Say it with me – HOW IS IT ALREADY FEBRUARY?!
It’s been fecking freezing, I’ve had two (TWO) colds and, like most of the world, I had to go back to work (booooo), HOWEVER, January was maaaybe not so bad.
Reason Numero One
2017 is the year I’m committing to learning more about feminism – but particularly intersectional feminism. So I kicked off January in style with the goddess that is bell hooks:
“When black people are talked about, sexism militates against the acknowledgement of the interests of black women; when women are talked about, racism militates against a recognition of black female interests. When black people are talked about, the focus tends to be on black men and when women are talked about, the focus tends to be on white women.”
Ain’t I a Woman by bell hooks. Buy here.
“Many women are reluctant to advocate feminism because they are uncertain about the meaning of the term. Other women from exploited or oppressed ethnic groups dismiss the term because they do not wish to be perceived as supporting a racist moment; feminism is often equated with white women’s rights efforts. Large numbers of women see feminism as synonymous with lesbianism: their homophobia leads them to reject association with any group identified as pro-lesbian. Some women fear the word “feminism” because they shun identification with a political movement, especially one perceived as radical. Of course there are women who do not wish to be associated with women’s rights movement in any form, so they reject and oppose feminist movement. Most women are more familiar with negative perspectives on ‘women’s lib’ than with the positive significations of feminism. It is this term’s positive political significance and power that we must now struggle to recover and maintain.”
Feminist Theory: From Margin to Center by bell hooks. Buy here.
Reason Number Zwei
I’m not really a podcast fan, for the same reason that I slept through the majority of my university lectures – I am rubbish at being talked at. Talk TO me and I’m 100% there, but lectures/audiobooks/podcasts nooooope…zzzzzzzz. SO you should sit up and take notice that I am about to recommend to you a PODCAST.
Kicking the Kyriarchy is a fearless examination of privilege and oppression, from all angles. Meet Elena and Sid, two queer white women guiding you through topics such as consent, periods, sex work, and being non-binary. At the core of the concept is Elena and Sid’s recognition of their own privilege, and their determination to not only help us recognise our own privilege (without judgement or fear) but proactively give voices to those in marginalised social groups. They take a back seat in every episode, acting as interviewers and only really chiming in for clarification to ensure the listener isn’t alienated by acronyms or jargon.
Take Episode 5 which is all about periods. The obvious thing to talk about is the inherent misogyny of the way we deal with periods – from the general sense of shame and embarrassment to the tampon tax. Elena and Sid start there by interviewing Laura, the activist behind the “End the Tampon Tax” campaign, but they swiftly move on to the questions many of us will never have considered. What is it like to be a man who has periods? Enter Lysander, a trans man who menstruates. What is it like to get your period when you’re homeless? Cue Stephanie, from the Homeless Period, an organisation that helps to get sanitary products to women on the streets.
I spent most of January binge-listening to the first seven episodes, leading to a frustrating couple of weeks before episode eight was released yesterday. If you’re not sure where to start with intersectional feminism, this is a great place to start – convenient, interesting, FREE, and generally excellent.
Reason Nummer Trois
Like podcasts, I’ve never been a big YouTube fan, I usually have my nose in a book or my ears in Spotify (or both) buuuut shortly before Christmas, Boyf switched me on to Hannah Witton, which invariably led me to her YouTube pals Lucy and Leena.
Since then I’ve been having periodic YouTube binges interspersed with back episodes of their podcast (ANOTHER PODCAST) called the Banging Book Club – a book club all about sex and gender. Particular favourites are the podcast & video from the month they read Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus; and Hannah’s unflinchingly honest series The Hormone Diaries.
Reason Nombre Quattro
I’ll admit it’s been a slow start to 2017 in my Spotify account – I’ve had a pretty significant 2016 hangover BUT there were two albums I’ve had on a loop this month – ROCKISDEAD by Dorothy and the La La Land Soundtrack.
I’ll admit Dorothy got well and truly usurped by the foot-tapping, jazz-hand-inducing glory of Another Day in the Sun and Someone in the Crowd. GLORIOUS.
Special mention to…
January can never be a bad month when it’s awards season and all the good films come out at once – other than the invariable stress of trying to fit all the films in to a very short space of time (frankly, it should be a national holiday). Just remember: check the cinema listings, breathe, and PLAN.
Anyways, I already waxed lyrical about some rather excellent films I saw in January – see my previous post for the details.
Ok, I’ve calmed down and am now ready to accept that it is, in fact, February. Ciao!