Have you ever read something you think is so outrageously wrong you have to correct it? Well, that feeling overwhelmed me when I read fellow Huffington Post UK blogger Jack Fletcher's post entitled Feminism Is For Men Too. I'm now going to spend the next few hundred words explaining and defending why not agreeing with feminism is not the same as being a misogynist.
Writing about making jam and homemade baby food and wearing high heels because they are something that you enjoy and something that brings you pleasure is a good thing but that doesn't necessarily make it a feminist choice. This doesn't mean there is something inherently wrong with making jam or wearing high heels but these are 'choices' that are made within patriarchal constraints.
The Paxman and Brand debate has been viewed over 5 million times, and for me, amongst other things, it very succinctly describes the tension between science and spirituality within masculinity. Paxman, like a school yard bully, slowly circles Brand chanting 'prove it, prove it, prove it.' Brand can't prove it. He is just voicing his discontent, happy not to be able to prove it, which perplexes Paxman.
The sad fact is that many women are afraid to call themselves or define themselves as a feminist due to the alleged social stigma. I believe that this is an example of how influential patriarchy remains within society. Feminists are not 'man-hating' and 'un-feminine' - to be quite frank, I'm sick of these uneducated assumptions.
Femen is a women's movement with women's ideas, women's slogans, women's bravery, women's actions - we are not run by man... To those who spread the information that man is a founder of Femen, that he is the creator of our ideology, that he picks up girls he likes, I advise you to calm down as it's nothing else but just a lie.
I wasn't at all shocked by OK Magazine's newest cover story: "Kate's Post-Baby Weight Loss Regime". Body-shaming a woman less than 48 hours after they gave birth is entirely keeping within the normative behaviour of women's magazines. OK Magazine might have been the first of the women's magazines to publish diet tips for the Duchess of Cambridge but they won't be the last.
When feminists decry the objectification of women, most people immediately think of the images that saturate our magazines, movies, adverts and the Internet. Yet, while sexual objectification is a huge problem, it is, sadly, only a fraction of the objectification of women that permeates our world, from the moment we enter it.
The truth is that men, through socially defined 'masculinity', have always enjoyed a privileged relationship with social and economic power. Through history, the idea of 'manhood' has been centred in physical strength, toughness, earning, providing, and dominating, creating a paradigm in which we have been collectively socialised to the idea of 'masculinity' within every faculty of our psyche.
Apparently, women are responsible for being raped for just being in possession of a vagina in public. After all, the suggestion that we hold individuals responsible for having their laptops stolen if left on the front seat of the car is the same as women making themselves vulnerable to rape by going out in public in clothes.
When I was a first year undergraduate student, my psychology lecturer told me that Muslim women were complicit in their own repression and did not know what it was like to be liberated. As a student of humanities and social sciences I gauged that his views were conspicuously grounded in the litany of anecdotal sources cited by the media.
We already know the causes of teenage pregnancy and, yet, the UK is following the US's path with parents demanding the right to prevent their children learning about real sexual education. The destruction of the welfare state and universal healthcare is already having serious detrimental effects on families
Mother's Day, in its present form, is merely a another capitalist-patriarchal tool to beat women over the head with. It remains nothing more than a depressing attempt at brain-washing women into believing that 'their' work is valued. Women's work has never been valued. We still do the majority of the childcare and housework whilst in paid employment.
I care about making spaces safe online for women so, whilst I will never support the policies of Dorries and Mensch, I do think we need to stop belittling and denigrating them. It is possible to criticise their policies without making it personal and supporting the patriarchy in silencing women. That is what we do when we fall into denigrating women. We are effectively helping to silence other women's voices. Instead, we need to reclaim the Internet and make it the most subversive weapon we have against the patriarchy.