There are a few things that I love, that I'm very enthusiastic about. Riot Grrrl, feminism, comedy, Monkey Island. But I would never dare call myself a 'fangirl' of anything. Not because I think it's derogatory (fan woman sounds kind of silly) but because a fangirl is, to me, a very specific person that - while I might 'fangirl out' over something - I don't qualify as. She is a woman (or girl) who has great knowledge of something - usually comic based - which she can discuss enthusiastically and will travel great lengths to feed this passion. It might seem extreme to some people who have other passions - but while we might smirk at men who attend Comic Cons and spend huge amounts of money on toys (ACTION FIGURES) and assume they have difficulty meeting women (see Big Bang Theory) we don't hate them.
Recently Washington-based think tank The Pew Research Center revealed the results of their 2013 Global Attitudes survey. They asked 40,117 respondents in 40 countries what they thought about eight topics frequently discussed as moral issues: extramarital affairs, gambling, homosexuality, abortion, premarital sex, alcohol consumption, divorce, and the use of contraceptives. Respondents were asked whether this is morally acceptable, morally unacceptable, or not a moral issue. The findings are not totally surprising. As the Center stated: "African and predominantly Muslim countries tend to find most of these activities morally unacceptable, while in advanced economies, such as those in Western Europe, Japan, and North America, people tend to be more accepting or to not consider these moral issues at all."
To take an arguably 'Caitlin Moran' simplistic, black and white, hairy and bald vulva approach to feminism, let's say you're a woman, with a functioning set of lady bits (I told you we were going Caitlin here for a sec). Let's say that you're a sex worker with a desire to do other things in your professional life (obviously you AREN'T because we're taking the simplistic feminist approach). Let's say you find yourself pregnant. Oh yeah, also you had breast implants. On the NHS. Are you still allowed to have an abortion if you so desire one?
It probably won't surprise you that my answer to that question is...yes. Yes you are. Because I believe in every child being a wanted child and pregnancy is dangerous, even now.
Good Friday to you dear reader! As we begin the Easter celebrations we remember that this religious holiday is about so much more than decorated bonnets, bunnies and egg shaped chocolate. No, Easter is about the resurrection, new life, hope! With the true meaning of Easter on our minds we thought about celebrities (we like to be relevant and 'clickbait' is our watch word) who have fallen by the wayside. Who are too far gone for even the Big Reunion to breathe new life into their careers. Well former celebrities and ex famous people, it's Easter and your career can live again!
Sometimes a word or phrase (or, of course, set of initials for when you tire of forming words - YOLO) you haven't seen before begins to pop up everywhere. You notice it a couple of times but think it unimportant. Then it pops up more and you start to wonder what it is. But, like, not enough to Google it or anything. Then it becomes shorthand for something and finally you find yourself suddenly questioning: WHAT IS THIS NORMCORE?! Oh, it's an "emerging cultural trend". A trend in which you blend in. You're so normal that you are the core of normality and, by extension, anonymity. Although to be anonymous you have to wear one of those masks. There is a whiff of the self congratulatory about Normcore and the wiped clean faces that apparently come with it. Oh don't mind me, I just don't bother with anything frivolous - and for frivolous re: femme.
Surprise! We've come top in something! The great British lion roars again! And he's roaring: "Alright sweetheart, show us your tits!" UN special rapporteur on violence against women Rashida Manjoo has been on a 16 day fact finding mission, travelling across Britain to examine the state of violence against women. And hey! Rashida's been to Algeria, Bosnia, Italy, India, Croatia, Azerbaijan and more but we, us, the UK can lay claim to being the most sexist! FIST BUMP! It's not just how sexist the country is but how we parade it, Rashida says: "Have I seen this level of sexist cultures in other countries? It hasn't been so in-your-face". Are we surprised? Well, yeah. Even those who have experienced high levels of sexism, even avid readers of Everyday Sexism and Edwina Currie expressed surprise and even doubt.
We all have expectations thrust (thrust!) upon us. It's a way to make us keep up with the Joneses and buy stuff. Whether the media is warning women against'Dudeism' and telling men to be grossed out by lady stubble or telling them that Brazilian waxes are kind of D List now or the only way toflaunt your vulva or giving the pallid permission to be pale because a handful of celebrities are while in the same publication announcing it's time to crack out the fake tan, one thing's for sure... you have a stereotype and it's somehow your job to either conform to it or break away from it and whichever way you choose will probably be wrong and we'll all raise our eyebrows. Frankly it would be easier for us all if you'd be quiet, at least until we can come up with a good name for you and what you're doing. Especially if you're a mum. Who also works. Welcome, MUMPRENEUR.
Now, it might look like resident mature student Sue hasn't been doing much studying, more hot tubbing. But she assures us her research is all copy and pasted onto the clipboard...
I have a strange and incredibly irritating rash on my leg which at night drives me to distraction and back. How can something itch so much? And when I eventually succumb and scratch it, the relief is wonderful but sadly short lived. The whole process of "I won't scratch it" sounds loudly in my head; the whole spiral repeats itself in a continuous nightmare of cooling it with ice, wearing gloves, reciting the alphabet backwards as a distraction, until I can stand it no longer and give in to the inevitable once again.
Our attention was recently drawn to the Penis Festival (though Squeamish Kate is convinced she already knew about it. We don't know how or why and nor does she. Perhaps she sensed it). The Festival of the Penis is held once a year in Japan and to the untrained eye looks like a gigantic hen party but it is actually called Kanamara Matsuri, the Festival of the Steel Phallus. Crikey. And really why not? We have come up with some more festival ideas that you should get planning and celebrating...
Cameron has appointed not one person to replace Maria Miller, former Minister for Women and Equality and Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport but two. Miller, who has announced her resignation conveniently before the Prime Minister had to go head to head with Ed Milliband (Which is a shame because I bet Ed had some great, great jokes up his sleeve. Real zingers about Miller's expenses. To be delivered with his excellent timing.) has had her post split between Nicky Morgan and Sajid Javid. New Culture Secretary Sajid Javid has acquired the post of Equalities Minister. This is because Morgan voted against the legalisation of same sex marriage. Or Downing Street made the decision in a champagne haze. We will NEVER KNOW.