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

Why Wonder Woman Is The One

Wonder Woman, otherwise known as THE ONEder Woman, made me feel empowered af. I can’t even describe the mix of tears and happiness I had emerging from the cinema. I’ve never left feeling so good about myself and my capacity- and also so hopeful that other directors will learn from Patty Jenkins and take some tips from her about the male gaze and how to treat women in film. Here are some spoiler free reasons why I loved it so much:

Women fighting each other was one of those things that I never realised I needed to see until I saw it. Yes OITNB has some catfights, and- as long as said woman has a pixie cut- Game Of Thrones is in, but a full on female battle is something that I’m pretty sure has never been done on screen before. Well there’s probably like warrior porn out there if you looked hard enough but you know what mean. Normally women are considered too ladylike to fight, and if they do then the director gives them nothing but a really sexy blood stain in the shape of a dick on their forehead to show for it. This was refreshing af. 

The guy stands up for WW when she’s catcalled. Okay it’s like a 10 second exchange but the fact the director acknowledged how women are treated in the real world and then, not only translated that into a film but also, showed what men can do to diffuse the situation is so important. Feminism isn’t always about women standing up for themselves independently, sometimes men will only listen to other men, so the fact Chris Pine confronts them is such an important step in educating men on how to help women in gross catcally situs. 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

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

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