Drugs and Alcohol

BBC: A Predispostion for Propaganda?

I didn’t watch Panorama last night. I didn’t feel like I needed to see where it was going, I had my suspicions the BBC were rooting for something to make a focus of our outrage, a scapegoat. We’re not short of real life monsters threatening our way of life, many of them even had jobs at the BBC but it felt like the scene was being set for a ‘debate’, a distraction from the constant slew of actual things that have been proven harmful, like racism and historic child sex abuse cover ups for example.

I have been on SSRIs for 7 years. I started off on Citalopram and for a very brief time I felt as if I finally had the space to breathe and not feel like I was crawling out of my skin. As the meds settled in my system I became aware of the dulling effect it was having on my reality, something that no doubt worked brilliantly at crisis point but as my mental health improved I felt like it was holding me back, I wasn’t feeling as extremely as I did but I also wasn’t able to laugh as hard as I’d like or think too deeply about anything. I tried to come off them at first but was soon reminded of the reasons I became medicated when the symptoms returned; I was shocked by how intensely bad I felt and unable to function so I saw the GP about an alternative. He referred me to a psychiatrist and after a couple of visits we figured the best thing to do was switch to Sertraline, a drug that many users responded to after Citalopram. It’s hit and miss, prescribing mental health meds. Part of the process to healing is trial and error, you have to try things before you know how you’ll respond.

I was pleased with the change in my mood only a few weeks after I started taking Sertraline. I didn’t feel as foggy or tired and I was less fixated, a benefit of this particular drug which is often prescribed for people with obsessive disorders. It worked for me, I was struck by the fact I could pun again, something in my brain had changed. I spoke to others who weren’t so fortunate with Sertraline and went on to try other drugs but our brain chemistries aren’t one size fits all, we still don’t know enough about mental health to make this an exact science.

Before I became medicated I can’t say I was in favour of antidepressants especially SSRIs. I was even an audience member on a BBC talk show about antidepressants hosted by, I think, Nick Ross and said stuff I’m sure I’d cringe at now if I could remember, it was so long ago. I remember there was a big fuss about Seroxat a while back too, it was linked with increased risk of suicide among teenagers. I really did not want to be the sort of person who took antidepressants, someone who gave in (as people were all too keen to point out to me when I first started taking them), who’d failed or any number of negative variations on this, like I’d let people down or myself or whoever. Sadly, I did not get much of a choice on the matter if I had any hope for survival.

I took the drugs despite all my misgivings and prejudices, I really didn’t want to feel or exist in the way I had for so long, and I was scared I would die if I did. I had been seeing a therapist, sometimes multiple times a week but it just wasn’t enough, I felt I would kill myself probably. I never thought about killing anyone else, I couldn’t bear to be near anyone or more to the point, outside my bedroom even, that I kept locked most of the time. I took the drugs because my nephew was on his way into the world and I felt I owed him a cool aunt. I took the drugs because I’d hit rock bottom but inside me something chose to live. I felt almost embarrassed when I disclosed to the therapist I had started them already. She wasn’t the biggest fan herself and I felt like I was letting her down, like saying your therapy isn’t all that but she immediately said “GOOD” and leant forward to touch my knee. She said she’d never advocate for meds and wouldn’t have suggested I take them but was glad I had come to this decision myself because I really could do with them, these drugs exist because people in my situation need them.

I do not regret for one minute making that decision. I never thought I’d be on them so long, and I never believed they’d do me much good but it’s been 7 years and I am so pleased with myself and how far I have gotten. I recently cut my SSRIs by a third. If there is one thing I can say for certain and you must be aware of this before you go in, withdrawal is a bitch and you must do it slowly. I am aware that I could suddenly feel like I made a rash judgement but for now I’m enjoying being a 3rd less medicated and wondering what it will be like when I reduce them again.

The BBC makes a tenuous link between the many millions of users who safely take SSRIs so they can function in this society and the tiny minority who kill but this can be said of so many things it makes you wonder why they have singled out people who take drugs for their poor mental health. Most people who take recreational drugs for example, do not pose a risk to others but some might react violently. We could say the same about men, right? Most of them tend to adhere to some semblance of law, at least on the surface but a minority kill women and children. Should we point the finger at beards?

Once again, the BBC reminds us how little we should care about it, yet they insist we pay for this propaganda too.


Religion isn’t the problem; people are

I remember feeling intensely bereft the first time my brain accepted a world without God. I felt as if I’d lost something important and it could never be returned. Growing up it was kind of cool to denounce God and embrace Goth Lite and wear crosses in an ironic sense but when things went awry I still snuck a prayer in when no one was looking. Despite my attempts at seeming edgy and not like all the other Asians I’d grown up in a heavily monitored household where privacy didn’t feature very highly. For a long time I believed my elders had the ability to read my thoughts and so felt doubly punished when I was chastised for something I didn’t do. God was just an extension of that and when you’ve spent so many years believing you are not alone it isn’t something you can just switch off. Unless you were to dabble with psychotropic drugs, let’s say.

I felt what it is to be truly alone the one and only time I ever took acid. I have a bizarrely vivid recollection of it and am convinced it had all the marks of a psychotic episode. I even believed I had lost my mind whilst I was still tripping. In an odd sense it really cleared out some of the cobwebs in the dingier parts of my cerebrum but it was a while before I would come to this conclusion. First there was a drawn out period of major depression with acute anhedonia.

What was the point of existing if there was no God to make reparations for all the suffering, not just for me but all who’ve ever existed? Victims of violence and trauma for example, people who suffer their lot without complaint in the hope they’ll be rewarded in the afterlife. The opiate which keeps existence functioning. Without which some of us lose the will to live, and that’s exactly what happened to me.

It’s a strange place to occupy, to feel so estranged from anything good. The days merge together and you don’t really care or look for the things that keep life interesting because there is no point in all its frivolity. What’s the point in consuming your five a day if you don’t care about your skin hair and nails, because they’re not important at all if you think about it? Who decided this arbitrary figure and why do we conform to these standards set by God knows who? Who needs friends and more to the point, acquaintances we have to suffer by engaging in small talk until we are drunk enough to do stupid things we’ll regret later? What is the point in eating at all? Whilst this sounds like a bad trip comedown and it is, flashbacks included, I couldn’t shake off the loneliness and in a bid to feel something, anything, I said and did a load of things I probably shouldn’t have.

Sure it must be liberating for many to conclude we are all alone in this vast space, that the sky God is just another successful advertising campaign. To live without fear opens endless opportunities and access to total privacy is empowering but I didn’t get all that. For me I was suddenly very afraid and isolated, perhaps because of the way I was raised.

I taught my gran to read Arabic as a kid; being as she wasn’t educated for fear she might write letters to lovers. She was finally able to read the Quran and she was so hungry for that knowledge, relishing each letter as she slowly connected them together to make a word. I won’t lie; I’m ashamed that I found the whole thing irritatingly tedious. Being the eldest (and yet only 9) it would mostly come down to me to listen to her clunk her way through the enlarged script, her forefinger bobbing underneath the letters as she sewed them together with an invisible thread. How I ache to listen to her now and respond gracefully to her claims I had secured my place in heaven by allowing her to appreciate the word of God. She apologised to God in advance whenever she prayed or recited the Quran, to forgive her for any mistakes in understanding or pronunciation, it was like the whole process had a profound effect on her and the way she conducted her life. It made her mindful and humbled her as time went on. I miss the kind of care and concern she showed. It’s certainly missing in the world 13 years after she died. I was religious for a while shortly after she passed but that was on the wane when I took the acid at a festival, a time of my life I was busy hurtling through with little regard for consequences or the mental and physical scars I’d acquired from all the trauma of my early years. On some level I regret taking the drug. I was flippant about it and we got really unlucky, what with the sandstorm and National Guard all over town (memorable holiday) and more to the point I didn’t feel safe with the people I shared the experience with (though this only dawned on me when one of them – an ex – appeared to slide past me intermittently, as the devil, commanding me to bend to his will and give up on good).

Many years on, I find it interesting now that I found a devil in our midst but couldn’t locate God anywhere. At one point I felt I was God and that’s why the world was so fucked up. I had positioned myself as good, perhaps because evil is the default setting and only my actions could counter the badness. It was like an allegory of being the change you want to see in the world, I had to fight the evil that was consuming me from the inside out whilst fending off the dark energy emanating from my ex, a man I had come to despise for his hedonism (lack of responsibility or accountability). Rather fittingly he had sprouted a cockatoo’s crest (tripping balls) in his incarnation of the devil. This was my brain’s interpretation of the silly side Mohican he’d cultivated around a bald patch. “When you see yourself in my image, everything will be alright” he slithered. I wanted to resist this fate. In fact, I had accepted I would rather die and spend all eternity in limbo than let evil consume what little good I possessed. It was only when I did this that I eventually came out of my bizarrely protracted trip. Unsurprisingly I would become obsessed with all things philosophical in a bid to understand what I had seen and why, the eyes merely being a viewfinder for the brain to interpret what is in front of you. There was something inside me that had shaped the things I’d seen.

If I thought reading Nietzsche would provide me with those answers, I was wrong. It was all going fairly well with the will to power until the chapter on women. Suddenly I was spiralling into suicidal tendencies with a side helping of existential grief; I mourned for my old neural pathways where I was easily convinced of spirituality. I resented this new search for magic in the material world.

I am reminded of it every time an antitheist snarks smugly at a believer that they are enlightened and so much smarter than the sheeple for cracking the God code. Atheism has taken on the arrogance of Nietzsche’s superman, sexism an’ all. It is not enough for some to say they do not believe in a God but to pile on shame and offence with impunity and to claim it as a right for free thinkers is reminiscent of the days when heretics were burned at the stake, only this time it’s Muslims or Jews being attacked for their beliefs, systematically monstered and tortured by Westerners.

Why are so many atheists oblivious to the fact that they’re sounding a little dictatorial? Are they ignorant of the malice they apply to all their arguments? Can they not see the arrogance they project outwards, the way it marks them out as a bully? What they believe to be a sign of intelligence, critical thinking, is weaponised to attack believers in the same way that an all-consuming belief in the one god can engender violence against non-believers. Muslim fundamentalists are cut from the same cloth as Jewish, Christian, Buddhist (etc) fundamentalists. Atheists have a spot on that tapestry too. It comes from a place of complete surety that the contents of one’s own brain are infinitely superior to those detractors we don’t like. This personality exists in every single walk of life. It is not exclusive to one belief system but is created in the minds of those who have been forsaken or targeted for whatever reason. It gives them the confidence to say they are better than you and they alone have the right to life without you taking all of the resources. This can be applied to any conflict since the creation of war. These are the excuses used to usurp the wealth of others.

I do not see the religion before the person, I see the kindness in their faces (or lack thereof) and the way they defend humanity, whatever labels the individual applies to themselves. I baulk at using the word atheist to describe myself in the same way I gave up on ‘Muslim’ many moons ago. To do so would mean endorsing an idea of what is it to be x, because no one ever listens to moderates when the fundamentalists are hogging the soapbox.

Fundamentalism is a poison that can turn the blood of any human stone cold. It’s like a widget that you apply to an existing theme. It is not the foundation for a belief system but a symptom of an overpopulated, overwhelmed species. It has the power to destroy all, from whichever angle you look at it.

Blue Valentine

Surviving in a patriarchy is a daily struggle, which is why I’m instantly suspicious of anyone who thrives in this kind of environment. The people at the top are the ones to watch; success is not something that comes with complete honesty and integrity in capitalism. It infects every little corner of the society we find ourselves in, permeating every creed and culture so that somehow, wherever you are (in most parts of the modern world), women are considered inferior and incomplete without men to shield them from other men (70% of the entire world’s population of women in fact). We literally cannot escape the monster; it’s in our beds whilst we sleep at night. It’s in the workplace, the gym, outside your front door. It’s in our homes on our TVs and not just in the films with explicit content notes at the start but out of the mouths of our British darlings; the ‘comedians’ and soap ‘stars’ with their freedom to speech that actually physically harms the vulnerable; this little island is heaving with perpetrators of violence against women and girls.

I am so wound up by the film I just watched I started blogging before it ended. I wanted the disgust and fear to feel fresh when I pinpointed why my reaction felt so visceral. Firstly, I have established it is not cos I’m a man hating shrew, I quite love a few of them actually, it’s you other pricks I cannot abide and it’s all your own fault cos patriarchy.

With that out of the way, I want to get the WTF? lessons in structural patriarchal oppression off MY chest. The film Blue Valentine starring Michelle Williams and Ryan Gosling centres on the relationship of a “contemporary married couple, charting their evolution over a span of years by cross-cutting between time periods” – IMDB. Now I don’t know what other people saw but I saw patriarchy ignore a woman’s bodily autonomy repeatedly until she caved. I have spoken to countless women who have done this, me included. To feel so battered and exhausted by the onslaught of unwanted sexual attention, you step outside of yourself and give in. At no point did Williams’ character ask for her space to be invaded but then neither do most targets of patriarchal entitlement, we’re just conditioned to believe it is something we should expect and tolerate.

I wanted to scream/punch the TV because of the way the film attempted to sweeten their ill-fated tale with flashbacks to their miserable beginnings. They were trying to depict the heady romance that brought them together and how it started in earnest but y’know relationships break down because people stop needing each other. Except that’s not what happened. I wanted to see what other people thought about so I googled (much easier than asking people I find…)

I found this piece and decided not to look any further. For the record, we cannot change the common dysfunctions we find in relationships if we refuse to acknowledge first the role patriarchy plays. The phrase ‘common couple violence’ describes a situation where people are equally to blame for escalations of violence and aggressive behaviour, incidents rarely result in serious injury or the other person fights back. This, in contrast to ‘patriarchal terrorism’; which, to be honest, is my understanding of all domestic abuse not just the ones where the survivor looks like a victim. It’s possibly telling that the person to coin this phrase is a man. There is also the fact that Wikipedia presents a criticism of his idea suggesting that he was accused of reporting bias but who knows, maybe an angrier feminist got there before me.

Let me explain something to the many men presenting their own truths about matters that affect people affected by patriarchal entitlement. We didn’t ask to be born only to witness our mothers being physically and sexually assaulted. We’re so used to seeing men strutting around, their chests puffed up all pigeon like, invading the space of the person we love most in the world, despite our very early protestations before we were even able to verbalise. When we cried, he just ignored us. After a while we stopped crying because we realised it made no difference. Some of us will have learnt to tune out our surroundings and ingratiate ourselves with the man whose hand felt like a frying pan on impact. Best not to say anything, better to pretend it didn’t affect you, maybe this is normal life, who knows? This is what happens to some victims of child abuse; they internalise the toxic relationship as being something that is within the boundaries of ‘normal’ because of how it is widely accepted in society.

I cannot watch a single film from my childhood without critiquing the impact of the messages I was being fed about my role as a female. Everything revolved (and in many cases, still does) around relationships; this belief that there is a princess out there for every man, someone to cherish and obey them. It’s not something that is restricted to any John Hughes/Mickey Rourke movie of my childhood. Gosling’s character makes a remark about how men marry for love whereas women just settle for someone with a good job. In the context of the film he snaps her up when she is most vulnerable. She’s absolutely terrified; when she finds out she is pregnant, possibly by another guy, that he’ll react angrily so she doesn’t immediately tell him. He then threatens to jump off a bridge (as you do if you’re a menacing, manipulative privileged male). Threatened with the possibility she would be responsible for his death because she didn’t jump to his command she blurts out her news. He reacts in the way no male should ever react to a pregnant person; he shouts her and demands a decision about what she is going to do. Not in a supportive way, just belligerent he was not having his needs met. In fact, this was the whole premise for their relationship. He repeatedly makes advances on her and she is not exactly coquettish in her repeated rejection of him yet senior practitioners of human psychology, the people we turn to when we want to behave ‘normally’ are telling us that guilt and innocence shift depending on which person’s perspective you look at it from. It is no wonder we allow patriarchal abuse in societies and in many cases actively encourage men to assert their dominance when we have the attitude that sometimes, women are just asking for it. Williams’ character opts for an abortion but just as the speculum is inserted, she changes her mind.

On hearing this news, Gosling’s character scoops her up, obviously thrilled that he finally has his own little family. Now, contrast the two ways in which he reacted to being told what her intentions were. When she didn’t respond he became aggressive; men don’t have the best reputation for handling sensitively the subject of them potentially inseminating anyone or the fact that it might not be theirs (cos human beings are property like that) and she hurried away, afraid at what he might do. After the trip to the abortion clinic he sweeps her off her feet and then carries her in his lap on the train home. SHE apologises to him for getting pregnant, telling him it isn’t his fault. I think you’ll find it probably was though.  It is possible that he was attracted to how vulnerable she suddenly was and knew she wouldn’t leave him; a tactic often used by emotional abusers, pregnancy creates an immense amount of dependency. Or perhaps she behaved in the way she did because she is accustomed to men turning when they don’t get the answer they want, like her father for example, smashing his plate of food on the table because it wasn’t prepared to his exacting standards. Even her grandmother advises her on matters of love, stating she was never really that in love with her grandfather indicating a sense of duty to explain why she stayed in the relationship.

Williams’ character has been socialised into believing that what HE wants, goes. She looks almost afraid in her early run ins with the future father of her child. Alan Ravitz MD argues that Williams’ knew what kind of character she was getting involved with because she was aware of his personality from the very start. He suggests that she chose to be with him because of how he fulfilled her needs at the time; “pregnant with an abusive father and passive mother”. Historic victims of child abuse, even the ones who weren’t being directly abused themselves but witness their mothers suffering it hear warning bells regarding abusive partners, like most people, but their brains do not interpret them as a negative thing. The need for stability and love mutes the voice flagging up any concerns. For them it’s so familiar in how it reminds them of their childhood for example that many don’t even question inappropriate behaviour until it is pointed out to them (even as a domestic abuse worker, I was unaware of the fact I was still experiencing abuse in my own life). The psych also suggests that the relationship perhaps soured when she no longer had any use for him completely disregarding the fact that Williams’ character is holding down a full time job yet still doing all of the ‘women’s work’ too. The scene where Gosling spoons cereal onto the table to encourage their little girl to eat at least the raisins; Williams comes across as rigid and without a sense of fun when she insists the girl use a spoon. Is she being a killjoy or is this a nod to the fact that she has to clean it up (which she explicitly states)? Also, when fathers give their children the impression that fun is there to be had but mum won’t allow it, this pits a child against their mother creating a special relationship for the feckless father and his child where they can be mad at mum instead of ever examining their own behaviour. The little girl pleads with her mother with the logic that dad says it’s ok.

Dads, by all means get stuck in with the child rearing and be as silly as you like but think about the poor mug who has to clean up after you. What about her? Is anyone really that surprised when a relationship breaks down for seemingly no good reason, except for the fact that we live in a patriarchy? How many times is Williams’ character approached with sexual intentions when all she wants is to have a drink or get some sleep? How many times is she touched without her express consent? He doesn’t cuddle her; he gropes her at every opportunity, pulling at her flesh, kneading her breasts. She is slimed on at the supermarket, when she’s visiting her grandmother in an old people’s home, on her own front porch. She gets her child and herself ready for work. She is the one to cook the food and put it on the table. In practically every scene she is buzzing around the room, tidying, organising, planning. She isn’t comfortable with any of the attention she receives from any of the men in the entire film but do they care? No, they just put her down for being so ungrateful.

Like, she should be grateful he gets jealous of the thought of her with other men. It is her duty to assuage him with reassurances that other men do nothing for her even though she is frightened whilst she does this. He demonstrates has no regard for her professional working life when, after she repeatedly tells him that she cannot go have sex with him in a sleazy motel because she is on call (as a nurse at a hospital) he goes against her wishes and books it anyway. HE made the decision he was going to use her body, it didn’t matter that she might be needed in an emergency or that she was tired, they did what HE wanted to do. Alan Ravitz MD downplays this patriarchal control by labelling it ‘pathological romance’ instead. There’s nothing romantic about men wanting to take at will and asserting their right to this at every opportunity, in fact, that’s called harassment, it is male privilege and entitlement.

Williams’ character separates from her husband because she suddenly becomes aware of the influence her father abusing her mother had had on her as a little girl. She won’t speak to her father in the closing scenes where the couple go their separate ways. Her dad asks her what is happening and she specifically says she won’t be discussing it with him emphasising she means him in particular. Here is a grown woman who is suddenly furious with her father for shaping her into the woman another man could take advantage of. In that moment she grows as a person. How could a senior psychiatrist miss something as glaringly obvious as this? Simple really; he IS the patriarchy. It is men like him who control the moral compass. How else do you think we got into this mess in the first place? Men have been tripping over themselves to depict women as deranged, hysterical, out of control for simply asserting their rights to autonomy. Of course they wouldn’t want you to think like this, it would mean having to fend for themselves, making their own goddamn sandwiches, having a cry wank instead of raping you.

Patriarchy is protected by the law (check out rape statistics), by healthcare professionals (as we have discussed) and perpetuated by the ways in which we view unacceptable behaviours on the part of men, choosing to reward them for it (see all the rich and famous exonerated by the law, cherished by their fans). This won’t change until we call patriarchal oppression when we see it. There are some very basic links missing to achieving equality.

Call out culture may have been ridiculed by patriarchy but we always knew it would, it makes taking advantage of the vulnerable a lot more difficult.

Understanding the domestic abuser

It takes on average 33 separate attempts to leave an abusive relationship. Lots of to-ing and fro-ing as the survivor reconciles taking these steps with the end of her relationship. It’s not so easy to leave when he is the father of your children or you have a joint bank account. How to leave a relationship without alerting the perpetrator to your plans? If he knew you were leaving he might attack you to teach you a lesson for even daring to contemplate abandoning him; after all, being the King of the Castle, he makes all the decisions, he decides when he’s had enough of you. Domestic violence charities have specific safety plans and risk assessments for this dangerous time; survivors are advised to pack their essentials but to do so slowly, over the course of a week or two so that he doesn’t notice things are missing. If he did there might be a sudden and severe escalation in abuse; 76% of women fleeing abuse faced another incident of violence for having the audacity to leave. What if somewhere in the process of fleeing, the decision to leave your abuser is taken out of your hands? Say you’re a famous TV chef and the man abusing you is Charles Saatchi.

Was Nigella in the process of leaving him? When abusive men strangle or attempt to choke/suffocate their victim, it is to remind them that they control their lives so far as controlling their very breath. In the standard risk assessment completed by DV charities and also the authorities, the question regarding strangulation is given special consideration even if the survivor doesn’t score very highly on others. This is because it is a very serious act and implies intention; it is a threat to kill. This question coupled with a handful of others can result in an immediate referral to a multi-agency risk assessment conference. The police will most likely be involved; many MARACs are coordinated by the local police. If the police wish to refer a victim for support, domestic abuse agencies must establish consent from survivors before pursuing any action to support her, EXCEPT when the risk of harm to the survivor and/or her children trumps the right to confidentiality. This wasn’t just a slap in the face, he didn’t pull her hair; he was letting her know that he could kill her if he wanted to.

Nigella had the right to confidentiality taken away from her. She wasn’t given the opportunity to leave in her own time. We don’t know how long Saatchi had been abusing her but we can say for almost certain, a man who is publicly strangling his wife is used to wielding that kind of power and he is Saatchi, he knows power, he owns power. He didn’t suddenly become enraged at her worsening behaviour or drug abuse as he likes to paint it. In which dimension is it ok for ANY person to justify their violence by smearing the victim as some kind of junkie who needed putting in her place? Especially when women’s workers, independent domestic violence advocates like myself know that substance misuse is a coping mechanism for many survivors. Women experiencing domestic abuse are 15 times more likely to misuse alcohol and 9 times more likely to misuse other drugs than women generally. Many women are introduced to drugs by their abusive partner, they are used to control the victim or in fact, used as an insurance policy should she decide she wants out. “If you leave me, I’ll make sure social services know you’re a druggie. All it takes is a drugs test”. This is what Saatchi is doing now. Humiliated for being the pig that he actually is, his male ego cannot cope with the way he has been exposed. So he ups the ante, he’ll teach her for not standing by her man. Like many abusers, he knows that he doesn’t need to speak to her directly to continue controlling her. He can tell his story to the old boys and they’ll print it in their papers and he can watch her lose her contracts from afar. Domestic violence has a higher rate of repeat victimisation than any other crime. Leaving is not a cure.

Saatchi knows what he’s doing here; he knows that this version of events is something the British public will lap up. Everyone likes to laugh at the addled pop star, their misfortunes being a source of entertainment for people with boring little lives and a serious lack of humanity. Everything can be explained away by their erratic drug induced manias. Nobody likes to think of the peace many drug abusers are seeking. Nigella has been harangued for using drugs some of which she was prescribed, was she taking drugs for depression/anxiety? I don’t think any of us would be surprised if she was. I would actively encourage her to keep taking them not shame her as though that is all we need to know about her character.

What we’ve seen here is a classic example of rich powerful man holding more control than rich powerful woman. It’s a patriarchy and this incident serves to remind you of that. If Nigella, with her wealth and connections can suffer this sort of fate, what hope is there for the rest of us?