Tag Archives: Leadership

FEMINISM IN POP CULTURE – A YOUNG FEMINIST’S VIEW

Bristol Woman is delighted to publish the second part of the ‘Young Feminist’ series from young blogger, Mollie Semple. Probably, our youngest guest blog contributor to date. In this blog, Mollie tells us her hopes and fears in terms of the evolution and expansion of today’s Third Wave feminism. Definitely worth a read!

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It used to be, in recent years, that there was only a very subtle undertone of feminism in any kind of pop culture most likely due to the fact the ‘Angry Feminist’ was the only stereotype thought of to refer to. And an angry woman just does not sell to the masses.

After the popularity of the full on 90s feminist movement Riot Grrrl, the whereabouts of feminists in the limelight, to me as a young person, appear to have dwindled away.

Only a few years ago I found it hard to find celebrities, songs and films right in the middle of popular culture to resonate with my growing feminist beliefs but now it’s increasingly hard to find an area that isn’t slathered in a new Third Wave feminist tint.

Obviously this feminism has always been around, but there wasn’t the same platform there is now to shout out to the world about one’s beliefs on equality. There wasn’t the same number of actresses questioning the press why it was only them who were asked about their family life or their skincare routine instead of their impressive careers. There was no Emma Watson to appeal to UN delegates on the importance of equality for women. Feminism was a dirty word, but I can see more and more of us embrace it as a powerful one. It is within this explosion onto the Hollywood scene, the music scene, the celebrity scene that one can see, mixed in with the added bonus of the Internet, the power of the media to share a message with the people.

This sudden surge of Third Wave feminism in the Western world, which has been building up, right from the first surge of Riot Grrrl, is completely exhilarating. Twitter is littered with it, Facebook is swimming in it and the celebrities are more and more becoming advocates for it. The Angry Feminist, for most, is now just a ‘Taming of the Shrew’ type exaggeration because a huge number of people are now fitting comfortably into a new “acceptable” egalitarian category. We are of course still angry, because you can’t see the gaps in equality and not become deeply impassioned in a desire for change, but it is now an accepted feature to be commended and not frowned upon.

Staggeringly, huge numbers of female celebrities are no longer afraid to open their mouth and express an important opinion in case of a drop in popularity. There has finally been created a safe space for feminism within pop culture where women and men can properly express their thoughts on it. The obvious inequality in this culture is no longer happily ignored, Third Wave feminism has broken through and started to dominate. Perhaps this is the beginning of the end.

However, I do just have one issue with this mostly brilliant popular movement. I worry that in between Emma Watson’s work for the UN, or frequent call outs on the Hollywood pay gap meant to ripple into the world wide pay gap, or the highlighting of the blatant racism in the film industry, there isn’t just a small element of inactivity with this newfound prestige. I wonder if there is too much focus on Western inequality and a lack of intrigue for the disastrous inequality on the other side of the world. Malala Yousafzai has been voicing her feminist views for her culture all over the world, but I wonder if she reaches the level of pop culture that, say, Ryan Gosling does. Western inequality is not unimportant or negligible in any way, but we mustn’t again fall into the trap of forgetting that the rest of the world exists. I also worry that this popularity might be detrimental to feminism in the way that it could exhaust its meaning without a sufficient achievement.

I am so excited by the fact that celebrities are using their platform to spread the word of feminism, but are they truly aiding us or telling us to actively do something?

Perhaps my criticisms are unfair here, perhaps I should just let feminism with its new fame find its steps and see where it goes. I just don’t want its power to become trivial, and for the feminist stereotype to be cyclical and in a few years time we fall into the unattractive label of the “Angry Feminist” once more. I just don’t want this fantastic opportunity to be squandered and lost in this fast moving pace of the pop culture world.

BIO
Mollie is a 17 year old student in the midst of her A Levels. She’s a passionate blogger at The Fully Intended, and all she really wants to do in life is write. She has been raised by her parents to want nothing more for the world than equality, and so intends to spend a lot of her time making sure her generation gets a little bit closer to just that.

Can we have it all?

Charlie Albers talks to us about planning parties, raising 3 children and letting dreams guide her life. The question we have for her – as a woman, as a mother, as an entrepreneur – can we have it all?

parties 4Before I had Eva, my eldest daughter, I worked in corporate events and for as long as I can remember I always loved organising events and parties. But it was only when a friend of mine mentioned how my parties were so great that I thought why not take this further? I have done this for large corporates; I love doing this at home, so why not do this as my own business, my own job? I personally feel that it is important for children, especially girls, to see their mothers working at something outside the family, not just in the home.  I was so driven, that in one night I bought the domain name, set up my email and website and was ready to go.

It has been running for a year now. I organise and run beautiful whimsical children’s parties and events. I also have a props hire part of the business where people can hire vintage china, fabulous photo booths and backdrops as well as a myriad of gorgeous props. I have just started hiring out beautifully decorated belltents, which can be used for an additional, quirky space for entertaining at weddings and events. I love it! Continue reading Can we have it all?

Girls and Women of the World competition

This year for International Women’s Day, we need your help to make Bristol Woman magazine amazing! Can you draw a fabulous picture on the theme of ‘Girls and Women of the World’?

We would love to see a celebratory illustration that reflects the lives of girls and women around the world. The picture needs to be bright, bold and eye-catching so it captures people’s attention.

The winner will see their picture published in Bristol Woman – online and in print. Continue reading Girls and Women of the World competition

My balancing act between children and ambition

By Zoe Dobson

When I agreed to write this article, I never thought how difficult it would be.  How to get across that I’m a hard-working, single mum who hopefully has the work/life balance right for my children? It’s difficult.

I never expected my life to turn out this way – to be a single, working mum wasn’t the future I saw when I fell pregnant with my first daughter at 25.  Yes I knew I’d work, I’ve always been ambitious, always wanted to ‘have a career’, but being on my own with children plus a busy career wasn’t part of my plan.  But for the last two years, that’s how it’s been and I’d like to think we’re doing pretty well.

I love my children more than words can express.  They are the most wonderful, amazing, beautiful, entertaining, interesting people I have ever had the pleasure of meeting. They astound and amuse (and sometimes aggravate) me daily. Yet you could question if I’ve been there enough for them?  I believe I have, but others may disagree. Continue reading My balancing act between children and ambition

Is it time to let go?

By Sam Stone

Caterpillar into Butterfly‘Who are you?’ said the caterpillar….

‘I – I hardly know, Sir, just at present’ Alice replied rather shyly, ‘at least I know who I was when I got up this morning, but I think I must have changed several times since then’.

Lewis Carrol, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland

Making sense of change isn’t always easy. Whether you are becoming a new mom, starting a new job or simply experiencing some sort of restructuring in your life – these can be times full of excitement, mystery and adventure; promising many benefits, but as we know, they can also be stressful.

Few people relish in change. I hit a bump in the road when a relationship that I was in came to an end but I wasn’t ready to let go. My inability to move on was unpleasant and the situation tortured me for many years. I looked for new solutions all the time as there must be some way I could get things back on track. I was stuck in a rut and brilliant at wall papering over the cracks, telling myself ‘it’s no big deal, everything’s alright really’, but then anger would rise up in me as my own truths crept in. Numerous times, I sizzled into despair to start the cycle all over again by denying my lived reality. The thing that I missed on so many occasions was acceptance of an ending. Acceptance that, yes, I will miss this and I don’t like the new situation but I will give it a shot anyway. Continue reading Is it time to let go?

Let’s talk about public health

Meet Becky Pollard, the new Director of Public Health Bristol Becky Pollard3

Becky Pollard has been appointed as Bristol City Council’ s new Director of Public Health and will be starting in her new role on 16 February. Bristol Woman talks to Becky about health inequality and public heath interventions for women.

Becky, in your view, what are the biggest health inequalities Bristol is struggling with? Why do you think that is?

I believe these are the persistent inequalities of life expectancy due to underlying determinants of health. There is a gap in life expectancy between men and women living in Bristol compared to the rest of England. Men in Bristol can expect to live until 78.3 years compared to 82.1 years for rest in England. For women, life expectancy is 83 years in Bristol compared to nearly 86 years for rest in England. Continue reading Let’s talk about public health

Mind the green gender gap!

In 2015, Bristol is the European Green Capital.

Bristol is the first city in the UK to have this title, taking over from Copenhagen. The launch of European Green Capital 2015 happened on January 24th, and was nothing but spectacular: colourful bright umbrellas, a lot of excited supporters, the Mayor and even a stunt involving a cycle on a wire.

The stunt itself was amazing. Jade Kindar-Martin from Cirque Bijou cycled on the tightrope with trapeze artist Karine Mauffrey hanging below. The title of the performance was ‘Bridging the Gap’, to symbolise the difference between our green intentions and our actions. But perhaps we should also think about bridging the gender gap. Continue reading Mind the green gender gap!

Advancing the cause of women at Davos – A quick roundup of WEF 2015

World Economic Forum, Davos, Switzerland - 23 Jan 2015 So …. There may only have a been a staggeringly under-representative 17% of women present at Davos 2015 last week, but they certainly made their presence felt across the four days of the World Economic Forum. Arianna Huffington, President and Editor-in-Chief of news website the Huffington Post proved a veritable tour de force and a prolific tweeter and Facebook poster direct from the Microsoft-HuffPost Café at Davos. When she wasn’t interviewing the likes of Facebook’s Sheryl Sandberg at Davos for HuffPost Live, she was hosting and taking part on a variety of panel discussions and attending numerous events and dinners. Many women (and men) were also seen brandishing their newly acquired copy of Huffington’s latest book – Thrive – and espousing the book’s values of sleep and mindfulness.

Continue reading Advancing the cause of women at Davos – A quick roundup of WEF 2015

Paulina Gillespie: everybody wants you to succeed!

Bristol Woman team talks to the woman who has been waking up Bristol and the South West every week day morning for the past 14 years.

In my early days, I spent 10 years in America but after that I got really homesick and wanted to see my family. I then joined my husband in Bulgaria. This was 24 years ago, and it felt slightly odd going from the glamour of the US to the realities of post-Socialist life in Bulgaria! I had always loved Bristol and I kept coming back time and again! My family is from Bath, but I prefer Bristol because I feel I can be more anonymous.

IMG_3058edit-2So what is life like for me as a public figure and local celebrity in the South West area? Well, I have 3 daughters – one works with me at Heart, one works for an estate agent, and one has just gone to university this year – so this is going to be a time of transition. It’s going to be just me, the dogs and my husband. It’s great to have the dogs jump with joy and greet me when I come home. My working life can get quite manic! I get up about 3:30am every morning, and I leave the house around 5am. As soon as I get to work, it is full on straight away … what are the latest news items, how’s the traffic, how is weather, who is going to say what on our breakfast programme and so on! If I want to go to the loo, I get a minute to do that. So you can see that by having a chance to walk my dogs in the fields after work, I get that essential quiet time for me, the bit of time that returns me to myself. Being close to nature is amazing. I also have some chickens in the back garden – and I love it! Continue reading Paulina Gillespie: everybody wants you to succeed!

What does Davos hold for women in 2015? Bristol Woman takes a look!

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Bernie Ritchie, Editor in Chief

It’s that time again! The annual World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos kicks off next week on Wednesday 21st January. The overarching theme for this year’s Forum is ‘The New Global Context’ which takes note of the fact that the world has fundamentally changed. In essence, the WEF attendees will take a collaborative look, in light of this changed global context, at what are the fundamental forces at work – technologically, socially and economically – which require new dimensions for global decision-making and new forms of practical solutions.

Broadly speaking the Forum’s purpose, against a backdrop of a world full of problems and challenges, is to improve the state of the world through the collaborative action of all stakeholders of the world’s civil society. Top of the discussions agenda will be the real risks posed by global conflict (with the world still reeling from the tragic events in Paris last week and the Boko Haram massacre in Nigeria in early January) plus the digital economy, climate change, trusted leadership and also, critically, gender inequality. Continue reading What does Davos hold for women in 2015? Bristol Woman takes a look!