A certain awesome facebook friend shared this article on letting go of girl hate, and I love it. Talking about the way jealousy between ladies is encouraged, so that there could only be one cool/talented/intelligent female, rather than stacks of them. Also included is some self-analysis on how this works as a female being jealous of other ladies.
I am feeling this idea. Actively fostering fellow-lady encouragement and not thinking there can only be one female hip hopper/dancer/intellectual/musician/poet/critic/producer is a good thing for me.
Also, sometimes when I teach I find showing sexualised content of women weird. On the one hand I am really interested in the debates and dissecting gender performance of framing of bodies (for example in Bollywood sequences, or music videos). On the other I almost feel like showing these images AGAIN is a part of the problem. Opening up the discussion about how normalised they are and making them ‘strange’ again is an antidote.
I guess I’m also aware that young adults are moving in/into sexual fields and so might be shy. And I have my own shy side. And also discussion’s healthy.
I think there’s also something about, even if the discussion is critical, it is still images of women’s bodies that is being discussed, trawled over, used as argument.
The final thing on this (well, surely it could never be final as gender relentlessly does my head in!) is Cunt: A Declaration of Independence.
It’s a book by Inga Muscio, and includes a Womanifesto. It changed my life in that stay-up-all-night-and read-it-in-one-hit-kind-of-way. I feel like I have shifted a little from where I was when I read it, but nevertheless retain details from the book in my life. Things like just taking the agency to move if you ever feel unsafe on a train or bus or in a car or walking down the street: you don’t have to think about it, second guess yourself, you just move. She has a refrain that that’s ‘self love’. Similarly with just walking out of movies that have violence against women, including sexualised violence. It almost seems coy with the increasing “pornification” of so much media content. However. I have just taken the agency to do those things and it is fantastic. I just don’t watch NCIS or whatever with mutilated prositutes. I don’t need it in my head, it’s not helping me or society to watch it.
Of course, the rejoinder to that is that not engaging with the ‘problemmatic’ material isn’t helping either. which is fair enough. I still choose not to, as a general rule, however.
Which doesn’t mean that I am pro-censorship or anti-sexual content.
It does mean I have a choice.