This women’s world…

I hate the damn patriarchy. I hate the structures that allow it to continue to function, the men who deny its existence and those who just close their eyes to it. I am tired of rape culture and wage gaps and micro aggressions and attacks on reproductive rights. It all sickens me. However, what angers me most are the women who refuse to join the feminist ranks. The traitors in our midst are worse than the enemy at the gate.

The simple truth is that women must fight for each other. Allies are great, but we cannot rely on anyone else to secure our rights. Although men may care about the treatment of individual women, the have proven that they aren’t all that concerned with our fight for genuine equality. Even so-called decent men exhibit shock when women discuss the nitty gritty of our lives and how misogyny affects us. If almost every woman you know has been sexually assaulted or harassed, how is it possible that almost every man in your life has no idea that it was happening? How can women be cat called, groped and demeaned from the moment the grow boobs and no men ever participate or see it happening? It is isn’t possible. They know. Just like they know we’re side-lined in the work place. They same way they are completely aware that women still carry most of the burden of child rearing and home keeping. Not to mention the emotional labour of explaining this (& oh so many other things). Our patriarchal society is very comfortable for men. Hoping they will tear down their own kingdom is naïve. We have got to have each other’s back.

Shall we start with the basics?
Other women are not the competition. The pie is big enough for everyone to get a slice. You do not have to engage in that ‘I’m not like other girls’ bullshit. Women don’t create anymore drama than men. Female bosses aren’t inherently bitchy. Slut shaming isn’t cool. Trying to distinguish yourself at the expense of the entire sisterhood is a stupid move. Everyone knows what you’re up to and almost no one likes it. You think you’re winning cool girl points with the men folk, but they’ll stomp on you just as quickly as they do anyone other chick who gets in their way. In short, don’t be a desperate pick me. It’s just sad.

Offer genuine solidarity.
Support other women in all aspects of life. Vote for the women who deserve to hold office. Consume the art of talented women. Shout out your friend’s endeavours. Fight for representation with your voice and your purse. Don’t judge women for every little thing. Stay at home Mum’s aren’t better than those with careers outside the home. There is no perfect size. Trans women are women. We’re all real and we’re all just trying out best. If your feminism isn’t intersectional, it’s worthless.

Actions speak louder…
If there is any chance of breaking down the barriers that women face, we must be prepared to stand up for each other in practical ways. We must be willing to stand with our sisters even when it’s difficult. Don’t automatically dismiss reports of misconduct against men that you like. Abusers (of all types) often cultivate a nice guy persona precisely because it makes their predation easier to get away with. Listen and be prepared to question.

Back female colleagues. Shut down mansplaining and the co-opting of ideas. It is so easy for a third party to interject a simple ‘I think X already covered that’. Do not tolerate inappropriate talk. Don’t laugh or ignore sexist ‘banter’. Be clear that you are not amused, and you will not work in a toxic environment. If you witness discrimination, harassment, bullying approach the victim and offer your assistance. Not just a shoulder to cry on, but pragmatic help. Go on record with HR regarding what you’ve witnessed, testify at tribunals etc. This is even more important if the woman in question is also a member of another oppressed group. Use whatever power you hold to institute practices that make your workplace a place that women can thrive. Then fight to have to those polices enforced. Protect and encourage the warranted career progression of women who utilise maternity or family leave. We must be willing to stick our heads above the parapet. Even/especially when we may be the only female voice in a room.

Do not reward collaborators.
This is very simple. Women who purposely back the patriarchy do not deserve your support. If they are willing to inhibit the opportunities of other women for personal gain, they are not worthy of your backing. Don’t vote for, align yourself with or rely on them. A sisterhood of women is a very powerful thing. Devote your energy to building and sustaining your own.

Advertisements

Woman of the Week…

This week’s marvellous female specimen is Ruby Tandoh. I actually came pretty late to Ruby party, but I intend to make up for lost time. Ruby is the no bullshit baker we all need in our lives. 


Ms Tandoh obviously came to public attention on The Great British Bake Off. She didn’t win the show, but she was excellent in every way. Every single one of her 5 million facial expressions were endearing & I totally related to her stressing. It goes without saying that she made some tasty shit, but the best was still to come. 

It wasn’t until I found her on twitter that her true glory was revealed. Ruby is a kick arse intersectional feminist. She tweets about important matters from LGBTQ issues, fat phobia & ableism to popular culture & politics with the kind of blunt clarity I admire. She calls out the sell out tactics of other chefs who jump on the healthy eating bandwagon. All the while writing joyfully about food (& various other things) in her Guardian column & books.

Ruby had no fear in taking on the big names. She has been savage in her take down of Jamie Oliver & clean eating quacks Ella Mills & The Hemsleys. She skillyfully disects the dangers of healthy eating fads whilst highlighting why they are so problematic. 


Her recent contribution to Do What You Want a zine about mental well being has pushed her even further in my estimations. The zine includes a variety of pieces on all aspects of mental health. It covers perhaps less talked about issues like accessing treatment as non binary person & mental well being from a refugee stand point. This all round excellent publication also donates all of profits to mental health charities. I believe it is now sold out, but check the website for details. 

Ruby Tandoh seems to be that rare thing of a ‘celeb’ who puts her money where her mouth is. Her feminism is inclusive of the groups so often exclude from mainstream white feminism; sex workers, non binary people, POC, fat women, the disabled & so on. Her life seems to genuinely reflect her spunky public persona. This is a woman worthy of our respect. 

If all that wasn’t enough she is hilarious. We’re talking about the chick who refused to work with Piers Morgan by calling him ‘sentient ham’. Oh & she wasn’t fucking sorry about it. 


Can we have a standing ovation for Ruby?

Woman of the Week…

I couldn’t march on Saturday because my stupid body is stupid. I am gutted to have missed such a massive assembly of strong women. 



I was especially delighted to see so much intersectional feminism on display along with a big turnout of kids & young adults. It heartens me to think that right here in my city the next generation is woke. I am proud that so many parents everywhere are raising their kids right. Which brings me to one of my favourite videos from the March on Washington.




By now I am sure you have all seen Ashley Judd’s recitation of Nasty Woman. It was a memorable performance of a powerful piece & credit to Judd for bringing to the attention of so many. For me what makes it even more inspiring is that it is the work of Nina Mariah Donovan; it is she who is my woman of the week. The 19 year old from Tennessee wrote the poem last year in response to Trump’s growing campaign infractions. Judd attending the event at which Nina originally performed the poem. The writer’s own delivery of the piece is every bit as commanding as her famous fan. 

Ashley Judd of course sought & received permission to use the work & Nina expected some backlash. Ridiculously Trump supporters are disgusted with Donovans’s description of Ivanka as her father’s favourite sex symbol, whilst having no issue with Trump’s own incestous comments. 

Nina Mariah can be found on YouTube, where she posts videos of her incredible performances. She writes on feminism, social justice, her Puerto Rican heritage & pop culture. I’m blown away with the intensity of her words. Her stage presence & mastery of language are stunning. Do yourself a favour & start following her now. I dearly hope this young woman’s  redoubtable talent is about go BIG. 

Woman of the Week…

It occurred to me that I am constantly coming across wonderful women. In all aspects of my life I am repeatedly astounded at the amazing things women are achieving. I also realised that perhaps I am often surprised by how excellent these woman because no one is shouting about them. Well, I think it’s time we start hollering about how fantastic our fellow females truly are. With that in mind I’d like to introduce a new regular feature, Woman of the Week. 

First to be drenched in praise is one of my very favourite tweeters, @stavvers. Going by the twitter handle Another Angry Woman, she is smart, funny & woke. I find myself nodding vigorously to every tweet she crafts. With a reliably intelligent comment on both the major & underreported stories of the day, a strong intersectional feminist view point & a knack for making idiots look ridiculous, she is a must follow.

   

    
   

Her own blog makes excellent reading for anyone of a feminist persuasion. Her writing is a joyous experience; strident, hilarious & covering topics that need to be spoken about. Along with original pieces she does a periodic round of up of interesting things she has read, which are never less than brilliant.

What are you waiting for? Go follow @stavvers now. You won’t regret it.