Welcome To The Manosphere…


FEMALES NOT WELCOME. Lottie Wilson writes about ‘Men At War’, the latest episode of Reggie Yates’ BBC 3 series, Extreme UK.

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It’s definitely true 2015 was a fashionable year for feminism, with many female and male celebrities speaking out on women’s rights and generally slayin’ on the sexist haters.  These were largely positive and encouraging events which suggest that maybe the world is finally moving by mutual agreement towards a society based on equality for both genders. Or maybe not. I recently came across the concept of ‘The Manosphere’. A virtual space for meninists (yes, really) to share their opinions on society, politics and women. More importantly the hatred of the ‘unforgiving female support machine’ and how the rise of feminism has risen just that tiny bit too far. It was brought to my attention after watching a BBC Three documentary about Extreme UK with Reggie Yates. It’s fair to say, some of the views expressed by these men were pretty shocking, fuelled by an unprecedented level of aggression and frustration.

In Defence of Fictional Teenage Girls


Samantha King writes about the depiction of teenage girls in film and television.


There’s a worrying trend within popular films and television shows, particularly within the action and drama genre: the demonisation of the teenage girl. This character is often called “vapid”, “annoying”, “shallow”, “useless”, “whiny” – and the list goes on. Sometimes she’s the daughter of the main character. Sometimes she’s the main character herself. It makes no difference, really. The point is: the audience despises her.

But why the teenage girl? Finding the kid characters to be annoying and obnoxious isn’t really a new thing, but why doesn’t there some to be this same vile vilification for the onscreen teenage boys? The obvious answer would be misogyny, from both the audience and the adult male writers who usually write these parts. Young girls are widely mocked on a daily basis by society for the most trivial of things, such as liking boybands and certain fashion trends, so it sadly comes as no surprise to find this ignorant mentality bleeding into the mainstream media as well.

“Get Outta My Pub!” Let’s Hear It For the Soap Matriarchs and Divas


Lorna Irvine shares her love for the real stars of soap…


There is a distinct lack of female visibility in television, particularly when it comes to older women. Let’s face it. If you’re not a megabucks talent show judge, chances are you are either in a period drama, a newsreader, or glowering in a chunky jumper at a crime scene in a Scandinavian beauty spot, trying to piece together the events of last month. And… Er, that, sadly, is about it. Attractive, smart women like Rachel Riley and Susie Dent remain an anomaly.


Five Music Videos That Exploit Lesbianism


The fourth instalment in the series Catriona Reilly and Ciara Maguire’s Five Things series, we discuss music videos that exploit lesbianism.

Whilst lesbians are becoming more accepted in the media, they aren’t fully there yet, and it’s still shocking and gossip-column worthy when lesbians or lesbian imagery finds its way into the mainstream. One media outlet that has picked up on the attention grabbing potential of the lesbian is the music video. Whilst actual lesbian artists (aside from a few obvious examples – KD LANG AND TEGAN AND SARA REPRESENT) are still fairly invisible to mainstream hetero audiences, there are hordes of non-lesbian / bisexual identifying artists getting down and dirty with other girls in their videos. It’s a surefire way to spark controversy and benefit from the scandalous associations of lesbianism without actually having to be one of those pesky muff divers (sorry, I know).

 1.Katy Perry- I Kissed A Girl        

Perhaps the most obvious and most insulting is Katy Perry’s tale of how she kissed a girl (and liked it) is the quintessential example of a straight woman profiting from a cheeky lesbian encounter. She might have kissed a girl, but don’t worry, her boyfriend doesn’t mind it. She’s definitely not ACTUALLY into women; it’s just an experimental game / no big deal / just something to try on. Adding insult to injury, Katy also sings the beautiful homo anthem Ur So Gay, with the inspiring lyric, ‘I hope you hang yourself with your H&M scarf’. Ah! The LGBTQ community are so lucky to have an ally like Katy…

Five Lesbian Soap Cliches (Sapphic Soap Tropes)


The third in a new series by Catriona Reilly and Ciara Maguire: Five Lesbian Soap Cliches.

I don’t watch British soaps anymore. I’m usually sleeping in the early evening and the afternoon matinees are just confusing background noise for when I’m lying on the kitchen floor crying having not been able to source a pork pie upon returning from a 24 Vengaboy party epic (jokes, my life is not that exciting – the part about the pie tears still stands). I did, however, watch a lot when I was a student because social interaction was terrifying and they substituted real relationships. During this time I noticed a pattern, whenever lesbian characters would appear, they seemed to fall into very distinct sets of stereotypes (aka tropes). These tropes, were amongst other things, frustratingly inaccurate as well as being a little bit offensive, I’ve listed 5 of the most common below for y’all to see for yourselves along with a small number of examples of notorious soapbians.

Weekend Listening: The Organist


The latest Organist podcast from The Believer / KCRW is a conversation between Lena Dunham and Judy Blume, and we could not be more into it.

Interview: Words With Girls


Linzi Clark speaks to Brittani Nichols and Lauren Neal of the web TV series Words With Girls.

Brittani: The idea originated from watching other web series. I think it’s pretty hard to pull off intricate plots or storylines in web series. Even developing the characters can be difficult in such a short span of time. I wanted to see what it would be like to kind of ignore the story and just focus on the conversations and personalities of characters.

Brittani: I don’t like people enough to engage with them every night the way you have to if you really want to be good at stand-up and I have a complex about doing things I don’t think I’ll be really good at eventually. I don’t vlog because I’m much too self-aware and I think it requires personality. It’s debatable whether I have one of those.


Why I Heart … Tove Jannsson


For the first in a new series on the site – Why I Heart – , Catriona Reilly talks about her reasons for loving Tove Jannsson, the lady behind The Moomins.

I was once informed by my mother that when I was younger she deliberately limited my intake of Disney films because she didn’t agree with the ‘ideals’ that they portrayed. At the time I thought his was somewhat honourable. I now realise this was a lie, told so that I would never question why we never had that family holiday to Disneyland and were instead dragged round its creepy European ‘Entertainment Park’ equivalents. But, whilst she may not have been burning effigies of Mickey as we ate pickled fish in Efteling, she did try to introduce me to a wider range of alternative animation which included The Moomins.

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International Woman of the Day – Lisa Simpson


Today’s International Woman of the Day is Lisa Simpson, as chosen by Maria Moore.

I may not have realised it back when 6pm meant Simpsons-time, but Lisa Simpson was a brilliant role model. A friend and I were talking about it the other day – how lucky we were to grow up with her. I don’t think we knew at the time what an important influence this particular vegetarian feminist activist would be in our lives. As someone who spent most of my childhood reading, I obviously identified with her bookish ways and loved her for it, but there is so much more to her than just books… It is her thirst for knowledge, determination, and her all-important conviction that there is more to being a girl than sitting quietly and looking pretty that make her such a significant figure.

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[Image from http://lisasimpsonbookclub.tumblr.com]

International Woman of the Day – Julia Davis


Jane Scullion chooses Julia Davis as her International Woman of the Day – and here’s why.

Julia Davis is my comedy icon. I first discovered Davis when my university lecturer mentioned her cult show Nighty Night during a tutorial class. Out of curiosity, I tuned in and expected a gentle Sunday night sedative-sitcom. What I got instead was a story about a sociopathic beauty-parlour owner Jill Tyrrell (played by Davis), who has a habit for poisoning people and destroying lives left, right, and centre. Nighty Night’s first series famously begins with Jill’s self-absorbed response to her husband’s cancer diagnosis. Her response: “Why me?!”