I have a confession to make, dear readers: I’m a sex critical feminist. I don’t espouse sex positive mantras day in and day out; and I don’t think sex is the most liberating thing in a woman’s life. Before you all burn me at the stake for being the world’s worst feminist, hear me out. I don’t hate sex. I think sex can be great. I think for some people, it can be liberating. And I definitely don’t think women (or anyone of any gender) should be shamed for having sex. But I am sex critical, and I do not believe in sex positivity. Or at least, I don’t believe in it in practice. In theory? Fantastic! It fights back against decades of female sexual expression. It promotes proper sex education; it encourages women to explore their sexualities in a way many never have; it breaks taboos and promotes open,…

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Note: This review of The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks will be as spoiler-free as possible. — I’m a sucker for a good YA novel – and one of my favourite YA writers of all times has got to be E. Lockhart , aka author of possibly the best YA novel ever written, We Were Liars. But in addition to We Were Liars, E. Lockhart has also written many another book, including the one I want to review today: The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks. Boarding school. Secret societies. Elaborate pranks. Feminism. The Disreputable History is everything I could ever want from a book. What made this book for me was the main character – Frankie Landau-Banks. Frankie is attractive. Her parents know it; boys know it; and, most importantly for me, Frankie knows it. Lockhart doesn’t try to pass her off as some kind of plain-yet-boys-are-falling-all-over-her heroine, like most…

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December is finally here, which means 2016 is nearly over and (more importantly) the festive season has truly begun. December means Christmas shopping (or, if you don’t celebrate Christmas, another type of holiday shopping; or perhaps just shopping for yourself), which can be a nightmare. So today I thought I’d help you along with a little gift guide to get you started. Being a feminist blog, however, I could write just any old gift guide. Oh no, this is a feminist gift guide – for all the angry, shouty feminists in your life! High Heels Every good feminist needs a pair of really good high heels – for stomping on the patriarchy with. Or on the hearts of men. Or on actual men. Feminists tend to do a lot of stomping. You want a pair of really good spiky heels to cause optimum damage, so be sure to find the highest,…

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This morning I woke up and realised that today, November 19th, is International Men’s Day – a day for the world to do something it doesn’t do very often: talk about men. Now I don’t mean to be glib – I know men suffer and are in pain and struggle. I know there are issues that affect men that we don’t talk about often enough. Male rape survivors, male domestic abuse victims, and male sufferers of mental health are all shamed into silence. There are real and terrible problems that affect men, and we as society need to be better at helping these men. I also know that not all men are white, straight, and cis. There are men of colour, and LGBT+ men, and poor men, and disabled men – all of who need our help and support and whose voices we desperately need to amplify. I know all…

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There’s a lot of emphasis in mainstream feminism on being pretty. Which might sound strange – after all, you’d think feminists would be the least likely group of people to care about being pretty – but it’s true. Whether it comes from women trying to dispel the myth that all feminists are hairy lesbians; or whether it’s women claiming back their right to wear lipstick, mainstream feminists are convinced that their ability to draw the perfect eyeliner wing will save the world. It’s an idea that’s become known as ‘weaponised femininity’. The idea that by embracing the beauty standards forced upon women and using them as a form of powerful self-expression, women are somehow one-upping the patriarchy. The idea that the ultimate women is sexy AND strong. It’s an incredibly problematic idea. [bctt tweet=”There’s this idea that the ultimate woman is strong AND sexy. That idea is bullshit.” username=”oawoodward”] I’m…

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