blog tour, books, reviews

Blog Tour: Bad Habits – Flynn Meaney*

Alex is a rebel with a purple fauxhawk and biker boots.
St Mary’s Catholic School is the strict boarding school where she’s currently trapped.
Despite trying everything she can to get expelled, she’s still stuck with the nuns, the prudish attitude and the sexism. So Alex decides to take matters into her own hands. She’s going to stage the school’s first ever production of The Vagina Monologues . . .
Trouble is, no one else at St Mary’s can even bear to say the word ‘vagina’ out loud!

A riotously funny novel about the importance of friendship and finding your voice.

My thoughts:

I went to church school, which wasn’t quite like this one, but I recognised certain elements and I think teenage me, who was so fed up of the hypocrisy and the useless sex ed lessons (raised by a midwife and nurse who used to treat sex workers and AIDS patients as part of her job meant I was a lot better informed than many of my peers) as well as all the usual things to hate about high school, and Alex would be friends.

I’d certainly be joining her Feminist Club and starting protests, I have been told I needed to tone myself down and focus on schoolwork.

Alex is a force to be reckoned with and I think Father Hughes has a bit of a soft spot for her, tolerating some of her excesses more than he might for another student.

I loved her quiet but determined friend Mary Kate, sometimes you don’t have to be the loud out there one to get things done.

This was overall just a really fun, smart book that sticks it to the patriarchy and celebrates friendship and empowerment in all its forms.


*I was kindly gifted a copy of this book in exchange for taking part in the blog tour but all opinions remain my own.

feminism, jewellery, life, relationships, wedding

Wedding Wednesday: Why I chose to wear an engagement ringĀ 

The other day I read a really preachy article (which I don’t have a link to) about why the writer, as a feminist, wouldn’t wear an engagement ring. 

Now I strongly believe that everyone has a right to their own opinion but the tone of the piece and the fact that she was using feminism as her reason really annoyed me. 

I’m a feminist. I believe in equality, equity of the sexes, and a woman’s right to choose what she does with her life and her body. My mum instilled these beliefs in me growing up. 

However, I don’t feel like those beliefs preclude me from wearing my engagement ring. 

I am aware of the original symbolism of wedding rings and the whole patriarchal problematic wedding traditions. But I don’t see the engagement ring on my left hand as a symbol of ownership. 

Nobody, least of all C, owns me. I am my own person, regardless of marital status. 

I see it instead as a symbol of commitment, of a promise to be a team, to stick together, to be a family. I see it as C’s love and mine for him. We’re going to get married, be together for good, legally bound and all that jazz. Not because society says so, but because we want to. 

And that doesn’t contradict my feminism. This is my choice. Isn’t that what women have been fighting for all these years – the ability to make their own choices? 

feminism, ramblings, thoughts

Sometimes it’s hard to be a woman…

Last week my dad announced he’s a feminist. He then rattled on for half an hour and didn’t let any women (me, mum) speak.

Last night we watched Bones, a show I quite enjoy, in which a men’s rights activist is murdered. A ‘meninist’. The sort of person who truly believes that ‘every job taken by a woman is a qualified white man out of work’.

Women still earn less than men for doing the same work, women of colour even more so, despite it being illegal here in the UK. Women still shoulder the vast majority of housework, chores, cooking and childcare. More women work part-time, and not necessarily because they want to.

I also watched Confirmation this week, a drama based on real events and real people, with Kerry Washington playing Anita Hill as Olivia Pope with bad suits. Hill testified against US supreme court nominee Judge Clarence Thomas in a hearing about his alleged sexual misconduct. No other women were permitted to testify. She was vilified in the press, he became a member of the supreme court.

Was the all male senate panel’s attitude towards her because she was a woman, because she was black, because she spoke up? Thomas tried to make it about race (he was African-American, as was Hill), but they didn’t buy it.

Would a man’s word have carried more weight, would his testimony been so easy to dismiss?

This week Beyonce released Lemonade, one of the themes of which seems to be infidelity. Now she hasn’t explicitly said it’s about her marriage, but the internet is alight with people trying to find out who Jay-Z cheated on her with.

But where’s the backlash against him? If he did sleep with someone other than his wife behind her back (as opposed to in an open marriage) then why aren’t people criticising him? Is it just easier to blame a woman, after all she betrayed the sisterhood, he’s just a man. And that’s what men do.

I read a recent interview with Monica Lewinsky, who had a brief affair with Bill Clinton in the 90s, he stayed president, she was humiliated and found it hard to keep her life on track. Now she runs an anti-bullying initiative, he’s supporting his wife’s White House run, but Lewinsky is still treated to vindictive comments but the married man many years her senior is just good ol’ Bill.

And you wonder why it’s hard to be a woman.