The uses of books: Girl Up

Recently I bought a heap of truly fabulous books, which I’m happily devouring on train journeys and in spare moments before the start of lectures. The books are entertaining, amusing, informative, and in some cases filled with downright beautiful pictures and prose. They also make me think, sometimes questioning the things I believe, sometimes asking myself what I could do to make a difference myself. The books discuss feminism, and they’re brilliant. However, as often happens with books, there is more than one use of them…


Everyday Sexism

It’s not too much of a hyperbole to say that reading Everyday Sexism by Laura Bates changed my life. I still remember the day I picked it up, and turned its pages in a fevered hunger for words which was fuelled by anger at what I was reading. Everyday Sexism is a brilliant project which exists to catalogue instances of sexism experienced on a day to day basis. I thoroughly advise you to check it out, and to follow the project on Twitter as well.

Girl Up

However, Everyday Sexism isn’t the book I’m going to talk about here. I was delighted to find that Laura Bates has written another fabulous book: Girl Up. It’s the kind of book I wish I’d had to read years ago. I’m not sure I can quite describe it as a survival guide for girls and young women, but reading it makes – or made me at least – feel sane.

Sexism has become normalised, to the extent where I sometimes wonder if I’m going mad. Do guys really take my ideas less seriously in group discussions? Am I being too sensitive when I feel a twinge of anger at getting called ‘darling’ or ‘sweetheart’ by men who don’t know me? Is it totally reasonable that people are surprised when the entire committee of the student society I run are young women? Am I making too big a deal out of this? No, Girl Up reminds me that I’m not.

Why should you read it?

It’s bold. It’s funny. It’s honest. But why else do I think you should read it?

  • Like Everyday Sexism, it includes information and statistics which are perfect for whipping out in an argument with someone who tries to tell you that feminism is no longer needed.
  • It comes with a Sexist Bullshit Klaxon that calls out the crap we put up with in our everyday lives.
  • In the introduction to the book, Laura Bates lets you know some of the alternative titles that were considered for the book, including Bend Clit Like Beckham.
  • It’s unashamedly feminist, talks about fabulous women, and straight-up tells girls that they are strong, brave and utterly brilliant.
  • It includes tap-dancing vaginas. Enough said.

It’s a book that exposes the truth around the pressures which surround body image, the false representations in media, the complexities of a sex and relationships, the trials of social media and all the other lies they told us. It talks about social media, body confidence, sexuality, and consent. It gives inspiring advice and useful ideas for things you can do to start tackling sexism.

It leaves me feeling empowered.

But it has another use…

I’m not always proud of the things that my mind does when it idly drifts. You see, when I’m horny, I’m liable to create fantasies which involve the objects around me. Do you ever find that some days you’re craving a specific type of touch? A rough, hard fuck. A set of worshipping lips on your clit. S series of playful tweaks and pinches on your nipples. A spanking.

It was the latter that I was craving.

Sleepiness was vying with horniness, so my hand was down my pyjama bottoms and my eyes half closed. In searching for a new fantasy to use while I jerked off, my eyes fell upon Girl Up. Suddenly an image shot into my head, awakening further arousal and making my fingers move more quickly on my clit.

It was the fantasy of a girl – an imagined girl, but someone I instinctively knew I loved and trusted – coming into my flat, and shedding the coat and gloves that were soaked from the rain. We both knew what she was there to do to me. She ordered me into my bedroom and watched me strip on command. I was shaking with arousal and anticipation. She told me to bend over the back of my desk chair, and grip on to the edge of the seat. I obeyed, biting my lip hard to hold back a delighted grin combined with a pleading whimper.

“Spread your legs, filthy girl.”

I obeyed, wetness now dripping down my legs. She was going to spank me, just like I wanted. She was going make my arse red and throbbing with pain, and then – if I was a good girl – she was going to fuck me with the new dildo I knew was in her bag.

I couldn’t see her, but I still tensed when I heard the movement of her arm raising. I waited in anticipation for the expected strike. But it never came. Instead, I felt her reach over me and pick up something from my desk.

“My hands are too sore from the cold so I’m not going to spank you with them,” she told me, but even as I began to sigh in disappointment, I almost yelped as a different sort of blow landed where I had been expecting her hand. She didn’t give me a chance to work out what she’d hit me with when another thud struck my other cheek. I let out a moan of pain and pleasure, interrupted by another slap with the heavy object.

“Bastard,” I gasped out, and the girl behind me laughed, giving me a second to recover and dropping a light kiss on the small of my back. Then the spanking started again, in earnest. It was the book – Girl Up – she was spanking me with, of course.

I smiled – satisfied – as the fantasy faded.

In summary

Read it, read it, read it! Buy it for your friends, daughters, younger sisters, and nieces! It’s a funny and fabulous feminist read. It offers ideas to battle sexism and support other women. It’s one of the best things I’ve read this year.

It will also act, in fantasy or reality, as an excellent spontaneous spanking implement.