Tag: feminism

I AM A FEMINIST

“Feminist: A person who believes in the social, political, and economic
equality of all genders, regardless of race, ethnicity, socioeconomic class,
religion, ability and sexual orientation.”

I am a feminist because I am too scared to walk alone at night.

I am a feminist because I got lined up in a classroom in order
of who had the nicest arse, aged thirteen, by all the boys in the class.

I am a feminist because everyone asks me if I’m feeling OK on
the days I don’t wear makeup.  

I am a feminist because a man I was managing was paid the same as me.

I am a feminist because every girl I know was sexually harassed
before the age of sixteen.  

I am a feminist because women write insightful and beautiful
books about relationships and they’re labelled chick lit. I am a feminist
because men write insightful and beautiful books about relationships and get
longlisted for the Booker prize.  

I am a feminist because 50% of the films nominated for Best
Picture Academy Awards did not pass the simple Bechdel test.

I am a feminist because whenever I watch a movie, music video,
or open a magazine, I feel instantly insecure about my body.

I am a feminist because my two-year-old niece pointed to a
picture of a blue hat in a book and said, “Boy’s hat”.

I am a feminist because I am regularly interrupted by men
whenever I dare to open my mouth.  

I am a feminist because when I do mixed-sex school visits, the
girls never, ever put their hand up to ask a question. But, when it’s just
girls, we usually have to leave extra time for questions.

I am a feminist because I feel I need to hide my tampon up my
sleeve on the way to the toilet.

I am a feminist because teenage boys come up to me at events
and ask if they’re “allowed” to read my books.

I am a feminist for all the boys I supported, working at a
charity, who would rather harm themselves than cry.

I am a feminist because my wonderful, caring, brilliant
feminist father has still never cleaned a toilet in his life.  

I am a feminist because this is only the tip of it. The tip of
it in my privileged, first-world, pale-skinned, straight, fully-abled
life.  

I am feminist for all the women for whom it is unimaginably
harder than it is for me.

I am a feminist because I am angry and exhausted and terrified
and frustrated and confused. And even though it’s so much harder to fight, so
much easier to roll over, I am a feminist because… how can you not be a
feminist?  

I am a feminist for all the things I’m damaged by that I don’t
want to share here today.  

I am a feminist. And I’m not saying that to make you feel
guilty and defensive. I’m not saying that because I think you’re a bad person.
I’m not saying that because I hate half of the human population and want them
all punished.  

I am saying that because I believe every human being should
have an equal shot at a healthy and happy life, no matter what body they are
born into. And that’s not going to happen unless we fight, unless we speak up,
unless we occasionally make people feel uncomfortable, unless we – at the very
freaking least – TRY.

That’s why #IAmAFeminist. Now, how about you?

Spinster Sunday

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One of the most amazing things about Am I Normal Yet? and How Hard Can Love Be? is seeing fans – readers, bloggers and vloggers – forming their own Spinster Clubs.

One of the most recent comes from Emma of Never Judge a Book By its Cover (a fantastic book blog you should definitely check out). Emma has created a brilliant Tumblr @the-spinster-club for readers “who adored [Am I Normal Yet?], are feminist or a new feminist like myself, who wants to own who
they are and be an individual.”
  You can look forward to posts about the Normal series, quotes, discussions
agendas and there is talk of a Feminist Street Team too. We LOVE the sound of that. Check in with Emma over at The Spinster Club for more.

Speaking of all things Spinster, today Holly is up in Lytham St Anne’s headlining Spinster Sunday. Hosted by Storytellers Inc, it’s an afternoon of events to
celebrate friendship, feminism and frankly brilliant books. This empowering
afternoon is sure to pass the Bechdel test with a fantastic line-up of current
teen/YA authors including Non Pratt, Keris Stainton, Sara Barnard, Natasha Farrant and Jenny Maclachan. More on this next week!

Go Spinsters!

How Hard Can Love Be? is out TODAY!

So, you know how Amber was always OFF ON ONE in Am I Normal Yet? about the other spinster club girls and their boy troubles? Well, I decided it would be fun if Miss Cynic fell in love. Hard.

I can’t believe How Hard Can Love Be? is out TODAY. I hope you love Amber’s journey as much as I do. Here’s to nice boys who call themselves feminists, Dumbledore’s Army, rainbows, and American roadtrips. See you at Summer Camp!

To celebrate the launch of How Hard Can Love Be? we will be hosting #14DaysofLove – a celebration
of love in all its forms – from first love to friendships to family. Keep an eye out for exclusive videos, competitions and more! Join in with #14daysoflove and #HHCLB.

Feminism in YA panel – Waterstones Piccadilly

So last night something amazing happened. This…

Standing-room only for a talk about feminism in Waterstones flagship store in London Piccadilly, and I was lucky enough to be a part of it.

Anna James, Holly Smale, CJ Daugherty and I spend a lot of our spare time bemoaning the patriarchy. So we thought we’d add in an audience and see if people were interested. You. Are. Interested. It was a magical, empowering, inspiring evening and I love how many kick-ass feminists came to listen. Here are my best bits.

  • My left boob had a lot to say. Before we’d even started, we turned on the mikes and mine deafened the room with extremely loud interference. I didn’t know my left boob had so much to say about the patriarchy, or that it was so impatient to do so. But the evening started with me having to apologise to a room full of packed people for my angry boob and that basically set up the mood for the rest of the evening.
  • Holly Smale’s feminism omelette. Holly S made some great points about how different authors are ‘breaking eggs into the feminism omelette’ in different ways. It was SUCH an important point to make on how we class a book ‘feminist’ or not. Yes, Geek Girl has modelling in it but it has SUCH a strong message of empowerment and being true to yourself. As Holly S said, female characters don’t have to “shoot a squirrel through an eye at 20 metres” to be feminist.
  • When CJ kept giving me goosebumps, so much so that I had to clutch her. She talked about Allie’s journey in Night School and how she went from always being the girl who’s rescued, to rescuing herself. I got all emotional and just sort of grabbed at her and she was awfully nice about it.
  • Anna’s insightful comments about pubic hair. And how she’s noticed it’s only ever male writers who write descriptions of women’s pubic hair in sex scenes. Particularly ‘the historical novels and the blossoming bushes’. You can NEVER UNSEE this now.
  • The fact that I wasn’t politely asked to leave. I mean, I at one-point went ‘off-piste’ and started imagining aloud Katniss dripping period blood onto The Careers when she was stuck up that tree. And then I lost my temper and got…rather animated when a question came up about men who feel using the word ‘feminist’ emasculates them. I yelled the word “BALLS” a lot, and at some point screeched “I’M THE ANGRY FEMINIST MONSTER OF YOUR NIGHTMARES” and yet nobody told me to get in the sea, so thanks for that.

The amazing people who came. You asked insightful and challenging questions – about intersectional feminism and your concerns for the future of feminism. You told us of your own feminist battles. You were empowered and enlightened and just…ON-IT and I feel so positive about the future of feminism with a room full of people like you. So thank you so much for coming!

And one more thing – ONLY THREE DAYS UNTIL HOW HARD CAN LOVE BE? COMES OUT!!!!!

How Hard Can Love Be? is here!

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

!!!!!!!!!

THE FINAL COPIES OF HOW HARD CAN LOVE BE? HAVE ARRIVED

There are so gorgeous and BRIGHT and amazing. And they are out on Feb 1st! And, if that’s not exciting enough, the first edition of these babies have EXCLUSIVE content. So get your grabby grab-hands out!

I so hope you love Amber’s story as much as I do. It’s much more soppy than Am I Normal Yet? Because not all boys are sex maniacs and/or general ballsacks like Ethan and Guy. 🙂 

LOOK LOOK AT THEM!

Do tweet me your photos and feedback once you get your copies. Spinster Club forever!

YA Blogger series with Once Upon a Bookcase

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We’re very excited to have the brilliant Jo from Once a Upon of Bookcase join us for the second YA bloggers series feature:

What is ‘normal’?
To me, there is no ‘normal’ in the sense of being ‘just like everyone else’. There are no two people who are exactly the same – not in how they look, or in who they are. Trying to fit in by being someone you’re not isn’t ‘normal’. The only way to be truly normal is to be true to yourself, to who you are – to be your own normal.

What message did you take away from Am I Normal Yet?
Being honest about who you are, and not hiding away is the only way to go. Because, as Dr Seuss said, “Those who mind don’t matter, and those who matter don’t mind.”

Also, you don’t need to be a brain box to understand feminist ideas, and to fight for equality.

What does feminism mean to you?
Equality. There are a lot of people who seem to think feminists are man-hating women who just want power for women. This isn’t the case; it’s all about equality, men and women being on an equal footing, without the sexism and double standards. It’s about women being valued just as much as men – not valued more highly than men.

What other YA novels about mental health would you recommend?
There have been so many great ones I’ve read, but these are the ones that stick out.

  • Panther by David Owen – about living with a sister who suffers from Depression.
  • Every Last Word by Tamara Ireland Stone – about a girl who has Purely Obsessional OCD, and how she finds solace in friendship and poetry.
  • All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven – about Finch and Violet, who meet at the top of the school tower as they both contemplate suicide.
  • I Am Not a Serial Killer by Dan Wells – about a sociopath who tries to hunt down a serial killer.  

And finally, what’s your go-to cheesy snack?
I’m sorry to say I don’t like cheesy snacks!

Thanks so much for taking part in our YA Blogger series, Jo (and we forgive you for not liking cheesy snacks too :)).

Read Jo’s review of Am I Normal Yet? over on her FAB blog Once Upon a Bookcase – and don’t forget to have a browse through her other brilliant features and reviews too.