There has been much in the news recently around the subject of feminism. Like Pilates or leopard print it seems to come in cycles of popularity; sometimes it’s quite the latest thing to been seen as/in/doing, next, rather passé. I’d imagine it’s latest reappearance has been encouraged by the recent ‘National Woman’s Day’. Groan, what next, I wonder, ‘Vagina Week’ … just in case we forgot we had one.
This weekend I noticed a popular Sunday colour supplement dedicating a significant amount of it’s publication to the subject of feminism, quizzing various ‘modern feminists’ on their thoughts on the subject. The ‘modern feminists’ (not to be mistaken with old fashioned feminists) collectively agreed that to not declare oneself a feminist today was to do an injustice to womankind, that popular culture portrayed women in a demeaning light, and that the Daily Mail painted women as vulnerable and naive. The message is that women are equal to men, that they must behave as such, write blogs, create websites, start marches across capital cities on the subject … and not read the Daily Mail.
The irony of a 1000 word article on the following page debating the pro’s and con’s of various shades of lipstick did not escape me. We must be totally intolerant of sexist remarks, being patronised and undermined at all times … so long as we are wearing the right shade of pink that is. (ahem … STYLE magazine, yes, I’m talking to you.)
Thank heavens for the modern media, full of modern feminists and modern lipstick shades, why, I fear my little girl brain would be quite flustered without its assistance!
One of the interviewed was discussing a website on the subject of feminism she had started, claiming that a large number of women had written in to share their stories on sexism in everyday life.
An example she offered of one such story focused around a women, ‘inappropriately whistled at by builders’ who then called the firms head office to make an official complaint and in return, was offered the opportunity to return to said site and receive an apology from the ‘inappropriate builders’ in person, to which she accepted.
Now I’m no anti-feminist campaigner, and I like my vote as next as the next gal, but really, Has it come to this? Head office complaints over a wolf whistle. Jesus wept, these days I take it as a compliment when the cashier at Sainsbury’s asks me if I want help packing my bag, a wolf whistle from a few builders? I’d be half tempted to flash my knickers as a thank you and send the foreman a bottle of single malt whiskey. But then I am in my mid 30’s … us old birds are easier to please.
And despite fully appreciating that ones woman’s sexual harassment is another woman’s cheeky banter I can’t help but feel that official complaints over wolf whistles do little to assist the feminist crusade.
On top of which, the alleged number of women writing in with similar such stories amounts to numbers beyond 20,000 … 20,000 women!? Fuck me, is it any wonder men get the hump, while they’re doing the graft you’re spending half the morning over a skinny latte and low fat yogurt bitching about how a builder whistled at you on the way to work!
My thoughts? Cross the road next time, and take a compliment. There will come a day when you’re over looked, ignored and the nearest to attention from a man you’ll get is him standing up to give you his seat on the tube. Enjoy the attention, girlfriend.. It won’t last forever.
Failing that you could neglect your job entirely and spend half your working day moaning with 19,999 other women about 21 year old scaffolders from Murphy’s … and really give those men a run for their money.