Tag Archives: Feminist

These Feminists In Gorilla Masks Are Revolutionising The Art World

On Thursday 9 of March I had the opportunity to attend a “gig” of Guerrilla Girls in my hometown, Athens – a presentation of their work in the form of performance that was followed by questions and discussion with the public. It was a really cool event that led to a fascinating discussion with the two Guerrillas who were present, very receptive to questions, concerns and suggestions.

Guerrilla Girls are feminist activists and artists. They always wear gorilla masks in pubic so that no one focuses on who they are so that people can pay attention on what they do instead.

Our anonymity keeps the focus on the issues, and away from who we might be. We could be anyone and we are everywhere.”

Instead of their real identities they use nicknames taken from important women written down in history of art, such as Frida Kahlo, Käthe Kollwitz, and Zubeida Agha. There have been around 60 members in Guerrilla Girls over the years.

They have been around since 1985 when they decided to speak up against the male-dominated art world in New York City, with their main point of reference being a huge MoMA exhibition where women and POC artists were vastly underrepresented – 152 male artists and only 13 women.

Since then they have been shaking the waters of the mainstream world of art, cinema, and popular culture with facts, humour and graphic/visual art that aims to raise awareness and protest against the discrimination and inequality that women face in those areas.

Their motto is “Reinventing the ‘F’ word: Feminism” and they believe in intersectional feminism “and human rights for all people and all genders”.

They also wish to push against mainstream class hierarchies in the world of art, including rich collectors and museum owners who shape and dictate who has the power, who is promoted and whose art matters only based on profit. To do that they ridicule, they protest and complain, using cheap, alternative ways of being heard, such as stickers, leaflets, posters, videos, and street actions.

They told the Guardian:

Whenever you read about artists, a lot of the coverage has to do with how rich they are, how much their work sells for, which wealthy people in the world have them. No one is looking at the system and saying: is this the way culture is produced?”

Gradually they developed, ending up writing and publishing books, doing exhibitions all over the world (including Bilbao, Madrid, Iceland, Istanbul, London, Los Angeles, Mexico City, New York, Sao Paolo, Rotterdam and Shangai), and even being exhibited themselves in the very museums that they’ve called out at times.

You can check out their super cool projects and exhibitions yourself, if you haven’t already! They have received commissions for projects and exhibitions from many different institutions and organizations, including The Nation (2001), Fundación Bilbao Arte (2002), Istanbul Modern (2006) and Witte de With Center for Contemporary Art (2007).

Some of their most well-known projects include the ironic “Advantages to Being a Women artist” poster they made in 1988, their 1989 poster of Ingres’ painting “La Grande Odalisque” with a gorilla head placed over the face of the nude figure, with the slogan “Do women have to be naked to get into the Met. Museum?”, their poster criticizing the Academy Awards with an “anatomically correct” white male Oscar statue design, and many more.

In their gig in Athens they also spoke up for intersectional feminism, POC rights, LGBTQ+ rights, for the lives of Trans people and against the plutocracy in art. Appearing in Stegi of Letters and Arts was their second event in Athens, ten years after visiting Art Athina for Zubeida. Before the event they said:

In fact, this is for us an investigation trip. We want to see how the art community dealt with the crisis, how they adjusted to it.” And they did.

After their presentation, they exchanged experiences and opinions with Greek-based artists who suffer in several ways from discrimination both in the academia and the industry.

They advised the audience to fight back and raise their voices with ways as simple as is putting stickers up on walls and then run away quickly – that can be applied to raise awareness against discrimination in the worlds of music, theatre, fashion, philosophy, and other ideas that were heard from the audience.

Their most inspiring piece of advice was that, “once you get someone to laugh you got a hook on their brains”. I can’t remember the exact phrasing, but the point is that you always got to aim to get someone, even when they disagree with you, to start having second thoughts about an issue. To bug their heads, make them start considering that things maybe aren’t as simple as they seem. And their advice when it comes to the how? Provoke, complain, use your sense of humour, ridicule, step on names who do the wrong thing, say their names out loud, complain some more.

When it comes to the mainstream-ing of feminism, or its turning into a trend, they said in an interview at Greek online magazine Lifo: “It’s ok! Let’s see how many of them are really feminists. We won’t judge anyone who says they support feminism though. There is no acceptance test, only actions.”

You can find the livestreaming of their gig in Stegi of Letters and Arts, Athens, here.

Guerrilla Girls have also protested against the domination of white men in the film industry with their 2003 “Even the Senate is More Progressive than Hollywood” billboard, their stickers at the 2001 Sundance Film Festival, their “Birth of Feminism” 2001 project for The Nation and others. In addition, they have actively and explicitly protested against politicians, mostly Republicans. Their ridicule and criticism of Trump was apparent throughout their entire presentation in Athens, refusing to call him by his name and calling him “45” instead.

They have given multiple “gigs” and presentations like the one in Athens, in universities, art schools, museums, theatres and cultural events all over the world.

Among the audience there were many women who thanked them for being an inspiration throughout the years, encouraging her to keep fighting for her place in the competitive, exclusionary, and discriminatory world of art.

Are You an Inclusive Feminist?

As we’ve talked about before, intersectional feminism is crucial.

Intersectional feminism expands the tight boundaries of traditional feminism, which often overlooks the realities of non-white, non-cisgender and non-straight women.

So how do you take steps towards actually including all types of people in your feminism?

Acknowledge that you’re privileged.

If you’re able to read this website without censorship or threat of death, you are privileged.

If you’re able to vote in presidential elections, even if your candidate doesn’t win, then you are privileged.

If you have food on the table or a college education or even the ability to walk into a store without being racially profiled, you are privileged.

Even if you’re non-white, or non-straight, or non-cisgender, you can still experience privilege in other areas of your life. That’s not a bad thing by any means, and you shouldn’t be ashamed of it – but acknowledge that your privilege colors your worldview and that people with varying levels of privilege may have different opinions.


It’s human nature to jump to conclusions based on what you think you know. When the #BlackLivesMatter movement started, many non-black people assumed that the movement meant that other lives didn’t matter, which was not true.

Instead of making assumptions about a group of people that you don’t know, ask questions. Look things up. Read articles.

This works for politics too. Mainstream feminism often assumes that women will be liberal, meaning pro-choice, for example, and pro-Hillary Clinton. But this narrow view overlooks a large subset of women, namely, those who are conservative and who hold opinions at odds with traditional feminism. Instead of condemning these people, open your mind and learn how they think. You don’t have to agree, but you should be able to empathize.

Ask questions.

Yes, you can use Google. But it’s also okay to ask someone  – for example, if you’re not sure whether Muslim women choose to wear hijabs or are forced to, you could ask a Muslim friend if she minds explaining it to you. In many cases, as long as someone sees that you’re earnestly trying to learn, they will be open.

Realize that feminism evolves.

Feminism today isn’t what it was in the ’90s or ’70s or ’60s.

Judith Butler’s feminism looks different from bell hooks’ feminism looks different from Beyoncé’s feminism. According to bell hooks, Beyonce is a terrorist, but at least she’s a feminist one.

Recognize that there’s no one “right” way to be feminist, so don’t lock yourself into one worldview. Always be willing to read, rethink and even disagree with yourself. As the world changes, so should your ideas.

Read more on intersectional feminism here.

Watch ‘Firebringer’, a Hilarious Feminist Musical with Hot Lesbians

Hello, reader:

If you are here, you probably fall into one of two camps.

1) You hate musicals, but you love beautiful, funny lesbians who dance around in skimpy Flinstones outfits


2) You’ve seen every gay musical in existence, including the cringe-worthy underground ones, and you’re hungry for more.

From the makers of A Very Potter Musical comes Firebringer, a side-splitting musical that you can watch for free on YouTube right now.

The musical follows a feminist clan of cavemen who discover fire and destroy their friendship in the process.

Musicals can focus on literally anything. Whether you want to watch a European Afro-jazz musical (Passing Strange), a German musical about the rise of Obama (Hope! Das Obama Musical), a Greenday concert gone awry (American Idiot) or even Shrek (Shrek), you can find it.

Still, Firebringer’s prehistoric setting still feels unorthodox.

So what makes this zany show so darn queer? (No spoilers.)

Top 5 Queer Moments in One of the Queerest Musicals Ever

5. Troublemaker Zazzalil and her queer partner-in-crime Keeri share a quick peck on the lips in the middle of a scene for no reason at all, and never address it.

4. Tiblyn, a girl who’s been holding up the sky for 27 years, has a longtime crush on genderqueer character Chorn.

3. Jemilla, the female leader of the clan, gestures to the entire audience and says, “These are my husbands and wives!” This is right after she made one of her onstage husbands cook dinner and tend to the kids.

2. In an attempt to woo Jemilla back, Zazzalil offers herself as a wife. Dancing seductively, Zazzalil whispers, “All this could be yours.”

1. In addition to marrying the entire audience as well as stand-up caveman comedian named Schwoopsie, she also marries a beautiful homemaker named Claire. They make out on stage. A lot.

If that’s not enough for you, then keep in mind that every single member of the cast, from the chief nut-gatherer to the grandmother, is very, very attractive. You won’t be able to decide which character to have a crush on. (Tibyln, when you’re done with Chorn, call me.)

Even if you’re not a musical fan, watch Firebringer, if only for its queer feminist themes, hilarious dialogue and catchy R&B numbers. Or the skimpy Flinstones costumes. Whatever works.

HYM and Kalypxo Make Queer, Feminist Rap

We take female and gay rapper to the next level.”

That’s the description of the hot new music video Who Dat? from queer rap duo HYM and Kalypxo, who are self-described “young ambitious humyns intent on changing the music industry.”

HYM is unabashedly queer and gender non-conforming, while Kalypxo is a fierce feminist full of self-assurance. Together they make queer, alt-punk rap that challenges gender norms, heterosexuality and everything you thought you knew about hip-hop.

Kalypxo takes her name from Calypso of Homer’s The Odyssey. In The Odyssey, Calypso is a nymph who dwells on the island of Ogygia and falls in love with hero Odysseus. Calypso held Odysseus captive for years until Zeus eventually intervened. According to Posture Mag, this story represents the inextricability of pain and pleasure.

These two themes are vital to Kalypxo’s work, which addresses love, power and the struggles of being a black woman today.

HYM’s name comes from the genderqueer Powerpuff Girls villain who wore stilettos and make-up. While Powerpuff Girls has been called a sucker punch to transgender women, HYM has found empowerment through the androgynous character. HYM replaced the “I” in “him” with a “Y” in order to give the name “a more feminine feel.”‘

Kalypxo and HYM teamed up in order to challenge the largely masculine, largely heterosexual, largely cisgender hip-hop industry. HYM says,

It’s time for the industry to have more openly gay people and more women in the spotlight. I feel like it’s time to understand that ‘gay rappers’ and ‘female rappers’ are just rappers.”

Together, they aim to bring complex lyricism back to music and revive the feel of the old school ’80s and ’90s music. They spend hours poring over each lyric and every detail of their music videos. Says HYM,

We dissect everything. We want to evolve and create.”

For queer-positive, gender-bending hip hop, check out the official Who Dat video.

‘The Gilda Stories’ Is A Must-Read Lesbian Feminist Vampire Novel

The most powerful vampires in the world aren’t the pale, glittering blood suckers of Twilight and True Blood. They’re the feminist vampires of color that take center stage in The Gilda Stories, a radical eco-conscious, sex-positive and critically acclaimed novel that has resculpted the literary landscape.

Forget everything you know about vampires and how sparkly they are. Gilda opens in Louisiana in the 1850s.

The titular character is a slave on the run from an oppressive and particularly nasty slave master (is there any other type of slave master?). As a vampire, she learns to harness her powers, not for “good” or for “evil,” but for mutual exchange.

In The Gilda Stories, vampires don’t drink blood by feeding on unwilling victims and discarding the bodies. In this feminist mythology, vampires drink only with consent and leave their donors with “enriched dreams and a sense of well-being,” according to a glowing review by AfterEllen.

These vampires define themselves not by their dark desires but by their code of ethics. These ethics include mutual exchange, the right to life and self-determination, and measured self-control. The vampires never take more than they need, they always give back more than they take, and they remain in tune with the natural environment around them.

The author Jewelle Gomez, says

As a lesbian feminist, everything I write comes from that perspective, so I work extra hard to make sure that my work doesn’t come across as exploitative, and to create characters that live up to the values that are core to me.”


Gomez also includes lessons that she learned from her great-grandmother, who was a Native American. Over the span of two centuries, Gilda learns that in order to live, to really live, she has to rely on her connection with others more than her vampiric powers.She also learns to stand against capitalism; the story continues into the 1950s, where the slave owners have turned into

She also learns to stand against capitalism; the story continues into the 1950s, where the slave owners have turned into corrupt elite. This book is a meditation from beginning to end.

Pick up your copy here.

Changing The Game: The World’s Most Influential Feminists

The people on this list are each encouraging feminist conversation and challenging people to do more to make the world more equal for all of us.

1. Carrie Brownstein

Carrie Brownstein

Actor, writer and musician Carrie Brownstein is an outspoken feminist. As part of American rock band Sleater-Kinney, she has made songs such as #1 Must Have and helped further the riot grrrl (feminist/hardcore punk) movement.

2. bell hooks

bell hooks’ writing on feminism, in which she encourages people to consider gender in relation to race, class and sex, is often cited as one of the reasons why we have the phrase intersectionality. hook’s book Ain’t I a Woman?: Black women and feminism also looks at racism and sexism in relation to black women and it also examines stereotypes of white women and how those have had an impact on black women too.

3. Beyoncé


Beyoncé was once quoted as saying that she wasn’t a feminist because she loves her husband. However, the international superstar has since learnt a great understanding of feminism even including Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s quote on feminism on ***Flawless, also educating her millions of fans learn in the process.

4. Amandla Stenberg

Amandla Stenberg

Since rocketing to fame as Rue in The Hunger Games, Amandla Stenberg has begun to use social media platforms such as Tumblr and Twitter to educate people about feminism and how it can be more intersectional.

After being named one of the Ms. Foundation for Women’s feminists of the year, Stenberg said “let’s continue demanding space for women who are not thin, white, straight, able-bodied, neurotypical and cisgender.”

5. Janet Mock

Janet Mock

Although Janet Mock was once proud not to call herself a feminist, the writer, host and activist now wears the label proudly. In a 2014 essay, she wrote “our duty is to use feminism as a tool to check systems that uphold racism and slut shaming and sex worker erasure and anti-trans woman bias and general policing of other people’s choices.”

Andi Zeisler


As the co-founder and creative/editorial director of independent feminist media organisation Bitch Media, Zeisler’s work offers feminist interpretations of pop culture. Bitch Media – and Zeisler’s writing – is a massively useful feminist tool as people look for different angles of the media that they consume.

Maya Angelou

Maya Angelou, who passed away in 2014, was a hugely influential feminist. Angelou’s work discussed racism, identity and social injustices with her autobiographical work I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings being considered a large reason why black feminist writings increased in the 1970s.

Hillary Clinton

Hillary Rodham Clinton Signs Copies Of Her Book 'Hard Choices' In New York

What could be more inspiring (and badass) then possibly becoming the first female president of the United States? Hillary has always used her platform to speak out for women’s rights – as she did most notably during her 1995 “Women’s Rights are Human Rights” speech in Beijing.

Gloria Steinem

Gloria Marie Steinem is an American feminist, journalist, and social and political activist, who became nationally recognized as a leader and a spokeswoman for the feminist movement. She has inspired generations of feminists since her 1969 article After Black Power, Women’s Liberation.

Lena Dunham


Lena Dunham’s tv show Girls broke the mould by depicting real girls with real bodies and real issues. Since then she’s never stopped encouraging women to love themselves since.

She also makes sure to give feminism-doubters a reality check: “Feminism doesn’t mean women are going to rise, take over the planet, and like cut off men’s testicles.”

Emma Watson


Emma Watson has bravely rallied for women’s rights even after being threatened because of her #HeForShe speech at the UN.

But the attacks only motivated the actress and Women’s Goodwill Ambassador to keep working against all the harmful ways that women are viewed and treated.

Pussy Riot

Russian collective Pussy Riot represents one of the strongest combinations of activism and music out there. Its members stage guerilla protests and performances, speak out against injustices for women in their music (especially against abortion laws), and demonstrate fierce bravery even in the face of jail time and government threats.

Ellen Page

Ellen Page 97

In a time when many female celebrities put a purposeful distance between themselves and the feminist label, actress Ellen Page embraces feminism as a personal mission. Whether at street protests or on Twitter, she rallies for equality, reproductive rights, gay rights and improvement in the representation of women in film.

Meredith Graves


Meredith Graves is the lead singer of Perfect Pussy, solo artist, writer, record label owner. She is a role model who teaches through her actions that passion and drive can help change an entire scene like punk rock.

And she’s never backed down from speaking out against sexism – either in interviews or onstage, confronting misogynist hecklers.

Miranda July


Throughout her career, Miranda July has weaved thoughtful feminism through her seemingly endless list of projects. She’s become an icon for this generation’s young women, especially those interested in artistic pursuits, most recently tackling issues of aggression and violence in her debut novel The First Bad Man.

Betty Friedan

Betty Friedan has helped lead the way for women to understand their rights and fight for them. Friedan helped spur on the second wave of feminism with her book The Feminist Mystique and she co-founded and presided over the National Organization of Women.

Cindy Sherman


Cindy Sherman became one of the few women to dominate the contemporary art scene from the late 70s on. And she says she’s “still really competitive when it comes to […] male painters and male artists.”

Wendy Davis


Wendy Davis made waves when she led the now-famous 11-hour filibuster against Senate Bill 5, which would require stricter abortion regulations in Texas. While the bill eventually passed, we haven’t forgotten the lawyer and politician’s fierce support, and we hope her views on reproductive rights, LGBT rights and gun control continue to be heard.


grimes333It’s probably a scary thing to speak out and potentially alienate people right after your album has become huge, but that’s exactly what Grimes did with her anti-sexism manifesto in 2013. The Tumblr post calls out misogynist fans, condescending male musicians, and the media.

How Privileged Are You?

You can’t spend more than a few minutes in a feminist space without hearing people talk about privilege. And if you’re new to feminism, the concept can be overwhelming. What exactly does “privilege” mean? What does it look like in today’s society?

Privilege is complex, but as queer women our privileges are often limited – no matter how hard we push forward.

Watch this powerful video from Buzzfeed, then go through the questions your self.

List of questions

1. If your parents worked nights and weekends to support your family, take one step back.

2. If you are able to move through the world without fear of sexual assault, take one step forward.

3. If you can show affection for your romantic partner in public without fear of ridicule or violence, take one step forward.

4. If you have ever been diagnosed as having a physical or mental illness/disability, take one step back.

5. If the primary language spoken in your household growing up was not english, take one step back.

6. If you came from a supportive family environment take one step forward.

7. If you have ever tried to change your speech or mannerisms to gain credibility, take one step back.

8. If you can go anywhere in the country, and easily find the kinds of hair products you need and/or cosmetics that match your skin color, take one step forward.

9. If you were embarrassed about your clothes or house while growing up, take one step back.

10. If you can make mistakes and not have people attribute your behavior to flaws in your racial/gender group, take one step forward.

11. If you can legally marry the person you love, regardless of where you live, take one step forward.

12. If you were born in the United States, take one step forward.

13. If you or your parents have ever gone through a divorce, take one step back.

14. If you felt like you had adequate access to healthy food growing up, take one step forward

15. If you are reasonably sure you would be hired for a job based on your ability and qualifications, take one step forward.

16. If you would never think twice about calling the police when trouble occurs, take one step forward.

17. If you can see a doctor whenever you feel the need, take one step forward.

18. If you feel comfortable being emotionally expressive/open, take one step forward.

19. If you have ever been the only person of your race/gender/socio-economic status/ sexual orientation in a classroom or workplace setting, please take one step back.

20. If you took out loans for your education take one step backward.

21. If you get time off for your religious holidays, take one step forward.

22. If you had a job during your high school and college years, take one step back.

23. If you feel comfortable walking home alone at night, take one step forward.

24. If you have ever traveled outside the United States, take one step forward.

25. If you have ever felt like there was NOT adequate or accurate representation of your racial group, sexual orientation group, gender group, and/or disability group in the media, take one step back.

26. If you feel confident that your parents would be able to financially help/support you if you were going through a financial hardship, take one step forward.

27. If you have ever been bullied or made fun of based on something that you can’t change, take one step back.

28. If there were more than 50 books in your house growing up, take one step forward.

29. If you studied the culture or the history of your ancestors in elementary school take one step forward.

30. If your parents or guardians attended college, take one step forward.

31. If you ever went on a family vacation, take one step forward.

32. If you can buy new clothes or go out to dinner when you want to, take one step forward.

33. If you were ever offered a job because of your association with a friend or family member, take one step forward.

34. If one of your parents was ever laid off or unemployed not by choice, take one step back.

35. If you were ever uncomfortable about a joke or a statement you overheard related to your race, ethnicity, gender, appearance, or sexual orientation but felt unsafe to confront the situation, take one step back.

Trailer | Meryl Streep, Carey Mulligan and Helena Bonham Carter Star in Suffragette (Video)

Suffragette focuses on the story of infamous feminist icon Emmeline Pankhurst (Meryl Streep) and her friendship with Maud (Carey Mulligan), a working-class wife and mother who joins the Suffragette movement against her husband’s will.

The drama that tracks the story of the foot soldiers of the early feminist movement, women who were forced underground to pursue a dangerous game of cat and mouse with an increasingly brutal State.

These women were not primarily from the genteel educated classes, they were working women who had seen peaceful protest achieve nothing.

Radicalized and turning to violence as the only route to change, they were willing to lose everything in their fight for equality – their jobs, their homes, their children and their lives.

Maud was one such foot soldier. The story of her fight for dignity is as gripping and visceral as any thriller, it is also heart-breaking and inspirational.

The movie’s crew will be the first in history to be granted permission from Members of Parliament to shoot inside the Houses of Parliament.


Openly Gay High School Student Yearbook Quote Goes Viral For All the Right Reasons

An openly gay high school valedictorian Caitlyn Cannon’s witty yearbook quote wins love from around the world.

Caitlyn Cannon, who also identifies as a feminist, found the quote on Tumblr and changed it to fit her personal point of view.

The quote reads,

I need feminism because I intend on marrying rich and I can’t do that if my wife and I are making .75 cent for every dollar a man makes.”

When asked about what inspired her yearbook quote, Cannon told the Huffington Post that she had seen a similar message on Tumblr pertaining to men, but that she changed the words to reflect her own identity.

I was tired of seeing the same old quotes from popular books and movies and authors, and I wanted to call attention to a problem that women face. I’ve never really been ashamed to say that I am gay, so the LGBT aspect was simply who I am.”

She’s received mostly positive reaction, which she called “encouraging.”


Fans Hail Charlize Theron’s Character in ‘Mad Max’ as a Feminist Powerhouse

Have you seen the trailer for Charlize Theron new kick ass action film Mad Max: Fury Road?

In the new movie the South African-born actress plays the role of amputee warrior Furiosa alongside Tom Hardy’s Mad Max. Her character is very much the dominant between the two,  and “emotionally drives” the story forward.

During an interview at the  on Thursday, Theron was asked if “Max Max” is a “sort of feminist film.”

You know what I think is even more powerful about it? [It’s] that I think George didn’t have a feminist agenda up his sleeve, and I think that’s what makes the story even more powerful, especially how the women are represented in it.

It’s just very truthful, and I really applaud him for that. I think when we use the word ‘feminism’ people get a little freaked out, it’s like we’re somehow, like, being put on a pedestal or anything like that. George has this innate understanding that women are just as complex and interesting as men, and he was really interested in discovering all of that. I think through just his need and want for the truth he actually made an incredible feminist movie.”

Theron has also been praised by the films director George Miller for breaking out of the Hollywood gender stereotype mould and showing “the truth of who we are as women”.

Charlize Theron's Character in 'Mad Max'

She recently discussed why it’s important for young girls to know what feminism really means in an interview with Elle UK.

This is a good time for us to bring this to a place of fairness, and girls need to know that being a feminist is a good thing. It doesn’t mean that you hate men. It means equal rights. If you’re doing the same job, you should be compensated and treated in the same way.”

Feminist Are Taking Back the Sexist Hashtag #HowToSpotAFeminist and it’s Glorious

#HowToSpotAFeminist might be trending on your Twitter feed right now, but not for the reason its most recent adopter intended.

On May 3, The Blaze talk-show host Doc Thompson called for tips on #HowtoSpotaFeminist on Twitter. Though the hashtag has been around for years, it took off when Thompson sent this tweet on Sunday:

Though plenty of users tweeted anti-feminist responses, the hashtag also inspired dozens of reactions from people defending feminism:





Out Comedian Sandi Toksvig Quits Radio Show to Create a Women’s Equality party

Comedian Sandi Toksvig has revealed that she quit BBC Radio 4’s News Quiz to set up a new political party named the Women’s Equality Party.

The radio host stepped down as host of Radio 4’s News Quiz earlier this week, after nine years hosting the popular show.

Speaking on Women’s Hour today, she explained that she had decided to quit the show in order to “participate” in politics – by creating a Women’s Equality party.

I have made jokes over and over and over again about politics and, do you know, this election I’ve had enough… and I have decided that instead of making jokes about it, I need to participate. So I am involved in the founding of a new political party. It’s called the Women’s Equality Party. It is a fantastic group of women – and indeed men – who have decided that enough is enough and we need to make some changes.”

They are not fielding candidates in the UK 2015 general election but will do so in five years time, she said. She said it was “very possible” that they would get MPs elected in 2020.

Clearly, if I’m going to be taking part in the political scene, it wouldn’t be appropriate sitting there making jokes about it. When pointed out that the panellists will now poke fun at her, she said: They’d be welcome to… and good luck to them to try, frankly! I feel I need to commit to this, I’m really excited about it. I’ve watched the mainstream parties blame each other and bicker. It seems to be that politicians now, there’s the overbearing parent… or there’s the overgrown toddler. I think it’s time to grow up. We look at why women still do not have equality in this country. It’s not going to be right or left, it’s going to be a very pragmatic female approach to things.”


Author and former Time Magazine editor-at-large Catherine Mayer is among the party’s other founders.

According to a Facebook post about a recent meeting, their aims and objectives are: Equal representation in politics and the boardroom; equal pay; equal parenting rights; equality of and through education; equal treatment by and in the media; and an end to violence against women.

Asked why she had not joined an established political party, Toksvig replied:

Most of the mainstream parties seem to treat women’s issues as if we were a minority group rather than, in fact, what we are, which is the majority of the country. So you get separate women’s manifestos, or you get childcare talked about as if it was only a woman’s issue, and if UKIP and the Green Party have taught us anything, actually pushing our agenda from the outside and pushing the mainstream parties to pay attention is much more successful.

The party’s going to be non-partisan. It’s not going to be right or left. It’s going to be a very pragmatic, female approach to things, which is to say, ‘What is the problem that we have in front of us? And what is the most practical and possible way in which we can solve this?’ I want the party to attract people from all sides.”

Woman Posts Feminist Messages Written On Period Pads Across Her Hometown

When it comes to feminism, most of the general public like to hide their heads in the sand. Its hard to grab people’s attention, but a woman from Karlsruhe, Germany named Elonë is has solved this problem by using a controversial medium – sticking period pads on walls and poles around the city.

Her actions / art is about gender equality and the elimination of rape culture, and she chose International Women’s Day as the perfect day to reveal her message.

Her feminist project began with this pad that reads: ‘imagine if men were as disgusted with rape as they are with periods’.


Seeing a period pad in a public place is jarring and sure to offend some people, but that’s precisely what Elonë is looking for. She has already attracted the attention of thousands of supporters and critics alike from around the world, including people who want to apply her project in their own cities as well.

The whole idea behind her project is to start a conversation about feminism and put pressing social issues like rape in perspective. So, despite the critics that have bombarded her with messages, she insists that her message is one of “equality, not men hate”.


And indeed, her messages are so popular and shareable because they are so simple and clear – now is the time to stop rape culture, victim-blaming and gender inequality.


Some have criticized her use of pads as being wasteful, and while the young woman understands this sentiment, she assures that she is only using one package and actually donates pads to local homeless women regularly.

No matter how you feel about her tactics, her message is an important one.  To see more of what Elonë has coming up, you can continue to follow her on Tumblr and Instagram.


Jodie Foster Discusses Need For More Female Directors In Hollywood

Jodie Foster is no stranger to the limelight but while many know her for her incredible acting talents (she’s won two Oscars during her career) or her sexuality (she officially came out during a speech at the 2013 Golden Globes) she’s also a director.

Foster has directed episodes for Netflix’s prison dramedy Orange is the New Black and political thriller House of Cards, work which saw her receive Emmy and Director’s Guild Award nominations.

But as a female director who has had her work recognised, Foster is one of few. Hollywood has a serious problem with the representation of women in front of the camera (roles are not substantial, female characters don’t get fair treatment and women often play second fiddle to men) but there’s also a massive issue with the treatment of women behind the camera too. For example, only four women have ever been nominated for the Best Director Oscar and only one (Kathryn Bigelow, who directed The Hurt Locker) has ever won.

With stats like that it’s no wonder that so many women choose not to go into the profession – would you want to do work and then be consistently overlooked for awards, just because of your gender? Jodie Foster feels that it’s time for change and now, she’s spoken out.

Accepting the Laura Ziskin Lifetime Achievement Award at the Athena Film Festival last week, Foster explained that:

“When I was growing up in the film business, I never saw a woman’s face. Sometimes it was the lady who played my mom. Or occasionally it would be a makeup artist. But most often it would really just be me and the script supervisor. And little by little, as time went on, a few female faces started coming onto crews. And it changed everything. There aren’t enough women directors and hopefully that will change. And perhaps that will change with this next generation.”

Jodie Foster

One of the main reasons why people have called for more female directors isn’t just because of equality but because having more female directors can change the sorts of media we see. For example, if a female director is at the helm of a project, the movie or TV show is a lot less likely to be biased against its female characters and we’ll find ourselves less and less frustrated with portrayals of women that paint us all as ‘bitches’ or ‘sluts’.

Furthermore, we would also be gifted with media that comes from other perspectives. We have lots of stereotypically ‘macho’ movies at the box office, but wouldn’t it be nice to see that same story with a twist? Wouldn’t it be nice to see more varied stories at the box office other than the various heroes of The Avengers in various world-saving scenarios?

More diversity is never a bad thing so as Jodie Foster herself said, hopefully this will change soon.

Lesbian in a (Gay) Man’s World

There has always been this belief that lesbians and gay men don’t get on, or don’t like each other. To a certain extent I think this is still true, especially amongst some of the older community.

Some of my older male friends will tell me stories of the man-hating ‘diesel dykes’ that would cause trouble or create confrontation when a man was in ‘their bar’. I still find it quite shocking things were like this 20/30+ years ago, especially when back then everyone essentially wanted the same thing; equality.

Thankfully, the LGBT community has come on leaps and bounds and for the most part we happily mix.

I’m far from being a lesbian that hates men. I love men. I feel like I am more like one of the guys. As I’m writing this now I’m sitting with 5 guys. They’re not camp (until 5 pints anyhow). They’re men. They’re just blokes. If that makes sense.

In a way it surprises me, because growing up I never really had a positive male role model in my life. All my role models were strong women. Men cheated, ran away from their responsibilities and were generally emotionally useless. I saw men as the weaker sex. In certain ways I still do, but unless I need to ‘talk’ or cry, I still prefer their company.

I used to hang out with women more, but I always felt a little out of place. Not involved in, not understanding or simply not interested in their conversations. They’d discuss work a lot, which bored me. They were all very political. Very intense about who they’d be voting for. Whereas I really couldn’t give a flying ****.

They baked a lot. They gardened. I hate gardening. And baking.

They were all very, well, gay. Very gay rights, very active in pushing equal rights for women. I shan’t expand more on that because to be completely honest I’ve not a clue what I’m talking about. It isn’t a bad thing, not at all, it just isn’t for me. I’m clearly far from being a feminist.

But I like the ease of hanging out with the guys. I like the conversation, nothing is usually too serious, but if it does get serious, we can have a good debate. We laugh more. I feel I’m looked after. It’s like having 30 big brothers, and I guess in the same way I’m looked after like a little sister. They’re always around, between my work and social life, always on the end of the phone or 5 minutes away if I need one of them.

Love the guys, girls. And after all, it’s great having no competition.



Potty-Mouthed Princesses Drop F-Bombs for Feminism

Facing a future where women are still paid 23% less than men for the same work, and where 1 in 5 women are raped or sexually assaulted in gender-based violence, little girls between 6 and 13 years-old dressed as pretty pink princesses drop F-bombs to draw attention to society’s continued sexism.

Asking the question…

“What’s more offensive? A little girl saying f*ck or the sexist way society treats girls and women.”

These adorably articulate little ladies in sparkling tiaras turn the “princess in distress” stereotype on its head and contrast the F-word with words and statistics society should find shocking such as “pay inequality” and “rape.”

The video also features a 12 year-old boy wearing a pink gown standing up against sexism saying, “When you tell boys not to ‘act like a girl,’ it’s because you think it’s bad to be a girl.”

“Some adults may be uncomfortable with how these little girls are using a bad word for a good cause. It is shocking what they are saying, but the real shock is that women are still paid less than men for the same work in 2014, not the use of the F-word. The big statistic that 1 out of 5 women are sexually assaulted or raped is something society seems to find less offensive than a little four letter word and we love how these girls draw attention to that imbalance. Instead of washing these girls’ mouths out with soap, maybe society needs to clean up its act.”

Mike Kon, Video producer

Gloria Steinem’s Favourite Part of Feminist? ‘We Have Each Other’s Backs’

Shunned by some like the ugliest (but most important) of ducklings, the label of ‘feminist’ can often be a huge weight for those who choose to wear it. From those who simply don’t understand that feminists aren’t all bra-burning, man-hating hippies to those that don’t want women to be treated as equally as our male peers, plenty are prepared to ridicule anyone who identifies as a feminist.

Championing women’s rights as long as many of us can remember are Gloria Steinem and bell hooks, two of the most influential figures in history. Last week the two of them (they are old friends) sat down to discuss feminism in front of an audience at The New School.
Speaking about what the feminist movement means to hear, Steinem explained,

“[Feminism is] about friends and sisters and community. The good part and the great part is that it’s about chosen family. We have each other’s backs and that is so precious. It’s not that our birth families aren’t important it’s just important in a different way. In the movement and in friendships we get to pick people with similar interests and values.”

Her words are refreshing in the face of some ‘radfems’ (radical feminists) and other groups of feminist supporters who don’t support trans women’s rights or hold racist views that are incredibly and undoubtedly harmful and offensive to women of colour. Neither of these viewpoints are in line with feminism (the support of rights for all women, no exceptions) and so it’s important that Steinem herself depicts feminism as a community that’s meant to have each other’s backs rather than turning our backs against one another.

Furthermore, Steinem also had some words of advice to a woman in the crowd who questioned what she could do to support the movement,

“Everyone worries about what we should be doing. Do whatever you can,”

And finally, she reminded the audience that the feminist movement can take steps forward not by looking at the big picture and the giant, daunting prospect of the patriarchy, but by looking at what we can do on a local level,

“[Tackle] one situation at a time. If you think about it all at once you will become paralyzed. Go for the particular.”

Some sound advice indeed.

Feminist Writer Julie Bindel Says All women Should Try Being a Lesbian

In an interview with Talking Shop, Guardian columnist Julie Bindel said:

“Look at the conditions in which women live under patriarchy – women gain by leaving heterosexuality behind. I think lesbianism can be a great liberation for women… why would you not try it? … [Fellow columnist Julie Burchill said something very funny once – she said that she had had an affair with a woman, only one time, and I said ‘why did you not do it again?’, and she says ‘oh come on, it’s like visiting Iceland, you only want to do it once’. She’s quite unusual in that sense. Most women who try it once – there’s no going back.”

Julie Bindel

In the interview, the writer also admitted a previous article in which she had claimed there is no such thing as bisexuality was “shite”.

She said:

“If there’s one thing in my entire journalistic career that I can say I really, really wish I hadn’t writte – not because of the flack, but because it was so shite – that is it. It was an appalling piece, I actually can’t believe that I wrote it. It’s a shame that it’s up there forevermore. It was so shite, what can I say?”

Julie Bindel

Last year, Bindel claimed that gay marriage is “a waste of time and effort”, and claimed that the term “queer” was being used by “anyone who is into kinky sex”. She also stirred up trouble when she claimed a “trans cabal” were “running a witch hunt” against people who offended them, after becoming embroiled in a dispute with trans activists.

Watch the interview below:

Kathleen Hanna on Women Who Make America

Kathleen Hanna is a New York City-based artist, musician, feminist activist, and punk zine writer. She is best known for her groundbreaking performances as a member of the feminist 90′s punk band, Bikini Kill, and her more recent multimedia group, Le Tigre.

Hanna recently spoke to MAKERS. MAKERS is a digital and video storytelling platform that aims to be the largest and most dynamic collection of women’s stories ever assembled. Through original interviews, MAKERS brings together well-known figures such as Hillary Clinton, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, and Oprah Winfrey, with the trailblazers that need to be known such as Christy Haubegger, the founder of Latina Magazine and Kathrine Switzer, the first women to run the Boston Marathon.

Kathleen Hanna – Women Who Make America


On another note, at the begin of August Hanna entered into a social dialog with Miley Cyrus. It all began when Miley paid respect to Hanna on Instagram – she posted two photos of the Bikini Kill singer accompanied by the captions “girls rule” and coolest ever”. Clearly enamoured with the posts, Hanna responded not only to thank Cyrus, but to suggest that they make a record together.

Last year year, Cyrus described herself as “one of the biggest feminists in the world because I tell women to not be scared of anything”. Hanna backed Cyrus’s feminist credentials in an interview with Tiny Mix Tapes, saying:

“I’m glad the word ‘feminist’ is being talked about and that influential pop stars are bringing up this conversation. If she says she’s a feminist, then who I am to stop her? I’m not the feminist police.”

5 More Must-Read Lesbian Books for the Weekend – #outwriters

5 More Must-Read Lesbian Books for the Weekend

Alison Bechdel, Fun Home (2006)

Noted lesbian writer and cartoonist Alison Bechdel always suspected that her father was a closeted gay man. But did her coming out to him contribute to his death? A story that beseeches us to be who we want to be, not enslave ourselves to other people’s expectations.

Read more

Nancy Garden, Annie on My Mind (1982)

This tale of fortitude and perseverance focuses on two teenagers, Liza and Annie, who fall deeply in love, despite coming from very different backgrounds.

Read more


Fannie Flagg, Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle-Stop Cafe (1987)

In a hick town in ’80s Alabama, Ruth falls for Idgie and their dalliance leads to the opening of a cafe, betrayal, the forming of a makeshift family, a rescue and a murder.

Read more


Jeanette Winterson, Written on the Body (1982)

The unnamed narrator of this novel by Winterson, who is best known for her autobiographical novel Oranges are not the Only Fruit (1985), is rather unlucky in love. Her decision to leave her partner for a beautiful woman called Louise creates all kinds of drama.

Read more

Audre Lorde, Sister Outside (1984)

This veteran lesbian feminist campaigner’s best assortment of essays on life, love, art and critical thinking. Essential reading for anyone who wants to understand and critique the inherently patriarchal societies we all have to grin and bear.

Read more




Spotlight | Katharine Hepburn – the first modern woman

Katharine Hepburn may be the greatest star ever to appear on the big screen. From 1928 through  1994 she acted in various kinds of productions ranging from Broadway theater to the biggest Hollywood productions and back again to Shakespeare plays later in her career. She received four Academy Awards for Best Actress, more than anyone before or since. In 1999 American Film Institute named her the greatest female star in history of American cinema.

Hepburn was the first modern woman

Katharine Hepburn was the first big Hollywood star to break the female protagonist’s stereotype. Her role was often not defined through the male hero, she did not need to be saved and she did not need a man to seduce. Instead, she usually played strong independent characters, often aristocrats.

Also off screen Hepburn was an example of a strong, intelligent, successful woman. She has been even defined as ”the patron saint of the independent American female.”

Hepburn’s public life

Despite her great influence Hepburn rarely gave interviews, instead jealously protecting her privacy much like her contemporary Greta Garbo.

However, starting in the ’70s Hepburn opened up to the public. In the following years, before her death in 2003, she made many praiseworthy statements. She supported birth control and the right to abortion and generally presented herself as an advocate of liberal and tolerant values. American Humanist Association gave her the Humanist Arts Award in 1985.

In 1991 Hepburn summed up her life philosophy in a beautiful way:

“I’m an atheist, and that’s it. I believe there’s nothing we can know except that we should be kind to each other and do what we can for other people.”

Hepburn’s greatest roles

It’s hard to choose Hepburn’s greatest roles from a career stretching across seven decades. She was always known for choosing roles in various genres – drama and comedy alike. Hepburn has been occasionally criticized for her limited versatility as an actor, but no one had work ethic like her. She always thoroughly studied her character and the script. She knew all the lines – not just her own but her colleagues’ as well.

Hepburn’s greatest feature films might be the following three:

  1. The African Queen (1951) saw both Katharine Hepburn and Humphrey Bogart winning an Oscar.
  2. Bringing Up Baby (1938) is often considered the best romantic screwball comedy ever made. Hepburn plays a haughty heiress with a troublesome pet leopard in her custody.
  3. The Philadelphia Story (1940) is another romantic comedy. Hepburn takes on another aristocratic role as a bride in a scandalous wedding.

How Feminists Have Made the World Better for Women

Correct me if I’m wrong, but feminism has changed the world – and by doing so, it has made people happier and the world better.

To argue otherwise, is to show blatant disregard (or willful ignorance) for the historical record. It is also an argument that insults the legacies of centuries of badass feminists who have bravely fought, failed and ultimately prevailed in the ongoing struggle to empower the marginalised and elevate the disenfranchised.

Here we’ve compiled a pocket edition list of achievements.

  • They made the western world get serious about gender discrimination.
  • They brought women out of the household — if they so chose.
  • They called out rape culture.
  • They quietly propelled the civil rights movement.
  • They took on campus sexual assault.
  • They put a human face to sexual harassment.
  • They broke barriers for little girls with presidential aspirations.
  • They joined in the struggle for marriage equality.
  • They demonstrated why revolutions must include the female perspective.
  • They realized a balanced court is a happier court.
  • They forced The world to recognise the importance of birth control.
  • They focused attention on domestic workers’ rights.
  • They made the workplace a little more equal — for everyone.
  • They proved that the next big thing in science could be discovered by a woman.
  • They used online feminism to give the marginalised a voice.
  • They pushed pop culture icons to join the fight.

Feminism and Lesbians: How Today’s Young Gay Women View Feminism

Today’s feminists are nothing like their predecessors. No longer are the majority classed as bra-burning hippies (despite what some media outlets would suggest) as feminists now come in all shapes, sizes, social standings and sexualities, a group made up of women (and men) who’d just like to see the two genders put on equal footing.

For all of the ‘man hating’ that today’s feminists are said to do, the existence of bisexual and heterosexual feminists seems to disprove that and those who do still insist on setting their underwear alight or protesting the inferiority of the male species at least have the decency to do it when there aren’t any cameras around. So with all of the negative stereotypes surrounding the call for the women to be equal, we ask the question ‘what do today’s young gay women think about feminism?’

One young, gay woman I spoke to, ‘M’, candidly told me of her own experiences with feminism, explaining that to her, the importance of the movement is bigger than herself and is rather a stepping stone for the the next generation. “I think [feminism is] so important and I feel so strongly,” she tells me, “because of younger girls and even boys. I think about my niece a lot as even though [women’s causes] are getting a lot of visibility now, I feel like it’s still not enough.” M also spoke of how the younger generation is actively affected by feminism, explaining that “my nephew always tells my niece she can’t do certain things because she’s a girl. He’s so young and repeats a lot of things he sees, just like the rest of the world. People are still so very backwards and associate men with power but women with weakness, I just want my niece to know she can do anything she wants and shouldn’t feel ashamed or think she’s weak because she’s a girl.”

M’s response was emotional and passionate and it’s clear that despite the movement starting so many years ago, before the Suffragettes successfully got women awarded the right to vote and before the time of now, when women and men across both sides of the pay scale fight a bitter battle to have wages increased for women, things are still not as they should be. M is also right in mentioning how this can effect future generations, with patriarchal stereotypes actively effecting a woman’s self worth, not by necessarily outwardly stating that a woman is incapable of doing what a man can, but instead portraying this by denying her a seat at the boardroom table or simply by not giving her a job in the first place on account of her female identity.

What if Barbara Askins had never found a way to improve the photos taken in space? There would be entire galaxies and parts of our universe left unexplored or undiscovered without her work. What if Stephanie Kwolek had never invented Kevlar? Countless lives would have been lost without her invention. And what if Hedy Lemarr, a pioneer of wireless technology had never worked to invent a way of affecting radio waves during the Second World War? Not only did it help the Allies win the battle but it lay the foundations for the wireless technology (such as Wi-Fi and cellphone signals) that we know and use today.

Now imagine how many more of these female inventors today’s young women could have grown up to be like if feminism was a supported movement (or one that wasn’t needed entirely, due to an level playing field)? The results would be phenomenal and it’s a world that M rightfully wants her niece to grow up in. But how can this happen when feminism as we know it today is constantly marred and held back by the aforementioned ‘men hating, crazy women’ stereotypes? It isn’t helped that “besides misogyny and nothing being equal, people still don’t know what feminism is,” M tells me, suggesting that half the fight is the dictionary definition of the word. “When they hear [the word] ‘feminist’, [people] automatically label you as a lesbian or a man-hater so they disregard what we have to say. They also think we’re angry al the time and are so called “RADICAL feminists” and because of that I feel like we’re stuck.” Radical feminism, a subset of people in itself, has come to blows somewhat with lesbian feminists, both old and young, due to the overtly radical nature of ‘rad-fems’ that has been known to offend and exclude queer identities, particular those of trans* men and women, who often find their gender identities questioned or lambasted.

In truth, anyone can be a feminist, whether young, old, gay, straight, bisexual, male, female, or eschewing the gender binary together, because feminism is the support of equal rights for women, which is something anyone can get on board with if they believe in equality.‘ J’ also echoed this with her response, saying that “feminism is very important to me, it’s something I strongly believe in and agree with. [Although I’m] not sure how my queerness effected it though. I knew I was all about feminism before I was gay.” Because feminism and lesbian are not synonymous of one another, nor are they words that necessarily go hand in hand. If looked into, there’s a strong suggestion that many young gay women are feminists because identifying as L, G, B or T already means that there is an impassioned battle for your rights taking place around you and, in many cases, feminism is such a stepping stone.

So how do young, gay women view feminism? Plenty are all for it, it seems, though on the flipside, like many who don’t want to be associated with a movement that battles stereotypes, many may not be. It’s not a question of how someone identifies, not even if they identify as a feminist or not. But feminist ideals? As the responses in this article show, are all the more important, because if things don’t change for women’s rights in the future, it won’t just be young, gay women who are at a disadvantage, but everyone else in the world too.