Wednesday, February 23, 2011

smell the skinny latte, ladeez

"I don't like the jargon "sex workers". We are all sex workers these days, unless we are celibate, as we are all encouraged to pursue lifelong sexiness. Most young women are endlessly groomed to be desirable after all. Yet the men who have sex with young, frightened, addled girls choose to do so. Such sex, we are told, is about power. To have sex in a car with a heroin addict is very cheap indeed. It goes on day in and day out, and of course it makes me wonder about male sexuality. As does the use of rape as a weapon of war. To say these things is not to say all men are rapists. But some are. To not say them does not make it stop.

It is as though feminism had to sex itself up to keep itself interesting. We are not hairy man-haters who bang on about domestic violence and abuse. We are fascinating women interested in fashion, relationships and true intimacy. OK, so we have a few little problems like having it all turning into doing it all, and finding a nice guy to do any of it with at all, but look on the bright side! We have got a few more female MPs, our girls are doing well at school and isn't life grand?

Well no. No it isn't.

That was Suzanne Moore in the Guardian. And this is my internal countdown to March 8 as I think about womanhood, liberalism and modernism. As Moore says: "Reasonably sitting around waiting for equality while empowering oneself with some silicone implants does not really seem to have worked wonders, does it ladeez?"


Anonymous said...

I read that article briefly but couldnt keep at it. Will come back when I am primed to take more punishment.

In the meanwhile, I suggest an interesting thought experiment: pls reread the article substituting men with Mxslxms (or other target group) for eg.

"not all Ms are xxxxxxists. But some are."

Retain the title of course; it should continue to say "time to get angry".


Jai_C said...

2nd pass: dodging around the broad-brushed anger to get the point of the article was difficult since one of the main points, it seemed to me even on the re-read, was to be angry. The second time round I noticed she is also angry at women who are not angry (or ladeez as she calls them).

Minus the rage the authors points as I got it:
- too little progress in women's equality
- women's lib confusing itself with appearances beauty and "shopping" (in Suzanne Moore's opinion)
- specific issues with the aftermath of a Bristol murder, and something Naomi Wolf said abt Assange.

Does the article work? I guess it depends. I was repelled by all the anger. On comments I liked the response of one guy who apologized for only typing a brief comment:
he said he had to get back to oppressing his wife and kid, right after cooking them lunch.

1. What if anything remains of the article in your mind after reacting to the anger with avoidance or humor?

2. Did it convey anything to anybody other than those who eagerly lapped up every line with "right on sister!" ?

3. Is 2 a fair question? Does the article have to convey anything to anybody else? Maybe its a party for the in-club an anthem of anger.

4. If 2 is a fair question and I have a right to expect the article to engage, this article didnt work for me.


Annie Zaidi said...

Jai: It doesn't have to work for you. It did work for me. It served as a necessary reminder of things that are still very wrong and recent dead-end detours from the equality highway. If things don't work for you, you can always ignore them, you know. I'm not getting into a debate with you about who those 'others' might be who are not quite lapping up every line with cries of 'right on sister!' Those others are welcome to speak for themselves.

The Globetrotter said...

i have come across women who call themseleves feminists and think that all men are pigs and hence they are lesbians !

I have come across women who have laughed at me for i do not smoke and said,''trying to be a good girl'' Well this kind of ''feminism''- if at all it is one- i dont understand at all. But what i do understand is that for me feminism is simply about equality. Equality simply because i am your fellow human being and not because i am a woman and hence you need to take pity on me. I come from a country where we are still fighting for the very survival of a girl child(forget about giving her education, property rights, equal pay)and i live in a country where the gender equality index is too high but still there is ongoing debate to whether or not provide quotas for women in corporate sector. Yes, i get angry when i see endless discrimination against women from people all across socio-economic strata.
Right to live the way i want to live - without fear and witout discrimination- is all i ask for. Why is it so hard for others to understand that !?

Jai_C said...

Thx Annie.

I dont insist that everything I read has to work for me. I was going to ignore it but felt it necessary to point out what to me seemed to be a counter-productive approach.

I dont think I objected in any way with anybody's freedom to rant, or even to use huge generalizations by any category - gender or religion or orientation or any other.

To be quite specific, if you or anybody else feels the need to come up with such an angry rant, you or anybody else are absolutely free to do so and I dont have any right to control that expression any more than anybody has to control my expression.

I can choose to not engage with it which is what you are advising me to do ("just ignore it you know"). I usually try to have takeaways even from provocative pieces which was the summary list in the previous comment.

But I will take your advice and keep any such lists off comments here.


amaresh said...

all feminists are either too ugly or lesbians
maybe they are lesbians as they are ugly
its complicated

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