140 characters has turned the world and his wife (ouch) into raging feminists it would seem lately. Except these feminists aren’t burning their bras. Most of them don’t even have bras, as it would seem a high proportion of them on Twitter are either radfems/feminazis (I don’t know the word, but they’re cross anyway and probably oppose bras because they’re restrictive or lacy or whatever) and loads of them are men who have probably seen a bra or two, but don’t necessarily own them. These feminists are ripping each other apart with their own branch of feminism, political correctness and complete disregard for empathy or understanding. It’s really pretty. Ahem.
So this woman wrote this piece and it was published and there was a fuckton of good stuff in it. It was going on about how we’re all supposed to be this or that and we’re not in power and we’re belittled and we need to look this way and speak this way and blah blah. I was most definitely nodding along. Then there was a part in it that stuck in some people’s throats. It wasn’t the bit about women deserving to be in power because of their genitals or experiences of being on t’blob, it was that bit about us having to look a certain way. The certain way was a charicature that some didn’t like. I don’t mean she was telling us to look like a 1980s miner from up ‘north, or a TOWIE wannabe or a City boy banker (you can picture them, I know you can!), but a “Brasilian transexual”. I didn’t happen to think it was transphobic or racist, in the same way I wouldn’t think it northernist to joke we all wore flat caps, or think it sexist or racist to insinuate all British females were fat. Ah, hang on, maybe I would… I genuinely don’t know. But I do think if someone’s piece was good that I might shrug off a glib comment, or maybe tweet my disdain at the assumption. I’m fairly certain I wouldn’t call for their head or demand they retreat into the hole from whence they came. I’m fairly certain anyway.
Then there was that response-cum-defense for it. It was a little bit like this blog, asking us to look at the bigger issue (not The Big Issue) which used language akin to “Burn the witches, who aren’t even witches but wizards with broom sticks and they’re all stupid and ugly wizards and they only want to be witches cos it rhymes with bitchez and everyone loves da bitchez”, or something. Again, it was really pretty. And so, rather than trying to pick out the points worth thinking about, like how we deal with offence, or is it always right to group all women together, regardless of past differences, or whether we can allow one bad apple (read: comment) spoil the cart (read: article), we are forced to cry out whether we’re ‘allies’ or ‘enemies’, ‘femscum’ or ‘PC’, despite not really, probably, doing much about being any of those things other than swearing on the internet.
And this last point is what my blog is actually about, despite me going around the houses to get here; what do we do about all these ‘ists’ we feel? What do we do in the face of injustice? What do we do about sexism in parliament? Or transphobia? Or anything? And is it any different to tutting loudly (or under your breath) on the bus when someone comments on someone else’s tits? We tweet our little hearts out or blog or socks off. We get cross at those with opposing views. We get cross at those with the same views but who express themselves with language we don’t like. We cyber tut, sometimes more loudly than others.
I used to follow @everydaysexism on twitter and would angrily nod away and shout “Yes, YES” inside my head at every mention of the Asda Christmas advert or the builders wolf whistling at Maria from Barnsley going about her every day business. I had to unfollow it though. I unfollowed partly because some things just weren’t sexist. Honestly, not everything is. I know, who knew, right? I also unfollowed because they kept retweeting the same things said by the same people (and by ‘same’, I mean ‘different’) over and over again and my nods and my silent shouting didn’t seem to be having much affect on anyone else. But then who knows. If we’re all retweeting stuff and all swearing and pushing people we deem to be offensive off social media sites (ha, like I’m the fucking BBC or something?! I know!) then maybe these little ripples will have an effect. We don’t all have to throw ourselves under horses to make a name for ourselves. What even was her name? Frankie or somthing. Anyway, not important.
Injustice is important. Inequality is important. Throwing labels at others and typing in CAPS is less important, but maybe it’s the new railings we chain ourselves to? The new Band Aid? Or maybe we should all check ourselves (I am NOT typing that word in this rant) because we can read these rants, or we have fingers to type with or we have eyes or we can breathe? I don’t know. I mean I’m glad I have eyes and fingers and I’m quite pleased I haven’t got a beard. Oh I’ve lost it again, haven’t I? I was doing so well too.
Look everyone, Munch Bunch want us all to grow up like mummy and wear heels or be strong like daddy and never cry (I made that last bit up about the crying, but seriously when was the last time we saw a man blub on telly?) but whilst we’re striving for this sexist ideal and buying our second home in the French Riviera, can we all just be nice to people please? Like, all people. Thanks.