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.

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.

Feminist Friday: Scary NOT Sexy.

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It’s the beginning of Halloween weekend, which means the delights of sweets, parties for some and London Comic Con for me. For the last few years, I’ve been to some kind of Halloween party, I’ve always dressed up. That said, but the older I’ve gotten the more uncomfortable I’ve felt about the costumes available to me. Every costume I looked at in the shops this year and last year and the year before that had the smallest amount of fabric possible. A man could be a surgeon, nurse, wizard or characters from TV and film, while pre-bought costumes for women are all about being ‘sexy’. Hell, you can get a costume to be a sexy bumblebee and prior to the release of the new Ghostbusters movie that women’s version of the costume was a tight fitted, bum skimming dress. I don’t know about you, but I think it would be hard to catch ghosts in something that barely covers your bum.

I know that people think I’m overreacting when I call out this sexist BS, but how can I not? Why are women expected to wear costumes that are designed for men. Let’s be honest, they’re not designed for women because wearing hardly any clothes in October not comfortable. Now I understand wanting to wear something a little flirty or fun, but the industry has gotten ridiculous a Finding Nemo costume for men is Nemo, a costume for women is a skimpy dress in Nemo colours. What?

This might seem silly, it might seem like something that’s not worth shouting about, but it is. Why should I have to wear a costume that doesn’t fit because the one made for women isn’t for me to enjoy myself it’s for the viewing pleasure of others. This is what it means to be objectified by industry. I refuse to buy these stupid and sexist costumes. If that means I have to make my own I will. Halloween is supposed to be a little scary and fun, not a boob fest! Don’t feel pressured to buy or wear these costumes, you’re worth more than a cheap revealing costume. Screw being sexy, be whoever you damn want and for me, that’s the Scarlet Witch for Comic Con, an awesome, smart and badass female, not a ‘sexy cat’.

Feminist Friday: Sexism is Exhausting

When I was talking to Ali about being in a little bit of a writing slump, we spoke about what I could write about, what I’ve written about before and he said that right now I need to take some time for myself, because I don’t relax, because even at 22 I’m guilty of wanting to ‘have it all’. In short, I’m exhausted. I’m constantly asked about the future at this age and I get really, really stressed. I get stressed when adverts don’t reflect my body, when eating cake is seen as a ‘cheat’ or ‘treat’ for women, but not for men. I get stressed about my career, about how I look, about how many bullshit articles there are in women’s magazines.

We’re always demonised for wanting to have a family, a career, a happy relationship, told that we’ll burn out. At the same time, there’s still sexism in advertising, women are sold cleaning products, but used to sell sports cars rather than being the ones who want to purchase them.  We’re marketed to for cooking, cleaning and particular shows on TV have adverts that are ‘female friendly’ about periods and ovulation, while the football has adverts for beer and cars. Because of all this pressure sometimes I just look at it all and think screw it, why am I doing this? Why am I fighting when I’m exhausted and all I’m seen as is a bunch of hormones who wants to clean and procreate. Is it any wonder I don’t relax?!

I know that I’m not the only  one that has thought this way, not the only one to just feel so tired and frustrated with the world. I’ll be honest the past few weeks have been really tough with personal issues and when you’re already down sometimes you wonder if you’ll ever beat sexism. For me as a young 20 something I think about whether I’ll get discriminated against if I choose to have a child, whether I’ll be able to be top in my field while fitting in school runs and plays and parents evenings. Even as recently as yesterday there were comments because of a comment I posted about loving to work and that I didn’t intend to stop working after I have children and this was from another woman.

Even in 2016, I’m still plagued by these worries, these conversations that my other half doesn’t have to deal with. I see magazines and women’s bodies have been manipulated by software and where women are told how to ‘please their man’, rather than focusing on themselves. I see people I know make sexist jokes. I’m the focus of comments that constantly question my feminism because I haven’t always been this forward and I’ll be honest, it’s exhausting. I want to shout feminism and be a warrior for women all the time, but I wanted to be honest and say that sometimes I’m worn down, I look around and think, fuck how are we going to fix this?

This is NOT me giving up, it’s not even me taking a break. It is me reminding not only myself but others out there that it’s ok to feel frustrated, to feel like this is so big, so much bigger than us. Now I’ve calmed down and thought, written, I’ve realised that everyone has these days and that feminism and battling sexism isn’t something someone can take on on their own. I realised that we’re all in this together and that everyone is allowed to be scared or stressed or frustrated, these frustrations keep the fire burning but we can’t let them burn us out because otherwise, we’ll get nowhere.

 

Feminist Fridays: The Sun Can’t Handle Emma Watson’s success

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Emma Watson gave a brilliant speech this week in regards to sexual assault in universities in colleges. Emma has been vocal in a thought provoking and honest way about gender equality after becoming a UN Goodwill Ambassador. Once again, the Sun has shown is misogynistic colours and highlighting the fact that it cannot be considered a newspaper, due to it not reporting the facts. The Sun as a paper has had multiple issues in regards to sexism over the years from Page 3 to their coverage of women in general, this is it’s latest blow. By refusing to call Emma by her name, merely by a character’s, the Sun appear childish and petty, while making it appear to be something to laugh about. Clearly the ‘journalist’ who wrote the piece thought that a young woman of high intelligence (who achieved consistently high grades and studied at Oxford and Brown for her degree) who is attempting to promote equality of the sexes was a threat, just as many of their colleagues at the Sun have done previously.

Perhaps what is most horrific, the writer has deemed a call for equality and highlighting the high statistics of rape that are happening around the world as ‘whinging leftie crap’ shows a shocking amount of ignorance. Rape, whether that is towards men or women, is a violent sexual act, if standing up and standing out is ‘whinging leftie crap’ then call me what you like. They continue to state that ‘all actresses’ will talk about such issues if ‘given the chance’, a woman using her voice to do good in the world you say? The horror. Again, the author of the piece highlights women in this context specifically, by noting only actresses they leave it open for men to speak out and take up causes, but allude to women having to stay silent. Oh no that they are allowed opinions, but shouldn’t be taken seriously (because that makes it ok). The author also took a jab at actress Angelina Jolie, known for her high profile charity campaigns as well as acting talents, and her impending divorce. The sexism is astounding and I question the editor that allowed what I can only describe as poison, to be published in a national paper.

It’s obvious to me that a large majority of those who work at the Sun fear young and intelligent women speaking out. They fear women stepping forward and challenging ideas, rather than just being something to undress and look at. Time and time again women have been shamed for how they look or disrespected by tabloid press for how they choose to act. They use their prying eyes to take pictures of young actresses and use headlines such as ‘all grown up’ to describe young women who have only just turned eighteen, so that they can present them to readers in sexualised formats. These are all tactics to keep women silent, to keep their opinions to themselves. It is in light of this that both women and men need to stand up against such blatant sexism in the press.

Feminist Friday: We Need To Talk About Rio

This week the world has marveled at the Rio Olympics, where incredibly talented olympians compete to be the best in the world at their sport. After blood, sweat and tears winning bronze, silver, or the all important gold should earn the utmost respect, but alas there has been rampant sexism in the way in which the games have been reported, in respect to both female and male athletes. For an event that is viewed by the entire world, it’s alarming at the extent of the sexism we have been seeing.

Here are just some of the issues in reporting we’ve seen.

  • Women referred to as ‘girls’ and ‘girls teams’.
  • The chief of NBC’s Marketing delcaring that women watch the Olympics for the ‘reality tv’ aspect, not the sport.
  • Recurrent scrutiny of female athletes bodies, particularly in gymnastics.
  • When a woman wins, she’s described as competing ‘like a man’
  •  Female presenters having complaints put against them, not for their skills in presenting, but due to the length of their skirts.
  • Bronze medallist Corey Cogdell being described as the ‘Wife of a Bears’ Lineman’ instead of olympic athlete.
  • Recurrent focus on female athletes as mothers.
  • Cosmopolitan magazine’s ‘bulge’ articles, focusing only on the looks of men, rather than their ability.
  • Katinka Hossu’s world record being put down to the success of her husband who was deemed ‘responsible’ for her success.
  • The women’s judo final being compared to a cat fight.
  • Katie Ledecky and Simone Biles constantly being compared to male athletes.

I couldn’t write Feminist Friday’s without talking about such a major event and the issues surrounding it. The Olympics are celebrated throughout the world and yet, in mainstream media, women are still classified as being inferior to men. On the flip side the fact that women’s magazines are merely focusing on the size of a man’s bulge is not ok. Why are we focusing on these petty and superficial things instead of people’s talent? While some may think there’s aren’t big issues, it’s the way we consume media that makes them a big deal. Little girls will aspire to be like these olympians, do we want them to think that no matter how talented, they will always be compared to a man? Do we want little boys to be self conscious about how their bodies look and nothing else (because we know women are faced with this on a larger scale)? Let’s actually focus on the talent and the sport and not let these terrible and often talentless commentators and journalists take away from their glory with pathetic comments.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Book Review: Girl Up – Laura Bates

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They told you you need to be thin and beautiful. They told you to wear longer skirts, avoid going out late at night and move in groups – never accept drinks from a stranger, and wear shoes you can run in more easily than heels. They told you to wear just enough make-up to look presentable but not enough to be a slut; to dress to flatter your apple, pear, hourglass figure, but not to be too tarty. They warned you that if you try to be strong, or take control, you’ll be shrill, bossy, a ballbreaker. Of course it’s fine for the boys, but you should know your place. They told you ‘that’s not for girls’ – ‘take it as a compliment’ – ‘don’t rock the boat’ – ‘that’ll go straight to your hips’. They told you ‘beauty is on the inside’, but you knew they didn’t really mean it. Well I’m here to tell you something different.

It’s no secret that I think Laura Bates is a feminist icon. The creator of the Everyday Sexism Project, author and ted talk member has stood up and said enough is enough. It is because of her that I realised that a lot of the ‘banter’ I’d felt uncomfortable with and fought against for years, only to be told I was overreacting, was actually assault. It made me feel better that I wasn’t ‘just overreacting’. After reading Everyday Sexism last year I eagerly pre ordered Girl Up and I’m so glad I did. I felt that in comparison to Laura’s last book this is much more about her finding her own voice within her writing. Not only was it funny but also distinctive in tone as well as topic.

While you could argue that this is aimed more at teenagers in some parts of the book, it’s fine with me because I really learnt a lot from this book. It’s true that there are some chapters that seem to be geared towards teenage girls but if I’d have had this book to clutch in my hormonal hands as a spotty teen I think I would have stood up for myself more. I would have been more vocal about my body, about sexism and about the fact that I have a voice too, something that was repeatedly silenced. Authors like Laura are using humor and wit to bring embarrassing subjects into the spotlight and make it easier for them to talk about. At the same time as a 21 year old, while reading I felt like Laura was an older sister I never had. She doesn’t shy away from the fact that she didn’t always call herself a feminist, that she too shied away from inappropriate comments and behaviour at the fear of ‘kicking off’. 

I one hundred percent feel that books like this alongside, How to be a Woman, The Vagenda, Letters to my Fanny and more will help to create a stronger set of young women who can feel proud to not only be women, but to be themselves. Oh and before I forget there are also dancing vagina’s because who doesn’t want a page of dancing vagina’s. I’m going to stop saying that now, even though I can’t explain how brilliant it is. All I want to say is READ IT, READ IT, READ IT! Of course I gave this 5 stars (*****), absolutely brilliant, well written and inspirational. Go and give it a read NOW!

Remember to connect with me on Goodreads here to see what I’m reading!

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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. 

Why YOU shouldn’t be worried about Kim Kardashian’s selfie

The internet exploded a few days ago after Kim Kardashian posted a naked picture of herself on Instagram. It’s not the first time Kim’s dared to bare all on her Instagram but this time a Twitter row caught the internet’s attention. Bette Midler, Chloe Grace Mortz and Piers Morgan all jumped in with either ‘witty’ or catty remarks about Kim. Scouring the internet it seemed everyone seemed to have an opinion on Kim’s post or her body. People got so invested in this and wrote comment after comment about what THEY thought Kim should be doing and what THEY thought it would do to her kids in the future.

Now, I know that the Kardashian’s have a lot of friends but I’m pretty sure all of the people leaving comments on a facebook page don’t personally know Kim. People were spending their time bitching, whining and trying to tell her off. I couldn’t help but feel that these people, some of whom were incredibly rude could have had something better to do with their day than be a keyboard warrior and spread even more hate in this world.

I thought she looked great and if someone is comfortable enough to do that on their own social media channel then who are we to judge? No one is putting your body up there or asking you to copy, so why get so worked up? People were saying she’s a disgraceful mother for doing this. From what I can see her children are loved, cared for and provided for. Whether or not she wants to show off her body is her business but it doesn’t mean she is a better or worse parent.

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Picture posted on Kim Kardashian West’s Instagram 

The point I’m trying to get across this that obsessing over what another woman is doing is literally pointless, especially when you don’t know the person. If we focus a little more on our own lives and our own bodies we’d probably all be a little happier, hell we might even be as confident as Kim seems to be! To combat the haters Kim wrote about her experience that yes she was a wife and a mother but she is allowed to be sexy too. I think she has a point, you don’t just wither and die when you get married and have kids, my Mum has a (sort of) grown up daughter and another teenage daughter and still looks hotter than some 20 year olds I know.

We need to stop judging other women on how they present themselves and what they want to do with their bodies. I know for a fact that if an attractive man of the same age as Kim had done this there would have been no fuss, no nastiness, just appreciation for his body. I am going to call out sexism because that is what the media and most people are playing at, some without even knowing it. So we shouldn’t be getting over a woman showing off her body and if I looked like that,  I’d probably show mine off too because I’d be damn proud of myself for feeling that confident in my own skin.

A little less hate can go a long way, in the words of Ellen Degeneres, ‘Be Kind”

My Big Mouth: The Beautiful Game’s Fight with the Ugly Face of Sexism

Tonight I’ve broken away from my blogging to write about something I didn’t even realise I was passionate about until a few months ago. Womens Football. I was scrolling through facebook tonight and a post came up about the Chelsea Ladies team going to the finals at Wembley. I’m a Chelsea supporter so obviously I was proud and left my own comment with happiness. That happiness quickly disappeared when I started scrolling through the comments. These were some of the delightful gems I came across… Screen Shot 2015-07-29 at 20.35.48 Screen Shot 2015-07-29 at 20.35.05

I knew there would be some ‘chelsea is shit’ posts, there always are (haters gonna hate). I didn’t think there would be such sexist comments, it made me feel a little sick. The men in the comments section range from ‘get your tits out’ mentality to why is this here, women’s football will never be as big. I don’t know if they noticed but 50 percent of the world are female. Shock horror. The fact that there was so much open sexism made me feel a little sick and I think it was the last straw for me.

I remember wanting to go and watch the women’s world cup in the pub, it wasn’t on. While it wasn’t on expensive channels, no pubs had advertised it nor had they put it on. I don’t have a TV so the pub is where I go to watch sport, a few years ago every pub was rammed for the mens world cup, but women didn’t even get a mention. There are tops in supermarkets and the whole country gets involved for the mens world cup, but not the women. Oh no, no our greatest female footballers came home to this tweet (which was quickly taken down):

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It was as if what they achieved was a cute little hobby and not, you know representing the country. I, like many others, was quick to point out that they had done better than our men’s team and at least deserved the same, if not more respect. Not because they’re women, but because they made the country proud.

When I was a little girl, I watched the football with my Dad, I named my hamster after Frank Lampard (he was called Lampie for short) and always had the latest football shirt. I remember asking my Dad after looking through Chelsea Magazine why we didn’t watch the women’s football on TV, just the mens. My Dad said he didn’t know, it just wasn’t as big as men’s football as far as he knew. I didn’t understand but I asked a few more questions, before letting it go. Now I’m 20 years old and I am still asking the same question I was at least a decade ago.

I liked playing football at school when I could do PE, tag rugby was fun (apart from when they made us stand outside and freeze) and I was one of only two girls in my class to get on to the highest level of trampets. I was never in the sporty crowd but sometimes I enjoyed it. I’m not going to lie and say I religiously watch any kind of football, I don’t really. What I am saying is that I 100% believe that if women’s football got as much exposure as men’s it would we’d inspire a new generation of girls that it’s not just the boys who can take the lead in sport.

We will beat the misogynists in football because there are strong women who are there to be role models for our little girls and women like me who don’t eat, sleep,breath sport but can appreciate it. I hope that in the next 10 years when I have children of my own, maybe even girls of my own, I can simply turn on the TV and there will be a women’s match on TV. That if I end up with a daughter who takes after My Dad, Gramps, Grandad, my cousins and have that passion for football and want to play, then hell they can go and do it with no prejudice.

Piss off sexism, there’s no room for you here.

Let me know what you think girls and guys? Do you think we’ll get equality in sport?