Feminism: why aren’t we talking about it?
When feminism seemed to have reached a stagnant point in modern society, Caitlin Moran has come to preach to the herd. Women have lost their taste for feminism and this book will bring it back with the bonus clarity of what it means to be a woman in the 21st century.
Moran treats the modern woman’s day to day problems as the foundation of 21st century feminism. Sure, there are many issues women have to deal with all over the world; rape, suppression, lack of rights in third world countries. But if the Western women – who already think they have it all figured out – don’t start talking about the little things how will a solution to the big issues ever be reached?
In an explicit and hilariously honest narrative Moran tackles female sexuality like it never has been tackled before; how it really is. No tiptoeing around issues, be it embarrassing, serious or simply funny. Yes, periods are gross and there are things no one tells you about. Yes, women want to have sex as much as men do – and guess what? They masturbate (Moran does so “furiously” for the first years of her puberty). Yes, all women have imaginary relationships with men they barely know; and it doesn’t mean we fancy them.
Moran’s narrative makes you realize two things. Firstly, many the things women should be told are left for them to figure out for themselves. What sex is really about, how to deal with fashion, the fact that heels aren’t really meant to be worn – I learned a lot from this book and learnt it with amazing perspective because of Moran’s words.
Secondly, Moran fills you with a sense that if all women go through these ‘little problems’ (ranging from what kind of pants to wear and Brazilian waxes to sexual maturity and abortion) and they all have to fend for themselves why isn’t there a clearer platform for these kinds of debates? Why have women stopped organizing themselves to simply ‘talk about it’?
After years of having the lowest kind of female celebrities on the spotlight (Britney Spears, Katy Price, Lindsay Lohan – females who just aren’t and will never be role models) Moran celebrates a time where most successful pop singers are now women and indeed are amazing role models. La Roux, Lady Gaga, Beyonce – it is a great time to be a woman, to be the same gender as these amazing people. Feminism is gaining momentum once again and Moran inspires us get on it and to never give up.
And even before Moran dropped this feminist bomb on the world, women were taking to the streets in the SlutWalk movement. SlutWalk tackles one of the many issues that had been forgotten or simply ignored in the 21st century; the fact that people think women want to be harassed or that they are up for anything because of the way they dress is simply not right. But because sexism nowadays is ‘codified’ and a sexist remark can simply be considered a joke, this was an issue that most women had bowed their heads to and accepted. However, the SlutWalk movement brought the discussion back to the table; why shouldn’t women dress however they like without being judged or harassed for it? This is the kind of 21st century revolution Moran is encouraging.
Finally, a book that urges us to revive discussions that seemed to be resolved. Abortion, sexual education, sexism – how should we, 21st century women, deal with these issues? And why on earth have we not discussed what actually being a woman means?
Although Moran expresses some very strong views about each of the issues she talks about in this book, with extremely personal perspective, the ultimate result her writing has is not the expected clarity of how to be a woman but the question that should have been there all along; how can I be the best woman I can be?
There is no point trying to fight for women’s rights in third world countries if we don’t even fight for our own. And once we have solved all our minor issues, maybe we can help women in more repressed societies to find a voice. But for now we should just concentrate on finding our own.Tagged in: Caitlin Moran, feminism, sexism, slutwalk
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