Feminism isn’t about women taking over, it’s about demanding equality. Equality doesn’t mean we are all the same, but it does mean we are all equal, and we all get to have a go at the same stuff. There seems to be a destructive, underlying assumption that women are lovely, but somehow below men. Mostly it’s unsaid and even unknown, but it pervades.
The constant media commentary seems to suggest that somehow women are to be held to a standard of all things ‘womanly’, rather than all things human. We need to be softer or gentler; something other than just being held to the merits of our opinions and merits. Men can be aggressive, strong & assertive and be seen as manly and in control. An aggressive woman is never seen in a positive light. She’s not a leader, but more often she’s just a pushy bitch. Women are held to a different standard.
Let’s look at Alan Jones. I’m sure we all agree he’s a right twat, but let’s imagine a woman saying what he has. Imagine what she’d be labelled as! Alan Jones is (finally) copping it pretty hard these days (Deserved in my opinion. Free speech means you can say what you like, but you have to cop the consequences of it), but just imagine if a woman had said even half the things he has. She would be judged in a very different light. There’s no way she’d still have her job.
In fact, Catherine Deveny is a great example of this. I think she’s generally pretty awful. She spouts ridiculous nonsense a lot of the time, and even when she is right, her manner is so off-putting I almost want to disagree with her anyway! She has copped an awful lot of criticism for her manner, but she is only a fraction of the twat that Jones is, and he gets away with pretty much anything he likes. She lost her job writing a column for a national paper, for behaving in a way that is not even a fraction of how Jones behaves. Her brash, aggressive manner is somehow more unbecoming of a woman that it is of a man. Neither are ok, but society accepts these traits much more readily in men.
I stand up for her (Deveny’s) right to say whatever she pleases, that’s the society we live in. We are only measured by how we tolerate those we disagree with. It’s easy to stand up for those we agree with, anyone can do that. Jesus said, love your enemies, anyone can love their friends. Same goes for free speech. That’s what free speech is. It’s for all. Opinion is just that. Opinion. Wrong or right, we can’t censor opinion.
Have you noticed that there are no female shock jocks? That would be unbecoming of a woman. She’d be a bitter bitch, not an opinionated ‘personality’. Radio is full of this. Men run the show, and women sit off to the side making silly contributions and giggling along. Yes, thankfully there are exceptions, but look at the format of most commercial radio and tell me I’m wrong.
TV is also drenched in this idea of men as in charge. There are hardly any female TV hosts. Leigh Sales is a wonderful journalist in my opinion, but when she went hard at Tony Abbott she was attacked in the media for being a pushy bitch with an agenda. If a man had done that interview, he’d be a hard hitting journalist. Virginia Trioli also cops it sometimes for being assertive. No man is seen in a negative light for just being assertive and doing their job well.
Phrases like ‘the handbag brigade’ somehow imply that women who are passionate about a subject, or are critical of a person are in the wrong. It’s such a patronising phrase! Note there is no equivalent for a group of men. Get back in your kitchen woman where you belong! And shut up with all your opinions. Irons my shirts!
That might not be said, but surely that’s the underlying message. Even if you think it’s not, think deeper. These phrases are a lighter hearted version of it.
Women are held to a different standard to men, whether you choose to acknowledge that or not. I agree that women and men are different; but each woman and man are different, you can’t lump them together. Doing so says more about you than the person you’re judging. You don’t want anyone putting you in a box, so don’t do it to others. Think beyond the surface and wonder if you are accidentally sexist.
That’s the problem, it’s mostly accidental (obviously people like Jones are an exception to that). I don’t think most people even realise they are being sexist! It’s so ingrained in our culture that we don’t even realise it’s happening.
I’ve been reading a bit about this lately and wondering how much of it is true, and how much is imagined. Sometimes I think sexism can be imagined. Just because a man doesn’t like a woman, or is mean to her, doesn’t mean he’s sexist. He might just be a douche. However, sometimes it is sexism.
Let’s not see sexism everywhere, but let’s see it where it is so we can change it.
Also, if the people we elect to represent us exude this sort of behaviour, is it any wonder it seems acceptable?
Today’s Question time was beyond appalling. Tony Abbott made me want to throw something! Lots of heavy things! What the hell is this?!! How on earth is this an acceptable way for anyone to speak? Let alone someone presuming to aspire to be our Prime Minister! He was utterly disgusting today. DISGUSTING! Can you feel my anger?!! I would throw any child out of my classroom for saying a fraction of these things. This is an elected leader?! F&*k off!
Julia Gillard on the other hand rocked it. What a brilliant reply. I may not love everything she does, but this was a fantastic reply to a horrific, disgusting, misogynist speech. Whatever you think of Julia, in this speech, SHE IS RIGHT.
That’s it. I’m done.
And here is a good piece by Ben Pobjie on this week’s Q&A.
This is worth a read too, re: Christianity & feminism.
An irony is that men are being emasculated in society too, but that’s a very different rant.