Well it’s Friday and, after a special delivery from America, it’s safe to say that I am full to bursting with peanut M’n'M’s. It’s a good job I’ve got somebody here to take over and produce something post-worthy isn’t it?! Because I’m just a buttery, chocolatey heap. Please enjoy Sandy’s post and please support her new blog The Female Thinkbox. Show some love to a fellow feminist!!
Feminism Crashes the Party
If, like me, people look at you with trepidation upon the discovery that you are a feminist then you must be left asking yourself: Why?
Why is something that’s so clear and necessary to me considered to be an irrelevant, out-dated notion by others?
The most obvious reason is probably the old notion that feminist are ‘crazy men-hating bra burners’ – Note to any serious causes: burn anything and you’re doomed, it’s all history will remember you for, even after you got half the population the right to vote, decades will pass and all you’ll be remembered for is the BURNING!!
But despite this being the obvious prejudice towards feminism, I think there’s something slightly more going on. There’s the contemporary notion that, “now we are all equal”, feminists should stop their moaning. I believe society is fearful of feminism as it comes along to upset the tidy balance of ‘equality’ it now thinks it has.
In this sense we are in a dangerous realm. Inequality and stereotyping among the sexes is clearly not obvious to everyone. Women cake on the make-up and work out ways to accentuate their curves as they dream of the day they can spend their money on a boob-job. A man saying “suck my dick” to them in the street and groping their skirts in a night-club is just one way of women feeling like their attraction has been affirmed. Too many women are reliant on how many men want to have sex with them as a way of figuring out their worth*.
And living in a world like that, why would men want to change it? And when so many women buy in to this way of life, and think it gives them value, why would the majority of women want to change it?
Feminism exists in society now as nothing but a dowdy parent, pointing out what everyone’s supposedly doing wrong, coming along to crash the party.
Take the oh so popular rape jokes, which were “bouncing through the town**” at the Edinburgh Comedy Festival this year, and which bounce around our TVs far too often. Any complaint about the normalization of abuse is met with the indignation that free speech is being taken away from comedy. Yet society has happily been enlightened to the vile race jokes so popular in the 70s that no established comedian would even think of making a ‘pakki’ joke in fear of the public uproar. When are we going to get to that point when it comes to making jokes about violence towards women…?
But of course you are considered a prudish, straighter than straight card if you, whilst a room full of people laughing along to a joke about rape, stand there in protest reminding them that “this causes offence”.
Now, as I assume the ‘feminism is a dowdy parent’ stance I am going to write something that I KNOW people will disagree with, and I apologise to any feminists out there who would not like me to say this under the name of feminism – so maybe this is purely a personal ethic…
…But I have stood in a club wondering how right it is that a room full of people (myself included) are shouting at the top of their lungs “all I care about is sex and violence!” – I completely DON’T care about sex and violence, in fact I DESPISE it!
Sex and violence infiltrates mainstream culture like a parasite but is SO mainstream and is SO normalised that one of the biggest songs of the naughties has clubs full of people shouting along to those lyrics as if sex and violence come hand in hand. And it is SO accepted that no one bats an eyelid. Dizzee Rascal’s ‘Bonkers’ is just a reflection of a society that has come to rely on sex and violence in order to find self-worth.
In all fairness to Dizzee himself this could be the point of the song, a bitter irony of how the world is today… but how many people are out there chanting the words to that song thinking, “this is an interesting social commentary”, “this is ironic”.
If we, as a progressive society, want to stamp out violence towards women then we need to change the dominant social mind-set, not happily go along with it because to object would be social suicide.
To me, if that means not laughing at a rape joke when the rest of the room is in stitches, or questioning how right it is to party in the name of ‘sex and violence’ then so be it. I am a feminist and I am prepared to crash any party who’s equality lights shine so bright that no one dares to look under at its greasy uneven floor.
*note, ‘men’/’women’ are used as a general reference and never means ALL men or ALL women.