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Women's History Month: Terrible Toes

This is a children's novel I wrote based on the classism I was subjected to as a little girl in London. It is about my struggle to get into a posh school, but because my father and mother were working class, I was rejected despite my high exam results. It is an analogy about the effect of wrongful rejection upon innocents.

Women and minorities certainly experience much discrimination.

I was born and raised in England. We lived in County Council Housing and were quite poor. My mother was a shopgirl. She liked having her own income and though my dad was not happy with her going to work, he enjoyed the extra money for fish and chips. My mother 's mother died when my mum was three and she was raised in a Catholic orphanage where any treats sent for the kids were locked in a room and not given to the children. She did not talk about it much. My mum, like all women of her generation, had few opportunities.

Women and minorities are limited by unconscious conditioning from family, culture and society. Certainly, even though I was a successful chemist, I'll never forget an awakening to my understanding of limits to women.

When a member of the crew of a plane taking me from London to Glasgow announced, proudly, that the pilot was a woman, and in fact the whole crew were women, it gave me pause and made me a little uncomfortable. Really! After all, I might have broken the glass ceiling to become a chemist, but could other women really aspire to fly planes, become soldiers, doctors, and ministers? Fortunately, that is changing, and I am now able to celebrate the success of women in whatever career they choose to undertake.


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