Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Less of a bang, more of a whimper...

I’m currently reading “Full Frontal Feminism” (review to follow once I’ve finished it) and I was struck by one of the comments on the back of the book, which referred to it having the “sassiness” to keep people reading. I don’t quite know why I found that so troubling but I do (which is a lie really, as I’m about to tell you why).

The reason is this: the expectation that young feminists have to be sassy and full of “fuck you!” to have their opinions considered valid is unhelpful. It creates a stereotype which is, in some ways, just as damaging as the whole man-hating-hair-legged-bra-burning schtick. Sassiness can be just as alienating as it is inclusive and sassiness, whilst it may be enjoyable to read, does not close the wage gap or lead to greater rights in the work place. Don’t get me wrong, I am not saying that sassiness does not *contribute* to any of these things – indeed, it may well give the kick start needed – I’m simply pointing out that it is not the be all and end all. And I think we might be in danger of dismissing the contributions of those people who do not express it in a recognised way, which would be detrimental to what we’re trying to achieve.

Perhaps I am only noticing this because I myself, at the current time, am not at all filled with sass. I’m exhausted, fed-up and completely shit-scared because work is a nightmare. However, I’m still a feminist – and I don’t think my opinions are in anyway less valid because of it. Well, relative to usual, given that they are of course *opinions*.

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