International Women’s Day 2017

Around the world, the 8th of March is International Women’s Day. Originally founded in 1909 by the Socialist Party of America, International Women’s Day is an opportunity to celebrate the women who have fought for change and is an opportunity to discuss current issues faced by different people across the world and what can be done to initiate change, inspired by those who have gone before us.

In the spirit of International Women’s Day, I wanted to take this opportunity to highlight just a few individuals, groups, projects and reading materials that you can watch, read, follow and get involved in.

You can also watch my International Women’s Day Reading List video here.

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Awesome Internet Links

Back in January I did a roundup of links to articles and general internet tomfoolery I had enjoyed that month for your perusal (see here). Although I haven’t managed to post regular monthly roundups of awesome internet links I am feeling the urge to share some things with all of you in one place again so perhaps this will become an irregular, unscheduled form of post here on my blog if you enjoy it. But without further ado here are some links to things I have discovered online in the recent weeks!

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How will men be able to respect you?

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My boyfriend and I recently watched 17 Again: a film where Zac Efron plays the part of a middle age man who through divine janitorial intervention is transformed back into his 17 year old self and has to attend high school with his two teenage children.  The film was fine, made me laugh, nothing out of this world. This is not a film review.

During the film Zac Efron’s character delivered an instructional speech to three girls who finding him attractive, decide to get their flirt on and let him know they are interested. His words (I’m quoting from memory here) were:

Girls! ‘If you don’t respect yourselves, how will men ever be able to respect you.’

Stop right there Zac Efron, or more accurately the screenwriters of 17 Again! Please, this is enough. This is another phrase I hear constantly especially in films and television. And it is seemingly portrayed as empowering message to young women… does no one else see the problem here?

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January Links

So I don’t have a written piece for you today on anything in particular. What I do have, however, are lots of other awesome articles and videos you might want to check out instead. I thought I might do a monthly post collating various different things from online that I have enjoyed over the past month. I know various different people and organisations do weekly or monthly online roundup lists; sometimes they are in blog post form sometimes in email newsletters (Nicola of Robotic’s Reading Week is one I particularly enjoy and is available to read on her blog as well as to receive in your email inbox weekly). I thought I’d like to keep everything in one place if that suits everyone. Let me know if this works for you. But without further ado, here are all your links:

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Don’t Blame It On Your Vagina

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Mean girls: not just the title of a popular comedy film. Nope, it is also a phrase I have heard batted around me in person and online my entire life. Not directed specifically towards me but as an elusive gender myth that lingers in the air waiting to suffocate new generations of women.

‘All girls are mean!’

Men, women, boys and girls have cried since whenever this stereotype came into existence…

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Naked Women Sell Things…

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Above you will bare witness to but a small selection of the titles published by Hard Case Crimes and their rather ‘stimulating’ cover designs. And it is their covers that are the topic of this post. Other than their retro feel and bold type-face there is one thing in particular that appears to bind each of these covers together, regardless of the plot or author, and, it seems silly for me to have to point this out, that is the adornment of an either scantily clad or entirely naked woman on each.

Now, I feel like it won’t come as a surprise to most of you that these covers make me a little uncomfortable. My first exposure to these cover designs was with an advanced readers’ copy of Joyland by Stephen King very kindly sent to me by the publishers who knew I was interested in reading some of King’s work. I cannot tell you that I was not a little shocked by the cover, which bore a women all but naked except for a cleverly positioned towel. Not  aware of the rest of this line’s cover designs I took it to be a cover carefully chosen for this book, which fitted with the plot and although seemingly objectified women’s bodies had another purpose unbeknownst to me. When I first saw these covers in a group such as this, however, I had to check my calendar. It is 2016 right? OK, so it may not have been 2016 for long but regardless, it is the 21st century.

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