Equality & Diversity
Interesting comment piece from Zoe Williams in the graun.
The answer is very simple: because sex-positive feminism really petered
out at the end of the second wave, and the caricature of that era never
mentions it. The whole point of the caricature was to neuter the
movement: were you to mock women for their sexual abandon, you would run
the risk of making them sound quite fun.
I think she's saying that many of the tropes used to mock feminists of the 70s, focus on almost anything other than the debate about sexual freedom. And it does make you think how polarised, how 1950s, so many things about the debate have become. The way that domesticity, child-rearing, craft, etc. have been elevated to cult status in a really gendered way (don't let the hipster guys on Bake Off fool you... ) has made it extraordinarily more difficult than it should be for men particularly to cross-over into traditionally female domains. I was a school gate mum - honestly, it's terrifying.
Interestingly, there's a guy on Twitter who always comes back at me with "but what about role models for boys" whenever I talk about role models for girls. He mentions the need for men to be able to go into professions like nursing or primary school teaching, and he's right, though it is super annoying that he only ever mentions it in the context of "but what about the boys". He did it last week, and I invited him to start campaigning on that issue himself, but oddly he didn't reply to that.
But one way to shore up the patriarchy is to make it harder for men to go into traditionally feminine areas by creating a concept of masculinity that depends upon not touching certain areas with a 50ft barge pole. Which is itself deeply unhealthy for men and not much use for helping women achieve equality.
However, I have increasingly noticed mentions of university departments of Men's Studies, conferences on masculinity and male culture, particularly in the US, so people are looking at this.
He clearly is campaigning. It's just a very narrow campaign, directed, I would suggest, toward a sub-optimal audience.
You know, I'd be well behind men who were actually campaigning on core issues around male equality in female dominated areas such as primary school teaching, but most of them just whinge.
These are a couple of quite provocative pieces on the problems with modern feminism.
Today's Feminism: Too Much Marketing, Not Enough Reality
Today's purveyors of hashtag feminism exemplified by pink "pussy hats," safety pins and cheeky-ballsy slogans on T-shirts have forgotten that women of color have to learn how to navigate their own universes but also those of white women and men to literally be able to pay the rent and afford decent schools. We have to succeed in both spheres not only to achieve success, but to fundamentally cope. To ask us, then, to participate in a Lysistrata-like action makes me wonder if the gesture is designed more to give white ladies another opportunity for displaying unity, a kind of safari solidarity, than it is to provide women of color and working-class women tangible relief.
A Frank Talk With Jessa Crispin About Why Modern-Day Feminism Is Full of Shit
This is a long interview but well worth reading. Because it's a conversation there aren't many good pull-quotes but it's a really thorough critique of modern feminism and I'm really interested in getting her book.