Manchester United take on Everton tonight, in what is a battle of mid-table teams. Â If Manchester United win, and they leapfrog Everton. Â If Everton win, they do not leapfrog United, because they are already ahead of them, so it would be impossible to do…
Manchester United have flown all the way to Germany. This is particularly handy, because Leverkusen play their matches in Germany, and this is an away game. Had Manchester United not been playing away - also known as playing at home - then they would have…
Why do you think you’re so interesting? Anything you write is always directly related to yourself. No subject you have ever linked to your experience has ever been better demonstrated because of it. You have no special knowledge, you have no especially remarkable life experience. If you had climbed a mountain, fair enough, but the most interesting you got was talking about your potatoes at Christmas. Everybody eats potatoes at Christmas. Anyway, that’s one reference to yourself.
am a half-arsed, accidental feminist. I said it. It’s a relief to get it off my chest. By half-arsed, I don’t mean that I don’t care deeply about the feminist cause; I do, I just only engage with it about half the time. The rest of the time, I’m doing other stuff, “problematic” stuff, stuff that might not even be that feminist: reading Mail Online, doing drunken twerking
Is twerking problematic? Why? Do you think it’s because it’s cultural appropriation or do you look down on the people who do it? You should make it clear otherwise it looks like you’re attacking people who twerk, which is a dance move associated with… Oh. This again, Rhiannon.
in the kitchen, having friends. Oh, and the diet. I’ve been on a diet for the last year, which you might say, considering how vocal I’ve been about faddy regimes, is the height of hypocrisy.
No, just another way to talk about yourself. But it’s nice to see that you look down on other people who diet. If you imply that people on diets shouldn’t be feminists, then it kind of looks like you’re being exclusive. Which is odd, because it’s what you’re complaining about here.
Or you might find it rather sad that someone who spends a lot of their time lamenting how society’s unrealistic beauty standards are used to control and oppress women is a victim of those same standards. Either way, I’ve lost two stone and my clothes fit me again.
Thanks for the update. Does this have any relevance except that you can talk about yourself again?
It’s difficult being a half-arsed feminist in a movement that seems to demand both your innards and your soul,
Why shouldn’t it demand your soul? Are you mocking those who spend more time than you on activism? By the way, what activism or academic research do you do? You got a six-figure advance for your book, and gave up your day job, so you’d think with time on your hands you’d at least do a bit of it. Given your propensity for self-promotion and narcissism, you’d think we’d have seen one of those motorised billboards telling us about it. That there is nothing suggests you’ve done, erm nothing.
but I think I’ve been pulling it off with panache. I always maintained that I would never write one of those inward-looking columns that aims to unpick the intricacies of the feminist movement, mainly because they bore the tits off me, but then it struck me that some of the barriers facing young women in terms of engaging with gender equality are so great that this needs to be discussed.
“I always said I would never do something, until I was directly affected by it. As soon as it affected me, I decided it would be worth addressing.”
If you’re anything like me, prepare to be bored by this – I apologise in advance.
When my friend Holly Baxter and I set up a satirical blog called the Vagenda two years ago, along with a group of our university friends, we never saw ourselves as part of the feminist movement. The blog took a tongue-in-cheek look at women’s magazines, was written in a slangy, easily comprehensible style, and didn’t take itself all that seriously. In ridiculing the way women were portrayed in the media, the entire ethos of the blog could be said to be feminist, but I didn’t really know anything about the modern feminist movement
Really? It doesn’t come across in your work.
, what it entailed, and where my place in it might be; we just got on with it. Indeed, one of the great things about this new wave of female activism
That you seem to have done none of.
is that young women no longer feel they have to subscribe to a whole checklist of rigid ideas before becoming involved; they focus on what’s closest to their hearts, whether that’s Page 3 or everyday sexism or violence against women, and try and do the best they can, just as many women out there in their communities have been doing for generations, some without ever feeling a need to use the term “feminist”.
Part of our work with the Vagenda has involved visiting schools and universities to chat to young women about just what it is about feminism they find so distasteful. They told us that they think feminism is angry
What, about the world, doesn’t justify anger in feminism? You’re complaining their anger is not accessible to you. They’re complaining society isn’t accessible to them. This is that thing you dismissed called privilege. Funny how the more oppressions you face the angrier you tend to be, isn’t it Rhiannon?
and scary and difficult
So, unless it’s easy feminism, it’s not the feminism for you? That’s fair enough but the implications on those who indulge in ‘difficult’ feminism are so that some may feel a little put-out by your criticism here.
and “not for them”, and that feminists aren’t feminine or sexy and that they hate men. Frankly, anyone who doesn’t think feminism has an image problem or doesn’t need “rebranding” (a horrible term, yes, but one which essentially means communicating the same idea – the equality of men and women – differently for a new audience) can’t see the nose in front of their face.
Congratulations on bringing up hackneyed criticisms of feminists, it’s surprising you didn’t lob in a few gags about hairy armpits given how cliched it’s got. That you haven’t bothered to put in a rebuttal of these tired accusations suggests that you agree with them. Are you so conservative, that that is what you think?
The image these girls have of feminism comes partly from negative coverage in the media but I also get the sense that some of the more radical elements of the movement from the 1970s and 1980s – lesbian separatism,
Nice. What’s wrong with lesbian separatism? It would be quite a spectacle to see you argue that one out with them. Maybe you could blog about it. But oh no, it’s not about you, so don’t hold your breath.
for instance – alienated many women and made them nervous. Now their daughters are too.
After talking to these young women, we wrote a column criticising academic feminists’ use of alienating terms such as “intersectionality” on the basis that most people don’t understand them. “Intersectionality” basically means taking into account the way different systems of oppression – race, class, disability, sexual orientation – relate to one another.
You’re almost right, but go on.
The article raised issue with the language, not the concept, but because we deigned to criticise the method of communication, we were deemed racist.
Weird that after lecturing people of colour about the words they should and shouldn’t be using to articulate their feelings, problems and campaigning tools, you were called racist.
It was very difficult, because I fundamentally believe that we have a problem with representation that needs to be tackled and feminism needs to be for everyone, but having a platform means that people without one direct their anger at you, at your face and at your writing, and, as a half-arsed feminist, I’m still learning how to cope with the pressure to represent everyone
The ‘pressure to represent everyone.’ The ‘pressure’. Not the responsibility, but the pressure - something to be resented and accommodated, rather than something you should do because it’s something that is evidently necessary? Nobody is asking for the white Rhiannon Lucy Coslett to ‘represent’ them - please don’t become a white saviour, we have enough of those - but simply for you to acknowledge that they exist too, and might have areas in your life that you shouldn’t erase. Obviously you resent the ‘pressure’ upon you to be inclusive, which brings us back to the twerking, or the overwhelming whiteness of the people you follow on Twitter, and the accusations of racism you mention… Oh dear.
, all the time.
Some months later, we were speaking at a debate about “the most important issues facing British feminism today”, and the topic came up again. One of the panellists said: “If you don’t understand what intersectionality means, then you can just Google it.” I thought about the estate my dad lived on, at the time working in IT helping people learn to use computers, luxuries many of the residents didn’t have. How the hell would they “just Google it?”
You can just smell the sneering at the proletariat here. There’s a legitimate question of digital access, but maybe if the people were asking you to just google it, you should have just googled it. We might not be going through this again if you had.
For someone who wanted feminism to transcend class and racial barriers
Someone you appeared to be opposing, from the way this is framed.
, it seemed like the least intersectional thing you could ever say. Much like all those columns saying: “Feminism is simple. People just need to educate themselves.”
The reaction to our getting involved with Elle’s “rebranding feminism” campaign was in this vein. Just what it is that could be done to motivate people to want to find out more about feminism got lost in the criticism. I just thought: “We’re doing our own thing – why can’t you do yours?”
Because your views - like when you linked domestic violence to poverty, when you erase people of colour from feminism, and when you give dodgy advice on sexual health - are damaging to society.
The constant litany of “you’re doing it wrong” is dispiriting.
Then stop doing it wrong.
It’s been a huge struggle coming into this movement as a young woman. All the ideological quibbling at that debate, for example, meant that such topics as sexual and domestic violence and the pay gap went undiscussed,
Well, given that, as mentioned, you link domestic violence and poverty, probably best they didn’t hear what you had to say. And given your healthy advance and kickstarter, your views on the pay gap would possibly not be of much use either.
as they are going undiscussed here now again. I fear sometimes that feminism will never have any mass appeal. There are some people who I truly believe don’t want to share it. Because it is a movement centred around oppression, there are a lot of angry people involved in it. I am not saying that that anger is not righteous. I became more interested in feminism myself after I was attacked by a man.
Being attacked by a man is horrible. Being physically attacked because of your gender is horrendous. Think then, of the women (those petty intersectionalists with their googling & their anger) who are desperately trying to get the world to realise that some women are attacked because they’re women, and some women are attacked because they’re women but also people of colour (when racism meets misogyny) or have a disability (when disabilism meets misogyny) or were assigned a different gender at birth (when transphobia meets misogyny). This means there are some women who are statistically more likely to be attacked. Not once do you acknowledge this to be the case.
But such anger can be alienating.
Imagine how alienating Vagenda is, given the criticism it gets so relentlessly for doing things so wrong for so many interests. It’s also funny how it’s righteous anger that guides your feminism, but those pesky intersectionalists dealing with racism and disablism and transphobia and homophobia, their anger is alienating. It’s apt you use alienated
The in-fighting and the vitriol are turnoffs to a new generation. A friend of mine who has been researching
You should ask her what researching is like.
cannabis farming says that the legalise pot movement is the same – factions, all warring – but at least they get to be stoned while doing it. “Activist burnout” is a well-known condition – a Barnard University report warned that the dropout rate among feminist bloggers is incredibly high.
Camilla Long once wrote that feminism was almost like an emotion. I agree. And it’s draining. Eventually, feeling this way all the time might mean you end up being that angry keyboard warrior, or a lump of flubber on the floor. And most women can’t afford to do that, because more than half the time they’re doing something else, and often that something else involves looking after vulnerable people, so being expected to look after their entire gender as well is a bit of a big ask.
You’re not being asked to look after a gender, you’re being asked to stop relating everything to yourself as you aren’t the only person in the world. This is apparently what you struggle with.
The feminist movement needs these women, and it’s losing them. As the hilarious blog Is This Feminist? points out, “being a marginally accepted feminist is a full-time job”. And who on this Earth has the time for that?
Not you. You seem to be spending enough time referring to yourself 30 times in a single blog.
If you canât be good, convincing other people that you are is a useful, alternative skill. Â Tom Cruise is aware of this, anyone whoâs worked in an office for any period of time is aware of this, and Andre Villas-Boas and Manuel Pellegrini are probably…
John Barnes has given an interview in the Guardian about racism in football. He raises plenty of important topics, and often makes valid points. However, some of the things he has said in the interview have not been challenged, and that’s a shame, because there are some very problematic statements:
“To a large extent this is down to unconscious racism and probably 99% of us are guilty of that – I know I am.”
There is no reason to put white people at ease when discussing racism by implying that ethnic minorities are somehow also to blame. John Barnes may have prejudice in his personality, but racism is only racism when it comes with power structures to back it up. White people have these power structures behind them, ethnic minorities do not - there is no systematic oppression of white people in Britain. Barnes recognises the lack of power of BME footballers, but fails to point out that the FA is failing to tackle institutional racism, through implementing the Rooney Rule or any other action. Indeed, one of the most supposedly progressive managers in England, Arsene Wenger, has called the Rooney Rule, ‘a kind of racism.’
There is no separation of the two expressions of racism that are at play in football. Managers can say as much as they want that racist abuse of players by fans is a bad thing, and they should be banned - and that is a good thing - but they do not acknowledge the benefit they get when the chances of getting employment is weighted towards them because they are white.
"Personally, I don’t blame Suárez or Terry for what they did – they are simply products of a society and environment that allows them to think it is OK to speak about certain people in a certain way."
While Luis Suarez and John Terry are products of their environment - the world is still a racist place - you cannot excuse them for their actions. They have been exposed to racism, but equally they have been told, by Kick It Out, for example, that racism has no place in society or football. They may have subconsciously been taught racism through society and football, but there is no benefit in giving either player an excuse. There is no defence by using ignorance to justify the actions. Players must put right any errors, through apologies and learning about how to not do it in future. There is, though, a wider point that society has flaws that must be addressed to stop another John Terry/Luis Suarez situation happening again, but that is not the same as not blaming the players.
"Racism is never personal – it’s about someone saying the group I am part of is superior to the group you are part of. "
If you don’t like a woman and call her, ‘a stupid black bitch,’ or you’re having an argument on a football pitch and you call someone, ‘a black cunt,’ then that is personal. That’s aimed at someone. Not that being racist and not having a specific target isn’t still personal. Blackface at Holloween, anyone who sees that who has experienced racism - personal or structural - that’s personal again. Racism is personal when a man is hounded, assaulted and burned to death when someone decides he looks like a paedophile. Racism has not been the Ku Klux Klan or the National Front for a while, now.
"Physically we are different – east Africans, for instance, are genetically inclined to run long distances in shorter spaces of time."
This sounds a lot like eugenics, and without wishing to invoke Godwin’s law, you’re going to have to avoid using Nazi language if you want to start improving racism in society.
Like all fixtures played this weekend, Arsenal versus Liverpool will be played under the post-Halloween shadow. Every year thereâs the big build-up â how many parties are you hosting this Halloween? How many thousands of pounds are you spending on…
Having spent the third largest amount of money in Franceâs transfer window, Marseille started the season brightly. Â Unfortunately for them, the pastis-guzzling, bouillabaisse-supping cohort have started to struggle. Â Recent defeats have come to Paris…
Some sad news ahead of the weekend. Both Everton and Hull go into Saturdayâs match-up in good form, upbeat about the rest of the season, but â and itâs not easy to say this â it makes absolutely no difference. Everton have only lost to Manchester…
Poker is one of the most popular games around the world. It’s a social game, and if you know how to play, it can be a lot of fun. Available in casinos and online, on sites like Bwin Poker, it can be played pretty much anywhere, something which adds to its appeal. There is a mobile application available through Bwin called Mobile Poker. You can download and install this on your phone, making it easy to play anywhere you go and whenever you want. In addition, opponents are available 24/7 so you’re never short of someone to play against. Bwin has partnered with some well-known football teams such as Manchester United, Real Madrid, FC Bayern and RSC Anderlecht. Interestingly, poker is a game that is played by a lot of footballers. It is an addictive game leaving a lot of players returning to the table. Being a competitive game, much like football, it leaves players wanting to improve their skills and play against other people. The most recognizable footballer who loves to dabble in a bit of poker is Tony Cascarino. His football career took him to major heights. He played for the likes of Aston Villa, Celtic, Chelsea, Marseille and the Republic of Ireland. After he retired, he turned to playing poker and has won over $500,000 playing in live tournaments. He managed to finish 14th in the EPT (European Poker Tour) and won the GUKPT (Grosvenor United Kingdom Poker Tour) in 2008. Teddy Sheringham (a player who once played with Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspurs) has earned almost $330,000 in the seven years that he has been playing live poker. He has also finished 14th, 49th and 5th in some of the world’s best poker tournaments, receiving more big winnings.
In order to summarise David Moyesâ first few months as Manchester United manager, itâs necessary to paraphrase Seasick Steve. Moyes started out with nothing, and heâs still got most of it left. Oh David! It started badly for him and went from there….
I like to imagine that former Sampdoria, Queens Park Rangers, VFB Stuttgart and Doncaster Rovers loanee, and current Manchester United (injured) player Federico –Kiko if you’re into that kind of thing—Macheda stood in front of Adnan Januzaj’s door after the younger one’s brace against Sunderland and whispered to him, “When you stand in front of me and look at me, what do you know of the griefs that are in me and what do I know of yours.” But of course I am mistaken, that was Franz Kafka and Macheda just happens to look like him.
Nonetheless, the recently crowned “best player in the world according to internet forums and overzealous fans” should still take a peek into the medical center once in a while to see the downside of the football hype machine. In the same style that Macheda descended down onto the field on April 5th, 2009 in the midst of Manchester United losing 2-1 to Aston Villa, and after a Cristiano Ronaldo equalizer, won the game with an outworldly curling effort that sent fans into religious euphoria, Adnan has also arrived.
In Adnan’s case, he has scored not one, but two goals against a confused, weak, and recently liberated –Fascism falls again— Sunderland team, but two goals regardless. So as he has scored two, he must be twice as good and important because he saved a desperate David Moyes rather than an iconic Alex Ferguson and thus, he has twice the chance of succeeding than Macheda did. Maybe his loans will be with Napoli, West Ham, Dortmund and Blackpool respectively and he will suffer a slight groin strain rather than the dreaded hamstring strain - you can probably find the odds on 888 football . Whatever the case is, the hype of both are eerily similar and since the fans will push the issue till they’re exhausted, the boy should be very careful about believing in it too much.
I must admit that there is another vision that comes to me every once in a while. It is one of Paul Pogba meeting Adnan as he tries to decide which direction to take in a fork in the road. Of course Pogba is immaculately dressed, and in this daydream, he removes his Morel Lunettes sunglasses, puts his hand on Adnan’s shoulder and consoles him. Pogba then says to the confused 18 year old “Set your life on fire. Seek those who fan your flames.” He then disappears into thin air, leaving only a sketch of an aging woman painted in green, white and red.
To be real, it has only been one game and the boy’s career can go anywhere depending on the opportunities that arrive for him and his determination, it is almost entirely up to him. Whether he fails horribly and falls from grace or continues his improbably rise to challenge Messi for honors, this few weeks where he was noted as the best player ever, before being told by a chain smoking midfielder that he can never play for England are just the beginning. If I was to offer any advice, I would tell him to get out now. Quit football, before it eats you alive, I mean, look at Nani. Remember? He was the new Ronaldo, now, he’s Ashley Young’s backup. It doesn’t get better than now.
Like women to 1970s comedians, Wayne Rooney is somebody with whom Manchester United can neither live nor live without. The dearth of creativity evident in their bland, workmanlike performance in Donetsk probably owed a lot to his absence, which is a depressing thought given the transfer requests and repeated hassle he’s put the club through.
This summer, it seemed like David Moyes had played a brilliant, Machiavellian hand in claiming he was useful if Robin van Persie ever got injured. In light of his struggles at United since then, it merely looks like a mistake. Depressingly, United can’t afford life without Rooney. Uniquely, it’s not the balding, wheezing striker’s fault, but rather the result of the incompetence of the club.
If a man who lists among his failings an inability to trap a ball, a determination to ruin attacks, and an unreliability of passing, is also your most creative player, people might think you have problems. If accidentally slicing a routine pass with your shin is your best chance of playing someone into space rather than with a smooth through-ball, you probably should have picked up some other players in the window. If Wayne Rooney is your answer to Juan Mata and David Silva, then you haven’t understood the question.
Moyes has recently made many sacrifices to the god Rooney, who fittingly increasingly resembles Buddha. He’s come out with “Wayne didn’t deserve to be on the losing side” guff, made him captain, and generally placated his every whim. Then, Rooney was absent from the side just as Ferguson reappeared in public to insist he had indeed handed in a transfer request. It was a fairly hefty coincidence, and bizarre from Ferguson to do so when relations appeared to be warming after Rooney had initially taken umbrage at the initial suggestion he had tried to force his way out.
Some short-sighted people thought that Moyes had done his bit to keep Rooney when the window ended, ignoring the fact that he was still out of form, and still hadn’t signed a new contract. If the impasse continues, then the odds on him leaving the club will be getting increasingly short. Perhaps they ought to have cashed him in to Chelsea after all - if he was that good, they wouldn’t have been forced to consider that as the only option.
PSGÂ play BenficaÂ in the Champions League. Â While the match is decided by goals, Benfica are lucky it is not decided by cuisine, what with there being no comparison between Portuguese and French cooking. Â French cooking is of course delightful, and…
Andre Villas-Boas’s new-look side have started the campaign strongly, looking solid up top and strong at the back.
The new men have impressed in the opening month, with former Ajax playmaker Eriksen catching the eye in the 2-0 win over Norwich the weekend before last and Roberto Soldado netting four times in all competitions.
Gareth Bale was a huge loss for Spurs but they have a better squad this term despite his departure. The Premier League is set to be one of the tightest ever, which further increases Tottenham’s chances of success.
Eriksen said that is the first target but he does not see any reason why Tottenham cannot challenge for the title.
"I think everybody, first and foremost, wants to be in the Champions League next season," the Denmark international told the Daily Mail.
"Then we have, of course, to become champions. That is why he (Villas-Boas) spent so much money on good players. That is just the sort of thing I want to be part of.
"I think our title chances are really good. We have had a good beginning and it is pretty easy to play with such good players."
Spurs’ only loss so far was a painful one, against north London rivals Arsenal at Emirates Stadium before the international break. The Gunners are ahead on goal difference, something Eriksen wants to put right.
"Arsenal are above us in the league at the moment, so we will have to turn that around for a start," he added.