“All little girls should be told they are pretty, even if they aren’t.”

When I became interested in feminism, one of the things I found hardest was that remarking on appearances is bad.

Of course, not everyone believes this, but still. It was a very novel thought and it’s still weird, to be honest.

Most people are sensible enough to not go around and insult other because of how they look. We might secretly laugh at an old lady with purple hair, but we wouldn’t ever say it to her face.

(Or most, wouldn’t, at least.)

Except for the magazines and newspapers and online forums.

“Lady Gaga’s fat!”

“What has Katie Holmes done with her hair?”

“The worst dressed at the Cannes Film festival!”

Why is that acceptable?

Remember that old proverb: “if you haven’t got anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all.”

But compliments, nice things, they are a different matter, right?
But if I tell my friend “Oh your hair looks so nice today!” doesn’t that imply that her hair doesn’t look good? And basically, what I’m doing is passing judgement on someone else’s looks. I’m rating her.

What right do I really have to comment on how someone else looks? Don’t I value my friends for a lot of other things than how they look? In fact, that’s the least important thing in a friendship, right? But we so really give each others real compliments.

“Thank you for being such a good listener.”
“You know what, you’re great at PowerPoint presentations.”
“You write so well!”

Instead, we talk about looks, as if they were the essential thing. And it’s almost always aimed at women.
But it’s so ingrained and it’s so deeply, too. That the nicest thing you can tell a woman is that she’s beautiful.
It’s going a step beyond “everyone is beautiful no matter what they look like” and asking: “why is it important that everyone be beautiful?”

“Too many adults wish to ‘protect’ teenagers when they should be stimulating them to read of life as it is lived.”

I read a lot.
Like, a lot, a lot.

And one of my absolute favorite genres is young adult literature.
It might seem silly. Shouldn’t I read  classics or something like that? But I adore the many excellent books in the YA sphere, and I follow quite a few wonderful bloggers/authors.

And YA lit that’s norm critical or feature a strong heroine and some darkness? Even better.

Here are some of my favorites:

  • Tamora Pierce – I read her first book when I was twelve, and I’m still reading today. Historical fantasy with wonderful heroines, often struggling in a man’s profession (such as knight or police.) She’s an oldie but a goodie and just gets better for every book she writes. She isn’t afraid to put sex, violence and “real world” things in books for children/teenagers. Start with Song of the Lioness and move on to her other Tortall books.
    My favorites: Trickster’s Queen, and the Provost’s Dog series.
  • Vernoica Roth – Really young (my age, I’d guess) dystopian writer, with only two books published, but they are good. A lot of psychology and questions about nature vs nurture. Divergent is the first one, Insurgent the second.
    My favorite: Divergent
  • Lauren Oliver: Has written a very acclaimed series, starting with Delirium, about a dystopian future where love is a disease that must be cured.
    My favorite: Delirium
  • Kristen Cashore: Highly knowledgeable about YA and children’s lit. She’s written a fantasy triology about Gracelings, people born with very special skills. Katsa, the heroine in Graceling, has a gift for killing.
    My favorite: Bitterblue

These are just some of my favorites, and they’re all pretty well-known and worth a read. All these authors have blogs, which I’ve linked, just click their names. If you like books, women’s issues and writing, read them!

“A feminist is anyone who recognizes the equality and full humanity of women and men.”

When I was 14 years old and at confirmation camp, I remember someone asking me if I was a feminist.
“Yes, I’m a feminist” I said, rather hesitantly. And he (who was a perfectly nice guy) laughed mockingly and said: “Well, that’s stupid.”

The general image of a feminist is someone who is loud, unfeminine, unshaven and manhating, basically wanting to get rid of all men and turn society into a colorless, unsexed blob.

And isn’t that just sad? There is so much more to be said about this, and so many who have said it better, but I’ll just say this:

Feminism for me is about everyone’s right be to whoever they want. And it’s about providing opportunity for everyone to be able to do exactly that.

It’s about a girl not being blamed and shamed because she was raped.
It’s about a man being able to cry without being called a fag.
It’s about homosexuals being able to marry.
It’s about not shaving your legs because you don’t want to.
It’s about being able to go outside the door without makeup and not have to excuse yourself.
It’s about equal pay for equal work.
It’s about being able to be friends with a girl or a guy and having that be ok.
It’s about daughters growing up to be all sorts of awesome and fierce and sons growing up to be gentle and kind.

About someone being able not just to say they’re a feminist, but for the norm to be a feminist, because how can you not be?
And so many other things.

But in the end, it’s about truly believing that all people, not matter what look like, how they act and who they love having the same rights.

Curious? Lady Dahmer for Swedes, Finally Feminism 101 for English speakers.

“Love Thyself”


My name’s Cicci.

I’m fat.

Really, I am.

Don’t pity me for it. There’s nothing innately bad about being fat. It’s as much a fact about me as my hair color or my eyes (even though my eye color is somewhere between green, grey and blue and thus rather hard to define.)

And you know what? Being fat doesn’t make me a worse person in any way. It doesn’t even make me less healthy. It’s true, I promise.

And while I still want to lose weight (working on not thinking that), no one has the right to respect me less even if I didn’t. No one has the right to comment, demean or belittle my body. I have the right to dress however I like, have sex (and enjoy it), exercise or not exercise, eat whatever I want and not be judged for it.

I’m fat, healthy and beautiful. And a host of other things not related to how I look that are even better.



Edit: Interested? Start by reading Kate Harding or The Rotund. Or Julia Skott, if you’re Swedish.

“What if the ability to menstruate was the prerequisite for most high-paying jobs?”

“What if all women were bigger and stronger than you? And thought they were smarter? What if women were the ones who started wars? What if too many of your friends had been raped by women wielding giant dildos and no K-Y Jelly? What if the state trooper who pulled you over on the New Jersey Turnpike was a woman and carried a gun? What if the ability to menstruate was the prerequisite for most high-paying jobs? What if your attractiveness to women depended on the size of your penis? What if every time women saw you they’d hoot and make jerking motions with their hands? What if women were always making jokes about how ugly penises are and how bad sperm tastes? What if you had to explain what’s wrong with your car to big sweaty women with greasy hands who stared at your crotch in a garage where you are surrounded by posters of naked men with hard-ons? What if men’s magazines featured cover photos of 14-year-old boys with socks tucked into the front of their jeans and articles like: “How to tell if your wife is unfaithful” or “What your doctor won’t tell you about your prostate” or “The truth about impotence”? What if the doctor who examined your prostate was a woman and called you “Honey”? What if you had to inhale your boss’ stale cigar breath as she insisted that sleeping with her was part of the job? What if you couldn’t get away because the company dress code required you wear shoes designed to keep you from running? And what if after all that women still wanted you to love them?”

— ”For the Men Who Still Don’t Get It”, Carol Diehl.

Taken from the Girls’s Guide to Taking over the World Facebook page.