Feminism

Review: Only Ever Yours

Only Ever Yours Book CoverOnly Ever Yours by Louise O’Neill, published July 2015 by Quercus.

Read: October 2015
Genre: Young Adult/Contemporary/Feminism
Source: Purchased
#Pages: 400
Get It Now: Wordery

Add to GoodreadsGoodreads Synopsis: eves are designed, not made. The School trains them to be pretty. The School trains them to be good. The School trains them to Always be Willing. All their lives, the eves have been waiting. Now, they are ready for the outside world. companion… concubine… or chastity? Only the best will be chosen. And only the Men decide.

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Review: Hot Feminist

Hot Feminist Book CoverHot Feminist by Polly Vernon, published May 2015 by Hodder & Stoughton.

Read: March 2016
Genre: Feminist/Non-Fiction
Source: Publisher
#Pages: 368
Get It Now: Wordery

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Goodreads Synopsis: Polly Vernon, Grazia columnist, Times feature writer (hair-flicker, Brazilian-waxer, jeans obsessive, outrageous flirt) presents a brave new perspective on feminism.

Drawing on her dedicated, life-long pursuit of hotness – having dismissed many of the rules on ‘good’ feminism at some point in the early 90s – she’ll teach you everything you ever wanted to know about being a feminist when you care about how you look. Hot Feminist is based on a principle of non-judgement (because there’s enough already), honesty about how often we mess this up, and empowerment through looks. Part memoir, part road map, it’s a rolling, raucous rejection of all those things we’re convinced we shouldn’t think/wear/feel/say/buy/want – and a celebration of all the things we can. It is modern feminism, with style, without judgement.

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#NotAskingForIt

2015-Discussion-ChallengeI recently read Asking For It by Louise O’Neill, and while putting together my review, I realised I had a lot more to say about the content of the book. I was originally intending to do a joint review and discussion post, but it ended up being far too long, so I’ve decided to write my discussion separately.

*Trigger Warning* – Rape and Sexual Assault

This is a discussion that I’ve felt brewing in me for some time, one that I’ve never sat down to write, or fully verbalised in any way, but reading Asking For It has pushed me over the edge, and even if no one reads my words, at least I’ll have gotten them off my chest.

Asking For It deals fantastically and honestly with many controversial issues, including victim-blaming and rape culture. Topics that are often difficult to openly discuss, but these are the conversations that we need to be having.

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Review: Asking For It

Asking For It Book CoverAsking For It by Louise O’Neill, published September 2015 by Quercus.

Read: September 2015
Genre: Young Adult/Contemporary/Feminism
Source: Book Swap
#Pages: 352
Get It Now: Wordery

Add to GoodreadsGoodreads Synopsis: It’s the beginning of the summer in a small town in Ireland. Emma O’Donovan is 18 years old, beautiful, happy, confident. One night, there’s a party. Everyone is there. All eyes are on Emma. The next morning, she wakes on the front porch of her house. She can’t remember what happened, she doesn’t know how she got there. She doesn’t know why she’s in pain. But everyone else does. Photographs taken at the party show, in explicit detail, what happened to Emma that night. But sometimes people don’t want to believe what is right in front of them, especially when the truth concerns the town’s heroes…

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So. Much. Yes!

2015-Discussion-ChallengeIt’s not often I talk about my job, or other interests, on this blog. But recently, I’ve been compelled to share something, and I thought there was no better place to do it. My job, work, interests and passions usually overlap somewhere along the way – I don’t know many people who consider what they do for a living also a hobby – but I’m one of them.

Part of my job involves advertising, marketing, promotion and communications, but as a person, I’m also fascinated by advertising, marketing, promotion and communications. So naturally, when I spot an excellent advert (or equally an atrocious advert), I sit up, pay attention and then share it with someone because I need to talk about it. This week, I saw what I consider to be one of the worst branding efforts I’ve seen for a long time, and it wasn’t because of poor quality camera skills, or a bad script.

I’ll set the scene – I’m about to sit down and eat dinner, when an advert comes on TV with Sir Trevor McDonald. For anyone who isn’t aware of Sir Trev, he’s a famous UK journalist and news reader, who also makes excellent documentaries from time-to-time. He exudes confidence, intelligence and integrity. I’m a big Sir Trev fan, and I usually love his documentaries. Among other things, the advert shows violent scenes – government brutality, children in war zones, bombs exploding. I’m expecting a new documentary recounting Sir Trev’s life and career. I’m excited for this programme. The advert ends, and instead of a date and time to watch the show, I’m presented with a promotion for an eye test from Vision Express, a UK-based optician. I’m baffled. Which Marketer in their right mind thinks this is how to advertise eye tests?! And I’m shocked, disappointed in Sir Trev for agreeing to use that kind of imagery to promote a commercial product. I’m so angered, I complain to Vision Express and ASA (Advertising Standards Authority). I’ve never complained to ASA before, sure I’ve thought some ads were silly, or a little risqué, but I’ve never felt the strong desire to actually complain. Until now.

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Review: Dumped – Stories of Women Unfriending Women

Dumped Women Unfriending Women CoverDumped – Stories of Women Unfriending Women, edited by Nina Gaby. Published March 2015 by She Writes Press.

Read: March 2015
Genre: Non-Fiction/Essays
Source: Publisher
#Pages: N/A
Get It Now: Wordery

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Goodreads Synopsis: Being dumped by a woman-friend is excruciating: you expect romantic relationships to break up eventually but you don’t expect it from your friendships. And when it happens, you feel as though there should be an Adele song for you but there isn’t. Dumped: Women Unfriending Women fills that void, exploring the universal experience of being discarded by those from whom you expected more. The essays in Dumped aren’t stories of friendship dying a mutually agreed upon death, or of falling out of touch and reconnecting years later to find you haven’t missed a beat. These are stories by established and emerging authors who, like you, may have found themselves erased, without context. These, like your own, are stories that stay with you, maybe for a lifetime.

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Review: Bad Feminist

Bad Feminist Book CoverBad Feminist by Roxane Gay, published by Harper Perennial.

Read: January 2015
Genre: Non-Fiction/Feminism/Essays
Source: Purchased
#Pages: 320
Get It Now: Wordery

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Goodreads Synopsis: A collection of essays spanning politics, criticism, and feminism from one of the most-watched young cultural observers of her generation, Roxane Gay. In these funny and insightful essays, Roxane Gay takes us through the journey of her evolution as a woman (Sweet Valley High) of color (The Help) while also taking readers on a ride through culture of the last few years (Girls, Django in Chains) and commenting on the state of feminism today (abortion, Chris Brown). The portrait that emerges is not only one of an incredibly insightful woman continually growing to understand herself and our society, but also one of our culture.

Bad Feminist is a sharp, funny, and spot-on look at the ways in which the culture we consume becomes who we are, and an inspiring call-to-arms of all the ways we still need to do better.

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