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Reviews in Retrospect: All About Love by bell hooks

“Without justice there can be no love.” There’s something incredibly special about a book that is both politically powerful yet therapeutic, both critical and healing. bell hooks’ 1999 book All About Love: New Visions is one of these. Exploring the psychological and social complexities of love in the modern world, bell hooks offers “a hopeful, joyous vision of love’s transformative power.” She shares incredible critical insight about a wide range of topics: the patriarchal values that shape relationships, the harmful connotations of the ideal family, and how male-written self-help books often feed into women’s insecurities, rather than boosting their confidence. All About Love is a genuinely helpful read — one that can revolutionise your thinking about the wider world and give realistic advice about caring for yourself and others in everyday life. Continue reading Reviews in Retrospect: All About Love by bell hooks

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Defiant, Self-Aware, Accessible Feminism: Why you should read Florence Given’s ‘Women Don’t Owe You Pretty’

Florence Given’s book Women Don’t Owe You Pretty (2020) has been The Sunday Times bestseller for ten weeks in a row now, and it’s no surprise why. Continue reading Defiant, Self-Aware, Accessible Feminism: Why you should read Florence Given’s ‘Women Don’t Owe You Pretty’

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Bodyform’s ‘Womb Stories’ Campaign and De-Stigmatising Menstruation

Since I was about sixteen, I’ve been passionate about de-stigmatizing periods. I used the Clue app religiously and showed it to all my friends at school, including the boys. I talked about periods loudly and graphically. I didn’t care if that made boys feel uncomfortable. I had confidence about my periods. They made me feel powerful and were an important part of my identity as a young woman. Because of my contraception, I don’t have periods anymore. My female friends are usually jealous of me when I tell them this, but I actually miss them; they’re a sign that everything’s ticking over and working properly. They’re completely healthy and natural, so why is there such a big stigma surrounding them? Continue reading Bodyform’s ‘Womb Stories’ Campaign and De-Stigmatising Menstruation

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Uncovering the Rainbow, Re-examining History from a Queer Perspective

It is well known that history is written by the victors. The individuals in power are sculptors, who mould events and entire periods to reflect beneficially upon themselves. Despite facts being concrete, sometimes textbooks and the literary canon shatter these, acting like rose tinted glasses, constructed to distort the reality of the past. The triumph of those in power is carved into time, while the stories of minorities are left to decay and swept under the carpet when their accounts are deemed unacceptable for future generations. This is so often the case for the LGBTQ+ community. Continue reading Uncovering the Rainbow, Re-examining History from a Queer Perspective

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Dipsea: Closing the Orgasm Gap

The first time I watched porn I was fourteen. I remember being squished in with friends, staring at a small laptop and feeling pretty unconvinced by what I saw. It was violent and certainly didn’t look enjoyable for the woman. It wasn’t until I came across Dipsea that I felt I had found erotica that catered to what I wanted. Founded in 2018 by Gina Gutierrez and Faye Keegan, the app is designed by women, for women and offers advice, self-pleasure sessions and audio stories. Continue reading Dipsea: Closing the Orgasm Gap

Flesh and Femininity: How Body Horror in Raw Externalises Female Sexual Awakening

Julia Ducournau’s directorial debut Raw follows 16-year-old Justine as she attempts to navigate the complexities of becoming a woman alongside her newfound and unconventional desires. Coming from a high-achieving family of entirely vets and vegetarians, Justine is ready to start her first year at vet school, where her older sister, Alexia, also studies. During some time-honoured and intense hazing rituals, the ‘rookies’ are drenched in pigs’ blood (Carrie, anyone?) and forced to eat raw rabbit kidneys as a form of initiation. After eating meat for the first time, unexpected consequences emerge as Justine is overcome with an all-consuming craving for human flesh. Continue reading Flesh and Femininity: How Body Horror in Raw Externalises Female Sexual Awakening

Pride Culture Comforts: Pride (2014)

One of the best LGBTQ+ films to come out of Britain in the last decade, Pride tells the true story of the Lesbians and Gays Support the Miners (LGSM) organisation who financially and publicly supported mining communities during the strikes of the ‘80s. Centring itself round the Gay’s the Word bookshop – which is still going in London to this day – this movie has … Continue reading Pride Culture Comforts: Pride (2014)

Why Princess Cyd Is So Refreshing in Exploring Female Sexuality

Princess Cyd is available to watch for free on Kanopy. It is a common trope in a lot of media that women’s self-worth is tied to their sexuality. They are judged for how old they are; how often they have sex, and whether they have sex with men, women or both. Furthermore, all too often female characters are punished for their exploits in contradictory ways. … Continue reading Why Princess Cyd Is So Refreshing in Exploring Female Sexuality