Yesterday I caught up on blogs, as is my wont during the weekend. I read the ever FoxyJonno’s blog and cringed…then I read the Curious Orange’s response….I was so embarrassed.
I am a feminist.
I am in the Vagina Monologues and exhibiting my artworks at the Vagina Monologues.
I cannot believe that feminists still think they ought to act like anything other than ordinary considerate human beings.
There is a time to protest, there is a time to have a political debate, it is not in the middle of Lonsdale bar on a Friday whilst collecting for your charity.
There was a group of women, the Suffragists, during the period before women got the vote who said that men would give them the vote if they only acted rationally (like men were supposed to), they thought that the acts of the more radical Suffragettes only harmed the movement. I disagree, I believe there is a difference between active and passive repression: active repression is preventing any section of people/person from accessing their human rights; passive repression is being unaware of the issues surrounding a group of peoples/persons human rights.
My personal belief is that when faced with active repression you fight as hard as you can (if the active repression is armed with shotguns then my beliefs may undergo some changes). Passive repression is different, for one thing you can’t tell who’s doing it.
Passive repression is about ignorance and that is what the Vagina Monologues is supposed to fight; ignorance. We are not facing men telling women that we can’t think properly and so do not deserve suffrage. We are not facing corporations (until you get to high up positions in the City and in some sections of the Armed Services) telling us we do not work as hard and so do not deserve as much pay as men. We are facing people who do not know that one in ten women who are raped feel comfortable reporting it, people who do not know that only 10 percent of rape cases reach a conviction, people who do not know that over half the perpatrators of rape are men that the victims know. But, and I think this is where the FemSoc representatives in Lonsdale missed the point, not everyone is ignorant of this. Us feminists are not the only ones who have access to this information. The world is not divided up into those who know this (feminists) and those who don’t (everyone else).
Political decisions are necessarily based on knowledge and people do find out and understand about all sorts of questions before making there minds up, not, however, everyone, those blissfully ignorant souls who believe something because ‘Mum said..’ or ‘Dave down the pub said…’ or best of all ‘this bloke said…’ However, once you have made your intelligent political decision you should feel secure enough in it that you do not see every question based around it as an attack. How embarrassing for a feminist to isolate and attack her allies, people who are not ignorant of the issues, to just assume that everyone is against her. How embarrassing to hear that someone (who in my view has made the correct political choice) is so insecure in their choice as to need to attack the slightest movement.
The nineteen seventies are over sisters and boy what a lot of damage they did for the movement of feminism. Are we really going to achieve equality by screaming about our genitalia? In the middle of Lonsdale bar? To people who care…or did?
How embarrased I am to admit that there are foolish people who are feminists who have no idea about how to behave.
How proud I am to belong to a group of women who are putting on the Vagina Monologues (in the face of actual and not precieved adversity) and are raising money for the local womens refuge. Men are not our enemies, ignorance is our enemy and you do not fight it by screaming and shouting, you fight it with persistance and education: the reason for the Monologues in the first place.
How dare there be ignorance anywhere…but most of all within the ranks of those who should be fighting it.