Over the past few weeks I’ve managed to get a bit of a reputation. I’ve made a bit of a scene, caused a few arguments and at one point walked out of a lecture to stop myself making a complete spectacle of myself. It’s left me wondering – am I over sensitive? Or is everybody else just blind?
In keeping with my last post, this blog is about feminism. I have always been an advocate of feminist ideals but it wasn’t until about two or three weeks ago (roughly the time I published Lets Talk About Feminism part 1) that I started openly describing myself as a feminist. I hadn’t liked the perceptions held by many people. I love men, I wear a bra, I am not hairy. Then something inside me just exploded and I decided I couldn’t give a flying fuck any more. I hoisted my feminist flag and made it very bloody clear that I wasn’t going to tolerate this bullcrap that everyone else seemed so content to just sit there and allow.
It didn’t take me long to realise that when you start to openly call yourself a feminist people will raise eyebrows. My first big battle was that of the monstrous ASDA advert. I, like many people, was appalled. I assumed that everybody would be. I was wrong. Despite the clearly outdated portrayals of gender roles within the family unit and frankly offensive portrayal of the husband in not only the ASDA advert but also Morrisons and Tesco while we’re at it, lots of people I spoke to couldn’t see a problem. “That’s just Christmas in my house” I was told on more than one occasion. That’s fine, it really is. I believe one of the keys of feminism is that a woman has the choice – if you chose to dedicate yourself to your family then that is very admirable! My mum did the same. I was told that sexism in adverts is nothing more than a reflection of society. Well. If you can’t see the problem with that I can’t help you. Clearly that means that society is inherently sexist. That is not a justification.
I was told chill out. Clearly Laura, I was told, your problem with these adverts is a very personal one. You’re being over sensitive. It’s only an advert. Move on. Get over it.
For a while, I wondered whether these people were right. My main issue with these adverts is that it is completely unhelpful with regards to the issue of womens empowerment. How are we ever going to be viewed as equals when these adverts clearly do not show us to be? I think that these small cases of underlying sexism perpetuate the problem, rather than helping it and that if we allow this sort of thing to pass unremarked upon that we are going to make more brazen examples of sexist behaviour (such as the gender pay gap, the glass ceiling and the RyanAir Charity Calender) more acceptable. We need a zero tolerance policy if things are ever going to change.
Maybe they’re right and I am being over sensitive but I don’t think so. I’m not going to shut up about it. Spreading some FemLove ❤
[Psst! While you’re here if you’re a twitterer, follow me (@nitramarual) the Everyday Sexism project (@EverydaySexism) and YouAreFeminist (@YouAreFeminist)! We’re all great I promise.]