More about ‘It’s Not A Trend, It’s A Necessity’ plus a #specialoffer for my followers

In my last blog post I shared a spoken word poem I’d written recently, It’s Not A Trend, It’s A Necessity #spokenword, inspired by a comment I heard on the BBC TV programme ‘The Kardashian Effect’, in reference to having eyebrows styled. “It’s not a trend, it’s a necessity,” was the phrase that stuck in my mind because that says to me such a person has lost sight of reality. It is trend, and it most certainly is not a necessity. Clean water, food and shelter are necessities. The programme went on to show how people are having ‘butt implants’ and other forms of plastic surgery. On the one hand this is an extreme example of privilege-having the money and resources to fulfil such superficial desires, but underneath it is an even more sinister implication-that those who live in this culture are in a sense no more free than those who live in oppressed and war torn societies. The capitalist system is a prison that gives the illusion of freedom. Freedom to slavishly follow someone else’s idea of beauty, to the extent of mutilating your own body. Not only that, but the desperate pursuit of material goals by those who can afford it maintains the imbalance of wealth inequality and injustice across the world. There are many layers of meaning, significance and connection I can see in this scenario, so I think a poem carries the layers much better than any amount of explanation. Even better, let’s put it with some music for added impact. I’ve taken some of the poem to use as rap lyrics, a sample of which you can listen to above on the SoundCloud link. The full track is available to buy as a high quality download or unlimited streaming on my bandcamp site, which you can get to by clicking ‘buy’ under the SoundCloud track or to go directly to the bandcamp page, click here, where you can listen to the track in full before deciding to buy. I released this track yesterday, which happened to be my birthday, so as a birthday treat I’m offering my followers a 50% discount on this track up until midnight on Sunday 18th March. To get the discount, use the code ‘happybirthday’ at the checkout. This means the track will cost a bargain 60p including VAT. If you would like to pay more to support my work, then just enter the amount you wish to pay, for which I would be supremely grateful.

©Janey Colbourne 2018


It’s Not A Trend, It’s A Necessity #spokenword

It’s Not A Trend, It’s A Necessity

Gotta keep up with the
Kardashians mentality,
‘It’s not a trend it’s a necessity,’
trapped in triviality,
keeping you from
seeing reality.

Do what you’re told
because you’re worth it.
Seem to be sold
out, sorry, who’s worth it?

Examine your eyebrows
with laser focus,
while the forests burn
you’re taciturn.

But butt implants
are more essential
than the last rare plant
destroyed, as torrential
rains and flash floods
bless the blood
of children, spilled
in war for oil.

Your botox is crucial
for your facial
brutal atrocity
across the nations,
is normalised.
Don’t forget your eyes
need a grand of lashes,
while a different brand,
in Saudi slashes
for one who dares to
Speak. Of. Freedom.

They said it was worth it.

It’s not a trend.
It’s a necessity.

©️Janey Colbourne 2018

Why We Need International Women’s Day #IWD2018

So, this morning on social media, I saw these questions asked:

Why do we need International Women’s Day?
Why should we celebrate one gender over another?
Do we need to differentiate? Aren’t we all just the same?

I’d like to give an answer to that, and please hear me out. If you can’t bear to read statistics, although they are important, please jump to the last paragraph for my conclusion.

Aside from the answer that there is in fact an International Men’s Day, and the fact that there’s nothing wrong with celebrating diversity, here are a few reasons why we still need International Women’s Day:

“Around one third of women worldwide have experienced physical and/or sexual violence by an intimate partner or sexual violence by a non-partner at some point in their lives.”

“In the majority of countries, less than 40 per cent of the women who experienced violence sought help of any sort.”

“In almost all countries with available data, the percentage of women who sought police help, out of all women who sought assistance, was less than 10 per cent. Women’s reluctance to seek help may be linked to the widespread acceptability of violence against women.”

“More than 125 million girls and women alive today have been subjected to female genital mutilation…”

“Across all sectors and occupations, women on average earn less than men; in most countries, women in full-time jobs earn between 70 and 90 per cent of what men earn.”

“…women are clearly underrepresented in fields related to science, engineering, manufacturing and construction. Women are also underrepresented in the more advanced degree programmes, especially in science-related fields, resulting in fewer women than men in research. Women account for 30 per cent of all researchers—an increase compared to previous decades but still far from parity.”


“Two women are killed each week by a current or former partner in England and Wales”

“In the year ending March 2016, 1.2 million women reported experiences of domestic abuse in England and Wales…Whilst this number is shocking, we also know it is grossly underestimated. The cap on the number of violent crimes published, set at five per victim, means that even if a woman experienced 100 incidents of domestic violence, only five would make it into the official data. Thanks to research by Professor Sylvia Walby, we know that were the cap to be removed, the number of incidents of domestic violence would increase by approximately 70%.”


“The CSEW estimated that 20% of women and 4% of men have experienced some type of sexual assault since the age of 16, equivalent to an estimated 3.4 million female victims and 631,000 male victims.”

“indecent exposure and unwanted sexual touching was experienced by around three times as many women as men (2.7% compared with 0.8%)”

“fewer than 0.1% of men had experienced rape or assault by penetration (including attempts) compared with 0.9% of women”

“Data from the Home Office Data Hub show that in the year ending March 2017, females were victims in 88% of rape offences recorded by the police, with the remaining 12% males”


“women were far more likely than men to be killed by partners/ex-partners (44% of female victims compared with 6% of male victims)”

“The majority (97%) of the female domestic homicide victims were killed by a male suspect, whereas among men, only around a third of domestic homicide victims were killed by a female suspect.”


If only we were all the same, dear friend. If women could walk down the street, or start a relationship, and feel safe, if women could expect equal pay, if girls could grow up without early sexualisation and objectification of their bodies, if girls as young as 11 weren’t asked why they don’t shave their legs, if women in politics and the public eye could expect not to receive death threats simply for expressing themselves, if the #metoo campaign was not experiencing a backlash of misogynistic hate and victim blaming, if speaking out didn’t result in minimising, mocking and denial, if perpetrators were no longer treated as the victims, if girls like Jade Hameister, the youngest person ever to ski to both the North and South Poles, wasn’t told to ‘make me a sandwich’ (see her awesome response HERE ), then perhaps we could say we don’t need International Women’s Day any more. I look forward to that day.

©Janey Colbourne 2018

Still 23 (a humorous #poem about getting older)

Still 23

I’m 46 next week, but I’m 23 inside,
It’s not just old age denied.
I know my body’s knackered
‘cos daily I’m reminded:
the mirror’s getting scary,
I’m sure my face is puffy.

I used to feel so fit and strong,
stand up in the pub and sing a song,
Give me a coffee, I don’t want a pint,
I’ve no time for fools or picking a fight.

I think I’m pretty cool,
my daughter’s face says I’m a fool.
Still play my music loud,
I just can’t handle a crowd.

My aching back and joints go crack,
by nine I want to hit the sack,
my favourite clothes don’t fit no more,
that bouncy wear must not be worn.
The bounce I have now feels all weird,
I think I might be getting a beard.

But in my heart I’m 23, still dancing see,

©️Janey Colbourne 2018

Culture: a poem about modern culture in a post-industrial town.

The small towns in the North of England were once the centre of the cotton manufacturing industry, using cotton imported from India during the time of the British Empire, because the damp climate was ideal for working with the cotton fibres, enabling efficient cotton spinning and weaving. These ‘cotton towns’ were heavily industrial, their skylines dominated by mill chimneys and smog. In 1931 Gandhi visited Darwen in Lancashire. The cotton industry here began to decline during India’s fight for independence. The mill workers wanted Gandhi to see the poverty caused by the decline of the industry, but poverty is relative-it was nothing in comparison to the poverty in India. I wrote this poem about life in a Northern town in this post-industrial era. The smog is gone, but the grim conditions of the mill industry have been replaced by something far more insidious: neoliberalism and the throwaway consumer culture. The factories are out of sight, out of mind, out of the country, and churning out endless mass-produced plastic goods, designed to keep us spending and consuming, with short-lived use and eternal life as trash.

The relative poverty is still here. The damp is still here. Welcome to the North.



Pound shops and takeaways,

salons for grooming of

dogs and their owners

sit side by side.

Rancid fat acrid

in back alley junk piles,

settees and Christmas trees

slowly decay.

Damp homes

in damp climate

for cotton mill workers

no longer needed.

The forest of chimneys

now superseded

by new build in miniature,

room sizes shrinking,

like chocolates and crisps,

the packets get smaller

while the prices go

through the roof.

©️Janey Colbourne 2017

Here’s a link to my spoken word/ambient recording of the poem on SoundCloud

Stupid Girl: #metoo poem now as spoken word with music

Preview of my new song to be released hard techno track with spoken word poem intro about sexual harassment.

This is a poem I recently shared here in a blog post. I’ve been working on putting it to music. Trigger warning: sexual abuse and swearing.

Here’s a link to the original blog post with the poem in written format:

©️Janey Colbourne 2018

Ladylike: a poem inspired by Doritos ‘lady crisps’ controversy

To Crunch or Not To Crunch?

Recently Doritos has been in the news for apparently planning to bring out ‘lady crisps’ with less crunch. They claim this is not true, but have not denied that Indra Nooyi, the CEO of PepsiCo, who own Doritos, said they are preparing a range of snacks for women and that women “…don’t like to crunch too loudly in public. And they don’t lick their fingers generously and they don’t like to pour the little broken pieces and the flavor into their mouth.” (Source: @doritos Twitter account)

I was inspired to write a short poem in response:


Lady shave,
just the same,
but in pink,
lady’s glass,
so dainty
to hold,
lady parts
too shameful
to name,
lady’s crisps
with the crunch
taken out,

cos that’s not

Any colour,
shape or size,
make a noise
if you like.

If a lady likes
to do it,
then it’s ladylike.

©️Janey Colbourne 2018

I’m not going to share a picture of Doritos and give them free advertising, so here’s a photo of my facial expression right now.