Fantastic Feminist Authors

On the 8th March it’s International Women’s Day, so what better time to share some kick ass authors for you to get into. In a recent Twitter poll you guys said you wanted to see more bookish content on the blog which is fine with me, so let’s get started!

34564400

Holly Bourne – YA Queen

From the first few pages of The Manifesto on How to Be Interesting, I fell in love and knew that Holly was one to watch. Her novels speak to young adults in a way I haven’t seen before. She talks about Feminism, without making you feel like she’s preaching. A fantastic author and you can read my review of Am I Normal Yet here.

28434176-1

Laura Bates – Conquering Everyday Sexism

Laura created the Everyday Sexism project, started to show that sexism is very real and giving a platform to share it. She has just released her third book Misogynation, after Everyday Sexism and Girl Up. She’s factual as well as standing up for women’s rights. A must-read author.

25705800-1

Caitlin Moran – The Reason I’m a Feminist

I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again, How To Be A Woman changed my life and perspective and, ultimately, made me a feminist. Caitlin says what she wants and has no time for bullshit. I’ve read all her non-fiction works as well as her novel How To Build A Girl, which is also a cracker. Great for getting the information with a great laugh at the same time.

23346886

Holly Baxter and Rhiannon Lucy Cosslett – Taking on the Magazines

Holly and Lucy run their own blog of the same name but I found the book first. This is different to any I’ve read before, particularly as neither are that much older than me. This examines the way we take in magazines and the media industry. It was fantastic, absolutely fantastic. Here’s my review to wet your appetite.

35606560

Rupi Kaur – Bringing Poetry Back

She’s become amazingly popular and for good reason. I haven’t seen poetry get this popular, well, ever. Rupi talks about the female experience in her poetry and it’s absolutely beautiful as well as thought-provoking. You can read my review of her second collection The Sun and Her Flowers here.

untitled

Louise O’Neill – Tackling Taboo

For incredible, thought-provoking fiction Lousie O’Neill is the one to go to. Her novel Only Ever Yours freaked me out but I couldn’t stop thinking about it and later novel Asking For It has been raved about since its release. She’s not afraid of writing about taboo subjects and feminism, what more do you want? Review of Only Ever Yours here.

 

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

 

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.

 

23592235 (2)

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.

10600242

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.

23346886

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.

 

28434176-1

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: 10 Fab Feminist Quotes

“Why do people say “grow some balls”? Balls are weak and sensitive. If you wanna be tough, grow a vagina. Those things can take a pounding.”
― Sheng Wang 

“We need to reclaim the word ‘feminism’. We need the word ‘feminism’ back real bad. When statistics come in saying that only 29% of American women would describe themselves as feminist – and only 42% of British women – I used to think, What do you think feminism IS, ladies? What part of ‘liberation for women’ is not for you? Is it freedom to vote? The right not to be owned by the man you marry? The campaign for equal pay? ‘Vogue’ by Madonna? Jeans? Did all that good shit GET ON YOUR NERVES? Or were you just DRUNK AT THE TIME OF THE SURVEY?” 

― Caitlin Moran, How to Be a Womanpexels-photo-1

“We teach girls to shrink themselves, to make themselves smaller. We say to girls, you can have ambition, but not too much. You should aim to be successful, but not too successful. Otherwise, you would threaten the man. Because I am female, I am expected to aspire to marriage. I am expected to make my life choices always keeping in mind that marriage is the most important. Now marriage can be a source of joy and love and mutual support but why do we teach girls to aspire to marriage and we don’t teach boys the same? We raise girls to see each other as competitors not for jobs or accomplishments, which I think can be a good thing, but for the attention of men. We teach girls that they cannot be sexual beings in the way that boys are.”
― Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, We Should All Be Feminists

“Responsibility to yourself means refusing to let others do your thinking, talking, and naming for you; it means learning to respect and use your own brains and instincts; hence, grappling with hard work.”
― Adrienne Rich

IMG_8421

“Feminism is not a dirty word. It does not mean you hate men, it does not mean you hate girls that have nice legs and a tan, and it does not mean you are a ‘bitch’ or ‘dyke’; it means you believe in equality.” – Kate Nash 

“Women are leaders everywhere you look — from the CEO who runs a Fortune 500 company to the housewife who raises her children and heads her household. Our country was built by strong women, and we will continue to break down walls and defy stereotypes.” – Nancy Pelosi 

pexels-photo-110470

“For I conclude that the enemy is not lipstick, but guilt itself; we deserve lipstick, if we want it, AND free speech; we deserve to be sexual AND serious – or whatever we please. We are entitled to wear cowboy boots to our own revolution.” – Naomi Wolf 

“Value yourself for what the media doesn’t – your intelligence, your street smarts, your ability to play a kick-ass game of pool, whatever. So long as it’s not just valuing yourself for your ability to look hot in a bikini and be available to men, it’s an improvement.” – Jessica Valenti 

relay-race-competition-stadium-sport

There’s just as many different kinds of feminism as there are women in the world. -Kathleen Hanna

Feminism is dated? Yes, for privileged women like my daughter and all of us here today, but not for most of our sisters in the rest of the world who are still forced into premature marriage, prostitution, forced labor – they have children that they don’t want or they cannot feed. – Isabel Allende

pexels-photo-233954

 

Harry Potter Spells Tag!

5e4da707928e837919c7f0d7567009e9

I found this over on my friend Becky’s new blog (check her out here) it combines three of my favourite things, Harry Potter, books and fun tags. So, here we go! Remember I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments!

  1. Expecto Patronum – a childhood book connected to good memories

 

Lola Rose – Jacqueline Wilson

This was the first time I met an author I really admired and got a book signed. It was the first time I saw an author as a real person and she signed in pink pen. Pink. Pen.

2. Expelliarmus – a book that took you by surprise

How to Be a Woman – Caitlin Moran

I tried reading this initially when it was first released, but I was too young to get it and thought she was a bit mad. I read it again last Summer before starting a Writing Women class and it changed my life and made me embrace feminism. I never thought it would become one of my favourite books.

3. Prior Incantato – The last book you read

Radio Silence by Alice Oseman. So freaking good.

4. Alohamora – A book that introduced you to a genre you hadn’t considered before

Star Wars Moving Target made me realise I might like Sci-fi and give it a go.

5. Riddikulus – a funny book you’ve read

Why Not Me? – Mindy Kaling. Kaling’s second book was MUCH better than her first and had me in stitches.

6. Sonorous – a book you think everyone should know about

The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath.

I cannot describe what this book means to me, or how much Plath means to me as a writer. There are few books that deserve the title of classic, but The Bell Jar really, really does.

7. Obliviate – a book or spoiler you would like to forget having read

The Storyteller – Jodi Picoult, that spoiler was incredible.

 

8. Imperio – A book you had to read for school

To Kill a Mockingbird – Harper Lee

Most people hate the books they’re forced to read, I on the other hand fell in love with TKAM. It started my love for reading novels about and based in the civil rights era and the treatment of African Americans.

9. Crucio – a book that was painful to read

I’m choosing to see this in the light of a book that was so GOOD it put you in pain emotionally.

The Fault in Our Stars – John Green.

My heart still hurts. Still.

 

10. Avada Kedavra – a book that could kill (interpret as you will)

 

Maestra by L.S. Hilton

Sex, Scandal, Murder. Don’t give this book to your Nan, could induce a heart attack.

As always if you’d like to do this tag then go right ahead! Drop me a link in the comments as I’d love to read your responses!

Image from Pinterest.

Sunday Seven: 7 of my Famous Feminist Heroes

This week I’ve been working on my dissertation, doing hours or reading on being a woman. On what a woman is, about feminism, motherhood and work. My dissertation may be on Plath, but the research goes further than that and it’s got me thinking about some of the famous feminists I look up to. So for this Sunday Seven I want to celebrate some of the most awesome feminists around.

563b8b101400002b003ca055

1. Malala Yousafzai

I don’t think there’s anyone who embodies the spirit of feminism like Malala. Even after the Taliban attempted to murder her, she carried on and made her voice louder than ever on an international stage. Malala stands for something that every feminist, I think, should fight for. Equal education for girls in all areas of the world. Malala’s story reminded us all that just because we have these things in the Western world does not mean we can take them for granted. Equal education should be for every child around the world, regardless of gender.

Jennifer-Lawrence-Beauty-Redefined

2. Jennifer Lawrence

Even though I wasn’t a huge fan of The Hunger Games I caught on early that Jennifer Lawrence was something incredible. Not only does she not pretend to be an always glam, super cool actress, she reminds all of us she is just another woman. The quote above really hits home that alongside acting, Jennifer wants to change the way women are viewed by the media and the pay gap. Her, quite frankly, brave piece about why she gets paid less than her male costars made headlines around the world. I say brave because it could have made her career suffer. It could have meant that the film industry refused to work with her and that her fear of being called ‘difficult’ or ‘spoilt’ had come true. She make a point though and by raising this issue in public, she puts it in the spotlight for the rest of us in ‘normal’ jobs too. It get’s people talking, and that’s exactly what we need to do.

Everyday-Sexism-HB-624x416

3. Laura bates

While Laura might not be known internationally, she is a force to be reckoned with in the UK. Her Ted Talk and book of the same name ‘Everyday Sexism’ is an incredible piece of work. Personally, I read this and felt both sad and strengthened. I realised that it was ok to get pissed off when someone touched me, made me out to be just a sexual object or made fun of me for my gender. I basically did a U turn on a lot of things because I read her research, her statistics and her stats, I talked about things I’d never thought I could before  and it was all because of Laura. download (1)

4. Emma Watson

Again, a huge reason that I am now such a proud feminist. Emma’s He for She speech spoke to me as someone who didn’t want to use the label feminist and who resisted it at all costs.Emma is one of the amazing women of my generation who is reclaiming the word and what feminism means, as well as talking about real equality between the sexes. 0f6d1ce1e7f99e8b5a2be97b77a0ab8e

5. Sylvia Plath

There are a lot of arguments about whether or not Plath is a feminist. She is to me because she acknowledges the struggle between wanting a family and wanting a career. She believes she can be anything, but she also has self doubt. Her work on the 1950s and 1960s and the attitude towards women is something really incredible, as is the character of Esther in The Bell Jar. Plath is one of my heroes because she isn’t perfect and she doesn’t 100% seem to know what she believes, she changes her mind as as she gets older and I can’t help but resonate with that.

b88884d30832c754e44963c4da6b59cb

6. Caitlin Moran

I have to include the woman who had me walking/ hobbling around my house shouting ‘I’m a feminist’, while clutching a copy of her book. Ah Caitlin Moran, what has the world done to deserve you. I’d read how to be a woman when I was about 12 and thought it was weird and terrifying and ended up throwing it in a fit of grossness. Fast forward to the age of 21 and it’s one of my favourite books. It’s funny, honest and makes you think. It’s thanks to Caitlin I am a feminist, I am a proud feminist and that I’m not afraid to say it loudly to anyone. All her other books are amazing too.

51f2351368c5848dc642af5c8c77c3cb

7. J.K Rowling

Think about the women in the Harry Potter series they are almost all strong, independent and good. The fact that one of the main characters in one of the biggest selling series’ of all time was a girl with bushy hair, big teeth and a love for books,  while being friends with two boys and the smartest witch of her age. It gave those of us who didn’t always fit in someone to read about who was like us, it made being the smart girl cool! Women were not weak in the Harry Potter books (unlike some of the movies), they were often the strength and intelligence. For a lot of girls, she changed the way they saw themselves and saw the world, including me.

 

 

I do not own any of these images, they are the products of very talented people I found online. 

Sunday Seven – This weeks Favourites (14th -20th March)

It’s that time of the week again (although I don’t quite know how the week went so fast!) for me to write my Sunday Seven post. I’ve had a busy but not very picture worthy week this week so I’ve had to add in a picture of the wonderful Sylvia Plath at the end that is obviously not my picture, the rest are though! Enjoy my favourites of this week!

IMG_6646

  1. Star Wars Trainers (!!) 

Now, I already got some amazing slip on Stormtrooper shoes in Primark and didn’t get these and planned to go back and pick these up, by the time I got back they’d sold out! I’d described them to my Mum and if she saw them to pick some up and I’ll pay her back. She found them and this week I’ve been rocking the pink beauties.

4DA77131-D05B-4953-8EC5-7C92F44A5E95

2. The Picture that mindf****d everyone this week

My Mum sent me the picture on the right today, while posting it on Facebook too. My friend commented that she was sure I had a picture like this too, which is the picture on the left. We look alike, we always have but with these side by side people couldn’t believe the likeness. I love looking like my Mum, I think she’s absolutely beautiful but I couldn’t help laughing.

IMG_6650

3. My Dobby Pop arrived! 

The second series of Harry Potter Funko pops have been released and I’m slowly acquiring them. I was a bit iffy about getting Dobby, but he is adorable and looks so cute with my collection.

IMG_6632

4. A Cup of Tea and a Good Book 

I was unexpectedly left with a hour and a half gap before my dyslexia session, in which I was able to grab a huge cup of tea. I’d forgotten how nice it was to get out of the house and just read somewhere else, without being interrupted. A definite, but expected highlight to this week.

848837

5. The Phonogram Series 

Kieron Gillen and Jamie McKelvie are a dream team. I’ve previously read the 3 volumes of one of their other series’s The Wicked and The Divine and I was hooked. When this came into my local comic book shop I had to pick it up and I absolutely loved it, it’s made my top 10 graphic novels and I’, eagerly reading through the next one. It’s got goddesses, the 90s, Britpop, kick ass women and some amazing music references (and even a reference to Sylvia Plath). What more could  I want from a comic book?!?!

25705800

6. Caitlin Moran’s Moranifesto 

Ah Caitlin Moran, my Feminist hero who made me realise that I actually was a feminist and the idiots around me were just bad examples. This is Moran’s newest book, only coming out recently and it is HUGE. I’m taking time to read it every night and missing sleep because of it. It’s funny but also deals with important issues from her Times column. One day I want to be as cool as Caitlin Moran.

sylvia-plath-1

7. Sylvia Plath Interviews 

I currently have a love hate relationship with my dissertation. I love the topic and I’m passionate about what I’m writing about, but I have to write it and there’s so much to be included and finished in the next 6 weeks. Listening to Plath’s voice in interviews as part of research is definitely one of the better parts of my dissertation.

Book Review: How to Build a Girl – Caitlin Moran

23346662

“In the end, I go where I always go when I need information on something baffling, poisonous, or terrifying: the library.”

Influenced by Moran’s own life, How to Build a Girl follows teenager Johanna as she decides to ‘kill herself’, meaning killing the boring Johanna and instead becoming Dolly Wilde. Dolly Wilde is meant to be interesting, covered in eyeliner, smart and generally more desirable than what Johanna has been. Although as all of us who have tried to change ourselves as teenagers  will know, it doesn’t always work out how you planned ( I myself went through a phase of hating my name and trying to get everyone to call me Frankie…a shortened version of my middle name).

While this is not Moran’s autobiography, anyone who has read How to Be a Woman will see that Caitlin’s younger life does have a number of parallels (which she addresses before the start of the novel). This isn’t lazy writing, while the similarities are obvious such as Johanna living in a small flat with a lot of siblings and her ambition to be a writer, the character is definitely her own person and absolutely hilarious. To draw one last parallel, the novel talks a lot about masterbation, so much so it opens with Johanna masterbating…in somewhat questionable circumstances.

For anyone who’s ever felt like the odd one out or anyone who’s wished they could just become someone else, you’ll like the character. She’s young and headstrong but also incredibly funny. Most of all though, she’s a teenager who’s trying to get through her life and work out what she’s going to do with it. The only person really at her side the whole time is the dog, as she doesn’t have many friends. In fact she sends a lot of time being yelled at by the local yobs. After thinking she’s gotten her family into big trouble, Johanna needs to get money fast and so she has to come up with a plan using one of the few talents she has.

To go further than that would ruin the fun of How to Build a Girl. I will say though that Moran’s wit comes through just as strong in this novel. It’s also fun and nostalgic to see the world through the eyes of a young teenager again and that sense of being able to  just decide to do something and work out how it’s all going to work out later. One of the best things about Johanna though is that because she is flawed is what creates a loveable character. She gets into all kinds of mischief throughout, but at the end of the day there is a big heart too and a real love for the family who sometimes drives her mad.

I gave How to Build a Girl five stars *****. If you’ve read any other books or articles by Moran it’s very much in the same chatty style and doesn’t hold back from what she thinks. The best part is that How to Build a Girl is also supposed to be the first in a trilogy! Johanna is set to come back for more and if, like me, you can’t wait for more Moran after this her new book Moranfesto comes out next week (I’m not sponsored, just super excited). It really is an entertaining read and worth picking up the next time you’re in a bookshop!