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: 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 Fridays: What Makes Me Feel Empowered?

What Makes Me Feel Empowered

Empowerment ‘the process of becoming stronger and more confident, especially in controlling one’s life and claiming one’s rights’. We hear a lot about women’s empowerment when talking about Feminism but, I wonder how many of us think about that it means to us. I feel that this will be different for each and every woman based on their lives and choices. Because feminism is about choice, even if you don’t agree with that choice personally.

So what makes me feel empowered?

Earning my own money

Being able to support myself makes me feel empowered and greatful for the women who came before me and fought for it. I don’t have to rely on anyone if I want to buy something or live somewhere, it’s all me!

Having control over my body

I’m lucky enough to have access to contraception in the UK for free. This means I can choose if and when I become a mother. I can make those decisions. Similarly, I can dress how I like and it’s not subject to anyone else’s orders.

Gaining an education 

I could my education as one of the greatest things in my life. I’m as smart as any male and earned my degree and awards. No one can ever take that away from me.

Having an opinion 

This blog is full of my opinions and how I wish to express them. Being able to share my thoughts and feelings gives me empowerment.

What makes you feel empowered? Let me know in the comments below or give me a tweet on @chloemetzger

 

Feminist Fridays: Including All Women

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Feminism is about equality. Equality for all women to be treated the same as women. There are two key words in that sentence equality and all. When I was 18 I wrote a project on ‘The image of African-American women in post-1900s literature’, while writing it I read a lot about black feminism, I found it interesting but didn’t really understand it at the time. Recently I’ve noticed the distinct lack of inclusion of women of ethnic minorities when I read about feminism. So many of the great feminist writers and speakers are white, and often middle class. There’s nothing wrong with hearing their experiences, but they cannot speak for all women. I am also a white, educated young women and the important thing is that I realise other women have opinions and stories and we need to listen to them. We need more diversity.

For a long time I thought wearing a hijab was oppressive, how dare a religion tell a woman what she can and cannot wear. That was until I met a friend of mine at university, Salma, as well as speaking to other girls in my class about why they chose to cover their heads. Now Salma is one of the most kick ass people I met at uni, we spoke a few times and it isn’t a big deal to her. She wears a scarf because she wants to. Good for her. It doesn’t stop her being who she is, funny and kind, but instead of feminism trying to tell her what she does it wrong, we should stand up for the right for women to wear what they like. I’ve heard countless accounts of black women I’ve known being treated unfairly because they are black and female, or I’ve read about black women not being allowed to wear their hair naturally at work. We should be working together to beat this discrimination.

I also can’t understand why some people,I’m looking at you Germaine Greer, won’t accept Trans women into feminism. They are women, they have been born into the wrong body. Hell being a woman is hard, anyone who’s willing to go through the immense pressure and change of making your body how it should be is a kind of hero to me. Why can’t people accept these women into feminism and fight for their rights, the right for them to use the damn bathroom or get access to good medical care.

I completely understand that different women will have difference issues and opinions but we’re all women. If we work together, respecting each others choices and personal feminism think of how much we could get achieved and how much we could learn too. I’m a feminist and I care about ALL women’s rights, regardless of race,choice or sexual orientation. Who’s with me??

International Women’s Day 2016

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Happy International Women’s Day you lovely lot! I found this awesome illustration online today and had to share it with you all! On a side note if anyone can let me know who the artist is I’d really appreciate it.  I was supposed to be watching the incredible Caitlin Moran tonight but for a bunch of reasons I’m sat at home instead thinking about what this day means to me.

In the past year I’m lucky enough to have had a huge and brilliant feminist epiphany after spending my whole summer propped up with books for company. I read everything I could get my hands on Caitlin Moran, Lena Dunham, Polly Vernon, Mindy Kaling, Natasha Walter and I still have a pile that I’m slowly adding more and more books. I scoured the internet for Ted Talks and I’ve watched every one I can find.

I’m not claiming I have it right, that I’m a perfect feminist. I know I’m not. I’ve said stupid things before because I wasn’t educated but now I am and I want to join everyone who wants to fight for gender equality all over the world.

We might not have it the easiest and I know I have it easier than a lot of women around the world and we still have a lot to change. That said I feel lucky to be a woman, I feel lucky to be in the company of some incredible fellow females. I feel grateful for the women who made me who I am today, whether that be by bringing me up, teaching me or the words of women who I’ve never met.

Happy International Women’s Day to all you Wonder Women out there!

A girl walks into a comic shop…

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Hello everyone!

Sorry I’ve dropped off the radar for the last few days with my back protesting and a low mood creeping in I’ve just found myself blankly staring at my laptop not knowing what to write. Instead I’ve surrounded myself with some good company when I could and I think I’m slowly breaking out of this low and through it I’ve found a strange new love.

Now I’ve been friends with Joe for years, back when we were both super anxious 18 year olds about to start uni. Ever since I’ve known him Joe’s been heavily into his comic books. When I was younger I got hold of a copy of Spider Girl and loved it but with no comic book shops near me I completely forgot about it. Since then a new comic book shop has opened in Kingston town centre and, of course, Joe has gone and landed himself a job there. After a while of me visiting I felt like I should probably buy something and try to understand what makes comic books so great.

I feel like I shouldn’t have made that decision because my bank account really hates it. Firstly it was getting into the Spider Gwen then the Gotham Academy series, which I’m now obsessed with. Now it’s evolved into me having a list to buy as well as buying three Superman and Wonderwoman comicbooks, Thor Goddess of Thunder, the two Gotham Academy issues I was missing and two indie Graphic Novels. Basically Joe is not only a great friend but also a great salesman. I’ve spent a good few hours pouring over them and I have to say he’s very good with recommendations.

I’ve met so many different people in the past few weeks since I started reading, mostly guys and they’ve all been so nice! This isn’t like my beloved novels, it’s nice to have something to just flick through, look at some nice art and something to look forward to monthly rather than once or twice a year. Don’t worry, nothing will be replacing the love I have for books but it’s another way of appreciating literature in a more visual way.

So that’s what I’ve been up to for the past few days, I have another thing to explore and get excited about and I’m pleased to report there are loads of awesome female heroes in comic books, much more than people would have you believe. There’s the ‘female versions’ of the well known super heroes but they’re not just rip offs they all have their own pretty awesome characters and ideas, Godess Thor is one of my personal favourites after reading today.

I’d love to know if you guys are into comic books and have any recommendations for me! I love a kick ass female or two in a comic book so if that gives you any ideas! Also if you’re in Kingston make sure you find Piranha Comics on one of the little side streets near Kingston Markets, it’s a great shop and all of the staff are great! I really love the way that they’ll sit and talk with you and actually care about the recommendations they give you, basically they’re one of my absolute favourite shops in Kingston now.