IWD – volume 2

This post was supposed to be Volume 3 (coming up on Thursday)… but seeing as Lauren Laverne’s focusing her Radio 6 show this week on women in music for International Women’s Day (IWD), I thought I’d get in early before she steals my IWD Playlist thunder.


The Brits, Oscars, Golden Globes, BAFTA’s – they’re all full of the #metoo and #timesup campaigns. Not just because of sexual harassment but because of misrepresentation, lack of opportunity and lack of recognition.

Unsurprisingly these figures mirror most industries, which is just shocking considering half of the world’s population is female. Undoubtedly the showbiz industry get’s a lot of media coverage on the feminism topic and whilst sometimes this is frustrating, it has started opening up conversations in ‘normal’ workplaces.

Just like my last post where I declared my support of women owned businesses and companies that support women, in this post I will show my support for women in music, books and TV/film.

IWD Playlist

Found here on Spotify – go on give it a listen! 1 hour 15 minutes of pure #girlpower.

IWD Reading-list

  • Why I’m No Longer Talking To White People About Race – Reni Eddo-Lodge – A book about frustration around race as well as feminism. Very intelligently written, one to concentrate over. But I learnt A LOT reading it.
  • Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls: 100 Tales of Extraordinary Women – Elena Favilli – I’m not even a child and love this bedtime story book about the lives of women from the past and the present. It’s also beautifully illustrated by 60 female artists from all over the world.
  • Animal: The Autobiography of a Female Body – Sara Pascoe – A combination of Sara’s autobiography and evolutionary science facts, resulting in a very a funny insight into the way modern women work both mentally and physically. A one I’d recommend men reading more than women, you might just learn something lads!
  • How to Build a Girl – Caitlin Moran – An insecure teenage girl growing up in the 90’s. Very unoriginal I hear you say? Not likely. Caitlin Moran is ridiculously funny and puts a great spin on the trials and tribulations of growing up, being poor, being a woman and finding one’s identity as a person.
  • Everywomen: One Woman’s Truth About Speaking the Truth – Jess Phillips – Just started reading this one on Sunday, but love Jess Phillips (Labour MP) anyways, so already know it’s going to be a winner.


IWD Watch-list

  • She’s Gotta Have It – Netflix – A remake of the 80’s Spike Lee film. Nola Darling, lives in Brooklyn juggling three boyfriends, a job, her art and her friends. The soundtrack is top.
  • Young & Promising – 4od – Or Unge Lovende as it is called in Norway where the third series has just come out. I’m currently waiting patiently for it to arrive on 4od.  It’s kind of a Scandinavian version of Sex and the City, but more real and with beer not Cosmo’s.
  • Ladybird – out now – Written and directed by Greta Gerwig (a woman!) about a troubled teenage girl with a controlling mother. I’ve not yet seen it, but a trip to the pictures is on the cards this weekend. It’s meant to be hilarious.
  • Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban – Purely for when Hermione punches Draco.
  • Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 – Not even ashamed, purely for the scene where Mrs Weasley and Bellatrix are duelling.


P.s You can’t get rid of me this week, I’ll be back on Thursday with my #pressforprogress. In the meantime, head over to the International Women’s Day website to make your own pledge!

P.p.s Pledges aren’t just for women!!!

Recovery: Book Review

As yesterday was World Mental Health Day I thought I’d share my thoughts on my holiday read… Russel Brand’s Recovery: Freedom From Our Addictions.


Whether you are a Russel Brand fan or not, this book really does create awareness on the issues around addiction and the struggles faced on the road to recovery.

You may think; “this book isn’t for me, I’m not an addict, I don’t drink too much, I don’t do drugs…” But as I found reading this book, addiction isn’t just those classic clichés.

Do you find yourself thinking, if I just buy this, if I just eat this, if I just do this I’ll be happy? Do you find yourself constantly looking at your phone? Do you wake up and instantly check Facebook or Instagram to see how many likes you have? Do you sit and eat a whole pack of biscuits without being hungry? Do you constantly want to be thiner, younger, richer? Do you do these things and then loathe what you did afterwards, but then still continue to do the same thing?


This is also addiction. Russel Brand, in his flouncy language and witty stories tells this tale well. He also guides you through the 12 steps to recovery. Whether you end up following the book to help you through your personal problems (did you really EVER expect to take advise from Russel Brand?!), or read it so you can empathise better and help those affected by addiction, or whether you just read it as a fun but thoughtful read.

I really do recommend.

May and June Book Review

It has been over two months since my last book review. Following on from #GIRLBOSS I’ve continued with the feminism theme…

Handmaid’s Tale

Written by Margaret Atwood, this book was chosen by Emma Watson’s feminist Good Read‘s book club, Our Shared Shelf, as the May read. The book has also recently been turned into a TV series staring Elizabeth Moss (currently on channel4).

Set in an alternative USA dystopian future, Handmaid’s Tale explores a scenario where the population is declining and the ability to reproduce is super sacred. The elite class in this future society employee Handmaid’s (fertile women) to get pregnant, give birth, and then hand over their child.


The book is deep. And in today’s society with Trump in power, it really makes you think. The women in this book are forced to give up their identity, their power, their families to procreate for a higher class. Maybe not a book to read by the pool this summer, but definitely worth a read. Both the book and TV series I give a 5/5.


Mad Love

On the other hand, Mad Love by Nick Spalding is definitely a book to read by the pool. I’d classify this book as ‘chick-lit’. Not the best written, however certain parts were very funny.

The book is about a dating website that match up two people, that have never met before, to get married. You can probably see where it leads… they don’t get on, they do get on, they hate each other, they live happily ever after…

If you want an easy read, this is most certainly that. I give it 2/5.


We Should All Be Feminists

My amazing friend Antoinette bought me this book as a present. Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, a Nigerian writer, puts a very funny spin on the truth about 21st century female discrimination. I give it a 5/5. Here are some of my favourite quotes:

“We spend too much time teaching girls to worry about what boys think of them. But the reverse is not the case. We don’t teach boys to care about being likable. We spend too much time telling girls that they cannot be angry or aggressive or tough, which is bad enough, but then we turn around and either praise or excuse men for the same reasons. All over the world, there are so many magazine articles and books telling women what to do, how to be and not to be, in order to attract or please men. There are far fewer guides for men about pleasing women.”

“A woman at a certain age who is unmarried, our society teaches her to see it as a deep personal failure. And a man, after a certain age isn’t married, we just think he hasn’t come around to making his pick.”

“And then we do a much greater disservice to girls, because we raise them to cater to the fragile egos of males. We teach girls to shrink themselves, to make themselves smaller. We say to girls: You can have ambition, but not too much. You should aim to be successful but not too successful, otherwise you will threaten the man. If you are the breadwinner in your relationship with a man, pretend that you are not, especially in public, otherwise you will emasculate him.” 

“The sad truth of the matter is that when it comes to appearance, we start off with men as the standard, as the norm. Many of us think that the less feminine a woman appears, the more likely she is to be taken seriously. A man going to a business meeting doesn’t wonder about being taken seriously based on what he is wearing—but a woman does.” 

“There are slightly more women than men in the world—52 percent of the world’s population is female—but most of the positions of power and prestige are occupied by men.” 


Harry Potter

Monday marked 20 years since Philosopher’s Stone was published and I genuinely cannot believe it!

Harry Potter has been such a huge part of my life. My Gran bought me the first book for Christmas back in 1997 (I was just 7 years old!). Every summer holidays I would read the whole series in wait for the latest book release (that agonising queue at Waterstone’s in Durham). The last time I read all 7 books was 8 years ago.


Yesterday in honour of the 20th anniversary I once again opened the first book, and will continue to reread all 7 of them this summer. It just never ever gets old. And with J.K Rowling being a super feminist, it seemed fitting that these books were included in this post. I rate all 7 books a 10/5!

“I’ve got two daughters who will have to make their way in this skinny-obsessed world, and it worries me, because I don’t want them to be empty-headed, self-obsessed, emaciated clones; I’d rather they were independent, interesting, idealistic, kind, opinionated, original, funny – a thousand things, before ‘thin.’ And frankly, I’d rather they didn’t give a gust of stinking chihuahua flatulence whether the woman standing next to them has fleshier knees than they do. Let my girls be Hermiones, rather than Pansy Parkinsons.”

April Book Review

Since getting a Kindle back in February I have managed to worm my way through 9 books. I set myself a challenge on Good Reads to conquer 24 books in 2017. So far I’m not doing too bad.

In April I read 4 books and started a 5th. In this review I would like to talk about 3 of those books.

The Cows

Written by an idol of mine (Dawn O’Porter) and released just last month. It begins with such a poignant opening passage regarding a cow and it’s comparison to a woman’s stereotype, to reproduce and be used solely for milk or beef. A story of three very different women whose lives somehow intertwine around sex, men, struggles, independence, family, the media and babies. This book was emotional, inspiring and entertaining. I give it 5/5.

“COW n. /ka?/

A piece of meat; born to breed; past its sell-by-date; one of the herd.

Don’t follow the herd.”

101 Ways to Live Cleaner and Greener for Free

Written by Anna Pitt I read this on a train journey to London. It is a great book, set out in a simple format of three parts – a short passage covering the various topics such as waste, water, food and energy – the maths, what savings you can make both in money and helping the planet – the tips, a quirky illustration alongside tips from real people.

Many of the tips covered, if I am honest, are common sense and already how I live my life. However some of the facts around how much we waste in the UK were fascinating and I did find some tips really helpful. I give it 4/5.

“The average UK household uses around 500 litres of water every day and about a third of that water is flushed straight down the toilet!


Having recently watched the new Netflix series Girlboss all in one sitting on a Saturday afternoon (loved every vintage minute), I did some digging into what the show was based on and found that it surprisingly was originally a book. Written by the creator of Nasty Gal, Sophia Amoruso, this book is full of inspiration on how to become #GIRLBOSS.

Sophia tells the tale of how she grew her business from selling vintage on ebay to become a huge successful corporation. What I gathered from the book is that the key to success is to find what you are passionate about, combine that with what you are good at, and work ridiculously hard. This book isn’t supposed to be a feminist book, but from reading it, I’d say it is. I give it 4/5. I also give the Netflix series 4/5 (fabulous clothes and soundtrack).

“I’m telling you that you don’t have to choose between smart and sexy. You can have both. You are both.”

I hope you’ve found this helpful! Stay posted for my May Book Review…