The Shouty Woman

November 30, 2006

Thursday Random 10

Filed under: Random — by Lucy @ 2:44 pm

Because I haven’t done one in a while:

  1. Beachcombing – Mark Knopfler and Emmylou Harris
  2. Happy Phantom – Tori Amos
  3. Tears – Teenage Fanclub
  4. I Don’t Feel Like Dancing – Scissor Sisters (I saw them live at Wembley Arena last weekend – they were fabulous)
  5. Sylvia Plath – Ryan Adams
  6. The Hives Are The Law, You Are Crime – The Hives
  7. Fairy Tale of New York – The Pogues (how seasonally appropriate!)
  8. I Hope – Dixie Chicks
  9. I Think I’m In Love – Kiera Lee
  10. High Fidelity – Elvis Costello

 Good – nothing too embarrassing there! 

Advertisements

November 28, 2006

Rant

Filed under: Feminism — by Lucy @ 2:04 pm

There have been a few threads recently which have reminded me why I took a break from blogging in the first place. Frankly we have enough personal attacks, anti-woman rhetoric and general unpleasantness coming from the other side, so why the hell do feminists feel the need to use the same tactics against each other?

The thread currently getting my goat is (you’ve guessed it) at Twisty’s. I’m not linking to it as she doesn’t need the publicity and, frankly, everyone knows where she is anyway. I’m wondering whether she actually has a machine to write her posts for her now, seeing as they all follow an identical formula:

  • Witty and beautifully-written statement explaining why x (behaviour, sexual act, item of clothing, etc) is anti-feminist, and if you like it you’re a hypocrite/ lying to yourself/ falsely conscious.
  • Deluge of adoring comments
  • Lone voice of dissent suggesting that, actually, people might have different points of view and that this isn’t necessarily a bad thing
  • Deluge of abusive/ patronising comments explaining why voice of dissent is anti-feminist/ falsely conscious/ a total moron
  • Intervention from TF explaining that she never meant that in the first place; why are people getting so worked up?

It’s a pattern I’ve had enough of, and this latest thread takes it to new lengths. The following are all examples taken word-for-word from comments over there. How dare self-proclaimed feminists call another woman ‘as thick as a stack of pressboard’, label her ‘psychotic’, a ‘poseur’, ‘clueless’, and accuse her of being a man, then sit back and claim the moral high ground? If this is radical feminism, you can fucking have it.

And while we’re on the subject, I’d like those feminists who are claiming that sexuality is entirely constructed, and that being gay is a ‘choice’, to stop and think, just for a second, about what they’re saying. I have  gay friends, many of whose relationships with their families have been permanently damaged by their coming out, and who would not take kindly to the suggestion that they somehow chose to be the way they are. I’d like one person making this argument, just one, to look my friends in the face and say that their sexuality is a choice, that they don’t have to be gay, that we can override our own sexual and romantic feelings. Because that is the argument these people are making. If you assert that it’s possible to become a lesbian as a political statement, then you are allying yourself with the christian ‘ex-gay’ movement, and you are insulting the millions of gay people, all over the world, who are oppressed and persecuted, and have been rejected by their loved ones,  for an aspect of themselves that they cannot change.

Not to mention, of course, that you’re hardly placing yourself at the forefront of the feminist revolution if you advise women to repress their natural sexuality and channel it in a more politically acceptable direction. Again, how is this different from the fundy message that women’s sexuality is sinful and must be controlled? Oh, wait – this message is only bad if it comes from the right. If it comes from the feminists it’s ‘consciousness raising’, not repression. My mistake.

Well, it felt good to get that out of my system. One advantage of blogging again is that I have an outlet for my rage, of which there has been plenty lately.

On a happier (and funnier) note, this cartoonis fab, and has nothing whatsoever to do with inter-feminist battles. I probably will post something about UK fundies’ current attempts to religionise the school science curriculum, but it can wait for another day…

November 20, 2006

I Love Bill Bailey

Filed under: Feminism,Random — by Lucy @ 2:21 pm

My boyfriend and I spent last night at this event, a benefit for the Greater London Domestic Violence Project. The best bit of a  fabulous line-up was Bill Bailey, who was already pretty amazing in my view but has just been elevated to god status. He’s hilarious, he plays any musical instrument you can throw at him AND he supports an anti- domestic violence charity. What’s not to like? (Note to Americans etc who may not have heard of him: he’s a comedian/ musician. Check out his website).

I hadn’t heard of the GLDVP before last night, but they do some really important work. As 1 in 4 women experience some form of domestic violence, and one incidence is reported to the police every minute,  organisations like this are vital.

Sorry for all these small, boring posts – I’ll write something more substantial when inspiration strikes!

November 17, 2006

Abortion Rights Event

Filed under: Feminism,Politics — by Lucy @ 9:37 pm

UK feminists – please please come along to this event at the House of Commons on Wednesday 22nd November, and ask your MP to come too. It’s a public meeting organised by Abortion Rights in collaboration with pro-choice members of parliament (of which there are still plenty, thank god!). The anti-choice lobby is organising a meeting at the Commons on the same day, so it’s vital we get as many people along to as possible to hear our side of the story.

There’s a real chance the issue of abortion could be raised again in Parliament this year, so we must act now to ensure pro-choice voices are heard – and to show MPs that it is our choice, not theirs, what we do with our bodies.

Hope to see you there!

To…

Filed under: Feminism — by Lucy @ 9:22 pm

‘Disgruntled NW1 Feminist’, who brightened up my evening commute by sticking post-its with feminist comments on a series of lipstick adverts all the way up an escalator at Bond Street tube station…

You’re my new hero, whoever you are.

I just wish I’d taken some pictures of the ‘doctored’ adverts!

November 9, 2006

If there’s anyone still reading this…

Filed under: Feminism — by Lucy @ 1:50 pm

I’m back. Probably not permanently, but we’ll see. I’ve had bits of a post swirling about in my head for a while now, and thought I should get it down on paper (or at least screen) while I still know what I want to say. Apologies for the long, rambling nature of what follows.

I stopped blogging for various reasons, the main one being that I just didn’t know where I fitted in anymore in the (hideous phrase) feminist blogosphere. When I started this site I was fairly certain I knew what was what. Pornography and prostitution hurt women – all women. The feminist sites I visited confirmed and supported my beliefs. I identified, if not as a radical feminist, then as something pretty close.

Then all hell broke loose. As someone relatively young and without a long history in the feminist movement, the ‘sex wars’ were new to me, and I didn’t like what I was seeing. Suddenly I was being told that some sexual acts, even between consenting adults, were disgusting and wrong – that anyone who confessed to liking them was a liar, a ‘sexbot’, a victim of opression or simply not a feminist. Bloggers and commenters that I had previously thought of as liberal began espousing opinions that could just as easily have come from the Christian right.

It didn’t stop at sex. I learned that to be a true feminist I had to question every action, every thought, every aspect of my life. I could shave my legs, but only if I felt guilty about it. My love of clothes was not a positive thing, a sign of my growing confidence and love of my body – it was capitulating to patricarchal norms. Even my attraction to men came into question – apparently the more feminist ‘choice’ (as if sexual orientation is a bloody choice)was to opt for lesbianism. I began to question what I believed, and where my place was in this whole mess.

What I disliked most, I think, wasn’t the opinions in themselves, but the sheer bitterness and hostility directed at other women by bloggers whom I’d previously admired. If we were against porn because it hurt women, why was I seing post after post attacking women for their choices? Surely this hurt them too? I saw blogs I’d loved crack under the strain and disappear. I joined them, not because I’d come in for any personal abuse (unlike some), but because I no longer wanted to be part of a community that was tearing itself to pieces.

Although I stopped writing, Icontinued to read feminist blogs, including those of (for want of a better term) sex-positive feminists. While I disagreed with them – sometimes strongly – about certain issues, I found that there was plenty of common ground between us, particularly when it came to ideas of choice and bodily autonomy. Most importantly they agreed with me that attacking, belittling and insulting women was not, and never would be, feminism.

I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about my beliefs, and I’m a little clearer about where I stand now. I’m not a radfem, and I don’t think I ever was, but nor am I at the other end of the spectrum. I’m in no-man’s land, poised between the trenches and watching the battle. It’s not a great place to be, but I’d rather be watching the battle than taking part. After all, this fighting is such a waste, when there are so many more important fights to be won. All over the world women’s rights are being denied and their bodily autonomy threatened. Why then are we attacking each other?

Unless we call a truce, it’ll be too late. One day we’ll switch off our computers, rejoin the real world and discover that while we’ve been fighting over who’s a better feminist, the real battles have already been lost.

We’re all feminists. Let’s not forget it.

Blog at WordPress.com.