Basic Feminist Books You Need To Read

Saturday, 4 May 2019

Greetings pals! It's been a while, hey? I am so sorry about the radio silence but life does get in the way sometimes

I thought today I would tell you a wee list of a few favourite feminist texts that have come into my life recently. I just finished a huge project for my American Spaces unit in which I had to do a lot of feminist reading, and while I've picked up a few of these books before, there a few new reads in here for me too, so I thought it would be cool to share them! I love a good nonfiction read and these women really know their stuff so check them out and let me know what you think.

Feminism Is For Everybody: Passionate Politics by bell hooks
I had to put this one first because bell hooks is just...a queen. She honestly is one of the most inspirational, iconic feminist theorists out there and I'd never even heard her name before this year at university! This book is the perfect starter pack to feminism, it's so easy to read, so easy to understand and I honestly wish I had unlimited copies of this book to give out whenever someone starts to moan about feminism to me! It's not even a big read - I demolished it in about a week and I've re-read it since. I also watched a lot of her interviews in preparation for said project and she's just such a fabulous, funny, fantastic woman and I would recommend to all young feminists that you familiarise yourself with her and her work.

Can We All Be Feminists? by June Eric-Udorie
It's 2019 - if your feminism isn't intersectional then I'm sorry to break it to you but you need to start getting on board with intersectionality. The perfect place to start is this book - it's a collective, edited by a young black, disabled, queer woman, including seventeen pieces written by a hugely diverse collection of women from all different backgrounds and all different walks of life. I love this book. It's the perfect partner to Feminism Is For Everybody - read it afterwards for a more modern conversation on intersectionality and the struggles women from different lives are faced with. It's a true eye-opener.

Feminists Don't Wear Pink & Other Lies edited by Scarlett Curtis
This is another collective edited by Scarlett Curtis of essays written by high-profile women about feminism. Names such as Keira Knightley, Evanna Lynch, Jameela Jamil and Trisha Shetty pop up with essays about their kind of feminism, what feminism means to them and how feminism came about in their everyday lives. It was actually one of the biggest inspirations I had with my research project for my American lit unit and I loved every single essay in it. It's got a good range of diversity which we always love too.

Girl Up by Laura Bates
I've talked about this book before on my blog but it's essentially another good partner to Feminism Is For Everybody but perhaps aimed at a younger audience this time. Give this to any young teenage girls in your life who want to learn about feminism and this book will give them a good all round insight into what the movement is, and it really focuses on female empowerment, in an easy-to-read, simple book. While it doesn't really address the concept of intersectionality which I think is a very important part missing, it's still a great all-round fun piece of literature that, like I said, would be great for all young women (and men tbh) in your lives.

Well there you go, a guide to four basic feminist texts that you really should read. There are many more I've encountered recently such as bell hooks' Ain't I A Woman, The Feminine Mystique, Gender Outlaw by Kate Bornstein and We Should All Be Feminists by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie - although you really really do need to watch her TED talk entitled the same! But these are just four basic ones I think everyone should be reading to get a good outline of feminism and intersectionality.

What are your feminist text recommendations?

Em xx

Life In April & May Goals | Breakups, Holidays & Back On The Grind

Saturday, 20 April 2019

I haven't done a post like this for so long!! But so much happened in April (and we've still got ten days left - sorry this is so early but honestly all that's happening in holiday and studying from now!) and I barely posted anything or updated anything and I feel like I need to explain (to my six..ish readers, hahaha the irony).

Not a lot went on in April, to be honest with you, as I spent most of it at home and on holiday, but the main reason I haven't been talking much is because my boyfriend and I have split up - it was a difficult decision for both of us but we haven't been happy for about a month or so so it was definitely the right thing to do. As I said in a previous post, people come into your life when you need them to and they leave your life when you need them to, not necessarily when you want them to, and these things come to a natural end. There's no point forcing something that just isn't there anymore. It's really sad, but I'm okay, we had an amazing six months together, and I wish him all the luck and happiness in the future. The breakup anthems are on and I'm already planning my 90s-romcom-esque post-breakup transformation!!

As you can imagine, a lot of my time has been spent on the breakup so everything else got pushed to the side a little! But I'm currently spending a lovely ten days in Cyprus with my family and our family friends from across the Channel in Germany in lieu of our usual Easter skiing break. Sun, sea and sand made a big change from snow, cold and swishing around ski slopes but we all enjoyed it and the holiday has definitely come at an excellent time for me!

Unfortunately I had to work (again) but that's normal - I actually can't remember the last skiing (or beach) holiday we all had together when I didn't have to work but that's just life when you're studying! I have two projects due on the 29th April but I'm well set up for the due date and can't wait to have them both out of the way! Then one exam coming up on the 21st May and I'm done with assessed uni this year, thank God. The jump from first year to second year was hard but I'm planning a post about it when I've finished and had all my grades back!

So May...what's on the cards? As I said, I literally have my exam and then heading home for May half term to work but that's about it. So I'm hoping to find some time to start exercising again (shouldn't be hard as I suddenly have a lot of free time - breakups am I right!) planking for a minute every day and eating a lot of greens in an attempt to find some abs/lose a little stomach podge before Parklife! If anyone has any tips in that area please let me know. Also, fake tanning. Where the hell do I start? Because you can bet I'm not taking my pasty-ass legs onto a festival field in June 😂

I'm continuing with trying harder again this month. Things have fallen by the wayside a little but I like to think I'm a seasoned expert in getting myself out of ruts now, so out of this rut we shall get and life shall continue on! I'd like to do well in this exam as I sort of flunked the essay and don't want to risk my first this year, I'd like to upload the six videos I have edited to YouTube and I'd like to start writing more and creating more makeup looks which all in all, shouldn't really be that hard. We got this 💪🏻

What are your May goals?

Em xx

Brexit 101 | What The Hell Is A People's Vote? Debunking The Common Myths

Monday, 18 March 2019

Ah, Brexit. The buzzword in today's society, the word that makes everyone (well, mostly) want to curl up in a ball, stick their head in the sand and pretend it doesn't exist. The word that will probably cause me to lose a few followers since I've been told in the past, in no uncertain words, that people don't like to read about politics. People aren't interested in politics. Well, too bad, kiddos, we're talking about it. Since the UK political system has reached breaking point recently after the Tory MPs called a vote of confidence for Theresa May in December, they've voted down her deal and more votes are set to take place, I think it's something I need to address. Read me first.

Secondly, let's talk about a People's Vote. This is what I am currently campaigning for, with a group called Our Future Our Choice, which is the biggest youth campaign for a People's Vote in the country. Head on over to the website here, and get in touch to find out how you can do more, and if there's an OFOC chapter in your area!

What even is a People's Vote? Well, a People's Vote is a final say on the Brexit deal. The People's Vote campaign is, in their words, seeking to ensure that the government's Brexit deal is put before the country in a public vote so we can decide if the decision and deal makes the country, and us, better or worse off. The People's Vote campaign is huge and has been endorsed by many other pressure groups, e.g. Our Future, Our Choice, For Our Future's Sake, Healther In The EU, Scientists For EU, Open Britain and most regional anti-Brexit groups. It's also been endorsed by the Liberal Democrats and huge amounts of MPs on both the Tory and the Labour side, as well as the Green Party and some Lords, such as Andrew Adonis and Peter Mandelson. It's the biggest and most cohesive movement that the government faces against Brexit.

I'm here today to debunk some myths about a People's Vote and explain to you why we need one and why it's a good idea. So here's some common myths about a People's Vote and why they're kind of just bullsh*t.

Isn't it just a second referendum?
No. The PV is absolutely not a second referendum. It wouldn't be repeating the first question of 'should we leave or remain in the EU' but rather it's a say on the deal we get. A Final Say, if you will. No one voted for this version of Brexit, not even Leavers.

But...didn't we already have our say? Isn't having a People's Vote undemocratic?
Yes, we did have our say. But we had our say three years ago in a vote that was also undemocratic. Both sides (Leave AND Remain, I don't want to come across biased at all...) built their campaigns around scaremongering and lies, Nigel Farage's supposed £350m extra for the NHS never appeared and on top of that, Vote Leave actually broke electoral law. Legally this doesn't matter, as the referendum wasn't legally binding so they can ignore it, but morally the result should've been voided long ago.

As well as this, many people who should've been able to vote weren't allowed. It's my opinion that 16-17 year olds should've been able to vote in that referendum, as they were in the Scottish Independence referendum of 2014. Also, UK citizens in the EU and vice versa were not allowed to vote - people in the country who this decision will affect more than anyone were denied their voice. We also voted not knowing anything - there was no plan for Brexit, no coherent set of steps we would follow to leave, and 3 years later still no decisions have been made. Now that we know actual, solid facts about Brexit and it's short- and long-term effects, a Final Say is needed.

Okay. So we have a People's Vote and we choose to remain. What's stopping there being a third, and fourth vote? We'll never make a decision.
This is a really good point and one that's brought up over and over again. At the end of the day, a People's Vote would be a fair vote, based on facts, no one would break any laws and that's what makes a fair moral result. Of course there's a danger we'll vote for a Brexit deal, but if the vote is fair unlike the first one, with a legitimate electorate and no manipulation from outside forces, the result would be accepted. If one or other side feels it is necessary to cheat once again by overspending or coming out with lies then more are needed.

But don't politicians lie all the time? Why should this be any different?
Yes, of course they do. But what we should really be taking away from this is that something is fundamentally wrong with British politics. The referendum should never have been called in the first place - David Cameron did it to stay in power. Theresa May should never have been in charge, being a Remain campaigner. A lot has gone wrong in British politics in the last three years and that's what needs to change, but it needs to change within the safety of the EU.

Fine. Alright, but why are you so sure that the decision will have changed?
Because the last three years have been a nightmare. There's also an Independent study that shows as of January this year we actually became a Remain society, as there are around two million new voters, most of who are Remain, and enough Leave voters have died to swing the vote - that is how close the majority was. And this isn't even counting the people who have changed their minds - like I said before, not even Leave voters voted for this Brexit, everyone has seen what just the negotiation process has done to the country in terms of both the economy and social issues, and a People's Vote is just the way to sort it out.

Don't you agree the EU needs changing though?
Of course it does. Much like British politics, the EU has done a lot of changing and in my opinion declining, since it started as the EEC in 1957 and we voted to join it in 1975. But the way to change it is to remain and reform rather than throwing all our toys out of the pram and leaving. It's easier to change a system from the inside, rather than trying to attack it from the outside.

Why haven't we just called another vote already?
There isn't enough support in Parliament - yet. But every day this Brexit catastrofuck (David Schneider's genius phrase) continues, more and more MPs are changing their minds and calling mandates for a People's Vote.

And how can you put MORE pressure on?? Well, by joining us on March 23rd on Park Lane, London, and demanding a People's Vote from Parliament. We had 700,000 voices on our last march - let's make it a million.

Next on Brexit 101, I'm talking about how Brexit will affect YOU.

Em xx

(Late) March Bullet Journal Update

Friday, 15 March 2019

Hello pals! As a quick break between now and my second Brexit post (can't overload you with politics or I'll lose all my followers...*sips tea*) I thought I'd show you a rather late March bullet journal post. I did this a while ago but life has been somewhat hectic recently, to say the least, and I only got around to taking these photos yesterday! But it does mean I can have a long chat about how I've been switching up my bullet journal a little bit this month...

My title page was inspired by Amanda Rach Lee once again - she just has the most beautiful designs and I love trying to recreate them - trying being the key word there because my artistic talent is, to say the least, nada.

My calendar layout is very simple as always, I don't like overloading it and I've taken off the YouTube tracker as I've started doing something a little with my tracker for my stats. I have also got rid of my habit tracker as, while it's a good idea, it's not very good for me as I hold myself to way too high a standard and end up getting pissed at myself unnecessarily and focusing on things that just don't really matter that much.

So when I say I've mixed up my stat tracker a little bit, I mean I'm tracking them all now. It's only a trial because I do tend to get very hung up on my stats - one of new affirmations is that numbers on an app don't define me, so we'll see how well this goes. But as you can see, I've set very small goals that I hope are achievable, and I'm just trying my best to take small bites and take a step back from being too hard on myself. I've also added a brain dump page for anything I wish to pop on there.

This is just a cute quote page again a recreation of Amanda Rach Lee's. On the other side is my random notes page for one of my massive projects I'm working on right now!

So this is going to come as quite a surprise! I've started actually changing my weekly spread up! I realised again my meal planner and water tracker just wasn't working for me anymore and I needed way more space for planning and to-do lists, so instead I've been experimenting with a few different layouts. The first is a Dutch door spread which is a really cool idea with the half page in the middle, meaning each day can have a half page rather than a third, giving much more planning space. I also still had space for my weekly events list too. The second I went with a much simpler layout with four sections on each, and then a bit sectioned off for events. I like both but might trial them again to see what works better. 

As always, here's a list of all the products I used...

- Crayola Supertips (basically all the green ones)
- Tombow dual brush pens (#133 and #192)
- Pentel fude touch sign pen
- Pigma Micron fineliners (0.3mm)
- Pilot G2-05 gel pens
- Uniball white gel pen
- Leuchtturm 1917 a5 dotted journal

What do your March bullet journals look like?

Em xx

Brexit 101 | Brexit Basics & Where Do We Go From Here?

Tuesday, 12 March 2019

Ah, Brexit. The buzzword in today's society, the word that makes everyone (well, mostly) want to curl up in a ball, stick their head in the sand and pretend it doesn't exist. The word that will probably cause me to lose a few followers since I've been told in the past, in no uncertain words, that people don't like to read about politics. People aren't interested in politics. Well, too bad, kiddos, we're talking about it. Since the UK political system has reached breaking point recently after the Tory MPs called a vote of confidence for Theresa May in December, they've voted down her deal and more votes are set to take place, I think it's something I need to address. 

Question is for a lot of people: what even is Brexit? Well, all the "no one knows" jokes aside, Brexit essentially is slang for "Britain Exit" a.k.a. Britain's Exit from the EU. In June 2016, as everyone knows, the country voted on a 52/48 majority to leave the European Union. As you can probably tell if you follow me on Twitter or if you have any common sense, I'm not a fan of this majority. The EU, simply, is a group of 28 countries in Europe, who have agreements to allow simpler trade and free movement between these countries for anyone to live and work. We first joined the EU (then the EEC) in 1973 when Edward Heath was PM.

So where is Brexit now? Good question, and I am going to make a "no one knows" joke because really, no one knows. On 29th March 2017, something called Article 50 was triggered, meaning the UK had 2 years to negotiate with the EU and come up with a withdrawal agreement or divorce deal before we actually leave the EU. Essentially, this is the list of terms on which we leave - it includes what goes on with trade agreements, Northern Ireland borders and a whole host of other things that need to be smoothed over and knots that need tying up into a neat little "Leave" parcel.

Although...that's not quite what's happened now, is it? Nice little Leave parcel turned into big old Brexit mess, didn't it? And many, many people have no idea exactly what that mess is. However, the mess is due to be tidied up by the 29th March (I am gonna stop using the 'mess' analogy now as it's getting sliiightly confusing!)  as that's the date we are due to leave the European Union. The big problem with that is that we have no idea on what terms we are leaving yet. There are three different options (in simple terms) and they are Theresa May's deal, a no deal Brexit and finally, no Brexit at all. 

The problem is that Theresa May's deal has already been voted down by MPs. The problem now is, they haven't exactly said what's on the table instead. Many government ministers are trying to convince the EU to make changes to that deal to make it more acceptable to those who voted it down, and they are set to vote again on Tuesday 12th March (today!!) on this deal. But as new info comes to light this morning, it turns out that actually, May's 'revised' deal is pretty much the same as the deal that got voted down before. Attorney General Geoffrey Cox (who advises the government on all things legal) has essentially said that legal risks haven't changed, and that the UK will not have legal means of exiting the backstop (don't worry, I will address this soon) without the EU agreeing. But, if by some unknown miracle May's (un)revised deal goes through, we leave the EU on the 29th March with that deal. But if that fails? The vote goes to a no deal Brexit.

Effectively, no deal means we crash the hell out of the European Union with no divorce bill, no coherent exit plan and no way of moving forward. Without wanting to be a 'fearmongering Remainer' as I have been called on Twitter before, a no deal Brexit would be an unthinkable disaster. We would cut all ties immediately and we would have to follow WTO rules while also trying to negotiate free-trade deals. This would hugely increase tariffs on goods (aka what you buy in shops), EU citizens having practically no rights in the UK, hundreds of firms moving out of the UK causing extreme job spells disaster. So there will be another vote to determine whether no deal is what we want/ If that fails? We go to delaying the f*ck out of it.

In my opinion as a staunch Remainer and ardent Europhile (need I remind you that just over 70% of 18-24 year olds voted against Brexit - imagine what that would've been if 16-17 year olds had been allowed to vote?!) delaying Brexit is the best course of action. Revoking Article 50 and extending the exit date is the best course of action and subsequently taking it back to the people with a People's Vote. Democracy is basically crumbling and Westminster is clearly incompetent of delivering us a decent deal. 

Next time on Let's Talk About Brexit...we talk about a People's Vote, what Brexit means for young people & social justice, and what the hell a rounder's position is doing in Brexit negotiations???

Em xx
CopyRight © | Theme Designed By Hello Manhattan