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

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

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