Ms. Violet's Musings

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

Friday, November 25, 2005

Silly Old Bints

There's a great piece over on the Beeb regarding the representation of older women in modern society, which also happens to have been penned by none other than my A-Level Eng Lit teacher from last year. She raises a good point, as - in the media especially - there is widespread discrimination against older women (men also, though perhaps not as much). From just one sitting of television commercials (if I can manage that, as adverts make me famously nauseous) we are showered with images of young women freaking out at the sight of a wrinkle, as though they've heard a whisper that it's the first sign of the apocalypse. Then, said women informing us of "so-and-so" lotion to "banish those unsightly signs of aging!". My goodness! Because the very THOUGHT that we may be aging is horrific! In fact, I think I must GAIN a wrinkle everytime I see one of these frustratingly pathetic adverts.

The only time we ever see older women advertising products is when it is especially for them - for example stairlifts, over 60s life insurance, baths for the elderly, toffee, etc. But that is still a rarity, as how many times do you see pensioners on the covers of magazines aimed at that exact target group? In awful newspaper supplements which have adverts for thermal undies, elderly women's nightgowns, etc - how many are actually modelled by women who look over 45? Not many.

If it wasn't for the fact that I know that over 65s in the UK make up a whopping 16% of the population, then - judging by what the media tells us - I'd think we'd all gone a bit Logan's Run.

Monday, November 21, 2005

One Of Those Days

Every now and then I find myself in one of those days where it seems there is no hope left. On Saturday I went into one of my beloved Oxfam bookshops in Shrewsbury and found a book entitled What's Right With Feminism by Elaine Storkey. I'm broke, but it was only a pound so I thought I'd "treat myself". I then looked inside at the book's title on the first page to see that someone had scrawled "NOT MUCH." underneath "What's Right With Feminism". It was in the same handwriting and pencil as the price above, so I can only assume it was doings of one of the staff (predominately middle-aged women). I fumed! Not only had I been insulted regarding my choice of book and beliefs, but I had been insulted by someone trying to sell me the bloody item! So it wasn’t just rude, but incredibly unprofessional and not at all business-like. I felt like pointing out that if it hadn't have been for feminism then these women would not even have jobs! Fool that I am, I didn't complain. Mainly because the queue for paying was taking forever and my patience was waning. Following that, I then went into a BHS branch to be aggravated further. In the gift section I found a "joke" device (some sort of mirror to attach to a man's shoe) for use in order to look up the skirts of passing women. Yes, because sexual harassment is incredibly comical! If I ever want a good laugh then the first thing I always think of is how funny those guys are who leer at women, harass them in the street, make lewd suggestions and rape them! Nothing funnier! My boyfriend pointed out that they may as well be selling sets advertised as "The Handy Travel Rape Kit". I just can't understand how it would be an entertaining and witty gift and - moreover - I can't comprehend how BHS would even consider selling such an item. But then, after WHSmith and the Playboy kid’s stationary, perhaps nothing should surprise me. We then went back to my boyfriend's house to find the girlfriend of one of his housemates ironing two huge piles of his t-shirts. I could understand if the girl was doing him a favour due to him being ill or busy, but he was just dicking about upstairs with friends. All she did was slave away and sigh. Sometimes you just feel as though you are the only one who actually sees the injustices in life.

Thursday, November 03, 2005

Anti-Feminism

There is a fantastic post over at Mind the Gap, regarding Countering Anti-Feminism.
Not all feminists reject femininity, but most reject the notion that it should be a prison and many of us have complex and self-reflexive relationships with our own femininity or lack of it.
I must say, the most annoying anti-feminist remark I receive is usually along the lines of "well, if you're a feminist, then I'm a manist". Sometimes I feel as though if feminism was actually referred to as 'genderism' people would be less likely to disregard it. Of course, shying away from "scary words" is not going to change anything and a-name-is-a-name-is-a-name and all... but sometimes such unenlightened remarks can be so disheartening. .... I don't know why, but I am still struggling to think of interesting things to blog about here. I have bought many, many books lately though (much love, Oxfam bookshops), so hopefully they should light my fire and give me plenty of feminist-related topics to comment on!