The Five Fs of why Fleabag is so Effing Perfect

The Family

The discomfort and delight of having people who knows you absolutely. It’s wincingly sweet- like the ringing of a finger on the rim of a glass.

@bbc

The Feelings

Gasping grief. Slapstick hilarity. Excruciating disappointment. It’s a feast of feelings and each one twangs somewhere deep in a memory.

The Freshness

Something like television-something as everyday and mundane as telly-has done something new and invigorating. All the mega budgets and well-trod tropes and sets and sex of Hollywood haven’t managed do anything as triumphant and perfect as Fleabag.

@bbc

The Frankness

It’s not ‘brave’ or ‘clever’ in its portrayal of people: it’s just unflinchingly insightful. It should be recorded and sent in to space because it captures everything human. But without being pretentious or self-consciously deep.

The Fitness

The characters are charged with sex, emanating anger, repression, disappointment, power and fear. It is as rich and sexual as a hot chocolate pudding. And when he says ‘Kneel’. Holy. Hell. The series and I both peaked.

@bbc

Mum Hyde vs Mother Jekyll

Every night, after a story and once the light is out, we debrief the day.

The minutia is painstaking.

‘So I woke up…’

Mostly it’s about the inferior quality of school jacket potatoes or Pokemon Chat but, occasionally, he slips in small details that make me have to still my breath and battle my instincts.

‘A boy in the park asked if I wanted to fight’

Play.It.Cool.

‘ I said no and he called me pathetic’

Do.Not.React.

‘So I ran away’

Under the warmth of his duvet and the glow of his nightlight I imagine this bully and I rip my claws in to their face and tear hunks of flesh from his spineless body and roar at the thundering sky.

Instead, I smooth back my son’s hair and run the back of my fingers over his silk cheek.

‘You did the right thing, my boy’

Words for Equality

Please consider this a working document and refer back for updates, corrections and new entries.

Ableism

Discrimination against disabled people. Or, sometimes, it’s even just excluding or not considering the needs of people who aren’t able-bodied.

Ally

Someone who fights alongside others for equality.

BAME

Black, Asian, minority ethnic. British use

Body-acceptance

A movement that encourages and celebrates coming to terms with your body. Anti-diet culture. Similar to body-positivity.

Cis

Straight people who identify as the gender they were born as.

Cisterhood

A word that criticises the type of feminism that only identifies or celebrates the achievements and struggles of being a cis woman (often white)

Different from TERFs (trans-exclusionary radical feminists) whose excluding of the trans experience is deliberate.

Further information: follow the articulate and irrefutable Rebel Lou

T-shirt from Ruby Rebellion

Cultural Appropriation

Wearing something or using phrases that are a strong signifier of religion or culture. For instance, white people with cornrows or secular people wearing bindis. If you’re unsure, have a look at the account Ask a Person of Colour for examples and clarity.

Intersectional Feminism

A type of feminism that considers how inequality affects different people- for instance, a white middle class women has different experiences than a white working class woman.

From Instagram

Male Gaze

The notion that most media is produced for the male view- especially pornography, adverts and films. The portrayal of things through a straight male perspective -often represents women as objects of sexual pleasure.

T-shirt from Black and Beech

Misogynior

The hatred and/or persecution of black women- different from misogyny and needs its own word because black women receive disproportionate amounts of online abuse, for example. For a useful listen, this podcast is helpful

Misogyny

The hatred of women.

Patriarchy

The system when men have disproportionate amounts of power- feminism is the tool we use to fight it.

From thefword.org.uk

Period poverty

A lack of access to sanitary products due to finances.

Person of Colour/Color

A person who is non-white.

Privilege

An advantage afforded to particular group- wealthy or white for example. A sign you have privilege is if you’ve never noticed you have it- tricky! It’s about seeing yourself represented everywhere (from TV to ‘flesh-coloured’ underwear) and never (or rarely) having to adapt your behaviour because of your race, ability, class etc

Further reading: Here

Reverse Racism

Doesn’t exist. You can have reverse prejudices but racism is a system across history and society with roots all the way back to colonialism. That is a system that benefits white people all the time so a fleeting moment of prejudice is not the same.

Further reading: Gal-dem Magazine

White Fragility

White people’s defensiveness in response to conversations about race.

Further information: Watch Stand for Humanity Stories on Insta but be mindful of her house rules.

White Saviour Complex

The trope in films and TV that white people can ‘save’ non-white characters and ‘learn’ something about themselves along the way. For example, the film Freedom Writers.

In charity, it can be when white ‘storytellers’ are used to narrate or ‘investigate’ poverty and identify ways that they can help. For example, Comic Relief.

For further information, please follow Stand for Humanity but watch her house rules first.

From The Guardian: Comic Relief

Woke

Politically aware and informed- especially in relation to injustices such as inequality.

I have written this as a privileged white middle class woman. I am not trying to speak over others but trying to raise up and amplify voices that should be heard. Please follow the links to find out more or comment to recommend.

Holding On

Did the school run today.

Just me and W.

We stepped out in to Storm Gareth.

Held hands to cross the road.

He forgot to let go on the other side.

And held my hands the whole way there.

He wanted to know about bungalows.

And why old people don’t just eat yoghurt

To fix their feeble bones.

He told me about the weather.

And how thunderstorms mean he can come home early from school.

He asked how long til the holidays.

And asked me why I love him so much.

When we reached the school gates

He dropped my hand

And had the kindness

To pretend it was to adjust his coat.

Without looking up he delivered the blow

‘Bye then, mum. I can take it from here’.

February Favourites

Nails

I’m assuming everyone stress-buys make up at the supermarket so next time you’re sweating in aisle nine, grab this Rimmel 60 Second beauty- it’s called Lovey Dovey.

Threads

Two things I have bought that give me tummy-flips of joy when I wear them/think about them are

This boilersuit of dreams which was £17.99 from H&M. Sold out online but still in shops.

I have a pic of me in it but I’m doing a handstand and wearing Virginia Woolf socks.

Not really showcasing the outfit…

Can’t justify any more jumpsuits but if I could, I would want this H&M beauty:

I have also bought this FABULOUS dress from Zara. I’m off to Spain soon so I’ll blend right it I’m sure

The model looks v glum but perhaps she hasn’t yet realised it’s GOT POCKETS!?

Follows

I have just discovered Trinny Woodall (from Trinny and Susanna) on Insta and I can.not.stop.watching.

Make-up

MAC lipsticks are life. This beaut is Dubonnet and lasts ages which is shame when you’ve applied it as badly as I have in this pic.

Still obsessed with my Do No Harm/ Take No Shit necklace from Black and Beech. It gives me power.

I haven’t any books to recommend as I’ve been rereading Lee Child’s back catalogue and moping about having nothing to read despite a mega pile of unread books next to my bed.

Have also had an excellent run of podcasts of late but will write about them and the lessons I’ve been learning in another post.