I used to write do a little weekly round up called feminist friday. I thought it was a good feature in that I already spend so much of my free time keeping up with, and being hyper aware of, news that reflects the inherent misogyny in our culture, and ways that people-men and women-are fighting for equality, and it seemed like a nice way to share that bit of knowledge. Since it was more an issue of collecting things in one place and then posting on Fridays, it took a much smaller amount of thought and effort to put together, and served a somewhat larger purpose than just rambling on about my day to day.
But then I stopped. I kinda got worn out. It’s really hard caring so much about this stuff and feeling the complete impotence that is being a woman in the world. Superficially empowered, but still looked down on in so many ways, by so many or our compatriots, simply for existing. It is a hard life, and so many of the stories that were being shared were about the injustices being faced by women and the marginalized, with very few uplifting bits. And it proved very disheartening, even for a round up with next to no commentary. I still feel like it’s all disheartening more often than not. And it’s not that I’ve stopped keeping up with things-it’s just that I’ve stopped writing about that.
Last night I watched a documentary on BBC2 called Blurred Lines, by the news presenter and journalist Kirsty Wark. It was an hour-long look into sexism and misogyny’s role in today’s culture, and how the internet and media have played into that, and whether today’s misogyny is new and different, or just a rehashing of the old versions. it was amazing, thoughtful, and thought-provoking. And frustrating, as most of these things are.
The Steubenville case (which makes me sad for it having drawn such negative attention to my mostly invisible home state, such a normally beige place), Grand Theft Auto (where more effort was put into creating realistic murder scenarios for prostitutes than into actually creating a female driver avatar), Page Three girls here in the UK….all were brought up in the documentary. It felt like an example of a situation where none of it was new to me, but where the presentation and the vessel were possibly putting it in front of a very different audience. I’m happy to see these sort of issues being put in front of a different kind of audience, where it’s not all “preaching to the choir” and where it becomes evident to those who have either brushed aside or completely ignored this very important contemporary issue that it’s not as marginal as they may think. It’s important and we, as a society, MUST address it.
After a few businessy meetings this morning I took advantage of some break time to time to wander into a book shop and purchase a copy of ‘The Female Eunuch’ by Germaine Greer. Published nearly 40 years ago it is still relevant today, and the sheer bad-assery of Ms Greer in the documentary last night made me even more eager to get around to finally reading her masterpiece. (On a side note, the feminist theory section of the Brighton Waterstone’s was a paltry half of two small shelves also shared with sociology. It was slightly embarrassing, with a whole floor of philosophy waiting and open for other schools of thought, and so many other books that I’m aware of that could have been on those shelves).
“Commercial porn has been liberated. Fantasty has been liberated. People haven’t. Women haven’t been liberated. -Germain Greer
In sum, I’ve been thinking that maybe I should try harder once again to get feminist things out there in this space. Links for reading, for those interested, and for those not interested who still pop in to say hello. Any of us interested in putting those things out there, should put in just a bit more effort-it’s still so important, and in no way overwrought or finished. After all, those who don’t care won’t be clicking anyway, but those with the least bit of interest, well, they may just pick up something new. And any mind opened to these issues is a success story. It’s worth it. One hundred percent.