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!

Book Review: The Vagenda – Holly Baxter & Rhiannon Lucy Cosslett

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Two women take on the media, welcome to The Vagenda.

If you’ve been following my blog for a while you know that I love a good non-fiction book, I was not disappointed by The Vagenda. Holly and Rhiannon had spent years surrounded by media that told them they were supposed to look, dress and act a certain way when they decided enough is enough. This is one of the books I wish I had growing up because by the end Holly and Rhiannon felt like two cool older sisters.

Now, I can understand people having a little apprehension about this but I can promise you it’s not a damning ‘we should hate everything and everyone’. Far from it, after finishing this book I felt more educated and stronger as a woman. Rhiannon and Holly don’t tell you how to live your life, they merely give their observations and how they’ve felt. Personally, I used to read a lot of magazines and it made me realise the impact it was having on me.

From being a teenager reading those magazines, moving on the celebrity gossip occasionally and then on to the big leagues of Cosmo, Glamour, Elle and Vogue, I was absorbing this. It was until I thought about my sister (who’s seven years younger) and started university I realised I didn’t have to like or agree with this stuff. Why is there less focus on female empowerment and intelligence rather than bikini waxes and blowjobs?

Nothing is off limits in this book from body politics to working women, from the idea of sex that magazines put in our heads and idealised beauty. Holly and Rhiannon have clearly done their research on the rise of magazine and beauty culture while incorporating the feelings and facts about how these impact real women.

The best thing though? This book will make you laugh. I absolutely howled at parts because of the ridiculousness of some of the marketing campaigns used, some of the wording choices. At the same time it made me really think about what I was taking in and the impact it had on my own thoughts and feelings. I rarely buy women’s glossy’s anymore because it doesn’t interest me. I read blogs about things I want to read about and embrace my shape and size.

This got a 5-star rating and I recommend it to absolutely everyone. It’s a body positive, female positive look at an industry that tried to magnify our imperfections. Holly and Rhiannon, I salute you.

Feminist Friday: General Election 2017

Earlier in the week Prime Minister Theresa May called a General Election for this summer following the UK beginning the exit process for the European Union. On June 8th Britain will take to the polls once again to vote in a new party and a new leader. There have been some questions raised about voting in a female leader simply because they’re female will not equate to equality.

I fully understand that in the US Hillary Clinton lost out due to misogyny, that there is a definite agenda to force women out of politics. That said, we need to look at each party and their promises, not just their leaders because a whole party isn’t made up of one person.

Voting for May, Sturgeon or Caroline Lucas simply because they are women doesn’t make you more of a feminist. Voting for a party that supports and encourages women, does. While having three women in positions of power and within reach of becoming Prime Minister is excellent for politics and our country we need to make the decision based on parties and their impact on the people.

I feel that being a feminist means looking and considering what each party will do for equal rights. What their history is in regards to equality of the sexes. We may only have 6 weeks to decide on who will lead our country for the next few years, but it’s important we make the right decisions for ourselves and our future.

Feminist Fridays: Why I’m excited about some dolls.

As we all know, little girls are expected to like and play with dolls of all variety, I was no different. I had a box of Barbies, piles of Polly Pockets and stacks of generic Baby Dolls. There was something missing though, of course my Barbies started to have jobs (Vet Barbie was a personal favourite), but they rarely kicked butt. They didn’t say to me that girls could be as cool as boys in films, that we weren’t confined to pink and only pink. I didn’t get into Star Wars until I was 20 but damn I needed it. I needed to be reminded that women were powerful and could lead a war.

There are going to be new Star Wars Dolls for Star Wars: Forces of Destiny to accompany a new TV show. I read the news over on the brilliant Heroic Girls and when I saw these dolls I had a wave of excitement. These were posable dolls of some of the most fearless women in the galaxy. Of course, these are going to be collected by fans but for the little girls of today? Little girls who have seen Star Wars and what a girl can do, these dolls are something else. Of course, as time goes by we are starting to see more kick ass dolls on the market, ones that appeal to both boys and girls. Let’s not forget the boys in this, the ones who are told that ‘dolls are for girls’, WRONG.

When I was a kid I used to draw these dolls called ‘Jenny’, I used to draw her in every job that I knew, particularly jobs that I knew people said that boys did. The dolls weren’t there for me so I designed my own. That and I know for a fact one of the boxes for Army Barbie came with the slogan ‘hat and short skirt too!’ Yeah, because that’s going to help when the enemy is firing at you, a short skirt.

Corny or not, kids are the future. How can we expect them to be any better if we don’t teach them about equality as children. That girls and boys can be what they want and play with the toys I want.

Damn right I’m excited about these dolls, and I hope it’s just the beginning.

Feminist Friday: 10 Kick Ass Pop Songs to Start Your Weekend

There’s nothing better than getting your groove on at the weekend. This week for Feminist Friday I wanted to share with you all some of my favourite feminist tunes.

Just a girl is a song to belt out when someone tells you that you can’t do something because you’re a woman.

Need a pick me up? You’re a survivor and you’re gonna make it. Just listen to Destiny’s Child.

A new take on an old classic. I love listening to this it makes me feel empowered and sexy.

Christina has been singing about the double standards that women face for over a decade. This song is still a belter.

Using music and one of my favourite speeches about feminism? You can’t really go wrong.

While people have questioned some of the lyrics, this song always makes me feel beautiful.

This goes out to all the boys who think I go out for them.

Fluent in sarcasm, heavy in criticism.

I’m a big fan of Blondie and this song is all about getting what you want.

Could I really leave off five of the women who shaped my love of girl power? Of course not.

What are some of your favourite? Let me know in the comments below!

No, I won’t ‘get a life’ over sexism.

Today, once again, the Daily Mail showed its shambolic and sexist journalism. When reporting on a meeting between the Prime Minister, Theresa May and Scottish leader Nicola Sturgeon the paper decided to focus on their legs. Yep, you read that right. As the country is yet again on the brink of Scotland taking independence and Britain leaving the EU, they are focusing on sexist jibes, on ‘Legs-it’.

After an outcry around the world this morning, the Daily Mail decided to respond in an even dumber way than I thought possible. They responded by telling people who were upset or offended by it to ‘get a life’ yep, you read that right. A national paper once again reminded us that sexism is well and truly alive in British society.

These are two of the most powerful women in this country and although, personally, I’m not a fan of either woman politically but I admire the position they are in. Being a woman and getting to the heights they have politically is a big deal. They are smart, educated and strong, to belittle their position is disgraceful.

I will not ‘get over’ sexism. I will not be pushed down and shut up by some bigwigs at a paper. We will continue our fight for equality for ALL women.