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In the same month that ‘Hold Your Head Up Woman’ was released into the world, I have some insights into the female experience to impart.

This last week in particular it seemed I was such a magnet for information and stories from SO many different angles and sources that I felt it was important to write about it.

Here are just a few examples of what I have learned just in this last week:

I read an interesting newspaper article about ‘why smart women need to stop dumbing down to please men’. It focussed on an incident with Kate Beckinsale being interviewed by shock jock Howard Stern. She was basically lambasted by critics after the show for being brainy! Part of her response was ‘Are we really still requiring women to dumb themselves down in order not to offend?’

She referred to one of several recent studies whereby heterosexual men have claimed interest and desire in women more intelligent than themselves – but it turns out this is largely true only in theory, not in reality. (Examples of similar studies: Professor Lora Park, Dept. of Psychology, University at Buffalo). Obviously this is a tiny superficial summary – but you get the point.

Let’s step back one generation. I got to see my mum this week. She is a retired doctor. She trained at a prestigious London hospital from 1949-1955 - only their 3rd intake of women to medical school after female admission to this particular hospital was banned in 1924(!)

As a medical student she was outnumbered by men six to one. She told me “The men in my year treated me ok, and women were not treated differently in class, but when we got onto the teaching rounds in the hospital, the consultants (who were all men) delighted in humiliating the women more than the men.”

The students in her year were “much more likely to be going out socially with the nurses.”

She also told me “At that time I felt I needed to behave differently with men in general, sort of pander to them and ‘show some respect’, that was my upbringing, so it was quite a change to be treated as an equal by the men students at medical school.”

What did I conclude from this chat with mum?

That she was bright and courageous (I knew that anyway!)

That the older and upper echelons of the medical profession were more steeped in patriarchy and perhaps a little more wary of female potential so used humiliation freely?

I might be wrong here - but the fact that the doctors went out more socially with the nurses suggests that maybe they felt less threatened by nurses? Nursing is a less academic world than medicine, and perhaps this harks back to the studies I mentioned earlier in this blog?

By the way, I am not devaluing nursing here. As an ex-nurse myself I know that, though a less academic world, nursing is as significant a vocation as medicine. In an ideal world it would be recognised that these two professions are symbiotic – each performing overlapping and separate roles in the care of human health. (I’ll get off my soapbox now!)

Also – I was reminded that it was more common for the women of my mum’s generation to be taught and to believe they had a subservient role to men in life.

I was surprised to learn something about my own generation too. In conversation with two very intelligent female friends of mine, I found that both of them had been brought up instilled with the idea that they should not outshine their brothers.

Even now, social psychologist Amy Cuddy educates us about body poses. Not surprisingly women feel chronically less powerful than men and display more non-verbal ‘low-power’ poses. She presents a fantastic TED talk that everyone should watch.

I am not writing any of this to emasculate or diminish men, but whether we like it or not, the patriarchy persists and change is glacial – especially in parts of the world where women are denied rights, education or recognition.

As women, we all need to be aware of our personal roles in perpetuating the status quo, whilst at the same time, understanding that certain elements of nature will always demand differences between men and women (or however we identify ourselves), and SURELY these differences should be celebrated!

Let’s not just blend in and be accepted, let’s be our authentic whole selves.

Like Marianne Williamson says “…Your playing small doesn’t serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you…”

So that was just this week!

Until next month…Hold Your Head Up Woman!

*Hold Your head Up Woman: find on YouTube or

*Hold Your Head Up: written by Rod Argent and Chris White

* Daily Mail, UK: ‘We smart women must stop playing dumb to please men’ Clare Foges, 28th Oct 21

* TED talk, Amy Cuddy:

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In the last few weeks I have felt a bit stretched - but May has been full of landmarks, frustrations, little victories and promises fulfilled, some big, some small and in all sorts of random areas of my life.

In no particular order, here’s just three of each:

Landmarks include the online release of American psychotherapist Dr. Robi Ludwig’s Zoom interview with me about my ‘Know Your Crazy’ (KYC) book and boxset. You can see it at:

I helped nurse a close relative back to health after a major operation – they are now passing landmarks of their own!

Rather more sadly, Chris and I marked the first annual anniversary of the deaths of two close friends.

The main frustration has (not surprisingly) been the ongoing story of Covid 19 and how it is interfering with plans we would love to make!

By rights I should have been in Colorado last week! Rene Harbison invited both Cindy da Silva and me to join her for a few days of All Things Outdoors and All Things Spa. She suggested that the three of us ‘Know Your Crazy’ women take some time to celebrate our collaborative effort – the ‘KYC’ book and box, ‘decompress’ a little, have an adventure and make a few plans. Oh well…ONE DAY!!

The ‘Chris White Experience’ has hit a few obstacles with companies that we need to use for the output of physical CDs. They are suffering the effects of Covid 19, even closing. However, these are obstacles we can overcome and we will continue to produce output, but we really do feel for the plight of some of those involved in this area of creativity.

Third frustration – Technology – don’t ask!

My first little victory is that what should have been a ‘Know Your Crazy’ book tour last year, (so starting as another frustration), has morphed into an online monthly Book Club (little victory), which I am enjoying immensely. It really is great to hear how the pictures resonate with people in such different ways, and has been good for me to reassess all of my pictures. The fourth of these Clubs is on Wednesday 9th June and we will be looking at 3 images - ‘Internal Fear’, ‘External Fear’ and ‘Life Is Magic’. Maybe see you there? You can get there via:

I had my second Covid vaccination

I mowed a lawn! Haven’t had one of those for over 40 years. I am loving our new spac

So – promises fulfilled. The ‘Know Your Crazy’ team was finally ready and able to make a donation from the funds raised by the generous contributors to our 2020 ‘KYC’ Indiegogo campaign. Rather than setting up our own charitable fund, it turned out that the smartest way to use the money was to make a donation to an already established charity. We donated $1000 to ‘Arteamor’. This charity helps children affected by violence, abuse and human trafficking and works with them using creativity. You can read more about Arteamor here:

Again, connected to the Indiegogo campaign - The unofficial soundtrack to the ‘Know Your Crazy’ project is ‘Hold Your Head Up’ (a Chris White / Rod Argent song). The three women who purchased the campaign’s Diamond Perk (plus some of their youngsters) have now been into recording studios to add their voices to an A Cappella version of the same. We are working on that mix right now in the UK. More about this one soon.

And one promise I made to myself - I finally threw out (and gave away) some old clothes that will never fit again! Does that count?

Well - THAT was quite a useful exercise!

Covid restrictions loosened up a bit recently, and having finally been allowed to entertain friends and family at home again, I think the most interesting lesson I (re)learnt in May was, that being in close contact with children again, reminded me that living ONLY in the present moment really does have a lot going for it!

Happy June!

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Time and again I learn about little differences between the UK and USA.

Since launching a book in the USA whilst living in the UK, I have become conscious of celebrations being marked at different times of year, eg. Mother’s Day 2021 in the UK was 14th March, in the USA it will be 9th May.

Regarding awareness campaigns, again we are different - Mental Health Awareness Month in the USA is the whole of May. In the UK, Mental Health Awareness Week is 10th-16th May and Mental Health Month occurs in October. Internationally, mental health awareness is symbolised by a green ribbon, and World Mental Health Day is on Sunday 10th October.

This March, along with my ‘Know Your Crazy’ colleagues, I was part of a Zoom* with Maya Azucena (singer and activist) and Dr. Robi Ludwig (Psychotherapist and reporter). The Zoom event was called ‘Embrace Your Crazy’ and was a conversation about our ‘inner critics’ and also covered the subject of hysteria.

This introduction to Dr. Robi Ludwig has led to more interviews and frank conversations with her about mental health. To my delight, she rates my ‘Know Your Crazy’ book (and the boxset of prints) highly.

We have talked further about the immediate impact of pictures and their usefulness as a communication tool, a ‘shortcut’ allowing us to relate our inner feelings and emotions – often with more instant accuracy than words.

The ‘Know Your Crazy’ images do confront us with our anxieties, fears, our confusion, comedy and tragedy, but in an unthreatening and creative way which makes starting up a meaningful and honest conversation a lot easier.

I am really happy that the pictures spark constructive communication. Even in my own experience I have had feedback from a very wide demographic (a 14 year old girl and a 90 year old lady spring to mind). I have also heard from men.

Our society is becoming more honest about speaking out, but the mental health sector is chronically underfunded and unable to reach or help everyone in need. We live in anxious times and the strain on the health system is all too apparent.

Help usually begins with ‘being allowed’ to be truthful and frank. Simply being heard and being allowed to express uncomfortable feelings, either with a friend or with a professional, can prevent worse mental states developing.

Visualising and expressing thoughts via art is not a new concept by any means but I am glad that this book has helped some people to recognise some of their own states of mind. By shining a light on specific feelings we can often find that they are insignificant, even funny.

Words are easy, actually seeking help for real can be the most difficult part, but I am inclined to favour believing that humans are basically kind, and that we want to help each other. Reaching out, being vulnerable and honest are risks sometimes worth taking. Nobody can help us if they are not aware that there is a problem.

I wish you all a great month of May and ‘a good mental health month’ every month of the year.

*You can still see the “Embrace Your Crazy’ Zoom, organised by Cheryl Benton/The Three Tomatoes here:

*My interview with Dr. Robi Ludwig will be aired soon – details of that and my monthly book club can be found at:

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