Kate Winslet's assistant: FAIL

Friday, 19 December 2008

I love Kate Winslet. I enjoyed reading Kira Cochrane's interview with her in today's Guardian.

Then we get to this:

While preparing to play April, she read The Feminine Mystique, by Betty Friedan, the 1963 feminist classic that lifted the lid on a generation of educated, 1950s women, condemned to housewifery, and deeply unhappy...

...I ask whether she liked the Friedan book. "Yeah, I did. God, she was a feisty chick." Does Winslet feel that she's a feminist? "I think I probably am, aren't I?" Her assistant hurriedly adds, "In a loose, unofficial kind of way," but Winslet continues to ponder. "I think I probably am. I mean, not in a bra-burning way. But I think I am a feminist, yeah."

Good grief, wouldn't that be a terrible thing for a celebrity to admit to: being a feminist. Clearly her assistant felt that such a label would be bad for Winslet because us feminists are all mad, bad, deeply unpleasant women. 'A loose, unofficial kind of way' indeed.

Cast off the shackles of yesterday!

Tuesday, 16 December 2008

Last Saturday marked the 90th anniversary of the first time women in Britain had the opportunity to vote in a General Election. The Representation of the People Act enabled women over the age of 30 who were householders, the wives of householders, occupiers of property with an annual rent of £5 or graduates of British universities to vote and came after decades of tireless campaigning from so many inspirational men and women.

At a time when my generation is calling itself 'post-feminist' I think it's important to look back and appreciate how far we've come but also to remember that the 'equal rights' so many of us believe we have are enjoyed by a pitifully small percentage of women worldwide and that despite some gains, we are still treated as second-class citizens. I'm incredibly grateful for the rights I have and the work done by my sisters over the years to make things better for us but we must not be disillusioned into thinking 'the work is done' or that we 'don't need feminism' purely because some women are able to enjoy what they perceive to be a reasonable level of equality.

The beautiful cervix

Tuesday, 9 December 2008

I'm shamelessly stealing this plug from The F Word because i found it so interesting and thought some of you might be interested too. My Beautiful Cervix is a project undertaken by a 25-year-old woman as a way to understand more about her menstrual cycle and body. As the blog's title might suggest, she took a photo of her cervix every day for the duration of one cycle and also tracked changes in body temperature and how she was feeling.

I was really interested to see the site and think it's great (and also very informative) that someone has done this. I'll say now that it may not be for everyone; all photos are obviously very graphic and some show menstrual blood.

As the site's creator says, May this site be educational for you and may you feel inspired to discover more about your body…

We decorated our Christmas tree at the weekend. We hadn't meant to do it so early in the month but the kind we wanted was selling out fast at the garden centre so on Sunday we chose it, got the decorations down from the loft and broke out the mulled wine for a festive afternoon. Pictures are hopefully on their way!

Festive times in Cambridge

Friday, 5 December 2008

This week I decided I'd bite the bullet, take a day off work and get my Christmas shopping sorted. Over the past couple of years I've come to the conclusion that I can't cope with any city centre on a Saturday during the run-up to Christmas. Last weekend it was Peterborough by packed bus, on a credit crunch-initiated expedition to get a week's fruit and veg as cheaply as possible; two weekends ago I was on an ill-advised jaunt through the unholy trinity of Oxford Street, Regent Street and Piccadilly with the added bonus of endless queues every time I wanted to try something on. I'm not the sort of person who enters December with every present already bought, wrapped and tagged and with a busy couple of weeks ahead, I thought 'today's the day'.

Cambridge has been one of my favourite cities since I was a teenager and spent innumberable days there buying cord flares at the Alternative Clothing Sale, taking bad photos, mooning over studenty young men and thinking about Rupert Brooke (yeah, I was that sort of teenager). Everything was feeling particularly festive today - sparkling lights, a brass band playing somewhere and hoardes of shoppers clogging up every aisle and escalator. The enthusiasm with which people spend hundreds of pounds on items no-one needs, wants or even thinks about during any other month of the year never fails to amuse me - particularly at a time when we're supposedly cutting back, making do and mending and all that. By lunchtime I'd managed to get one present and a dress for the upcoming party season (I like how that makes my social life sound somewhat hectic). By 3pm with two more presents purchased, the crowds were worse so I admitted defeat and got back on the bus.

Every December I get ridiculously excited over decorating the tree, planning food, singing carols and wrapping presents. This week we should be buying our tree ready to decorate next weekend. I'll be getting the mulled wine out specially. As this is only my second Christmas in my own house I'm still accumulating decorations. I got the bulk of my things at John Lewis last year with bits and pieces from Gisela Graham and Liberty. I found some gorgeous decorations and gift ideas (particularly for children; sadly I have none of those yet) at Ark in Cambridge but left decorations well alone as funds need to be conserved.

I don't really feel this has much point as a blog post but I've had this thing kicking around for weeks now and needed to get it started off. Expect posts on a variety of subjects as I don't think I'm very good at sticking to a theme!

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