#TwitterFeminism – The Feminist Twitter Accounts You Should Be Following

I love twitter.  I love it and cherish it like the son or daughter I will probably never have. I am glued to my phone, frequently commenting on essays, books, David Cameron’s shiny shiny forehead.

However, if there’s one great use for twitter, it’s spreading the feminist joy. Twitter, if used with great responsibility, is a handy political tool – and that doesn’t mean taking selfies of yourself with fancy burgers or tweeting “Ed Balls”. With hashtags like #RapeCultureIsWhen, #FeminismIsForWhiteWomen, #MyFeminismLooksLike,  twitter is basically awesome for feminists who want to hear from all sides of the world and all sides of the argument.

Sometimes the internet can be a minefield of "What-the-actual-hell", but feminism on twitter is alive and well!

Sometimes the internet can be a minefield of “What-the-actual-hell”, but feminism on twitter is alive and well!

For those uninitiated into the world of Twitter feminism, here’s my top list of feminists who you should follow on twitter. Feel free to comment below with your own suggestions!

A HANDY GUIDE TO THE TWITTERY ACCOUNTS THAT YOU SHOULD FOLLOW:

@VagendaMagazine, @theFwordUK – the general go-to accounts for light feminist articles in the UK (besides VFM, of course). The Vagenda in particular has a great (and responsive!) twitter account.

@EverydaySexism and @NoMorePage3 – leading campaign sites for contemporary feminist issues. Don’t forget to check out their prospective websites too!

@feminsthulk – because smashing the patriarchy is always better in capital letters.

@WhiteFeminist, @feministkanye, @feministswift – parody accounts which will make you laugh as well as think. All are both sadly truthful and hilarious.

@CaitlinMoran@lenadunham, @wmarybeard – awesome ladies who are famed for light, funny feminism. And Mary Beard says such intelligent stuff that blows your mind, that I’d follow her regardless of political orientation.

@femfreq – if you’re into gaming and feminism, this is an awesome place to start.

@VictorianPrude, @monaeltahawy – awesome activists in America. Sarah Slamen is currently fighting against the changes to abortion rights in Texas. Mona is particularly into Muslim and Arab feminism as well as Isralei/Palestine conflict.

@VFMArticles – just in case you forgot to add us 🙂

Don’t forget to also follow VFM on Facebook if Twitter isn’t your cup of social networking tea. Incidentally if you want to follow me and suggest I add to the list, my twitter handle is @BethSaysThings

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VFM’s Top Bad-Ass Heroines!

VFM’s TOP BAD-ASS HEROINES!

With the next instalment of The Hunger Games franchise rearing its shiny head, we welcome back Katniss Everdeen—easily one of the best female heroines of cinema and literature today, and not only because what she can’t do with a bow and arrow is nobody’s business. Katniss is a modern day heroine whose motives doesn’t rely on revenge nor a man; she’s a character whose strong, independent and in no-way sexualised. Plus, she starts a revolution, ‘kay?! Unfortunately, all these factors in this day and age is still pretty fresh in our modern day women. Yes, I’m glaring at you Bella Swan.

The return of Katniss and The Hunger Games has the VFM team thinking about other strong women of our books and screens, whether she’s a classical heroine from a book or controlled by you in a game. So, Venus From Mars proudly presents a specially selected top five bad-ass women who can hold their own in any fight (drum roll, please!):

Willow, Buffy the Vampire Slayer

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Buffy…Willow…Buffy…Willow? Which one deserves a slot? On one hand, we have Buffy; she saved the world countless of times, while having to tackle school, boys, making sure her besties don’t die and being resurrected from the dead…twice! But then we have Willow.

Willow is introduced to us as the typical wallflower who’s in love with her best friend. The reason why she’s one of VFM’s favourite heroines is mainly down to the fact that she had the most character development. Ooo, character development, pretty bad-ass, right? Well, from starting the show as a shy teen who hides behind her curtain-like hair, she turns into a young woman who, as the episodes go on, dates a werewolf, becomes an all-mighty powerful witch, saves the world, then nearly destroys the world, but most importantly, she was a half of one of America’s first lesbian relationships on television when she hooked up with her witchy-lover, Tara. So, is there really any question to why she’s on this list? No, I didn’t think so… CatSmith92

Scarlett O’Hara, Gone With the Wind

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Let’s face it; who doesn’t love a bad girl? An anti-heroine who challenges all the rules, turns society on its head, thinks and acts outrageously, and can bitchsmack with the best of them?

For me, the first and last word in anti-heroine is Scarlett O’Hara, protagonist of Margret Mitchell’s sweeping epic Gone with the Wind. When we first meet Scarlett, she is a spoilt pretty thing who manipulates men and cares about nothing but her beloved Ashley. When we leave Scarlett, she has grown up. And when I say grown up, I mean she has killed a man, rebuilt her empire almost single handed, has fallen out with the ideologies of her society, delivered a baby during the shelling of Atlanta with no knowledge of midwifery, is an alcoholic, and has defied social conventions time and time again. Oh, and she’s amazing at Maths.

Love her or hate her (and some people really do), Scarlett is driven and doesn’t let anything get in her way. Anything.Scarlett is not only one of the most exciting and well developed anti-heroines; I’d argue that she is one of the best realised characters ever to appear in fiction- male or female. Lassomagicarescarte

Carol Peletier, The Walking Dead

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Sit down, shut up and let me tell you all the ways that Carol Peletier from AMC’s The Walking Dead is a total BAMF (Bad Ass MotherF*cker for those not in the know). Can’t avoid it so I have to throw it out there: pre-outbreak Carol lived with her abusive husband Ed and her daughter Sophia (who she somehow managed to shield from the abuse). Despite Ed’s awful personality and existence during the zombie apocalypse, Carol remained a total sweetheart, sharing supplies with others during the outbreak and making sure that her husband did not cause too much violence in the survivors group (which often meant taking care of things that Ed was supposed to be doing).

This is where the spoilers begin: Carol stepped up to the plate and took care of Ed’s body to prevent re-animation. Carol and Daryl (eye candy archer) bond in the search for Sophia. Carol learns medical aide from Hershel and practises delivering babies via C-section on a walker. She also survives a breach without food and water for a couple days. Co-names baby Judith “Lil Asskicker”. Carol’s true BAMF character is revealed when you realise just how far she is willing to go to keep her group safe. She prepares the children for life outside of their safe compound, the education she wishes she had given Sophia. She straight up kills two sick people and burns their bodies to prevent an infection spreading. She risks her life trying to replace the water that she wasted.

Carol is a BAMF pre and post walker, she can get away with calling Daryl ‘Pookie’. You can’t sway me to think anything else. Dothrakimermaid

Beatrix Kiddo, Kill Bill

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While Quentin Tarantino doesn’t exactly have the best track record when it comes to representing women on screen (*cough* Django Unchained *cough*), in the character of Beatrix in Kill Bill Vol 1 & 2, he created one of the best classic action heroines of all time. By mixing the hyper-masculine genres of westerns and martial arts films, Tarantino unleashed one of the ultimate female icons of action cinema, showing that it’s not only men who can get their hands dirty with the best of them. Beatrix Kiddo surely has an impressive body count for any action hero, brutally slaying at least 40 members of the Crazy 88 in roughly ten minutes. Moreover, she is forced to battle with some amazing female villains too (Lucy Liu in particular provides the kind of visual bad-assery in O-Ren Ishii that was woefully lacking from her character in the Charlie’s Angels film). 

I’ll admit that Kiddo is a, shall we say, “complicated” feminist character – many argue that Beatrix is fuelled by a) the knowledge that she gains from her male teachers, b) her relationship to Bill and c) her status as a mother. Hell, she’s even referred to for most of the first film rather ominously as ‘The Bride’. These are all valid criticisms, but ultimately Beatrix’s skill, ability and surprisingly realistic character development comes out fighting. Like Die Hard is the ultimate Christmas movie, so too are Kill Bill Vol 1 & 2 probably some of the best darn mother’s day films you could possibly show your family.

Now, stop arguing with me, before I use the virtual five-point-palm-exploding-heart technique on your WordPress account. IntrinsicallyOdd

Ellen Ripley, Alien Franchise

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Ellen Ripley, what is there else to say? She’s one bad-ass bitch. Science fiction as a genre has held home to many strong female characters, but very few have even come close to Ellen Ripley. So, what makes Ripley so cool?

Firstly, despite not being very feminine (she has an assertiveness normally associated with men) she is clearly a female character. She shows a motherly protective nature. For example, in the first film she risks her life going back for the cat and in the second film she risks her life for a child. She is also constantly the voice of common sense.

But what makes this woman stand out is what she accomplishes—not just literally—but also metaphorically. In a literal sense, Ripley (sometimes single handedly) stops Alien reaching earth and eradicating the human race about four times, which is a feat in itself, but also metaphorically Ripley kills rape.

Yes, she kills rape.

Alien is a film, not only about space exploration, but also about a woman fighting off and defeating a creature that symbolizes sexual violence. Rather than just have female characters as victims much like the Lambert character was, Ripley overcomes and defeat this terror.

She is forced to fight not only Alien but also members of her own race as well, who see Alien only as a weapon. She is denied the chance to raise her daughter, is forced to kill herself and she destroys god only knows how many ships in order to kill this creature which is a walking embodiment of rape itself. If that’s not badass enough, really what is? KerrySlater

Fiona Goode, American Horror Story: Coven

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This coven doesn’t need a new Supreme. It needs a new rug,” Fiona mutters as she sits back in her chair and lights a cigarette in exhaustion. Her first kill in a while really tuckers her out and yet the next day she throws on the Givenchy and gets right back to business. Since the anthology horror series debuted back in 2011, actress Jessica Lange has been playing tragic and evil women who, if she’s not battling ghosts in a fabulous LA mansion, then she’s beating mental health patients in an 1960’s asylum. In the third season, Coven, Lange played arguably her best character yet as the stupendous and seductive Fiona Goode, Grand Supreme of all witches in New Orleans and one hell of a shit mother! Having sought out youth and beauty to no avail she returns to her old stomping ground to build bridges with her daughter and teach the young witches of Miss Robichaux’s Academy for Exceptional Young Ladies how to defend themselves against the return of Salem style executions.

Fiona’s bad ass in very sense of the word. Not only does she posses the powers of telekinesis, resurgence and knocking back a substantial amount of bourbon in one go, but she also fights for what she wants. Yes she may suck the life out of a doctor in order to maintain her ever-dying youth and yes she may slit the throat of any woman in line to take her crown, but Fiona isn’t afraid to take action when she feels necessary. Although her ways are far from the norm, they are put in place to protect her coven and keep it from crumpling into ruin and I think that is pretty bad ass! JamesTaylorrr

Zelda, The Legend of Zelda

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Arguably Nintendo’s second biggest flagship, The Legend of Zelda has had strong debates over the feminist issues it presents through its character of the same name–Zelda. On the surface, she is nothing more than an objective marker for the protagonist–or even (like many claim) another damsel in distress trope. But after several hours delving into the many worlds of Hyrule, you will discover the truth. Zelda— or more precisely Sheik– is a complete Badass. For those who haven’t explored The Legend of Zelda series yet, Sheik is Zelda’s bitchin’ alter-ego. Her disguise has manifested itself in all sorts of ways over the years, a ninja style magic user, and even a fucking Pirate Queen! It has been pointed out that while she is out of her disguise and back in her dress, Zelda is always more vulnerable. However, Zelda the princess symbolises times of peace, when in war her alter-ego comes out to play. Sheik is a true warrior, and within the gaming world, she’s a refreshing sight to look back upon, one that doesn’t follow the Japanese gaming conventions of only wearing an ‘armoured bikini’ into battle. Matt Lightbound

Have we missed your bad-ass woman out? Comment, and tell us who and why!

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Xbox One: Go Home, You’re Drunk

As E3 rears its shiny head, there is a quiet sense of dread among the gaming community. Or rather, a loud and wailing sense of dread, if Twitter, Youtube and blog comments are anything to go by. In the wake of the colossal failure that was the Xbox One reveal event back in May, with the announcement of pre-owned fees, always-on Kinect and mandatory internet connection, people are angry and rightly so. I wouldn’t be surprised if there is some form of riot at E3 in the next few days:  the French Revolution of console gaming. Microsoft are probably going to have to give away gold plated consoles dipped in chocolate in order to convince people to like their newest product.

It’s little wonder then that Microsoft felt the need to make an official news release on Xbox Wire, written in mangled PR jargon, which did the internet equivalent of mumbling to itself. Though the release featured a lot of tech speak about the apparent marvels of The Cloud and ‘family’ gaming, the biggest elephants crowding up the room were of course the policies regarding used gaming – where each game seemed to only allow a single download, with no possibility of selling on games once you used them. The days of the used-game market, and even innocently passing on games to your friends to try, are apparently limited.

It's not covered in chocolate, gold or Skittles - ergo, I'm not going to buy it.

It’s not covered in chocolate, gold or Skittles – ergo, I’m not going to buy it.

So it’s woefully hilarious to see the response which Microsoft has desperately cobbled together: it turns out that yes, you can give away your games to a friend to try, but only if they have been one of your Xbox Live friends for more than thirty days, and even then, only once. ‘It’s okay!’ says Microsoft. ‘We know you guys were worried about used games and lending games and having to pay ridiculous fees in order to do what you’ve been rightfully doing for years. But it’s okay now! You can hand this out to a grand total of one friend. In the singular. Only one. Aren’t we nice people?’ I’m now going to have to choose which friend to lend a game to. Perhaps I’ll have to use a lottery system, or opt for a more Hunger Games style initiative, where my fellow nerds battle to the death in order to borrow a measly copy of Call Of Duty: Ghosts, just to see that goddamn dog (which I urge you to follow on Twitter now).

In its current form, I will never, ever go near an Xbox One. That is a promise. I speak as a former loyalist of the Xbox fleet. What mostly sold me over to the 360, aside from a stonking amount of peer pressure, was the feel of the console. PS3 players seemed to me – at the time – to be a kind of samey bunch, mostly playing a range of FIFA and sporting games. Xbox 360 felt cinematic and interactive, championing challenging and interactive games such as the Halo series, Portal 2 and Left For Dead, with a heavy focus on game play and Gamerscore.  Now Xbox One feels more like a cash-cow mixed into a 1984 novel. It’s all very Orwellian, to the point where I feel there should be a mandatory ‘Xbox Kinect Is Watching You’ slogan stamped over every ominous-looking black-box console. But rather than take the fool’s route – and buy the damn thing – we can do better. I am rallying the battle cry on behalf of all nerds. DO NOT BUY THE XBOX ONE. Get up, stand up: stand up for your consumer rights.

In the midst of all this, the great challenger to Microsoft, Sony, have kept their cards close to their chest. Aside from some side-splittingly hilarious teaser trailer shots – the titillating equivalent of not so much a flash of thigh, but maybe a blurry elbow or an out-of-focus knee – PS4 have been surprisingly quiet on the actual look and feel of the console, as well as their used game and lending policies.  Until E3, then, we can only desperately pray to the gaming Gods that they will have the sense to not screw up like Microsoft have. I never thought I would say this, but help us, Sony – you’re our only hope.