There has been a resurgence in recent years of the iconic girl gang. Thanks to Taylor Swift’s Instagram feed, having a #squad of fearless female friends by your side is super on trend. It hasn’t always been this way, however. Growing up, I firmly believed that being friends with boys was better than being friends with girls. Because, y’know, girls are like, so totally bitchy and SO full of drama and boys are just so much less manipulative and catty. Obviously. What I didn’t realise is that girls are, in fact, wonderful. It turns out my problem was less with girls and more with teenagers in general. Who knew. Now I’m older and a little bit wiser, I realise that female friends are the foundation of a solid life. Every day, my female friends (both online and offline) bring me joy. They raise me up, they shout about my achievements…

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Feminism has a terrible history of being focussed on white, middle-class women. You know that. I know that. Most of Twitter knows that. That’s why whenever a white celebrity feminist fails to acknowledge black women, the internet blows up. It’s why Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie was immediately criticised for saying that trans women aren’t women. And it’s why Twitter is full of battle cries proclaiming that the only true feminism is intersectional feminism. For those of you not in the know, intersectional feminism acknowledges that women are not women in a vacuum. Women are black women and trans women and poor women and disabled women. All those other identifiers influence how a woman experiences womanhood. It was a term originally coined by American civil rights advocate, Kimberlé Williams Crenshaw to describe how social identities and systems of oppression and discrimination can overlap (or intersect), and although it was coined in specific…

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I’d never thought of myself as one of those girls. You know the ones I mean. The ones who stare at themselves in the mirror for hours on end, painstakingly grabbing at every inch of their body that they dislike. The ones who carefully turn the pages of the glossy magazines, savouring every image of thin people with thin people problems. In fact, I’d never been particularly aware of my body at all. Or at least, not the size of it. I was a dancer, so I was aware of how my body moved. Aware of the lines it could create, the emotions it could evoke. But the size of my thighs? That had never crossed my mind. Of course, I was lucky. I was relatively thin, and dancing six days a week had left me with a fierce metabolism. But I also just wasn’t that fussed. My body was…

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On Tuesday, I wrote about how we can solve the problem of white feminism. Today, I went on yet another Twitter rant about the failings of white feminists. It would not, however, be fair for me to continue writing and talking about this issue without acknowledging my own hypocrisies and white feminism. — When I was 16, I stood up in front of 75 of my fellow students and talked for 20 minutes about why we still need feminism. To this day it remains one of my proudest achievements. It was the start of my journey as an outspoken feminist, and it sparked my passion for talking about feminism publicly and without shame. It was also the epitome of white feminism, failing to mention even in passing the struggles of women of colour or trans women or disabled women or women who were in any way not like me. Thankfully,…

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The world is not big enough for women. There are just so many incredible white men out there. By the time society has rewarded all of them, there simply isn’t enough room for all the women. It’s not that the world doesn’t want to let women in. It’s that letting too many women will upset the careful balance society has spent decades perfecting. It is not misogyny, it’s science. Too many women spoil the broth, or something. At least, that’s what we’ve been told. From birth, women have been told that there’s only a limited amount of space at the table for us. When a woman does get into the special all-male clubs, therefore, it’s an exciting moment for womankind. But getting a seat at the table as a woman is nothing like getting a seat at the table as a man. For a start, it’s widely accepted that the men…

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