Here’s something you might not know about me: I’m a bit of a control freak. If ever a situation arises wherein I lack control, it tends to bother me. A lot. As a woman who has difficulty giving a hairdresser free rein over her fringe, I find it particularly hard to relinquish all power to Mr Random on the street, or Mr Banter in the office. Yet that’s what I find myself doing almost every day, when confronted with casual sexism.
As I pointed out in my last post, every woman’s experience with sexism is slightly different to the next, as are every feminist’s reasons for identifying as such. Personally, my feminist Kryptonite is the issue of casual, everyday sexism.
‘But we’ve moved on from the 50s – we’re a civilised bunch!’, I hear you say (possibly). You’d be right in thinking that sexism isn’t quite as prevalent or overt as it used to be. You only have to watch one episode of Mad Men to be reminded that a heavenly wardrobe was the only good thing a woman was entitled to in that day and age. But back to today, and the constant drip-drip-drip of casual sexism has led to us barely noticing, or even simply accepting, much of it. It’s dangerous stuff, this Kryptonite.
Ask any woman and, feminist or not, she will surely be able to reel off a list of instances in which she has been targeted and treated unfavourably simply for being a woman. Instances in which she loses all her power as an individual, and becomes simply an object for ridicule, a target for unsolicited abuse.
To illustrate this point, here are a few examples of my own brushes with everyday sexism. Off the top of what might, in these situations, be referred to as my ‘pretty little head’…
So… this is my first post on this blog. Or on any personal blog, for that matter. I’ve resisted having a blog up until this point, for fear of not having enough to say. More specifically, for fear of my witty, biting posts slowly descending into an unrelenting assault of identical faux-vintage images of what I’ve eaten that day (moussaka and many, MANY rice cakes, if you must know). No, I wasn’t going to waste time writing about food when I could be doing something far more important, like eating food.
And as much as I love food, and music, and fashion, and the many other frivolous things that fill my days, I already have outlets for airing my views on these. You see, I like to talk, and I like to ask questions. Lots of questions. I probably do have more questions than your average human. I actually noticed recently that my driving instructor has gone from inviting me to ‘ask all the questions you want’ to commenting, regularly, that I ‘ask way too many questions’. Quite the U-turn. (Little driving joke, there). What can I say? I feel like it’s in my nature to question things. Even if I am questioning whether I can drive into the yellow box, for the fifth time in an hour.
My boyfriend, friends, family and even work colleagues are good enough to humour my unending barrage of questions, garnering opinions on my new favourite album, biscuit or Peter Pan collar shirt. Sometimes they even talk back at me, and the sharing of opinions becomes satisfyingly two-way (although my boyfriend might struggle with the shirt). I therefore feel that my needs in these areas are being met.
So, why the blog?