Ice Cold Up To The Neck

It was listening to the Today Programme’s piece on feminism yesterday and wondered what the hell some of the women were thinking. More than that though, I was wondering what some of the men quoted were thinking. It was all about Girl Power and the effect that girl power has had on feminism, the piece was done from both angles and left me speechless. Even when done from both angles the supporters of ‘girl power’ (and believe me the fact that they were quoting the Spice Girls as ‘serious’ feminists didn’t help). The ‘girl power’ supporters came off as complete idiots who hadn’t exactly thought about their sexuality so much as just wanted a whole lot of mindless fucks or weren’t even aware of their own unique sexualities.

So what is this feminism, the point is we have a choice, as women because of feminism we can live as we choose. What is my problem then with Katie Price (who they used as an example of a Girl Power role-model)? Actually I don’t have one. What I do have a problem with is all the mindless girls they had interviewed (or perhaps the way they’d cut the interviews) who were as mindlessly trying to copy her as they would have been fifty years ago with fucking housewife etiquette magazines.

Perhaps I’m being unfair but when I’m listening to a serious bloody programme who are blaming THE SPICE GIRLS for ‘raunch culture’ (I mean what the fuck is that?) I don’t think disgust even does it justice. What a lot of the women on the program seemed to be saying was that feminism had given them the right to wear clothes to get attention, feminism means you should be able to express yourself so sure I’ll go with that. But the primary reason for clothing is to express yourself not to feel you have to fucking get a mans sodding attention. You want a man’s attention you don’t need clothes to do it. Trust me, if you needed to look good to get laid there’s no way I’d have had the life I have so far.

And I suppose that’s what really got to me. It was the sex angle. Like everyone in the UK is shagging like bunnies without even having good sex… so radio four is blaming feminism for mindlessness. Feminism is about THINKING, about realising your own potential as a woman and about knowing, absolutely knowing that your sex is not what keeps you down. Sure we live in a culture that has patriachal roots, we’re still not entirely equal in pay terms when it comes to top city jobs but when you look at the freedom I have as a woman, I can choose my own life, the stuff that’s left over from the time when women were chattels is so fucking insignificant when you look at so much of the rest of the world.

And I’m still here, unable to get a job, living off my boyfriend and keeping house (very, very poorly)… way to live the life of a free woman. If I thought this was going to be the way I was going to spend the rest of my life I think I’d probably kill myself right now.

I don’t want to be a teacher, I guess maybe that means I’ve wasted that PGCE year and this last year applying to teaching jobs. I can’t spend the rest of my life struggling with marking and getting as fucking depressed as schools make me. I love to tutor, I love to actually teach but struggling with 30 kids, I can’t do it, I can’t do it and stay myself. Especially not if I’m trying to write in my spare time and being knocked back by publishers as well.

This isn’t actually going to change much, I’ve been applying to non-teaching jobs for months and not getting anywhere.

Feminism isn’t about what you wear, it’s not about how you have sex, it’s not about whether you’re a part of ‘raunch culture’ or not, it’s not about whether you know all the right slogans and all the political history. Feminism is about choice, about being able to have the choice to be more than housewife or whore, but, frankly those two things are still there and still choices (no problem with selling sex if it’s not through choice rather than fear).
And sex, sex is not some sort of commodity, it’s not bought and sold, we’re not fucking Lysistratas to withdraw sex from men until we get our own way, and frankly that’s not feminism either. Sex is a communication, a contact, an artform – if you are selling it professionally fine, because that’s what artists do but I’m fed up of it being cheapened into solely a physical act and not being admitted on all levels into the psyche.

I’m fed up of things being cheapened and all the beautiful things of life being torn down and sullied.

2 thoughts on “Ice Cold Up To The Neck

  1. I’m glad you’ve found some peace in your decision not to become a teacher. It’s a hard thing to decided, and you should be proud of yourself for making that choice. Your PGCE year wasn’t wasted – you learned new skills and opportunities, new techniques and ideas that are just as useful in contexts outside of the classroom, and straight after it you had two wonderful life changing years in Japan. Everything happens for a reason.

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