Me And My Selfie

The issue of “the selfie” is a great opportunity for everyone’s internal misogyny to show. Myself included. I am guilty of having scoffed as I scrolled down my Facebook feed, allowing myself to feel momentarily superior to the girls with the heavy makeup and puckered lips, their tops pulled down and their chests puffed up just enough in-frame for us to see. It’s so obvious, isn’t it? Envy at it’s most passive-aggressive. Today Jezebel published an article about how the act of taking a photo of yourself is a cry for help which prompted people to get into a rage. Because women telling other women that they are to be pitied for taking pictures of themselves is kinda fucked up, don’t you think?

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Life Without Alcohol

I know, right? Pretty shocking headline. If I’d read those three words a year ago, on my own blog no less, I would have scoffed. No way.

Over the last ten years, I became very good at drinking alcohol. It was my lifestyle, my hobby. It was the only thing I enjoyed. I needed it. My social life went from under-age drinking at weekends to vodka quads at university to boozy nights out in Manchester to curb my social awkwardness. The longest I went without drinking over an entire decade was two months, medication-enforced and seen as a spectacular achievement. I always fell off the wagon. I’d make a promise to myself not to drink and find myself in the pub by evening, like I’d just forgotten to quit. In the months when I was properly, dangerously depressed, the only thing that felt like help was alcohol. I’m bored, time for a glass of lambrini. Open a beer, zone out. Grab a bottle and drink until you feel like somebody else.

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“How’s Trichs?” – A Decade of Trichotillomania

I remember the first time I felt truly ashamed of my trichotillomania. It was 2008 and I was sitting in the cafe of my university’s students union with some mates, waiting for a lecture or perhaps just there to get drunk. My friend arrived and pulled us all into separate hugs. Then, frowning, he held me at a distance. “Red.” He cried. “What have you done to your eyebrows?”

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Star Trek: Into Sexism

I went to see Star Trek: Into Darkness last week, and I wasn’t that impressed. I’m not a fan of the franchise (although I did enjoy Deep Space Nine back in the day, when it was on before Buffy) so I don’t know much about Kirk, Spock and the world they inhabit. I was hoping the film would show me, but much of it was centred around this generic cat and mouse adventure plotline in which the heroes chase the bad guy, capture him, are hoodwinked and eventually regain composure. Snore. The best bits; alien races, space cities and future technology, were mere scenery and thirty second snapshots for a film set largely on deck.

That wasn’t the stupidest bit though.

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Street Harassment: How A Stranger Stole My Hat

Last night at eleven, I was getting off a train at Manchester Piccadilly after a day in the countryside. As soon as I hit the streets, I realised it must have been a football day or something, because the city was one huge chant. Teenage bullying and general life experience makes me wary of large groups of men, so I kept my head down and power-walked onwards to the bus stop.

So there I am, pressing the wait button at the traffic lights, one earphone in blaring Fun’s Some Nights on repeat to distract me from the world, when I feel someone behind me. A man snatches the hat off my head and keeps on walking. I turn around to see a group of five or six “lads” jeering, pointing and shouting at me whilst the thief in question adjusts my hat on his head.

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Why The Gaming Industry Is Still (Button) Bashing Women

It seems impossible for anyone to still insist that video games are a male past-time now. With a games console in practically every home that can afford one, anyone can play from five year old kids to eighty year old pensioners. Yet there is still a stereotype, an opinion that women don’t understand games, aren’t very good at them or just don’t fit into video game culture.

The evidence stacks up. Female characters are usually super-sexualised or placed in frail, supporting roles. Peach longs to be rescued and Bayonetta “can pick up an enemy’s spear and use it as a stripper pole”. Sexy, slim and beautiful but without the muscle definition, obviously. Something nice to look at. The idea seems to be that if you have a strong female character at the forefront of the game, men will not be able to relate to her. Good luck girls, because sex is still selling. You’re just not allowed to buy it.

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