Hard Hitting Reflection
When not appraising women physically the media and general public like to comment on their silliness. Silly girl. A woman makes a choice others disapprove of and she's a silly girl. Whether or not it is a wise decision does not negate the fact that the person who has made it is a grown woman and we rarely know all the many reasons that have gone into her final decision. Nor does it change the gravity of the situation. Particularly when it comes to the subject of domestic abuse. If your only comment is 'silly girl' then you are taking the wrong things and people into account. (TW)
Probably one of the cutest things going around on the internet right now are pet shaming photos. Pets, mostly dogs and cats, are posed next to the scene of the crime with a note announcing what they did, in first person. As though they wrote it themselves! Cute. It's cute. I'm serious. And informative, the amount of animals that eat their own poo and their neighbour's poo is shocking. Don't have a pet? Perhaps you have a recalcitrant teenager you'd like to publicly humiliate, or a cheating partner you want to punish. Because they are totes modern and down with the internet, police in California are stepping up a campaign of John shaming in a bid to combat sex work.
A Quiz for Down Under
If you were to ask me to point out my spleen, or gesture to where I reckoned my kidneys were I might be able to give you the notion that I had an E in Biology AS level. I can also, after a night celebrating the 20th anniversary of Withnail & I, gesture to where my liver is. None of this is particularly impressive, though if it looks like I'm showing off it's because I am. These aren't body parts you can see, or necessarily feel so it's understandable that people who aren't medical professionals might be a little iffy on where certain internal vital bits are. Not to worry, just don't perform surgery any time soon, yeah? However when it comes to the vagina, the idea that women fail to identify it is not being modest, it's alarming...
A Woman's Duty
Now that Brangelina have sealed their union officially all totally sympathetic eyes are now on poor Award-winning actress Jennifer Aniston. Well all eyes are on her ring finger. And if they could all eyes would be on her uterus. The tabloids have long monitored the contents of Aniston's uterus. Because she is a uterus toting celebrity woman and the only thing that will truly salve the pain of losing Brad Pitt to Angelina Jolie is surely a baby. Babies solve everything. Plus you guys, how awesome would Jennifer Aniston's maternity wardrobe be? AND this successful, rich actress is not getting any younger. So...y'know. Tick tock Aniston.
This week crown court judge Mary Jane Mowat commented in aninterview given on her retirement as a circuit judge that rape conviction rates would never improve until women stopped drinking so much that they struggle to remember details of their assault. "It is an inevitable fact of it being one person's word against another and the burden of proof being that you have to be sure before you convict. I will also say and I will be pilloried for saying so, but the rape conviction statistics will not improve until women stop getting so drunk." This is a familiar situation, however this is not a case of a person saying women should not drink/wear provocative clothing if they want to avoid rape, but that if they do become the victim of an assault then, as in most criminal cases, a clear memory would work in their favour. Does that make Mowat's comments ok?
On the Fringes
I have recently returned from a trip to the Edinburgh Festival Fringe (actually if you are reading this at all promptly after posting then the likelihood is that I have not returned and am currently on a train eating a sandwich with difficulty because I have a slight overbite). While there I saw some fantastic female comedy talent. While it wasn't surprising to me that all of Edinburgh seemed to have been plastered in posters advertising all kinds of shows, I was surprised at how many of these were for women's stand up shows. These were glossy, witty posters, no surprise there as the Fringe is incredibly competitive, for women. These same women were treading the cobbles everyday handing out flyers and then many were performing to pretty respectable audience numbers. So why then at Fringe Central was there a panel asking about women in comedy at the Fringe?
Remember when we were introduced to the pink taser, for ladies to use on lady attackers? If the ladyfication of razors, deodorants and biros are anything to go by I imagine it was twice to price as the normal taser that you could not expect a lady to use to defend herself with her lady hands. The Hello Kitty taser of course bumps the weapon up another price bracket as it's endorsed. By a kitty. But if tasing isn't your thing there are other forms of defence. You can learn self defence of course, so if your attacker kindly agrees to move into the correct position for you to flip them (or move back so you can amaze and astound them with a roly poly), pop a pepper spray in your bag or go with the good old fashioned keys between the knuckles thing. OR you can now get a Defender.
Throughout my life I have consciously identified as all kinds of things, a leftie, a feminist, a shortarse. I have never had to question or announce that I am a woman. When I was born I was identified as female and I have just so happened to grow into a woman. I have experienced various biological and social happenings that are usually expected for those entering womanhood - though not all those who enter go through such things - I haven't experienced half of them. While I have never felt that glorious sensation of 'fitting in' I have never had the knowledge that this unsettled feeling is to do with my physical presentation and how it might cause people to read me incorrectly (apart from reading me as 'Awkward' and 'Not From Here'). If it was something I could change, it would seem obscene to me to ignore it.
Everyday Sexism Denial
The subject of maths is not one I enjoy. I took my maths GCSE so many times you'd think by the time I did pass it would be with an A because I should have memorised it by then. But I scraped a C. Maths and I will never hang out. Who I would like to hang out with is computer scientist Dame Wendy Hall. Why? Well I don't really want to chat maths and computer science with her but Listening to Wendy onDesert Island Discs frankly discuss the sexism she has experienced I realised something that has crept in. Sexism denial. Women who manage to get to a certain point and then are afraid to call sexism out or discuss the sexism they did experience on their career climb. Everyday Sexism is one thing, providing a platform for Everyday Women to vent the harassment and sexism they encounter. But successful women seem to prefer to give the impression they live in a world without sexism.
Goodbye Little Miss Perfect
It's probably reasonable to say that today's teenagers are under more pressure than ever. They are under pressure for results that will then be sneered at because the exams they take aren't nearly as challenging as what they examined you on in your day. They are under pressure to be successful and find a job and maybe even a flat in an increasingly competitive market. They are under pressure to negotiate social networking - a thing no responsible adult has yet perfected due to its youth. There are also the real life social pressures and while teenage boys have their struggles the quest for a certain kind of perfection that many a teenage girl doggedly pursues is still unique to them. What their aiming to be is Little Miss Perfect.