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  • Annmarie Throckmorton, M.A.

Jo Brand Is An International Treasure.

Jo Brand is bawdy, crude, rude, and honest in a wholesome, kindly way. She finesses that unwieldy mix, and makes it look easy. I love her for it. I understand her acerbity and sarcasm. (I hate her gratuitous man-bashing.) I remember when I was an innocent young woman, and all anyone had to do was curse to get me to leave the room. How powerful they must have felt, how long ago that was. I no longer defend my femininity by fleeing, I am fully, intellectually competent, and I use it. On rare occasions, when the best thing to do is to curse back, I try to give better than I got. It is called strong language for a reason.

Jo Brand’s ball-busting, barrier-breaking, bunker-buster feminism makes me want to jump in with her and break some more barriers for the daughter, sisters, mothers, and lovers of men. She makes me feel happy, proud to be a woman, and I love her for it.

Jo Brand denies that she is a British National Treasure. But she is, and more. She is an international treasure. She makes me feel exuberant. She charges me with lively energy and excitement. She gives me with hope for greater things for humanity through stronger women.

Jo Brand showed off her steel-toe boots recently, as something that speaks to who she is.* She even wears her steel toe boots to formal events. Under her long, flowing dresses they are quite an eye catcher! She said her husband keeps them resoled for her, a metaphor for the marital care he provides to her? He must be a very strong man to create a family of four with such a strong woman.

I too had steel-toe boots years ago when I worked as a technical writer in the enormous metal works of an automobile manufacturing facility. My steel toe boots were men's boots (ladies' sizes were not available back then). My steel-toe boots were too wide and lacked sufficient padding under the steel caps so that they hurt my toes, but I bandaged my feet and walked on. My steel toe boots also squeaked, maybe the inventory manager thought that defects were good enough for a woman because he refused to replace them. The factory workers would quip, “You’ll never sneak up on anyone in those boots.” I did not mind, I had steel-toed boots! My steel toe boots pleased me very much because they were visible proof that I had been deemed competent to walk those dangerous factory floors. I had been provisioned with PPE, Personal Protection Equipment, and from what I have seen of life, we all need PPE.

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* “Oct 18, 2018 · Steel toe-cap boots, a handmade jumper and a brain – Jo Brand takes us through her life in objects.”

Caption: Jo Brand interview on Loose Women Tuesday 23rd February 2010—screen capture

(discussing dementia and children)

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