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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My brain is very full. As we speak, I have 2 novels, 2 non-fiction books, and 20 blog posts floating around in my brain. That’s on top of my usual anxieties (will I ever make it as a writer? Am I wasting my life in a job that I hate?), day-to-day to-do’s (must remember to buy kitchen roll on my way home from work), wedding planning (damnit I still haven’t emailed the videographer back), buying a house (will our mortgage application ever get accepted??) and anger at the current political climate (oh for fuck’s sake Theresa, did you HAVE to call an election NOW? Couldn’t you have waited a BIT longer?). That’s a lot of thoughts for one little brain. Normally, I deal with my full brain by writing. This is not unique. Most writers write because they just need to get the thoughts out of their brain so they…

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Imagine a world where your Twitter feed is censored by the government. Where what is and isn’t considered ‘news’ is dictated by the Prime Minister and their cabinet. Where the powers that be get to decide what webpages Google is allowed to show you. Imagine a world where people are forced to work until they literally drop down dead. Where physical and mental disabilities and illnesses are disregarded, and people who care barely walk are marched down to the jobcentre without so much as a ‘Get Well Soon!’ card. Imagine a world where your access to healthcare is dictated by how much money you earn. Where a broken arm costs more than your rent. Where you have to choose between a life-saving surgery and food for the next 3 years. Imagine a world where your home – the one thing you own that is worth any money – is stolen…

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I dreamed of you again last night. You were tiny and perfect and all mine. Grabby hands and brand new smiles. You loved me and I loved you and we were complete. Us against the world. I see you everywhere I go. No, I look for you everywhere I go. In the tiny clothes and YouTube videos. In parks and playgrounds. My heart yearns for you, even though I don’t know you yet. It’s a physical ache, a weight I feel with every heartbeat. There was a time where I actively rejected the thought of you. When other people brought you up, I would recoil in horror. You were not for me, and I was not for you. We would ruin each other – you, too needy; me, too selfish. I watched other people yearn to meet you and thought ‘Never. Not me.’ I never thought I’d change my mind.…

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