Last year I spent my birthday working on a feminist porn set with production company Sugar Town Girls.. I wrote the following about my experiences and why i think we need to make more porn, not less. Sorry mum.
It’s my 31st birthday and I’m a little out of breath from spending the morning inflating hundreds of black balloons. I’m stood beside an ornate bath tub in a disused pub, watching with a mixture of curiosity and self-consciousness as a woman wearing a strap-on penis has sex with a woman wearing deer antlers.
I’m spending the day working as a production assistant on the set of a feminist porn film, All Eyez On Me. The movie is a mix of non-narrative sequences, there’s no plot as such, instead creating what feels more like a music video, a dreamlike fantasy with constant visual changes. Read More
It’s 10pm on a Sunday night and I’m lying in bed wondering if I need to bleach my anus. I’m a 31-year-old woman and a proud feminist but I’ve somehow fallen into a deep, dark Instagram hole. At least my labia don’t need tightening, I think to myself. Or do they? Read More
On a recent photoshoot in the Maldives with Torq Surfboards, I asked the brand if we could invite some local female surfers. I thought it would be great to add some diversity to the catalogue. When they agreed, I began to realise the scale of the challenge I had set myself. 'How many women even surf in the Maldives?' I wondered. Not many, it turns out.
Naaisha Haneef is one of a small crew of women who surf in the Maldives. Naaisha and I discussed her story on a humid morning between surfs, and the full interview is in this months Surf Girl Magazine. Read More
There's a scene in Trouble, Lisa Andersen’s new film, where, over archival footage of her surfing Huntington Beach as a teen, she reflects on her early days as a competitive surfer. Andersen says: “I wanted to surf as good as the guys.” And here's the thing: Andersen did surf as good as the guys, but she surfed in her own way – as a woman – too.
After watching Trouble and Surf Girls Jamaica at the London Surf Film Festival, I was inspired to write a piece about my role models as a young female surfer, and the importance they played in my life. Read More
Surf Girl Magazine interviewed me for their latest magazine, we talked about changes in the surfing industry, the people who inspire me and my rise fierce tribe. You can pick up a copy in WHSmiths or zoom in and squint to try and read it below... Read More
Caster Semenya, the 800m runner who won Olympic gold at London 2012, has been unfairly discriminated against for years because she challenges perceptions of what it is to be a woman by daring to have a testosterone level higher than the average.
Last week, over 60 professional athletes, with fairly impressive sporting titles from two-time Olympic gold medallists to world champions, penned an open letter from Athlete Ally and Women’s Sports Foundation demanding the IAAF rescind their flawed discriminatory testosterone policy.
I stand firmly alongside these athletes in the pursuit of an equitable and inclusive athletic experience Read More
Spot the difference? Same ocean, same waves, same result, half the money. If you think the gender pay gap isn’t real, look again. Last week, this photo at the Billabong Ballito Surfing Pro Junior Event in South Africa showing female surfer Zoe Steyn taking home just half the money of her male counterpart went viral. Read More
I have less two weeks before I wake up at the slightly more daunting age of 31. Turning 30 didn’t bother me at all, I leapt into it with a big smug smile on my face, a bottle of organic prosecco, a handsome man by my side and a bonfire surrounded by my friends. 31 feels a little more ominous for some reason. I have that threatening impression I should be more by now, I should have more, I should do more. I’m creeping up towards 40 with none of the things in order that my 20 year old self naively thought I would have in order. Instead of flying into an inauspicious panic, I sat down to write down all the things I’ve learnt in the last year.
I occasionally worry that my overt honesty will have me ostracised completely, but in the mean time let me impart my wisdom on you here… Read More
When I read Wavelength Magazines British Surf Broadcast last week, I was unimpressed by the under-representation of British women, so I decided to unearth the success stories and tell them myself. Read More
A lot of you have been asking about my swimwear over the past few months, so I thought I’d update and repost my sustainable swimwear guide. I try to buy everything I wear consciously and not fall into the consumerism trap too often (all though I'm occasionally slip up and find myself on the high street).
Side Note: This is not an ad. I don’t have any sponsors and I pay for all my swimwear, these are just genuinely the brands I wear and love. In no particular order... Read More
This is the first in a series of overly honest product reviews, bought to you by some cringe worthy experiences, one photo of my bum and a small amount of credit card debt.
After sharing my mooncup woes a lot of you requested feedback on my knickers, because, lets be honest now, how many pairs of your regular underwear has aunt flo destroyed? I know, i know. ALL. OF. THE. PAIRS. Including that very favourite pair that I refuse to throw away, even with the stains.
So here goes, the first in the series of overly honest product reviews is the much awaited, worryingly frequently requested, she thinx period panties. I'm sharing this because 100 million girls are missing school just because of their periods. Lets break the period taboo. Read More
I was really happy to see Chelsea FC making progressive steps toward gender equality in the news last week with the name change of their club from Chelsea Ladies FC to Chelsea FC Women. After reading some news that seemed to skim passed the change like it wasn't important, and a couple of articles that began to look a bit deeper into the issue, I wrote an opinion piece that delved a bit further into explaining the importance of language when talking about women's sport and female athletes. Read More
I chatted to Boardmasters for ‘Beyond The Break’ - a lifestyle series focusing on surfers who shape the surf scene and beyond; diving into their lives and getting to know them beyond the break.
I really enjoyed the interview and found the questions quite refreshing compared to the normal "What would you take to a desert island?" questions i get asked, so thought i'd share it here also. [side note: i'd take a snorkel and mask, obviously] Read More
Wow! What a great panel discussion we had last night at the ACM POP UP x WOMEN IN ACTION SPORTS.
We delved into the often murky waters of how women are represented in action sports, what was normalised for us in our experiences, challenged the status quo and gained a refreshing and inspiring insight on how was can all contribute towards positive change. Read More
Noura’s father made her contractually marry her cousin when she was 16, she refused to accept and sought refuge with a relative for three years. She returned after her father said the marriage was cancelled, but had been tricked and was forced into marriage. She refused to consummate the marriage for the first 4 days. On the 5th day her husband got his brother and 2 nephews to hold her down and he raped her. The following day, he attempted to rape her again and as she struggled to stop him, she stabbed him in self defence. Her father handed her over to the police.
This week Noura was found guilty of premeditated murder and has been officially sentenced to death by hanging. Read More
Meet Kadiatu Kamara. She is the first and only woman surfing in Sierra Leone. Let’s make the surfing industry healthier, more diverse and more inclusive, by helping her get to the 2020 Olympics. Read More
Black Girls Surf is an empowerment and development surf camp that supports black girls and women whose career goals are competing in the professional surfing. Through the fundraising efforts they have been able to send athletes to compete and train with professionals to ensure that they are prepared.
It seems I’m becoming increasingly political in my old age. I know this post may be a little controversial, I know it will be met with resistance, but I care, I really care. And I want more men to care about this too. Read More
In Ireland, abortion remains both illegal and taboo. Abortion is outlawed even in situations of rape or incest. Reality is however, that abortion is not rare, and this law serves to affect the disadvantaged and the vulnerable.
On the 5th anniversary of the Rana Plaza factory collapse, which killed 1,138 people and injured many more in 2013, I encourage you to ask brands #whomademyclothes and demand greater transparency in the fashion supply chain. Read More
When we demand, they listen.
Since Fashion Revolution started, thousands of brands are being more open about where their clothes are made. Let’s encourage other brands to do the same.
Often when I open up a discussion about women’s issues, such as the over sexualisation of female athletes, violence against women, or the exploitation of female factory workers in developing countries, the natural discourse tends to be someone asking “what about the men?” Read More
In itself, nothing is wrong with this question, and I fully acknowledge that our patriarchal culture and stereotypical forms of masculinity are seriously damaging for men too. But when the discourse is always “what about the men?” it tends to become disruptive of the conversation that is taking place, and has the effect, whether intended or otherwise, of silencing women’s voices on important issues.
While I was in London this week I met up with my friend Matt Barr for lunch, and we had a good little catch up on the whole media farrago I was in over the last couple of weeks.
We discuss some pretty complex and complicated issues about the relationship between surfing and gender, like how the surfing industry tends to publicly support male dominance, how this builds a culture that serves to support patriarchal ideology, and why I feel it's unhealthy for everyone no matter their gender identity or expression. We also talk about the need for a greater diversity of female role models in surfing to avoid the damaging monoculture we are so often presented with, and touch on the complex issue of the people who ask "what about the men?!". Read More