“He didn’t like it when I wore high heels, but I do”: In Defence of Taylor Swift
Taylor Swift gets a lot of shit. The fact that some of it is obviously rubbish – average anti-popstar dismissive indie-male sneering, disdainful raised-eyebrows comments about the number of boys she’s dated – probably doesn’t need explaining here. A lot of it, though, comes from feminists who should know better, women who seem to have read a lot of headlines and dour think-pieces and parody twitter accounts but never actually listened to a single Taylor song: look at this air-headed ultra-feminine girl, wearing white dresses and shaming other women for their sexuality; all she ever talks about is boys; so stupid and silly and so anti-feminist. Ugh.
Nina De Paula Hanika
Them be Fighting Words (June 2013)
So there it is. The weeks of wondering what the Wyverns’ carefully planned response to the petition would be, and it’s a giant bucking bronco penis. The careful reverse psychology of the ‘Please refrain from wrestling in our jelly’ sign was also particularly well thought through.
And here I am again. In a classic Catch-22 that every feminist activist will find themselves in some point or another, where I am given the false choice of having to either respond to some pointless ‘lad’ bullshit that I really don’t give a crap about, or taking the ‘moral high ground’ which effectively allows these immature boys their pathetic joke. Neither option is satisfactory. Continue reading
Harriet Fitch Little
Feminism Lite? The Kids Are Alright
Over the last few years, give or take an unspecified amount of time, feminism has gone ‘mainstream’. Lily Allen’s singing it, Beyoncé’s blogging it, and Lena Dunham’s getting naked. Again. Sheryl Sandberg is teaching young women to ‘lean in’, and Caitlin Moran is (according to her Twitter bio) ‘writing the fuck out of shit’ about it on an almost daily basis.
First read at Cambridge Reclaim the Night, March 2014
I was always a feminist.
The word was always tumbling
out of my mouth
not shrouded in shame or doubt
in my house.
Fresh Faced and Make-Up Free? – Feminism Masked
To be writing a feminist article about the oppression of make-up tugs at my conscience and makes my stomach twist and churn. I am a feminist and I wear make-up. A lot of it. The stereotypical ‘feminist’ look often embraced by the ignorant masses is a braless-washed-out-clean-faced-flower-power-woman-but-wearing-man’s-clothes-with-her-fist-in-the-air – kind of feminist. Yet, I consider myself a feminist and I wear make-up. My friends often tease and cheekily provoke me in arguments suggesting, “Yeah, but you can’t be a real feminist, you wear make-up”. I often feel the two beliefs clash – can I be a ‘proper’ feminist and still wear make-up?
When is it time to stop listening?
I like to think of myself as a good listener. It’s one of those nice, feminine qualities that was tacitly prized in my upbringing: being a good listener, effectively synonymous with knowing when to shut up. The exact opposite of being over-assertive, over-reaching, thinking you know best. Those qualities that no one exactly needs to tell you are extra-inappropriate in a woman. And this summer, I’ve done a lot of listening.
I will tell a story of grief,
And you will listen.
Go on then,
Tell me how it used to be.
How the grass was greener, lush and longer
even on this side.
Hey! So you’ve realised that, probably as a MAB guy, and probably as a white, straight, middle-class one, you’re associated with a lot of shit… War, corporate greed, the destruction of indigenous cultures, rape and sexual exploitation, factory farming, the demolition of entire eco-systems, and the money-work system. Multisoz, I know this is a painful thing to realise. As a white, middle-class, cis-gendered woman I also share a significant slice in the world’s evil. I can see you are getting flustered. No one wants to accept that this is their continuing lineage on the planet. Luckily theories of privilege and power not only help us understand our role in perpetuating oppression, but have also been used in the perennial quest to circumvent all that responsibility associated with privilege. Just like the Lady GaGa song, we can all at some point down the line claim that we were ‘born this way’. Just as Prince Charles was born into royalty, the privileges we were ‘saddled ‘ with at birth are often seemingly inescapable. That is, alas, our ‘cross to bear’.