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The Manchester Attack

And the attack on what it means to be a girl.

The Manchester Worker Bee mosaic, Manchester Town Hall. Photo: Adrian McGarry

They tell you as a kid that if a boy pulls your pigtails, it means he likes you. As  you get older and boys grow meaner, it's because they're intimidated and need to assert their masculinity.

So what does that make the events in Manchester? A gendered attack. This concert encapsulated the teenage girl's experience - dancing and singing and sharing love and admiration for their idol. And then there's Ariana Grande herself - a confident, talented young woman who has built herself a career singing songs about female freedom and autonomy in a male-dominated industry.

That being the case, this coward must have been completely terrified of females and their potential to target such a specific audience - young girls with their whole lives ahead of them.

And you know what? He should be. Because that generation of young girls who survive those lost in the attack are the ones who are going to rise up against this hatred and misogyny.

This status succinctly puts into words what my heavy heart can't articulate:


This also felt like a very violent message to the city itself. A hub of diversity, inclusion and celebration of differences, Manchester is a vibrant part of the country. To attack outside the nation's capital is a statement - this is about more than fear, this is about emotion. This attack was intended to cause disruption and discord across the United Kingdom and abroad. Prove to people that nowhere is safe, not even home.


Personally, the Manchester bombing left me reeling. My reaction was a myriad of emotions, each hitting me stronger than the last - disbelief, upset, fear, devastation. It was a sobering atrocity and brought the fight closer to home than I was ready to accept.

Closer still, considering a young Barra schoolgirl has been confirmed among those killed. It's too real and too painful and too scary.


Women everywhere, this is your time. Rise up. Fight back. Educate yourselves. Educate others. Spread love and compassion and show the world that we will not stand for such atrocities to carry on.

We can't let hate win. We can't let those bastards steal our feeling of safety. We can't fight fire with fire, either. Throw water, or in this case, a bucket load of education.

A better understanding of the disenfranchised and the communication breakdowns between society and these individuals will give us a fighting chance of winning this war.

We will resist. We will stand together and prove our strength. We will soldier on spreading love and truth with those young girls in our thoughts and fire in our hearts.



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The Manchester Attack
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