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Tuesday, 24 March 2015

Problems with the word 'feminism'


I'm not entirely comfortable with the word feminism. The word itself. Feminism. Feminism.
The idea behind it is simple, right? Equal rights for men and women. It's about fair treatment, equality, you know the drill.

Seems simple and clearly universal as very few people genuinely believe that women should be paid less or treated as though they are inferior. Very few. So why do so many people get the word feminism lodged in their throat?

That too, is simple. Feminism has bad ties. We can ignore it all we want, we can march forward, flame torches in hand refusing to acknowledge that actually, there's a reason feminism gets a bad wrap.

Feminism means different things to different people. To many, it means fairness, equality. To others it means man-hating. To some it means acting in a reckless and bitter way, labeling it 'feminism' and carrying on your merry way.

The word feminism has been tarnished. It's unfortunate, I know. So we have to look at things logically, the same way you would if your brand name was also the name of a youth gang who frequently killed puppies. You would stop and say 'you know what, I love our brand and our brand message, but this name just isn't working for us'.

Many people are more than happy to identify themselves as a feminist and that's great. Many, however, often feel a slight hesitation, a 'will they know what I mean by that though?' or 'will they associate me with man-hating?'

So I have a new idea, and one I am much more comfortable with. How about we ditch the snobbery about whether people put a label on themselves as a feminist. How about when someone asks if we're a feminist we're allowed to say 'I support equal rights' and not be met with 'WELL THAT MEANS YOU'RE A FEMINIST THEN DUH'. Yes, it may well do, to you at least. But others have a very different idea of what feminism is, and perhaps I want to be clear in what I believe in and avoid a label because I don't want to be misconstrued. Do I have the right to do that as a conscientious young woman? Can I make that choice to clarify my beliefs and refrain from saying 'I am this' or 'I am that'. Can I have the freedom to express what I think in a way that doesn't associate me with things I do not support? Of course I can because a lot of women before me fought to allow that to be so. Were they called feminists? Likely. But unfortunately our brand meaning has been lost along the way and while I commit myself to the message that my feminism promotes, I don't want to commit myself to a word that has more than one meaning.

It seems baffling to me anyway that such an obvious concept has such a feminine word. If I ever have a dispute with someone about being paid the same as my male counterpart I will not call it feminism, I will call it logic.
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Wednesday, 18 March 2015

The Croissant Incident ft Posh People

Last month Ciaran and I headed to Oxford for a weekend away. The hotel had a five star rating (because I like to pretend I’m a millionaire) and was the sort of place you’d take the Queen for lunch.
Things went relatively well. I didn’t trip over, nor did I get a horrendous bout of hiccups – something that has happened to me on more than one occasion that I’m trying to be as sophisticated as possible – and the posh people didn’t notice we were imposters.

We spent a couple of days out and about in Oxford, we went to a theatre show with lots of middle class people who we referred to as ‘Yars’ (inspired by their pronunciation of ‘yes’), ate dinner at some great places and relaxed in the spa.

It was on the final day we went to breakfast at the hotel. It was the fancy kind where you have to wait to be seated and can’t eat and run like most Premier Inns. After we sat down, I arose elegantly from my chair and sauntered over to the continental breakfast. I stood, amongst female Yars who smelt like potpourri and I allowed myself a small, victorious smile. I seemed to be holding my own. Hell, I was a few ‘splendids’ away from them anointing me a junior Yar and letting me live in their annex. In short, I had done well. As I picked up the croissant pliers and reached for the most rounded, buttery one I could find, my pride was quickly wiped away when somehow, the croissant leapt from the pliers, fell onto the floor and scattered broken bits of pastry everywhere. The Yars gasped. They looked down, shaking their heads, as though I had just kicked a puppy. I panicked. I was about to say ‘oh sh*t’ but I didn’t want to be catapulted back down to Jeremy Kyle status so I did the best thing I could: I looked at the croissant in disgust and loudly called, in my poshest voice, ‘goodness!’. The Yars looked up at me, as I sauntered over to retrieve the misbehaving croissant and their eyes narrowed, trying to suss if I was the real deal. I walked back to the table, wondering if I’d gotten away with it. I glanced to my left and spotted a boy, no older than six, drop a large slice of ham on the carpeted floor, lean down, do a quick scan of the room before shovelling it into his mouth. Of course, the Yars missed that. Goodness.
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Tuesday, 10 March 2015

LUSH Haul: Spring 2015

My friends Becky and Niamh (both fabulous, both hilarious) lived up to their fabulous nature by getting me this Lush gift set as a belated birthday gift.

I know right. They look edible don't they. Let me tell you, it's taken a great deal of self control to remind myself that this Fair Trade Foot Lotion - no matter how pepperminty and cocoa buttery it smells - is not for human consumption. Nor is it for dog consumption, I don't know why I made that specific to humans. If you have the ability to eat, do not eat it. But do smother your feet in it because it smells so good and leaves them really soft. 

I want to talk about the Gorgeous moisturiser. Clever marketing there Lush, because it really does feel like gorgeousness in a little tin. This will need to last a while, because I've spotted the full price tub is about the cost of 3 MAC lipsticks (sob). Perhaps one for the Christmas list. 

As for the other bath goodies - The Comforter bubble bar and Sakura bath bomb, I can't wait to use them both before smothering myself in the oh so marvellous smelling Vanilla Dee-Light body lotion.

Let's face it, I'm going to smell like an absolute cupcake when I'm done with these. To Niamh and Becky for buying me these treats: thanks girls!
Have you given any of these products a whirl?

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