Say no to sexism: why funny women on stage, on television and online are the new feminist fightback

New blog up on the Indy website:

Say no to sexism: why funny women on stage, on television and online are the new feminist fightback

I managed to go a good three days before I was bothered by that lazy but inevitable refrain: “I just don’t find women very funny.” We’ve all heard the sort of thing; women don’t have any sense of comic timing; we cry if we get heckled; we’re not genetically predisposed towards having a sense of humour (thanks for that one, Christopher Hitchens). Basically, we wouldn’t see a punch-line coming if it bit us in the tit.

Gillette: Not the Best Marketing Can Get

Piece up on the Independent this week http://www.independent.co.uk/voices/comment/gillette-not-the-best-marketing-can-get-8289059.html

Yesterday’s object of ridicule amongst the more feminist valleys of the twittersphere was Gillette’s Get Closer to Your Mancampaign, which gives “advice” on how to please your man via the medium of body hair removal. Yes, forget all those things you thought might be important in a functioning relationship: a shared sense of humour, perhaps, some sexual or emotional chemistry, or the ability to hold a conversation for more than five minutes. All those things go out the window the minute your man feels the lightest graze of stubble besmirching your lady-pins. “Disgustubble!” he will cry, leaping from the bed in alarm, “Get thou to the bathroom, to remove your hair and infuse thy follicles with white tea!”

Column in the Sunday Times

I am raking in the Murdoch dolla with a column in the Sunday Times’ Style magazine. Because I am, like, SO fash.

Also, I have now achieved my life-goal of shoe-horning a Derrida reference into a women’s fashion magazine. HECK. YES.

If you have pay-wall access (HAHAHAAHAHA) then you can read it here.

Erotic Choose Your Own Adventure: Part III

Previously on ‘EROTIC CHOOSE YOUR OWN ADVENTURE’…….

Spoilers: what is behind the next door is a ghost. Yes, actually.

AND YOU THOUGHT I WAS JOKING.

You guys I wasn’t even joking.

Things start to get a little dark in this chapter. Let’s just consider this the hallowe’en instalment, since it’s October. You have been warned.

Chapter 8: The Monster

The two ghosts, the one dressed in pale clothes, the other in dark, waited for me, without moving.

What I think about, this sentence, is that maybe, it has too many commas, in it.

I warmly shook their hands in the dark and then left them, for it was time for me to go back to my life outside and to find the Man I had come to look for in here.

I walked towards the illuminated sign and my heart was pounding. I was no more than three paces away from it when I heard a moan behind me. I turned round.

In the dark I could make out the shapes of the two ghosts embracing. It seemed as if they were kissing each other on the mouth. Then I saw them disappear together behind one of the two doors.

YES YES YES GHOST SLASH MY LIFE IS COMPLETE.

I began to wonder whether I wasn’t making a mistake in leaving before I had met the two ghosts who had been following me during my journey through the labyrinth.

I began to wonder whether I wasn’t making a mistake in ever buying this fucking book.

Didn’t they, too, have something to teach me? And would I have another opportunity to make their acquaintance? I turned back and opened the door I had seen them go through.

I entered a bright, square-shaped, simple monk’s cell. They didn’t seem to have heard me. Near the window, through which I could see an arid, deserted mountain landscape, the Ghost of Myself was undressing the other, that is, was taking off his ample white cape, beneath which he was naked.

Yeah, thanks for the clarification that undressing someone does indeed mean taking off their clothes.

Then I discovered that the Ghost of Lost Love was a very beautiful young man, at least his body was beautiful, for his face remained hidden under a white hood, a cloth bag with three holes cut in it around the eyes and mouth and tied around his neck with a rope. Oddly, he was also wearing ropes around his hips; their ends fell between his thighs as a sort of loincloth.

Ok. CREEPY. AS. HELL. I don’t know; is this supposed to be turning us on? If they make a film adaptation of this book (IT COULD TOTALLY HAPPEN, YOU GUYS. THEY ARE MAKING ONE FOR FIFTY SHADES), my money is definitely on Guillermo Del Toro to direct.

As for the Ghost of Myself, he kept on his long black tunic. His dress, his demeanour, his gaze and this cell which seemed to serve as his bedroom, seemed to suggest an oriental high priest or wise man. His gestures were calm and precise and you could see determination and moral strength in his face, as if he were preparing to perform some duty rather than abandon himself to lust. He was quite impressive.

I’d vote for him.

He started to undo the ropes around the pelvis of the beautiful pale ghost. When he was free, the latter leaned on the window sill with his back to me and offered his behind to his companion, moaning.

I guess this is supposed to be sexy-moaning, but the fact that he’s a ghost is just conjuring a sort of “OOOOOO-OOOOOOOOOOOOO” sound for me.

A ghost getting bummed, probably.

Then the dark ghost turned to me and signalled me to come forward. When I came near to him I reached out my hand towards his arm but he pushed it away. So I approached the naked body of the pale ghost. But he pushed me away again.

“Don’t Touch us,” he said. “Not me and especially not him. Whatever happens, make sure you don’t touch. It would bring about a great misfortune for all three of us. But watch and wait, for we will have need of you before long.”

Let’s face it; we’ve all been on Grindr dates that turned out something like this.

And he sat me down on a chair, next to the table, where two places had been laid.

The Ghost of Myself picked up one of the ropes that had been wrapped around the young man’s waist and started to beat him with it. The Ghost of Lost Love moaned and complained, but he put up no resistance.

His Inner Goddess is doing the merengue with some salsa moves.

He even started running round the room as his persecutor pursued him, whipping the rope against his flesh with all his might.

At first I was horrified by the cruelty of this scene and I wanted to intervene. Then I noticed that the pale ghost had an erection and, while going through the motions of running away, seemed to be exposing himself to the most painful blows, offering every part of his magnificent body to be beaten.

His member grew ever more stiff and purple. I slipped my hand under my dress, for, in spite of my discomfort at this spectacle, I was beginning to feel very excited.

Well I’m glad someone’s into it. Personally I’m with Des’ree.

Would rather have a piece of toast.

The hooded young man fell to the ground, lay on his back and was being beaten on his chest as he writhed about, not making any effort to protect himself with his arms. His cock stood up and twitched above his stomach. Then I forgot what the dark ghost had told me. This man needed me and I had to help him.

NOOOOOOOOOOOOOO! Everywoman Protagonist, don’t do it!!! Why are people always doing things they’ve expressly been warned against???

I slid to the ground and went towards him on all fours. When I got close, I grasped his extremely hard and warm cock and wanked it vigorously. He let out a cry and came straight away in my hand.

ECTOGASM :O :O :O :O :O

The dark ghost recoiled, looking grave and troubled. I felt relieved, as if I had come myself. But the pale ghost leapt to his feet and pulled off his hood wildly. His face, which was also very beautiful, was twisted in anguish. He tottered, looking at each of us in turn with an expression of disbelief.

Suddenly he started to undergo a transformation, at lightning speed. His hair grew out and turned white, his back bent, his flesh turned flabby, his skin drooped, his face became covered in lines, his teeth fell out of his mouth, his nails grew extraordinarily long.

fap fap fap fap fap fap fap fap fap fap fap

D:

Seriously, I don’t even know what is going on here. What started off as a pleasant tale of bromantic ghost-on-ghost fucking has taken a real turn for the macabre. Am I still meant to be wanking? I just don’t know! I’M SO CONFUUUUUUUUSED.

The latter fell to the ground. His neck was striped by a long, deep gash, which began to bleed profusely; large drops of blood flowed to the floor.

Book! What are you doing book! This is not the type of gash that I signed up for!

The pale ghost lost his strength. His flesh hollowed out and turned blue, hanging off his bones. He too fell to the ground on his back, in the position in which, a moment earlier, I had grabbed his eager sex, which had now shrivelled up.

You me both, honey.

His body gave off a smell of death, he didn’t move or breathe.

Since the beginning of his transformation I had been standing with my back to the wall, my head in my hands, screaming, paralysed. The Ghost of Myself stood up and said:

“You have to kill him now.”

At the spot where he had lain there was a pool of blood on the floor. But his haemorrhage seemed to have stopped. I was still screaming. The Ghost of Myself silenced me with a slap

Heck yes ghost misogyny.

and stuffed a pair of scissors into my hand, repeating:

“You have to kill him now.”

“But he’s dead! Can’t you see he’s dead?” I sobbed.

“If you don’t stick these scissors in his heart he will never be dead. You have to do it if you don’t want him to suffer forever and return to torment you for the rest of your life.”

This is basically what I am contemplating doing to this book, in order to stop it from haunting the rest of my days. The damn thing is clearly a horcrux. I chucked it in the toilet in the second floor girls lavatory and it still came back again.

ADMIT IT: YOU ARE AROUSED BY MY GIF-FINDING SKILLZ.

I approached the body and knelt in front of it. I was crying so much I could hardly see. I gripped the scissors in both hands, raised them over his emaciated chest and stabbed him several times, sobbing. Nothing came out of his body, as if he had been drained of his blood. I passed out.

When I came to I saw a rectangular hole gaping in the ground next to me.

“Help me,” said the Ghost of Myself.

We wrapped the body in the white cape and lay it in the grave. Then we replaced the floorboards. I was exhausted, but strangely calm.

“You intend to live on top of him?” I asked the dark ghost.

“We all live above the dead,” he said.

Soooooooooooooooooooo. Deeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeep.

And he took me in his arms. I wept softly, my head lying against his chest.

“I love you,” I whispered.

Well, this is sudden! Just a few minutes ago she was being discomfited by his running around whipping people.

“Remember,” he said, “I am and will always be with you. Especially in your most intimate moments,

(Ceiling Ghost is watching you masturbate)

in your dreams, in your pleasures and in your pain. If you are able to recognise my presence, listen to me and love me in those moments and everything will be all right.”

And he kissed me.

I washed the wound in his neck, which was scarring already. Of the spot where his blood had soaked into the floor there was no trace except a small pile of coloured pebbles.

WHAT WHY. WHAT. NO.

He picked them up, put them in the palm of my hand and recommended that I keep them with me. I kissed him again and left. I knew now he would never leave me.

Fuckin’ ghosts, man.

We don’t want to be used as your ‘token woman’

Piece up on the Independent today, iznit.

Whereas a man’s public failings or achievements are seen as belonging to him personally, a woman’s are taken as inherent gender traits. No matter what we are – no matter our job role or interests – we are always seen as a woman before we are seen as anything else.

Is there still a place for women’s pages in the media?

Wrote a piece for the New Statesman today, yo.

The argument most often raised against women’s pages (along with women’s television programmes, and women’s radio shows) is that they are necessarily divisive, bringing with them an implication that women aren’t welcome amongst the other pages of the paper, and must be relegated into their own glossy pull-out harem. Not for us ladyfolk the stern black & white logic of the business pages! Not for us the brain-taxing Sudoku, with its spiky numbers and glaring empty boxes! No, the women need their own special place, full of pretty pictures of shoes (ALL WOMEN LOVE SHOES) and tearful confessions about lost love (ALL WOMEN LOVE TEARS).

The Hypocrisy of the Mail’s Fight to Ban Online Porn

I have a new piece up on the Independent today!

The Daily Mail’s fight to get online porn blocked is a bit rich coming from the people behind Mail Online

There is, of course, something more than slightly hypocritical about being preached to by a newspaper that derives some of its profit through posting photos of scantily-clad women all over its website, and then commentating ruthlessly and damagingly on every last inch of their flesh. The Mail’s gasping moral outrage at discovering that “the largest group of internet pornography consumers are aged 12 to 17 (presumably because this is the age when children begin to question things about their bodies, on account of, you know, growing up), doesn’t exactly sit prettily when placed next to the paper’s pseudo-paedophilic fascination with pubescent girls: take, for example, the now infamous piece by Vice Magazine last year, detailing what happens when you type the spectacularly creepy phrase “all grown up” into the Mail’s search engine.

I think it’s the first time I haven’t had loads of comments yelling at me for being a terrible writer/ woman/ person. Probably because I didn’t really write about feminism this time #standard