Tuesday, 23 March 2010

Yes I am a feminist II

I’ve been watching the BBC series Women with mixed feelings. Partly frustration because I want viewers who don’t know about feminism to understand and there isn’t enough context to do that. And partly anger at how little has changed.

Husband doesn’t want to watch the programme. Because he thinks he knows it already? Or because he thinks it is class war that really matters? Probably a bit of both. And probably I agree a bit. There are too many issues that are too connected to be seen in isolation. If it didn’t sound so pretentious, I’d like to say I’ve always taken a holistic view of social justice. In other words, I care about too many things to do very much about any of them.

There are young women here who are doing something, and that’s good to see. But their mothers... they should remember. And they don’t.

Who are these women who see their daughters’ ‘feminist rage’ and just don’t get it? Who write it off as the influence of university and something that they will grow out of? I see these women who are around my own age and I feel ashamed. And I feel angry.

There was once a time when you could meet any intelligent, educated woman and ask ‘are you a feminist?’ and the answer would be a given. How could you be an intelligent, educated woman and NOT be a feminist? That was, at least, one of the good things about the 80s. So what went wrong?

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