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: 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: 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!

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!

Feminist Friday: We Should All Be Feminists- Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

 

Chimamanda Ngozi’s talk ‘We Should All Be Feminists’ is a perfect watch to get into the spirit of feminism. Why? because it’s not bashing men, it’s not focused on one type of feminism. Chimamanda is a strong woman, a confident speaker and from what I’ve been told, a brilliant writer. The talk is based on the importance of equality between the sexes, of bringing up young girls. This is the perfect video to watch and watch again.

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 Friday: I Wanted a Boob Job Once

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I am proud to call myself a feminist. I’m proud to fight for equality and the right for women to do what they like to their bodies. When I was younger, I wanted a boob job, or at least I thought I did. Let me back-track, it’s a little embarrassing, don’t say I didn’t warn you. When I was little I thought that the Glamour models on page three were some of the prettiest ladies I’d ever seen. I picked up a copy of the paper they were in and told my parent I wanted to do that when I grew up. My Mum laughed, my Dad not so much, it was a strange announcement for a 3-year-old.

How do you feel about that? Shocked? Angry? Upset? I could easily blame the media and rage, but I don’t. Do I think there should be a topless model in a newspaper? Ask me a few years ago I would have said yeah, sure. Now though, not so much. I don’t understand why there are topless women on the third page of a national newspaper. I honestly believe that was my first instance of thinking that makeup and big boobs could make you happy.

When I was a pre-teen Katie Price (also known as Jordan) was all over the media, she’d started her romance with Peter Andre and she wanted to be an empire. Some part of me fell for it. I had about a year where I thought modelling and glamour something I wanted and that big boobs were what you needed. I met her, I thought she was really nice, friendly and talented. As I got older I realised that it was all an illusion and that after puberty showing off my body was the last thing I wanted to do.

I don’t think there are problems with people having cosmetic surgery if it is going to make them happier or feel more confident in themselves. I do think, however, that their state of mind, intentions and full understanding of major surgery. The fact that there are places in the world where doctors don’t think twice about giving people these procedures is wrong.

As an educated adult I can see the problems that a little girl couldn’t. That Katie Price has a lot of problems and what appears to be a front to make people believe she is an ‘it girl’. To some extent, I’m glad that I’m not comfortable showing my whole body, that I don’t feel comfortable in makeup and heels. I’m pleased that I value my mind and my achievements more than my body. For some, they are caught up in this world, they let these ideas of beauty define them.

We don’t need feminism to tell women they can’t wear makeup or heels. We don’t need to judge others. We do need so that women and girls can make informed decisions and know that there isn’t one acceptable way to look. That’s the issue here, the lack of diversity, the lack of education. Less people would be striving for cosmetic surgery if all body shapes were represented.

What do you think? Join the conversation below or tweet me @chloemetzger