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 -_-
I think it’s time for a list again, this time I’ll try to come up with 5 movies. Now, I haven’t specifically tried to find feminist movies, but movies that celebrate female friendships:
- Pitch Perfect. It’s full of women! Who have names and talk to each other! And even though there’s a love interest in it, it’s not the main storyline. And Anna Kendrick and Rebel Wilson!
- Clueless. We had this one on VHR and I’ve seen it SO MANY times. Still cute though.
- Thelma and Louise. I know, I know. But how can you avoid it in a list like this?
- Bridesmaids. For someone who has no intention of ever marrying, I sure do like my wedding-centered movies. And this one has Melissa McCarthy and Kristen Wiig in it, so obviously worth seing. (Also Chris O’Dowd as love interest, who’d have seen that coming after the IT Crowd?) (Oh… eh, and Rebel Wilson!)
- How to be Single. This is far from a feminist movie, but it was entertaining enough (again, Rebel Wilson!) and the moral of the story… sisters before misters (such a lame slogan btw, I swear never to use it IRL).
Aah, I hadn’t prepared this at all, and today’s crazy busy at work (cause 1 person doesn’t work on Fridays, 1 person is sick and our boss thinks “THAT’S A GOOD TIME TO GO TO AMERICA FOR WORK!”). We’re two people in here today, versus normally 6. Wo-fucking-ho.
So instead I’ll leave you with this: today’s Feminist Friday is simply an advise to sign up to Ann Friedman’s weekly newsletter.