If you were to ask me to point out my spleen, or gesture to where I reckoned my kidneys were I might be able to give you the notion that I had an E in Biology AS level. I can also, after a night celebrating the 20th anniversary of Withnail & I, gesture to where my liver is. None of this is particularly impressive, though if it looks like I'm showing off it's because I am. These aren't body parts you can see, or necessarily feel so it's understandable that people who aren't medical professionals might be a little iffy on where certain internal vital bits are. Not to worry, just don't perform surgery any time soon, yeah? However when it comes to the vagina, the idea that women fail to identify it is not being modest, it's alarming...
Now that Brangelina have sealed their union officially all totally sympathetic eyes are now on poor Award-winning actress Jennifer Aniston. Well all eyes are on her ring finger. And if they could all eyes would be on her uterus. The tabloids have long monitored the contents of Aniston's uterus. Because she is a uterus toting celebrity woman and the only thing that will truly salve the pain of losing Brad Pitt to Angelina Jolie is surely a baby. Babies solve everything. Plus you guys, how awesome would Jennifer Aniston's maternity wardrobe be? AND this successful, rich actress is not getting any younger. So...y'know. Tick tock Aniston.
It's the future, so where are our jetpacks and flying cars, huh? Well we might not quite be at the utopian dream of being able to create mid-air pile ups to rival those on our motorways, but there's all kinds of crazy advances in science and technology that would probably leave any visitor from the 50s totally discombobulated. We don't just mean the obvious, like how we all just take it for granted now that we carry the internet around in our pockets and can settle arguments by remotely accessing stores of the world's knowledge (even if the knowledge we're searching for is all too-often about which actor played the dad of that girl off that show with the theme tune, you know the one, rather than about, say quantum mechanics or how to build sustainable housing). Nope turns out that some of the more far-fetched sounding pieces of tech are being developed. There's even a prize for anyone who can develop something close to one of the tricorders from Star Trek - and they're getting close. So we wondered, if you could bring any piece of tech from TV or film into daily life what would it be and why?
Since Beyonce has announced her feminism Taylor Swift has realised that feminism is not a girl vs boys playground fight but a great way to court publicity, while fighting for equality. She's not the only one, recently a number of celebrity men have aired their feminist views, Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Ryan Gosling are among the young Hollywood set who happily discuss their support of equal rights and feminism. However, considering many a feminist has been hostile to Beyonce's feminism you might be wondering if, when a woman of colour is not accepted because she's too married, too private and too glitzy, we can possibly accept a high profile male getting on the feminist bandwagon...
This week crown court judge Mary Jane Mowat commented in aninterview given on her retirement as a circuit judge that rape conviction rates would never improve until women stopped drinking so much that they struggle to remember details of their assault. "It is an inevitable fact of it being one person's word against another and the burden of proof being that you have to be sure before you convict. I will also say and I will be pilloried for saying so, but the rape conviction statistics will not improve until women stop getting so drunk." This is a familiar situation, however this is not a case of a person saying women should not drink/wear provocative clothing if they want to avoid rape, but that if they do become the victim of an assault then, as in most criminal cases, a clear memory would work in their favour. Does that make Mowat's comments ok?
When did you learn about the facts of life. I'm not talking death and taxes. Nor do I mean when did you find out life's a bitch and then you die (though if you're asking that then I would have to tell you it was listening to the seminal soundtrack to Dawson's Creek). No you know what I mean. How old were you when you learned about the birds and the bees? About that special hug between a man and a woman who love each other very much? Did a parent tell you? Or did you hear about it in the playground? Or was it watching an educational video in a classroom desperately trying to conceal your appalled shock? The Lib Dems are proposing sex education in schools begin at the age of seven.
Occasionally we receive emails and tweets asking if we have noticed a certain news story or questioning why we haven't addressed such and such. I want to set all your fluttering minds at rest right now and tell you that the buttocks of Nicki Minaj have not escaped our attention. Minaj's butt has earned itself a lot of attention in its own right, and now it's being put centre stage with Minaj's new single Anaconda in an homage to both the thick body type and Sir Mix-a-lot. It's not the musical merit of the track that has got people talking - though I don't think anyone tires of the song I Like Big Butts, but the video which has been described as explicit and some journalists and social network users have registered their dislike of the video content. But why?
Whilst at school we probably all had our own ideas about how the curriculum should go. Maybe summer term dedicated to rounders and winter to design technology? More breaktime? Shorter days? The teachers were probably with you on those ones. Last week the Art Party announced their manifesto to get more art into the school curriculum and "protest against the Tories' philistinism". We have had a think and we would like school to involve more of these things please...
Sometimes I read tweets or inspirational quotes (next to a photo of a sunset, on a beach) or just interview quotes that point out how feminism could, or would benefit everyone. This is not to suggest all the problems of the world would be solved under a matriarchy. It is to suggest that we readdress certain balances and factor in things such as childcare, equal pay and bodily autonomy. I'd like to think this is what we are working towards, the other option of course is that women simply return the general treatment and we see out the end of days trying to out-sexism each other. Sometimes it seems like that's the answer some women have come up with.
Qualifiers. Proof. When we are informed of something we usually demand some kind of proof. This is arguably a sensible way to avoid diet food, unqualified 'doctors' and healing crystals. However sometimes we can be too demanding. In the most sensitive of circumstances. For instance often those suffering from a poor relationship with food report being told they don't look like someone who is. This is dangerous. Then there's the case of domestic abuse. What does someone who is in an abusive relationship look like? Plenty of people will happily tell you exactly what such a person looks like and bruises probably feature in the description. It's easy to forget that abuse can take many forms, which is why the government has begun a consultation for a new criminal offence of domestic abuse that includes non violent behaviour