I’ve been worrying about about these posts since last week. I don’t want to make it sound like I think I’m the oracle on feminism – because god knows that’s not true – what I’m hoping to do is just share some links and things that have given me a better understanding of various aspects of feminism. But I was worried I was sounding like a pompous arse.
With that in mind, something happened earlier this week that proves the above (the bit about getting a better understanding of feminism, I mean, not the bit about being a pompous arse) (I hope), so I thought I’d write about that and a bit about My Feminist Education in general.
So earlier this week, I saw some tweets about a Russell Brand piece on Thatcher. I love Russell Brand and I was impressed with articles he’d written about Jade Goody and Amy Winehouse, so I hopped over and read it. Some bits leapt out at me as being rather brilliant. His description of her voice as “a bellicose yawn, somehow both boring and boring – I could ignore the content but the intent drilled its way in” is perfect and I also loved this “If love is something you cherish, it is hard to glean much joy from death, even in one’s enemies.” I tweeted both of those things, but then my friends Diane and Carrie pointed out that the focus on Thatcher as a mother – both to her children and to the country – is sexist. I hadn’t even noticed. I don’t think it’s possible to ignore gender in any discussion of Thatcher – even if only because she’s the only female Prime Minister this country has ever had – but, as Diane pointed out, male politicians aren’t written about in relation to their parenting skills.
The point I’m making isn’t about Thatcher, it’s about how I managed to completely miss the sexism in in Brand’s article. For me feminism is a constant learning curve. Diane has been a huge part of that and in the past my first response was often to disagree with her – sometimes vehemently – but I always ended up coming around to her way of thinking. Because she’s always right. It’s really annoying. And I really value this discussion. I appreciate that I have friends who will pull me up when I’m being dim and who I can email and ask for clarification and who share my horror at this kind of total bullshit
So, no, I’m not an expert. I don’t know everything, obviously. But I’m learning. And I’m glad.