I picked up the copy of Girl Up from the airport recently and was met with the cashier shouting “Girl Power!” with a air punch followed by the best review you’d ever want in a book store “We love this book in here. You are going to really enjoy it!” – Now I’m sure they say that to all the books but this really felt sincere. Lets face it, who wouldn’t love a book that promises feminist limericks, colour-by-numbers genitalia and dancing vaginas (hence my featured image of choice!)
In an attempt to broaden my reading and fuel the fire to my feminist nature I picked up a new book that became not only an eye opener but changed my perspectives on so many things. I’d only ever read one feminist book prior to this one. I reviewed ‘I Call Myself a Feminist’ late last year.
Staring off as a social media project back in 2012 The Everyday Sexism Project is the first book I have ever come across that talks about real issues rather than ignoring the facts or simply overlooking what is now becoming (and has always been) an everyday occurrence for women and girls across the world. The twitter handle is still very active. I urge you to have a gander, you can find them @EverydaySexism.
Don’t let any blood hold you back – the new Body Form tag line that really got my back up in the Cinema this week.
In our very own impromptu and off the cuff focus group on Tuesday evening I can tell you quite honestly that this new advert you’ve got going on doesn’t work.
Why wouldn’t you want to be a woman?
We see a number of very strong, beautiful, sweaty women partaking in their sport of choice. From boxing to ballet, running to rock climbing, all are fit, and very well presented and then in some way each one falls or stumbles, gets hit or scuffs a knuckle which makes them bleed. Be it Sally* who takes a punch to the head, Sophie* who falls and cuts her shin on a branch or Simone* the gracious ballet star whose feet resemble a frankenstien creation (*names completely made up).
I’m not knocking the sentiment of ‘its not how many times you get knocked down but the number of times you get back up’ mantra from Mr Balboa who happens to be a very philosophical being whom we should all pay more attention to. And then the advert ends with this…
I read in the papers recently, like many others, about the lady who was forced by armed police to remove her Burkini on a beach in Nice and then fined £32. The story sickened me to see this woman so public humiliated but it raised more questions with me the angrier I got.
As a non-practicing Christian the religious argument of having to cover ones face from the world has always been lost on me. Rather than hiding a woman’s body from the prying eyes of men we should be teaching men not to have such prying eyes. There is no mention of the burqa in Islamic texts such as the Qur’an, it is in theory the wearers choice and I like to think that a lot of women who do choose to cover their face do so of their own will. The ‘Burkini’ is a relatively new garment invented in 2004 by Aheda Zanetti and has received some traction in the press as of late. Far from the bikini it takes its name from, it is impossible to think of any other way to wear the religious dress and still go swimming.
I think I can safely say I’ve been a feminist for all of my life I just didn’t realise that was what it was called until recent years.
Blessed with two very supportive parents I have always been encouraged to follow my dreams, try whatever I wanted and be whoever I wanted to be. I guess I was lucky as a child. My gender never came in to my life decisions and there has never been any ‘expectations’ placed upon me from the person I am. Its for this reason that made me so passionate about other women being held back or controlled and so vehemently against the oppression of others.
To me feminism is the striving for every woman to have every opportunity. For me opportunity should be earned on merit and all successes equally celebrated and if you are genuinely good enough, I don’t think ones gender should be a limitation or indeed a factor at all. I see Gender Equality and Feminism in a very similar light. I don’t think men should be judged by their gender before any other attribu
te in the same way that not all builders are men and not all secretaries are women.
I like to think that my generation sees the world a little more ‘gender-less’ we don’t see these things first as a precursor for our opinions. I don’t look at someone and see their sex as a determiner as to my expectations.
Equal access to education choices, equal job prospects, equal pay. Things are shit for women but we have come a long way, we tend to get the worse end of deal in many respects but change is coming about. I’ve been lucky but I’ve been unappolgetically hard working. I think that every girl born shouldn’t have to fight her way to a level playing field.
I guess really feminism to me means giving everyone the equal access to opportunities I had and helping people to raise their confidence to grasp them when they arise.