Fate is Chance. Destiny is Choice.

Friday, October 27, 2006

A Feminist Manifesto...

I've been reading over my posts up til the last one and realised that my intentions as a woman and a feminist are not entirely clear. I know that I've been on a journey to discovering how I feel about our world and how it treats women. In my earlier posts on feminism I perhaps didn't appear radical or progressive, but more moderate.

I do not agree in any way with pornography. The exploitation and degradation of women and their bodies, whether a woman has 'consented' or not (this is the argument everyone likes to use to pull the wool over our eyes), is in no way acceptable. I have always had an uneasy relationship with pornography: when I was a teenager, I felt as though I didn't want to live in this world if that was what sexuality is supposed to be like. I have always felt uncomfortable around trash so called newspapers like the Sun, and so called 'lads' magazines. Do men realise how vulnerable it makes women, especially young women feel? That it warps young women's sexuality, makes them feel as though they have to do what the magazines say if they want to make men happy.

I wish women's sexuality didn't have to be displayed for all to see. Why can't we own our own sexuality? We've gone from corsets to low cut tops and thongs toted as 'liberation' when really its another form of control in a different guise. I love clothes: I like being able to express myself through them, and I consider that to be fine: but I also dislike feeling as though I have to wear something restrictive or too tight - because, lets face it - women's clothes are generally well fitted. But that's another debate for another time.

Everyone knows about the equal pay gap, and although it's an important thing to solve, perhaps its time people began to realise that the personal is political. That women are still oppressed: through rape, violence, prostitution, pornography, religion, within the media, in everyday life. People have been socialized into believing that men act a certain way and women act a certain way. Okay, we have different biology - but I think that is where the difference ends. I don't actually believe that women are more emotional than men - men have just been taught to hide it. Generalizations are dangerous. They cause oppression and determinism.

We don't live in a 'post-feminist age'. We live in a world that needs feminism as much as ever. There are too few depictions of strong women in the spotlight, of women who have done something worthy, women that can give other women the ambition and will to make the world listen to them. Instead of Kate Moss, why can't we have Sheila Jeffreys and Marge Piercy? Or Catherine MacKinnon, or any number of other wonderful women that are out there living their lives, writing their blogs and leading the feminist revolution.

Don't be sad - lets get angry and make that anger work for us, so we can change the world in whatever way we can.