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.

 

Sexy Potato? Ana-Rexia? What’s happened to Halloween!

sexy potato

Tomorrow is Halloween and after an invite to a party I went on a mission for a costume and I was let down, a lot. After searching I realised that any costume that was for a woman was ‘sexy’ or even if it didn’t have that label it was a lot shorter or showed a lot more skin. I was even sent the above picture of…a sexy potato. Now I know this is a joke but it kind of shows the extremes of what people are willing to promote as ‘sexy’, which leads me to my next costume.

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This is the ‘Ana-Rexia’ costume, yup just like the other mental health costumes that have shocked the world, this is the one that some idiots came up with this year. As I read earlier an anorexia survivor said ‘why not dress as a vampire or a zombie because two thirds of us will end up dead’. I felt sick when I saw this was a costume, especially the way it’s presented with a measuring tape a super thin model and again she’s trying to be sexy.

Deluxe-Ghostbusters-Costume Sexy-Ghostbuster-Costume

So I moved away from anything traditional too because I couldn’t be a vampire, devil, witch, zombie or anything without getting my legs and or boobs out. I couldn’t even buy a vicars costume for a party without it being 2 sizes too big because it was ‘for men’. So I moved on, I’d been invited different things over the weekend so I thought I’d look up some great movie inspired costumes. Male Ghostbuster, just like the movie something you could, you know, bust ghosts with. Then I looked at the women’s…just skims the bum and boobs are fully out oh and an adorable little backpack, no. The Princess Leia costume was similar to the film, oh apart from the giant slit up the side which nobody would be fighting the Empire in. Every princess outfit that wasn’t over £50 was the same model, boobs out, butt out.

I don’t know what’s happened to halloween but I can assure you that I won’t be a ‘sexy’ anything this year. I’ve got a makeshift costume on hand and I don’t feel like I need to get anything out to feel good about myself or to have fun at Halloween. I hope you guys also have a great Halloween and dress up however YOU feel comfortable!

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?