April 2018 | Monthly Wrap Up

Monday 30 April 2018

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I have actually had a pretty good April – I’ve enjoyed it, probably mostly because of the sun. I wish that would come back.

Favourite part?

I spent a lot of time out with my friends this month – they’re all amazing and supportive and I love them a lot.

I saw the Bare Naked Ladies in concert with my dad this month. We ate at the Wagamama’s near the venue beforehand and the band were in there too! We didn’t recognise them until someone near us pointed them out. I honestly don’t think I’ve ever laughed at a gig so much before – they would be incredible to see again.

Later that week, I went to a recording of the Guilty Feminist in Southampton. They were great and I loved seeing how the final thing is put together - I can’t wait to listen to the episode when it comes out (it’s the Ego episode!).

Nearer the end of the month I applied for my student accommodation, which is so exciting!!

Best read?

So I may have finished my reading challenge this month! With revision getting hyped up, I haven’t been able to read as much as previous months, and I have a pile of books in my room that I need to read which will probably have to wait until the summer.

So, I read The Beauty Myth by Naomi Wolf. It was interesting, but her main arguments were probably best at the beginning and in the conclusion, and I’m a little questioning of some of the statistics she used, which while damning, are now nearly 30 years out of date (the book was published in 1990).  I also noticed how she used quotes from Engels completely out of context to make him seem unfeminist, and that makes me a tad angry.

I also read What Would Marx Do? by Gareth Southwell, an analysis of everyday questions and dilemmas. It has been really useful for my Politics A Level – I would definitely recommend for anyone interested in political theory.

Favourite tunes?

ABBA ARE BACK PEOPLE!!!! AAAAHHH!! I am so ridiculously excited for this. I’m just praying their new stuff is going to match up to the music I love.

Favourite watch?

The finale of Jane the Virgin though!!!!! Oh. My. God. I’ve got my family into the show to help me get through til October. OCTOBER!

What did I learn?

I’m not even sure. Ooh! In regards to every kind of text, take it with a pinch of salt. I knew this already but having properly researched the Engels quote used by Naomi Wolf, it’s been established a bit more.

What’s happening next month?

Revision. I go on study leave at the end of the month so it’s going to be full on.

What’s been on my mind?

Money and university. Stress stress stress.

Favourite post?

As usual, there’s not that much choice, and I only have one choice: 5 Books to Help You Improve Your Feminist Understanding. Good job I like this one then! Books and feminism all in one post? Can’t get any better in my opinion.

Biggest inspiration?

I feel like this void at the moment. See the last few months.

Any other favourites?

My black platform heels! I wore them out for the first time and I love them.

If you liked this post you might like: March 2018 | Monthly Wrap Up

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5 Books to Help You Improve Your Feminist Understanding

Friday 13 April 2018

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Books were my first love. And feminism my second. On this here blog, I do my best to combine the two, but this is perhaps the first time I’ve done a blog post on the ultimate love of my life: feminist books. These are some books that I think will help a person further their understanding of feminism, whether they be a long-time feminist or a fledgling of the movement. Either way, I hope that this proves useful, especially to those wanting a sort of introduction to feminism as a whole.

1. Of Women by Shami Chakrabati

I was given this book as a Christmas present from some family friends and I love it! Chakrabarti is the Shadow Attornee General and a second generation immigrant. In her book, she devotes each section to an issue that affects women globally, ranging from health to religion to education and all the sub-sects in between. This really helped widen my knowledge about so many different areas, and gave me an additional reading list that I am steadily working my way through. We need to always ensure that our feminism doesn’t fixate plainly on the West, and books like this ensure that we at least know a little about what’s going on elsewhere and prompts us to stay aware of the rest of the globe.

2. Everywoman by Jess Philips 

Update from future Jemima: I now have very different opinions on Jess Philips. She claims to be feminist but does not do enough to support trans people, sex workers, or women of colour. This book was influential for my feminist understanding at the time this post was published, however Jess Philips is certainly not the most intersectional person to learn about feminism from.

Jess Philips is one of my favourite MPs. She’s relatable, knows her stuff and is to the point. I first found out about her on The Guilty Feminist, where she was a guest before the I read this book in a day last summer and I think it’s great. Philips talks candidly about the life of a woman MP and her previous work in a women’s refuge in her constituency in a way that is clear and succinct and easy to understand. 

3. Introducing Feminism

I love the little Introducing Graphic Guide series. I have read three now, all related to my A Level work, and they help give a more basic understanding of a topic. This is definitely the case for the Feminism edition. I have so many more books to read after reading this. Head here first. This gives a great outline of the history of feminism (in the West at least) and will mean that you know what’s going on when you hear people talking about radical feminism, suffrage, Mary Wollestonecraft and bell hooks.

4. And Still I Rise by Maya Angelou

Maya Angelou was, and remains to be, an absolute icon. She’s someone I really wish I could have met, but alas that will never be the case. Her poetry is special. It’s touching and raw and beautiful. I would really recommend listening to her poetry – you can find recordings of her reciting it on YouTube. And Still I Rise is a masterpiece - Angelou’s poems make me cry with a mingling of hope and despair and gratefulness. She really was a phenomenal woman.

5. Everyday Sexism by Laura Bates

If someone ever asks you for proof of why we need feminism (if it wasn’t obvious enough already), then just shove this book under their nose and that should do the trick. I wish that I had read this sooner, as I feel it would have had a bigger impact on me if I didn’t already know the worst. Bates gives up clear statistics and explanation on a variety of topics, primarily focusing on sexual assault and harassment. She has had another book out recently and I can’t wait to read it (just once I get further down my ever-extending TBR pile!).

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March 2018 | Monthly Wrap Up

Friday 6 April 2018

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We’re a quarter into a year. Ha ha. Ha…

Favourite part?

I’ve seen a lot of my friends this month, which has been an utter blessing. I just want to say thank you guys for getting me through everything, you’re all incredible people.

At the beginning of the month I helped one of my friends move house. I like to think that I was really useful, but in all honesty, my biggest contribution was probably bringing along some of my homemade vegan welshcakes.

I also handed in my EPQ at last! It’s so amazing not to have to worry about it anymore!

This last week has been in quite busy. First of all, I saw a production of A Streetcar Named Desire at the Nuffield Theatre in Southampton. I really enjoyed their interpretations and I would really recommend it.
On Saturday, my friend Amy and I visited Brighton. It was my first time there and we had a great time sifting through second-hand book and clothes stores and eating great vegan food (Happy Maki is a must for any vegans going to/in Brighton). In the evening, we saw dodie in concert and she was incredible, I would love to see her again! If you want to have a better look at my weekend, please go watch the video Amy made (click here), it’s very cute and makes me very happy.

Best read?

This month I finished reading Eat My Heart Out by Zoe Pilger. I thought it was quite pretentious and all of the characters super unrealistic and annoying. I then read The Glass Menagerie by Tennessee Williams and The Lives of Women by Christine Hywer Dickey, the latter of which I would definitely recommend, especially in the run up to the referendum in Ireland on legalizing abortion.

I also read the Introducing Graphic Guides for both Feminism and Marxism, as a means of backing up my A Level studies. Speaking of which, I would highly recommend anyone studying the Russian Revolution and Stalinism read Animal Farm by George Orwell. I read it for the first time this month, and although I was aware of Orwell’s critiques of Communism in this book, I didn’t realise quite how specifically paralleled some of the events were. It was some good unexpected revision.

Along with those, I also read Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins – a cheerful, upbeat romcom that almost definitely doesn’t pass the Bechdel test!

I started reading quite a few books, but now the main one is The Beauty Myth by Naomi Wolff.

Favourite tunes?

My love for Stevie Nicks is never failing, but this month I’ve had a slight obsession with the Sound of Music. I’ve found that I Have Confidence is a great song to listen to first thing on a Monday morning.

What did I learn?

I can actually use flashcards.

What’s happening next month?

April… (I know we’re now about a quarter of the way through but let’s just pretend otherwise.) Well, revision, revision, revision… And I’m going to a live recording of The Guilty Feminist – my favourite podcast in case you didn’t know! I honestly can’t wait!  

What’s been on my mind?

Exams, man. I’m fucking stressed.

Favourite blogger/vlogger?

My mind has gone blank. It’s sad, but things that are mostly related to my subjects.

Favourite post?

My International Women’s Day post. It was a bit late, but I still like it a lot. It didn’t receive the reception I would have liked, but nevertheless, I am still proud of it.

Biggest inspiration?

Honestly? The most recent episode of the Guilty Feminist. Deborah Frances-White talked with volunteers helping refugees in Calais, and it’s really urged me to try to do more.

Any other favourites?

Tofu. I’ve eaten a lot of tofu in the past month and I am in no way complaining. Marinating is the trick if you’re cooking it in chunks, I’ve discovered. I have one particular slow cooker recipe which works so well. I also want to quickly mention my new trousers. I only had them for one day in March but I am in love!!

If you liked this post you might like: February 2018 | Monthly Wrap Up

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