I think if someone is part of a project or show you love it's hard to separate them from it. If they happen to air opinions that are similar to yours your fandom grows. They say they like cookies, omigoodness you like cookies. They call themselves a feminist, you call yourself a feminist. They say they don't like dressing the same as a set of women they disapprove of, you don't like dressing the same as a set of women you disapprove of. It's easy to get carried away and a recent interview between Hadley Freeman and Rashida Jones seems like a good case for this. The talented and intelligent Rashida Jones of the hilarious Parks & Recreation recently tweeted the hashtag #stopactinglikewhores with regard to how starlets dress and whether or not they have pants on.
I don't know what sizzurp is, or I didn't, thanks to the Daily Mail and Justin Bieber now I do. For those who don't the ever usefulUrban Dictionary says it is Promethazine and Codeine syrup mixed with any fruit flavoured soda and a jolly rancher - for taste. Maybe a sugary buzz. There are strict instructions for this concoction to be put in a Styrofoam cup. Not plastic, not glass, Styrofoam. Why? I don't know. But apparently if you drink this you will enjoy the sensation of "euphoria...motor skill impairment, lethargy, and extreme drowsiness." Quite the roller coaster of feelings.
Perhaps it is best to just be a half-assed feminist than any other kind of feminist. To dip in and out as and when. Sometimes it's a light-hearted piss take, on occasion a sincere feminist call to arms. Get it wrong? Oh well what do you expect, I never said I was anything more than a half-assed feminist. Beyonce has made the mistake of saying she was a feminist, not a half-assed feminist. Bringing up that question we've been asking for years, can you be a feminist and married to Jay Z?
It is difficult, being a self-confessed feminist in the public eye - half-assed or no. Because feminists often feel like they have to take what they can get celebrity or public figure-wise and therefore expect famous feminists to adhere to their own personal form of feminism.
On a commute, reading over someone's shoulder (yes I am that person) I saw that Exeter University had the privilege of having the horniest student attend their place of learning. Elina Desaine won the title and Â£500 from theshagatuni, the UK's naughtiest student hook up site. While I did roll my eyes and fail to think 'congratulations Elina' I naively didn't expect repercussions. Having attended uni in the mid 2000s I know uni life is not the out-dated stereotype of politically aware young adults with bohemian tendencies, at my uni someone calling herself 'Boobs' ran for a union post and allegedly the football team infected each other with Chlamydia by drinking each others piss.
However Exeter University says that Elina's win has "brought reputational damage to the university" and risks being removed from her studies or fined Â£500. Elina says she entered the competition as a joke and while no doubt she and the site holding the competition knew it would garner reaction - why do it otherwise? It's worth wondering if the reaction would be the same if a man had won the competition.
We recently learned that it has been confirmed (confirmed!) that the male and female brain are totes different. Ragini Verma, a researcher at the University of Pennsylvania, commented that the findings support stereotypes such as the idea (now fact) that the male brain is made up of slugs, snails and puppy dog tails and the female brain is sugar and spice and multitasking. "If you look at functional studies, the left of the brain is more for logical thinking, the right of the brain is for more intuitive thinking. So if there's a task that involves doing both of those things, it would seem that women are hardwired to do those better...Women are better at intuitive thinking. Women are better at remembering things. When you talk, women are more emotionally involved - they will listen more."
Agency. It seems that women are continually infantalized. It's not just the constant marketing barrage for anti-ageing products, the popularity of Hello Kitty and baby pink with grown women nor the raging desire to talk about how many sleeps it is until Christmas. There's nothing wrong in any of that - provided you really like Hello Kitty, it's nothing to do with me. No, it is the constant demand that women second guess themselves. Oh you came to that conclusion yourself? Maybe have another think about it then. Not even a patronising 'well done you', well nuts to you patriarchy (see what I did there? Nuts! No?). Women who demonstrate agency seem to be required to constantly explain and defend themselves.
You can try to ignore it, say you don't celebrate it, make sure you have to work come the day â telling everyone you don't mind, because New Years Eve is more your thing. But Christmas approaches and with it various articles full of gift ideas. Which you might briefly skim. Gosh I bet you're tired of it all. Wouldn't you rather read about who isn't getting what this year? How aboutRebecca Atkinson's daughter, who will not be getting her yearned for gift this year.
Atkinson's 4 year old daughter wants to bring a monster from her mother's own childhood into the family home. "Now I'm a parent and my four-year-old daughter is counting down the days until Christmas. "What are you hoping for?" I asked her. "A Barbie," she said. Like the school friend who pops up on Facebook after 30 years, Barbie is banging on the door to come back into my life. Only this time, I'm not so sure I want her."
Britney started it, back in 1999. A pop star who not only wasn't having sex, but had never had sex (not like that Christina Aguilera, oh that genie had been out of the bottle before you could just TELL), we might have heard rumours about the virginity of the virgin princess of pop but she definitely started a craze with her sexy dancing sex riot moves. And it's a weird one. One that people blame the state of teenage girls self esteem on, teen pregnancy rates and STDs are dragged into the matter too. The sexy pop video, that from 1999 onwards has just got sexier.
This week we have been dividing ourselves into teams. Are you #TeamNigella? I note there isn't much of a #TeamSaatchi, even though I wouldn't join it, but I'm not sure I'm #TeamNigella either. I am wary of a woman who tried to casually insert the phrase 'Christmas welcome table' into the English Christmas lexicon,and messes about with perfectly good sprouts. I am #TeamAntiDomesticViolence but that takes up a lot of my 140 Twitter characters and apparently that isn't the focus. Whether or not you like Nigella is.
This week in a case unrelated to Nigella Lawson and Charles Saatchi's divorce allegations have come out concerning Nigella and her alleged drug use. The TV chef's two former assistants, sisters Francesca and Elisabetta Grillo have been accused of fraud by Saatchi for misappropriating over Â£300,000 which they spent on designer clothes and plane tickets.
It is inviting sighs and lots of 'everyone has written about this today' comments and statements of how bored Twitter is already of this. But while I have seen a few blogs and tweets being quick off the mark to note the problems with Lily Allen's new video, I have seen far more tweets, blogs, comments and articles celebrating it. Both sides (and it does come down to 'sides', nothing divides like pop culture) seem to be touting feminism. So why the divide?
The video opens with Lily apparently undergoing some sort of cosmetic surgery in order to make her figure suitable for this comeback. It's witty, as a middle aged man wonders how someone can even allow themselves to get like that Lily mumbles that she's had 2 babies. So far, so funny.