When ‘no’ means ‘no.’


I have recently seen a lot of people address this topic, and with myself going on a rant about this on Twitter the other week, I thought it would be fitting to engage my anger further in a blog post…

We seem to use the excuse, “boys will be boys” a lot when we talk about groping or touching women without consent. After turning 18 and going out ‘clubbing’ more, this has been an issue in which I have experienced personally- and overall disgusts me. Not just for my own personal space, but for other women too.

Being groped or touched without consent is extremely intimidating, vile, and above all; a violation on my own body. We seem to teach women that we should be ‘flattered’ by such behaviour because ‘we should like the male attention.’ But what if I don’t want male attention? Especially uncalled for attention. Because the thing is, it’s not just me. It’s my friends. It’s every other woman in the same room as me. It’s every other woman who may feel intimidated by such behaviour.

It’s 2017, and some men can’t take no for an answer. Either that or they go off on one.. “I didn’t want you anyway, it was only a bit of fun.” Well guess what? I didn’t want your ugly ass either but you still tried to give it to me. I don’t care if you’re drunk, off your face or anything in between. It’s time we stopped normalising groping or touching without consent and putting it down to ‘boys just being boys.’ Because where’s the progress?

I should not have to pretend that I have a boyfriend for you to stop touching me like you respect your male peers more than an innocent woman. I should not have to tell you to f**k off away from me because you can’t take no for an answer. I shouldn’t be put into a position where I, or anyone else, feels intimidated because a man can’t take no for an answer and then get abuse because I knocked him back. Once again, forgot your ego was more important than my own body.

I know this was a post full of pure ranting, but after seeing people address a similar issue; I felt like I needed to vent my anger out there. It’s sad that in 2017, I have to write a post about some men not taking ‘no’ for an answer because they feel like they have the right to touch me without consent. Reality check, you don’t and I will put you in your place if you do.

Love and happiness always,

xo, Becca

 

Why international women’s day is important to me


I don’t want this blog post to be full of rambling statistics regarding the ‘wage gap,’ or general statistics regarding gender equality; rather I want to use this blog post to promote the fundamental idea’s of ‘International Women’s Day’ (March 8th), and why I am so passionate about it.

International Women’s Day celebrates the social, economic, cultural and political achievement of women.
Yet progress has slowed in many places across the world, so global action is needed to accelerate gender parity.
In 2016 leaders across the world pledged to take action as champions of gender parity
– not only for International Women’s Day, but for every day.

(Taken from https://www.internationalwomensday.com).

It is no secret that I identify myself as a Feminist, and love the idea of ‘girl power’ and female empowerment. Not that I should have to justify my beliefs, but that doesn’t mean to say that I do not believe in male empowerment either. However, this is a day for women to come together and show how strong we actually are. To reflect on the past, and look at how far women have come in society.

I’m sure if you sat down, you could name hundreds + of inspirational, strong and powerful women which exist, and existed, within different societies. And that’s the reality of it all; women can be just that, and we are just that.

International Women’s Day highlights a number of factors when it comes to females in general. For example, reflecting on gender inequality which still exists worldwide today. You don’t have to feel oppressed yourself to have your eyes open to the scary realities that some women have to face daily. Look at FGM (female genital mutilation) for one. However, it is also important that as well as highlighting these gender inequality issues that still exist today, we also reflect upon the positives within the movement.

For example, many women now have the right to vote; a right in which I certainly do not, and ever will, take for granted. Women had to die for that right, and I certainly feel proud to be able to vote for my political beliefs. In addition, we have had increasing improvement in the status of women in society. We are now able to work, and choose our family sizes for ourselves. We are now able to hold our own independence within society and do it with a ‘hell yeah’ attitude and I love that. I love being able to work, and earn just as much money as my male colleagues. (I guess that’s a whole other topic for another day).

I like to think of myself as a Feminist in which reflects at gender inequality, and picks out the positives that have been achieved within the movement whilst working on the negatives which still exists today. And I believe that International Women’s Day fundamentally does that. It makes me feel empowered. It makes me feel proud to be a woman. It makes me proud of my female friends, their strength, and how inspiring other females are to me. It reflects girl power, and unites women together. It makes me realise that even I am a hell of a lot stronger than I originally thought I was.

I am a woman. I am female. And I am proud.

Love and happiness always,

xo, Becca

You can find more information on International Women’s Day by clicking here.

My body, my choice


So today I was casually looking to see if my outfit was okay in a mirror, and it got me thinking. Of course, I think in the most random of situations and circumstances, but bare with me on this one.

I know this is talked about a lot, and so we should do. Our bodies are our own and no one else’s. That means we can’t let people tell us what we “can” and “can’t” do with it (within legal boundaries of course). But even I still find myself doing things in order to please others.

What I do with my body is none of your business. Period. Let people breathe, and let people live. No one should be able to control what someone else does with their body, and no one should be able to judge.

Because the thing is, whatever I wear, however I decide to express my body and my body image, is due to my own confidence. Yes, confidence people. Low cut dresses. Jeans without a long top above it. They’re all things I have slowly learnt to overcome and I finally feel liberated, confident and happy in my body. Okay? Okay.

I’m growing up, and I’m sensible in expressing who I am with my body. I feel like body image is something everyone struggles with, and the power to overcome that is incredible.

I don’t know. Another rambled sort of post, full of complete expression of words, and passion for letting women, men, transgender people, anyone, feel confident enough to belong to their own body.

Love and happiness always,

xo, Becca

 

My own voice


This is a concept that I have been reflecting upon for a few days now. I often ponder over why I was put onto this Earth. I guess this is also because I’m a strong believer in the idea that everyone has a purpose, but what exactly is mine?

If you have followed my blog over the past few months, you may have noticed that I’m an avid thinker. I think about everything and anything possible. Even the deepest parts of life.

I’ve recently begun to realise that maybe my purpose is my voice. I am not one to let someone silence my own voice. I speak up about equality a lot. Whether that’s gender or race. I also have a strong passion for speaking out regarding mental health illnesses, with reference to my own personal experiences on the topic.

Maybe I have been blessed with my voice FOR a bigger purpose. Important issues are something that needs to be addressed, and something in which I am not scared to speak out on.

Even the smallest things like living your life to the fullest, or about non-judgement is something that is worth speaking out upon. Realistically, my voice isn’t powerful enough to change the world on it’s own. But my voice along with many others has the potential to make a difference, even if it’s a small one.

So this is my voice. Live your life, and God, I can’t emphasise that enough. You’re alive, so let yourself live. We often take life for granted sometimes, even I do. Cherish those around you. DO NOT stop speaking out on things you are passionate about. I genuinely hope that in my lifetime, mental health services would have improved, just like I hope that we can finally achieve, somewhat, of worldwide equality.

I am determined. Even if my voice is spoken through my blog. At least it’s something. Sometimes we have to use our own qualities to make a positive impact in the world around us.

Love and happiness always,
xo, Becca

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Is independence empowering?


I like to think of myself as a pretty independent person which can be extremely empowering to me. A person who can make her own decisions, be responsible for her own success, and can go out on her own and do her own thing. I hate relying on people and not being able to make my own decisions.

And what about when it comes to being independent in relationships? I totally support that 100%. Obviously, a relationship is between two people, and you can’t be selfish. But, being selfish and independent are two different things. In a relationship I can still make my own decisions. I can still go out on my own without my boyfriend. I can still earn my own money, and not rely on my boyfriend’s; and likewise spend money on him too.

One of the things I’ve always wanted to be is a strong, independent woman. I don’t like being told that I can’t do something because of my gender, or being told that I am not capable enough to make my own decisions.

I am not even saying this because I label myself as a Feminist. I just feel like independence is such an amazing and empowering feeling. I will never let anyone tell me what I can or can’t do, and I will never let anyone put me down for being a woman. I am more than capable of looking after myself, just as much as a male is. My gender does not determine how independent I can or can’t be either.

Because I am strong and independent, I will live my life how I want. I will strive to reach my own goals, ignoring others opinions. I will stick to the person I want to be, and get out there and meet new people and make new friends without relying on anyone else. In every relationship I get in, I will still uphold and stick to this belief; yet still be in a relationship with partnership, and still have my own unique identity.

I am happy in my own vision of myself and who I want to be, with being independent being one of my most empowering features. I’m happy in not relying on others, I’m happy in having own opinions and view on things and not being influenced by others. I’m happy in being my own liberated and empowered person and just a strong, independent woman.

Being independent is a good thing. It does not mean I am ‘stuck up’ or ‘stubborn.’

Independent: 1. free from outside control; not subject to another’s authority. 2. not depending on another for livelihood or subsistence.

Love and happiness always,

xo, Becca

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Is Feminism for everyone?


(Picture credit)

Now, I could finish this blog post even within one sentence by simply saying yes; but for anyone who needs convincing as to why Feminism benefits everyone, here’s why.

Feminism is a movement in which I support wholeheartedly, and always will. After all, it’s a movement which strives for gender equality which is why I’ll never understand why Feminism has so many negative connotations. No, we don’t hate men one bit and we’re not all lesbians (but why should that matter if we are or not?) ANYWAY.

Feminism is a worldwide movement which benefits men and women across the world. From western society, to the middle east. It upsets me how many people still think Feminism is about women hating men or wanting to be above men, which certainly isn’t the case. I openly identify myself as a Feminist because I believe in equality for ALL and because I love men and women, and I wish people could share that love equally as well.

I’m going to put my hands up and admit that I used to think Feminism was about women hating men; before I was educated on the topic, of course. But at the end of the day, Feminism fights against sexism, misogyny, patriarchal oppression and discrimination. It’s scary that we still live in a world where people are still prejudiced against others because of their gender as well as race / religion etc only to name a few.

Feminism supports men and women regardless of their race, ethnicity and religion. Which means Feminism can benefit you reading this blog post right now, no matter who you may be.

Now some of you reading this may oppose Feminism for the very reason that it’s called Feminism. The reason it’s called Feminism however, is because it’s still women who are the most oppressed worldwide. Of course it’s improved, but we still need Feminism to help stop that patriarchy for good. Yes, Feminism is a movement which benefits all- but why are we opposing an equality movement based on it’s name rather than what it’s actually about??? It still baffles me.

Feminism breaks traditional values which influence gender inequality- something in which both men and women are victims of. You know the idea that women should fulfill the ‘homemaker’ role, or that men should be ‘masculine’ enough- hey guys, you’re not expected to live up to traditional gender stereotypes- keep doing you. That is just one of the reasons why Feminism benefits everyone.

I hope I have made the point clear that Feminism doesn’t just concentrate on female oppression, but male oppression too. Believe it or not, Feminists do like men with some of my bestest friends even being male- I know right?

To finish this post, I am going to distinguish between a Feminist and a misandtirst using this Tumblr post which I recently saw online:

 Bottom line, Feminism can help benefit you reading this right now- and can benefit everyone. Stop making a gender equality movement out to be ‘toxic’ or ‘awful’.’ Feminism has helped empower me as a woman, and show me that there is nothing wrong with being a strong, independent woman who doesn’t want to conform with gender stereotypes as well as benefit many others worldwide.

Love and happiness always,

xo, Becca

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Feminism: my view on the movement


Feminism. What do you think of when you first hear that word? Some may think of gender equality (which it is), whereas others may apply more negative connotations to it.

It is no secret that I openly label myself as a Feminist. I know a lot of people may support egalitarianism, yet not put a label on it, and that’s totally fine too. But I’m proud to call myself a Feminist. I’m proud to be part of a movement which, even nearly 100 years on, still empowers women worldwide today.

Like many Feminists, I have also been open to scrutiny and ridicule from a lot of people. “Western society is equal!” I’ve even once been told that “Feminism is cancer” and that it makes me a total psycho supporting a gender equality movement, but we’ll move onto that point a bit later on.

Feminist: A person who believes in the social, political and economic equality of the sexes.

Let’s strip this down to a way in which everyone will try to understand why I’m a Feminist. I’m a Feminist because I believe in equality. It’s as simple as that. I feel like Feminism has been blown out of proportion, and has slowly been changed due to growing assumptions that “Feminists cry about being oppressed all day” or my personal favourite, “Feminists hate men!” You may use the argument that some Feminists hate men, and I’m sure there are some women that hate men. But that’s not a Feminist. Bottom line, I love men. Some of my bestest friends are male and I love them just as much as my female friends. It’s not about hating men, it’s about being equal to men and vise versa.

I’m going to go quite personal now, and talk about my personal view on Feminism and how I perceive the Feminist movement. After labeling myself as a Feminist for nearly 3 years now, I have increasingly become more educated on the matter, and more open to alternative opinions on gender inequality and about the role of women in various societies all together.

Western society. It is no secret that the role of women has improved dramatically over the past 100 years- especially in my society. Heck, women can now vote, we’ve had our first female prime minister (and just had our second), girls and boys have so many amazing opportunities that go against gender stereotypes. I mean, if I wanted to be an electrician that used to be a typical male job, I could be. And you know what else? I think it’s cool as hell if men want to wear make-up and men want to express themselves in that way. Breaking down gender stereotypes people…

I think it’s important, as people, that we look at the positive aspects which have come out of the Feminist movement. Our society is becoming more and more equal between men and women, and that should be celebrated more often. Sure, there are still issues such as ‘rape culture,’ and ‘slut shaming’ for instance, but let’s look at how our society has been positively changed.

I know and understand that a lot of western Feminists, even Feminists that I know of myself, speak up about issues such as the ‘wage gap’ a lot. However, I tend to personally stay out of them issues, not because I am ignorant to them issues, but because I feel like I’m not educated enough on them topics to speak up about them. I personally believe that the wage gap is hard. It’s easy for statistics to be manipulated, especially now that we do have equal opportunities to go into whatever job we want. Granted, however, it may be harder for  a woman to go into a typical male job for instance.

Of course if I was slut shamed, I would speak up because it’s no secret that it’s not right. On the other hand, and this is where a lot of other Feminists may open me up to scrutiny, I concentrate my energy about speaking up on other issues that exist in middle eastern cultures for example. Or let’s talk about how women are still shamed for wearing a skirt just above their knee in our education system as it’s “too distracting for the male pupils.”

I personally feel like Feminism is such a hard topic to write about, as it’s easy for people to disagree with you on such a diverse topic. But I’m a strong believer that Feminism should be stripped down to what it’s actually about, equality (rather than constantly pin pointing certain subjects to talk about all the time).

Another issue that is raised by a lot of Feminists, and which I was approached about today, is the subject of wolf whistling in public. Oh ‘good old’ wolf whistling. For me personally, I believe each to their own. Of course many men and women may feel flattered by being wolf whistled, but for me personally, it makes me feel uncomfortable and embarrassed; but I guess that’s just a personal response. I would personally not wolf whistle anyone as I believe it’s more respectful not to, but everyone has their own opinions on the matter.

Middle Eastern societies. It is no secret that this is where Feminism definitely is needed. Even just talking about FGM and forced marriages would be enough to convince you that middle eastern societies are far from being equal.

In fact, one of my most favourite Feminist writers, El Saadawi, talked about FGM and her experience of the patriarchy which surrounds it. For any of you who are unaware, FGM (female genital mutilation) “is the practice, traditional in some cultures, of partially or totally removing the external genitalia of girls and young women for non-medical reasons.” You can read the article in which El Saadawi addresses the issue of FGM here.

Overall, I believe that Feminism is a hard topic to talk about- especially because there are so many opinions which surround it. I have been shamed for being a Feminist, but the fact is, I’m quite a low key Feminist. I only speak up about issues when I feel like it needs to be said, but that doesn’t mean I’m ignorant to the movement either. I will continue to work towards promoting equality within societies worldwide, and I will not be shamed or ridiculed for my views on equality.

It’s time we lived in a more equal and accepting society. You may not agree with everything I have mentioned in this post, and that’s totally okay. But people should become more aware, and accepting, of other peoples opinions regarding issues such as Feminism and take them into consideration.

I support a movement which has the interests of men and women at heart. I support a movement which helps empower men and women. I support a movement which helps me stand up for myself and my body in a world where, yeah, there still is some misogyny. I support a movement which also states it’s ridiculous that women get child custody more than men do. I support a movement which promotes equality. I am sick of being labelled constantly because of Feminist misconceptions, or due to other people already labeling the kind of person they think Feminists are. Guess what? We’re all unique humans, and we all have our unique opinions.

#IAmAFeminist because I believe in equal rights for all. Whether that’s white women, black women, black men, white men, transgender or otherwise. Everyone deserves to be treated the same in this world. We’re all human after all.

I hope this post has helped give you a different perspective on Feminists, or Femnism, as a whole if nothing else. Feel free to let me know your thoughts, and leave a comment in the comment box below!

Love and happiness always,

xo, Becca

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