punk phd / feminism / motherhood

Monday, August 25, 2008

Channel 4 Super Botox Me

Last night I watched Super Botox Me, a Channel 4 documentary-type on botox. It followed journalist Kate Spicer on a botox quest; asking questions regarding vanity and the increasing cosmetic world we live in. I found it really interesting and disturbing at the same time. By the end Spicer, who from the start seemed quite aligned to feminist ideology, decided she would carry on with botox in the future because of the way it had made her feel. Changing the way she looked, albeit it not drastically, had really impacted the way she felt about herself. Fair enough I think and yes, I agree that often how you look on the outside does impact your feelings on the inside. But what I disagree with is the fact we are made to feel just that. I think it's fucking hard being a woman in contemporary society (no surprise there) and even harder to be a feminist woman in contemporary society. I am told how I should look, how I should dress, what is acceptable, what is deemed beautiful, and I know I shouldn't listen to all that but it's hard. When you've had such ideals drilled into you during your childhood, during your teenage years and during your early adulthood, it is really bloody hard to tune it out; to say you're not going to buy into it. I do worry about how I look, I do care about what people might think, I do buy nice clothes to make me feel good and I don't see this as a major problem for now because I recognise why I feel I need to do these things. I realise the hold society has on women with regards to appearance. And so, for the time being, I'm kind of happy to do as I do but to know inside why I do what I do. And I don't know if I had a point here or whether this was just a flow of consciousness but yeah, there you go. Thoughts?

Labels: , , ,

Monday, August 11, 2008

Belle De Jour

So recently I ended up reading Belle De Jour's The Intimate Adventures of a London Call Girl because a) I don't believe in commenting on a book/film/article until I've read/watched it and b) I had read all of the books I had with me and it was the lesser of many evils on my sister's/mum's bookshelves. Anyway, I can see what all the fuss was about when the TV adaptation came out. The book does completely glamourize prostitution. No acknowledgment of the dark side of the job is made or potential dangers (Belle De Jour is even happy to comment on how she never feels unsafe walking at night) - everything is fine, fine, fine.

Even more worrying is that there's apparently a second book been released now? I doubt that would fare any better.

Labels: , ,

Saturday, August 09, 2008

Dr Jessica Rongrose - Feminism in Schools

Girls should be taught feminism at school to stop them being disrespectful to each other, according to a leading academic.

I completely agree with this. We SHOULD be teaching feminism at school - not just to girls, but to boys and even to the teachers themselves. Feminism is relevant to everyone, no matter who they are, and we should stop seeing it as a 'bad word' which we can acknowledge, but which cannot actually promote. I would love to see this taken further in the future. I know how accessible teaching feminism is within my course (Sociology) but this subject is mainly taught at post-compulsory (i.e. sixth form and college level) and the subject itself is male-dominated (in terms of research, sociologists and so forth). But we could incorporate feminism into a wide variety of subjects, something which I am sure some teachers already do out of their commitment to the cause and not because of it being required.

Labels: , , ,

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Subtext Magazine - Issue 6

Issue6 of subtext magazine is out now. Featuring the following:

Talking With Teens
Josephine Middleton talks to Bee, her 12 year old daughter, about feminism

The Middle Ground of Abortion
Sally Cosgrove negotiates the grey areas

Minding the Gap: The Chore War
Eden Carter Wood ives us some tips on how to tackle the chore war

Good Clean Fun
Jessica Ramthum has some advice on staying safe while having fun

No Big Deal, So Give Us All A Feel
Alfie Hughes discusses casual sex

Jo King; Queen of Burlesque
Season Butler talks to strip tease superstar Jo King

Candy Girl: Diablo Cody
Collette Teasdale on Cody's memoir and self-creatd persona

Branding the Bunny
Red Chidgey on reports on the Bin the Bunny campaign

Maternal Morbidity
Charlotte Cooper talks maternal mortailty worldwide

HerStory: suffragettes and third wavers
Michelle Wright encourages us to find some of that historical determination

Your Place or Mine
Orlanda Ward on public spaces

Crisis in Rape Crisis
Darlene Corey on the funding crisis faced by Rape Crisis centres

Cunt: The Last Taboo
Sarah Westlake tackles the last taboo

'But what if I don't want to do Business Studies?'
Laura Way on why Women's Studies is still a worthwhile and relevant degree

Brilliant Women
Virginia Newman reviews the Billiant Women exhibition

Feminist Flicks
Kate Townshend provides some recommended viewing

Labels: ,

Monday, August 04, 2008

A WI Lady's Guide to Brothels

Last night I watched A WI Lady's Guide to Brothels on Channel 4. The programme, I think, emphasised for me that despite disagreeing with prostitution, lap-dancing, strip clubs and so forth, I do agree that if such things are going to take place that legislation should be in place to protect those involved. I was speaking to my partner during the programme and he doesn't seem to have such a strong opinion as I do. I did try to put across to him though the fact that such things as lap-dancing clubs further emphasis the opressed position of women in society. It's saying it's ok for men to pay to ogle at women. It's ok to understand women as purely sexual objects which are a commodity. It's the same mentality of magazines such as Zoo and Nuts. Some people might argue that that's not the case, that it's just some fun and the women do it for themselves; it's not a reflection of women's position in society, nor is it derogatory. If that was the case then why is it that women are in the sexualised position and not men? Do we have women's magazines on the smale scale as lad's mags (well, ok, More sometimes verges on this but still not as bad...)? And why is it then where I live that there are strip bars/lap-dancing clubs featuring women but men are absent from this objectification?

Labels: , , , , ,