As someone who makes a public (and somewhat stubborn) association with feminism, I tend to get asked quite a few questions about it. These questions can vary from simple ponderings about whether something qualifies as ‘sexist’ to defensive discussions that start as if I’ve walked up to them with an accusatory “Oi MAN. Prove to me you’re not a misogynist or I’ll dress you up as a box of chocolates throw you into a pit of starving models.”
Now, I’m all for discussions on feminism. In fact, I wholeheartedly support it. This is partly because I desperately want to strap on a beard and call myself The Feminist Oracle, yes. Hey, I created my new Facebook Page Dungaree Slut to make this blog more of a two-way street. My problem is feminism seems to have become too complicated. Or rather, people are making it too complicated. It’s become so convoluted that the convolution is becoming more of an issue than the cause itself. (We’re fighting for gender equality, remember?)
Case in point. A week ago a friend of mine tweeted me this photo of an advert in a magazine which was pretty horrifying, to say the least. So, being a dutiful feminist type with revision to avoid, I re-tweeted and commented – along with some other helpful ladies – until we got a result. That result being a formal apology from the magazine.
No, it doesn’t take away the fact that rape jokes seem to have become so normalised some think they are nothing more than an appropriate marketing ploy for WOMEN’S clothing, but it made me feel like I’d done my humble bit. That I’d achieved something more than a detailed Google search into the many ailments I may or may not have that day.
Now, in the process of our mini twitter revolution, another dutiful feminist decided to harp up and send me this picture with an extra cup of “you’re a shit feminist” thrown in for good measure. She said that I was too sensitive and wasn’t focusing on important issues. I replied saying that it would be a better use of her time if she stopped putting down other women and fought for her own cause.
Yeah, okay, so I fed the troll. I’M SORRY, I’M ONLY HUMAN. I HAVE RAGE.
She went on to say,
“My life isn’t a cause. But being criticized (a lot) by self proclaimed feminists has made me skeptical of the mod fem agenda. I was simply pointing out that there are women in real trouble in this world. Go fight for them! Don’t get huffy about an ad.”
I hate the stereotype about feminist in-fighting and ‘cattiness’, but since when has it become more important to point out what we’re doing ‘wrong’ rather than celebrate the fact that ermmm… WE ARE FIGHTING FOR THE SAME THING.
Yes, people miss stuff. Feminists overlook stuff and don’t know all the answers. This is because we are human. But as I commando crawl my way through a journalism MA, I’m starting to understand that much of journalism (or, at least, bad journalism) is a superficial mess of clickbait and one-upmanship.
But what I will say is this. Feminism is about men and women being equal. And yes, it has an element of subjectivity, but ultimately gaining this is the aim. I believe in supporting each other. Feminism is for everyone.
What do you think? Do you think pointing out the bits we might’ve missed (ie. racial privilege/ intersectionality) is an important part of the evolution of feminism or just a little bit rude? Let me know on the Facebook Page Dungaree Slut or get totally up in my grill on twitter @sallybiddall.