Ass and Titties

When one identifies oneself (I never call myself ‘one’, I’m Manc. This has started badly…) as a feminist, outside a circle of enlightened people, one (there it is again. Who am I?) invariably encounters an unfavourable reaction – ranging from irritation to hostility. The only reason for this is that those people are so firmly entrenched within patriarchy that they are unable to escape its clutches. You can try to argue otherwise. Perhaps referring to a couple of feminists you know who once mugged your Aunty Pat, and now it’s put you off feminists for life, but really it’s because you’re trapped in the misogynistic agenda.

 

I couldn’t give two frilly frigs about those people.

 

I mean, I’ll have a crack at establishing the irrefutable tragedy of patriarchy and the profoundly obvious objection one (ah, fuck it) may have to it, as part of the subjugated half of the planet, but I won’t labour my point with dickheads. You can take a dickhead to factual accuracies, but you cannot make it think.

 

In my day-to-day life, from a very young age, I have identified as feminist. I have no qualms with the word feminist, and I can only imagine that those women that do, are more familiar with prevalent misogynist conceptions of feminism that serve to reduce us to… God, I can’t even be arsed outlining offensive feminist stereotypes.

 

In the whole time I’ve been on Twitter, whilst there have been some women who have behaved unsisterly, I have only ever encountered a couple of women who hated feminists – and you know if someone belonging to an oppressed group expresses anything other than resolute support for changing the conditions for herself, then they deserve our deepest sympathy.

 

It’s a bit like:

 

“Hey, you’re earning 40% less than your colleague, because you were both born with different genitals*. Come and join us in saying that isn’t fair.”

“No, dickheads. You losers do it on your own. Leave me out of this hippy shit.”

 

 

Despite identifying as a feminist, I don’t use social networking or the Internet much for political activism. I prefer my activism to be more of a 3D affair, and I worry about the muddying and disbanded nature of feminism online. I obviously don’t stop being a feminist, and my opinions are informed by my position as a woman and feminist, so I will occasionally feel moved to comment or rant about something. But generally, I don’t use it for politics. I use social networking and blogging for my voice, which is many things, as well as being engaged in the Women’s Movement.

 

That being said, I love and fully support my fellow feminists who choose to only/ mostly use the Internet for politics. I’m working class – aren’t all these trendy feministas? So there are certain branches of feminism that I feel are a bit middle class and, therefore I can’t fully support my sisters on certain issues.

 

Which leads us to this whole argument about Intersectionality, which has raised its head recently. A black feminist agenda is clearly going to be markedly different to a white feminist agenda in ways, because there are conflicting areas of oppression. It’s actually been going on for years, this plurality issue. I don’t feel a kinship with certain elements of the feminist agenda who are posh. On one level, we’re all women committed to an end to patriarchy. On the other, we are of course conflicted. I can’t speak for black women. I can’t speak for disabled women. Any attempt to subdue women and make them hold hands and go along with what a few feminist leaders (predominantly white, predominantly posh – no matter what they say) say for the “good of the cause” is only further oppression.

 

I have kept quiet about that issue, because to me it seems obvious. In addition; there have been a great many minor disputes among feminists on Twitter and in the media, that I have chosen not to engage in. I don’t do it online if I can help it, particularly on Twitter. It’s not for me. Which is not to undermine those women that do it, and do it wonderfully. Nor is it because I lack the intellectual capabilities or bravery. I choose my battles, and for me – after a few harsh lessons – Twitter is not the place to engage in meaningful dialogue with pricks. I like to have a laugh and share my opinions – some of which are feminist. I never allow anyone to debate with me politically anymore if they are unworthy – I block them. I refuse to allow them a voice, whilst they are anonymous to me, unless that voice is wholly respectful (they don’t have to agree with me). That is not me being silenced. That is me silencing them. Because I’m fucking great to engage with, so… unlucky.

 

That being said, I feel I have to make a point about the recent Valentine’s Day 1 Billion Rising: a global campaign, in which women around the world were objecting to 1 in 3 women being raped or beaten at some point in their lifetime.

 

This is one of the things I felt strongly enough about to use social networking for. I also felt that it was worth inflaming people for.

 

I received a tweeted conversation from a follower who responded to the 1 in 3 women on the planet being raped or beaten in their lifetime statistic by effectively saying he lived in Glasgow had just done a straw poll around the office and the women there felt it wasn’t true.

 

Someone who follows me. The fucking shame of it.

 

A)   The scale of domestic violence, rape and sexual abuse in this country is absolutely catastrophic. Of the women I know, it’s probably not far off this when you consider a whole lifetime. However:

B)   It’s a statistic for the planet. Including those countries, such as the Democratic Republic of Congo (see my beautiful friend @judeinlondon for the statistics of atrocities there), where rape is inflicted even on babies and grandmothers, as part of warfare. I actually think the 1 in 3 is a conservative estimate.

C)   What could possibly provoke a man into arguing with UN statistics about rape and violence against women, anyway? Let’s say it’s only 4 million (which it isn’t) – isn’t that 4 million too many? What provoked him to go… “Well, look… that ain’t right?” Is it because he thinks it’s sexist? Presumably this youth does not rape or beat women, therefore it’s not a statistic that serves to attack all men. I just do not understand. Of all the statistics you’re going to dispute, why one that’s not about you in any way and to which you have no evidence that it’s an untruth?

 

He wasn’t the only one to tweet questioning the statistic. He was one of three, but the other two don’t follow me. All men though.

 

So like I said, I don’t use twitter for politics – at least not primarily, although I am a political animal – but I just felt compelled to respond to these dicks.

 

One final point is the idea – and I’ve heard a few bells band it around – that sexism is in any way connected to misogyny. Sexism is not weighted by the same ideological complexity as misogyny. When the women in the pub say the lad on his own has got a nice arse and he feels ganged up on, he can rest assured that – whilst he perhaps feels uncomfortable – it does not carry with it the same sexually violent threat that would be the case if the genders were reversed, as displayed by today’s sexual crime statistics and centuries of historical sexual treatment, of women by men. So fear not, sweet buns.

 

 

 

 

 

*Aside, of course, from Trans women.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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About ellezed

Divisive. Opinionated. Old. View all posts by ellezed

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