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Framing Britney Spears: The Faustinian Fall of the Female Celebrity

I am of the generation who’s resounding image of Britney Spears is 2008’s “Breakdown Britney”. Even in 2017 this image was regurgitated with an onslaught of online memes relating to Britney’s “breakdown” to, once again, remind the world of the media constructed “crazy woman”. They are given the same tragic and inevitable fall like those designed for men of early modern plays but, unlike those … Continue reading Framing Britney Spears: The Faustinian Fall of the Female Celebrity

The Business of Patriarchal Passion: How the Porn Industry has let Women Down

Womxn and the pornography industry have always had a tumultuous relationship as both consumers and active participants in the creation of videos. It is no secret that womxn masturbate, but society treats it like the biggest secret since the illuminati. As sexually active people, those who identify as womxn seem to face stigma at every turn. Whether it is the act of masturbation or having … Continue reading The Business of Patriarchal Passion: How the Porn Industry has let Women Down

Black Feminist Books That Should be on Your Bookshelf

Feminist literature is a category that takes up a huge amount of space on my bookcase. It is one of my primary interests when reading for pleasure or when picking modules within my degree. Considering the importance of intersectional feminism and inclusivity in what we read and how we educate ourselves, it is extremely important to diversify our bookshelves. As there are simply too many amazing Black feminist writers to mention in this article, including Toni Morrison, Maya Angelou, Zora Neale Hurston, Claudia Rankine and Warsan Shire to name a few, I have instead decided to list three of my favourite Black feminist writers to get you started. The first being one of my favourite authors who I believe to be a fantastic starting point in your reading, the second is a recent read that I loved, and the final recommendation is the next book that I am planning on reading that I have heard amazing things about. Continue reading Black Feminist Books That Should be on Your Bookshelf

Palatable Feminism Doesn’t Owe You Accountability

At the start of December 2020, social media influencer, writer and artist Florence Given came under fire for seeming to have replicated the work and message of Chidera Eggerue (whose online moniker is The Slumflower). The initial accusation came from Eggerue herself, who posted a series of Instagram stories talking through what she perceived to be similarities in their books (Given’s Women Don’t Owe You Pretty and Eggerue’s What a Time to Be Alone and How to Get Over a Boy). These included the cover style, some of the snappy phrases Given utilises (most notably “Dump Him”), and the self-illustrated, ‘coffee-table’ vibe of the book. Eggerue called for accountability from Given, and some redistribution of profits both to her and the other Black women Given credited in the afterword of her book, stating “Black women’s ideas generate wealth for white people. But that wealth doesn’t go to our community.” Radio silence followed from Given’s usually very active Instagram, until a few days later when she posted a statement via her Instagram, attempting to explain her side of the story. She pointed out that Eggerue had “ethusiastically” endorsed Women Don’t Owe You Pretty, and that it would have been impossible for her to read How to Get Over a Boy before handing in her manuscript for her own book. She cited her own previous work and drawing style, as well as her long-term interest in feminist thinking and the ways in which it has inspired her art. She also said she had donated a chunk of her advance to Black Minds Matter, a UK charity aiming to provide Black people with free care from Black therapists. Black Minds Matter has refused an offer of a further donation. Continue reading Palatable Feminism Doesn’t Owe You Accountability

Why Sex Toys Continue to be Devices for Women’s Empowerment

Female masturbation has always been a taboo subject. And the only way to overcome taboo is by talking about that thing. So, let’s talk about it. Sex toys are important not only because they cataylse a conversation about a topic which women often feel ashamed to talk about, but they are also an active agent in taking control of sexual pleasure. Nothing signifies female empowerment better than being able to orgasm on your own, wherever and whenever you want (within reason, of course). Continue reading Why Sex Toys Continue to be Devices for Women’s Empowerment

Boobs and Books: How Women Often get Told They Can Only Have One or the Other

When Emily Ratajkowski’s interview with French Marie Claire in 2018 went viral this year, I don’t expect many women were all that surprised by its contents. The writer Thomas Chatterton Williams was shocked to learn that the now 29-year-old model and actress was writing a series of essays about the modelling industry and commodification, because apparently you can’t have boobs AND brains in the twenty-first century. Ratajkowski is sadly not the only victim of the sexist trope, that conventionally attractive women are not intelligent, and any signs of intelligence are merely a ploy to seem even more attractive to men. Time and time again, famously beautiful women are mocked for having an interest in politics, literature or anything other than material items. But this issue doesn’t end with just the famous ladies out there, it trickles down even more potently to all levels of society. Continue reading Boobs and Books: How Women Often get Told They Can Only Have One or the Other

Reproductive Justice: An Urgent Guide

As the 2020 US election has approached, the reproductive rights of American women have once again been called into question by the anti-abortion rhetoric in the power centres of the United States. Donald Trump and the majority of the Republican Party are vocally pro-life, while Democrat candidate Joe Biden is pro-choice and pledges to keep access to abortion safe and legal if he is elected this November. Abortion is one of the most divisive issues in American politics right now; 46% of Trump’s supporters and 35% of Biden’s state it as a ‘very important’ factor in how they will vote in this election. Continue reading Reproductive Justice: An Urgent Guide

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’

A Man’s World? Women Snubbed Once Again at Golden Globe Awards

It’s that time of year again – the Golden Globe Awards. Now, in the film-making industry this should be a time for excitement and celebration. However, with the recent release of the Golden Globe nominations, it is clear that talented women behind the camera continue to find their creative voices silenced and their work undermined and shut out. It is nearly 2020, a new decade, and yet there are still no females nominated for Best Screenplay or for Best Direction Awards. Stacy Smith, the founder of USC’s Annenberg Inclusion Initiate stated that the Golden Globes is limited in its ‘lopsided view of talent that fosters the longevity of male directors over their female peers’. Hollywood is overwhelmingly a male sector, and with these nominations, it seems that the Golden Globes’ objective is to perpetuate that. Continue reading A Man’s World? Women Snubbed Once Again at Golden Globe Awards

Review: Fleabag @ The National Theatre Live

There’s a little bit of Fleabag in everyone. It was this, as well as an increased obsession with Phoebe Waller-Bridge’s written genius that I took away from the NT production of “Fleabag” on 12 September. Being a student, I couldn’t afford the £70 train down to London, as much as I wanted to; instead I watched the live streaming at my local cinema. The experience was nothing short of captivating. It was in Phoebe’s use of minimalistic visuals, a single chair encapsulated in darkness with one interrogative yet feeble light above her, that Fleabag’s garish anecdotes invited almost a safe space, for the audience to laugh both at her, and in reflection, at their own selves, with the comfort of knowing that being a ‘greedy, perverted, selfish, apathetic, cynical, depraved, morally bankrupt woman who can’t even call herself a feminist’ is okay. Continue reading Review: Fleabag @ The National Theatre Live