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!