Why We Should Go Easy On Russia

Ever since primary school Jess brought an Anastasia DVD from Woolworths, I have been obsessed with Russia. The fallen monarchy, Winter Palace, Russian dolls- even the Rasputin Cossack dance on that wii Just Dance game- I love it all. The problem is, as I’ve grown up, it’s proved quite a hard love to defend: Russia rigged the election, Russian doping scandal, Russia hates gays, whichever part of the internet you go to (unless it’s, like, Putin’s LinkedIn page) there’s at least one article which aligns with Reagan’s ‘Evil Empire’ view.

So this summer when my Russian friend offered me the chance to visit her hometown Izhevsk I was so excited to finally see whether the media was right.

It wasn’t. Now obviously I’m not denying Chechnya’s gay purge or the fact the government’s corrupt- we’ve all seen the Reggie Yates documentaries- but when we talk about Russia we seem to solely focus on demonising it, which is strange considering every country has flaws and when I visited I was amazed by how normal it felt. So here’s why I think we should go easier on the planet’s largest country:  Continue reading

Was Love Island A Feminist Show?

Like most young adults, I was hooked on Love Island, but while I was watching I couldn’t help thinking about its anti-feminist undertones and so I’ve finally compiled them all and I’m ready to ruin the world’s favourite show. Sorry in advance.

Diversity Fails: When will the media learn that a token black person doesn’t instantly make a show diverse anymore. It’s 2017 and still blindingly obvious that the producers have gone ‘ooh looks a bit like a box of Jacob’s crackers at the moment- let’s add Marcel to prevent bad reviews.’ Usually critics of diversity say ‘well maybe the white heterosexual cis person was just the most qualified for the job’ but that doesn’t work here because you literally just need swimwear and a summer without plans to qualify for the show, which I’m sure many people of colour, members of the LGBT+ community and those with different nationalities all had too.

The Frigid/Slag Divide: Jonny broke up with Camilla because after four weeks because she hadn’t done more than kiss him. Seriously? Four weeks really isn’t that long and it sends such a strange message to girls watching the show who could start feeling pressure to washing machine after the first date in case their partner dumps them. Also, why are we placing the ‘frigid’ label on Cam when actually it could be Jonny’s fault- maybe all his dick went into his personality so there wasn’t much left down there for her to play with? The possibilities are endless. Then on the other end of the spectrum you’ve got an internet calling Amber a slag because she had sex a few times (and one of them involved the instant aphrodisiac of a captain’s hat so we can’t even blame her for that one). Ladies! We can all do this whole love thing at our own speeds. There is no morally right way- let’s drop the labels k.  Continue reading

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

A Feminist Watches: Miss Congeniality

I literally didn’t watch films (unless they were Disney) until I was 16, so over the past couple of years I’ve had a lot of chick flick catching up to do, one of these being Miss Congeniality- which, to freak you out a bit, was released in America when I was 20 months old. So. Weird. I’m literally a fetus I swear. It’s about a FBI agent, played by Sandra Bullock,  who has to go undercover in a beauty pageant in order to intersect some kind of terrorist thing, and ngl it’s actually better than I just made it sound, but it still gave me a full house in misogynist bingo. P.S. This contains spoilers.

There are two types of women: You’re rather smart and ugly or pretty and stupid. I know that by the end of the film Bullock is supposed to have demonstrated how you can actually be smart and pretty, but it’s a pretty (see what I’m doing here) weak attempt. The pageant girls lack any depth, which is just so unrealistic like out of 30 girls not all of them are going to be drips. I reckon maybe 10% maximum using the laws of probability. Being pretty/in a pageant/valuing your appearance doesn’t mean you lack all other elements of character, so basically the film created a problem that didn’t need to exist, and therefore Sandy B wouldn’t need to become some kind of Super Hot Wonder Woman-Einstein at the end if they’d just increased the pageant girls’ capacities in the first place.

We Laugh Because SanBul Can’t Do ‘Womanly Things’: Hahaha she doesn’t know the difference between a BeautyBlender and a Real Techniques Miracle Complexion Sponge, what an idiot! We’ve become so accustomed to always seeing women wearing full makeup and completely put together outfits from a vintage capsule wardrobe that it’s actually comic when women can’t live up to these standards. Someone make it stop, please. (Otherwise I’ll cry again like I do on my annual eyeliner attempt when I realise that though another year has passed my skills have not developed at all.) Continue reading

A Feminist Watches: Miranda

I’m watching so much film and TV atm, now that my exams are out the way and so I thought, why not put all those hours to good use in a new blogging series I’m calling ‘A Feminist Watches’ because if I’m honest, sometimes I find it really hard to just enjoy the film without focusing on all the inequalities. I’m not trying to appeal to the stereotype feminism takes the fun out of everything but also… well…

I thought I’d start with my all time favourite female comedian Miranda Hart- and it’s spoiler free. Her show Miranda capital STOLE my heart when I was 10 (sorry, did that make you feel really old) but when I recently re-watched it I realised it wasn’t all such fun. See what I did there? (If the answer is no then you’re probably really going to struggle with the rest of this post so I recommend you phone into work, say you’ve caught a terrible case of existentialist crisis, pop to HMV if it still exists, buy the boxset and spend the rest of the day watching it before returning back to yours truly to understand what I’m actually on about.) On with the post.

Hypermasculinity: Miranda, I love you, but sometimes the way you treat Gary is reallllllly bad. (Why did I address that to Miranda, she is famous, she is busy, Jess she is not I repeat not going to read this.) There’s literally a whole episode where she mocks him for being scared of geese when geese are actually pretty creepy- I learnt the hard way after eating a bread roll in front of a body of water in 2003 and having to retaliate to the car bonnet to prevent being eaten alive by one of the hundred birds that emerged from it. Don’t underestimate the quack, it’s lethal. So, not only is this phobia pretty natural- newsflash: men are scared of things too!- but then there’s another episode (or maybe it’s the same one, I’m such a fake fan) where Gary feels the need to turn into a ‘Geezer’ to stop everyone calling him ‘sweet’. All this does is suggest that men have to wear a string vest and own a power drill to be proper men, which is such BS. I’d way rather have someone affectionate that can cry at Captain Phillips with me, than someone that thinks they need a Cher Lloyd style swagger in order to fit in, so stop scaring all the emotionally vulnerable guys into the gym please! Send them my way instead!

Women. Swoon. At. Everyone: I swear these ladies could come into contact with Donald Trump holding his Muslim Ban in one hand and wotsit wig in the other and still swoon. It presents women as such drippy drips. Plus, no one swoons anymore, the game has changed. If you like them you just snapchat them nudes with the dog filter or something.  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