It is unfair to blame any stigma around the feminist movement solely on the media representation of an archetypal feminist. I don't believe a true feminist hates men - they simply aspire to live life on a level playing field. Women should have equal pay. Men should have their parental value equally compensated. Equality gaps exist for both sexes ergo both sexes have a motivation to achieve parity.
The "I know it's hard for you too" spiel serves to provide a cup of hot chocolate and a cosy blanket for men, so that they don't have to feel threatened. As if their existential privilege isn't enough to keep them warm at night, it is apparently important that we also softly stroke their foreheads and validate their issues as being equal to the oppression faced by women.
If you haven't watched Emma Watson's speech on the HeForShe campaign, then you need to. Every thought-out, polished sentence in Emma's speech gave me butterflies for reasons I could reel off endlessly, but here's five first and foremost.
Emma's set out the direction we need to head in, but in order to genuinely permeate our society's consciousness on the gender issue for good, we need to re-tune our media's frame of reference. Just think how many girls came to know of Emma's addressing the UN via an article dominated by images of her outfit...
Many women I've spoken to say they've given hand jobs or blow jobs "to be polite". They did not feel that a man owed them the favour back if he had inadvertently made them wet. All of the men I questioned thought the idea of it being rude for a woman to neglect an erection was ridiculous..
Collectively, it seems periods are pretty pricey. With this in mind, would you believe me if I told you that tampons and sanitary towels are deemed not essential enough to be tax free? Admittedly they are taxed at a reduced rate of 5% but this still means they are thought of as luxury items, which all sane females would agree they are certainly not.
It is hard to describe just how depressing it is to work in an industry where women are reduced constantly to the sum of their parts and not even named. The worrying thing is that this is a common practice.
If we stop defining each other by what we are not and start defining ourselves by what we are - can all be freer and this is what HeForShe is about. It's about freedom. I want men to take up this mantle. So their daughters, sisters and mothers can be free from prejudice but also so that their sons have permission to be vulnerable and human too - reclaim those parts of themselves they abandoned and in doing so be a more true and complete version of themselves... I am inviting you to step forward, to be seen to speak up, To be the he for she. And to ask yourself if not me, who, if not now when.
Feminism is getting a rebrand, and we are all brand consultants. By reclaiming the F word, we are active participants in the future of gender equality. By changing perceptions of the word, we encourage more people to become feminists and we move further towards achieving true equality.
As a comedian, feminism is something that pops up in discussion for me relatively often. I'm often asked to comment in blogs or interviews on whether there are enough women in comedy, whether we are treated differently and even whether or not we are actually very funny (I mean, I know right?!). So it's obviously a subject that I think a lot about.
At GCSE, I studied Steinbeck and Priestley. My first year at A-Level, I studied Browning, Auden, Fitzgerald and Hosseini. It was only in the second year that I studied Carter and Bronte as well as Marlowe. Work by female authors took up less than a third of my secondary education space - and unequal gender representation is set to increase.
I tend to get one of two responses when I mention wanting bigger muscles: a) 'I don't like girls with muscles' or b) 'but you'll look like a man'. The first comment suggests that my body exists solely for the viewing pleasure of that person, the second: that women are supposed to conform to certain socially constructed ideals...
Thousands of girls - represented by Girlguiding - have entered the political fray, many for the first time. In Girls Matter, they make eight demands of politicians to put girls' interests at the heart of what they do across government. As an act of collective lobbying by a group of young women, it is unprecedented.
There is something undeniably wrong with people who feel that they're not feminists but they believe in women's rights. Or they're not feminists but they believe in the strength of women. Or they're not feminists but they believe that women shouldn't be treated like crap by men. Or they're not feminists but they want to feel like their voice matters.
Growing up as a consumer of pop culture and women's magazines, there was only one body type to have: skinny. As a result we have a generation of perfectly proportioned women too embarrassed to get into their bikinis, flitting between fad diets and having internal battles when faced with their reflection in the mirror.
A wondrous event took place in London town last night. A premiere like no other, vInspired's Swing The Vote set out to reveal what's remained a secret 'til now: exactly what will get the UK's 18-24 year olds to the ballot box next summer.