Wednesday, 26 March 2014

"To crack the glass ceiling you don’t need a sharp stick , you need a sharp suit."

"To crack the glass ceiling you don’t need a sharp stick , you need a sharp suit."

This was the sage advice administered by clothing company Wardrobe as I waited at Waterloo.

For starters, suggesting that women are robbing themselves of top jobs as a result of their imprudent fashion choices is irresponsible, especially when so many barriers to women's participation in male-dominated spheres exist. What about lack of affordable childcare, bosses undervaluing women's contributions, unequal domestic burdens, nepotism, demeaning media coverage that adds to an overall societal impression that women are unable to contribute anything meaningful, etc. etc...?

Friday, 21 March 2014

Can porn be empowering?

I have recently watched one of the most fascinating interviews I have ever seen with Belle Knox, the 18 year-old Duke University student in the United States who has become a porn actress in order to pay for her education. She is doing Women’s Studies and Sociology. That makes me assume that she considers herself a feminist, although the “f word” is not mentioned anywhere in the interview. Belle speaks out against all the hypocrisy around sexuality in our patriarchal society. Which I applaud. She also claims that she enjoys doing porn very much because it is “freeing” and “empowering”. Now I have a few problems with that.

Monday, 10 March 2014

Can feminists be right-wing?

Since attending a talk by a well-known feminist writer in which it was asserted that ‘to be feminist is to be left-wing’, I have been pondering the question of whether this is irredeemably the case. Does being a feminist - and the attendant pursuit of equality for women in every sphere of life - lead inescapably to left-wing or welfarist views of economic issues?

Wednesday, 5 March 2014

Feminist Crib Sheets - The World's Wife

Depending on your exam board and your tendency to flick through to more interesting poems in the Anthology while your teacher tried desperately to make another Gillian Clarke poem about lambing interesting, then like me you most likely first encountered the work of Carol Ann Duffy around the age of fifteen. At the time I remember being somewhat taken aback by her graphic and sometimes violent descriptive and sexual poetry, though enjoying it a lot more than descriptions of Welsh farmhouses (sorry Gillian). However, sadly Duffy was not one of the poets on the required study list of AQA English Language GCSE, and so I largely forgot about Duffy and her vibrant imagery until a friend gave me ‘The World’s Wife’ for my birthday last year.