Feminist Problems With Parenting

I’m the first one to criticise, well, everything, but having a little brother has made me realise how much I hate the default setting on the remote control of parenting. It’s rare that you get to witness a child being brought up- when they’re your own you’re often oblivious to the faults in your parenting or when it’s someone else’s child you don’t see them enough to establish what their parenting is like- so as sister with an age gap big enough to fit both Trump’s ego and hair, I feel like I’m in a pretty unique position. Here are some things I hate, from a feminist perspective, about modern parenting.

The Boys Wear Blue, Girls Wear Pink BS: My stepmum refused to dress her son in a purple jumper the other day because she didn’t want him to be mistaken for a girl. Like, seriously? Personally, I really hate the colour purple (I’m not a fan of the film either but I’ll take that out on Spielberg not you) so I don’t want to try too hard to defend it, but the fact you control what your child wears based on the fact they might be seen to be feminine just shows how fragile masculinity is. What’s so intrinsically important about the gender of your child that you place it above their comfort and freedom of choice? If bab wants to wear the purple jumper then let him look like a bar of Dairy Milk for the day.

And while we’re on the subject of clothing, would it not just be 13x easier for all babies to wear dresses, instead of having to unbutton the shirt, take off the trousers (I saw a mother with a baby wearing dungarees the other day and the impracticality burnt my eyes), undo the baby grow, etc. Stick ‘em in a dress, lift it up, change the nappy, done. Faff free. Until you realise you’ve left the Sudocrem at home. Again. Continue reading

Sexual Harassment at Work

I’ve just finished my final shift at my first paid job, working part time reducing out of date food for a supermarket. My general experience was faultless– I just want to establish that before I begin (so that this doesn’t affect me reapplying in the future) (and also so that, if you do know who I worked for, you don’t judge them). Blady loved my job. I quit because I had to study, not because of what I’m about to discuss.

Because I was both the youngest and fresh out the employment oven I suddenly became exposed to this world of sexual harassment. I was already familiar with catcalling (often when I was in my school uniform- not weird at all), everyday sexism and the occasional I’m-just-going-to-fall-asleep-in-your-lap-don’t-mind-me on the subway, but I had no idea what kind of timber ft Pitbull was going down in the workplace.

The company I worked for treated men and women almost perfectly equally- the ratio of female:male managers was pretty even and their wages were the same. The only difference was that the women’s shirts had waaay less buttons which left our necks more exposed and exemplified the huge colour difference between my orange foundation and chalk white neck. Oh and we didn’t get ties. As someone who blady loves a tie, this sucked. But, as much as I don’t want to justify their tailoring, these differences are so engrained in society that the company probably doesn’t even realise there’s anything wrong with them. So I’ll let that one lie.  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

Period Perks

I feel like everyone hates periods. And this makes me really sad because, although they’re messy, painful, inconvenient, expensive, and considered taboo pretty much everywhere, I’m a big fan. Often it seems people overlook the joys of menstruating, so here’s a cheeky reminder of the period perks.

Period Boobs: Are the bomb. For 25 days of the month I’m looking in the mirror wondering how there are falafels bigger than my boobs and then bam my period hits and I have five days of feeling like Emily Ratajkowski in the Blurred Lines music video. Obviously the transformation isn’t that huge, but to me it feels like the Kylie Jenner boob job drama all over again. Who needs surgery when you can just menstruate instead?

Having An Excuse Not To Do Anything: Fuck all those articles that are like studies show that women who exercise for 62 hours a day whilst menstruating reduce their PMS symptoms by 3% (we all know that sociologists are probably just meninists in disguise anyway) because periods are the perfect excuse to sit on the sofa eating Ben and Jerry’s and catching up on the box set that you’ve managed to become two seasons behind on- cough cough Game of Thrones. Plus it means that every time you’re asked to contribute to housework or homework you can just clutch your stomach and maybe dramatically let a menstrual cup fall out your pocket and soon people will get the hint that you’re out of action for the next few days. Or weeks, depending on how long you milk it.  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