Monthly Archives: October 2012

What Caitlin Moran done?! And what the hell is intersectionality?!

If you follow any feminists on Twitter, it will have been hard to miss the carnage this week when Caitlin Moran said that she “literally could not give a shit” about the representation of people of colour in Lena Dunham’s show Girls. As with a few topics, this is something I haven’t immediately blogged about because it focusses on intersectionality – something which I’m not well placed to comment on as I am the most privileged of the privileged – a white, middle class, able-bodied, straight man. For those unclear on intersectionality and privilege there’s a couple of posts on the It’s Just a Hobby blog looking at this very issue of privilege and the Moran tweets here and here.

But whilst I’ve felt unable to comment on, there’s been some great and/or interesting posts on other blogs looking at this.When it looked like the Moran tweets couldn’t be inflamed further, the Vagenda blogged in defence of Moran. Personally I don’t think there is much defence of saying you couldn’t give a shit about any group of people. Stavvers written a very good blog on the case against Moran.

But one thing the Vagenda blog has focussed on wasn’t such a bad thing – our use of language. I had no idea what intersectionality was (probably because I’m privileged?), but using verbose terms (like I just have) has meant that I had no initial idea what the hell was going on. Turns out I googled it, but I wonder how many people would have echoed the anger of Stavvers if it was a topic they felt they knew something about? Because intersectionality ultimately affects loads of people, but if you’d have asked me earlier on this week I would have had no idea who.

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Kat Banyard and carnage

Kat Banyard is the same age as me, and undertaking a good deal more work than me as she’s the head of a feminist organisation in the UK. From the tone of this interview by Decca Aitkenhead she sounds quite jaded about doing interviews, or at least terribly guarded.  Aitkenhead’s questioning is often lazy though. When Banyard describes male consumers as victims of porn too Aitkenhead says:

Another way of looking at it would be less charitable. Offered limitless choice, it turns out that what men really want is the most violent, degrading, misogynist porn imaginable. Does that tell us something about men?

A very sweeping generation about all men here. And not very helpful to belittle 50% of the people on this earth when discussing gender equality. I realise Aitkenhead is playing devil’s advocate, but it really spoils the piece.

Here’s an interesting perspective on the piece by Jemima 101 around consent. Lots that I had not previously considered, but a really thought-provoking blog on class issues in feminism. It certainly made this interview in the Observer on whether feminism is a spent-force a livelier read, with Fiona Ranford interestingly raising a similar point to Jemima 101 by saying that:

I think that we need to switch attention away from the individual choices that women are making and turn attention on to the institutions that are restricting those choices

Interestingly Ranford then goes on to completely go against Jemima’s piece saying that:

Men are affected by pornography, for example from, I think, the average age for boys seeing pornography being 11. Pornography is often violent and degrading to women and that’s how a lot of young boys are getting their ideas around who women are and what sex is like

In other news – unsurprisingly 78% of front-page articles are written by men according to research undertaken by Women in Journalism – no surprise there then!

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Sexist urinals and loads more crazy stuff!

I’m doing shockingly badly at the regular blogging lately, but this is what comes from a hectic amount of work and no internet at home (get yourself in gear Orange). So basically lots to catch up on.

First off Ally Fogg has written an interesting piece about men in prisons and their roles as fathers. He describes how “benevolent sexism” means that women’s role as mothers means that they are seen differently to male prisoners.

Sexist urinals – never thought I’d see such things or that it was possible! Some people go to great lengths to be sexist!

Stuff has really hit the fan following Jeremy Hunt‘s statement that the abortion limit should be reduced to twelve weeks. David Cameron‘s since said this won’t happen, but the whole debate has done little to bolster the Tories’ compassionate Conservatism. This has been seized upon and fortunately opposed by Lesley Griffiths, who has also said she would oppose such a move in Wales.

Martin Robbins has written an article against the anti-page 3 campaign, warning that it isn’t very liberal to ban nudity in papers. The Vagenda have responded in kind writing an “anti-Martin Robbins article” article.

Nat Guest has written an interesting article on why women aren’t on comedy panel shows more often, plus another one for comedy – Robin Ince has blogged about how rape jokes are often made by those in the position of privilege.

Fresher’s week is here – and with it an abundance of sexism! At my Uni I seem to remember the token night was ‘Pimps and Hos’, but I’m sure there were many more! Crazy!


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