Ms. Violet's Musings

if you're not angry, then you're not paying attention.

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Feminist Shame & lipstick and high-heels

I've always secretly held the belief that however intelligent, open-minded and liberal a man may be, his ideal woman would not be one who refers to herself as a feminist:
Matt says: and what exactly do you want me to do? Matt says: being a guy in an office for a search marketing company... Ms. Violet says: I don't mean you have to ACTIVELY do anything. It's just that the more people have a decent attitude to it and display it in public, the better. The only way that attitudes change is by first changing the little things. It's like those damn women that say "I'm not a feminist, but....". It's like it is SHAMEFUL to actually want some degree of equality and fair representation! Ms. Violet says: I would love for you to be proud of the fact that your girlfriend is an intelligent feminist, but in this society it is just not going to work like that Ms. Violet says: as you will just always be ashamed of that part of me. Not privately, but in public. Ms. Violet says: It's not your fault, Ms. Violet says: just how society is Ms. Violet says: and THAT is what I want to change
In private, perhaps he will gush over his girlfriend's ability to form her own outspoken opinions and be proud of her, but the fear of ridicule from fellow men will still dominate when it comes to announcing his partner as a feminist. This is not generally his fault and I do sympathise. Peer pressure is a nasty thing and certainly is a prevailing force within groups of young men. Much like women, men are a very bizarre breed when they congregate. It's almost as though the hormones bounce off one another, forming a Scary Giant Mutant Of Gender set to be frighteningly hyperbolic and (stereo)typically male/female. This is not necessarily a very bad thing, as the differences between men and women should be explored and not repressed. A boys or girls night out is just harmless fun, a vent, etc - but it is when these gangs of total and pure hormone start to gain power and influence that I begin to worry. So, the painful truth is that however understanding and supportive a man is of his partner's feminist stance, he will be relcutant to admit this when out drinking with the 'guys'. But, there is always hope. If just one man in a group were stand up and proclaim his love and admiration for feminists then maybe - just MAYBE - at least one other man would admit to agreeing. Equality needs both sides to develop and work : the fight against sexual discimation is a fight for everybody and NOT solely women. ... I've generalised about men again. Apologises, but generalisations need to be made at times.

Monday, May 16, 2005

Lad Mags & daisies and perfume

This makes me very happy at the moment. Now, on the topic of censorship, I have a rather hazy stance. I like it somewhere in the middle - somewhere safe, whilst still retaining freedom of speech. It's a prickly issue, as no one wants to live in a 'nanny-state', but at the same time the whole point of having authority figures is to protect the general public. So, I am not going to say "BAN NUTS MAGAZINE! BAN ZOO!" as, at the end of the day, we should all have the relative freedom to read want we want to. (Although, at the same time I believe we would raise a far more responsible and respectful generation of young men, were these magazines no longer available). But, I can still voice my disapproval over these so-called mens' magazines (really, they are boys. I have to live in hope that real men are not so... sad) and especially when they are forced down my throat. On a recent trip to ASDA (possibly on the way to stealing Kwik Save's crown of 'Most Scummiest Supermarket In The UK'. Seriously, not even Sharon Osbourne in the adverts can save them now), I was fairly shocked to see one of the lad's mags weeklies - I forget which one, thanks to their generic style - featuring a large picture of two naked young women cupping one anothers' breasts, displayed rather proudly within the newspaper stand at the very entrance of the store. Now, I'm no prude at all - but I can't help but wonder what message this sends out to people. That lesbians are merely for the sole purpose of male fantasy? That women in general are just simple objects of male sexual gratification? Or that ASDA don't give two shits who sees this - and let's be honest now - softcore porn? And, of course, the age old double-standard factor comes into play. After all, how much outrage would there be if a gay magazinea such as Attitude, were to be placed in the same position with two topless men embracing? Yes. Exactly. So, it is refreshing to read that an extremely large chain, such as Tesco, is taking notice of this. There is freedom of speech and then there is responsiblity. After all, supermarkets are family places for buying your bloody bread and cheese, not your porn. And, may I add, a pretty poor man's porn for that matter.