phoebe waller bridge

A Feminist Gift Guide For 2019

The Anthem Feminist Gift Guide is back! Not only that but this year there will be two gift guides. The second one, coming later this month, will be focused on eco-friendly and sustainable gifts!

Back to this gift guide, I’ve rounded up some items to gift your feminist friends. From female artists’ creations to underwear (yes, really). Enjoy!

100% Natural Shea Butter, £15

shea-butter-3-640x640

The Body Shop‘s sustainably sourced Community Trade Shea Butter stripped back to it’s purest form and handcrafted by Ghanaian women, paying them not just a fair wage but a premium to help fund community projects such as local education and better healthcare. Additionally, this Christmas, The Body Shop will be donating a portion of all proceeds to their Dream Big campaign with Plan International, giving education to girls in Brazil and Indonesia.

 

Women Of The Zodiac 2020 Calendar, £19.20

il_794xn.2035778882_8se1-e1573240761558.jpg

Illustrator Harri Golightly organised 11 other female illustrators to create a ‘women of the zodiac’ 2020 calendar in A3 size. Each artist has provided a design for each month giving 12 different beautiful styles to the calendar. A minimum of £10 per calendar will be donated to Women’s Aid, a great national charity working to end domestic abuse against women and children.

 

‘Knockers’ Sweatshirt, £38

girlvscancer-hb-9-600x732.jpg

A few years back, Lauren Mahon started using #GIRLvsCANCER to share her experience of breast cancer on social media. Lauren then began designing and distributing so-called Tit-Tees to help raise awareness and to donate 25% of GIRLvsCANCER sales to charities CoppaFeel!, Trekstock, Future Dreams and Look Good Feel Better. So these jumpers and tees look great, are fun, and really help not just one but four great charities.

 

‘Be The Change’ by Gina Martin, £12.99

81z8bawalpl

You might know of Gina Martin already for changing the law and making upskirting a criminal offence earlier in the year. Now, in her first book, described as an “essential handbook for the modern activist”, she aims to provide us all with the tools and courage to follow in her footsteps. What’s that you say? The perfect gift for everyone you know? We thought so. It’s available on Waterstones and Amazon and in lots of very good bookshops.

 

‘The Devil Doesn’t Need An Advocate’ White Unisex T-shirt, £20

devildoesntneedtee.jpg

The Pink Protest, set up by Scarlett Curtis, Grace Campbell, Honey Ross and Alice Skinner, is a community of activists committed to engaging in action and supporting each other. They’ve recently opened up their online shop with tees and accessories like this great unisex t-shirt. If it’s not enough that all money will go back into their campaigns, these t-shirts are also organic and PETA approved vegan.

 

‘Fleabag: The Scriptures’ by Phoebe Waller-Bridge

71wtv6tjdol

If you know someone who can’t get enough of BBC hit series Fleabag, then this is the gift for them. Fleabag: The Scriptures from Phoebe Waller-Bridge promises everything you could possibly want; “Every Word. Every Side-eye. Every Fox.”. It features new writing, the filming scripts and more. It’s also pretty hard to deny how pretty this book is. Just look at it.

 

‘Women Don’t Owe You Pretty’ Tote Bag, £20

tote_7_1024x1024402x

Florence Given is a London based artist and writer, and she’s not here to waste time. Her artworks often feature pretty badass slogans such as ‘Stop raising him, he’s not your son’ and ‘I am the love of my own life’. The least you could do is follow her on Instagram, and the most you could do is purchase someone you love one of these bold yet practical tote bags.

 

Virgina Woolf Gift Set, £30

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

I may already own two t-shirts, a jumper and some pin badges from Literary Emporium but that’s beside the point. This online shop prides themselves on being the place to purchase gifts for book lovers, and female authors and characters have a really strong presence. They’ve recently started stocking gift sets like this one featuring books, clothing and accessories. If for some reason Woolf isn’t your bag, they also have Sylvia Plath, Frankenstein, Jane Eyre, Little Women and more.

 

Slim Pink Elizabeth Stanton Notebook, £7

00592521_1

In my humble opinion, a notebook is always a good gift. Especially if you buy it for yourself. Paperchase are always a great spot for finding fun or bold notebooks in different shapes and sizes. This slim pink Elizabeth Stanton quote notebook reads “The best protection any woman can have is courage” in gold, and who doesn’t want to be reminded that on a daily basis?

 

Star Scatter Bralet & Brazillian, £15

undies-e1573249156644.png

Granted, you might need a closer relationship with the person you’re gifting this nice lingerie to, but let me explain why these aren’t just any old pants and bras. Breast cancer awareness charity CoppaFeel! teamed up with Boohoo to create a range of potentially life-saving bras, including this starry set. Each set has a pattern for the wearer to follow in order to check their breasts. Personally, this blew my mind. You can find this set, and two others, here.

 

Saint Dolly Prayer Candle, £18

image_50027d96-3e44-49df-8a12-db34bc63d6a0_1024x1024

Dolly Parton is one of my favourite people so excuse me for including this candle over the Beyonce candle. I can like both. Ain’t Saint offers a range of products allowing you to “praise your idols”, whether they’re Jonathan Van Ness or Leonardo Dicaprio. From Dolly and Beyonce to Adele and Britney, this site has you covered for something a little more unusual to celebrate some iconic women.

 

‘Destroy The Patriarchy’ Sloth Mug, £6.99

il_794xn.1998482856_ftsz

Finally, I thought I’d end on something a little fun, and very cute. This mug is so cute and colourful, you might have missed the ‘Destroy The Patriarchy‘ message over the pastel rainbow. I feel like I don’t have to justify this item too much as I can think of at least ten people I would give this to for Christmas. Who doesn’t need a mug? Who doesn’t like sloths? Or pastel colours? Who doesn’t hate the patriarchy? Fools, that’s who.

 

There you have it, this year’s feminist gift guide from Anthem! Hopefully, you’ve seen something you’d like to get for a loved one or maybe even for yourself.

Don’t forget to keep an eye out for our eco gift guide special and we’ll see you again next year!

 

Words by Briony Brake for Anthem Online.
Images from The Body Shop, Harri Golightly, GIRLvsCANCER, Etsy, Amazon, Waterstones, Gina Martin, The Pink Protest, Phoebe Waller-Bridge, Florence Given, The Literary Emporium, Boohoo, CoppaFeel!, Ain’t Saint and DandySloth. 

TV, Film & Sex Education

TV & Film have always been part of our sex education, and now in 2018 some writers are realising their responsibility and the power they have to change the narrative.

On the rare occasion that society discusses sex education, and the papers are full of opinion pieces, the word that always gets thrown around is ‘pornography’; specifically the dangers of its accessibility. The government, teachers and parents are so terrified of what their children are seeing online, that a debate on sex education in parliament will usually turn into a debate on pornography. While this is an important debate to be had, and we are in a unique time when people are using the internet for everything from banking to dating, in all these debates and articles I can’t help but think that society is missing a big part of the puzzle.

To access porn, you have to know where to look, you have to google and browse and be an active user, you are alone in a room. On the other hand, media within the entertainment industry will always be a communal event. You sit down with family to watch the new Sunday night drama or go with friends to see the latest film release. What always follows is conversation between family, friends, and the wider audience, which thanks to social media is more expansive and immediate.

landscape-1472902798-11403914-low-res-fleabag

Porn is not where people go to find great plot devices, the end goal is very simple, and sex is viewed in the abstract. Whereas TV and film in its nature use sex as a plot device and even when a sex scene is clearly put in for titillation (take Game of Thrones for example), the writers will still argue its relevance. In the last seven years or so I have seen a shift in the stories being told; from Lena Dunham’s Girls to Pheobe Waller-Bridge’s Fleabag, there is a need for the narrative around sex to change and for women to control the story.

Pheobe Waller-Bridge has said in many interviews that she wrote the original play Fleabag because she wanted to talk about sex. In 2012 when Lena Dunham’s new show Girls aired in the US and the UK, all people could talk about was the awkward sex scenes. Many journalists described them as explicit and awkward, however, there had been more explicit scenes depicted on TV before Girls appeared on our screens. Game of Thrones was being commissioned for its third season, a show in which it was normal to see at least four sex scenes in one episode and seemingly, an actress couldn’t get through an episode without at least once walking into a room of men, having forgotten to have got dressed. The sex scenes in Girls were new and interesting because Lena Dunham was showing her own experiences of sex and many women responded to this with glee because it allowed them to have the conversations that society deemed taboo.

o-GIRLS-SEASON-2-FINALE-facebook

Caitlin Moran says in her book How To Be a Woman, “the sexual imagery of teenage years is the most potent you’ll ever have. It dictates desires for the rest of your life. One flash of a belly being kissed now is worth a thousand hard-core fisting scenes in your thirties”. Up to a certain age, and I am aware that age is getting younger, parents can control what their children see on the internet and to a certain extent what they see on their TV screens thanks to the 9pm watershed, however, we can’t control everything.

Remember the time when you were younger, on the brink of adolescence, and woke up past your bed to go to the toilet? On your way back to bed you heard the noise of the TV and the chatter of adults, and intrigue led you down the stairs. You poked your head over the bannister and saw your parents and their friends glued to the telly, then you looked up to the screen to see an image that you knew not to be looking at. Laying in bed, your mind boggles and so many questions arise, but you don’t know who to ask. It feels like being on the last word of a crossword puzzle and knowing on seeing the answer it will make sense, but at that moment you feel lost. Instead of talking to your parents and friends out of embarrassment, you seek out the same image in books and films. It takes you years to finally have those conversations with friends and eventually partners when sex has become a reality. Only then do you start to question the scenes you watched and the depictions of sex in your favourite films.

Wilson West main_0

Now, in 2018, we are having those conversations, whether that be the writers of The Affair making sure every sex scene pushes the narrative along, or Rachel Weisz discussing the importance of the sex between the two female protagonists in her new film Disobedience. I truly think that one of the many reasons famous actresses who have the money and the platform are turning to producing is so they can control the narratives they are telling about female sexuality. Sex is still a taboo subject, and we still cut off conversations with the excuse of being British, but we can’t shut down conversation and then worry about the lack of sex education children are receiving, or what they are seeing when they turn on the TV.

In the wake of the Time’s Up and #MeToo movements, the industry is trying to be more inclusive and give everyone a voice. People are asking for the narrative to change and the choice of stories to grow. The conversations about sex in the last year have revolved around power and abuse and what we want the next generation of women to know and experience. If we want to carry on making change for the better, and the film and TV industry wants to take responsibility, it needs to take sex seriously.

Just as we need diversity in the stories we tell, we need diversity in sex scenes and the relationships we see. Teenage girls and boys should see LGBTQ+ stories more than just once a year, and be shown different relationships and the multiple reasons people choose to have sex with each other. Our government, parents, teachers and most importantly our storytellers can’t be scared of answering questions and giving children the power of information and choice.  

 

Words: Lara Scott
Images: BBC/Two Brothers Ltd, Jessica Miglio/HBO, Sky Atlantic