Feminist Friday: Westminster

Last week we saw a scandal in Westminster, one that unfortunately wasn’t at all surprising. UK Defence Secretary resigned amid allegations of sexual assault, following this an avalanche of accusations from all parties in UK politics. While Downing Street called the accusations ‘deeply concerning’, leader of the opposition Jeremy Corbyn addressed the ‘warped and degrading culture’. No one outwardly said, we have a problem and it’s been swept under the rug.

In the past year, sexual assault has been in the media particularly in the face of powerful figures. With the recent Hollywood conversation more and women and men are coming forward to share their stories about the abuse they had to deal with. In light of this, I believe that ultimately, we’re going to see more and more people coming forward because this isn’t an anomaly.

Recently, comedian Jo Brand hit the nail on the head as the only woman on the panel of Have I Got News For You when she said;

 “If I could only say that as the only representative of the female gender here today, I know it’s not high level but it doesn’t have to be high level for women to feel under siege in somewhere like the House of Commons. And actually for women, if you’re constantly being harassed even in a small way, that builds up and that wears you down,”

And that is exactly what needs to be said. If, in the place that our laws are made and passed a woman feels unsafe, what hope is there for the rest of the country? Personally, I’m grateful for these women that are reporting and standing up to powerful people because it makes people recognise a problem that has, I’m sure, been happening for years.

I’m hoping that this is the start of change. That the voices that are speaking out and finally starting to be heard can break down the protection of those in power, in regards to sexual violence and assault.

As always, I want to hear from you and your thoughts! Let me know in the comments below!

General Election – We proved them wrong

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I’m breaking my normal schedule today because I am filled with pride. While the General Election didn’t exactly get the result I was hoping for, there was one piece of good news. There was a lot of talk in the last few months about how Millenials won’t vote. For some reason there was a multitude of false reasons about why were, apparently, weren’t going to vote. Some of my favourites were:

  • We’re lazy
  • We’re self obsessed
  • We don’t care
  • We didn’t bother before

Well, yesterday 72% of 18-25 year olds turned up and voted. We were engaged and I firmly believe that it is because of my age bracket that the Conservatives did not get the majority. I’m hoping that this sends a message to the government now. That young people want change and we want to be respected. More than anything I’m proud that people are going to take control of their future. We made a difference.

Now, I am nervous about what is to happen. I don’t think the next 5 years are going to be easy BUT we will get through them. We’ll get through whatever happens with Brexit and we’ll carry on. That’s that. I’m hoping that in the next general election young people continue to vote, I’ll be 27 (!?!?) so not classed as a young voter anymore but I will continue to use my right to vote and encourage others.

Well done Millenials, I’m so proud to be one of you!

Sunday 7: Reasons YOU need to vote

Tomorrow is the deadline to register to vote in the UK General Election 2017. But, why should you vote? It’s a difficult time, a snap election has been called and everything feels a bit rushed. I know that a lot of people are irritated and disenfranchised with politics and the government. So, why should you vote?

Because your voice needs to be heard 

We know that there aren’t enough young people in parliament, but that doesn’t mean your voice isn’t heard. Voting means that you can have a voice and be heard.

Because you can make the change you want to see 

Vote in the people you believe will make a difference and change.

Because it helps make the country a better place for you and others like you 

I’ll be voting for what is important for me and the communities that I am a part of. Who will make the country better for your community? If you don’t vote then who else will?

Because every.single.vote.counts. 

There’s no such thing as a wasted vote, your vote could make all the difference.

Because so many sacrificed so that you could 

People died so that you could vote. Don’t forget that.

Because ignoring a problem won’t make it go away

If you have a problem with the way the country is being run, complaining online won’t do anything, actually voting for the person you think is best will.

Because if you don’t, you can’t complain. 

If you don’t vote, you’ve done nothing to try and stop what you want to complain about.

You have until 11.59 on the 22nd May to register, click the link here and make your voice heard. 

Get registering, get voting!

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.

Hello Spring!

If, like me, you’re currently in the UK it didn’t feel too much like the first day of Spring today with torrential rain, wind and cold. That said, I’m SO excited that we’re finally entering Spring time, we’ll have lighter evenings soon, flowers will start to bloom (which may or may not be a good thing for Hayfever sufferers). More than anything I know it will help my mood improve and hopefully my lows. Here’s to Spring time!

 

Sunday Seven: Places you should visit!

Is it summer time yet? No? I can hear the collective groan as so many of us have to wait for the summer to roll around so we can go away and have a little break. I’m very lucky that my family liked to travel when I was growing up, I’ve seen some beautiful countries and hope to add to the ever growing list. This week I wanted to share with you seven places I loved and that you should visit!

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Paphos, Cyprus 

I’ve been to Cyprus a few times with my family and I absolutely love it. We’ve been going since I was quite young and my last visit was just before I started uni. We’ve stayed at the same hotel each time, but the town itself is constantly changing. There’s also a great waterpark, great excursions you can do and a lot of history around. One day I really want to take Ali and show him one of my favourite holiday destinations.

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Sorrento, Italy 

Ali and I first went away together with his family all the way back in 2009 to Sorrento. In the picture above (excusing my awful choice in ‘fashion’) we are standing at the top of Mount Vesuvius. We’d spent the day walking around Pompeii and looking at the history of it. Aside from that Sorrento is very tourist friendly, which means it can get busy but it’s also easy to get around. Also, the food? To die for, I loved it. You can also go over to the Island of Capri which oozes glamour. I want to go to different areas in Italy but Sorrento was a good place to start.

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London, UK 

I’ve been in love with London for as long as I can remember. I was taken to Oxford Street with my Mum and Nanna more times than I can count. London to me means excitement, it’s where I see shows, meet friends, go to events, explore the rich history of a wonderful city. London will always be special to me and I couldn’t just say one place, I love it all!

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Amsterdam

I went to Amsterdam just before my 21st birthday. While we stayed closer to the Red Light District, it was on the last day we found the real beauty of Amsterdam in Vondelpark, if I were to stay again I would definitely pay the extra to stay near the park, also their Hard Rock Cafe is incredible.

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Greece

I’ve been to Greece a lot. The first holiday I  went on with my parents was to the island of Crete, we went time and time again and I fell in love with it. I wanted to use a picture from then but couldn’t find any in digital. Fast forward about 18 years and I’d gone back to Greece, this time to Athens with Ali  for a week long class, and looked at the history of one of the greatest civilizations to have ever lived. Oh and for an Ouzo or two.

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Orlando, Florida 

Anyone who knows me, knows Florida was going to be on this list. My parents have taken me to Florida at least 3 if not 4 times. I was very lucky. I like going and acting like a kid, going to Disney, Universal, shopping in the outlet malls. I can’t see myself going for a while but damn right I’m going back.

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Harry Potter Studio Tour – Watford 

A must for ANY potterhead or anyone who just liked the films. Seeing everything up close, admiring the artistry and the detail on even the smallest things. I need to go again at some point, it’s only been a few years since I went but it’s already changed so much from pictures. It really is a must.

What are some of your favourite places to visit? Let me know in the comments below!

Why You Need to Vote: EU Referendum

Why you need to vote

Tomorrow is the day that we make one of the biggest decisions in British history, whether or not to stay in the EU. While I’ll admit the campaigns have been more than a bit of a shambles and a lot of people still feel unsure or confused about that exit I’m writing to all you guys to urge you to go down to the polling station tomorrow and tick one box or another.

The main reason you need to vote is that people died so that we could have a choice, because we are lucky enough to live in a democracy. There is the old attitude ‘if you don’t vote you can’t complain’ and to some extent I agree BUT what scares me is that a lot of people are believing statistic that have not been proven and it’s become a contest between who can shout the loudest, rather than looking at the key issues. There’s a lot of anger over immigration, people shouting that they want their country back, that we’re run by Germany and blatant racism. I honestly regret how both sides have acted in this and think that it’s actually bought out the worst in our country and that makes me really sad.

I’ll be honest with you, I’m voting in, which is different to the majority of my family I think. I’m voting remain because I’m proud to be a part of the EU, I really like that we’re part of a group of  countries with a rich culture and history and that I can move and travel as much as I want to all these beautiful places. I’m voting remain because even though we have our issues, I don’t think we know enough about what would happen if we leave to our economy and I don’t want to have to live through another recession (my Dad lost his job in 2010, when I was 15) because we guessed we’d be better off. I’m voting in because I believe that immigration makes us stronger, do we need to look at the amount of people we let in and other issues, because I’ve studied with some brilliant minds who are living here because they’re in the EU.

Above all I want to suggest something I saw online today. Suppose you really don’t know what to vote, you’re just looking at it going neither side has really convinced me. IF you vote to remain we have a chance to do this again. We have a chance to tell the EU what we want to do/ how we think it could be improved for members and if they don’t comply and AFTER we’ve done some more research into what will happen we can all vote to go, I’m all for that. At the end of the day I am just urging people to vote, whatever you want make your voice and your vote count.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Of course my period is a luxury…right?

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Every year since I was about 12 I have been blessed with the greatest luxury according to my government. I’ve gone out and bought a box of tampons or pads, my ‘luxury item’ and paid tax, meanwhile if I’d have bought some jaffa cakes I would have paid no tax, my boyfriend buying his razor isn’t taxed.

When I heard that the tampon tax would be debated I stupidly had some hope, of course anyone who was intelligent would end a tax on tampons and pads it’s something 50% of the population need. I saw the news after and remembered that the stupidly high percentage of tory men obviously aren’t intelligent and I was stupid to believe they were. Now I used to roll my eyes at this I was like but they’re not that much right? Then I sat and thought about it, actually if I add up how much I have spent and will spend it’s an obscene amount of money and simply because I am a woman. I didn’t ask for my period, I really don’t want it and it causes a stupid amount of trouble as well as eating my money.

I then saw something else, women around the world who can’t afford these items. Women in my own country, one of the most forward in the world, are having to ask food banks if they can get hold of tampons and pads because they’re having to use things they have made themselves to stop the flow. I don’t understand how it’s gotten to this. You can walk into a clinic and get free condoms but you can’t get anything free for your period? So those who can’t afford it risk their health because the blood is seen as unsanitary.

On that note I was thinking about the girl whose picture was taken off Instagram because it showed that she had bled through her pajama bottoms.

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Now, hands up ladies who’s had an accident at some point or another? Whether that be at night when mother nature surprises you or just in your pants. If I could see through the screen I would see everyone who had had a period with their hand up. These things happen more often than people would like to admit. Now I admit do I like looking at this picture? No. Is it because it’s her period? Also no. I don’t like blood! I don’t like blood coming from anywhere I’m a squeamish person! But without periods none of us would be here. None at all.

What I’m really begging for here is common sense. Periods (literally) make the world go round, they hurt and they’re irritating without having to pay extra on the items to please other people and you know not ruin our clothes. I have no doubt if it was more acceptable some people would just you know bleed and not give a damn, not me personally but some people would. Our periods are necessary whether some stuck up men who run the country are intelligent enough to know that or not, so don’t tax us on what we need!

My Big Mouth: Ireland changes the world, Take Note USA

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Today history was made in Ireland, the good people of that beautiful country voted YES to everyone being able to marry! While I was unhappy that it had come down to a vote (I mean come on no one had to vote on straight people being able to get married) the result is incredible.

I’ve been watching the news for the past two days, hoping and keeping everything crossed. People travelled home to cast this vote, because they are decent people, who believe in freedom and equality. Someone asked me ‘Why are you so excited?, It’s great but you don’t live in Ireland and you’re not gay?’. Correct, I neither live in Ireland, nor am I gay but I have a really close friend who is. I wrote a letter to them last year for National Coming Out Day (read it here), it makes me sick that if they lived in another country they might not be able to marry someone they love because of someone else’s bull**** opinions. I don’t care what religion you’re a part of, you can’t take away someone else’s happiness.

I’m bursting with happiness for Ireland but there is so much that we need to do! Listen up America, it’s your turn! America is getting a lot better with legalising gay marriage (pft legalising it, I hate writing that). That said, some people still think if they shout loud enough they and stop whatever they want, especially if they back themselves up with some religious book.People deserve the right to get married no matter what their sexual preference is. They are in love, they want to be committed to each other and it’s not going to impact anyone else’s life other than theirs.

I realise this has gotten slightly ranty and I apologise. I just feel so passionate that countries such as the UK and USA are leading countries so we should set an example and show love and compassion. I’ve hung out with a lot of LGBTQ people and guess what? They’re good, normal, honest people! So what if a girl likes another girl, a boy likes another boy or someone decides they like the best of both or uncomfortable in their own skin.

Change the world, spread some love and fight for equality! Congratulations Ireland!

Image from Pinterest

Should an NHS fee be introduced for all non UK residents?

I was born in 1994, my birth (like my sister and all my cousins) was in an NHS hospital meaning luckily our healthcare came out of our taxes and mothers would not be charged for giving birth in a clean and professional environment. It came to my attention today that many other women can travel to the UK to avoid paying in their own countries. Some people would argue that women can go into labour early and I understand that part it’s not a fault of the women if they go into unexpected labour! However there is a much more sinister side to this, I found out today that anyone can come to the UK and receive free medical treatment. There are a lot of people who are travelling to the UK to gain access to our healthcare system while unfortunately we are paying the price.

In latest news the British government are proposing that in order to enter the UK you must pay at least £200 towards healthcare costs. In my opinion I do not feel this is enough, £200 is not a lot in the case of many treatments and appointments. When you can see the strain that the NHS is under at the moment I wonder why this hasn’t been done long ago. To travel to other countries from the UK you must have travel insurance and to move to countries like the USA or Australia health checks and travel insurance. I cannot even begin to understand why we are not stronger on this! We can’t simply keep giving to everyone else and watch our country crumble around us. It is not only healthcare we are far too free in many ways, benefits for example are another problem.  Some people are calling this racist but I don’t see it that way, people should come here either with money or job prospects just as we are expected to when visiting/moving other countries. 

For once I think this government has a point (and I am not a fan at all normally). There has also been a call for NHS ID cards, also not a bad idea (although I may lose one because I am hopeless with cards). It has also been made clear that in the case of emergencies people will not be simply turned away they will be treated (STI’s will also be treated to stop any infections) so it is not unreasonable. I feel that this could be a good idea, we should not try and stop people from moving into the UK. Some of our greatest doctors,nurses,lawyers etc are from other countries and some of our brightest students, however we must be as strong other countries in this situation. 

 

I need to point out that in this blog is all my own opinions. 

Thanks for reading! 🙂