How Life Would Differ In Feminist Utopia

Call yourself a feminist in the UK and, unless you’re chatting to Jeremy Corbyn (moment to appreciate 72% youth voting turnout!!) and the Spice Girls, you’re going to be met with at least some hostility. The most common criticism is that there’s legally nothing a man can do that a woman can’t, proving how we have gender equality aka you can shut up now love and get back in the kitchen instead. The key word of the opposition is legally. This argument reminds me of how when the Civil Rights Act was passed in America this was a de jure change, which meant segregation was illegal; however this couldn’t cause de facto change as socially people had become so accustomed to racism that no law could translate into their realities. In the UK, feminism isn’t needed to overcome sweeping legislative inequalities (from what I’m aware, but hit me up if I’m wrong) we need to focus on All The Small Things, Blink-182 style.

Often we view social changes as insignificant. Catcalling bothers you? Stop whining. You don’t like it when guys approach you in bars? Then start dressing like a homeless barrel. Want a career? Keep your legs closed. But humans are sociable creatures and so if our everyday lives are riddled with, put bluntly, people being shits, then it’s going to have a pretty big impact. I’ve compiled a list to show some of the ways my life would be different in a de facto feminist society.

I wouldn’t dumb myself down: I don’t even know how this happens. I just finished my International Baccalaureate exams, my IQ qualified me for Mensa and I’m 50,000 words into a novel- I’m a smart cookie. Why then do I feel compelled to let men mansplain words I already know or say stuff like *sharp intake of breath* *clutches cheeks* *Disney princess voice* ‘What book was Titanic based on?’ to make them laugh? Is masculinity so fragile that I round off the corners of my brain to make sure it doesn’t damage them? In feminist utopia, I’m shamelessly smart, full stop. Continue reading

Why We’re All Fake AF Bloggers

Last week I tweeted this. I then received a text from my friend, Maria- who’s also a blogger and food instagrammer– saying ‘you really perfected the blogging voice there. You sound nothing like real life. You never use the word ‘ladies’ and the fire emoji makes you cringe.’I realised I had adopted The Blogger Voice.

I don’t know if anyone else has noticed it, or if this is an appropriate way to define it but TBV seems to be when, in order to appeal to your audience, you use a different, less controversial, emoji-fied voice, that is ultimately fake af. It’s the voice that means YouTubers start their video with the strained, high-pitched hiiiii guysssss, or that forces beauty bloggers to looooove a lipstick when conversationally they’d be like ‘oh yeah Velvet Teddy, I’ve tried it, it’s pretty good’. Even when I skimmed Maria’s social media, it was flooded in a tone that sounded nothing like her irl (although hello to that sexy veggie jar). m faf.png

TBV’s influence extends further than voice- how flatlay accounts on instagram are now The Done Thing, or your blog name should be something like ‘your first name followed by your middle name.com’ or ‘random white girl noun and another white girl noun.co.uk.’ In my own tweet, Real Life Jess would say Continue reading

Controversial Thoughts on Sarah Ashcroft

Unless you live under a rock (which tbh would be goals at the moment) then you will have seen your Twitter feed explode with anger at this blogger that no one’s really heard of called Sarah Ashcroft and her interview with Cosmo>. The thing is, I’ve read the piece and, while it comes across as self-indulgent, I don’t disagree with everything she says…

I wanted to offer new and fresh content every post, but it came with a lot of pressure

Firstly, I thought this was a really honest thing to admit. I’m not a fashion blogger but I’ve seen posts from many who say they feel forced to spend all their money on Topshop trends to stay current. I live 75% of my life in pyjamas so my fashion blog would be duller than watching Formula 1. And trust me, that’s dull. So I get where she’s coming from.

I actually turned down ‘real’ jobs because it started to become a standalone thing

Maybe this seems bitchy because she’s using the ironic quote marks, but it’s also largely reflective of modern attitudes. Most people don’t blog with the expectation that it will become their main source of income- it’s often still not viewed as a ‘real’ job and I think this statement merely reflects her similar surprise. Continue reading

The Dumbest Shit I’ve Read on Twitter

I’ve been on Twitter a long time. And in that time I’ve seen a lot of ‘DS’ (dumb shit- not to be confused with the Nintendo DS because I genuinely couldn’t bring myself to say a bad word about Animal Crossing). I thought, in homage to me being away from blogging for so long, I would reminisce over the worst bits that I’ve seen in the meantime on social media, in hope that these would set the bar really low for my future posts.

‘Men cannot do domestic tasks because they are too busy building civilisation’ This was said by a meninist who believed men didn’t have time to participate in childcare, housework, cooking, etc. What he hasn’t realised is that, yeah men might’ve built the modern world, but women invented beer, monopoly and the folding cabinet bed, therefore we’ve built the perfect Friday night.

‘Women can’t be SAS trained. They’ll distract men. It’s biological’ Did you see SAS: Who Dares Wins? Did you watch a woman and a man come joint first without sleeping together? And when they were being interrogated in, like, Morocco, did you see her dramatically undo her ponytail, unveiling luscious Herbal Essence-d locks and apply Mac Velvet Teddy, causing all the spies to stop their highly classified, significant jobs and have a wank over her beauty instead? No. Because not every guy was straight. Not every woman is beautiful. And most importantly, these people are so skilled at doing their jobs so if a human with two lumps of fat on their upper torso and no dick can distract them that easily then I really don’t think they’re qualified to protect the country. Continue reading

What FemSoc Taught Me About Feminism

For the past year I’ve been running my college’s feminist society (or femsoc for those of you with an abbreviation fetish) and today was the final session before we go on study leave and all the little year one feminist babs take over.

Despite what every American show suggests, running a society isn’t easy. It takes loads of research, planning, photocopying, shouting at people because they’re not assisting with the research, planning or photocopying, group chat drama and vocal strain because I didn’t realise how chatty everyone would be in between tasks. I’ve basically been popping strepsils like they’re going out of fashion. But out of all this work I’ve learnt so much about feminism and, as it’s been a while since I burnt my bra, I thought I would share.

What Running a Feminist Society Taught Me About Feminism

The Movement Is Still Super White: I realised how much of a white feminist I’d become when, brainstorming for session ideas, the top of the list were body positivity, representation of women in sport and ‘does merchandise devalue feminism?’ Important issues, yes. Deserving to be top of the list? No. These were subsequently interspersed with sessions like women in war and politics, but even then we could’ve done more to promote intersectionality. As a privileged white woman, speaking about cultural appropriation was hard; working out whether the Declaration of Human Rights had a western bias was simply impossible. When a society is run by white women our default topics are white ones, so you have to do a lot of research to stay inclusive. Feminism should encourage not speaking for other women but addressing their issues as if they were our own. Continue reading

Do We Choose Insecurity?

I’m of the (slightly controversial) opinion that people choose to be insecure. Obviously there will be exceptions like if you’re bullied you have insecurity projected onto you or if you have severe body dysmorphia you can’t help but see your body as fundamentally different to what it really looks like, but as a rule of thumb, insecurity is a choice.

In some senses, it isn’t a conscious choice. After all no one would choose to feel shit about themselves, but it other ways, it is a conscious decision as people choose to do nothing about it. They stay insecure and they stay complaining about being insecure and yet they do nothing to make themselves more confident. For a long time, I fell into this category too.

 

When I was younger I hated how I looked and the people I went to school with seemed to agree (why are kids so mean? Anyone?) so I would skip meals to get thinner- spoiler alert this technique doesn’t have the desired effect and only makes your stomach rumble reallllly loudly so it sounds like a miniature thunderstorm mid-maths test- and research different plastic surgeries to save for. I was miserable.

 

And then one day, after watching the Katy Perry movie (I’m convinced all the best mental breakdowns happen during the credits of this film) I cried to my mum about how sad it was making me, and after much emotional support she said: there’s nothing wrong with you, and even if there was, why would it matter?

Continue reading