The modern “f” word

By | Entertainment
Defining the new 'f' word. Credit @ Random House

As a new wave of feminism seems to be slowly securing its ever increasing grasp on the country, more and more outlets are joining their ranks; from blogs to books, and columns to comedy shows, it would appear that we’re going through a feminist revival.

The latest to join the pack is ‘The Vagenda: A Zero Tolerance Guide to the Media’, a new book which analyses the way women are presented in, and put under pressure by, the media. Described as being a “brilliantly bolshy rallying call to girls and women of all ages” by their publishers Square Peg, The Vagenda aims to poke fun at media outlets, in particular those magazines aimed at women, for their sexist and unproductive content.

The book, which is set to be released to the masses on 1st of May 2014, is the brainchild of 20-something journalists Rhiannon Lucy Cosslett and Holly Baxter, who first began expressing their disillusion with women-centric media in 2012 through their blog.

The blog, simply named ‘The Vagenda’, was famously conceived by the two in their East London flat one afternoon as they sat laughing at a woman’s weekly containing articles such as “how to match you knickers to your nail varnish”.

Described by Cosslett as being aimed at the many women who have said that they feel alienated by women’s magazines, the girls hope The Vagenda would act as “a media watchdog with a feminist angle”.

The feminist brains heading their 'Vagenda'Credit @ Alfie Hope

The feminist brains heading their ‘Vagenda’
Credit @ Alfie Hope

It became an instant online success, as it drew the attention of seasoned, and freshly formed, feminists alike and reportedly picked up 250,000 hits within its first month. This spectacular show of popularity served as a reflection of the steadily increasing need for modern feminist outlets, and with a book release within the very near future, it surely demonstrates that this feminist revival is now more relevant than ever.

The Vagenda’s upcoming book release comes to us, as consumers, at a time when the concept of feminism may have been looking a little outdated in the eyes of some. Perhaps this is through a deficiency of knowledge, or perhaps misunderstanding, of what it essentially means to be a feminist.

Many stereotypes, often archaic in their nature now, depict a feminist to be strongly opposed to men in general, to be fans of burning their bras and being opposed to any other forms of femininity, and, in their most extreme forms, they make a sweeping generalisation that all feminists are gay.

These typecasts are counterproductive sweeping generalisations, and untrue for many. A true feminist believes purely in the equal treatment of the sexes, in every aspect of life; whether this be in the economically, politically, culturally or socially, women and men have the right to be treated equally.

The Vagenda, along with the recent release of The Everyday Sexism Project’s new book, the current campaign to have Page Three girls removed from the media, and Elle Magazine’s ‘rebranding’ of feminism, are working determinedly to dispel any negative preconceptions of the term feminism, and to highlight the truest and most common forms of sexism. It is through the work of organisations, campaigns and women such as the girls behind The Vagenda, that creating a more positive and productive society in which we can all live in becomes ever more likely.

The Vagenda’s book is now available for pre-order, and will be available in all branches of Waterstones as of the 1st of May, priced at £12.99. A special discount of £3 is available with purchases made online at www.waterstones.com until the 30th of April. For more information about the book, the blog or the mastermind behind it, visit www.vagendamagazine.com.

How do you feel the modern revival of feminism will productively change our society?

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