Feminist Must-Reads Part 2

In December I set myself the goal of reading three popular feminist texts in one month. As someone who doesn’t read a lot and who reads quite slow at times, I thought the deadline suited me, however, I ended up surprising myself by finishing all three books quite quickly. The books I decided to read were: The Feminine Mystique (1963) by Betty Friedan, Female Chauvinist Pigs: Women and the Rise of Raunch Culture (2005) by Ariel Levy and Living Dolls: The Return of Sexism (2010) by Natasha Walter.
ImageHaving now read these popular feminist texts I plan to produce 3 short book reviews. I will upload the book reviews every Friday for the next 3 weeks so please check back or follow my blog if you are interested!

Crates and Ribbons

Shame can arguably be said to be one of the worst emotions out there. Emotions like fear, grief and jealousy are strong contenders, and yet these feelings, strong as they are, don’t quite work in the same way that shame does. Dr Mary C. Lamia, a clinical psychologist, positions shame as unique in that it “lead[s] you to feel as if your whole self is flawed”, eating away at your sense of self-worth until you can no longer bear to face public scrutiny, or indeed, yourself.

Beautiful without makeup

Given the deep-reaching effects of shame, it is not surprising, then, that it makes a remarkably effective tool for maintaining the patriarchal order. Women are shamed for a whole host of reasons— for being fat, being ugly, being hairy, being an airhead, being sexually promiscuous, being sexually conservative—the list goes on. Men are shamed when they behave too much like women—when they show…

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Buy Nothing Day 2012

Buy Nothing Day is finally here (well tomorrow)! The only thing is, I am off to a wedding and will have to buy drinks, pay for taxis, etc and I am really annoyed!! I actually got confused and thought it was BND yesterday (22nd) so never bought anything all day. Although it wasn’t very hard, I only went out the house to go to work, I got a lift both ways and made my own lunch. BUT! this shows it can be done! So please, if you are reading this, do BUY NOTHING tomorrow, 24th November 2012. You will feel good about it and you might even start to think differently about your consumption habits.

Do you really need that top? or those shoes? and why do you keep buying magazines when all they do is distort your perception of reality and make you feel shit!? I believe it is time to take a look at ourselves and society’s preoccupation with “stuff”. In fact it is long overdue.


Today was a good day

Today has been a good day, I finished some things I’ve been working on and I feel like I am finally ready to settle into the routine of part time postgraduate research. I think after graduating it can take a while to get back into the swing of things if you go on to study at postgraduate level. I know it has taken me longer than I imagined and after I originally planned to enrol in September, I am now waiting until January because I feel like I didn’t start off on the right foot.

So after quite a long time completing nothing but doing a lot of random research related things to keep busy, I now feel ready to get stuck in and I plan to set myself a few goals over the weekend.

To end my day of achievement (well maybe not a day of “achievement” but I did complete a job application, send a proposal to my supervisor, produce a student advocate lesson plan and upload this post!) I am going to try and find some conferences I can attend and maybe even send work into. Here are some links to conferences I have looked at so far:

Talking Bodies: Identity, Sexuality and Representation

Body Projects Conference

FWSA Conference

Young Sexualities Postgraduate Conference

The F Word in Contemporary Women’s Writing

Sexuality in Theory & Practice

Add your thoughts here… (optional)


In fairness nobody can tell you how you’re going to feel when you start a PhD. Clearly there are common, shared emotional responses that are pretty predictable: Fear, excitement and nervousness being the ones that immediately spring to mind.

What they don’t tend to talk about is paranoia.

Paranoia that you’re not smart enough to be doing this. Paranoia that somehow ‘they’ are going to spot this. Paranoia that you are going to get found out.

4 days into my PhD and that’s basically where I am. (Actually I’ve been at that stage since the first week of my Undergraduate degree, but that says more about my perilous mental state than anything else!) Fortunately this wasn’t an unpredicted state of affairs and I’d been fortunate enough to have several discussions about this issue with a good friend – who was also scheduled to be one of my academic supervisors before…

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PhD Research Proposal Part 2

Having spent the past few days getting stuck into my research proposal, I can now say that I feel a lot better about the whole thing! I was starting to panic and got myself into the mindset that it wouldn’t be detailed/good enough (something I think we all worry about) but then I realised it doesn’t have to be perfect- it is just a proposal. I am not supposed to know everything and especially not right now at this early stage. So, basically this is just a little update to say that I am getting on okay, it isn’t as hard as I first thought and hopefully I will be finished by the end of today and ready to email it to my supervisor in the morning.

Coming soon…Buy Nothing Day 2012

Every year in November, the anti-corporate, activist organisation Adbusters challenge the public to go a whole day without buying a thing.

“Saturday November 24th 2012 is Buy Nothing Day (UK). It’s a day where you challenge yourself, your family and friends to switch off from shopping and tune into life. The rules are simple, for 24 hours you will detox from shopping and anyone can take part provided they spend a day without spending!

Everything we buy has an impact on the environment, Buy Nothing Day highlights the environmental and ethical consequences of consumerism. The developed countries – only 20% of the world population are consuming over 80% of the earth’s natural resources, causing a disproportionate level of environmental damage, and an unfair distribution of wealth.” http://www.buynothingday.co.uk.

For more information about Adbusters, including their role in the Occupy movement, please see the link below which is an old essay of mine. The essay looks at the central issues, forms of organisation, tactics and strategy associated with Adbusters.

Adbusters Essay

Amy Simone Design

I have recently come across a Burger King campaign that i am completely and utterly disgraced at;

Once again we can see that this set of advertisements is aimed directly at men. Many of us would have the most obvious question shouting at us right now, what on earth has sex got to do with selling a burger? Repeatedly the female form is used to present sexual poses to attract a male’s attention. We don’t even have to read the teaser phrases which are printed with the pictures. However, I can’t help but be shocked that ‘It’ll blow your mind away’, ‘It just tastes better’ and ‘She’ll tell you size doesn’t matter, she’s lying‘ could even be acceptable. This is a tremendous play on words like never before.

One huge matter that I find very disturbing is that its not only adult males who will see these…

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