Bonnie Greer I love you. You just said it all on Channel 4 News
My wee readership know that my blogging tries to adopt the Quakerly approach. Usually. I think and think and ponder and think. Then sleep. Then snore. Then drool. Then refuse to wash the pillowcases. Then snap at the kids and sulk at the other half. And finally – when all of my deep and meaningful spiritual experiences have been exhausted – I might…decide to blight you poor buggers with the odd blog.
But the current discussion on white women, middle class feminism , excluding women of different races and colour – the same old same old is now doing the rounds.
And doesn’t it always? Look back some 200 (nay chickadees and cockerals both) some several THOUSAND years and you can see the trend. The marginalised move forward a few millimetres. The Establishment takes a sideswipe at the cheeky sodding buggers (or a good old punch in the kidneys if you’re in the right place at the right time. Or maybe even rape. Disappearance. Or murder of you and your kids if you happen to live somewhere like DRC.)
So I loved what Bonnie Greer just said on Channel 4 News who also appeared with Helen Lewis. Bonnie chunnered “Feminism is about human beings.” Abso-bloody-lutely right.
Feminism is not about the intellectual (mainly white) avant garde. The university educated. The upper middle class women who will are practically pre-destined from birth to go onto top white collar jobs and for whom feel the teensiest smidge of sympathy for what it means to be a woman – ’cause they once read that women have a really shit deal of it per se. Statistically wise. On the whole. Vicarious feminism is still better than nowt. But learning about the utter horror facing women across the world just ’cause they are born women is what it is about. Yes there was a time when I got really arsey about the fact that someone patted me on the head and called me a ‘silly blonde’ – but these days I want to get my non-whitened canines into something a tad deeper.
So neither is feminism about CLASS in the UK. Or in Europe. Or in The WEST. And neither is it about whether a woman wears a sodding hijab, what religion or cultural framework she chooses (..hmm…the word CHOICE here being the sticking point folks) and all of that.
As Bonnie said – it’s about being HUMAN. About human rights. It is the absolute oppositie of Divide and Conquer media tactics (always wiedled out when they’re feeling a tad bit threatened.) And It ain’t a lifestyle statement. If you truly care about the rights for women – which all boils down to true equality, understanding and fair and equal communication between MEN and WOMEN – you absolutely have to drag yourself back to the LCD (lowest common denominator) which means DESPERATELY POOR WOMEN IN DEVELOPING COUNTRIES WHO CAN ONLY DREAM FOR THAT MONTH’S WAGES FOR THEM….THE COST OF THE DAILY LIPSTICK-TREAT FOR YOU OR I? OR YOUR MACDONALD’S BREKKIE…
Take that as you will my friends. No guilt trip intended. Seriously. Enough guilt going on in the world.
And anyway. Am still pissing myself laughing over the fact that Channel 4 followed all of this up with the TV programme ‘How Not To Get Old’ and boobie-work.
Key always is – piss yourself laughing at being a human. But take action to help anyone – whether male of female – at the TRUE bottom of the pile and who can only dream for the cast-offs that you have. For me, this has always been Feminism.
And a big thank to Joanne Harris – author extraordinaire and bestist ever female writer. Who also has happened to help us – and of course women in the Democratic Republic of Congo who give us the tiny luxuries such as chocolate and who put their lives on the line in order to do it..