Having spent most of my formative years getting riled up over the fact that my ovaries reduce my pay packet in comparison to my male peers, it's hard to get turned on watching something which is grounded in the idea that women exist for the sexual gratification of men. However, as much as I'd like to claim that I selflessly stopped watching porn because I'm a committed feminist, that's not strictly true.
The eruption of 'mommy porn' typified in E.L James' 50 Shades series has been argued by some as a marker for female sexual empowerment. I will agree that it has enlightened a change in coffee table conversation, in a similar way to the emergence of Ann Summers' parties; but here's the rub - the series isn't actually representative of BDSM or female empowerment - it's simply about male possession.
Ryanair, that of the cheap flights, zero legroom and zero tolerance of fat people, is the world's most hated airline. Popularly seen as the villain of the skies, Ryanair has been pissing people off for the last twenty plus years: with all its hidden levies, taxes and charges, Europe's ''only ultra-low cost carrier'' isn't actually selling low cost flights.
'Beyoncé released a new album. It dropped overnight.' Silence. We both let the words sink in... For a Beyoncé fan, aka almost all human beings with the ability to bump and grind, those words stop time, and as my housemate and I stood in our kitchen - her, dripping wet, me, purple from yelling - we listened to and then watched each track.
Whenever I am coerced into a discussion about gender equality, the same points always seem to be regurgitated: "Why do you hate men? Women already have equality. Are you gay or something?" Well, yes actually, but that's beside the point. Although while we're on the subject, why is it so shocking to come out as a feminist anyway?
The constant bombardment of messages that disapprove female sexuality and jubilate male sexuality creates confusion about what sex and sexuality really mean. As author of 'The Lolita Effect' M G Durham, wrote "I despise the social double standards that celebrate boys' 'studliness' and condemn girls' desires."
I cannot pinpoint the moment I identified myself as a feminist or the exact moments that encouraged me to become one. Perhaps it was when I was a teenager and my boyfriend's fath er at the time was shocked at the fact I was a female who was unable to cook, or whether it was when a man masturbated in my direction on public transport
Are you a feminist? If you've paused to contemplate your answer, then here are a couple of questions that might help you clarify your position. Do you think that men and women should be treated equally? Do you think that sexism prevents this? If you have answered yes to both questions then congratulations, you are a feminist!
The basic human rights of children must always over-ride the 'cultural' sensitivities of adults. Until nations everywhere perceive FGM not as a custom, but rather as an epidemic which must be addressed by governments as well as community workers, it will continue to blight the lives of millions. Whole communities over generations suffer because of it.