A Girl is a Half-Formed Thing

Personally, I’m not a fan of the word ‘genius.’ It’s derived from ‘genie.’ The idea that a little imp comes and sits on your shoulder and gives you an idea, and that’s where your fantastic work comes from. To me, that detracts from the graft, the inspiration, the dedication, needed in order to produce something […]

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Wearing Makeup Isn’t Empowering

Genderspecs – unpicking gender stereotypes, one blog at a time There’s an awful lot that can empower you these days. Shower gel, pants and even socks are being held up as things that allow us to assert our rights. To a certain extent, this can be true. The physical expression of who we are can allow […]

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The Self-Conscious Writer (Review of The Blind Assassin)

Ah, I love the holidays. I’ve been putting off reading The Blind Assassin for ages, simply because I despaired at how long it would take me to read, never mind the extra weight it would add to my bag. A combination of relaxing holiday time, a six-hour train journey to France and a bad back […]

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What the ‘Consent’ Conversation is Missing

Recently, a man complained about being forced to go to ‘consent’ lessons at University. I can see his point. Not only is it a little bit insulting, but it’s probably a little bit late. But what else are Universities supposed to do? When one in seven women in University will experience some form of sexual assault, […]

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Exposure

One of the key pleasures of reading (and, as it turns out, the one that makes you a better person) is the way you can be completely dissolved in the experience of a person which you will never know yourself. As a white woman living in London, there’s absolutely no way I can truly understand […]

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Office Politics

I’ve never worked in an office. I remember a teacher I used to work with swapping for a more ’normal’ job. She spoke of the euphoria she felt when she could go to the toilet, literally, whenever she wanted. Non-teachers don’t understand the true meaning of bladder control, that feeling when you look at your […]

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Writing the Unwriteable

So what’s your book about then? It’s the obvious question, once you’ve fessed up to what you spend a large chunk of your time doing. There are several options here. You can keep it vague, although you run the risk of sounding pretentious: It’s about gender identity. You can make it very specific, more about […]

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But I’m Not Ready!

It’s definitely a reason to be cheerful. In Devon last week, people were on the beach in actual bikinis (I was in my boyfriend’s shorts as I’d packed a little pessimistically). Flip flops were flapping well into the night, despite plummeting evening temperatures (I couldn’t feel my feet) and everywhere the glow of red faces […]

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WOW

Just, WOW. The Women of the World festival at the Southbank Centre in London is in its 5th year, and going strong. It lasts for an entire week, and involves hundreds of women and men from around the globe. For a mere £20, you get a full day pass on the Saturday or the Sunday. […]

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Being A Man

We all like being in a club. It gives us a sense of belonging, camaraderie, having someone on your side. It also usually helps if you have an opponent you can set yourself up against. The one ‘club’ that is often presumed to be pre-ordained, is that of your gender role. I’m not sure it’s […]

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