Non-Binary People Don’t Owe You Androgyny, Fuck Off

first thought that came into my head when I realised I was non-binary was fuck, I don’t want to chop all my hair off. This was swiftly followed by a succession of minor panics: I don’t have the face for short hair, I don’t have the shoulders for androgyny, and everyone knows that my arse is simply too big to pass as anything but a woman. These thoughts accompanied thousands more over the next few months as I embarked on an excruciating – but ultimately liberating – internal journey.

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Who here is a feminist?

When I was fifteen, a woman from a feminist organisation visited my school to have a discussion with us about equality.  I don’t remember much of what she said, but I do remember that she started the discussion with the question “who here is a feminist?”

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It’s Getting Hot in Here

When we decided that this month’s theme at Clitbait should be heat, I wanted to write a love letter to the sun. I wanted to write about how nourished I feel by its warmth. My world comes alive when it is illuminated and dripping in sunlight.

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The Pleasure Gap

A couple of months ago I was scrolling through Instagram when I saw the same post come up again and again on people’s stories. Repeated posts are not unusual, but there was something about this one that deeply chimed with me.

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Keep the Change

Here I am again, I thought. Unanchored, unmoored. 

Another break up and I felt lost. Where before there had been plans, dreams, ideas stretching ahead into the distance– a trip to Berlin, going to that new restaurant together, maybe a move abroad for our respective careers –there now was …nothing. Everything I’d envisioned and hoped for vanished overnight. 

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Sexual Violence in Greek and Roman Mythology

To Ovid’s Metamorphoses and back. ‘I intend to speak of forms changed into new entities.’ So starts the Roman poet Ovid’s canonical text about Greek and Roman myth, the Metamorphoses. An epic poem that informs most of what the western world views as ‘classical’ myth, the work is one of many fantastical transformations. It is often considered equally united by the theme of metamorphosing as it is by love. 

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We’re Here Because You Were There – How the British Empire Metamorphosed Power

Amartya Sen recently outlined the structural impacts Britain had on India throughout its longstanding rule, hoping to unpack the illusions of the empire’s legacy through a historical dive into India’s past. As Sen opens with, power is widely agreed to have been established by British forces in 1757 at the Battle of Plassey by defeating Nawab Siraj-ud-Doula’s army and beginning a 200-year rule that ended with Nehru’s famous words in 1947 – ‘At the stroke of the midnight hour, when the world sleeps, India will awake to light and freedom’. This monumental moment in global history is thought to be the start of a process of decolonisation stretching into the 1980s.

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Metamorphosis: LGBTQ+ Rights in the UK

This year, throughout Pride month, I’ve been thinking a lot about my own journey as a queer teenager, then a non-binary adult, and how I’ve changed throughout my life. As with the metamorphosis we see in nature, my identity and self hasn’t changed – in the way that a butterfly is never not itself, even as a caterpillar.

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A Reflection on Changing Artists and Art

One of the challenges that artists face is the expectation that their work must look a certain way. If they are lucky enough to find fame while they are alive, they are often constrained by the idea that only a certain style will get them money and recognition. As much as a starving artist is romanticised, no one wants to be one. Yet, must that come at the expense of their own creative metamorphosis?

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The Spectacle of Violence

I recently read that tourists in the US can take ‘sex trafficking bus tours’ to ‘shudder over locations where they’re told sexual violence has recently occurred’ (1). Learning this was not something I was able to take lightly. I carried the words around with me for days, alongside the absolute bafflement they gave rise to. 

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You May Be Okay, but It’s Not Okay

Without thinking, I turned from the main, busy street into a side alley. I was running late to see a friend, and Google Maps showed this route through dark, pot-holed Athens back streets to be the fastest way to get to my destination. I hurried along, frowning down at the map on my phone screen whilst music blared through my headphones. I don’t know when I became aware of his presence. But I remember feeling my stomach drop. You are not safe said my body to my mind.

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What are we having?

This lockdown year it was especially important to find meaning, but looking back, I think I was prone to finding too much.  I have held on too long and too tightly, to people, or ideas, or expectations, and it’s time to let go. 

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We Need to Stop Calling Young Girls Bossy

From a young age, I was always told that I was a bossy person, and I just accepted it and took it as the criticism it was intended to be. Thinking back to when I was labelled bossy, it was when I took charge of a task and put myself in a leadership position in order to do something. This adjective has never been used to describe one of my male friends, but many of my determined female friends.

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Bodily Intrusion: Anger towards the Inner Male Gaze

In an antiquitous world, where social distancing wasn’t yet the de facto theme of interaction, I used to get dressed up to go dancing with my friends. Being a young, privileged, educated woman, with a budding feminism and progressive view of the world, I acted in accordance with my own agenda. With that in mind, there was a hostile undertone. When looking in the mirror, measuring my drinks, dancing in the middle of the dancefloor, I would slowly orientate myself towards someone else’s objective.

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Brown Women Aren’t Quiet

In primary school, a boy once asked me, “Aren’t all brown people quiet?” I had no idea what to say, standing there in my oversized bottle green cardigan and kilt. I was eight years old. I mean, I knew I was quiet, but not because I wanted to be; in a predominantly white area, it was the best way to fit in, to survive the glares and stares I received day on end. At home, I was different. I would speak up about anything I could, and as soon as my friends got to know me, I would tell them stuff too. As I got older, I found my voice: first by writing, then by speaking. By the time I started my undergraduate degree, I had plenty to say.

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When I’m Angry I Write Letters: A Photo Series

Writing letters is something a therapist suggested to me as a way to cope with my emotions. It was a very difficult time for me; in one year I had endured a sexual assault and also had made attempts to take my own life. I was angry at everything and had grown reliant upon unhelpful practices like substance abuse, disordered eating and self harm. I told her about a typewriter I had and we thought together it would be cathartic to punch out my thoughts onto paper and keep them somewhere safe. That way they wouldn’t be in my head anymore.

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I Hate Elon Musk So Much

When I was younger, living in the north of Scotland, we would have some pretty miserable winters. It would be dark at 3pm, wet and cold and windy. The one silver lining was that on clear nights, even when your fingers felt like they would fall off as you broke the ice in a water trough, you could see so many stars overhead. I could stand with my neck craned back and stare at them for hours.

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Anger and Gender: Equal but not the Same

Anger is an emotion that is highly influenced by gender. That is not to say that men are angrier beings. This is a popular misconception that plays into gender stereotypes of men being allowed to feel anger more than others, when in fact all genders feel anger equally and as intensely as one another.

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A reflection on anger

I am angry. At first, I thought it was just about you. And you. And you. The way you dimmed me; reduced me down and down until I was on my knees and begging for you to do it again because I didn’t know what the world looked like from an upright position anymore.

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Am I Angry? Why the new policing bill should make everyone angry

Anger is an emotion that has defined most of the past year for me. It presents itself in many forms: pure rage, frustration, powerlessness, a strong sense of injustice; but also anxiety, exhaustion, irritability, hopelessness, fear, and sometimes complete shutdown. It gets so overwhelming at the moment; it feels like I’m just not equipped to be thinking about all the things that are going on. And as soon as I reach my absolute limit, something else happens to pile on more anger and more of all the things that come with it.

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Time and Art: Connection in Disconnection

March 2021 has brought a new dimension to the art world by seeing Beeple sell his incredible piece Everydays: The First 5000 Days, developed over time in auction digitally at Christie’s Auction House. Connecting the digital world with the art world is an entirely new way of making and selling art in the 21st century.

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Soft in All the Wrong Places

When the skinny boy who fell in love with the dream he made of you in his mind – and you decided that was close enough – first said ‘tummy’ so sweetly as he touched your softness and rested his head against it, you felt a little more seen and a little less clouded in his foggy fantasy of you.

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