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: 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

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

Should We Support Ivanka Trump?

Headlines from the past few days make it apparent that Trump’s eldest daughter has been suffering from her father’s election:

‘Sales of Ivanka Trump apparel slumped at Nordstrom’

‘Upset with Trump the President, consumers boycott Trump the brand’

‘More companies drop Ivanka Trump products’

Here we see a female entrepreneur- a breed which is unfortunately still rare in the modern world- having her business boycotted due to the actions of the men in her life. On paper it’s a feminist’s nightmare, but in practice I think it’s pretty justified.

Don’t get me wrong, as a rule of thumb judging women for the actions of the men orbiting them is a no-go, but in this case, to blame men for the entirety of her demise just isn’t accurate. It’s not about boycotting Ivanka because of Donald’s actions (first name terms amiright), it’s about boycotting Ivanka because of her own. Or should I say lack of. Because yes, he is her father, and yes it would be blady awkward at their next family Thanksgiving if she publicly condemns his behaviour, but it’s still her choice not to do so. To deny that she has a choice is, as Sartre aka King Of My Heart describes it, ‘bad faith’. Continue reading

8 Thoughts we all had during the Women’s March

The Women’s March was the best thing to happen for feminism in ages, but as photos flooded in, news teams documented the events and Piers Morgan continued trolling, what were we really thinking as the protests unfolded? Here are 8 thoughts we all had during the Women’s March. (Image courtesy of Katie my favourite slice of cake who can be found on Instagram @katiec2210)

Why can’t I stop crying? Oh I know, maybe because this is the most amazing thing I’ve ever witnessed: 600,000 people in Washington, 200,000 in LA, 200,000 in New York City, 100,000 in London plus thousands in Amsterdam, Paris, Melbourne, Mexico City etc. all letting Trump know that misogyny isn’t cool. No, the marches aren’t going to get him out of office (RIP Ending Climate Change), but they sent the president the memo that people power is at the heart of democracy. Cue non-waterproof mascara steaming down my face.

Why hasn’t someone gagged Piers Morgan yet? And no I don’t mean in a sexy, fifty shades of grey kind of way, I mean stuck a bed sock in his mouth and taped his fingers together to stop him from tweeting or speaking or even thinking. Obviously, I value freedom of speech and so I enjoy reading different perspectives but Morgs has a habit of just spewing out his view without any consideration for others. Like a kind of potato-faced volcano. I think gagging him is justified. Continue reading

Anti-Feminist Guilty Pleasures

I’ve realised that I’m probably a misogynist. I’ve also realised that that’s probably okay.

I have the tendency to endorse rather anti-feminist things, which are important to address if we want to beat this (fifty shades of) grey area in feminism. People think that in order to be Queen Feminist you have to reject all the meaty bits of society and replace them with Quorn alternatives- but this doesn’t have to be the case. After all, we can’t all be perfectly pro-gender equality all the time, right? So, to deblur the lines of this black and white view of feminism, I thought I’d share some of my misogynistic guilty pleasures.

Fetty Wap/ the song that’s like *heavy trap beat* IN MA ROOOOM with a human centipede-esque ring of naked women on the album cover/ rap in general: It’s like, I know that saying ‘I made that bitch famous’ is both incredibly degrading and wildly inaccurate however it’s also blady catchy. It’s not fair to make such an absolute banger that you only realise it violates your human rights on your fifth listen because the four previous times you were slut-dropping too hard to hear the lyrics.

Fifty Shades Of Grey: Many feminists hate it. And to an extent I get it. The book does glamorise a relationship in which consent isn’t a thing and sexual dominance inaccurately urban sprawls into everyday life (causing me to do the cringey claw hands every time I’m asked to reduce anything on the same aisle as the vanilla ice cream). But this collection of readable porn pages became a bestseller and that’s so blady cool because it shows how many women wanted something like this. Men can discuss sex all they want but for women it’s a topic that’s considered unladylike and then BAM along comes (literally) Anastasia Steele telling us where it’s at.  Continue reading