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Life in a Feminist Frock

Guess who’s back!? Sorry it’s been a while, it’s safe to say that the final year of university is truly a mountain to climb. I’ve hopefully already had my low point, and right now I’m feeling positive, just stressed and ridiculously busy. I can barely remember anything nor plan beyond the end of a week. I feel like I’ve been living in the library to get my dissertation done, just the other day I got chucked out by the security guard because I was the last person in there. Dedication, hey.

So what’s been going on, I can’t hear you ask? Besides dissertation, I’ve managed to get myself a great internship at the moment, in a Press and Marketing department of a vintage fashion brand, which I’m really enjoying and is a great experience! The thought of getting myself an actual job is however, a slightly more daunting task. I’m in that prime time of being asked what I want to do when I finish university, and no matter when you’re asked what your life-plans are, it’s quite possibly the worst thing to answer in life. Apart from perhaps if you get asked when the baby’s due when you’ve just over-indulged in a good meal. Anyway, I’d like to be able to say I’m going to leave university and start my own business and live happily in London. Unfortunately, I’m not rolling in the dollar. In reality, I hope to go into social media / marketing, perhaps in fashion, perhaps not. See where life takes me. I want to stay in London, but that’s dependant on earning a wage! I’m excited for the change, I’m hoping it’ll be a lot more rewarding than university was.

Don’t worry, it’s not the end of Slapdash! I want to earn some money, plan out where it’s heading and give it my all.

In other news, you might be aware that it was International Women’s Day recently. The more I think about it, the more I realise that I grew up with some sort of feminist influences on me. I’m not talking crazy feminist here, don’t get scared. I just believe in equal rights for women and am pretty independent. I guess it’s a result of some of the women in my family; my Grandma (and previous female generations before her) ran my family’s business and my Mum always told me to be an independent lady. I went to an all-girls grammar school for secondary school and I recently read a great article which summed up how this rids any gender gap in what you’re expected to be good at. (Read it here: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/09/24/19-signs-you-went-to-all-girls-school_n_3914785.html)
All-girls schools mean many things. There was definitely enough drama to turn Mean Girls into a TV series. Any young, male specimen that came within the school boundaries immediately became a God. Anything remotely to do with periods became okay to talk about, no shame. Quite frankly, I’m glad my ugly years were spent in an environment where men didn’t exist. It also means that you grow up with a mind-set that females can do whatever subjects they like. You want to be the president of the world? You go gurrrl. Dragging down those silly gendered stereotypes is something which I believe is really important these days. Not only for women but men too. Why should fashion be seen to be studied by women and engineering by men, for example!?

Feminism shouldn’t be seen as something which evokes images of women running around burning their bras. To me, it’s a really important value of equal rights, independence and choice. Freedom to fulfil the choice and paths you want to take. In the Western world, it shouldn’t still be so that women get paid, on average, less than men for the same role. People should be paid equally and have equal opportunities for promotion no matter their gender (or any other stereotype for that matter). Feminism isn’t about arguing over whether men should hold doors open for you or not.

I also believe that there should be more awareness of the treatment of women in other areas of the world. In so many cultures, women are mistreated and not given the right to simple things like education, solely because they are female. In another article I was reading, it brought up the violence against women. In so many cultures, violence against women, including rape, is seen as acceptable and this shouldn’t be so. Obviously no world will be perfect, but more awareness should be raised to educate and change the perception that women are inferior and that it’s okay to mistreat and violate them in such horrific ways. In particular, female genital mutilation is a subject which really irks me. It’s a horrendous practise with no known medical benefits and generally causes many complications. The thought that it happens to so many women actually disgusts me. Obviously it’s such a difficult subject as from the majority’s point of view, the issue with the practise arises from the physical force used to conduct it on children. However, within the culture, it’s seen as the norm and sadly women don’t have the independence to be able to step away from their circle and hence stop the practise of FGM.

International Women’s Day is about raising awareness of issues like these, just discussing them is important. Sorry about getting a bit deep for a blog post, but hey, equality is important, right!?

Next post is fashion related, I promise it won’t be such a long break!
SJW x

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The Pitch; tears, bird poo and pies.

Bit of a ‘Throwback Thursday’ type post, but I figured that because I harassed everyone on Facebook / Twitter / everyone I work with to vote for me, you might want to hear about what happened when I went to pitch for Slapdash at The Pitch a couple weeks back now.

The big day started with THE worst morning of my life. Woke up fine (miraculous at 6.50am), got ready and tottered out the door of my friend’s house in Bristol (who has the bed of my dreams, SO comfy and up a ladder, with a desk underneath. Incredible). Then the nightmare began.

I went to pay for my car parking, realised I could only stay for 3 hours max and this white van man only added to my small drama by dramatically telling me ‘ooo love, you’ll definitely get a parking ticket if you stay over three hours!!’ every time he walked past me (which was many a time whilst he got his tools out the van, let me tell you). Time ticked by and I slowly came to the realisation that my booked taxi wasn’t turning up. Cue a rather nervy call to my Mum, I was meant to be at the place for registration for 8.30am, by now it was approximately 8.25am, and I decided the best option was to wake my friend’s housemate up so I could get back in the house, get my sat nav and drive to the place myself. Being an independent woman and all (ha).

Frantic apologies about getting the housemate to open the door so early in the morning over, I ran back to my car and received a call from the taxi. ‘I’m nearly there, just around the corner, sorry got caught in traffic. Where abouts is your house?’ … He was so ecstatic about me no longer needing the taxi he hung up on me. RUDE.

Let’s just say by this point I’m flapping big time. I try and drive in my heels, realise it’s impossible, kick them off and drive barefoot. In a blind panic I pull out a junction stupidly and have to reverse back into it, as I’m getting beeped at by traffic trying to come up the road. As I’m reversing I definitely did not lightly bump into a very nice black car. (Don’t worry, no damage, it’s all good. And I’m also a very good driver normally, promise). So by this point, I’m driving along in a major flap, hysterically crying every time I stop at traffic lights / in a traffic jam. Which when I think about it, was probably fricking hilarious for any pedestrians passing by. I get lost a good few times before I make it to where I need to be, and when I finally do, I could not find a parking space for the life of me…

A while later I finally park, compose myself, put my shoes back on and get out my car. On my way to walking to the building I feel something splat on my head. Yes, later that day I had to pitch to a room of people with bird poo in my hair. To look on the bright side, at least I’m brunette and the bird poo was brown…

I turned up 45 minutes late and sat in a daze about what just happened for the next 45. Let’s just say when my Dad and Stepmum turned up to support me and take me for lunch, I have never ever been more grateful to begin to be able to laugh at my nightmare!

Slapdash was in the ‘One to Watch’ category; for businesses which have yet to begin trading. We had three minutes to pitch our business idea to the panel of judges, some investors and the rest of the spectators in the room. I can’t say I remember my pitch but I felt it went well and I finished within the three minutes. We then went to question time and I got hit with ‘I just don’t understand your idea… why wouldn’t you just shop online?’. I genuinely felt like screaming ‘I have bird poo in my hair, please just give me a break!!’, but I passionately tried to explain that I’ve found that people don’t like paying delivery, hassle of returns and possibly the biggest factor (which I forgot in the heat of the moment) that people like to feel and try on before they buy. Honestly, I started to doubt that Slapdash was a realistic idea after that. However, afterwards I got some amazing feedback from other people who had seen my Pitch, who agreed there was a need for Slapdash and that the judge was too harsh. Which was a great round off to the day, along with the free pie and mash from Pieminister!

Unfortunately I didn’t win my category (Congratulations to those that did, check out www.thepitchuk.com), but overall it was a great experience; apart from the morning, ‘great experience’ not so much, but hilarious now I look back on it!

Apologies for a bit of an epic post, but I hope the hilarity saw you through!

SJW x