It’s Friday (yay) and that means that it’s time for the first post in my new series, Feminism Friday, a space where we talk about everything and anything that is Feminism related.
I already have a lot of idea’s for this series and I’ve already planned the next 6 weeks worth of posts but I wanted to start with something easy, something that gives a good introduction to the series and where I stand on feminism. So today we are talking about “all the little things” and why the little things amount to big things and hence why it’s important to challenge sexism at every single opportunity.
Banter // When banter’s good, it’s really good and something that anyone and everyone with a sense of humour can partake but when it’s bad, it’s really really bad. Banter is an essential ingredient of the “lad culture” which has risen it’s ugly had over the last few years, a name which itself is sexist. So what is good and what is bad banter? Good banter is the kind that everyone is included in, the kind that makes you laugh and which you can easily brush off your shoulders, it’s inoffensive and harmless fun. But bad banter is a lot more offensive and regularly undermines people’s abilities or worth in the name of “fun”. It’s dangerous and more often that not it’s directed at woman, attempting to undermine their place in the workplace. It’s comments that promote old fashioned idea’s of gender roles, things such as “get back in the kitchen”, “it must be time of the month” or “mine’s a white with three sugars, love”. These comments which might seem harmless on the outside, play in to the outdated idea that woman have no place in the world of work and should be making the home instead. If you’ve been victim to these kinda comments (and I best most of you have) then you will know how irritating it can be and how belittled it can make you feel.
Wolf Whistling // This is an issue that regularly divides opinion with some people eager to stress that they find wolf whistling to be inoffensive, light hearted and flattering while other people are quite the opposite. Obviously I sit in the latter circle hence it has won a spot on my list. Similarly to banter this is an issue which is harmless on it’s own but which plays in to a dangerous and damaging rhetoric, the idea that woman’s bodies are fair play and are there to be oggled over by men. It reaffirms the flawed assertion that woman have one job to look pretty, take care of themselves and ultimately be submissive to the male sex. There is obviously nothing wrong with wanting to be attractive or with taking actions to care for yourself but this idea that woman are somehow destined to be nothing but passive pretty things is wrong. When people stop and take the time to wolf whistle at you, it’s a way of giving their approval and hence some of them look completely taken-aback when you don’t immediately jump them. It’s annoying and if we stop this, it’s one step towards a victory!
One size fits all // Today’s culture puts emphasis on on a certain type of beauty, a one size fits all kind of perfect and it’s a message that is constantly and consistently reenforced. It’s everywhere and it’s so ingrained that we probably don’t even realise how often we are having this unrealistic ideal suggested to us. Think about the woman that you see on prime time TV, think about the woman who are successful singers and think about the models that grace the pages of your favourite magazines, do they look like you? Do they look like your best friend? They certainly don’t look like me or anyone that I know of. This borderline subliminal message implies that we will never ever be good enough, that we should be aspiring to be like those people previously mentioned but how can we ever be them. It’s an impossible ideal and that’s the idea behind it because it keeps us feeling weak and it ensures we spend a fortune on trying to achieve this image. So let’s start bucking the trend, let’s celebrate what all woman look like and promote the idea that all woman are beautiful, all woman are capable and all woman are perfect and imperfect in their own way!
So yeah let’s start a revolution!
What would you add?