I recently got an interview for a funded creative writing PhD. There are not many opportunities like that in the UK and the competition is fierce. I know this very well as I have spent the past year researching it, and applying for places. I was talking about the interview with a man I’d just met, a friend’s boyfriend. I commented that it’s hard to get a funded PhD in arts and humanities. He then explained for five minutes that ‘he’d heard from a friend’ that there are lots more funding opportunities in recent years in the UK, and it was easier to get funding than before etc etc. I said ‘Maybe that’s true for science’. He said, ‘No, for all subjects.’ Thank god for the term mansplaining and the light it has cast on these bizarre conversations. I repeated myself firmly and clearly the facts that I know first hand to be true – it is very hard and competitive to get PhD funding for arts and humanities, more so now than five or ten years ago. I gave him a brief example of this. He looked vague and mildly affronted and we drifted out of conversation.


I was at a family friend’s house, and in the middle of a conversation, somebody turned to me and said, ‘you’ll have to make sure you marry a rich lawyer.’ I was completely taken aback by this, because for the last three years, I myself have been at law school, hard at work, studying to be a lawyer… I laughed it off and threw back ‘I’m going to be the rich lawyer thank you very much,’ but it kind of bothered me because it made me feel like no matter how hard I worked, it was still easier for some people to see me as someone’s future wife rather than my own person with agency, aspirations and a drive to succeed by myself.

Defense on the Dance Floor

I was at a club with a few of my friends from high school, four girls together, we’d been travelling all day and were just visiting the city so we were wearing clothes comfortable for the weather, tank tops and shorts and sneakers but we’d felt like dancing. We were all fumbling through our awkward dance moves when a man reeking of alcohol came up to one of my friends and started rubbing his crotch all over her and muttering things like “ooh yeah honey”. For a moment the other three of us just stood there, and I am ashamed to say I had a moment where I wasn’t sure if my friend wanted this or not but then when I saw the fear in her eyes I spun her away from him and said she was my partner while another of my friends went to inform security that he had a little too much to drink.


Chatting with a friend of a friend, it turned out that he was a fellow Lord of the Rings fan. As I enthusiastically started asking what he thought about the literature he admitted that he’d not yet read the books, adding “But really you know you prefer the films too, they’ve got Orlando Bloom and you’re a woman.” He was unconvinced at my claims I was in it for the elvish linguistics and continued to mansplain my true interests to me.


Recently at my friend’s 21st party. Two of my friends, one male, one female, both with experience in restaurants and serving. My female friends offers to open the bottle of champagne. Male friend says ‘Are you sure you can handle that?’ with a smirk…Female friend opens bottle which as it turns out was really fizzy and spilt all over the floor. Several comments from other girls at this party, about how she should have let my male friend do it…as if that would have made any difference to the fizziness of the bottle…Men can do it right, women get it wrong mentality even among all my close friends.