PSLs, pumpkins & holiday vibes

October 28, 2014

Every year, autumn seems to creep up on me a little bit faster. Suddenly the clocks have gone back, golden leaves are everywhere and the smell of Pumpkin Spice Latte lingers outside every Starbucks - I think I spend more on overpriced flavoured coffee in the run up to Christmas than I do the other 9 months combined. I absolutely love this time of year; it's all very cliché but the crunchy leaves, cold clear mornings and return of polo necks, baggy jumpers and oversized scarves make me breathe a sigh of relief. I have a theory that summer is usually a bit of a disappointment - the English weather, far too much time on your hands - but winter is always brilliant. The end of October is fast approaching and that only means one thing: Halloween!

Why Emma Watson is right to be standing up for feminism

October 14, 2014

Feminism. It's a hot topic right now. From Emma Watson's #HeForShe campaign to Elle's first 'feminism' issue, everyone is jumping on the bandwagon. With it becoming such a high-profile issue, why do some people refuse to admit it's important?

Legally, we're pretty much equal. Any employer discriminating against women can get slapped with a fat ass law case, the Equal Pay Act means we get the same pay as men and we can all do the same jobs. In the eyes of the law, we're the same. There seems to be a tendency to believe that the job is now done - any further takes us into the realms of the man-hating lesbian feminists from the 70s, screaming for single-sex communities.

When asked if I consider myself a feminist, I hesitated to say yes. We have equality. I don't feel marginalised on work experience for being a woman, or during seminars at uni. But when I thought further, I realised that any woman who wouldn't call themselves a feminist is lying. Or very stupid. Because the thing is, the law isn't really where the problem lies; in reality, to a teenage girl talk of unequal pay in top jobs, sexism in the workplace or breaking the glass ceiling means very little. What really affects me, and thousands of girls my age, is much closer to home.

For a second, imagine you've been raped. In order to send the bastard that did it to prison, you have to relive the experience in front of an entire court - and you're prepared to do it. What you're not prepared for, however, is to be questioned on your entire sexual history - when did you last have sex? How many sexual partners have you had? Do you like it rough? Is it true you were wearing a short dress and high heels? All questions designed to make you seem like a "slut" to the jury. Whilst sexual history evidence is technically not allowed to be shown to a jury, it finds its way in.
In a world where sexism didn't exist, these questions wouldn't need to be asked.
It shouldn't be relevant what clothes a girl was wearing before she was raped; she should have the freedom to wear whatever she likes without fearing that the men around her simply can't control themselves. Running through these questions is an age-old belief that women should be shamed for having sex frequently, or with more than one partner. Continuing to ask these questions in a public court upholds the belief that men aren't to be blamed - women who dress in revealing clothes are asking for it. The fact that this attitude is still so visible in our legal system today highlights exactly why feminism is still relevant.

If that's still a little hard to empathise with, let's try something a little more common; because really, what feminism means to me is to not be shouted at in the street every time I leave the house. I get comments from men about my body or my appearance so frequently that it's become a standard part of daily life; my friends and I will jokingly count up the horn honks on the walk from home into university. But this shouldn't be the case.
It angers me is that men feel they have the right to shout sexual remarks at a total stranger. We're women, we know we're hot, and we don't need an uneducated twat in a souped up Polo to confirm it for us. Thousands of men casually intimidate and harass young women every day simply because they believe that they can. And that's exactly why we still need feminism. Before men and women are truly equal, mental attitudes in the general public have to change; and that going to take a lot longer than it took to pass a few laws through Parliament.

I'm not saying it's all men; it clearly isn't. But it's still far too many. If you really believe sexism no longer exists, take a walk down the Mile End Road; because it's everywhere, in broad daylight.
It's a van driver telling me I've got great tits. It's hackers releasing naked photos of Jennifer Lawrence, for everyone to look at. It's the Daily Mail commenting on women's appearance instead of their actions, and it's TV producers sacking women over a certain age, whilst the men keep their jobs until retirement.

Yes, legally we may have equal rights; but in reality we still have a very long way to go.

5 best places in London for a hangover brunch...

October 04, 2014

When I came back to London I realised what had been missing whilst I was away; brunch. It's the easiest thing in the world to pop out for brunch in the city, but it's something I just never really do at home. Whether I'm hungover, have no food in, or just really hungry when I wake up in the morning, its totally acceptable here - and I LOVE it.

Foxcroft & Ginger

Whilst my mother might not approve of it's "rustic" decor, Foxcroft is one of my favourite places for brunch. When I first saw it on the way back from uni last year, I had to do a double take - there aren't many yummy places for brunch, coffee and cakes on the Mile End Road. Nestled between Tesco Express and Sports Direct, it seems an unlikely brunch spot. However, if you're a fan of french toast, eggs benedict or salmon and avocado, this is the perfect place. My favourite is the french toast with bacon, maple syrup, banana and walnuts... heaven on a plate!