The Endless Blog Challenge.
Feminist Friday. I’ve got something specific in mind: a book with a feminist theme that you really like, fiction or non-fiction.
This is a repeat – I’ve mentioned this book in the TTT posts as well, but it holds up. It’s called Egalia’s Daughters, and was written by Norwegian author Gerd Brantenberg in the 70:ies. Somehow it seems the English translation has gotten an addition to the title, and is called Egalia’s Daughters: A Satire of the Sexes.
Women are paid a pregnancy salary for being pregnant and giving birth, after which the man takes responsibility for raising the children (the woman already did the main task of actually creating life). There are no housewives, there are househusbands. No bras, but pras (well, not sure how that’s been translated into English. they have “bras for penises” that boys are encouraged to wear once they reach puberty, to protect their fragile man-parts).
It’s been a few years since I read this, so I honestly don’t remember that much details. I’ll do a re-read soon and revisit this though. What I do remember, is that it really made me realize how Swedish is male-oriented – the general “one” (as in “one could say”) is in Swedish “man”. But not in this book, here it’s “dam”.
Can we talk about how excited I am that we’ll finally get a female Doctor Who? I was promoting it last time, but then got kind of discouraged as they picked an old white man (I’d say “again”, but to be fair I guess it was the first old one). Yay!
And, I have to say that the manbabies’ reaction on the internet makes me lol for real. Bonus points!
(Side note: my partner informed me, in this manner: “Did you hear they chose a new Doctor Who?” me: no. who? BF: “a woman”. me: 😮 )
And since I was promoting them again to my newest colleague (as we say in Swedish – favorit i repris):
I listened to this podcast, and it made me angry. I mean, not the podcast itself, but now I’ve been thinking about what they said for over a week and they’re right and it pisses me off.
For non-Scandinavian speakers, it’s about the question most (all?) feminists get at some point – “do you hate men?”. The two women say that yes, they do, and proceed by explaining why. And they’re right. And I’m angry. It comes down how men are taught all their lives that they have the right to be center of attention, to be heard. How women are raised to pay attention and take others into consideration.
First I was all “yeah yeah, I’ve heard it before”. I’ve always thought of it as a more serious problem, like something I didn’t take part in and that people in my surroundings are mostly respectful to me.
But this time it stuck with me. How my male colleagues systematically “don’t hear” (don’t listen) when women are talking. How they don’t remember things we say, but remarkably do remember things other men say. How it annoys me when people are loud or noisy, because “they should think of others!”, while my partner “didn’t even think about it”, because to him it’s natural to take up space and be noisy, no matter who’s around.
I feel stupid that it took me until now to see this as a system. And it makes me think of this song where they sing:
Can’t change the world by hating men
Can’t change the world by blaming men
Are you sure?
While watching ukulele teacher’s videos, I came across Grace VanderWaal (regarding the spelling; really? Here it’d be van der Waal, and in Belgium pretty much any spelling… – Van Der Waal, Vanderwaal etc). And her voice is just crazy!
And then I listened to Anna Faris’ is Unqualified with Zach Levi as guest, and although I almost stopped the podcast when he was eating and talking (yes, seriously), I’m happy I didn’t, cause it was a good one. You can listen to it here.
Working on getting into reading news again (it’s just so depressing), I signed up to a 50% off offer for the New York Times (€ 5 a month, I can live with that), and immediately read things like this opinion page article where Gloria Steinem argues for starting to use “prick flick” as a descriptive label for certain movies. Fantastic!
As you can see, this one simple label could guide men like the guy on the plane through the diversity of features, as well as the TV series we binge-watch. It could also help women, and empathetic men, to know what to avoid.
And as expected, the men commenting are really quite upset about it. Hilarious.
A couple of times I’ve considered writing about men in this segment, instead of women. I’ve always changed my mind, reasoning that while feminism is equality, men aren’t underexposed in political/social debate.
But this post will make an exception. Two weeks ago I managed to stay awake to watch the Graham Norton Show on BBC (it starts at 23:35 on a Friday evening…). Whether I decide to take this struggle on or not depends on who the guests are; Sir Patrick and Sir Ian were worth it (we’re re-watching Star Trek Next Generation, so Sir Pat is always relevant in our house). And I was not disappointed.
This video will probably disappear from Youtube, but I’m talking about season 20, episode 20:
I honestly and sincerely think that if all men had this kind of friendships in their lives, the world would be a much nicer place. Just look at them and their interactions with Hugh!
It also lead to this meme, so that’s pretty great:
Lisa informed me that March is Women’s History Month, and kindly suggested I should incorporate this in a FF post. And who am I to argue with this?
Aside from 8th March being women’s day (don’t get me started…) I honestly had no idea that this was a thing, but it seems as though it was started as a history week in 1980 in the USA by president Carter. According to Wikipedia* [oh, as I read on, it’s not only Wikipedia, the old proclamations can found online, here] he made a pretty nice speech about this:
From the first settlers who came to our shores, from the first American Indian families who befriended them, men and women have worked together to build this nation. Too often the women were unsung and sometimes their contributions went unnoticed. But the achievements, leadership, courage, strength and love of the women who built America was as vital as that of the men whose names we know so well. As Dr. Gerda Lerner has noted, ‘Women’s History is Women’s Right.’ (link)
Obviously I’ll have to read up on Gerda Lerner ’cause that was very well phrased. Incidentally it was just a few days since a friend, named Matilda, posted on Facebook about the Matilda effect, which ties in rather nicely with this. For those who are too lazy to click the link and read, it’s about gender discrimination among scientists. It even has a name.
I don’t know how many times during my school years we questioned where the women were in history, and got the answer that women just weren’t into science, or didn’t care to do the things that lead to being mentioned in history books. Considering this, I guess a history month is… a start? But at the same time, is it not – just like with Black History Month – too little? These two months aside, that still leaves 10 months for white men’s history [in the making].
Can’t we take 80% of the attention given to Trump** and instead focus that on non-White man current events? We’ll just have to work on the name/catchphrase…
* I know, at Uni we weren’t allowed to use this as a source. But I’m not in Uni anymore, so deal with it.
** The New York Times have added the section “Fact checking” to articles concerning him. I just… feel like this smiley -_-