All posts tagged: sneer

Mental health is a measure of success, not a reason for politicians to sneer | Martha Gill

Mental health is a measure of success, not a reason for politicians to sneer | Martha Gill

[ad_1] There’s more to life than money, but societies can struggle to express it. When we talk about the state of nations and their citizens, we tend ultimately to boil it down to a few economic indicators. These can tell us a great deal, but they don’t quite tell us everything. The untouched stretch of ancient woodland, the arts in education, the close-knit community, the healthy childhood: there are plenty of valuable things that cannot always be weighed on this scale. And this is a problem, particularly for people who want to hang on to those valuable things. Here’s a rule of thumb: if you can’t measure how much something is worth, it becomes tricky to protect it. Those who do not want to see a bluebell wood destroyed or another humanities subject ditched can find it hard to argue their case against the cold logic of pounds and pence. What yardstick can they use that will be taken seriously? It’s not just activists for whom this is an issue. Governments have long flirted with …

A moment that changed me: I heard people sneer at me – and my mummy guilt turned to anger | Life and style

[ad_1] I was invited to speak at a travel conference in Dublin in 2013 and I brought my 18-month-old toddler with me to the event. As a professional travel writer and photographer, my presentations had been well-received, and my daughter ran around the conference on wobbly feet, charming fellow speakers and attenders. Afterwards, I took my daughter and my friend Germaine, who had come along to support me, to the pub reserved for attenders. That was when I heard their sneers. Four people – three men and a woman – were sitting right across from me, sharing the same table, throwing loaded looks and loud-whispering for my benefit. “Who brings a kid here?” I heard one of the men saying. Their hushed conversation said it all. I was a “bad mother”. Ten years later, I still replay that moment over in my mind. Up until that point, I had always shrunk with guilt whenever I travelled for work. After all, I lived in Stockholm and Sweden’s parental leave was one of the most generous in …