Feminist Fridays: Women’s Glossy Mags

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Pop down to any local supermarket or corner shop and in one section you’ll see a spread of glossy covers with pink lettering and ‘perfect’ women gracing the cover. You can’t hide the fact that women’s glossies are a huge industry and not one that’s slowing down anytime soon.

So, how does that sit with my feminist instincts? In the last few years, there have been subtle changes in the writing, less ‘how to please your man’ and more ‘how to be successful’. But there is still endless articles on relationships, fashion and makeup. It’s a thin line.

A year or so ago I stopped reading women’s mags because they didn’t make me feel great about myself and because after reading The Vagenda, I felt that a break might be good. In the last month or so I’ve found myself picking them up again, browsing and just reading bits I want to but it’s troubled me.

Am I less of a feminist for buying into the culture? Does it matter what I read? Am I influenced by articles and wrinkles and cellulite? I think I’m not but sometimes I fear I am. I write for a magazine (pre-order it here) and hope that it is inspiring. I want my writing to empower women, not make them want to change themselves.

Of course, there are steps in the right direction, talking of women’s plights around the world, politics, women’s marches, LGBTQ rights, and more. There is definitely a shift in the issues, but is it enough? Can we put issues of cosmetic surgery, brands that only the elite can afford and similar sit that close to each other?

So lovely reader, I ask you, can glossy mags still be Feminist? Let me know in the comments below!

 

Let me know in the comments below!

Book Review: Doing It! Let’s Talk About Sex – Hannah Witton

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If you haven’t come across British Youtuber Hannah Witton, you’ve been missing out! Hannah is a fabulous vlogger who primarily discusses sex and relationships in an open manner. From her incredible ‘The Hormone Diaries’ documenting her journey coming off the pill, her collaborative podcast ‘The Banging Bookclub’ and body positivity Hannah is like an older Youtube sister.

I’ve only been watching Hannah for a few months and just found her to be positive and enlightening before seeing her book EVERYWHERE so I thought why not, I love her channel so let’s give the book a go, and I’m glad I did. Now, before reading I would recommend watching a few of her videos to get a feel for Hannah’s voice and personality to really understand the book.

Divided into chapters such as Healthy Relationships, Masturbation, Virginity, LQBTQ, Consent and more. What’s worth noting, however, is that why this is Hannah’s book and primarily her perspective, she understands and acknowledges that there are situations that she cannot talk about her personal experiences, because they don’t apply. Instead of creating blanket statements, Hannah has chosen to include the perspectives of many different Youtubers on their own experiences. This was so refreshing to read from own voices.

As Hannah addresses on her channel this book is for a younger audience, mostly teenagers. That said as a 22 year old I still learnt from it. I think this is an invaluable tool for younger people. There is so much in here that won’t be discussed in school or with friends as a young person. We are becoming more open but we need books like this available to all young people as something to reference more than from cover to cover. There really is something in here for everyone.

I absolutely loved Hannah’s book and felt that it was a great and informative read. It’s got humour, but at the same time,  there is clear and relevant information in an easy to read manner. I mean there’s even a section on consent but it gets the information across without scare mongering. I gave this four stars because I see it as a really great way to start a conversation. As I said, I’d definitely check out Hannah’s channel before reading just to get a feel and really appreciate everything she is doing to promote healthy relationships and sexual experiences, click here to watch!

Book Review: Good Girls – Laura Ruby

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One picture can change your life…

 

This review is something special for me, this is the first YA novel I really fell in love with and started my love for the genre.

Meet Audrey Porter, one of the smartest students in school, advanced by a year, has good friends,a good family and is to be honest a fairly normal person. She’s known at school as a smart kid. No more, no less. That is until one photo changes her entire life. After photos come to light of her doing something that good girls just don’t do, Audrey has to learn the hard way that people will believe absolutely anything.  And after the photo is posted to her parents Audrey realises that she’s going to have to grow up. Fast.

Although many people will not have heard of this book I think that Laura Ruby is on to an absolute goldmine. I read this novel back when I was around 13 years old. I knew nothing about sex and the word ‘sexting’ hadn’t even started really being used yet, but Ruby was able to come up with this plot in the early days. I see this novel as a cautionary tale, although not in a direct way to the plot. We have to remember that in regards to the picture, Audrey has not sent it herself but somehow everyone finds out and everyone makes an assumption about her  (much like what has been happening in the media lately).

Despite what happens to our protagonist and her alienation, the novel still manages to be funny and charming. Until I moved to university this novel sat with my all time favourites, chiefly because we don’t have a boring heroine who mopes around when her life is ‘ruined’. Audrey is the kind of character that reminds you, your mistakes in school don’t make you who you are for the rest of your life. I’m sure many teens find themselves in a similar situation, if not with photographic evidence,then rumours as these can be just as bad. On top of this, the novel deals  with the whole idea of  casual encounters and the whole experience of ‘the first time’. Ruby captures the curiosity as well as the honest truth when it comes to losing your virginity. As I said before, I knew nothing about sex when I first read the novel and even I found it quite informative as well as entertaining!

I couldn’t rate this book highly enough because I honestly think it is a great novel for teenagers. It’s honest, it speaks to them and it is something to make a girl thing. Audrey is a brilliant example for girls to follow. As I said before she doesn’t just sit and cry, she realises what has happened and makes adult decisions despite being apprehensive. It is because of this I give the novel 5 stars *****, I absolutely adored it and think it is a must for any teenage girl.

I have a crush on Amy Schumer

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A few weeks ago I went to see the incredible Trainwreck and it was my first time watching Amy Schumer doing her thing. I’ve spent the evening watching her stand up and I think I definitely have a crush on Amy, she’s funny, she’s real and she’s frank about sex and being a woman. Is she offensive? Yes. But she likes to make people feel uncomfortable with comedy, it gets them talking and thinking and if they’re outraged then that’s fine, because I dare you to find a comedian who’s never offended anybody ever. That’s right, you can’t.

Now I can’t claim that I relate to Amy on the whole single girl, slutty, partying thing but on most other things I can laugh along and understand. It also pisses me off when people say she’s ‘funny for a woman’ I mean really? I didn’t know that having a penis was a requirement to be funny. I love funny women Amy, Sarah Millican, Miranda Hart (although I don’t like her routine she’s made me laugh occasionally), Emma Blackerry. I also love that they swear (uh oh, you’re all thinking here goes Chloe’s rant).

Now, here’s the thing. Imagine me, on stage, playing a show which has mostly guys performing and there’s me all short and cute and shit. I go on stage after guys and I can hold my own, I can say fuck too! But because I’m a girl I still get told to ‘be more ladylike on stage’, in fact a few people I used to hang around with came to a show recently and got all high and mighty because I occasionally swear on stage. It’s not like every other word is swearing but they were all ‘ woaaaaah act like a girl’, to which I replied fuck off.

It’s one of the best things about Amy, she does swear and talk about sex in her routines. She’s not all prim, proper and ladylike. The thing with women like her is people think they’re incapable of being polite and not swearing, people assume the same about me, but guess what? This whole persona is one part of a person and generally when it’s appropriate. I don’t go and drop an f-bomb when I’m with my grandparents or when I’m giving a mental health speech? I don’t make sex jokes or call people dicks at work. There’s a difference between funny and stupid…most of the time anyway.