When We Don’t Listen to Women

Now, I don’t blame you if you don’t spend time trawling over the news. It’s pretty gloomy no matter where you live; here in the UK we’re dealing with the Brexit mess, in Europe we’re seeing a rise in racism and then we have the United States.

In the last few years, I’ve taken a lot more of an interest in politics. Firstly at home, and then internationally. Recently, there has been another set of outrage in regards to sexual assault. The current President was accused by many and heard on tape glorifying sexual assault. Now, his choice for the Supreme Court is also being accused.

While, unfortunately, the accusation doesn’t surprise me the level of shaming the accuser is facing is sickening. There have been calls that she is ‘messed up’ from the very people who will decide if this man is to be given the highest judicial honour in the states, before hearing her testimony. Even the president has waded in on Twitter, saying the following:

Trump Denial

Yep, that’s the President.

Again and again we see women being ridiculed, ignored. Despite the fact that we’ve had the Me Too Movement, Times Up, that there are incredible feminist writers. That women are proving again and again that they are capable and the rights that have been fought so hard for are being denied.

This blog isn’t just about what’s happening in the world of politics. For me, personally, I’ve been ignored many times just because of my gender. In fact, just yesterday during a meeting with a Gynaecologist, he spoke over me, ignored me and pushed an option I didn’t want again and again.

This is despite the fact that I am living in my body. He didn’t care about my questions or queries. His opinion was I had a coil or I had a hysterectomy. I had to push, almost cry to explain to him that this needs looking into further. Now I have another 6 months to wait. There was no concern or care, I didn’t have a voice about my own body.

When we don’t listen to women, we get closer to going back in time. To forgetting everything we’ve been working so hard to pull together and are still working towards. In fact, as a society not listening to women could be detrimental, because if people hadn’t noticed we’re a big part of the world, you know, 50%.

I know that I might be preaching to the converted here. I just had to get it out there because it is alarming, it is worrying. Is it just me that can’t look away? I’d love to know your thoughts in the comments below.

I Won’t Be Silent – A Poem

I Wont Be Silent.png

 

For a while there,

I lost my voice.

I let someone else’s laugh muffle by shouts

for rebellion.

 

But I am a woman,

hear me roar.

I’ve got no time for heels,

or a cat call.

 

Because I broke free,

from the good girl mentality

and now, here I stand

Just as good as any man.

 

I won’t be silent.

I won’t be contained.

Because I am a woman.

I don’t need to be saved.

Book Review: Everywoman – Jess Phillips

Everywoman Jess Phillips

 

A lot of people scoff at the thought of going into politics. Even more so if you’re from a less wealthy background because it’s not what someone ‘like us’ does is it? Be prepared to completely change your mind and want to start a revolution of diversity and equality and it’s all thanks to Jess Phillips.

I picked this up after watching an interview with Jess online, I finally saw someone who I could identify with who works in our government. This book is much more than politics, this is about women, empowerment and just giving things a go! Previously, Jess worked for Women’s Aid, an incredibly important charity supporting women who need help most. Some of the stories were harrowing but show the fire behind Jess’s speeches in parliament, such as those about domestic violence.

From Mum guilt to just about getting through university Jess talks about anything and everything. That said, she also touches on some heartbreaking topics. There were many moments in this book that touched me but it was the parts talking about Jo Cox that really got me. Jo Cox was an MP in the UK, a rising star in the Labour Party, Jo was murdered for doing her job and being a compassionate human. Jess was a friend of Jo’s and I can’t imagine how hard it was going through such a horrific loss.

Not only is Jess a kick-ass MP for Labour, she’s a friend, a proud Feminist, a Mum, a Wife and, by the sounds of this book, the kind of person I’d want to have as a friend. This book fell into my hands when I needed it most. I was feeling like I was struggling as a woman, I was feeling a little beaten down by the world. Then I realised I can do this because there is so much to do! It really gave me the pick me up I needed.

I’ve recommended this to almost every one of my friends because it’s the kind of book that can and will start a revolution. Of course, I gave this 5 stars, I could not stop listening to the audiobook at every opportunity I had. I’m pretty sure I’ll not only be buying this as a gift for a few people but I’ll also be listening again very soon!

Re-embracing my Feminism with Paola Diana – Blog Tour

Reclaiming my Feminism

There are times when a book falls into your lap at the right time. I’d been struggling with my own feminism. It felt like a constant fight whenever I mentioned it, multiple times people used it as a reason to argue with me about something completely unrelated, so I’d kept my mouth shut. Then I got an email offering me the chance to read Paola Diana’s book Saving The World, Women: The Twenty-First Century’s Factor for Change as part of a blog tour and I thought why not?

Earlier in the month, I’d picked up Jess Phillip’s Every Woman which made me proud of feminism again. Paola’s book was a perfect follow up to keep the fire burning. Looking at politics, religion, economy and society Paola doesn’t shy away from addressing the how powerful women really are and will be in this century.

This is not an opinion based book, followed up by facts and her very own activism it got me excited. If there is a time for equality it is now. In no other period in history have women been so educated, aware and able to voice their opinions. Although, of course, we still have a long way to go around the world. Now we just have to make it happen. The combination of intelligent research, looking at the wider picture and optimism is a welcome addition to my bookcase.

Feminism itself is complex. The basic premise of wanting equality of the sexes can be forgotten at times. I know I’ve felt overwhelmed trying to defend my reasons for being so open as a feminist. I’ve felt that there is so much fighting over what feminism is and should be. So I took a step back, I still carried on with my life but I was quiet about it which I hated. This isn’t me. I guess sometimes life does beat you down but, personally, I’m back and ready to reclaim my feminism and continue to educate others with this book by my side.

Sound good? I’m also running a giveaway on my Twitter so head over here, follow and retweet for your chance to win! UK only.

Thank you so much to Midas PR for sending me this book, Paola and the publishers for this opportunity!

Book Review: Stacey Dooley on the frontline with the women who fight back – Stacey Dooley

Stacey Dooley Book Review

This year it has been 10 years since Stacey Dooley first appeared on our screens with her trademark Luton accent, fiery hair and entirely different way of reporting. In her first book, Stacey looks back on some of her most challenging documentaries and the ones that made her.

I’ve been a fan of Stacey for years now because of how human she is when she’s interviewing. You can tell she cares about the people and the topics, there’s not stiff upper lip that we’re used to seeing on TV and thank goodness! So, when I heard she was releasing a book I added it to my wish list. I actually ended up listening to the audiobook which I fully recommend.

You don’t have to have watched all of Stacey’s documentaries to enjoy the book, there were some I hadn’t watched (I’ve since gone back and found them) and I still found Stacey’s input fascinating. This adds a whole other level to what we have watched. Of course, Stacey has to be professional but she still has heart and reading the internal struggles she faced made it hit home even harder. She see’s these women as human, which they deserve to be.

From women who escaped ISIS to the horrific violence faced by women in Honduras, Stacey captures the stories of women worldwide. We’re also let into Stacey’s reservations about travelling to various parts of the world, the threats she faces and her reasons for going to such dangerous places. What made it so real to me was Stacey not telling her Mum some of the real places she’d travelled to until she got back.

I gave this 4.5 stars and can highly recommend listening to Stacey read the book herself if you can. If you loved Stacey’s documentaries and want to know more about the conditions that women around the world live in then this is an excellent place to start. I warn you though, you’ll want to go and watch her documentaries again after reading!

Together We Rise – The Organisers of The Women’s March

36099203

The Women’s March went global last year. After America chose to swear in a proud misogynist, women decided to take action, and so they did. This book details the marches and more importantly, why we marched. As soon as I saw this I wanted to speak to you all about it and seeing as it’s Women’s History Month, what better time is there to speak about it?

I’m really pleased to be working in collaboration with Harper 360 for this post after reaching out to them. As you know I’ve written about the London Women’s March in earlier blogs and why we needed it but what about over a year on? This collection makes it clear that we still need to stand and be counted when it comes to society.

The book is divided into four parts; Before, The March, After and Now What, each looking at the importance of these four periods not only in relation to the march itself but also within a wider context. What I find particularly interesting however is that each part is further broken down into the reason an individual woman marched, as well as some incredible photography of the day itself. We are also treated to insights from some well-known names such as; Rowan Blanchard, Senator Tammy Duckworth, America Ferrera, Roxane Gay, Ilana Glazer, Ashley Judd, Valarie Kaur, David Remnick, Yara Shahidi, Jill Soloway, Jia Tolentino, Congresswoman Maxine Waters, and Elaine Welteroth.

I think this is both an important and accessible book, giving insight into the thoughts, feelings and power that the March created. It’s also one that you don’t have to sit and read in one go, you can pick it up when you want to feel inspired or are struggling. I can’t wait to have this on my shelves and dip into it, although I’m definitely going to be tempted to dive in and read it cover to cover!

Are you planning on picking this up? Have you already? Let me know in the comments below!

 

Fantastic Feminist Authors

On the 8th March it’s International Women’s Day, so what better time to share some kick ass authors for you to get into. In a recent Twitter poll you guys said you wanted to see more bookish content on the blog which is fine with me, so let’s get started!

34564400

Holly Bourne – YA Queen

From the first few pages of The Manifesto on How to Be Interesting, I fell in love and knew that Holly was one to watch. Her novels speak to young adults in a way I haven’t seen before. She talks about Feminism, without making you feel like she’s preaching. A fantastic author and you can read my review of Am I Normal Yet here.

28434176-1

Laura Bates – Conquering Everyday Sexism

Laura created the Everyday Sexism project, started to show that sexism is very real and giving a platform to share it. She has just released her third book Misogynation, after Everyday Sexism and Girl Up. She’s factual as well as standing up for women’s rights. A must-read author.

25705800-1

Caitlin Moran – The Reason I’m a Feminist

I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again, How To Be A Woman changed my life and perspective and, ultimately, made me a feminist. Caitlin says what she wants and has no time for bullshit. I’ve read all her non-fiction works as well as her novel How To Build A Girl, which is also a cracker. Great for getting the information with a great laugh at the same time.

23346886

Holly Baxter and Rhiannon Lucy Cosslett – Taking on the Magazines

Holly and Lucy run their own blog of the same name but I found the book first. This is different to any I’ve read before, particularly as neither are that much older than me. This examines the way we take in magazines and the media industry. It was fantastic, absolutely fantastic. Here’s my review to wet your appetite.

35606560

Rupi Kaur – Bringing Poetry Back

She’s become amazingly popular and for good reason. I haven’t seen poetry get this popular, well, ever. Rupi talks about the female experience in her poetry and it’s absolutely beautiful as well as thought-provoking. You can read my review of her second collection The Sun and Her Flowers here.

untitled

Louise O’Neill – Tackling Taboo

For incredible, thought-provoking fiction Lousie O’Neill is the one to go to. Her novel Only Ever Yours freaked me out but I couldn’t stop thinking about it and later novel Asking For It has been raved about since its release. She’s not afraid of writing about taboo subjects and feminism, what more do you want? Review of Only Ever Yours here.

 

Who would you add to this list? Let me know in the comments below!