Holidays have always been when I do most of my reading. As a child, the highlight of my year was going to Waterstones to pick up that summer’s reads – and as an adult, I’m no different. Unless you’re going on a city break, holidays should – in my eyes – be for sleeping, eating, drinking and reading (in whichever order you so desire). My holiday this year was no different, and during my ten days in the south of France I managed to plough my way through nine books. Not bad going I reckon. So today I thought I’d share with you what I read on holiday, partly so I can re-live my holiday vicariously through this blog, and partly to give you, dear readers, some bookish inspiration, should you need it. The Martian by Andy Weir A little while ago – long after all the hype had died…

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I’m quite lucky in that none of the people I work with – or at least, work with directly on a day-to-day basis –  are massively misogynistic. Office sexism isn’t a major part of my working life.  But that doesn’t mean my office is devoid of sexism altogether. Most days, I notice my colleagues spouting some less-than-feminist ideas – conversations about ‘crazy’ girlfriends; musings about sex-workers; outrage at the idea of a male receptionist and a female CEO.. Little things, to be sure, but they’re enough to wear me down. Now I’m not normally one to shy away from confrontation, but I have to work with these people every day, and quite frankly it’s easier to put my headphones in and ignore the slightly sexist conversations from my otherwise perfectly pleasant co-workers than it is to argue about the finer points of intersectionality (or even the less-fine points of basic…

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If you know me, you’ll know that I am an inherently angry person. It’s just in my nature. I’m the sort of person who will lose their temper because somebody put a book back in the wrong place. I’ll get pissed off when someone sits next to me on an empty train. Some days, the mere fact that people are breathing the same air as me is enough to send me into a fit of fury. I am an angry person. And I am definitely an angry feminist. I know, I know – I shouldn’t admit this. I should be reassuring you all that I’m a nice and fluffy feminist who will hold your hand and calmly explain rape culture to you for the hundredth time. I’m supposed to smile and hand men cookies when they tell me that they wouldn’t rape me – EVEN IF I’d been drinking, because…

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In case you didn’t know, I’m a feminist. I’m not just a feminist though. I am a Feminist with a capital F (and capital E M for good measure too). I’m a card-carrying, bra-burning (or at least I would be if my breasts didn’t require the support of a thousand underwires), angry, shouty, Feminist. I also hate the word ‘feminist’ with a burning passion. Plot twist. Now just to clarify, I don’t hate the word ‘feminist’ because I’m worried people will think I’m a hairy man-hating lesbian (why anyone would think that’s an insult is beyond me). I don’t hate the word ‘feminist’ because I’m worried it will alienate men (quite frankly I think it would do men good to be alienated for something for once in their life). And I certainly don’t hate the word ‘feminist’ because I’m deeply concerned with men’s rights. I hate the word ‘feminist’ because…

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Contraception was never really a big deal in my family. As soon as I got my first serious boyfriend (and probably before – I can’t really remember), my mother assumed I was having sex, so she sat me down and told me to go on the pill. That was it. That was the extent of my sex education, along with a comment about using condoms as well. In actual fact, I wouldn’t start having sex until over a year later. But when I did start having sex, I did what my mother taught me: I went to the doctors, got a prescription for the contraceptive pill (Levest, to be precise), and I’ve never looked back. In hindsight, I probably should have done some research into the other contraception methods available. I vaguely knew about the injection, the coil, and the implant, but quite frankly they sounded like a lot of…

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