Clitbait Recommends

A while ago, we reached out to a few of our favourite feminists for their feminist recommendations for books, films or albums. As predicted, we received brilliant and inspiring submissions. Have a scroll down to check them all out!

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Clitbait’s Recreate Art Series – Fanny Eaton by Joanna Boyce

For those of you who don’t know, every month we have decided to recreate a piece of art that goes along the lines of the theme of the month. Since this month’s theme is beauty, we decided to honour the Pre-Raphaelite model, Fanny Eaton. Eaton was a black Pre-Raphaelite muse, and as a result beat many beauty standards of her time. She was a symbol of diversity in beauty which is something we strongly stand for here at Clitbait…

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I long for the life I built for myself 

With bricks that came from a place within that I didn’t know was there 

With confidence that had lain low for years 

I plucked the plumbing from my chest and built friendships 

And from there the foundations were steady and firm 

We tiled the bathroom with our insecurities and painted over them 

And hung lightbulbs in the dark parts of each other. 

We aired our laundry in the open, and learned to love the creak of the crooked floorboards 

We cemented the walls with shared experience and covered them with pictures of us 

There’s no fight in the world a string of fairy lights won’t fix. 

I long to return to the life we all built 

Through women building up women 

Through endless wine nights and conversations. 

I went looking for an education 

And with it found a lifetime’s worth of company 

Robyn Barclay

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Interpreting the Self in Quarantine Compilation

Earlier this month, we reached out to several talented artists on Instagram asking them to explore the shift in their relationship to themselves through their artwork. As predicted, the artists have interpreted the lockdown differently, each pointing to something hopeful and affirming…

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Interpreting the Self in Quarantine #2

Currently, I do not know what my sense of self is. I don’t know where she went. I don’t know if I want beans or peas with my dinner, I don’t know what time I should go to sleep, I don’t know what to wear for another day of the panny-D (an expression I have recently used to add a bit of light chic to the situation). What I do know is…

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Some Quarantine Culture

For those of us who are locked-down in our homes, working remotely or just trying to fend off the anxiety of unending news updates, it can often feel like we are trapped and unable to enjoy what we once did…

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The Best Kind of Self-Care

I know what the best form of self-care is. Unionising. The pandemic is widening the cracks in our society every day, and the divide between rich and poor has never been starker. But lo, light out of the darkness: Amazon workers in Chicago have won paid time off by forming the organisation Amazonians United and presenting a petition to upper management…

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Dear Past Me, You got this!

Dear Past Me,

work hard and you’ll get there. its not about an end journey, more enjoying every step along the way! stay true to yourself and your goals, focus on what you’re best at and remember that perseverance and believing in yourself will be your best tools for building your future. you got this!’

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A Decade in Tomes

The last ten years has offered up an eclectic range of new fiction that has challenged and changed how and what we read. Below, I’ve collected a handful of iconic or influential books of the last 10 years that show how new stories are being welcomed onto our shelves…

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There’s lines all over my life 
Some stand between myself and others 
Building boundaries where I am finally comfortable 
Others are queues I stand in watching everyone get goals before me 
Grades, graduation, validation, varying 
Levels of success that others say are normal

Years of learning to read a certain way 
This works for everyone so why cant it work for you? 
A high school’s worth of adaptation and confrontation that 
This isn’t working for me but I found what does.
The lines in my life move, scrambled like scrabble 
3 points for a B but only if it doesn’t look like a D.
Years of minding my Ps and Q’s because apparently they differ
Pardon my politeness for I am slow 

Reading aloud always sounds like a eulogy 
Mourning the loss of the words I meant to say 
Instead the brain substitutes and institutes an easier alternative 
For me to manage and say 
Or stutter and stammer and try to force out 
Only to be told
you got it wrong again 

Numbers make sense to me in a different way 
I can read it once then say another 
Yet warped, reversed and wrong 
Calculations feel like abrasions, after a while it got better 
Chipping away at the wall between the eyes and the brain
Eventually gluing things together 
Excuse my intelligence for I am slow

Diagnosis is a word I can hardly spell 
And something I hardly gained 
Hours of ‘tell me what is wrong in this line’ 
when I’m looking at a circle
Expressing myself and grasping for explanations I can’t find
I know the words but I don’t know the words
An adult treated like a child because it took too long to notice 
Reconciliation works slowly and silently 

Getting to the right people was half the battle 
The other half is writing my name on the moving line 
Extra time for reading and dreaming of when 
My ability matches my capability.
Frustration of how little I can push myself but, 
Forgive my fortitude for I am not slow 

K Robertson

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Spotlight(s) on the Booker Prize 2019

It has been well documented, at this point, that the Booker Prize 2019 result took us all by surprise. Between them, Bernardine Evaristo (‘Girl, Woman, Other’) and Margaret Atwood (‘The Testaments’) took home equal halves of the money, but not necessarily equal halves of the spotlight…

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i’ve built a house

i’ve built a house

i’ve built a house upon my shoulders
there i will reside
until there comes a time
when it is safe to go outside

i live alone, but every night
a stranger comes to stay
She never introduced herself,
but i’m too shy to say

it’s dark inside our nest
my lamp, the guardian of the tide
the chimney’s always smoking
but it’s still so cold inside

i a baby bird, and She
the swallower of my screams
the monster who knows all
but is unknowable to me

we built a house together
but She’s thrown away the key.
i hope She lets me out tonight
for i can barely breathe.

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An Ode to the Nice Guy

An Ode to the Nice Guy

O here I will, my nice guy, speak of thee.
Long had a lack of love been cause of pain.
And shaped the pillars of the balcony
Thou hast so laboured to rebuild again.

Many true friends had mystery turned foes
Before thine eyes so gently pierced my mask.
With golden drink and cursed speech bestows,
This group a mark from every poisoned task.

And so was left a gallery of guilt,
In every shell of womanhood consumed.
Yet strong was thine intent to see unwilt
A heart so tough, convinced it never bloomed.

But since I’m neither male, nor dead, nor white,
Let’s break it down in modern terms, alright?

See, I had a type.
The problem is:
that physicality tends to go in hand with a questionable personality,
and lately I’m increasingly tired of the pretty people with the ugly insides,
which my mother could have told me would happen ages ago, 
but as all young adults will know- 
mums are always wrong until YOUR’E WRONG…
because mums are always right.

So, nice guy, this one is for you:
Because I like how I can act pretty much the same around you as I do in my finsta.
And I like how the jokes we laugh about are almost always about farts and almost never about the arts- it is much more aesthetic.

And the truth is: I don’t want to go to radical film screenings every week.
Sometimes, I just want to watch Pewdiepie videos and eat ice cream in bed,
and yes “I love the mystery” is what fuck-boy-phase-me may have once said,
but I really only joined murder mystery society because they got into my head
by saying they only offered it to really smart people, and I… 
have an ego problem. 

Anyway, leather jackets are cool, 
I get it, and if he’s got tatts a man-bun, I usually turn into a jelly shot that was taken out of the fridge too early.
You know- all shakes and no substance,
So fam, if you relate to this on any level, hear my wisdom.

Nice guy is so much better.
Nice guy beats the tatts and the man-bun any day
Not literally, of course, he’s tiny; but the way 
he makes me feel is how I felt at age 15, 
watching Joe Jonas emerge, a fucking dream,
from underneath the stage ready to sing the hell out of the first line of “Burnin’ up”,
which as every human in the world knows is “I’m hot.”
…and he really is.

So, I have a new type, 
and it is just like the description of the paper I wrote this poem on-
White, Tesco, Basic. And white tesco basic can be hot.

The fact that he doesn’t own, nor has ever owned, leather boots – 

The way his voice breaks a little in the middle of words every now and then – 
supah white

How his breakfast is ALWAYS protein weetabix served in the same bowl- 
super tesco, 

His steady, open path into a successful engineering career- 
super basic,

His former student job as a Deliveroo driver – 
Because, hear me…
He delivers. 

And as if it were needed, that is not all,
just like Joe Jonas sang more than Burning Up to 15 year old me,
Nice guy is not just one thing.

He is no replacement for the copy-pasted versions of the same daydream 
I decided to put on a pedestal one day.
Nice guy does not belong in museum or galleries,
he is not made to be collected, 
he has no copies of himself,
he is the enemy of fake.

Unlike marble, Nice Guy is warm to the touch.
And all around him it is warm too. 
And all around him it is safe,
And all around him it’s just nice, 
and I deserve nice.

So with this wish, we close our Ode, my friends,
I guess what’s left to say is just: the end.

A.M. Asali

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Lament of the Alphabet

Lament of the Alphabet

And across an atrium
Beating blue, black blood
Come crashing conclusions. Could
Deliver desperate daydream delusions:
Every ending ever ensured
Farewells from far frames.
Go give God goodbyes,
Hellos. How has hell
Ignited in insatiable instinct,
Jealous jerking, just judging,
Kissing, killing, keeping keen
Lamentations lingering like living
Memories. Many might merit
No notice, no nuance.
Others, oddly open onto
Personal pictures, pondering past
Questions, qualifications. Quiet queues 
Register rocky relationships. Recognise
Stressful situations she seems
Tied to. Tried to
Undo until unknown, unspeakable 
Voodoo visibly violated vows.
“Women won’t want words”
Xenomorphic, xerotic, xanthic xenocracy.
Your young years yearning;
Zealously, zestfully, zodiacly zeroing.

A.M. Asali

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Dear Past Me, don’t worry about your boobs

I am writing to offer you reassurance. Even age twelve, you knew your own mind, and you were sure that large breasts were not something you wanted. I can assure you that age eighteen, they remain the size of mandarins or Madeleine cakes, and that you find this a completely ideal and comfortable size for them to be…

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My body doesn’t look the way I want it to

My body doesn’t look the way I want it to

It never has
It never will

But when “what I want” has been carefully moulded, marketed and shoved down my throat by a system whose only goal is my submission, I have to ask

What do I truly want?
I want a body that is healthy
A body resilient enough to run long distances in the pouring rain
A body strong enough to pick up my ever-growing little siblings
Those little shits
A body humble enough to remember the pains of those before me
A body brave enough to stand in the way of injustice

What I crave is a body that fights for what is right
A body that serves my communities
A body that empowers those who look up to me

I want a body so passionate it makes love to the man I adore
A body so powerful it creates life itself
A body so warm that gardens flourish inside
So tender its fruit ripens in their own time

This is what I want
I will not succumb to the deluge of falsities about where my body should be
What my body should look like
How my body should move
When my body should be hidden
How my body should be fucked

My body is mine 
And this is what I want
I have come to believe that my body already a miracle
And to that, I surrender.

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Sense it

Sense it

He smelt like a posh cinema.
Like gourmet sweets,
Expensive upholstery and ethical caramel

He sounded like an old dial telephone
Whirring through words
Bringing sentences to a ringing end.

He looked like a Kandinsky;
High-brow and rare, and
An uncomfortable mix of curves and harshness

He felt like a childhood cartoon
Whimsically drawn,
Beautifully familiar with a violent subtext –

He didn’t taste like gourmet sweets or ethical caramel.
He tasted like bitter pork.
But he tasted better after I’d cooked him.

Isabelle Hodgson 

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