We haven’t come a long way, we’ve come a short way.  If we hadn’t come a short way, no one would be calling us baby.  ~Elizabeth Janeway

Maybe it’s because I’m poorly, but I’m having a ‘What’s the point?’ day today.

A couple of months ago, amid some good-natured disagreement about the lyrics of Eminem, I asked if some kind of time slip had occurred and the 80s had never happened.

That feeling is back.

I recall fighting sexism and wearing the feminist tag with pride in 1985. Back then I thought that if we hadn’t exactly won the battle, we’d claimed some decent territory. And in the words of Yazz, The Only Way Is Up.

I may have erred on the optimistic side. In 2011, I have the distinct impression that sexism is IN again. Much like wearing fur. (Oooh, don’t get me started.) What next? Is slavery set for a comeback?

Didn’t we achieve something in the last twenty-five years in the field of gender equality? Or am I, like Bobby Ewing, emerging dripping and confused from a particularly colourful dream?

Firstly, this.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/2011/aug/28/honey-money-catherine-hakim-review

One of Catherine Hakim’s outlandish assertions, and they are legion, is that women have been prevented from “capitalising on their erotic potential” by Christianity, feminists and patriarchs. Now there’s a conspiracy theory I’d not heard before.

I came away with the reassuring message that if only I starve myself, get a manicure, whiten my teeth, maintain a fake tan and cut my tops as low as is decent, I too can marry a footballer.

Part of the problem is the acceptability of casual sexism disguised as irony. http://www.periscopepost.com/2011/09/topman-pulls-nice-new-girlfriend-what-breed-is-she-t-shirt-after-twitter-outrage/

Yes, Sir Philip Green will be doing without my hard-earned quids from now on (I can hear him sobbing all the way from Monaco), but the worst element is that his design team thinks this will appeal to today’s young Top Man. And I’ll bet they’ve done their research. My little sister, who now works with women escaping domestic violence, will be thrilled.

Finally (by which I mean this is the last link I’m going to share, a thousandfold more instances await the half-arsed surfer), a shining example of how to sell a woman’s book. (Women’s book, book by woman, book about being a woman – what’s the difference, guys?)

http://www.thebookseller.com/news/hc-defends-sexist-jacket.html

Even the author thought it typical of the shallow, frivolous covers of most “commercialwomensfiction” which is publisher-speak for chick-lit. The awful irony is that Courtney’s book attempts to expose the reduction of women to sexual caricatures and culture of misogny prevalent in ‘lads’ magazines. No wonder she’s saying Ta-ta to Rupert Murdoch and going back to self-publishing.

I have to go now. I need to apply some fake tan and find my Wonderbra.

 

 

 

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