I am entering a writing competition, the subject is feminism and one’s entry needs to be a haiku, poem or short prose no longer than 200 words. I struggle with this. 200 words, on blowjobs, boobjobs, dating, bitching, even the worldwide banking crisis I could manage but feminism? Hmm. Not easy.
It is for a magazine. A feminist magazine written by feminist writers. Gulp, just that sentence makes me want to smile sweetly, get married to a Hedge fund manager, and spend my life tidying a 5 bedroom house in Surrey.
Some subjects to provoke thought include “Ladette culture, impossible Disney princesses, systematic rape in Sierra Leone, Saudi women not permitted to drive, body dismorphia and slut shaming (whatever the hell that is when it’s at home – my words, i’m sure they know.) and being told err…dude, it’s not that cool to say you’re a feminist. “
Is it any wonder feminists have a bad rep!? Sweet Jesus I’m scared of the movement and I’m an out and out fucking bitch God only knows what how poor helpless little men must feel (arggg.. you see it’s catching!)
So then, am I allowed to say I hate the label? That I think it does nothing for the cause and makes us all look like a bunch of bra burning, hairy armpit-ed lesbians (alright, alright not all lesbians are feminists, or have personal grooming issues for that matter, but I’ve only got one blog post on this work with me)
Interestingly when I asked tweeters what feminism meant to them in 5 words the response was varied. ALL the men ‘joked’ ‘total waste of everyone’s time’ ‘the opposite of feminism – realism’ ‘bra burning man hating women’ ‘ I do washing and ironing’ ‘ I just can’t get laid”etc (what creative souls they are) and ALL the women didn’t – ‘Equal opps for women’ ‘respect and belief in yourself’ ‘asking for what I want’ ‘not afraid to think big’ etc.
This tells me one of two things. Either feminism has not done it’s job right or us girls need to get ourselves a sense of humor.
My opinion is this, that the label ‘Feminism’ creates the divide that the actual cause has worked so hard to close. When a man asked to sum it up in 5 words comes back with ‘I just can’t get laid’ I don’t want to bash him over the head with my suffragette banner, I laugh and think he’s quite bright to come up with a witty retort so quickly.
I’m not angered or threatening by his jovial mockery because I have confidence in myself, and in women as a whole, and isn’t that the point. I like a door opened for me, a drink bought for me, to be called darling once in a while to be wolf whistled in the street by builder. I don’t dumb down for men but at the same time I like to flirt and wear floral summer dresses (I draw the line at Easter bonnets and white gloves). I also run my own business can deliver a dirty joke with panache and pepper the word fuck – fuck you, fuck off, fuck-ing, fuck me liberally about in my everyday vocabulary.
And it is these things that make me a feminist, not an over grown armpit or a slut walk. I am a feminist because I can make choices, to be pretty and flirty and giggly if I so wish, or to sit and read Sylvia Plath and drink neat gin with a crew cut, the choice is mine and i execute that choice without apology.
So please excuse me, I have some ironing to need to do, correction I have some ironing I choose to do, and enjoy my entry if you will whilst I darn some socks and prepare a hot welcoming feast for when my beloved returns from a hard day at work (Oh nothing gives me more pleasure than seeing is face light up wence a hearty meal is laid before him!) A little ditty for your pleasure –
I tried to write a poem about women’s lib today.
I’m a woman that is thoughtful and has a lot to say.
I tried to write my poem, be witty, sharp and blunt.
But gave up half way through it cause fuck all rhymes with cunt.