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!!!

FFS – The Shaviour

Shaving for me is like trying to get the last bit of ketchup out of a bottle, it’s like temperature control in an office (too hot, too cold, never right), it’s like finding somewhere you really want to eat but realising they don’t accept card and the closest cash machine is a 10 minute walk away… basically shaving for me is an annoyance.

But I have now found a ‘Shaviour’. Something that makes shaving a little less annoying.

Friction Free Shaving (FFS) is the first razor delivery service designed exclusively for women. Basically you sign up and they send you a cool metal handle (less plastic!!) and fresh blades every month.


If like me you keep your razor forever and ever, rarely remembering to change it, you’re probably wondering why you get fresh blades every month. What I hadn’t even considered was how unhygienic it was using the same blade over and over again, bacteria and all sorts of minging bits builds up in them. The concept of FFS is that they send out four blades a month, one for every week. That way you’re shaving your legs with bacteria and gunk free blades, resulting in a friction free shave. Voila!


I went for the Rose razor package. The handle comes free (or £5 if you want it engraved like mine) and for £9 a month I get four blades delivered. The blades are great value for money, for example if you compare quality like for like, a four-pack of Gillette blades costs £12.99. If you don’t need any more blades you can stop your subscription at any time, or swap your blade delivery for some of their shave scrubs, creams or balms.

If this sounds up your street and you fancy giving FFS a go, use this code to get 25% off your first order 5XGF71.

Happy shaving! xxx


Feminism Up

Feminism Up is a monthly online newsletter that aims to encourage discussion around sexism and inequality. It is ran by Kath at Binging on Beetroot and I was recently very honoured to be asked to write an article for it.


The newsletter comes out on the 1st of every month and I’m sure November’s issue will not disappoint. It would be amazing if you could subscribe to the newsletter. To do it, head here.

Short and sweet post today, but with the #metoo movement I felt it was relevant to share and it is something I feel very passionate about.

Ciao xxx

Women in Football

Unfortunately our Lionesses were knocked out last night in the Euro semi-finals by the Netherlands. But regardless of that ‘failure’, they still reached their second semi-final in three years. They should be proud of this. We all should be.

“If the men’s team were doing this well, they’d have changed the name of our currency to Raheem Sterling.”

But our country should also be ashamed. Ashamed of the state football is in today, the inequality and the large sum of unsustainable money in the game.


Over a hundred years ago we invented the glorious game, but in 1921 the FA banned football for women. A couple of weeks back Clare Balding hosted a great programme on Channel 4 – ‘When Football Banned Women’ . If you’re into football and or a feminist, get it watched.

During and after WWI women’s football was very popular but then all of a sudden they were banned from playing the sport for a whole 50 years because fuddy duddy men in the FA did not want women getting paid for playing football. Outrageous!


As much as women’s football is now legal, the game is still far from being equal. Just this week Neymar was sold to PSG for a record breaking £200mil, he’ll be earning £782k a week! Compare this to the highest paid female footballer, Steph Houghton who earns roughly £60k a year… again… outrageous!


In Clare’s documentary she visited a girl’s team, when asked who their heroes and heroines were they replied Stevie G, Jagielka, Joe Hart etc. Not very many heroines, and why would there be? Women’s football gets very little coverage. The past few weeks the Euro’s have been taking place in the Netherlands, I’ve seen very little of the tournament on the back pages of newspapers, I’ve not seen one St George’s flag in a super market, or dangling off people’s car. How can the future stars of England’s women’s team have a heroine role model when the media don’t cover their game?



The FA have set a target for 2020 to double the number of women and girls playing football, they have also been running a girl’s football week (16th July – 6th August) with the aim to raise the sport’s profile. It would be great to see at the next women’s World Cup held in France a bigger hype, helping improve equality and respect in the sport.

Good luck to all working to achieve that, and chin up Lionesses! x

The Monthly Gift

My first ever blog post back in December last year was about Monthlies, a period subscription box. Their boxes are filled with sanitary products, all organic and plastic, chlorine, animal testing free. For every box you purchase, 20% of the profits will go to support women and girls in the UK and abroad. I still use Monthlies, they are amazing, but over the months I’ve managed to accumulate quite a stock of excess sanitary products.


A few weeks ago in Nottingham I stumbled upon The Monthly Gift who are a campaign that donates sanitary products to homeless women and those who have limited access to them. This was a perfect solution to my ever increasing pile of pads!

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Periods are annoying on a good day. But they are a whole lot more difficult to deal with when you don’t have a home or a bathroom or money and that is the reality for thousands of homeless women everyday.

The issue even goes beyond the homeless, girls in the UK are missing school because they can’t afford sanitary products. Female pupils could be skipping up to a week of school every single month because they can’t afford sanitary products and they’re too afraid to ask for them due to the ridiculous stigma and shame still attached to periods.


You can help.

If you don’t live local to Nottingham there is also a Monthly Gift Manchester  and many other charities that help provide period support to those that need it such as; The Homeless Period, Action Aid and Irise. Food banks are also a great place to donate.

Give it a go!

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.”

Step Up

For regular readers you will know that I am currently raising money for Labour Behind the Label who are a charity that campaigns to improve conditions and empower workers in the global garment industry. This month they launched a campaign for shoe brands to Step Up and tell us where our shoes are made.


In 2014 24 billion pairs of shoes were produced, 87% of those shoes were made in Asia. Workers in the shoe industry face many issues from poverty pay, long working hours and denial of union rights to health and environmental risks.


Naga-Bai-65-years-homeworker-–-sewer-2Meet Naga Bai, a 65 year old home shoe worker from Ambur in India. For every pair of shoes she stitches, she earns just 10p. She can sew a maximum of 10 pairs per day, meaning her daily income is about £1. This is far too little to live on, a kilogram of rice costs up to 43p. As a home worker, Naga Bai is not eligible to receive any employment benefits, such as a pension or medical insurance.


Many shoes are made of leather that use toxic chemicals and dyes which can be dangerous to workers. Chromium 6, used in leather tanning, can cause asthma, eczema, blindness and cancer. When it transfers to the waste water it causes harmful pollution to the environment and to communities nearby.

cys2Here is Jahaj and his brother, aged 8 and 7, working in a factory where animal hides are tanned in Hazaribagh, Bangladesh. They process the raw hides into the first stage of leather. Their job is to get inside the tannery pit, which is full of hazardous chemicals and pull out the hides. They both suffer from rashes and itches. Asked why they perform such dangerous tasks, they said: “When we are hungry, acid doesn’t matter. We have to eat.”

Labour Behind the Label are calling on us to ask ‘who made our shoes’. If brands are transparent about where their shoes are being made it helps workers to claim their rights.

For example…


Compensation – When the Rana Plaza factory building in Bangladesh collapsed in 2013, more than 1,100 garment workers were killed. But before their families could seek compensation from the brands, the brands’ labels had to be picked out of the rubble. This is because information about which brands were making clothes at those factories wasn’t publicly available. In the horrific event of another catastrophe like Rana Plaza, transparency will allow compensation to be paid for workers and their families much more quickly.

Wages and employment conditions – Knowing the average wages of workers on different grades within a factory and across similar factories would allow for a union to scrutinise whether wages are fair and enough to live on. Women homeworkers play an essential role stitching leather uppers for shoes. But they are often invisible, their rights ignored and they are at the mercy of their employer. Brands must identify and recognise homeworkers and give them the same rights as any other workers.


What can we do?

You can sign Labour Behind the Label’s petition to call for leading UK shoe brands and retailers Schuh, Office, Faith, Debenhams, Dr Martens, Primark, Asda, Very.co.uk, Bohoo.com, Boden, Harvey Nichols and Sports Direct along with leading global shoe brands Deichmann, Camper, Prada, Birkenstock, CCC and Leder to:

  • Publish the names and addresses of all their suppliers
  • Report on progress in moving away from dangerous chemicals
  • Show that they are respecting the human rights of the people who make their shoes, ensuring fair wages and safe working conditions.

You could reduce the number of shoes you buy. An increase in fast fashion has                   drove brands to resort to using unethical practices in making shoes. Buying less                 and better quality will help to combat this.

Or you could buy from ethical shoe brands such as: