You & Me

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I love discussion, community, journeying, wrestling, chatting late into the night, learning, reading, understanding, growing and sharing and I want to do all of that with YOU! I’ll post questions I get asked and comments too so that we can work things out together.

I am definitely at the

discovery

stage of all of this and I’m loving it!

I don’t have answers and rules and nothing is set in stone here – feminism isn’t a club or an organisation with a logo and a membership card. It’s simply believing that you and me are people. That we’re valuable, unique and worthy of respect no matter what dangly bits we may or may not have. Simple!

Let’s get started with a few bits from this past week……

QUESTIONS:

I wonder what you think the most immediate goal for contemporary feminism should be?

Where do you think the most energy should be spent?

How do you choose your battles?

Not to imply that any issue is trivial but I wonder if there’s a requirement for more formalised leadership within feminism?

What do YOU think? Leave a comment below and let’s get chatting!

COMMENTS:

It was illuminating and concerning to hear successful TV cook Mary Berry announce that

feminism was a dirty word

and she

“didn’t want women’s rights and all that”

this week.

Perhaps she just can’t be bothered to have a career anymore, wishes she never learned how to read, got bored of choosing how to spend her money and ran out of ideas for her own opinions. Each to their own. But I’m pretty sure she’s enjoying many rights without realising.

She cited

not liking shouting and wanting to respect men as reasons to reject feminism

but this only highlights her misunderstanding of it. Good news, Mrs Berry –

feminism is with you.

We like the same things.

We can be friends.

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4 thoughts on “You & Me

  1. Gabrielle says:

    I read that Mary Berry thing too and was outraged! She doesn’t realise that her privileged life is partly down to the work of feminism! Silly woman.

    Re your great questions:
    I wonder what you think the most immediate goal for contemporary feminism should be?
    Getting more people involved; aware of it, understanding it and behind it. There’s strength in numbers and I think once people realise that feminism is for the benefit of everyone it can slip happily into the mainstream and things can change for the better.
    Where do you think the most energy should be spent?
    Educating others. I spend a lot of time reading articles about sexism, misogyny, rape culture, sexual violence and the struggles of women. I get angry and upset and people (particularly my Mum) tell me to “not read that stuff because it only upsets you”. But it’s important that I get upset about it. It means I’m learning about other peoples’ pain and it galvanises me to do something about it. The most people learn how poisonous and ever-present misogyny and sexism is in out culture, the closer we get to ending it. Taking the time to educate yourself (which does involve getting angry) and then pass on that knowledge to others can only empower.
    How do you choose your battles?
    With great difficulty. It’s tough when speaking to people from older generations about women’s issues. And also race issues (which are definitely related to women’s issues). They seem to think they can get away with their ignorance because it’s all they know. But age is not an excuse. Having said that, I find it tough to confront older people because I feel it’s not my place as a young person. I don’t know their lives, I don’t know what they’ve ben through.
    Another battle is within the workplace. I’ve encountered a huge amount of misogyny and sexism in my places of work and that’s really tough. Do you speak out for the greater good and risk your job? I’ve spoken out at times and mostly been mocked and shouted down for it. Other times I’ve kept quiet and really hated myself for it. Felt I was letting myself and other women down. It’s difficult, I don’t know what the answer is.
    Not to imply that any issue is trivial but I wonder if there’s a requirement for more formalised leadership within feminism?
    I think feminist role models are really important. For all the flaws within her writing, Caitlin Moran is a great feminist role model and is a lot of young women’s only cultural touchstone for women’s issues. I’d consider people like her ‘leaders’. But really I think the less politicised and the more normalised feminism becomes, the better. Feminism is more a case of common sense, respect & manners than anything else. People need to realise that it’s their own responsibility to adopt feminism into their lives and it’s not an issue they can choose to ignore. We need to make feminism so much a part of everyday life that it is impossible to ignore. I’m not sure formalised leadership would do that. I think it might make it seem like more of a ‘problem to be solved’. The way to do this is to make more people aware of feminism and to make it part of the psyche of society in a way that stops people from compartmentalising it as another item on the list.

    Will I ever be able to write a concise response on this blog? …..No.

    • Kate says:

      Thanks Gabrielle!
      A lot of wisdom, experience, passion and honesty in there – thank you for sharing. Interesting to hear about the difficulty with communicating with different age groups, I was thinking about this myself only this morning. I was thinking of broaching the subject with my Nana who turns 80 this weekend. I’ll let you know if I come out alive! Also with the younger generation who can be so vulnerable and also afraid to stand up and out.

  2. EKMCronin says:

    This doesn’t answer your questions at all but sometimes I think that women are put off the word “feminism” because of the awful connotations that are often sadly attached. I had a conversation with a woman who was incredibly grateful for the efforts made by women in the past but had been told by another woman that she was a “wannabe” because she was engaged to a man. When feminism is used to endorse mistreatment of men, sexist language against men, etc feminists become the bullies who used to be bullied. That’s not OK either. Feminism can be beautiful and wonderful, but like every ideology it can be manipulated into the worst crap (for lack of a better word).

  3. Hey, so good to ask and think huh??

    I would like to add that these questions were posed to Kate and I by a man – a friend of mine. Kate – maybe you could mention that somewhere? Just think it’s cool to be clear right now that this isn’t a girls club. I am proud of my male friends that understand that they are involved in feminism, equally, and for all the guts and soul that means.

    My hasty reply on Facebook was as follows – just want to capture the discussion here too.

    “Hey Murray so nice to hear your thoughts on this stuff… Your Q made me think a lot – and i think that asking it is probably the priority for modern feminism. not to be contrary! but i think the priority now is cultivating a shared understanding of what feminism means ie the full freedom, positive outcomes and importance of equality, respect and celebrating women (and getting over the silly stuff that it doesn’t mean) – to the point where feminism isnt a niche weird hobby or anti-social twitch, but a conscious intelligent liberating part of the way men and women choose to look at life and make decisions. and some of the big decisions that need to be addressed are equal pay and opportunities at work, the way sexual assaults are treated, the characters on our TV shows and in books, the support given to charities like Plan that work against Female Genital Mutilation all over the world, increasing content concerning/for women in newspapers and mags that is not about physical image or sex and is about everything else – business, social enterprise, art. Anyway – should put some thoughts together as a proper reply on Kate’s blog too. But thanks for asking. Ask more. And would love to hear your thoughts more too, I know you’ll have some colourful ones.”

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