I hate being a feminist because there is a big long list of things that I can’t enjoy now (compared to when I didn’t see the world with a critical feminist eye)! I can imagine some of you feel the same. Ever since I had my feminist ‘light bulb’ moment, the way I viewed the world fundamentally changed.
Summary of my light bulb moment: I was in my first lecture for ‘International Gender Politics’ at Melbourne University, anticipating the greatness and terror that is Sheila Jeffreys. I say ‘greatness and terror’ only because her reputation proceeded her and I didn’t know whether I was going to fall in love with the subject or swing completely the other way. Well, I loved it. Sheila was and is greatness! Despite me not always agreeing with some of her radical feminist views, she is an amazing teacher and without her I wouldn’t even know what a radical feminist view was, let alone where it had developed from and the worldview it promotes. The lady is amazing (even if you don’t agree with her)!
But any way, I’m rambling. Here is the list of things I can’t enjoy or do any more because everywhere I look I see evidence of stupid-refusing-to-die-patriarchy:
- can’t enjoy movies or TV shows – am always asking, ‘why aren’t there more female characters?’ and ‘why do all the female characters have to be dressed the same way?’
- can’t stand advertisements – SO SEXIST – and there’s no way of replying, other than getting cross and sending a complaint to the Advertising Standards Bureau – which we all should do, remember dear feminausts, our voices are powerful.
- can’t attend public lectures or discussions without asking one of the organisers why there wasn’t an equal gender representation on the panel – I once emailed the Melbourne Cricket Club (of which I am a member) requesting to see more women speaking at functions and they told me they select speakers ‘on merit’.
- can’t watch music videos.
- can’t stand conversations that include the phrase ‘I think it’s just a male/female thing’ or ‘men/women are just naturally…[insert sexist generalisation here]” – read Delusions of Gender if you ever use those phrases without quantifying your generalisation with a discussion of how gender roles are socialised and not innate.
- can’t wear lipstick, then decide I can because I’m a feminist, then change my mind again when wearing lipstick makes me think twice about drinking or eating in case I smudge it. still not sure how I feel about it. generally feel hungry and thirsty.
- can’t watch sport on TV (which is inevitably all-male) without screaming “women can play sport too you know!”
- can’t stand people who use the word ‘slut’ casually.
There’s a milliion more but those were just the ones I’ve been thinking about recently. What’s on your list? Send it through to firstname.lastname@example.org or tweet us @feminaust, using #feministanger or post something on our facebook page. There’s a lot to be angry about feminausts, it’s time we were making lists!