Tuesday, 9 March 2010

BBC4: Women Libbers

This is part of the BBC4 Women series to celebrate International Women's Day and feminism. The first show was about women's lib in the late 60s and early 70s. I liked the opening statement 'Feminism is like a religion, I don't know how I would think without it.' I like that ideology; I COULD think without it, but I'd be much less of a person now if I didn't care about feminism and women's issues. I know; because I once was that person who didn't care about it. Yet today as I went up the escalator at King's Cross I divided the posters into 'sexist' and 'not sexist'. The sexist ones were mainly cartoons of blonde women in heels, shopping. These images permeate society. It's no wonder so many women haven't got a clue how to position themselves in society.
Who knew Cilla Black was a feminist icon? Not me! I might not have read The Female Eunuch (although if it's any good, I'll give it a go on audiobook) but I do understand the importance of access to abortion, access to jobs, access to freedom. The lack of those things is what equals oppression to me.
It's so exciting to hear views I believe in expressed eloquently on TV. So rare! Marilyn French was particularly cool; 'no man is going to save you'.
I feel continuously disappointed by my fellow woman; every time one changes her name unthinkingly when she marries, every time they say 'bird', every time they cheer on sports that would never accept them as participants. When you begin to see it, it is everywhere, and you can't stop.
It was quite exciting to see Germaine Greer all young and lippy in the 70s rather than shuffling around the Big Brother house after Jade Goody and her mum.
I kind of agree with her comments on not being a fan of marching (but I'm lazy) but I can understand the community spirit side of it even if it's not really for me.
The stuff about domestic roles was interesting; I have a completely equal relationship, in that there is no task that one or other of us is incapable of. I don't need someone to 'take the bins out' and my boyfriend picks up his own pants. So any mythological bunkum that men 'don't notice' washing up, or women can't hook up a stereo system is just bullshit. We both have brains and hands, we can both do it, and we both do it because we care about each other. I feel genuinely sorry for anyone living differently, and I know millions of women live differently to that, even women my age and younger. We have not progressed. Look at the adverts, look at TV shows. It's depressing.
Violence is another issue close to my heart, and women do live in fear of men, and always will. Men take for granted walking down the street at night; women find it frightening. We ARE prey, I totally agree with that.
Of course ALL men don't rape, but men should blame MEN for the fact they are seen as having this potential. I would be ashamed to be a man almost every day. Prisons are full of men. I watched a To Catch a Predator recently where they did a sting on hundreds of male paedophiles, and did not catch one woman. I'm not saying it never happens, that no women ever does it, because they do. But the number is minuscule in comparison.
The 'all women are lesbians' thing was interesting, that we can't be free unless we all go gay; I am curious about the idea of a society without men, except I don't fancy women, so it's difficult! I an envious of lesbian feminists though; just like I'm jealous of vegetarians. They really DO have the moral high ground!
Interesting stuff. So now it's 2010 and women's magazines are still telling you the 'right' way to have sex, and Loose Women is winning awards for 'factual entertainment'. The battle is far from won. I'll be interested to see the rest of this series.

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