Feminist February tbr.

I've decided this year to do some themed tbr's to make working through my to be read shelves more interesting, so here are the books on my shelf I have picked for feminist February!

Women and Power by Mary Beard
At long last, Mary Beard addresses in one brave book the misogynists and trolls who mercilessly attack and demean women the world over, including, very often, Mary herself. In Women & Power, she traces the origins of this misogyny to its ancient roots, examining the pitfalls of gender and the ways that history has mistreated strong women since time immemorial. As far back as Homer’s Odyssey, Beard shows, women have been prohibited from leadership roles in civic life, public speech being defined as inherently male. From Medusa to Philomela (whose tongue was cut out), from Hillary Clinton to Elizabeth Warren (who was told to sit down), Beard draws illuminating parallels between our cultural assumptions about women’s relationship to power—and how powerful women provide a necessary example for all women who must resist being vacuumed into a male template. With personal reflections on her own online experiences with sexism, Beard asks: If women aren’t perceived to be within the structure of power, isn’t it power itself we need to redefine? And how many more centuries should we be expected to wait?

The Master's Tools Will Never Dismantle The Master's House by Audre Lorde
From the self-described 'black, lesbian, mother, warrior, poet', these soaring, urgent essays on the power of women, poetry and anger are filled with darkness and light.

Dear Ijeawele, or a Feminist Manifesto in Fifteen Suggestions by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
A few years ago, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie received a letter from a dear friend from childhood, asking her how to raise her baby girl as a feminist. Dear Ijeawele is Adichie's letter of response.

Nasty Women by 404 Ink
With intolerance and inequality increasingly normalised by the day, it's more important than ever for women to share their experiences. We must hold the truth to account in the midst of sensationalism and international political turmoil. Nasty Women is a collection of essays, interviews and accounts on what it is to be a woman in the 21st century.

Girl Trouble by Carol Dyhouse
Since the suffrage movement, young women’s actions have been analyzed and decried exhaustively by mass media. Each new bad behavior—bobbing one’s hair, protesting politics, drinking, swearing, or twerking, among other things—is held up as yet another example of moral decline in women. Without fail, any departure from the socially dictated persona of the angelic, passive woman gets slapped with the label of “bad girl.”
Social historian Carol Dyhouse studies this phenomenon in Girl Trouble, an expansive account of its realities throughout the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. Dyhouse looks closely at interviews, news pieces, and articles to show the clear perpetuation of this trend and the very real effects that it has had—and continues to have—on the girlhood experience. She brilliantly demonstrates the value of feminism and other liberating cultural shifts and their necessity in expanding girls’ aspirations and opportunities in spite of the controversy that has accompanied these freedoms.

The Power by Naomi Alderman
In The Power the world is a recognisable place: there's a rich Nigerian kid who lounges around the family pool; a foster girl whose religious parents hide their true nature; a local American politician; a tough London girl from a tricky family. But something vital has changed, causing their lives to converge with devastating effect. Teenage girls now have immense physical power - they can cause agonising pain and even death. And, with this small twist of nature, the world changes utterly.

The Nowhere Girls by Amy Reed
Three misfits come together to avenge the rape of a fellow classmate and in the process trigger a change in the misogynist culture at their high school transforming the lives of everyone around them in this searing and timely story.

Who are the Nowhere Girls?

They’re everygirl. But they start with just three:

Grace Salter is the new girl in town, whose family was run out of their former community after her southern Baptist preacher mom turned into a radical liberal after falling off a horse and bumping her head.

Rosina Suarez is the queer punk girl in a conservative Mexican immigrant family, who dreams of a life playing music instead of babysitting her gaggle of cousins and waitressing at her uncle’s restaurant.

Erin Delillo is obsessed with two things: marine biology and Star Trek: The Next Generation, but they aren’t enough to distract her from her suspicion that she may in fact be an android.

When Grace learns that Lucy Moynihan, the former occupant of her new home, was run out of town for having accused the popular guys at school of gang rape, she’s incensed that Lucy never had justice. For their own personal reasons, Rosina and Erin feel equally deeply about Lucy’s tragedy, so they form an anonymous group of girls at Prescott High to resist the sexist culture at their school, which includes boycotting sex of any kind with the male students.

Told in alternating perspectives, this groundbreaking novel is an indictment of rape culture and explores with bold honesty the deepest questions about teen girls and sexuality.

Moxie by Jennifer Mathieu
Vivian Carter is fed up. Fed up with her small-town Texas high school that thinks the football team can do no wrong. Fed up with sexist dress codes and hallway harassment. But most of all, Viv Carter is fed up with always following the rules.

Viv’s mom was a punk rock Riot Grrrl in the ’90s, so now Viv takes a page from her mother’s past and creates a feminist zine that she distributes anonymously to her classmates. She’s just blowing off steam, but other girls respond. Pretty soon Viv is forging friendships with other young women across the divides of cliques and popularity rankings, and she realizes that what she has started is nothing short of a girl revolution.

Right Now.

Watching: Mainly Netflix shows- Jessica Jones series 2, Maniac, Conan Without Borders
Reading: this month I picked a Feminist February tbr:

Listening: New albums from Cherry Glazerr and Ladytron
Eating: lots of homemade curry, yum!
Wearing: my new Captain Marvel top from George!
Doing: dog walks in the park, painting, practicing my lettering, uni work

Feeling: I've had a really low few weeks but fortunately feel like I'm coming out the other side now
Achievements: I reached 50 sales in my etsy shop which I am really happy with and got some lovely feedback.
Goals: There are a few things on my to do list that I keep putting off that I need to get done, also I want to get on top of uni work which is really stressing me out at the moment.

Lately: January

January is the worst. We were one of the few places to avoid the snow though so that's something. 

 After getting painting supplies for Christmas I've been really getting into painting this month

 Corner of my messy desk before I tidied it

I read quite a lot this month, this is one of my favourites: Sheets.

I managed to stick to my new year goal of buying less books- these are the only two I bought and one was a pre-order from last year.
Something I made- with one of my favourite poems

Some purchases (all from Home Bargains) the constellation bag is perfect for storing my meds

A playlist of songs I've been listening to lately

Hope you had a good January.

Living with PTSD.

Sometime ago I was involved in an armed robbery at work. It was fucking scary. I tried to kid myself that I was tough and after two weeks went back to work. I wanted to be in control and I didn't want my work colleagues to think I was soft. I thought it was fine, things would go back to normal and everything would be ok.

The trouble is I was lying to myself. Things couldn't go back to normal. Every time I was at work I would have vivid flashbacks and think it was happening all over again. I would try and contain and hide my anxiety because I felt like I was being over dramatic. Being in the same place it had happened was too much for me and after talking to a Doctor they signed my off immediately. 

Now it's been nearly two years since the robbery. The two men are behind bars, but it doesn't make me feel any better. I now have agoraphobia- I can't leave the house unless I am with somebody I feel safe with. I constantly worry that I will get mugged, the house will get broken into, my family will get mugged and all sorts of various scenarios my mind has cooked up. But worst of all, worse than all the hyper vigilance, worse than the flashbacks, worse than the anxiety and fear:

I feel ashamed

I feel ashamed that I have lost my independence. Ashamed that I have to explain to Doctors and uni and other appointments that I can only come if I have my own chaperone. Ashamed that I lay in bed at night in fear of the slightest noise, ashamed that I have to go round the house checking the locks, looking out the windows and making sure things are "safe". Ashamed that I am not strong enough to just get over it and move on. Ashamed that I can't just jump on a bus or nip to the shops. 

This is what living with PTSD is like for me. I'm working on it.

[You can learn more about online therapy from BetterHelp here*]