Ever since I was young, I realised that women were subject to different rules and expectations to men. In secondary school, this was exasperated. When I was in year eight and most of our teachers were on strike, remaining members of staff had the girls undergo a self-defence class. It was boring. The boys, on the other hand, went to play football. When I was sixteen, I was walking home, covered in mud from a trek in the countryside, and two grown men catcalled me from their car. When I was in Sixth Form, we had an assembly in which our teachers scare-mongered us about the dangers of sending photos of an explicit nature online. I recall a few times when photos were leaked, where the women received backlash from their peers and the men who leaked them got off Scott-free. And throughout my time at school, I was slapped by the hands of too many men, pushed about, and had my wrists and arms twisted, even as I approached and entered adulthood. I quickly realised that school was a breeding ground for rape culture and violence against women. Continue reading Sex-Based Harassment: What Men Can Do to Help Stop Sexual Harassment Against Women
It has been a year of actively avoiding physical touch. When we walk through the supermarket we duck and dodge the elderly ladies with inexplicable death wishes, we cringingly recoil from welcoming hugs offered by old (and apparently stupid) friends, and, like Lady Macbeth, we relentlessly scrub at the library desk before we sit down to prevent touching others by proxy. So, it only makes sense that touching sexual partners has somewhat lost its appeal. Continue reading Coping with Lockdown Libido Loss
Everyone’s Invited, the Instagram page that everyone is talking about. Over 32,000 people to be exact. The page, created by 22-year-old Soma Sara, is a much-needed space designed for everyone and anyone to call out rape culture. The testimonials section, where people can anonymously publish their experiences as either a witness to or victim of rape culture has, finally and rightly, brought the engrained culture of misogyny out from the well-concealed enclaves of schools and universities. Continue reading #Everyone’sInvited – The Clue is in the Name
Is ‘Vanilla’ the new ‘Frigid’? Having now been on TikTok for a while I was unsurprised when a section of the app called KinkTok or FreakTok came under fire in a recent VICE article by Lucy Robinson, and 19-year old Lily, interviewed for the piece, made this link between the terms. This thriving subculture on the app may have originally started as a safe place for the Kink community to share experiences and tips but it has recently been overrun with some very problematic and even dangerous content. Some of the top videos in this community often cover knife play, choking and rough sex of all levels and there have been frequent instances of the term ‘Vanilla’ being used as an insult. This term may not be familiar to those not in the kink community or in the younger generations, but we will all be familiar with the insult ‘Frigid’, a fan favourite of secondary school boys everywhere. But really, what is wrong with liking non-kinky sex? Continue reading Is Vanilla the New Frigid: TikTok and Coercion
The term “love languages” was first coined by Dr. Gary Chapman in his book The Five Love Languages: The Secret to Love that Lasts (1992). The book remains influential, having sold more than twelve million copies since its original publication. A lot of us will have heard the term “love languages” being used in the media in some way, but what are they and how do we use them? Continue reading What are “Love Languages”?
As part of RAZZ’s SHAG Week, Caitlin Barr had the privilege of interviewing creator Kia, the founder of the queer owned UK business Nudes By Kia, which turns “people’s own nudes into wearable art”. Caitlin and Kia spoke about the genesis of their business, and why they think that reclaiming and celebrating your body is so important. Their discussion follows: Continue reading Interview: Kia from Nudes By Kia
From the very dawn of my sexual journey I experienced pain. I will never forget him touching me and repeatedly demanding, “does it hurt? Does it hurt?!”. I felt too afraid to say yes. Was I exaggerating? Maybe it was because it was my first sexual experience; I’d heard stories of people bleeding and hymens getting torn, so perhaps this was normal. Fast forward a year and I was out of what I recognise now to have been an abusive relationship and enveloped in the warming embrace of my loving boyfriend, who actually knew what he was doing in the bedroom because he listened. But yet, despite the pleasure I felt during foreplay, penetrative sex would not work. Not even a bit. Biologically I was ready, mentally and emotionally I was ready, yet every single time we attempted penetrative sex it was like hitting a brick wall. It made me feel like a freak: how could my body betray me like this? Continue reading Controlling Our Narratives: Overcoming Pain During Sex
Many of those who identify as bisexual will be intimately familiar with the stigma and fetishisation that comes hand in hand with our sexual identity. Whether you are out to friends and family or not, the world cannot seem to end its fixation with bisexuality, and specifically bisexual womxn. For many mxn, a bisexual womxn is the gateway to a fantasy land of hypersexuality where anything goes. But how did we end up here? Continue reading Stop Fetishising My Sexuality
Domestic services have been drastically affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. A report by Women’s Aid titled ‘A Perfect Storm’ details the extent of this. 61% of respondents said, “the abuse had worsened” and 68% of respondents said, “they felt they had no one to turn to during lockdown”. Women’s Aid Chief Executive Nicki Norman explained how “women’s domestic abuse support services were already facing a funding crisis when the pandemic hit. They had little or no financial resilience to meet the unprecedented challenges posed by COVID-19”, and she went on to state “at a time when public services are diverted by COVID-19, the need for specialist domestic abuse services has never been more critical”. Continue reading Interview: RAZZ x Recognise RED
It has become a recurring joke that women will only date men over 6ft. But are women really that bothered about height? Or has the media and dating apps programmed us to be that shallow? The concept of women being supposedly “preoccupied” with height got me thinking and certainly opened up a multitude of questions. Continue reading “6ft and Over”: Does it Really Matter?