Category Archives: Feminism

My Year of Celibacy

No man is worth losing yourself over. Ever.” – Chidera Eggerue, How to Get Over a Boy.

I last had sex 364 days ago. I know this because the last time I had sex was on my 31st birthday and I turn 32 tomorrow. And when you haven’t had sex for a year you are all too aware of it. The last time I even kissed a man was at Christmas. I haven’t had sex or kissed someone since the last decade. I’m basically a nun. A horny nun.

It initially started after my breakup with B, as I didn’t want to have sex with anybody else; I didn’t want to have to ‘move on.’ And so, six months passed celibate. The country then went into lockdown due to the pandemic and I couldn’t meet anyone to have sex with, even if I wanted to. So, nine months passed. I suppose once lockdown lifted, I could have had sex, but meeting someone seemed like effort. I had become accustomed to not speaking to men; I liked not having the drama. 10 months passed. My competitive side sparked; It was now a personal challenge. I didn’t want sex because I was so close to hitting the year mark. I was on the home straight! And I’d be damned if was going to let a lousy shag with a lousy man stop me from winning, and so I consciously abstained.

Now, I know what you’re thinking. Is she really winning, if she’s the one not getting any for a whole year?! But it wasn’t really about the sex (or lack of), not really. Despite what a lot of men think, you don’t need them for your own self-pleasure. There are toys for that. The real nature of my personal challenge was to test for the first time in my adult life if I could be truly content without a man. Since I was 16, with the exception of a couple months scattered here and there, I’d always had some form of romantic involvement with a man. That is 16 years of longing, loving, cheating, fighting, crying, hurting, and losing. I was exhausted. For half my lifetime I had spent days, weeks even, of my precious energy on men (mostly with no equal reciprocation) and I couldn’t help but think what else in my life would have benefitted and flourished more if I had just invested that energy elsewhere. It was finally time to see, and what better time to test it than whilst lockdown in the countryside for six months. So, it was decided. No sex, no kissing, no dating, no texting, no flirting, no contact of any romantic nature. Nothing. Nada. For the first time in my adult life I had the emotional capacity to contemplate other things outside my romantic status. Here’s some of what I’ve learnt over the last 12 months.

What I’ve learnt about society (in relation to women)

Since the day we are born women are conditioned by society to believe that we need to be married and have children by a certain age, and if we don’t then we’re classed as a ‘spinster’ or ‘old maid,’ whereas men are the eternal bachelor. For my whole life, whenever I’m asked the question: do you want to get married and have children? I’ve always automatically responded ‘yes’, as that was the answer I was meant to give, right? Only, when I really think about it, I’m never quite sure. I love the idea of marriage. I love the idea of the ring, the wedding, the honeymoon and growing old with the love of my life. But in reality, it often doesn’t work out like that. There are annoying habits, mundane domestic chores, late nights feeds, family fallouts, financial worries, diminishing libido, job losses etc. Life gets in the way.

Children are a whole different ball game. That is one thing that completely alters your life, for the rest of your life. Sometimes I see a mother holding her baby and rocking it in her arms whilst maintaining eye contact, a blissful bubble of the purest love. And I feel an overwhelming sense that yes, I do want to have my own children, eventually. But at what cost? Some women claim that they were born to be mothers and would want a child no matter the circumstance. And I appreciate that, I do. I’m just not one of them. As a race, humans are living longer with more opportunities open to us than ever before. I know that if I were to ever have a baby, I would love it more than anything in this world, but there is still so much I want to do before having the responsibility of a child. And what about the women who don’t want to get married, or have children, who are perfectly fulfilled in living life on their own terms and to their own timeline; let’s normalise that! Let’s normalise women doing whatever the hell they want, whether that’s husband, or no husband, babies or no babies, without facing judgement.

So, do I want children? Yes, I think I do. But do I want children no matter what? No. There are certain conditions personal to me in which I would want to have children. I understand that not everyone is given the luxury of choice, that some circumstances are taken out of a person’s control and they have to deal with the responsibility regardless, and for those people I have the upmost respect. My desire for marriage and babies is constantly in a state of flux, because if 2020 has taught us anything it’s that no one really ever knows what’s going to happen in five years or even a year! I think I’ll only truly know how I feel about marriage and children when/if I meet someone who makes me believe in it, but the one thing I won’t do is settle.

Over the last few months, I have learnt and continue to learn a lot regarding the society we live in. Mostly around the systemic and institutionalised racism that still exists and the damaging patriarchal systems we live in. Some may argue that these are urgent but separate issues. In many ways they are not. Racism and sexism intersect for a huge number of people. Black women and women of colour, who face discrimination daily for being both that, a person of colour and a woman. So much so that the term misogynoir, was coined by black feminist, Moya Bailey, to describe the prevalent hatred that black women face in pop culture today. I admit that I did not know until recently, some of the different levels of discrimination black women face daily. Whether that’s being told to style their hair differently as it’s deemed ‘unprofessional’ for work. Or being labelled as ‘aggressive’ when raising a point assertively. Or often being fetishized and dehumanised by men on dating apps, in addition to all the other atrocities that women are subjected to.

Women are consistently sexualised by men and the media, often against our own will and resulting in damaging and dangerous repercussions. But when we attempt to own our sexuality, we are reprimanded. We are labelled as a ‘slut’ ‘slag’ ‘whore’ and ‘too easy’, for merely admitting that women enjoy sex too (shock horror). This is why I love Cardi B and Megan Thee Stallion’s latest song, WAP. An acronym for ‘Wet Ass Pussy’, or how I also like to refer to it, ‘Women Against Patriarchy.’ One of the first mainstream songs that consists of two women Hip Hop artists singing about and owning female sexuality. I applaud them. Not only for the memorable lyrics and addictive Tik Tok dance sequences, but for sticking two fingers up to all the misogynists who will happily sing along to a man rapping about fucking a load of women but are outraged when a woman sings about receiving oral sex.

Women do not exist as an accessory to a man’s pleasure, we have our own wants and needs. Recently I was on holiday and overheard a conversation by the pool between two men roughly my age. They were boasting about how many fingers their girlfriends like inside of them and saying, and I quote, “all women basically just love a whole fist up there.” I shook my head but refrained from interrupting their conversation and instead smirked from behind my book. They had no idea. And this has become so apparent over the years that so many men have no clue on how to really pleasure a woman. In an open question on Instagram stories an artist and influencer asked men how do you make a woman cum? ALL of the answers involved how many fingers they would fit in her vagina and how hard they would penetrate her. Not one of them even mentioned the clitoris. Seriously. The only human body part designed solely for female pleasure! And since 75% of women cannot orgasm from penetration alone, a pretty crucial body part to forget. So really boys, you probably want to spend a little less time watching Fruity Female likes Fisting on Pornhub and dust up on your clitoral stimulation skills. And whilst I’m on the topic, cut and clean your fingernails.

What I’ve learnt about men (in relation to women)

Do I miss the company of a man, physical touch, and the excitement of new beginnings? Whether that’s the flutter in my stomach when receiving a text or the contented smile when being spooned on a Sunday morning. Absolutely. But I know over the last six months I’ve also slept better at night knowing that my mood couldn’t be altered by something a man did or didn’t do. Despite the uncertainty of living through a pandemic, for the first time in years I became the master of my own emotions, with zero interference from a man determining my mood, and for that, I slept like a baby.

Never doubt the power of female intuition. If that’s one thing I’ve learnt is that my gut feeling on something is almost always right. Even when my ex-boyfriend, Seb, cheated on me whilst on holiday (amongst the others), he consistently denied it, but I knew he had. He finally admitted to it a couple years later, a few weeks before we broke up. These type of men are very good at gaslighting you and making you feel like you’re the ‘crazy’ one or ‘overreacting’ for even bringing it up. Rather than admit they were wrong they’d rather project the blame on to you instead. But that’s a blog post for another time.

I like to think that I’ve gotten better at picking up on any ‘red flags.’ In the past I would either be naive to any red flags or otherwise clock them and choose to ignore them anyway. But really this is just a form of self-sabotage. By ignoring any issues in the beginning, you are only in denial and setting yourself up for upset later down the line. Examples of red flags I’ve ignored in the past include (but are not limited to): a man being rude to waiting staff on a date, a man not texting to see if I got home OK after leaving his house in the dark, a man’s reluctance to call me his girlfriend despite us dating for 10 months. I could go on.

I don’t claim to know the inner workings of a man, God knows some things they do and say quite honestly baffle me, but I do know this. If a man wants to be with you, he will be with you. It really is as simple of that. If a man ghosts you or only responds (begrudgingly) days later after you’ve doubled texted and claims he has ‘been busy with work’, then it speaks for itself. Everyone is busy, but people will make the time for those they genuinely care about. He is just not interested. Move on. The time I have spent over the years overthinking, analysing text messages to try and decipher hidden meanings and attempting to double guess a man’s actions, is beyond ridiculous. When really, I could have used that same energy on someone who was actually interested or better yet, on myself!

So yeah, if a man wants to date you, he will ask you, if he wants to see you, he will make plans (and stick to them), and if he wants you in his life then he will make the effort to do just that. I honestly think most men unapologetically go for what they want, whether that’s romantically, professionally, or otherwise. If he’s acting shady or distant than that’s a huge red flag. Run. Do not waste your breath or tears on this man, because he certainly isn’t with you. And if I’d have known this simple fact years ago, I would have saved myself a lot of anguish and heartache.

What I’ve learnt about myself (as a woman)

Over the past 12 months I’ve learnt more about myself than in the last 12 years. This personal challenge was more than just about sex; I wanted to find contentment in other things outside of my ‘love life’. Because despite what society tells us, women are so much more than our romantic status. I wanted to push myself and see what new things I could learn and do and question my own thinking. I’ve tried to diversify my reading, whether books or online articles, listen to various podcasts and begin to challenge my own unconscious biases and toxic behaviours. All whilst acknowledging that this is a constant evolving process.

I decided to research Attachment Styles to begin to understand my relationships with others. There are four identified Attachment Styles: Secure, Anxious, Avoidant/Dismissive and Fearful. If you don’t know yours yet, I recommend Googling, it’s an eye opener! I could quite clearly see myself in the Anxious category, where I’m hyper-aware of the other person and overly focused on small details. Interesting. Well they say the first step to solving something is the acknowledgement of the issue, so I’m working on and aiming for the somewhat healthier category of Secure attachment. That’s not to say that my attachment style is alone fully responsible for the breakdown of all my past relationships; although I acknowledge that it may have played a part. The men did a pretty good job of fucking it up at their end too. No, as humans we are complex creatures with a multitude of intricacies. We adapt, change, and grow all the time and sometimes people grow apart. And sometimes it’s just about the timing.

I also looked into Love languages to gain a better understanding of my personal needs and who I might be most compatible with. The five Love Languages are identified as: Words of Affirmation, Acts of Service, Receiving Gifts, Quality Time, and Physical Touch. These categories describe how an individual expresses their love to others and/or responds well to. Despite liking elements of all the languages, I knew instantly what my top two Love Languages were. Physical Touch is a high priority, as I’ve always shown affection physically. I love kissing, cuddling, holding hands, having my hair stroked, and I like to have an active sex life (usually!). It would also explain why my previous relationships with men who’s love language wasn’t Physical Touch have always been strained.

I also put great emphasis on Words of Affirmation. No real surprise there considering I enjoy blogging, writing poetry and keep birthday cards that hold sentimental value. I’m known for my transparency and wearing my heart on my sleeve. I tell people how I feel about them, and I like to know how they feel about me in return. Obviously, all things in moderation, I don’t particularly like the idea of a man draped over me 24/7, hanging on to my every word! And as I’ve gotten older and more cautious, I will probably hold my cards a little closer, to avoid getting hurt as much.

I’m still continuing to learn and like every human I will inevitably make mistakes along the way, but it is the willingness to learn and take accountability where warranted which is important. The other day I did an exercise where I sat down and wrote lists of all the people in my 32 years who have impacted my life in one way or another. Nowadays it’s so easy to get caught up in life that you may take family and friends for granted, and I wanted to remind myself of the people I’m most grateful for. Afterwards I looked back at my list and interestingly there were 30 women who I consider as actively having a positive influence in my life, compared to just 10 men. I then consulted my list of people who have impacted my life at some point (but not necessarily for the best) and there were four women compared to eight men. That isn’t to take away from the men who have brought so much to my life (and I can count them on two hands!) because those are the men who give me hope and remind me that amongst the fuckboys and egotistical maniacs, good men do exist.


It’s been almost a year since I packed up my belongings and moved out of my South London flat, to escape to Mexico for a few weeks after my breakup with B. After a couple months commuting in from Kent at the beginning of the year and then spending lockdown in the countryside, I am finally moving back to London next week. Despite the still uncertain times ahead, I am ready for this fresh new start. I’m also ready to start dating again, albeit with a new, and hopefully healthier perspective. I can’t say downloading the dating apps again fills me with overwhelming joy, but I am looking forward to meeting new people again (if Boris so allows it!). And if not, Rihanna is 32 and reportedly single, and if its good enough for Rhi Rhi, then it’s good enough for me.

Yeah, Me Too

Trigger warning: this blog post contains references of sexual harassment and assault.

Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented. – Elie Wiesel.

It’s been a while since my last post. I originally thought I’d spend a lot of my time during lockdown writing but in reality, I spent a lot of it reflecting. I’ve spent the last two months debating with myself about writing this. I’d form paragraphs in my head on dog walks then lose my confidence once I was in front of my computer screen. When I talked to my sister about this, she asked what was stopping me. If I’m honest with myself, I was scared of being vulnerable and of what people may think. I was scared of being labelled as a ‘victim’ and that I wouldn’t do myself or so many other women justice. I eventually decided the best thing to do, was just to write… and once I started, I found I couldn’t stop. The words poured out of me as I ferociously typed, I felt anger and relief at finally be able to tell my story. So many women are silenced because their story is not ‘palatable’ or it’s too ‘uncomfortable’ to read, or it would ‘damage a man’s reputation’ if made public. But if recent events have taught us anything, it is only once we start talking, can we finally face injustices together.


2012. I was 23, and it was my first job after I’d graduated. A few months after I was first employed, a new director, let’s call him Kane, joined the company and I reported directly into him. It started with flirtatious comments as I brought him coffee or put papers down on his desk. I thought he was just being cheeky and didn’t look too much into it until he started texting me in the evenings. They were borderline messages, not quite enough for me to say anything (so I thought) but inappropriate enough to make me feel uncomfortable.

Then there was a work trip to Germany with an overnight stay for Kane and his team, which included seven men, all above the age of 40 and one woman, me. As we sat on the tiny plane about to take off, Kane suddenly took hold of my hand. I looked at him and he winked, claiming he was a nervous flyer. As the engine fired up, I stared at his hand holding mine, wondering when he would let go.

Once we landed in Germany, we had a day planned with a factory tour, team building exercises, followed by a dinner, before checking into our hotel. Throughout the whole day I was subjected to sexualised comments and innuendos from the men, or, as it is still so commonly referred to, ‘just banter’. Kane sat next to me at the dinner and kept his arm across the back of my chair the whole time, whilst continuously topping up my wine glass. Afterwards, at the hotel, Kane insisted everyone stay up for night caps. After a couple more drinks we all started to head upstairs to our respective rooms. Once we reached the bedroom landing, Kane enthusiastically suggested that we all should play a game of hide and seek! Some of the older men begrudgingly agreed, not wanting to say no to their new boss. Kane faced the wall and started counting as everyone ran in opposite directions trying to find a hiding place.

I ran downstairs and hid under a staircase. It wasn’t a great hiding spot and I was still clearly in view. After a few minutes I heard footsteps come down the stairs, and I saw Kane peer his head around the corner. He spotted me but didn’t say anything, just ran back upstairs, which confused me. A few more minutes passed, and I couldn’t hear anything; I just wanted to go to bed. So, I headed back upstairs to the landing expecting to see more of the team peering out from hiding spots. But the landing was completely deserted. Then out of nowhere Kane stepped out on to the landing. He didn’t say anything.

“Um…where are the others?” I asked, nervously.

“They’ve all gone to bed.” said Kane, his eyes fixed on me, smiling.

I felt the panic rise in my chest as I realised, that he’d only gone back upstairs after seeing me to tell the others to go to bed, and then had come back out to find me. We were completely alone, and he was making no attempt at heading to his own room.

“Right, well I think I’ll be off to bed too then,” I said as I backed away from him and walked quickly to my room.

“Night then.” he called after me.

Once in my room I quickly locked the door with shaking hands and breathed a sigh of relief.


Kane abused his position of authority to try and take advantage of a fresh out of university graduate. I was young and naive and kept his actions to myself, but if something like that were to happen again to me today, I’d like to think I’d be able to report it. But the truth is that so many women are silenced, due to fear of losing their job, not being believed, or generally upsetting the status quo. Yet, most women have similar stories where they have been harassed and often put in terrifying situations by men. The #MeToo movement created by Tarana Burke in 2006, gained traction in 2017 when numerous actresses publicly reported cases of sexual harassment and assault. Once a couple of women had told their story, more and more came out. The sheer volume was staggering; it was time to break the silence. Women in the media and across the world are constantly named, blamed, and shamed for their actions, it’s time to finally make men accountable for theirs.

I was assaulted in my mid-twenties when I was having sex with a guy and he removed the condom without my knowing or consent. This is called ‘stealthing’. At the time once I’d realised what he’d done, I felt weird and uncomfortable, but because assault and lack of consent in all its forms is normalised in society, I hadn’t realised that I’d actually been sexually assaulted until later on. I had consented to sex with a condom, I had NOT consented to sex without one. He took that choice away from me and decided he could do what he wanted with my body. This was not my first experience of assault at the hands of a man either. I am not unique in my experiences. Most women you know will have been subjected to some form of harassment and/or assault by a man in their lifetime. And it’s not unusual for them to have more than one story, that is how much society normalises sexual assault on women. It happens every day and people turn a blind eye to it, cover it up, and gaslight the woman into feeling like she’s over-reacting. According to Rape Crisis UK, it was estimated that 1 in 5 women will experience some form of sexual assault in their lifetime. This could be your mum, sister, or daughter. This could be you. If you’re a man reading this and you’re sat feeling shocked, disgusted, and angry, then imagine what it’s like to be a woman who faces the very real threat of this every single day.


Let’s talk about respect, specifically the lack of respect for women. When I lived in Australia with three men, I was partial to hearing the way they discussed women. Women were conquests that were rated on how their bodies looked to determine their value and it wasn’t uncommon for racist slurs such as, “I love a chocolate woman” to be casually thrown around as they dehumanised these women further. This is a prime example of toxic masculinity, and it was not the first time I have heard groups of men discussing women as if they were objects to be used and discarded, with little to no regard for the fact that they are a person with thoughts, feelings and lived experiences. This kind of behaviour is not ‘funny’ or ‘manly’, it encourages the disrespect of women and feeds into rape culture.

When a woman is minimised to just her body, you dehumanise her to an object solely for male consumption. A lot of men believe they have some kind of ‘ownership’ over women’s bodies and think they can do whatever they like with them. An example of this that a lot of women will have experienced, is when men walk past them in a club or bar, or indeed any public space, and put their hands on her waist as they pass, instead of politely asking her if he can get by. For some reason men seem to think they are entitled to be able to touch a woman’s body without her consent. And we normalise this!? Now let’s put the shoe on the other foot. How do you think a man would react if they were physically touched by another person they didn’t know as they walked past? And yet, if a woman was to call a man out and quite rightly be outraged, then she is called a “bitch” for even daring to challenge a man, despite the fact that he touched her body! Are we starting to see the problem here?

Further examples of a lack of respect for women include catcalling, hooting of car horns, and inappropriate comments on a woman’s appearance. All are harassment and not a single woman I know considers it a compliment. Even when we’re in a bar and we’ve declined advances from a man, a lot of the time they won’t leave us alone until we’ve used the “I have a boyfriend” line. This is our strongest card of rejection, because men will respect other men more than the woman literally standing in front of them.

As women, we have to constantly think about our safety. Every day we have to navigate routes and plans to try and protect our bodies and lives. When we go out, we don’t have the privilege that a lot of men have of just choosing to walk home at night. If a man is walking behind us late at night or a car pulls up to us, our hearts begin to race as our bodies prepare for fight or flight. We have to be on constant alert to a potential attacker; packing a pair of flip flops as they are easier to run in, should we have to, or tucking our housekeys between our knuckles. Just a couple examples of my personal experiences include, having to get off a bus early because a man was harassing me, and I had to stand waiting for an Uber in the middle of nowhere at night. After a night out, I was walking the short distance from the bus stop to my flat when a man ran out of an alleyway, touching himself and chasing me down the street. Most of the women you know will have had experiences of this everyday harassment, and so we ultimately end up paying more for our safety on expensive taxis, rape alarms etc. All this, despite being paid less than our male counterparts! So, if you’re a man on a date with a woman, I wouldn’t begrudge her if you end up paying for a couple more rounds of drinks – the gender pay gap is a very real thing.

And then there’s the all-important subject of consent, with some people claiming that there are ‘blurred lines’. Well, let me break this down simply for you: If it is not a ‘yes,’ then it is a ‘no.’ And no means NO. If someone tells you that they are ‘not in the mood’ or doesn’t respond, then that is not an invitation for you to ask again and break them down until they agree. If someone is silent and still (potentially frozen with fear) then that is not a go ahead for you to proceed. If someone consents to kissing you, that is not an automatic pass to fingering. If someone consents to oral sex with you, that does not automatically mean that they consent to penetrative sex with you.  And if someone consents to sex with you using a condom that does not mean that they consent to that condom being removed without their knowledge. And finally, but certainly not the least, anyone can withdraw their consent at any given time – even if you’re in the middle of sex. If you haven’t done so already, I highly recommend watching Michaela Coel’s 12-part series I May Destroy You on BBC iPlayer. A drama based on her real-life experiences of sexual assault and the importance of consent. It is the most powerful, impactful, and important series I have watched in a long time.


We live in a society of ‘victim blaming’. Where women who report cases of harassment or assault are questioned on whether “they led him on” or subjected to comments such as, “look what she was wearing, she was asking for it”. NO. No one asks to be assaulted. That blame lies solely with the perpetrator. We teach our daughters how to avoid danger and ‘how not to get raped’. When really, we should be teaching our sons not to rape women. Boys need to be taught that women are not sexualised objects who exist for their consumption and disposal.  

Men need to be made accountable for their actions. And if you’re a man sat reading this and your first response is defensive and along the lines of “but not all men are like that” or “well, I wouldn’t do that,” let me stop you right there. You are not being attacked here; it is women who are being attacked (in the majority). Yes, we know that not all men harass and assault women, but enough men do it that most women you know will have experienced it. And that’s a BIG problem. And if you’re still feeling defensive, maybe that’s actually a feeling of guilt and there’s a reason for that…

We need men to put their own egos aside and wake up to the reality of what is happening to women, every single day. What we don’t need is a man responding to our traumas by “playing devil’s advocate” or giving us “whataboutisms”. This is not a game or debate. You are not being constructive or helpful, all you are doing is deliberately dismissing and belittling our experiences. Women go through enough without hearing that bullshit too.


I am a feminist. At least, a ‘feminist in progress’, a term coined by presenter and activist, Jameela Jamil. Acknowledging that whilst I am actively educating myself and striving to be and do better, I will never stop learning, and nor should I. Because the minute you stop learning and think you know everything, a person from a marginalised community gets overlooked. To be a feminist literally means the belief that everyone should have equality, be treated equally, and have equal opportunities regardless of gender, race, sexuality, or ability. Sounds fair right? Yet the world is far from fair, and if you don’t realise that or if all or even just one of above means that you’ve had no experiences of discrimination, then that is your privilege. It’s time to start recognising your privileges, because not everyone has them. And people are losing jobs, losing freedom, being assaulted, and being killed because of that.

I’m mixed race, but my lighter skin tone means that I have benefitted from white privilege and white proximity. I am also a straight, non-disabled, cisgender woman so I benefit from those privileges too. But what about women from marginalised communities? Women of colour, disabled women, trans women or gay or bisexual women, who in addition to being oppressed by the patriarchy also face further discrimination, and similar to higher rates of sexual violence than straight people. The 2015 U.S Transgender Survey found that 47% of trans people are sexually assaulted at some point during their lifetime. This is why we have to check our own privileges, face uncomfortable truths, and ensure that our feminism is truly intersectional, so that no one is overlooked and equality for all, actually does mean equality for all. This requires work from women and men, and the work is never done; it is always in progress.

Some people scoff at the mention of feminism and roll their eyes as if it’s some dirty or embarrassing word. There is an outdated notion of what feminism is – cue images of bra burning and man-hating. A narrative so obviously constructed by the patriarchy, yet it continues to seep unchecked into our daily lives. But it’s important to remember that everyone can be feminists. So, reader, are you a feminist? If you can’t answer that straight away, then I’d question yourself on why you don’t believe in equal opportunities for everyone? – because that is what’s truly concerning.

Contrary to what some may believe, I do not hate men. I hate toxic masculinity and misogyny. But I love men. Hell, most of the posts on this blog wouldn’t exist if it weren’t for my love of men! The patriarchy harms us all, it teaches men to supress their emotions, it teaches women to be in competition with other women and it teaches us all that if we do not fit into the narratives it assigns to us that we must be punished somehow. But if you’re a man (especially a white, cisgender man), the patriarchy holds you above everyone else, and if you don’t recognise your own privilege yet, then it’s time to. So, this is a call to all men, to leave any defensiveness at the door and to show up for the women you love and the women you don’t. To listen to our stories, to believe us, to fight against the patriarchal society that oppresses us, to help amplify our voices, to stand by us and to be our allies.

So, yeah, me too. I have past experiences of trauma and that will never be OK or just accepted. I don’t let or want what happened to me define who I am, but I know that is something I will always have to process and live with. But live I shall. I have a career, a loving family, and supportive friends. I had and will have boyfriends (although hopefully not many more!). I travel, I read, I write, and I continue to learn. I blog about my experiences in the hope that it may help others feel less alone in theirs. I cry when I’m sad or angry or when I feel something is unjust. I am strong and stand up for myself despite hating confrontation. I will laugh at myself and unapologetically always set out to be the joker. I love hard despite having had my heart broken more than once. And I will always be slightly obsessed with pancakes. I am still me; I am still Jess.