IT’S NOT EASY BEING FEMINIST
My best friend sent me this. It’s me; this is actually me. I cannot listen to a piece of music, read a newspaper article, hear a news story, or watch a DVD or television programme without deconstructing and analysing it all with a feminist lens. Is it demonstrating (or even promoting) equality, is it utilising sexist “humour”, was it written from a “malestream” perspective, does it pass the Bechdel Test, do women get any screentime without men/ without talking about men, etc. etc.?
It makes relaxing difficult, if not impossible. Sometimes it makes going down the pub a gruelling exercise.
Everything is a potential problem (because, let’s face it, when was the last time a piece of media ticked all of your feminist boxes?) and you get to learn the formula. Hollywood films use tired stereotypes about the romance-craving, overly-emotional, child-like woman; British soap operas portray a bitter and jaded harpy with an eye-rolling husband; television advertisements make clear distinctions between female and male products and practices; billboard advertisements use female nudity as a way to sell their products; and the mainstream media feminise all that is undesirable and objectionable.
After a while you can’t help but see it everywhere, even when you’re not looking. Media and entertainment do not exist in a cultural vacuum, and every sexist portrayal that we see, read or hear perpetuates a sexist attitude and/or behaviour somewhere down the line. In portraying sexism, mass media actively promote it. So, we have to criticise and we have to call it out, and I’m certainly not going to stop now, even if it does make a Sunday afternoon in front of the telly box somewhat less enjoyable.