


Wow. So by starting a new blog I thought I’d get away from political ranting. But when I try to think of ‘other things’ to write about I can’t work up the same level of motivation. Fury works wonders for motivation for me.

So this morning I had noticed a comment about this post.

I was busy working on a couple of assessments, and also arguing with arsehat commentors trolls over at News With Nipples – on, oh yes, now it comes back to me. How even our Police Commissioner says women ought to drink less or they might get raped but more importantly they might damage their status as prime baby factories! Yeah okay, he used words that he thinks sound better, but seriously.


Mr Scipione, the father of two sons and a daughter, said he wanted young women to take responsibility for their safety when drinking before they became victims of crime.

”Think about it before you do it, talk about it, have a plan, how you’re getting home, who you’re going home with. And look out for your mates. You can get a sexually transmitted disease that you are never going to get rid of; it potentially will affect your fertility.

”Who knows what effect it will have on an unborn child? These are serious, life-altering decisions.”


And you thought you were just on the piss. It seems that these young women are having unprotected sex with men – and yet I don’t see the moral panic about the men who are *not wearing the condoms*. Their sexual health/emotional health and future babies don’t matter? Oh right. Boys are allowed to get on the piss and sow their wild oats. If women get tipsy they’re whorebags who are risking their unborn children, their mortal souls and being attacked by a rapist. Pardon me, but I’d have thought that as the Police Commissioner his lookout would be on a/ reducing rapes and b/ prosecuting rapes, not sexual and emotional health and victim blaming. Do your fucking job dipshit.

Where was I? Oh right – so I’m working on assessments, and dinner, and arguing with trolls, and research, and laundry etc and I see this post. All about how Frank O’Shea (retired maths teacher and author) is STARTLED!!! Startled at the way feminists have utterly abandoned their female leader. At that point, overworked as I was I didn’t read the initial post. I rolled my eyes at the tired old ‘WHERE ARE FEMINISTS???HUH??HUH???’ stuff, and went my merry way. And then I read it and nearly choked on my coffee.

It’s not bad enough that Mr O’Shea denounces feminists for ‘not’ caring about, writing about or objecting to the horrid sexist attacks on Prime Minister Gillard (which we do, have done, will always do), but then whoa, he takes off on this whole race thing that’s really breathtakingly ignorant and offensive.

Some gems (first the ‘bad feminist’ shit):

She would be justified in feeling feel that the criticism of her is so personal that it ought to raise the ire of feminists. Surely, feminism ought to mean more than marching for equal rights at work and in the home and in relationships. Surely there should be some defence of a woman from a working class background who took on the male world of the law and rose to the top and then challenged the even more macho world of politics, yet is publicly pilloried in terms that refer specifically to her gender.

As was pointed out in this post and in Chally’s comments we bloody well have, do and will continue to. The fact O’Shea can’t get off his ring and look up feminist blogs and opinions before he goes off half-cocked (as it were) is just so not our problem – I don’t need to go rummaging through old posts to establish that feminists have written extensively on the problems of sexist treatment of PM Gillard, of Hilary Clinton and even of Sarah Palin whose policies were an extreme nightmare for feminism. Sure we hated all she stood for but we were there batting for her right NOT to be called a slut, a bitch, a whore, not to be pilloried on the basis of her gender or looks. As we did before Gillard was elected officially, after, and ever since. Mainstream media women like Devine were happy to decry her as a ‘bad role model’ but feminists came out fighting for Gillard. Again, we’ve frequently had massive problems with her policies, but we’ve been fighting for her right to be treated with the full respect of her office and to be free from sexist treatment. But O’Shea ‘didn’t see it’ so it clearly doesn’t count.

But worse, to me, than the tired old crap of yet another white dude telling feminists how to do their job while shitting all over them was the race stuff. The noise my brain made was something like ‘BOOOIIIIIIIIIINNNNNGGGG’ (my extreme confusion/outrage noise):

A similar thing happened almost four years ago when American feminists abandoned Hillary Clinton in favour of an African-American. For all their sisterly talk, feminism came a disloyal second to the fear of offending those who felt that correcting the inequalities suffered by coloured people in the US was more important than the chance to show that the most powerful person on the planet could be a woman. So much for the sisterhood. [emphasis mine]

Wow. Really, just what. The. Fuck?

It gets very tedious addressing this bullshit again and again – so at the time of the elections I remember a lot of women still supporting Clinton – and a lot of discussion about some outrageous sexism before the election and in the aftermath. We did defend Clinton from sexist bullshit. But see how he’s changed the focus ever so slightly? It isn’t good enough any more to defend women in power/positions of potential power from sexist personal attacks (the goal posts earlier) – we now have to decide to vote for her on the basis of boobs and vag over policy. There is absolutely no way right, that a feminist could prefer the policies put forward by Obama to those put forward by Clinton? There’s absolutely now way that this could have been a difficult decision that required a lot of thought and balancing of pros and cons? There is absolutely no way that Obama was qualified and looked like the best candidate is there? Nope. We Feminists Think As One, we took a vote and it was unanimous. We sold out our sister for fear of offending…I cannot even finish that sentence it’s so heinous – Obama got elected because of racial guilt? That’s the only reason O’Shea can think of that a feminist might have preferred Obama? That there were complex tussles within the Democrats over who to support, and that perhaps (just perhaps) feminists didn’t have total iron-fisted control over those tussles? Pht, piffle. Feminists rule the world and they sold out their ‘sister’ for fear of offending.

Fuck you O’Shea – way to make it sound like Obama didn’t deserve the job but got it on some kind of undeserved Affirmative Action.

This leads to the speculation of whether Julia Gillard would be subject to the same vitriol if she were Aboriginal or came from some ethnic background distinguished by skin colour. The shock jocks might give second thought to suggestions of physical harm and might distance themselves from the kind of chanting and banners that would have people removed from a football ground.

Yeah because shock jocks are so notoriously sensitive to race issues. And no way is racism against Aboriginals promoted, tolerated or excused in society!

What, I wonder, if Ms Gillard were Jewish? That group make up a relatively small section of society, but they know how to protect their own. Even those whose adherence to Judaism does not involve any outward form of religious observance would quickly organise.

I don’t even know where to go with this. They ‘know how to protect their own’? Are you seriously making all forms of discrimination the fault of those discriminated against for not being organised enough? And in conjunction with ‘Obama got elected from racial guilt’ this ‘Jews protect their own’ stuff just seems…icky.

I make the point as forcefully as I can that I am not suggesting that Aborigines or Jews would be one-eyed in their support of someone simply because that person was one of their own [ed: though he did suggest women/feminists should have done exactly that with regards to Clinton]. But if the criticism was so personal and was based on colour or ethnic/religious background, they would quickly make their voices heard.

Well, I hope that is the case – I’ve seen Indigenous voices silenced far too frequently though, so even getting your voice heard is not sufficient to guarantee that the racist bullshit will stop. Same goes with feminism – we’re talking, shouting, and lobbying all the time, but a/ we don’t get airtime/page space, and b/when we do we’re castigated/ridiculed anyway. And how in the world is that sexism (the same sexism that grounds the sexist personal attacks against PM Gillard which we decry and which decrying you erase with a sweep of your manly pen) our fault?

So I ask again: where are the feminists when the female Prime Minister of the country is subject to snide comments about her clothes sense or her diction or her decision to live with a man who is not her husband or her political association with a party led by a man who is gay?

We’re where we always are – at work, at home, with friends, writing, voting, arguing, shouting, frequently being silenced or ignored, and sometimes, on special occasions silenced, ignored, and blamed simultaneously. I’d just like to thank you for your stupendous display of hypocrisy – where are we? Right here, as per, doing our thing and fighting in all the ways we have available to us. You have available this platform, this recognised and listened to voice and you use it to homogenous women and erase their efforts and achievements while decrying the same behaviour in others, and somehow managing to blame us, the ones who’ve actually been fighting the fight you despair isn’t being fought. Well done.

What the hell problem do Australians have with a queue?


Okay – so we’ve all been there. Stuck in line at Coles wondering what on earth is taking so long. But at the end of the day for me there is a small voice that said ‘Well, you DID choose to come here at 5:15pm on a Friday night, so of course it is busy.’

Others it seems don’t have that small voice. Or they yell at it til it shuts up.

I’ve seen it before, this ugly snarling in supermarket queues as if we all had a birthright to choose our items and sail through checkout without any delay.

But this morning…it’s a Monday morning right? So if you were a savvy commuter, you would buy your ticket on a Friday evening, or on the weekend, or buy them from the newsagents/post office where they’re undated and just activate themselves on the first use, or order them online and have them delivered. So many options other than getting out of bed at the usual time, then lining up on a Monday morning when thousands of commuters begin their working week and expecting – nay, demanding – that you’ll be able to sail to the window, collect your ticket and be on your merry way with no delay.

My son has managed to lose his rail pass within about a week of it being issued. He gave me the form for the replacement last night and it needs to be handed in at the station and paid for in cash. I decided I’d suck it up and do it Monday morning even though with the queues I might be late. It needed to happen and it could only happen there unless I wanted to post it in and wait another week and spend every morning purchasing individual tickets and lining up (and paying another $20 on top of the $25 replacement). I did not want that and so we queued.

There must have been at least ten people ahead of me, but I waited. I knew I was missing trains but I waited. I had to do this task, it needed to be done, there was nothing for it. So I was standing there being positive and mentally calculating that a/ I still had time to make it and b/ if I was late that was too bad, it was the consequence of having to line up on a Monday morning and not making alternative arrangements. Finally it’s my turn. It turns out that the guy has to write it in a book – then another, then write out a reciept. It probably took five or six minutes all up. I was certainly conscious of the people behind me, and of trains leaving etc. Then the heckling started ‘Fuck! What are you DOING??’ etc. When I finish up I’m acutely aware of the delay, though you know, it’s only taken about five minutes and I couldn’t do it elsewhere. As I walk away a woman yells ‘Thanks a LOT lady!’ and glares at me like I’ve singlehandedly ruined her day and made her late for work.

You know, I was feeling sheepish about the time it had taken but really if you are going to queue up on a Monday morning for your weekly ticket despite the multitude of other options, and you haven’t allowed any time for the Monday queues possibly taking some time, then whose problem is that really? That and take it down several notches. Are you really comfortable abusing a stranger? Also in the presence of her child? Are you that okay with your own fury at trival things that you don’t mind showing it to others? It’s a Monday morning! If you choose to line up then there will be delays – choose another time or work on your patience.

‘Free Speech’? I do not think it means what you think it means


TRIGGER WARNINGS: explicit discussions of threats of rape and other forms of violence

[ETA: Just got home from work and inserted a little bit into one of the later paragraphs, and fixed a typo. Also – Roy Baker is rocking my socks and his lectures and discussions of free speech are all through this post]

This has probably been done to death – I have seen it covered off many times over. But I am in SERIOUS need of a rant about it right now. On Facebook there are groups called things like ‘Kick the bitch. Why? Cos she’s a slut’ and ‘Slap a slut day’ etc. In response to this someone has created a ‘Belittle a Misogynist Day’ group. Now on the one hand I paused because ‘belittle’ has a pretty nasty sound to it. I googled some definitions and I still wasn’t 100% happy as they seemed to be ‘trivialise, make to sound less important or smaller than it is’ etc. So on the literal interpretation I’m unhappy because advocacy of violence and shitty attitudes to sex and women are important so I don’t want to minimise them. And on the other side of things I’m uncomfortable with advocating ‘belittling’ in a sense of disrespect – I’m not sure it’s the answer. However I do have a bit of a threshold. I try to treat everyone with respect, and then, if you have exceeded my capacity to tolerate your bullshit bigotry I do indeed advocate a loud (and sometimes humourous/mocking) denouncing of your views/logic/attitudes etc.

So in the end I joined. Well. You’d think that on this group there’d be some interesting discussions – perhaps some challenges to the ‘belittling’ etc, but also solidarity. We can all get behind the idea that it’s wrong to slap/kick/punch a woman because you disapprove of her sexuality right? Apparently not. Apparently this is a freedom of speech issue. Now I’m not Geoffrey Fucking Robertson right I’m just a law student, but I’ve studied Constitutional Law and I’m currently studying Media Law and covering off ‘free speech’ and defamation/vilification etc. Now: HEAR YE FUCKING HEAR YE: THERE *IS* NO SUCH THING AS AN INDIVIDUALS (UNLIMITED) RIGHT TO “FREE” SPEECH. Not here, and not ANYWHERE in the world, not even good old U.S of A where the First Amendment has shielded redneck bigots from consequences for years.

Nope, over there, freedom of speech has been limited by legislation (the Sedition Act, a mere seven years after the First Amendment), the Subersive Activities Control Act, and the interpretation of free speech as limited by the principle of ‘fighting words’ or words that evoke a ‘clear and present danger’. So. Not ANYWHERE is there some unlimited ‘God given’ right to shoot your mouth off whenever and wherever you want to without a resultant kick in the ring or a stint in the pokie. Apart from legal restraints we all accept some restraint on free speech – if you go to church would you advocate the right of someone walking in to church and describing their favourite hard core porn scene? If you don’t, what about someone’s right to come to your grannie’s funeral and talk about what a bitch she was? Or how they’re glad she’s dead? Or standing up at a two year old’s birthday party and reading some erotic literature? No? But FREE SPEECH MAN!!!

So we’ve all got some ability to recognise that there are situations, contexts, times and places in which it is appropriate to require another person to shut their pie hole and keep their opinions (and speech) to themselves. But the minute that someone says ‘What you have just said is dickish and bigoted and here is why’ there’s some howling yobbo to castigate you for your ignorance of the right to ‘Free Speech’. How does that even work? A/ If we *had* a right to free speech in the sense of saying whatever we want, whenever we want (and we don’t) then so what? They said what they said and I’m not saying they can’t think it or say it (though I do point out sometimes that speech is regulated by laws on vilification etc) I’m saying they’re a dickish bigot for thinking and saying it and that it promotes hatred of and violence towards women on the basis of their gender and their (percieved) sexual choices B/ If there is a right to free speech in the sense of saying whatever we want, whenever we want (and there’s not) then surely your conception of Free Speech covers my right to respond vehemently? So what prey tell is the giant bug up your arse that causes you to morph into The Misogynist Hulk when I express my opinion?

It turns out that these people don’t even believe in the conception of free speech that they spout – otherwise they would have to accept my right to retort forcefully, but they don’t. They’re spanking me for daring to have a problem with the content of what was said, they’re forcefully asserting the I am WRONG and they are RIGHT (so apparently Free Speech has the limitation of What They Say is Truth?) and they’re punishing me for having an opinion not in concurrence with theirs – and I don’t mean ‘punishing’ in the sense of disagreeing with and having a discussion or even a heated argument with, no I mean flat out punishing/intimidating in the sense of ‘All you bitches need to be raped’; ‘You’re all faggots for supporting this shit”; and then a ream of ‘jokes’ like ‘What do you tell a woman with two black eyes? Nothing, you’ve already told her twice’. It’s not a disagreement it’s a sustained campaign of intimidation that circles you closer and closer until they’re making creepy comments like they know who you are, where you live, where you work, what you study, that they love you, that they want to hug you. That they want to rape you repeatedly and violently and that’s where the whole thing has been going the whole time.

Why? Cos if you were a good bitch you’d shut your fucking mouth and leave the talking to the Redneck Menfolk where it belongs. These champions of the ‘democratic principle’ of ‘free speech’ want a/ for their dickwad misogynist deadbeat buddies to be able to say WHATEVER they want WHENEVER and WHEREVER they want and what they want is for this ‘right’ to be exercised without challenge: especially from a woman (read bitch/slut/whore). It’s all justified under this expansive conception of free speech but they forever and always expose their cynical deployment of such a ridiculously empty concept of free speech because THEY want to dictate who it gets extended to. If they really backed it then they would not react the way that they do to my exercise of free speech (which is always a hell of a lot more cautious and respectful than theirs or their buddy who started it). *My* conception of ‘free speech’ (that it’s a bit of an empty phrase deployed politically to shut down other people’s speech/to protect your own politics from critique; that it’s subject to all kinds of legal restrictions, including defamation and restrictions on hate speech and vilification; that it’s NOT a private right to say what you want and when you want, that we have no such private right here, and no one has it anywhere so shut the fuck up with your ‘free speech’ chants when you don’t know what it means) means that my responses are consistent with the conception of free speech I push – I say (forcefully) ‘Your arguments are disgusting and illogical – what about x, y and z?’. They say ‘I’m going to rape you you bitch’ or ‘I’m going to make a video of me beating my wife and upload it for you to watch’.

Why? Because I had an opinion about their douchebag buddy’s statements and I expressed it. But under their *entire conception of free speech by which they justified their buddy’s right to his opinion* I am fully entitled to say what I want with no criticisms of my opinions whatsoever. Under mine I don’t need to say they can’t think what they like (though I reserve my right to feel and express revulsion over it). I say that none of us have an unlimited right of freedom of speech, that it’s subject to legal restrictions such as defamation and vilification laws, and their speech comes down on the wrong side of legal restrictions which say you cannot incite violence towards/hatred or contempt of others on the basis of gender/sexuality/religion etc; and further, that I am glad that the law provides such restrictions because hate speech has no value, incites others to hatred, increases the level of hatred and potential for violence in society. So within that conception I still get to call opinions and speech out as disgusting/bigoted/incitement of violence etc – because the law doesn’t place a restriction on opinions or criticisms of arguments and logic unless they fall foul of other laws – defamation/vilification etc. What these people mean when they say ‘free speech’ is ‘Shut the fuck up bitch – my buddy has a dick so his opinion is not to be criticised’.

So you know – I come along and explain carefully that there is no legal right to free speech in this country, and explain what the ‘free speech’ stuff means here. They pause then go ‘Free Speech’ again. I really just wish that people a/ knew the fuck what they were talking about when they chest thump and scream ‘Free Speech’, or b/ engaged with what I say when I point out that they’ve justified it on the basis of a legal right to free speech when that legal right to free speech doesn’t exist anyway. I point out that what they’re saying is bullshit, then they just repeat it. Then they think up some more heinous rape threats. Yeah – freedom of speech, it’s awesome. Do I think that they have a ‘right’ to an opinion I don’t like. Sure. Do I think they should shut the fuck up? Sure. I think they should try cracking a book sometime or listening to someone other than another Chest Thumping Free Speech Espousing Bigoted Redneck Dickwad. But I can’t enforce that. All I can do is say exactly what I have a problem with. But then I get met with rape threats. Seriously. Rape threats. These guys think I should be held down and repeatedly and violently raped, specifically aimed to cause me pain and humiliation. They think THAT is the reasonable consequence of MY exercise of free speech. But they think their buddies who advocate violence/rape/misogyny should be able to do so without any criticism or consequence whatsoever.

They’d accuse me of the same hypocricy but it’s not true on two levels: A/ my right to state my opinion whenever/however/wherever and to whomever I want is NOT unrestricted, and nor is theirs – I am stating my opinion in the forum of a group I joined of likeminded people who disagree with the premise of the ‘Kick a Slut day’ groups – my forum, not theirs. I’m also engaging with arguments and logic and I’m doing it on that basis, I’m NOT going in with ‘You need to be beaten with a lead pipe til you die’ and, much as I loathe them and everything they stand for I DON’T EVEN THINK IT. Sure, when I’ve been threatened with rape/beating/death I’m labelling people who actively advocate violence and threaten violence as Deadbeat Redneck Yobbos and I’m mocking them for the attitudes they express that I see as bigoted/disgusting and violent – but defamation and vilification don’t really go so far as to say ‘Don’t use mean words/be rude to people who’ve told you they will rape you’ – anger and mockery seem to be on the right side of the law and on the right side of my conception of a limited right to freedom of speech – so long as I don’t defame or vilify them on the basis of race/sexuality etc then I’m okay B/ I (and the law) draw a line between vigorous arguments – even arguments which get sarcastic – and intimidation/threats of violence/incitement to violence.

So, much as the law is problematic (and it really really is when you look at whose rights get protected and whose don’t and what is protected from vilification and what is not) THEY DO NOT HAVE THE RIGHT THEY THINK THEY DO. Their friends are technically ‘allowed’ to be bigoted dicks (in that unless I can get a accusation of vilification to stick I can do little to prevent it) and I’m ‘allowed’ to tell them they’re bigoted dicks after they’ve continually shown themselves to be ‘bigoted dicks’ (though much as they say they do they don’t even back *this much* free speech since they shut me down with rape threats as ‘punishment’ for expressing my opinions). Sure my declaration that they’re ‘bigoted dicks’ is a ‘matter of opinion’, and they’d probably argue they’re entitled to their opinions that women who like sex are sluts and it’s okay to slap/kick/beat sluts because in these people’s view they have no value and anyway everyone beats women, right? But I’ll back my opinions over theirs any day since theirs groups and labels people for allegedly ‘wrong’ sexual identities (identities based on *their* judgment of women and sex) and then vilifies them/incites hatred of them on that basis (and the law speaks to this); not to mention that they respond to detractors of their opinions (well, to female detractors) with threats of rape etc. My responses express my disgust with arguments, logic and beliefs – and when it chrystalises into a judgment of them AS bigoted dicks, it judges them for who THEY say they are and what THEY say they believe on the basis that these things cause harm and intimidation and advocate and condone actual violence and pain. I may label them for exactly what they defiantly say they are, and I may use my anger to make my points both forcefully and humorously (if a little mockingly) but the law doesn’t have a whole lot to say about ‘hurt feelings’, whereas it does have stuff to say about vilification and incitement to violence as well as threats of violence (though more on that some time in the future).

These people also can’t distinguish either between the sort of ‘hurt feelings’ which result from someone having their opinion criticised or critiqued, and the ‘hurt feelings’ (actually shock, anger, disgust, fear and outrage) that result from constant threats of rape and violence. They want to tell me that it’s ‘the same’, and that I want to ‘have my cake and eat it too’. On the contrary – I want them to look at the ‘cake’ they’re weilding since it’s not what they think it is. I think they should put down the cake, back away from the cake, drink a glass of cold water and approach the topic anew. They really really really want to be seen as the superior thinkers, the more rational, the more clear headed, the ones who know how the world works, the declarers of truth, the voice of reason, even after they’ve descended into full-blown rage-fuelled rape threats and promises of violence and intimidating comments.

Free speech: I do not think it means what you think it means.

My Shiny New ‘White Mouse’ Obsession


I tend to grab hold of an interest and wear it thin with my constant attentions, whether it’s my current favourite breakfast food, or a tv show, or a person in history.

This week it is All Nancy Wake, All the Time.

A young Nancy Wake smiling somewhat cheekily at the camera

I saw a mention of her death in the paper and the name was ringing faint ‘bells’ of recognition somewhere in the recesses of my brain…who was she and why was it that I knew her name was familiar but couldn’t tell you more than ‘Something to do with the war’.

I mentioned her name at home the other day and my newly-stepped-step-daughter said ‘I have a book about her’. Hurrah. It’s the Russell Braddon biography of her time in the war, and though the prose is irritatingly flowery (‘She’s a rebel, she’s always laughing and she’s very, very feminine — that’s the best way to describe Nancy Wake’), she’s just such a compelling and fiery woman that I couldn’t put it down. Not even when, on top of work pressures, uni assesments and child health emergencies, the topic of evading the Gestapo began to creep into my brain preventing sleep and leaving me feeling ‘wired’.

What a firecracker of a woman! She ran away from home twice as a teenager, she took off overseas for a career in journalism, she moved to Paris, bought herself two dogs, and took up with a wealthy French business man (Henri Fiocca) who promptly gave up his womanising ways, married her and stayed adoringly by her side throughout her escalatingly dangerous exploits in assisting those captured, held or wanted by the Gestapo to escape Occupied France.

By twenty five she had become a key figure in the French resistance and was top of the Gestapo’s hit list – her ability to evade them while springing prisoners and smuggling people out of the country earned her the nickname of the ‘White Mouse’.

When (despite the false documents she carried to avoid the connection to her real identity) her daring and defiant efforts led to the Gestapo tapping her phone and watching her apartment, her husband stayed waiting for her return. Nancy crossed the Pyrenees Mountains after several unsuccesful attempts, an arrest and a prolonged beating, made her way to England and volunteered for training to be sent back again as a saboteur.

Her husband was picked up by the Gestapo after another Resistance member tried to get a message to him, via as it turned out a German counter-agent. He was tortured brutally for information. His father was sent to ‘reason’ with him to just tell them where Nancy was. Henri refused and, when it became clear that he would give no information on her whereabouts, he was executed.

Nancy and Henri smiling together

Before she left France she had helped well over a thousand people escape Occupied France as well as feeding and providing for many families. On her return she found herself in charge of a Resistance force of over 7 000 and preparing them for D-Day sabotage plans. She was volatile, reckless, funny and incredibly brave. She couldn’t stomach blood, violence or death, but even before her Resistance involvement, at the beginning of the war she threw herself at into driving an ‘ambulance’ (a truck she insisted her wealthy husband buy her despite the fact she could not then drive, and in which she ferried refugees out of danger zones and collected bodies and the injured).

She fed, protected and smuggled to safety anyone she could at constant personal risk, she devised schemes, she defied authority, she talked her way out of trouble, she endured incredible discomforts and successfully managed several corps of Resistance fighters and led them through the pre and post D-Day attacks on German posts, parties and resources. It’s astonishing to me that she is not more famous than she is – or that I have remained so unaware of her exploits and the lengths to which she went for the things and the people she cared about.

I’ve only read the one book about her, and I’ve not much idea of what she did after the war, or of whether our politics would align, but I certainly admire her bravery and tenacity.