The Shouty Woman

July 24, 2006

Enough is Enough

Filed under: Feminism — by Lucy @ 8:59 pm

OK, I’m done.

When a supposedly left-wing feminist blogger links approvingly to an article in the Daily Mail – possibly the most virulently misogynist paper in the world – it’s a sign that I’ve reached my limit. When the said article is one blaming feminism for the evils of modern society, it’s a sign that I’ve gone beyond my limit and back round the other side.

I kept reading Twisty even after the blowjob debacle, simply because she’s such a fantastic writer. However I just can’t keep linking to someone who cites the Daily Fucking Mail to back up her arguments.

So bye Twisty. I’m sure she won’t give a shit that I’m unlinking her, but hey, it’ll make me feel better.

The Media and Body Image

Filed under: Feminism — by Lucy @ 5:37 pm

There’s a fantastic article in the Guardian today about the media’s obsession with women’s bodies. The author, Kira Cochrane, discusses the example of Kate Hudson, who has just sucessfully sued the National Enquirer for claiming she was anorexic.

This whole episode has illustrated how disgust at the female form, whatever its shape, has become the main selling-point of gossip magazines and most tabloids. As Cochrane points out, Hudson only became of interest to these vultures when she appeared in public looking what they deemed to be too thin. Her acheivements in life, whatever they might be, were unimportant compared to the attractiveness, or otherwise, of her body. Now I happen to think that in the photos in question Hudson was too thin. But this is not the point. The National Inquirer did not publish these pictures out of concern for Hudson’s health and wellbeing, they published them because hatred of the female body sells.

Female celebrities cannot get it right. If they are ‘too thin’, they are vapid anorexic bitches who are obsessed with their own image. If they are ‘too fat’, they are disgusting irresponsible cows who have let themselves go. Even if they are deemed to be the ‘right’ weight – whatever that may mean – every other aspect of their appearance from their breasts to their fake tan are scrutinised, criticised and ridiculed. Many high-profile women may well have a weight problem, but if this is the case they need help and support, not more obsessive scrutiny from the same media that caused their self-hatred in the first place.

So what message can ordinary women take away from this? As someone who, through no fault of my own, is very skinny, I learn from the media that no man will ever want me because I don’t have curves like Kelly Brook (or whoever is considered to possess the acceptable version of the female body at this precise moment). However I also learn that if I dare to put on too much weight, I will become disgusting, untouchable; again, of course, no man will want me. The message for women who are already ‘overweight’ is even worse.

So if the celebs can’t win, neither can we. Our bodies will always be wrong, because the market puts a high price on our self-hatred. As long as we keep absorbing the message that we are disgusting, ugly and unlovable, this is the message that will continue to be promoted. Let’s not buy this shit anymore.

July 18, 2006

Petite

Filed under: Random — by Lucy @ 7:14 pm

One of my favourite bloggers, Petite Anglaise, has been sacked because of her blog. Slightly worrying, although I’m pretty confident my boss would agree with most of what I write on here (if she knew it existed), so I’m not afraid of imminent dismissal! Please check out Petite’s blog – she writes amazingly and deserves support.

Anyway, sorry for the lack of posts around here recently – what with one thing and another I haven’t had the time or inclination to write. Fear not though, I will be back…

July 10, 2006

Inspired

Filed under: Feminism — by Lucy @ 12:04 pm

Back to work after a weekend spent ill with a flare-up of my chronic stomach problem. ‘Oh, you’re so lucky you never put on weight!’ say ignorant people; I feel like replying ‘well, if you want the stomach cramps, tiredness and internal bleeding, go right ahead – I won’t miss them.’

Anyway, I wanted to write today about one of the most inspiring events I’ve ever been to. It was on Thursday 6th July at the House of Commons, it was organised by Abortion Rights UK, and I left it feeling moved beyond words by what I had heard.

The aim of the event, entitled ‘Speak Out – I had an Abortion’, was just that – to allow women to discuss their own expereinces of abortion in front of a sympathetic audience. It was chaired by Anne Quesney of Abortion Rights UK, and sponsored by a fantastic MP called Laura Moffatt who’s a strong pro-choice advocate. After speeches by Ms Quesney, Ms Moffatt and two others, women in the audience began standing up and telling their stories.

The women who spoke were of all ages and backgrounds. Some were confident speaking to the group, others less so. However what united them was their assertion that they did not regret for one moment the decision to have a termination. Most felt that they could not have supported a child at that particular time. Some had several children already and could not support another. Some were in relationships that had no future. Some had no money, or no real home. Each and every one had a genuine reason why abortion was the best, or only, choice.

These women’s words moved me to tears and brought home, stronger than ever, the message that we have to fight to keep our bodily autonomy. Although here in the UK we think ourselves lucky, the anti-choice movement is large and very powerful. They are pushing for a ‘review’ of current abortion laws, but don’t be fooled by this mild rhetoric – they won’t be satisfied until abortion is outlawed altogether.

As one speaker said on Thursday, in an ideal world events like ‘Speak Out’ would not need to happen. There would be no stigma attached to abortion, and no-one trying to restrict our rights. However our world, as we well know, is not ideal, and until it is we need to keep speaking out, spreading the message that our bodies, and our choices, are our own.

PS. If you can bring yourself to, buy this month’s Marie Claire. Its editor Marie O’Riordan was at the event on Thursday, and this month’s issue contains testimonies from women who have had abortions. Marie Claire is probably the best of the women’s magazines – at least it has political features in among the anorexic models and unaffordable clothes.

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