Blurred Lines: Casually sexist lyrics

Let’s dine upon a smorgasbord of some casual sexism, yum yum! 

“Find another one ’cause she belongs to me” (Steal my Girl) You are now the property of One Direction, congratulations!

“Don’t let nobody touch it, unless that somebody’s me” (Sugar) Whatever “it” is, “it” belongs to Adam Levine not you, apologies for the confusion.

“I’ve got a right to be hellish, I still get jealous” (Jealous) It must be so fun being Nick/Joe/Jeff Jonas’ main squeeze, yes?

“Do you I make you feel like cheating, I’m like no not really” (Cheerleader) This one makes me so angry I can’t even be bothered to punctuate it properly to denote the idea that the lyrics are relaying a conversation. 

“I’m Ike Turner… Eat the cake Anna Mae!” (Drunk in Love) Nice one Jay Z, that’s totally what you said when Solange decked you in the lift that time. Probably. 

“Is it too late now to say sorry? ‘Cause I’m missing more than your body!” (Sorry) Can someone let Justin Bieber that women can do all sorts these days… Rollerskate, type even make cups of tea. Who knew? 

  
That’s food for thought until next time…

B x

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Anti – pregnant woman!

I have not penned anything in months because I have been gestating. Spectacularly. Painfully. Anxiously. As with most new phases of my life I have sought to learn about myself, and ultimately what it means to be a woman. More specifically, I have been trying to position myself as a mother-to-be in a word full of mothers.

Interestingly, it is when women are doing the very thing which genetically distinguishes us (and some would say makes us superior) from men that the rules of feminism seem to apply the least. It seems to me, that some women seem to turn against each other, largely to validate their own choices.

A case in point: mothers judging other mothers because of breast-feeding/ bottle feeding, staying at home/ going out to work/ controlled crying/ self-soothing. We don’t do this to each other in any other facet of life, so why do this to each other throughout motherhood?

And how about those women who revel in telling pregnant people that they’ll never sleep/ get dressed/ care about their careers again?

Howsoever well-intended this advice, I want to scream that I want to find these things out myself! I want to decide how I feel about my career, I want to find out for myself about sleep deprivation. After 40 weeks of not being able to control my own bladder, I think I’ll have earned it!

This is to say nothing of the things people say to you, sentences like “you’re massive” and “are you sure there’s only one in there?” have started to feature more and more. Why at the time when we are most self-conscious and vulnerable do social boundaries and decorum seem to matter the least?

My absolute biggest bugbear is that if I dare to suggest that I’m tired, someone is always willing to say “you’ve seen nothing yet!” with a little too much glee.

Of course, this doesn’t apply to all mothers, and since announcing that I’m pregnant the interest, care and love people have shown has been truly humbling, and to be honest, pretty integral to surviving the journey thus far. Perhaps I am being hypersensitive and hormonal, perhaps I eventually I will be confined to pyjamas pining for someone to instruct me how to cope. I hope not.

It strikes me as ironic that by definition, mothers are selfless, compassionate loving beings with limitless tenacity and generosity, yet they don’t always show this to each other. With that said, the one resounding message mothers give me is that no matter the hardships, the final outcome is more than worth it, and I am most definitely holding on to that!
Until next time… B xx
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Break barriers, not the internet

How I love Kim Kardashian! Her unashamed vacuous nature, her cultural transcendence, her evident business accumen. Hell, even her choice of husband! Before I continue, allow me to repeat emphatically and without irony or sarcasm that I love Kim Kardashian.

So, fuelled by my (now fully declared) love of Mrs Kardashian-West I have been wracking my brains to understand why she chose to participate in a gratuitous flesh-fest photoshoot in Paper magazine, ever since it literally bounded out of my computer screen yesterday.

Weirdly, it isn’t her body which troubles me most in the graphic images… but her facial expression. Brazenly self-unaware… nonchalant even. It makes me deeply sad. Some argue that seeing women (especially mothers) so proud of their bodies and sexuality is beautiful and empowering. But what I see in those images isn’t empowerment, or even sexy. It’s a crass example of a woman not quite understanding just how powerful she could be. And that ultimately, true allure and power lies not in what you show, but what you choose to withold.

Kim, with your wealth, limitless beauty and profile you could literally have changed the world, but you have exchanged that opportunity for your dignity. I wonder if you realise the damage this does to women, to the gendered landscape in which you are raising a daughter? Whether you realise that if other women question the wisdom of you participating in such explicit images, it will be dismissed as jealousy, because patriarchal discourse can still not comprehend that a woman’s biggest goal in life is not to aspire to look like you? I hope that, at least, these things occurred to you.

Ultimately, I don’t know whether the internet was broken, I do know that you are not someone who empowers women, and I’d like to think that this would somehow matter to you (and your fabulous physique), at the very least this matters to me, and no doubt other women who once admired you.

Until next time…

B x

It’s not about the bass (nor any other physical characteristic)

Dear girls,

Your “mama” is right… don’t worry about your size; though not because of what boys do, or don’t like, but because there is so much more to you…

Firstly, the only person’s opinion about your appearance which truly matters is your own. Though crucially, this is only a small part of you, and in comparison to your personality, your intelligence and your beliefs this is a very small part indeed.

You are not an ornament, you are a wonderful, complicated (and no doubt brilliant) person. You have so much to offer, to discuss, to decide. Therefore, your exterior is the very definition of irrelevant!

I will also save you a few years of soul searching by telling you something I wish someone had told me back when I could refer to myself as a “girl” without irony: Boys who only care about your appearance don’t care for very long. Similarly, they are not to be confused with boys who care about you.

You have so much ahead if you which is likely to shape you further: Travel, education, philosophy, literature. Your mind will open and you will evolve in ways you never thought possible… What does your dress size matter in comparison to your views on extensionalim? Barely.

Finally, society is going to want to tell you that they define beauty, that you have to fit someone else’s idea of what makes a “real” woman. Curves make you a woman as much as big shoes make you a clown. It’s true for some, but largely irrelevant. If you are a “stick figure” that’s also perfectly wonderful.

True joy comes from finding out, accepting and loving who you are, in the ways which are truly important… if you find a boy who feels the same that’s even better!

Until next time…

B x

Dear #womenagainstfeminism

Dear #womenagainstfeminism,

I read about you today, and I have seen some of your material. It angered me a little, but more than this I found it very concerning…

Your idea of feminism seems to stem from a 1970s stereotype where you are expected to be a hairy, braless man-hating fembot; and I think you’re missing the point. Like, really missing the point.

Feminists don’t hate women who are stay at home mums. At least I don’t, and I’m definitely a feminist! You see, the thing is, rallying en-masse against feminism is kind of like rallying en-masse about Muslims, or Jews, or black people, or the Welsh. It’s silly, worse though it’s dangerous; because ultimately you are responding to a stereotype. And we all know how that goes…

The whole point of feminism is to celebrate women and champion their achievements, whether that’s being MD of a large multi-national firm or getting your child to sleep through the night. Similarly, the idea of having to choose between either of those two goals reinforces the need for feminism, because like feminists (read any demographic) all women are different.

And as for the existence of equality, whilst there are “family” newspapers in the UK in which women appear topless or where one of the questions a woman is asked upon reporting a rape is “what were you wearing?” then
women are not equal. To suggest that we don’t live in a patriarchal society is at best optimistic, at worst ignorant. I am assuming the former.

Finally, in turning against feminism you are actually turning against women, which ironically reinforces the need for true feminists like me. So accomplish great things, be successful and be proud of being a woman, but don’t kid yourselves that that’s not feminism.

B x

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The Importance of being Feminist

To kill a blogging bird…

Boudica's blog

Recently I was asked by an educated professional woman about the relevance of feminism, on the basis that “women wear the trousers in most relationships.” I refrained from pointing out the patriarchal etymology of the very expression which was being used to to question the existence of feminism, instead I took a deep breath and penned this. 10 reasons why feminism exists:

1. Because when, in a bid to redress the gender imbalance within the government, women are promoted to cabinet posts by David Cameron… The Daily Mail responds by critiquing their outfits. (Appalling pun intended).

2. Because it’s more offensive to refer to someone as female genitalia than male. Try it.

3. Because the media continue to pit women against each other, as though one’s success must be at the expense of the other. See X Factor’s annual “Who wore it best?” rhetoric.

4. Because more than 125 million…

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