CW: Sexual violence, violence against women
An ostensibly minor thing happened this week, which set fire to comments sections around the internet and resulted in a woman receiving so many violent threats, against both herself and her parents, that she was forced out of her home. The catalyst of all of this vitriol and hatred? Anita Sarkeesian released the latest episode of her well known video series Tropes vs Women in Games.
CW: Pornography, sexual violence, sexual exploitation
I have a problem with porn. Not with pornography as a whole – as Caitlin Moran so accurately put it, “pornography is just ‘stuff fucking’, after all. The act of having sex isn’t sexist so there’s no way pornography can be, in itself, inherently misogynist.” My problem is with the porn industry.
This week we had our first event for the Jar Belles – a t-shirt making night, covering what feminism means to us. It was a great success (and not just because everyone loved my veggie chilli)! We all gathered around the table with our fabric pens, glitter and ideas. The wine and biscuits were flowing and there was a great collaboration of ideas, some of which we had already discussed at our meetings and some of which concerned brand new issues that we can’t wait to touch on in future meetings and events.
When gender’s the topic of debate, I often hear things like, “Which wave are we on again?”, “Is feminism that thing where you burn your bra LOL?” and ““What the fuck is a TERF?”
To make things simpler (though these things are rarely black and white), I thought I’d come up with a list of terms and definitions. These should be useful when discussing and understanding feminism. The terms will be broken up into three posts, as otherwise the post would be huge, but the whole thing will be put up in its complete form on one of the tabs above (see: About Us, Contact Us – yeah up there).
Please let me know if there’s anything you’d like me to add in future instalments – this first one will just include the basics.
Our Page 3 woman this week is Stella Creasy, Labour Co–Operative MP for Walthamstow and Shadow Minister for Competition and Consumer Affairs.
I’m not a Labour supporter but Stella has certainly made me reconsider at various points with her ability as an honest, compassionate and effective politician (don’t worry Green party, my heart’s still yours!) I grew up in the town next to Walthamstow and it still pisses me off that they got her and we got Iain Duncan Smith. Of all the people.
Savages – Silence Yourself
Anger is a product. It can be packaged, marketed, sold and sanitised. From punk to grunge, once it broke the mainstream the major labels were only too happy to buy as much disaffection as possible. However, grunge retained a sense of irony and distance about anger, an awareness that it can be used to entertain and thrill. It’s a lot easier to be ironic about a feeling than it is to fully embrace it in all sincerity and seriousness. Savages are a serious band, made up of four women based in London and they are very, very angry.
If you’re reading this blog, then chances are you’ve heard of The Sun’s Page Three. If not, then please tell me where the idyllic rock that you live under is so that I can move there too.
We started the Jar Belles after becoming increasingly frustrated with the day to day bullshit sexism we encountered. We wanted to express ourselves but felt limited to ranting on Facebook or retweeting feminist celebs who had the kind of platform where it might actually make a difference. While social media activism has its place when done right, we wanted somewhere we could physically meet other feminists, to feel that we weren’t crazy or alone and speak and act with them. We wanted to reconnect to that old idea of sisterhood. This idea was prevalent during the 70s and 90s but where is it now? Local feminist groups were few and far between, with obscure or exclusive meeting arrangements, and one by one we ruled them out.