Feminist Friday: Blac Chyna and revenge porn.

All over social media for the past week, the latest feud between Blac Chyna and Rob Kardashian has been appearing. This time, however, it’s taken a nasty and illegal turn. Rob Kardashian has posted explicit photos of his ex and mother of his child all over the internet, while also posting her phone number. The reason? Not that it’s at all an excuse, Kardashian claims that she sent these images to make him jealous and show that she was with someone else. Yep.

As this story unfolded I couldn’t believe what I was seeing. Now, I’ll admit that watching Keeping Up With The Kardashians is one of my guilty pleasures and quite a few times their relationship has been shown to be problematic. What disturbed me, however, was the response online after this. People were jeering at Chyna, judging and laughing at the pictures as well as sharing them. Many didn’t see them for what they were, revenge in one of the worst way.

I couldn’t help but think about their daughter, less than a year old. She’s going to grow up knowing that her Dad publicly humiliated her Mother. Let’s call it what it is, she’s been slut-shamed. She has been publicly humiliated by someone by showing her body. Whether or not you like her, this is disgusting on Kardashian’s part. This is a woman he claimed to love, a businesswoman, a mother how or why he got those images isn’t the point. This is a blatant misogynistic attack. The fact that this was shared by him after his own sister had an intimate tape leaked is beyond me.

When these sorts of cases come to light it’s easy to ignore and to judge based on the past. A lot of people are justifying this because Chyna was previously a stripper, which is just wrong. Even the law see’s this as wrong, Kardashian now has a restraining order against him for the time being while the investigation continues. Some may

Some may wonder why I’m even looking at that this on my blog. Why the lives of some super rich reality stars and what does that have to do with feminism? Because she’s a woman that has been shamed for her sexuality due to jealousy. This happens to so many women and it doesn’t make the news because they’re not famous. It’s an issue for women and this has brought it into the spotlight again. Revenge porn and slut shaming are a problem. But we can fight against it. We can report these images, we can give support to women who are the victims and demand harsher penalties for those who post them.

We can stand with women and not against them.

Feminist Friday: Summer Reading List

It’s been a few year since I embarked on my own summer of Feminist books. That said, I wanted to share with you some great reads for the summer if you want to get started or just find some new reads.

 

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If you haven’t started reading Holly Bourne’s incredible Spinster Club trilogy this is where to start. Novels about friendship, love and feminism, there’s nothing better! Review here.

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Personally, I see this as a classic for modern feminists. Caitlin is funny, loud but gives a great view on feminism today. This was what I started with and I read it within 24 hours. Caitlin also has a range of other books about feminism too so you’re sure to find something you like. Review here.

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Have you ever felt pressured by magazines or the media? What about the whole ‘beach body’ thing? Then you’ve found the book for you. A fresh look at women, the media and how we react to it. Review here.

 

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You might have already read Laura’s first book Everday Sexism, this is her second and my favourite so far. There’s more intelligent thought and there’s also dancing vaginas, you’re welcome. Read my review here.

What would you add to this list? Let me know in the comments below!

Feminist Friday: We need to talk about gendered dress codes.

If you live in the UK you can’t have missed the heatwave that hit this month. It was ridiculously hot and obviously that comes with health concerns for people. Naturally, you want to wear less clothing to cool down. This got me thinking about dress codes and how unfair they can be on both sexes.

Now, we’ve all seen sexism in the media about women being required to wear heels or encouraging short skirts in some job, while not being taken seriously in a suit in others. It’s not anything new and, of course, it’s incredibly unfair and annoying. That said, as soon as it got hot most of the women I new switched to dresses to get a little relief from the heat. The guys were under strict instruction though, no shorts and shirts still needed to be warm…despite it being 36 degrees!

Here in the UK a group of teenage boys decided that in sweltering heat they had enough of their schools no shorts policy and so turned up in skirts. I completely agree with them! There was no logical reason that shorts could not be worn in extreme heat. It was absolutely rediculous that the boys were being singled out because of their gender. There’s no point!

On both sides, there are so many issues with expectations in regards to gendered dress codes. Wearing a stuffy suit and tie doesn’t instantly mean respect, in fact, I’d rather meet with someone who is comfortable rather than boiling hot and feeling ill from heat, I think we all would!

What do you think? Let me know in the comments below!

Feminist Friday: The ‘Girls’ in modern thrillers

Have you ever noticed a trend in modern thrillers? The Girl on the Train, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, Gone Girl or the other couple of thousands I found when I typed in ‘The Girl’ into a thriller search. I can hear some, what’s the problem? Are you making a mountain out of a molehill here?! When this was initially pointed out to me I wondered the same thing but it goes deeper than that. In all of the books that I’ve read with a similar title, there is no ‘girl’, just a grown woman. So, why are publishers so persistent in presenting them this way?

Now, it could be as simple as this is a catchier title, but I’m not buying it. It seems to go further. When we hear the word girl as a society there are connotations of weakness, naivety and childishness. I know for a fact in ‘Gone Girl’ and ‘The Girl on the Train’ both of these characters aren’t seen as reliable narrators, which is only added to the fact that they are referred to as ‘girls’ in the title.  If we switch this, trying to find instances of men being called boys is incredibly low. Which just screams inequality to me.

I’m aware that this isn’t a huge issue, that this isn’t the most important thing that feminism should address but it is an issue. It just shows how there is a, sometimes unconscious, bias against women in our everyday language. I’m not a linguist but even I can see that by branding these women ‘girls’ we are doing women a disservice. If you’ve ever read Gone Girl for example, Amy is not a one-dimensional character, far from it, nor is Rachel from The Girl on the Train.

It’s definitely something I think we should be mindful of. Call these characters what they are, women! It’s just something that has been playing on my mind. As always let me know your thoughts in the comments below!

Feminist Friday: Sex Workers should be treated with respect.

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Today is international sex worker day, something which many people won’t discuss. There’s still a taboo in many countries over sex work. The women who work in this industry are often called ‘sluts’, often dismissed as having personal issues or needing rescuing. Something which I don’t think is true.

Of course, there are complexities with the sex industry. We know that there are young women and men who are forced into this life in a criminal and exploitative way, but what about the men and women that choose to live and work in this way? What about the porn stars, models, escorts and prostitutes who choose this life.

I understand questions that come up about how women are treated in this industry and in some circles there definitely are problems but I think we have a bigger problem. Prostitution is illegal in the UK and US, those who offer sex as a service can be prosecuted, however, those who wish to purchase sex do not face prosecution. Huh? It takes two to tango and yet only one is classed as legally responsible.

Now, there are a lot of problems with this, one of them being that because of the illegality attached to sex work means that it is difficult to protect sex workers. If they are badly treated or abused they cannot go to the police for fear of prosecution. There is a distinct lack of protection and respect for sex workers and blame put on them.

Sex workers need to be respected and treated like the rest of us. If we regulated sex work, were more open and honest, because let’s face it this is something that has been happening for thousands of years, there would be protection for those in the industry.

Calling all Feminists!

A few weeks ago I had a conversation with some other women my age about feminism. They didn’t call themselves Feminists and asked me what I write about and what a feminist is. I was honest and said that overall it’s about equality but for each person, feminism means something different. Which got me thinking…

All around the world, there are feminists of every race and background. I’ve been writing my Feminist Friday posts for a few months now but I’m a cis, white, university educated female. There’s nothing wrong with that but I want to share with my reader’s other people’s feminism, why they are a feminist and what it means to them. I want to include everyone, which is a big part of MY feminism.

So, this is where you come in. I want to share your stories, I want to talk about you all and really explore what Feminism is to you.

If you’re interested please email chloefmetzger@gmail.com or drop me a tweet on @chloemetzger, I really can’t wait to hear from you all!

 

 

Feminist Friday: Is having a Vagina a pre-existing condition too?

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I woke up this morning and was flicking through my news app and my hazy eyes focused again on a smug picture of Donald Trump, this time with the headline ‘Obamacare is dead’. I’m not American, nor do I live in the US but have watched the past few months unfold with waves of nausea after being faced with the blatant problems with sexism and racism in the US.

Once again ‘making America great again’ will have a nasty impact on many. The list of what is being considered a pre-existing condition is horrifying. As I was reading though I realised something, once again women were having someone choose their options for them because they own a vagina.

Things such as

  • Pregnancy
  • Breast, Cervical and Ovarian Cancer
  • Acid Reflux (often a problem in Pregnancy)
  • Cesarian Section

would all stop you getting coverage under Trump and his party. It must be recognised there are also issues such as enlarged prostate and testicular cancer that will impact only men, this is an issue for everyone. It’s horrifying and harrowing that people are fearing for their lives because of something they cannot help. America is supposed to be one of the most forward-thinking countries in the world…I doubt that now seeing as birthing the future leaders of the world will now mean you might not be able to get insurance.

I’m incredibly lucky I live with the NHS, if it was the same in the UK there is no way in hell I would be insured because of previous problems I’ve had. It’s a scary reality when dystopian novels such as The Handmaid’s Tale are getting chillingly close to real life.

At what point do Republicans just make having a Vagina a reason for exclusion officially? At what point do they fall backwards in time and make it so women are legally second class citizens. We need to talk about this, we need to make ourselves louder than ever all across the world to make sure it is known to the misogynists that not only are we equal, we are strong and capable.

What are your thoughts on the new bills being passed? Are you going to be impacted by them? Let me know in the comments below or drop me a tweet @chloemetzger!