The Shouty Woman

April 27, 2006

Speechless

Filed under: Feminism — by Lucy @ 7:23 pm

You think this is funny, do you?

You think this is FUCKING funny?

I'm so angry I can't speak or think straight. Just when I think I've seen it all, they come up with something that plumbs new depths of awfulness. When one instance of domestic violence is reported to the UK police every minute, when in the past ten years 60 prostitutes have been murdered in this country and many more are missing, when less than six percent of rape trials lead to a conviction, when most prostitutes lead lives of desperate misery, someone has the fucking nerve to produce a game where the objective is to beat up women? I feel physically sick.

I don't care if it's meant to be ironic, or 'just a bit of fun', or that you think I should lighten up. I will not sit back and laugh as you make a joke out of women's pain. I will not pretend that this is acceptable. I WILL NOT TAKE THIS.

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Depressed

Filed under: Feminism — by Lucy @ 1:12 pm

I feel really low today, partly for personal reasons that I can't go into here but also because the world seems like a pretty depressing place at the moment. The penalty of being a feminist is that you are forced to see things as they really are, not as others might want you to see them. And the way things are for women is not good.

Everywhere I look I see stories of rape, abuse, exploitation and violence. Most of my fellow feminist bloggers have experienced one or all of the above – I seem to be a rarity in having experienced none. What will it take for this to stop? What will it take for people to see what is happening, to see that rape is not about sex but about power, to see that porn is not about sex but about exploitation? People are so blind that it scares me.

Want an example? Read this article, published recently on the BBC website, and look at the comments below it. Mine is there but it's hard to see through all the anti-feminist invective.

Why do I bother even trying to make my voice heard when there are so many other voices telling me that what I feel is wrong? Lighten up, it's only a bit of fun, it's only exercise, what's wrong with 'feeling sexy'? You man-hating feminists should just let normal women get on with their lives.

I should be posting responses to some of those hateful comments, or at least trying to release some anger by tearing into them on my blog. But I just feel like the fight's gone out of me at the moment. I hope it comes back.

On a happier note I hope to go to the protest tomorrow at Southwark Crown Court against reduced sentences for perpetrators of rape and domestic violence. Can't wait to meet some online feminists in the flesh! 

Thursday Random 10

Filed under: Feminism — by Lucy @ 12:35 pm
  1. The Man That I Am With My Man (The Hidden Cameras)
  2. Birdland – Patti Smith
  3. Lovely 2 C U – Goldfrapp
  4. Middle Eastern Holiday – Hard-Fi
  5. Here For The Party – Gretchen Wilson
  6. Without You – Nilsson
  7. Daddy – Jewel
  8. The River of Dreams – Billy Joel (I know, I know…)
  9. I'll Think of a Reason Later – Lee Ann Womack
  10. Leader of the Pack – The Shangri-Las

You can't say my tastes aren't eclectic…

April 21, 2006

Follow These Links

Filed under: Feminism — by Lucy @ 10:13 pm

Just a couple of fantastic posts to recommend – firstly Johann Hari, my favourite journalist ever, demolishing the right-wing case against asylum-seekers, and secondly my amazing boyfriend on abuse of women's rights in Iran.

Won’t Somebody Please Think of the Children?!

Filed under: Feminism — by Lucy @ 10:06 pm

If you have a daughter, or want one, what would your wish for her be? Happiness? Love? The chance to live life to the full, to develop her skills and talents? Well, no, if you're one of that strange breed, the American fundy nutjob. If a girl's unlucky enough to end up with one of these types as her daddy, the best she can hope for is this freakery. Yep, it's the world's most sinister piece of jewllery: 

"You then explain to the child that you will hold the key to her precious heart until the day of her wedding. On that day, you will give her away like at all weddings, BUT in doing so you will also "give away" the key to her heart to her now husband. The key and lock are actually functional and your son-in-law will place the key in the heart to open it".

So let me get this straight. As a woman your heart, meaning I suppose your sexuality, isn't your own. It's a thing, a commodity, to be traded between male owners. Don't think of exploring it at your own pace, little girl – it's not yours to explore, and Daddy will be angry if he has to pass on damaged goods.

Aside from the genuinely sinister paedophilic overtones, this is wrong on an infinite number of levels. What message are these men giving their daughters? And is it better or worse than the message the parents of these little girls are passing on? As usual Twisty says it better than I ever could, but that doesn't stop me from trying. In what sick, warped universe is this acceptable? Are we so bored with seeing women as sex toys that we have to see prepubescent girls as sex toys too? This may not be child pornography in the strictest sense, but it's pretty damn close; in any case, porn or not, these kids are growing up thinking that their bodies are public property. It may be horribly old-fashioned, but childhood innocence has a lot to recommend it, and sadly it seems to be in short supply.

Any future daughters of mine are going to have the same kind of childhood I had. They'll have the freedom to be people, not prisoners of their sexuality. Their bodies will not be commodities to be bought, photographed and sold for the gratification of others. And their 'hearts' will be their own, to keep or give away as they choose. 

 

April 13, 2006

Thursday Random 10

Filed under: Feminism,Random — by Lucy @ 7:33 pm

Just for a bit of variety. I know this is supposed to be done on a Friday, but hey, I'm unconventional…

  1. One Of These Days – Emmylou Harris
  2. The Winner Takes It All – ABBA
  3. The Lonely Shepherd Gheorghe Zamfir (From Kill Bill soundtrack)
  4. Lately – David Gray
  5. Mis-Shapes – Pulp
  6. Spectators of Suicide – Manic Street Preachers
  7. Real Men – Tori Amos
  8. Amen – Jewel
  9. Churches Off The Interstate – Laura Cantrell
  10. Here Today – The Beach Boys

That's quite an accurate picture of what I listen to actually, if you add a lot more country and cheese…

April 12, 2006

Bad News Round-Up

Filed under: Feminism — by Lucy @ 1:02 pm

It's depressing writing a feminist blog. I sometimes wonder whether I should pack it in and write entirely about what I've been reading, or kittens, or celebrity gossip or something. That said, I like having an outlet for my anger – it's surely better to blog about this stuff than to pretend it isn't happening, which is what 99% of the population seems to do.

First depression-causing item today is this survey from Grazia magazine (via Yahoo). A few randomly selected statistics for you:

  •  Only 1 in 50 British women is happy with the way her body looks
  • 29% worry about their size or shape 'every waking minute'
  • 9 out of 10 diet
  • 87% of women hate their thighs
  • the women questioned want to lose an average of 19lbs
  • 98% of British women hate their bodies.

Yes, you read that last one right. 98% of women in this country – effectively every woman – loathe the way they look. It's an epidemic of self-hatred. And yet this isn't considered a real problem. Where are the headlines in the papers? The stories on the news? Surely this should rate more than just a mention on the news page of Yahoo?

Except, of course, that it isn't considered news. It's expected, even encouraged, for women to hate themselves. After all, an entire multi-million pound industry is based on telling women that they're not good enough. It would probably be considered more worthy of attention if a study found that we were happy with ourselves and our bodies.

The results of the Grazia survey are inevitable, and will continue to be inevitable until the beauty industry, and men's magazines, and the porn industry, and the diet industry, and the media, stop telling us we're worthless unless we look a certain way. Chances of that happening when when keeping women miserable is so lucrative? Slim to none.

And then, of course, there's the news that cautions for rape have doubled over a decade.  Twice as many convicted rapists given a slap on the wrist for the minor misdemeanour of destroying someone's life. And while we're on the subject, what about this story? That's right, if you attack your partner and 'show remorse', you're likely to be spared jail. Great news, wife beaters! Just pretend you're sorry and you'll walk free! Says Sandra Horley of the domestic violence charity Refuge:

"In short they give men a licence to batter women as long as they are able to put on a remorseful act in front of a judge."

Actually, I do know why I blog about these things. If I didn't, I'd go mad. It makes me feel like I'm taking action when actually there's nothing at all I can do.

April 10, 2006

The Shouty Woman Goes to NY

Filed under: Feminism — by Lucy @ 6:29 pm

I'm back! The dearth of posts recently is because I've been away in New York for a week – I had a fantastic time, although my bank balance didn't! I'd never been to America before so it was really interesting to see the culture from the inside rather than via films, TV etc.

While I was out there I picked up this book, which I fear won't be published here as it's very US-centric. It's a great – albeit scary – read, and sets out in chilling detail just how much we've got to lose in the war on abortion.

I'll post again shortly! 

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