I like this topic! It’s quite different but it’s a thinker and I’ve worked out exactly what I want my kids to learn. I don’t really want kids, but if I ever change my mind, this is what they need to know. I could have a few stupidly obvious things, but I’ve decided on three different things that I’ve learnt throughout the years. God, I say years like I’m old, I’m still not 16 yet! Yikes. Anyway… on with it!
1. Life’s not fair, get used to it.
A quote pulled directly from my Dad’s getting-your-daughter-to-shut-up-dictionary. Ever since I can remember, if I’ve ever complained about something pretty miniscule, my Dad would say that phrase. When I was younger, I always thought it was really mean, but now I’m older [yep, still acting like I’m super old. This will almost definitely be a reoccurring theme], and (a smidge) wiser, I realised it’s actually true. Life sucks, man. Either you can moan and groan at every single small issue, or you can shut up and strive on. The only way for unimportant things to leave you alone, is to walk around them in your path of life. Get used to the small annoyances in life so you can face them all head on when you’re ready.
Slight side-note, but please appriciate that ever since these imaginary kids have appeared, I am acting like I’m some sort of a prophet/God. Is this what having kids does to you? Wow, I have so many questions!
2. Aspire for success, and don’t accept anything less.
Kind of a cute story behind this one. I was talking to someone about how shitty all my ex boyfriends were and he said this to me. Even though he meant it about partners, I feel like this applies to pretty much anything. I just love the idea of aiming high and achieving it, and I feel like these “words of wisdom” pretty much mean that you should never rest on your laurels, no matter how much easier that may be. You were bought here to achieve great things, so it’s only fair that you at least try.
3. Never shut up. It’ll be your greatest quality.
In my lifetime I have been called almost every slur in the book. All because I stand up for what I believe in. Make sure that if you believe in something so strongly, you will go to the ends of the earth to get your voice heard. As you grow older, your voice will merely become louder and those who try silence you are just jealous. Be proud of yourself, you’ve made it this far 🙂
Today I need to write about something I feel very strongly about. Of course, as I am a big activist and feminist, I have lots of topics to choose from, but the first one that came to mind was the problem with victim blaming and rape culture. Throughout this article, I am going to be explaining what problems our society has with victim blaming, going into my own and others stories of why we don’t speak out, and why there’s so much stigma around being sexually assaulted. This is quite a heavy-hitting topic so a trigger warning for anyone who is sensitive towards sexual abuse and the topic as a whole. Stay safe, I love you all, and let’s raise awareness about our shitty society! This article took me a super long time, researching, putting all my thoughts into words and making those words actually make sense. This is probably one of my favourite blog articles because I’m so proud of it so please let me know if you prefer articles like this which are more structured and informative 🙂
What Is Victim Blaming and Why Is It Bad?
For anyone who doesn’t know, victim blaming is, quite simply, putting the blame of what happened onto the victim instead of the perpetrator. In the UK, only 15% of people who have been assaulted reported it to the police. There are many reasons why people don’t say anything and why the #MeToo movement was ground breaking as it showed that lots of people have suffered from abuse without speaking out. As you can see in the image above, those are some of the most common reasons that people are afraid to speak out. The world we life in presents such a stigma around being sexually assaulted, that rape culture and victim blaming is a common thing.
After my story was reported, I had lots of people ask me extremely personal questions, and try to put the blame on me. this is not ok. This promotes the fact we live in a society which sexualises people for what they wear, claiming that “if you wear a skirt that short, you are clearly asking for the attention” which is total bullshit. Wear whatever you want, do whatever you want, as I always say, as long as you’re not harming yourself or others in any way, go wild, do whatever you want. If it makes you happy, do it!! It’s despicable the amount of victims who haven’t been taken seriously because of what they were wearing, their alcohol intake at the time, and if they were flirting or not.
Some Photos To Think About:
The way we dress doesn’t mean yes!
Literally every single woman, ever.
Those Who Assault and Why Many People Don’t Come Forward
Unfortunately, being assaulted is something you have to constantly be cautious about. If you are a female, I’m pretty sure you’ll know the fear you get when you walk alone anywhere. If I even hear so much as a patter of footsteps, I completely freak out and my brain goes full panic mode. The most worrying fact is I’m no longer fazed by catcallers and people yelling out to me, it’s an occurrence I’ve being mostly desensitised to. In the recent years, people (mostly men) who have either yelled abuse, cat-called me or said/done something inappropriate to me – a minor – is staggeringly high. It’s gotten to such a bad stage that when my friends see something like that, they freak out in situations I just shrug off. I used to love walking alone, putting in my headphones, listening to Taylor Swift, feeling like I was in some sort of music video, but now my friends (bless their little overprotective hearts) always make sure I’m not walking alone, or that if I am, that I message them once I’m home. They like being there to protect me and, even though I’d never admit it to them, I feel a lot safer with them around.
However, in many ways, being catcalled by someone who you have never met before is so much better than being sexualised or made uncomfortable by someone you know. You know that society has a problem when I have to choose one of those to nightmarish situations as a “preference”. God our world is f*cked. Statistics show that 90% of victims knew the perpetrator prior to the abuse. (Leaving all links to my info at the bottom of this so you all know I didn’t pull these percentages out of thin air). This is one of the reasons that I didn’t report as I was afraid I would be seen as provoking him. That’s the problem with being abused by your childhood friend, no-one will believe you because you still act as if everything is fine and dandy because you’re just so desperate to go back to how things were, even though you know there is no hope of that ever happening.
After My Story Was Told – My Experiences
I remember the entire day that everything came out like it was yesterday. I’ve spoken about it multiple times now and if you’re new around here, welcome and you can check out all of that here. As you know, the case never got convicted, which is a very common occurrence. Conviction rates for rape and sexual abuse are so much lower than other cases, with only 5.7% reported rape cases ending in conviction. We can’t expect to be taken seriously when almost all cases are acquitted before they’re even opened.
Something else which my abuser did after he started abusing me is he claimed to be gay. God, the poor LGBTQ community, you get enough hate as it is. He claimed to be gay two months after the abuse began, and continued to be vocal about “how hard it is to be homosexual” – when he’s… ya know, not. I learnt something the other day when I was watching stand up comedy which honestly made me laugh so, so much. Now I’m writing this I’m still laughing because it makes me sick and I can’t deal with it any other way. I found out that Bill Cosby and Harvey Weinstein – two of the most notorious Hollywood sex offenders – decided they were now also gay because their lawyers were failing them. I have no issue with famous actors and actresses who are gay, but when they fake it so they can avoid sexual assault charges? Oh, sweetie, someone will be getting hurt and it’s not going to be me.
Why I’m Still Shouting This From The Rooftops – Statistics Which Make Me Shudder
A third of people believe women who flirt are partially responsible for being raped (Amnesty, 2005)
Approximately 85,000 women and 12,000 men (aged 16 – 59) experience rape, attempted rape or sexual assault by penetration in England and Wales alone every year; that’s roughly 11 of the most serious sexual offences (of adults alone) every hour.
Approximately 70 women commit suicide every day in the US following an act of sexual violence.
During 2019, 13% of all women in California were victims of rape.
A quarter of male victims of sexual assault were under 10 years of age.
Take This Away:
If you take anything at all away from this article please bare this image in mind…
Remember: It’s not your fault, it never was, you shouldn’t have to be held accountable for someone else’s actions.
I couldn’t really decide what I wanted to write as there are so many words of wisdom I could think of, so instead I have chosen a few of my all time favourite quotes and drop them here 🙂 I’m differing from normal articles at the moment and I’m really sorry if this isn’t your thing, I just feel like this will flow best, I promise I will be back to my normal writing style tomorrow, I just feel I need these two days of slightly random-ness and I’ll be back on track. Thank you so much for your love and support, it means the world to me.
For most of these articles, I need to think long and hard about my answer. However, this one came to my head without even really thinking. By far the person I look up to the most and who I hope I will meet someday is Malala Yousafzai.
When I was around 10 or 11, the book I Am Malala came out. I was in year six at the time and I didn’t know much about this woman. What I read changed my life forever.
For those of you who don’t know, Malala Yousafzai is a 23-year-old activist who spoke out against the Taliban, a radical terrorist group in Pakistan when she was only 10 years old. In an a futile attempt to silence her, she was shot in the head when she was twelve when she was on her way home from school. Being the strong person she was, she survived and managed to become the youngest Nobel Prize Laureate ever.
After reading her book, I completely re-evaluated my thoughts and feelings about so many things. Firstly, this is the book that really made me realise I was a feminist and that I wanted to change the world, and Malala made me realise I could do it. Her sheer power and resistance is something I will never stop talking about and I always hope that she knows she changed my life for the better. Secondly, she made me proud to be mixed race. Some of you have read my post about my Ethnicity, in which I spoke about Liza Koshy inspiring me to be proud about my skin colour. However, a mini turning point for me was reading this book. This strong woman who was Pakistani was standing up for what she believed in, and refused to let anyone silence her. Even after she was in fatal condition, she never stopped fighting for equality and for education for all.
This woman is such an inspiration and has shaped me to become who I am today and I desperately hope that one day I’ll be able to meet her, just to say thank you for helping me to accept myself and begin to become my best self.
I’m sorry this was rather brief, Malala is one of my biggest role models and I want people to understand that! Also, as I was writing this, I accidentally went down a bit of a Yousafzai-Spiral and it really made me realise how truly grounded this woman is, in one article I read she said all she needs right now is Netflix and Sleep and, honestly, who doesn’t! I think we can all agree that Ms Yousafzai is an absolute icon and inspiration to all young women in this world.
“If one man can destroy everything, why can’t one girl change it?”
I have a feeling this is meant to be positive and heart-warming, but who has time for that crap? I’m fuelled by insults and hate, it’s what makes me rise up and grow stronger.
One day, someone said to me – pre warning this may make you feel very uncomfortable because it’s sexualising a minor – and I quote
“Tati, you’re hot, peng and you have great tits [something which he has never seen, considering he’s only seen me in my school uniform]. But, the only way I’d date you is if you shut up about your opinions and let the men talk. Also if you dressed less like a whore then people may feel more sorry for you when you say you were sexually assaulted by different guys.”
I remember exactly who said this to me, what had caused them to say this, where I was when they said this, how I responded and why I never forgot it. So, without further ado, let’s delve in and analyse this quote!
Who: Of course I won’t expose this person by name because that’s not what I do. It just promotes more hate and fuels the cancel culture this society feeds off. However, we shall call this person… [brb currently looking up random names which don’t have any relation to me] Kronos! Kronos was someone I knew from school who added me on Snapchat to ask for help with schoolwork.
Where and When? This time last year ironically! It was the start of the summer holidays (after the sexual assault allegations surfaced) in 2019, just after I’d finished my year ten exams.
What caused Kronos to say this? We were on the phone just chatting, as I do with many of my friends, and I was jokingly complaining about how no-one likes me and that I’m going to die alone. [I swear to be overdramatic and true too Taylor!] So, of course, Kronos decided to be “helpful” and give me this lovely… boost in self-confidence? Constructive criticism? Just plain insult? Who knows?!
How did I respond to this? At the time, as ashamed as I am to admit it, I pretty much just said “oh, okay” because I didn’t really know what to say. However, it’s safe to say I cut off almost all contact with Kronos because he made me so uncomfortable. If he said this to me now though, I’d most likely roundhouse kick him into another dimension.
Why I never forgot. As a 14 year-old, vulnerable girl, I should not have just shrugged it off like I did. However, as bad as it is, it’s just part of the job description when you’re a girl. You have to deal with boys saying things which make you squirm, as wrong as it is. Even though I will never ever stop fighting the good fight of pressing on with my feminist agenda, I have begun to accept this sort of thing as a part of life, which is just so wrong. Please take this into account before you open your mouth and say something which involves making someone upset, degrading, telling them what to do, sexualising them or even simply calling them peng.
Thanks for reading this light-hearted but kinda important feminist article. I’m going to be cheeky and pretend it’s a Friday so I can say it’s a Feminist Friday post! Love you peng people, xo baby, Tati xoxo
Welcome to the second Feminist Friday! I have been inspired by the iconic The Guilty Feminist Podcast – the best feminist podcast I have ever listened to. I am huge fans of their episodes and you should definitely check them out. This blog article will be guilty confessions from a feminist who does sometimes to somewhat… anti-feminist things. Just remember, I am still a very strong feminist but I’m far from perfect… Don’t forget to comment your perfect feminist imperfections!
I’m a feminist but I think the song Blurred Lines is a tune and I have memorised the Just Dance 2014 choreography with my brother and I really get into it.
I’m a feminist but I love the reality show Yummy Mummies which is all about being a housewife, homemaker, good looks, fashion and lots of money. It’s very stereotypical and reverts heavily to gender roles but I love watching it and I’ve binged it on multiple occasions.
I’m a feminist but if I’m out and I need to pay for something, I always hope a guy will insist on paying for me.
I’m a feminist but if I’m in trouble with someone, I get my male friends to back me up. (They’re also very tall so bonus fear… even though they wouldn’t hurt a fly 😂)
I’m a feminist but when I really can’t be bothered to do something, I’ll play the “I’m on my period” card to get out of things I really don’t want to do. What can I say?! I am very lazy at times.
I’m a feminist but I get super obsessed with my looks and I treat everyday like it’s a fashion show. In my defence, you never know when someone’s going to take a photo of you! I am very narcissistic if you couldn’t tell…
I’m a feminist but I shave because I love having baby-soft skin. It’s fun to rub my legs together like I’m a cricket – don’t judge me, other people do this too!
I’m a feminist but I always get slightly flattered when I guy calls me attractive.
I’m a feminist but I always wear makeup when I’m going out.
I’m a feminist but I like to impress people – whether that be with looks, talents or smarts, I like to appear like the girl who has it all, which isn’t always a bad thing!
In conclusion, no-one is the “perfect feminist” we get by with our ideals and thoughts but at the end of the day, we’re fighting for gender equality. Please comment some of your “I’m a feminist but…’s” – I don’t want to be alone on this one! Just remember, everyone is different and we should embrace it!
Once upon a time, I was around my friend’s house and we were being ten-year-olds, messing around. My friend said there was a song a singer had released, and I had to listen to it. She said it was by Taylor Swift. Of course, I’d heard of the Miss Americana singer before, but I’d never watched her music videos. My friend showed me the iconic Blank Space music video and ever since then I was a Swiftie.
A few months later, I was in Bristol with my family and we were at the shopping mall Cribbs Causeway and I found the 1989 Album. My Dad caved and bought me the album and that was when my obsession began.
It’s not just because Taylor Swift is a good singer, she’s an amazing person too and through her actions and listening to her music which made me a stronger person when I needed to be. Two particular events she helped me through were life changing and no matter what happens, I know her music will be there to help me and raise me up when I really need it.
The first thing was the DJ David Muller V Taylor Swift groping trial. If you are unaware of this, long story short, Muller groped Swift at a meet and greet, and, after Swift spoke to his employees (KYGO) he was fired. This happened in 2013 and it finally got sorted out in 2017 – when I began getting assaulted. Hearing about how confidently Swift spoke about in the trial and how she managed to win the case for just $1 changed my way of thinking entirely and made me realise what this particular person was doing to me was not okay. Listening to her music made me realise that all the things that my abuser was tearing me down about were completely insane and that, for once in my life, I felt normal and accepted. When Reputation came out, my “friends” hated it, but I adored it. All the songs resonated with me in such a way and made me begin to accept myself. The lyrics were all about backstabbers and people pretending to be something they’re not and those few people who are there for you are gorgeous and amazing. Whenever I need a little pick-me-up I always blast Reputation and dramatically sing along to Look What You Made Me Do, Getaway Car and This is Why We Can’t Have Nice Things – it’s very cathartic and I always leave me room feeling like a total boss-ass-bitch – which I am!
The second time Taylor Swift supported me through songs was with my breakup with my abusive boyfriend. That break up hit me hard, but through some of her iconic songs and (some underrated songs) I realised that “I would find someone someday who might actually treat me well”. Not only did they help me get over this guy, but they also made me feel more confident in myself and I’ll never forget the days I just spent belting out Taylor Swift lyrics until I felt that I was “finally clean”.
All in all, Taylor Swift is one of my biggest inspirations of all time and everything she does is honestly iconic. From the #drunktaylor memes circulating Twitter, to her just casually donating to amazing charities just because she wants to, to her loving relationship with her mother, to her being so brutally honest in her documentary Miss Americana. No matter what your opinions are on her, I feel we can all agree she is an icon, legend and star.
In short, an amazing cartoonist named Alison Bechdel created a criterion to show representation of women in films. The criteria is quite simple:
A movie that has at least two women in it who talk to each other, about something other than a man.
At first, I thought that finding films which follow this would be super easy. However, when I began thinking about it, movies which pass the test are few and far between. For easy viewing, I have compiled a list of ten of my favourite films which pass this test. Happy watching!
1) Wonder Woman
I am obsessed with this film. It’s the first superhero movie I ever watched and I was so excited because I felt I finally found a mainstream character in the media who looked like me. Wonder Woman is so cool and I can honestly do an entire paragraph about how she’s a feminist icon… (hint hint 😉 )
Anyone who knows me also knows I love Disney. Those who know me very well know I am completely obsessed with Enchanted. A fariytale film with a feminist twist, with multipule cameos from Disney princess alummni, I just heckin love this film!
4) Crazy Rich Asians
Rom Com films aren’t really my thing, but when I heard they were making a film made of an exclusively Asian cast and that it was based on a book, I was very interested. I read the book first, (and the second one… and the third one…) then finally went on to watch the movie with my Mum. I was obsessed! They perfectly bought all the characters to life and I loved it! The costumes… Oh. My. God!! Watch this film!!
5) Oceans 8
A star studded cast? Check! An iconic heist film? Check! Showing girls can do it too? Check! This film is the best! It has some of my absolute favourite actors in too: Anne Hathaway, James Corden and Awkwafina to name a few!
6) Shrek 3
I still wonder how a film can be a complete hit with my whole English class and actually show empowering women. Also, Shrek is just one of those film franchises you need to watch.
I won’t lie to you; I feel as though Disney princesses have a bad rep. I’ve heard so many people talk about how they’re enforcing stereotypes to young girls and, even though this is true to some extent, I’ve found many people overlooking exactly what Disney Princesses stand for.
When I was younger, I often found solace in watching Disney movies and I found myself learning a lot about my own identity. I couldn’t help but idolise these women and wonder what it would be like to be locked in a tower, kidnapped or enslaved, poisoned or being woken up by true loves kiss. (I was a strange kid – I know). However, as I grew older, it was not the damsel in distress side I looked up to – it took some time to get my head around the fact that no-one wished to lock me up because I had magical powers, force me to be their servant because they were jealous of me and definitely no-one who wished to be my true-loves-kiss. I began to look up to and idolise the true meaning of Disney Princesses and the females in the Disney franchise themselves. I have selected six of the most fearless females in the Disney franchise who were my idols, style gurus, sisters and friends for the younger years of my life.
Belle is commonly given a bad reputation due to the Stockholm Syndrome elements and the somewhat bestiality vibes given off. However, if we gloss over that for just a while, you will realise Belle influenced me and taught me so many things I do to this day. She taught me being different from others is okay, it’s okay to read, to never let go of my morals, never give up, stand my ground and not be afraid to stand up to bullies and that every rose has it’s thorns. She also loves yellow like yours truly, so you know she’s an icon.
Mulan is the one princess I don’t think you can chat sh*t about. She saved China while going against gender stereotypes, teaching me to never give up, always be myself, how to push my limits and showed me how to be both physically and mentally strong. She also taught me that I can do everything (and more) a man can do, and that the length of your hair doesn’t determine your gender (article explaining this is coming soon)
Megara may not be a true Disney princess, but she is the most badass “Damsel in distress” you’ll ever meet. She taught me that I shouldn’t stand for anyone’s crap, that I can help myself and a man doesn’t need to help me. She taught me how to pick myself up again time and time again without anyone there. She also taught me hair is a powerful weapon to use wisely.
Jasmine taught me to never be ashamed of my own body. Some may hate on what she wore but honestly, we all need that body confidence in our lives. She showed me that I’m not a prize to be won, but instead a human being. She showed me how to smash the patriarchy on a daily basis and to value freedom, equality and never to discriminate. Most of all she taught me that it’s okay to have darker skin, it doesn’t make you any less beautiful. (Blog article about this also coming soon.)
Rapunzel wins the battle for best prince. But she hasn’t just taught me to fall in love with a sarcastic, sassy, fearless man, she also taught me so much more. There’s nothing wrong with having a dream that you wish will come true, creativity is a magical thing. Also, she showed me that a frying pan is a damn good weapon.
Giselle isn’t the most mainstream princess, but she is perfect all the same. Her growth and character development throughout the film is definitely one to be applauded on and she is insanely strong and talented.
That’s all I’ve got for you I’m afraid! I hope you’ve enjoyed this article and feel free to comment your favourite females in Disney movies!