Fashionable Feminism

Last Thursday was International  Women’s Day, and for me it was the first year that this day was well and truly celebrated. The majority of social media posts I saw were about International Women’s Day in some way or another, I heard it mentioned several times on the radio and people were talking about it in the office.

However, instead of feeling pleased that the day was finally getting some real recognition, it started to get on my nerves.

Am I the only one who senses an air of ‘jumping on the bandwagon’? The #metoo and Time’s Up movements have been so successful at raising awareness about how far gender equality still has to go. These are fantastic campaigns. But it feels like feminism is the latest trend, like avocados or rose gold homeware.

Anything that gets people noticing how women are kind of equal but not really is a good thing.

But it doesn’t feel genuine. Many IWD articles pointed out the capitalist corporations cashing in on the day, like Brewdog releasing a pink beer and fashion magazines celebrating diverse bodies while simultaneously lowering the self-esteem of women everywhere.

My Facebook friends are a tolerant bunch so I don’t see much sexism from people I actually know. But I see friends of friends mansplaining sexism to women, and comments on articles telling me that, actually, there are more men than women in top positions in most industries because men have the right qualities for these roles and apparently women just don’t have those qualities. (Tell that to Anna Wintour, Malala Yousafzai and Theresa May). There are a lot of feminist articles being posted but you still can’t comment on them without a group of men jumping on you to tell you it’s ‘not all men’.

Feminism is a buzzword at the moment but we are no better off than before. Next year, a new trend will replace it and outspoken women will be silenced all over again.

All in all I don’t really have a point, except that I know I should be happy that IWD received so much recognition this year, but I’m not. I feel like the way it was recognised is damaging. Does anyone else agree? Am I talking nonesense? I don’t really know, I just know something doesn’t feel right. There is something sinister and fake about the way people are currently talking about women’s rights, as if they’re playing at being feminists and could get bored of the game at any moment.

In conclusion, I think I need a break from Facebook.

February Reads 2018.

Lily and the Octopus by Steven Rowley


I’m lucky enough to have found two new favourite books so far this year, Lily and the Octopus being one of them. It’s very unique and sad, and if you’d like to know more about it, here is my review.

Legion by William Peter Blatty

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7 Times the Harry Potter Books Were Problematic.

In a diverse, forward-thinking age, the wonderfully woke generation of so-called millennials are starting to look more closely at the entertainment of the past. Look at the backlash of Friends‘ arrival on Netflix earlier this year. We still love it, but we can no longer ignore the lack of multicultural characters, the ‘token’ lesbian couple or Joey’s constant creepiness. We notice things more, and we won’t stand for the things we’re noticing.

I think it’s great that we’re taking issue with shows like Friends. It shows how much more accepting we are just 20 years later. The world is a scary, discriminatory place, but I genuinely believe my generation is the most tolerant yet and I have high hopes for what it can achieve.

It’s OK to like problematic things. Friends still makes me laugh and cry. We just need to be aware of what’s wrong with it too. With that in mind, I turned my attention to the Harry Potter series.

J. K. Rowling has had some controversial opinions lately, but whatever I think of her keyboard-warrier habit, I do think that the Harry Potter books are not, as a rule, very problematic. However, there are some messed-up moments that I have picked up on as I grow more observant of these attitudes. Here are 7 problematic moments in the Harry Potter franchise.

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Book Review: Lily and the Octopus by Steven Rowley

This is an odd one to try to explain to people.

 Lily and the Octopus is about Ted, who talks to his dachshund, Lily, and thinks he can hear her talking back. It’s unclear whether he genuinely believes she is talking to him, or if it’s just how he copes. At the beginning of the book, Ted notices a tumour on Lily’s head, although he doesn’t name it, instead seeing it as an octopus, which shortly also begins talking to him.


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Theatre Review: Young Frankenstein

It seems all movies make their way to the stage in the end. Young Frankenstein is a welcome addition, as would be much of Mel Brooks’ catalogue, familiar as his films are with raucous laughter and ridiculous songs.


 This musical parody follows the story of Frederick Frankenstein, sceptical descendent of Mary Shelley’s Victor, who visits Transylvania to settle his late grandfather’s estate. While there, he picks up where his grandfather left off to create his very own Creature.

It’s almost too faithful to the original film, not adding much of its own flair. However it works as a stage show and the nostalgia wins out in the end, to the point where the audience are laughing seconds before the best lines. There are moments from the film that really needed changing: a rape that becomes consensual is a backwards idea that could have been updated, instead of copying the film outright.

It is a star-studded cast, and of course Ross Noble’s Igor won the audience’s hearts the moment he stepped – or should we say, skulked – onstage. He added his own flair to the most famous lines (giving the audience some extra giggles during the “walk this way” moment) and, although the role will always belong to Marty Feldman, he is a worthy actor to play the part – though his cockney accent is a little overkill.

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January Reads 2018.

It’s been a good start to 2018 (in reading terms, anyway). I found a brand-new favourite novel in January, and am really enjoying my general attitude towards reading at the moment. Gone are the days of reading a book just so I can write a review/tick it off my TBR/add it to my Goodreads challenge! Now I only read books I really want to read, and I feel so much better for it.

I’ve also tried to be better with my blogging this year, and have scheduled every Monday at 7pm for a weekly post. I did miss last week – oops! I would’ve just posted later in the week but sadly my Macbook doesn’t want to turn on at the moment. Fingers crossed it’s just the battery!

The Power by Naomi Alderman


This won the 2017 Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction so has been on my radar since then. I didn’t read any of the shortlist but from the synopsis this was the one that sparked my interest the most, so I was quite surprised when it won (as my idea of an award-winner is often quite different to that of literary judges). I love the premise behind it: a switcheroo of male and female roles in society, women suddenly finding themselves in the seats of power when they develop the ability to electrocute from their fingertips.

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Book Review: ‘Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine’ by Gale Honeyman.

I should tell you now, this is not a balanced review.

Only the other week, I was telling you I hadn’t found a new favourite book in a whole year and that I hoped 2018 would bring something wonderful. Here we are, not even a month in and I’ve met Eleanor Oliphant, a stoically sensible, socially inept woman disrupting her careful routine and embracing new experiences for the first time in ten years.


It was published back in May (on my birthday – is it fate?) yet it still feels very new and is everywhere in the media, due to recently winning the Costa First Novel Award. The novel already feels timeless so I’m sure there are many more awards to come.

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November & December Reads (2017).

I’d like to say I didn’t read any new books or write any new blog posts in November because I was busy with NaNoWriMo, but that would be a lie. The truth is, I got a puppy whom I wanted to cuddle all the time, and I was just feeling a bit lazy.

Click here to follow Pepper the sausage dog puppy on Instagram!

I re-read lots of books in November, though!

Girl Up by Laura Bates – This is a great introduction to feminism for teenagers and adults alike. It is primarily aimed at girls navigating puberty but anyone can read it; it’s highly accessible and very funny (though rage-inducing at times).

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My Goodreads Year in Books 2017.

Happy New Year!

I love this thing Goodreads do at the end of each year. If you’re not on Goodreads, it’s basically social media for book-lovers, and although it leaves a lot to be desired, it’s a great tool for blogging because you can easily log each book as you finish it. You can also use it to collate the books you want to read (although that doesn’t really work for me) and they do this awesome ‘Year in Books’ tool each year to show what your reading habits have been like for the past 365 days.

I didn’t do a reading challenge this year – I felt it affected my enjoyment of books in 2016. I read 100 books in 2016 but only 37 this year – however I felt a lot less stressed about it! I think this is a fairly accurate representation of my reading habits in general, as I seem to remember it being around that number in 2015 as well.

The shortest book I read in 2017 was Hunger by Susan Hill, a creepy story that wasn’t quite up to scratch for me, not when I’ve come to expect so much from Hill. The longest was Stephen King’s Pet Sematary, which was nothing special either.

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