Comments from January 2005

From Gloria

Greetings from Spain, sisters! I just wanted to tell you that I came across

your site by chance and I’ve spent a long time reading it! It’s simply great!

Keep fighting and doing such great work. Congratulations!

From erica zamarripa

I was really excited to see interest in Bitch magazine from feminists in the UK. I live in

California and can find Bitch in almost all of my local bookstores so I

consider myself really lucky! I also used to work at Borders so from

experience, if you get in touch with the person who handles the

magazines/newspapers section and express interest in seeing more copies of

Bitch, they usually are really good about telling those who are in charge of

ordering for the store. Hope you like the magazine as much as we do!

From smberg

Thank you for coining the “pimpiarchy” [Subvert the Dominant Pimpiarchy], though patriarchy is a

word synonymous with the sexual enslavement of women.

I see ads for bodies in the back of two local “alternative” weekly papers

and I can only think of how negroes were sold (and rented out) in newpapers in

the 1800’s. The accepted normalcy of women’s sexual slavery and the sheer

numbers (millions) of people involved breaks my heart. Another generation of

women lost to “men’s entertainment”.

So many people say prostitution is harmless, but the truth is there is

nothing worse that can be done to a human being than sexual torture. Iraqis in

Abu Ghraib weren’t forced to work minimum wage, fast-food jobs to break their

human spirits, they were sexually torutured and filmed so the record of their

pain would shame them forever. This is why there is prostitution and

pornography, because they subhumanize and mentally break women more completely

than any other torture yet devised by men.

I have been an active feminist for years, but as full time

anti-prostitution activist these past two years I have found the biggest

hurdle is getting people to see the extreme physical and mental harm done to

prostituted people. No one suggests child laborers, sweatshop workers, and

minimum age earners work because they enjoy it; hell, no one suggests most

workers work because they enjoy it. But despite the well-known abuses of women

in prostitution and the average age of entry into US prostitution being 13,

sex industry Uncle Toms, Hollywood, and big money pr campaigns keep framing

the debate as one of nymphomaniac choice.

Thank you for the article and thank you for The F Word.

From Camilla Pate

I felt the article on ‘Pimps’ [Subvert the Dominant Pimpiarchy] was spot on. My boyfriend

is into hip hop and when certain videos like the ones you mentioned come on it

infuriates me. It’s unbelievable how some people don’t care and don’t see the

relevance to how women are treated everyday. It’s pathetic and disgusting that

men have to use naked/half naked women to make them feel good about

themselves. But, what about the women out there? Christina Milian-does a

single decent woman have an ounce of respect for the former strong,

intelligent women once her ‘Dip It Low’ video came out? Wanting to look good

in her videon is one thing, but producing what can only be described as soft

porn which is shown on television at all times of the day, is not acceptable.

Women in the media, not just men should be aware that their actions are

regarded by people all over the world, giving men a certain impression of

women in general, therefore tainting all of us with the same degrading brush.

I only happened to stumble on this website by chance whilst researching a

college project, but I am so glad I did. Even though I haven’t managed to get

any work done now..! It makes such a change to hear from people with similar

points of view and be able to express my own opinion without getting shot down

by my friends-male and female.

From Emily

I’m so glad that somebody else even noticed the terrible way in which

pimping has been glamourised by hip-hop and mainstream culture (Subvert the Dominant Pimpiarchy by Rachel Bell). I thought

I was the only one.

From John

In her article ‘Subvert the Dominant Pimpiarchy‘, Rachel Bell writes that

‘Many prostitutes are willing, paid participants but that doesn’t make

colluding in the degradation of women right’. She seems to forget that

‘degradation’ is a subjective concept. What one woman (or man) will find

‘degrading’, another will not.

From Lucy

Bell’s article on the term “pimp” [Subvert the Dominant Pimpiarchy] reveals she has a powerful

voice. I was just wondering if she has written to The Home Office who is

currently welcoming people’s views on prostitution following their

consultation paper “Paying the Price”? Many people still blame prostitutes for

their situation, saying it is a matter of choice, and are lobbying for the

legalisation of prostitution in this country. Those in favour legalisation are

often in powerful positions and better off than those of us who would prefer

the demand to be criminalised. The reality of prostitution, that it is nothing

other than the exploitation of women and children by men, needs to be made

clear to the Home Office. The users are often invisible in reports about

prostitution, but it is the demand that needs to be scrutinised, studied and

discussed. We need to examine ways to identify, prosecute and ultimately help

men who find vulnerable, crack-addicted or trafficked women a turn-on. At the

same time, we need to invest heavily in projects which assist women and

children out of prostitution.

From Kirsty Priestley

I’d like to congratulate Rachel Bell on her article [Subvert the Dominant Pimpiarchy] . It made me sick to my

stomach & hope that many others felt the same. It was a brilliant articulation

of my anger at pop culture. This, coupled with concerns voiced elsewhere in

the magazine on the fashion doled out to young girls (e.g. Gold digga &

Playboy t-shirts) gives rise to great concern for my young neice & her


I am constantly amazed at the amount of women in society who don’t bat an

eyelid at this type of culture & are quite prepared to let thier daughters

engage with the degradation of women in such an important phase of

development. They can’t seem to make the connection between these events and

the atrocities that happen to women – possibly even in the next street.

There’s a clear culture of ‘I’m alright Jaqui – keep your mouth shut just hope

it never happens to me’, even though it’s happening right before their eyes!

In social setting I’m finding it increasingly difficult to broach such

subjects, finding folk increasingly reluctant to talk about any humanitarian

issues (I deliberately don’t often use the f-word for fear of reprisal. After

all, isn’t that what it’s all about? Surely any rational person can see that,

and that it’s not a bunch of frustrated, aggressive women bein abnormal).

But back to the article…. I have to admit that I’m even deterred from

going to the gym because of the preponderance of sexist garb on MTV. This

makes me feel sad, angry & old – none of which I should be considering my

fortunate position in the world.

Keep up the good work f-word & happy reading to all!

From Fiona Moorhead

In response to Nicky Raynor’s article about celebrity [Sick of

Celebrity] – good thoughtful writing, but why the terrible attitude

towards cooking? Being able to cook (and enjoying good, homemade food that

doesn’t contain all manner of processed chemicals) doesn’t automatically

equate to being a vapid 1950s homemaker. Pre-packaged, plasticised food and

media-packaged, plasticised celebrities are perhaps not actually all that

different, except that the former could lead to obesity and massive health

concerns, and the latter to anorexia and massive health concerns. I don’t see

anything to be proud of by stating that you can’t make yourself something

decent to eat, however simple – and sometimes, those SATC cocktails just

aren’t sustenance enough!

From Francine

Nicky Raynor – Sick of Celebrity. Hear hear! Jealous of jordan?! How can

she think that?! What with the fake oversized breasts, lipo and thick

make-up!? This shows her insecurities. Why would any intelligent woman think

that it is desirable to be men’s wank material. I think not.

As for celebrities and their air-brushed bodies. The magazines hold some

responsibility for stars they put in their mags looking perfect HOWEVER it’s

the celebs that are letting them do that to them that are more to blame as

they want everyone to perceive them as perfect. Fine, get yourself airbrushed

for a photo shoot – we all want to look beautiful – but come clean after it.

As Cameron Diaz always proclaims – hey that aint me, it takes a lot of bloody

hard work by top professionals to look that good! But no, celebs are so

insecure (esp. ones like Jordan) that they NEED to be portrayed in that way.

They are therefore, in my eyes, very sick in the head. They are the cause for

children as young as 6 or 7 hating their bodies.

From Andrew Bober

Re: Sick of


Completely agree with ethos of Nicky’s article regarding the rather odious

cult of the celebration that saturates every pour of television scheduling.

However, just thought worth reinforcing the point that the viewer has the

control not to watch these shows – that they cannot all be avid junkies to the

dross of modernity, and that there are popularly alternatives such as reading

and listening to Radio 4, two options that combines extremely well. Of course,

this tragically means that I am in a cultural age bracket that is decades

older than I actually am, but at least it is one that keeps me well informed

and not exposed to the entirely vacuous careers of nobodies.

The concerning issue is that people will interpret these shows as seemingly

essential viewing – identifying with what is an otherwise senseless freebasing

prejudices of these 15-minute celebrities. Personally I blame the parents

(sic. Irony)

From Nandi

in response to the article about celebs [Sick of

Celebrity], which turned into a (bit of a) jordan rant…look, w. all the

tabloids, broadsheets, glossies etc. laying into jordan w. all their bitchy

power, at least we feminists could give the girl a break! she was abused, you

know, when she was a teenager and of course her behaviour is infuriating and

she attacks everyone and invites attacks and wants the whole nation to hate

her and sprays perfume between her legs. of course she does. because she hates

herself…girls like jordan need feminism. jordan needs to be saved! I love

her, personally. imagine if we managed to convert her to our cause, and she

wouldn’t be playing this “slut jordan” vs. “good girl katie” bollocks game

anymore, but actually learning to love herself and take care of herself and

all the rest of it. i mean, i know we probably never will but at the very

least we could not criticize her for all her many failings – at the very least

we should not criticize her for trying to cope w. life as a woman, for being a

woman, basically. let the boys lay into her and the mirror columnists, let

them rip her apart and tear her to shreds. it is our job to try and build

women up.

that she sprayed herself in the genital area w. perfume says it all really:

she hates being a woman, she hates herself, she hates women…i’m not saying

“Poor Jordan” BTW. I am saying something a bit different: I am saying, Jordan,

it’s OK. You don’t need to hate yourself, to hurt yourself but it’s ok that

you do.

And now: why does jordan hate herself so much? why are there so many girls

who hurt themselves/ damage themselves so much? I used to shave my arms when i

was a teenager!!! It’s not feminist to sit there (or lie there) criticzing

Jordan for some throwaway defensive bollocksy comment she made. it’s bullshit,

to be honest…..

And celebrity culture is a load of shit, agree w. you 100%.

From Gordon Candelin

In response to Laura Carr’s article on men in Phnom Penh. It’s been 2 years

since I moved to Phnom Penh [Why Men Suck (And the Women Who Have To)], and sad to say,

Laura has it down pretty well. Young western men do seem to participate whole

heartedly in the sex industry here (albeit perhaps a little quietly), even

given the amount of attention on Cambodia these days regarding the sex

industry and the myriad problems associated with it.

My finacee (who I met here) is a lawyer for a trafficking NGO, and while

the specifics of the problem are now known to me, I had a pretty good grasp

anyway of the exploitive and damaging nature of western male participation in

the sex industry.

I don’t understand what happens to men here either, but since I stopped

going to the Heart of Darkness (I assume it was one of her watering holes), I

have a lot more faith in men as well. Looking at this issue from the belly of

the beast as it were is a depressing excercise.

The good male friends I have made in Phnom Penh (some of whom are single)

are busy doing other things, and have never used their ‘natural urges’ as an

excuse for buying sex.


From Laura

re. Why men suck (and the women who have to)

I found this article very interesting and I agree with most of the points

made. This is an example of the grossest form of exploitation of women.

However, having spent time in Thailand and in West Africa, I would like to say

that it is not only a culture of exploitation that forces women into

prostitution; it is also a lack of economic options, as those working against

prostitution often find when trying to set up ex-prostitutes in alternative

trades. For many women, working in the relatively well-paid sex industry is a

more attractive option than less well paid but less degrading work. Of course

we should criticise the men who fuel these wages, in particular men who would

not dream of participating in such behaviour at home but somehow find it

acceptable abroad. We should work against the trade itself in this and other

ways, but we should also work to generate better educational and employment

opportunities for women to reduce the need for them to seek this kind of work.

In other words, in working against the sex trades, it would be a mistake to

see the situation in clear black-and-white distinctions; prostitute = victim,

everyone else = exploiter. It would be patronising and, I believe,

anti-feminist to deny these women their own agency.

From Andrew Bober

Re: Why men suck (and the women who have to). I have been more

interested in the various replies to this article more so than the article

itself, and felt worthwhile making a few additional points. It is probably

worth mention that I am not the “Andrew” actually mentioned in the article but

one of the many people who ended up with the name when it was somewhat overly

popular during the 70s.

Though a rather hackneyed argument, it is perhaps more the principle that

you cannot ban a trade that will always exist as long as a species has

desires. This is not simply making the issue subjective of morality – but

rather questioning the morality toward the treatment of these men and women

who are prostitutes.

Better there is a broader social acceptance of this trade that allows

licensing of it, as well as health checks etc. Decimalization in this sense

recognizes the needs of the ‘worker’ and provides them with rights to protect

them, whereas presently it is a system of ruthless and violent exploitation by

their ’employers’. Models for this social reform can be found within the

countries like the Netherlands. Even with their failings it offers us a more

candid variety of humanitarianism ignored too often by the secular arguments

of ‘right’ and ‘wrong’. However, there are cultural moral absolutes that are

clearly outlined in our legal age of consent.

The larger ethical implication to the sort of person that would use the

service of a prostitute is itself one that we should abhor. The cultural

insecurities that provide these people with such a need and their collective

acceptance of it needs also addressing. It is easy to conclude that

individuals from developed Western countries with egalitarian principles whose

singular reason travel is to encounter locality with a lower age of consent,

if intent exists at all, represents not only a physical threat to cause

another harm but an ideological threat to the country within which the victim

originates. These individuals are effectively morally bankrupt.

The ethical dilemma of addressing the need to ‘educate’ a society so that

we are emotionally secure enough not to use prostitutes, least of all the

creation of a bravado male culture to hide behind, is one that is more complex

than the issue of prostitution.

Of course, nature does play a part in determining our behaviour but gender

and sexual stereotypes are nurtured into us from the first days of being

reared and compounded every day after. Eliminating the segregation of

gender-issues during secondary education would possibly tackle particular

aspects of this dilemma but not all.

This reminds me of Freshers Week at university or college, the bastion of

the morally redundant male to fully exploit the insecurities of new female

first-year students who have been thrust into a new environment, possibly the

first time they have been aware from home, not necessarily knowing anyone and

wanting to crave a sense of individuality. Like predatory animals these males

congregate at all the dubious fresher events looking for what is essential

easy prey. Although I found these actions detestable, there remains a sickly

curiosity toward the male psyche that even as a male I cannot fully comprehend

or offer any answer to.

I imagine that there are numerous females who can recount regrettable

sexual encounters during their student lives – though oddly you will never met

a heterosexual male who will claim the same. I make a clear and necessary

distinction of sexuality here as the male-male and female-female dynamic

differs to this male-female model. Regrettable also that any actions against

this sexual manipulation by another male with be seen as meddling by not alone

the other men but often females. Though this is not an assumption that this

reaction is commonplace in all females, as it would be to assume that all

males are simply predatory.

Robert Cunningham’s earlier comments, although secular, are not all that

uncommon, insofar as it could be argued the fundamental drive of any species

is the act procreation – though that should not be confused with procreation

itself. Nevertheless, this does not justify the cultural exploitation of the

West on the East and other developing countries. In every sense imperial

chauvinism as a lynchpin on the back of the global economy. Perhaps a crass

simplification but nonetheless one which is a predominant factor in


From Lynne McLean-Brown

There is No

Groom. What a brilliant article! It is great to know i am not the only

bride on the planet worrying about such things. My family think i am crazy for

being so concerned with what i want to call myself. I also find myself having

to stop myself becoming caught up in the drama of planning a wedding. In fact

this topic has got me so wound up i have decided to do my dissertation on how

the ideal of the bride is created in society.

From Dino

Re: article Are You Married? If Not, Why Not? I would suggest that the

author would be far more concerned about the lack of legal status of

cohabitation if she already had children. Whilst it might work out that the

woman in an unmarried family maintains her earning power the reality is that

she is much more likely to lose it than the male. This means that should the

relationship between the couple deteriorate once children are part of the

picture, the cohabiting woman would have virtually no significant financial

support. This issue is very serious. One can’t rely on the man who loved one

to behave in a morally good way once he no longer feels any love; one can not

even count on the man who loves one to be morally responsible with regard to

delivering enough financial and emotional support once the children arrive

anyway. I do agree absolutely that marriage is a very bad institution in many

way (and share many of Harry Browne’s views on the subject expressed in ‘How

to Find Freedom in an Unfree World’) but, in society as it is today with

today’s laws, marriage is the only thing that adequately protects women who

decide that it is best if they care for their children themselves. Deciding to

be a full time mother is not to let one’s self down as a feminist but to be

fully aware of the array of opportunities that should be open to every woman

who decides to bear children. If there is any way of getting legal rights for

unmarried partners that is the best way to move in order to free us of the

current contradictory and potentially abusive situation.

From Cindy

It is very disheartening to read any of this [Are you

Married? If Not, Why Not?], really. You have no clue, obviously, what

married is about! And I would like to refer you to, is all I

will offer.

From Ewan Johnson (Victoria Dutchman-Smith’s partner)

Re: comments on ‘Are You Married? If Not, Why Not?’

Being both the most likely partner at any wedding Ms Dutchman-Smith might

have, and hopefully a very unpatriarchial partner as well, can I say that she

would be making a compromise with sexism by marrying me, and that I am

convinced this has nothing to do with the equality or otherwise of our

relationship? Marriage is not just about loving someone and wanting to spend

your life with them, since our relationship can carry on with the same degree

of trust and equality regardless of whether or not Victoria and me get

married. Getting married intrinsically involves the state (which defines who

can do it in heterosexist terms and what material benefits accrue as a result)

and others who would be invited to witness and participate in the ceremony.

Whatever her status within our relationship, the strength she gives it simply

by being her would become an implicit or explicit argument in favour other

people’s definitions of both marriage and gender roles, and her decision to

get married would have supported the discriminatory status quo that exists,

whatever her views on it.

None of this means those who marry somehow become evil sexists overnight,

with their relationships defined on sexist lines. But choosing marriage is,

like choosing to join any association, a decision that involves a compromise

between an individual’s desires and the understandings that exist both within

and about that association. It has shocked me to see so many responses to her

article which for some reason simply refuse to admit this, blithely claiming

that marriage (rather than the relationship it marks) is whatever me, Victoria

or any other individual wants it to be, alongside other messages which

understand the compromise but are concerned what she risks by not making


Our refusal to marry for these reasons is of course lost on most of those

who would define our relationship after marriage, and who now treat us “as if

we were married” or “as good as married” anyway, but Ms Dutchman-Smith

wouldn’t be the person I want to spend my life with if she felt this rendered

her decision, or the desire to set out the reasons for it in print, pointless.

From Deborah Kerr

I’ve just found your site and I think it’s great! I came via a link to the

article about ‘Feminists are Sexist‘ by Catherine Redfern, which was very

humourous, but with a strong point to it. I’ll be recommending it to others


I just wanted to point out in the review of King Arthur that

Lancelot was actually played by Ioan Gruffudd, not Orlando Bloom. The Internet

Movie Database ( ) is a great resource for double-checking stuff


Keep up the great work!

From Kim Brown

Re: Contraception and Control: Teenage Rights. well what if the

teenager girl happens to hurt herself in the process. the parents should know

about these things, especially if the girl is pregnant. The parents have a

right to know, because not only is the girl killing her baby but she is also

hurting herself. Abortion is wrong and god said thou shalt not commit murder.

Girls should not have the same rights as women when it comes down to abortion.

Parents should know about these things. Do you get what im trying to say?

From Elizabeth

The piece “Body Language Speaks Volumes“, although a little over the

top kept me glued. I found it very interesting. Very good read. thanks,

From Maria Ng

Re: Review

of ‘Make Me a Perfect Wife‘. I only watched one episode of the series – I

found it extremely distressing to watch. The changing of power relations

between the couples was fearful & cruel to see and I was appalled to see the

very visible pressure & unhappiness for the women involved. I cannot believe

that Channel 4 commissioned this programme and failed to require that it was

presented in a fairer more balanced way – namely, making the couples switch

roles & burdens.

After reading the review, I decided to email Channel 4 to complain (the

feedback email address is: [email protected]), and also submitted a

complaint on the Ofcom website ( because I had

found the programme upsetting and offensive. If other readers had a similar

reaction, please do complain! I really don’t want to see them get away with


From Holly

Re: The Boy. # I

totally hear you with this article. I’m 20yrs old and I’ve just started seeing

a boy of just 17. I chose to be with him above being with someone my own age

as I can see in him this softness, which I am fasinated by. He is the only boy

that I’ve ever called beautiful and really meant it. It saddens me to think

that this will some day give way to him being older and more mature and the

way he is now will be lost.

From Jo

Fantastic site. My only suggestion for improvement (already made by Vix in

January, but with no replies) would be for a message board or chat room. Many

times I feel like I would like to discuss an article with people on the site,

but it would add too much bulk to the comments section to carry out a

discussion there. I would love to regularly contribute to the site, but don’t

feel confident enough in my writing abilities to write articles or comments.

I’m sure others feel the same. I’ve yet to find a feminist message board or

chatroom which is regularly updated (if anyone else has found any, please let

me know!). A message board would allow discussions to be organised by topic

rather than by date and I’m sure would provide less confident writers with a

place to express their views.

From Joe

In response to the article on Zoo Weekly,

what a load of shit, do you hounstly think you know what your talking about, i

mean if your that fed up with mens mags, start a womens mag. I mean “Oh my

god” not some bare breasts in a MENS mag! if your that offended dont read


From Jane Wotson

Re: Nuts /

Zoo Weekly.

shut up u cow men can only dreem

Catherine Redfern, editor of The F-Word, replies

Moo! Gosh, I bow in awe at the rapier-like wit and intelligence of Nuts and

Zoo Weekly supporters! Oh, and by the way, the author of that review was male.

Duh-uh. – Editor

From Rachel Allen

With regards to Lori Smith’s article on Pornography [The Feminist

Minefield], I would have to whole-heartedly disagree. The word pornography

comes from ancient Greece and means ‘graphics about whores’ – the ‘porne’

being the lowest of the low in terms of Grecian prostitution. Therefore, by

definition, pornography is, and always will be, about the degradation and

objectification about women.

My second point is that my objection to pornography is not on moral

grounds, but purely on gender grounds. Moral objections to pornography centre

around the protection of the family and the roles defined therein, whereas a

gendered objection focuses on the women involved.

It is true to say that since the 1960s, pornography has got increasingly

more violent to satiate a growing appetite. The majority of porn still

features women being degraded by being seen to enjoy rape, pain and violence,

involves objects and or animals, or a combination of all of these. Those that

don’t are by far in the minority.

From Francine

Response to Ben

Thurgood – Sexual Healing. Some men (my boyfriend being one of them)

appear to believe that as long as they have an orgasm then sex was good. My

old boyfriend I had to train to satisfy me. When I challenged my boyfriend

with the question “you have an orgasm every time we have sex, when is it going

to be my turn?” he responded “well i do most the work!!”

God help me I’m still with him and I try and break down barriers in my own

way by refusing to give him anything unless he pays more attention to me but

of course, for the woman, it’s slightly more difficult to reach orgasm –

therefore, too timely and too much effort. I am purely somewhere to deposit

his cum. Crude but that’s the way it is.

I know, I know … what the hell am I doing with him! However, it’s my own

fault. I need to communicate with him HOWEVER, this is the same guy who says

if you don’t take my surname when we get married then I’m not marrying you!


Anyway. I enjoyed your article. You said there wasn’t enough women out

there who speak out for the feminists?! Pink is a good example, Kylie as

successful as she is I fear isn’t. She is typical of men’s fodder!

From Shanna

Hi! I’m from Saskatchewan, so I’m not just sure what a sixth-form student

is, but I loved the article on helping men to realize the reality of the

issues surrounding feminism [Men In Feminism]. I’m writing my term paper on it, and your

site has been absolutely invaluable as a resource. It also has provided an

excellent foil for all the States-based publications that are available to me.

FYI, feminism in Canada is much the same as in Britain, in that it’s a bad

word, outdated, full of man-haters, but also a lot like the States, in that

there is less “ladism” and macho culture is less dogmatic. Any way, keep up

the good work.

From Nicole

In response to Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix: I stumbled on

this site accidentily and read over this article. I rather liked it but at the

end when the writer spoke about how it was a shame J.K Rowling didn’t take the

time to create a less predjudiced world, that was the part the struck me.

Now, I may just be a less-than-brilliant writer, though I hope to be

oneday. I am may just be a sixteen year old girl, who happens to like the

Harry Potter’s series; but what seems to be missing (if I read the article

correctly) Is the point in which Harry Potter is fictional.

Whether or not it is a unprejudiced world is not the main point, children

won’t seen that point, they won’t know. Must know it’s fictional but they

still like the magic.

Sure, J.K Rowling could have made it less prejudiced (while sarcificing the

characters that make the books so loveable) but in the real world there will

always be prejudice. Attempts to make a book less so shows hope but the book

was good, I know many of my friends don’t even see into the prejudicial sides

of it. There is no point. To us, teenagers, we find that the book is good,

it’s great, its fiction, so why bother with any article? Adults read to much

into things.

I don’t know whether or not anyones brought this up and I’m not trying to

be offensive. But I write stores, my friends write stories we can’t help it if

sometimes, in one way or another their prejudiced. What book isn’t in some way

or another?

From (No name given)

most femm woman are ugly that is why they are like the way theye are inside

and out if you love yourself and god u might be on the right road

Catherine Redfern, editor of The F-Word, replies

This doesn’t really deserve a response (what’s a “femm woman” anyway?),

except to correct the seeming assumption that all feminists are atheists.

Feminists can be found in all religions and belief systems. Although some

feminists may have issues with organised religion, actual personal faith (or

indeed the absence of it), does not define whether someone is a feminist or

not. – Editor

From Emma Sadera

Re: Not My Cup of T: Slogans on Women’s T-Shirts

I was just reading Jo Knowles’ interesting article ‘Not my cup of T’ about

the use of t-shirt slogans, and I just wanted to add a couple of points:

Firstly, that what I consider an alarming trend in people wearing stupid,

crude and unpleasant slogans without seemingly having thought through what

they’re saying about themselves has now permeated the children’s market. I’ve

seen 7 year old girls wearing t-shirts with ‘Baby doll’, ‘Bitch’ and even the

ubiquitous ‘Fcuk’ on the front. Apart from the total, prematurely-sexualised

inappropriateness of most of these slogans, what bothers me is that these

girls won’t even get the chance to think about the political implications of

their messages, as they’ll be so conditioned to unthinkingly wearing them.

There’s also an issue about the location of slogans on women’s t-shirts

that I think deserves addressing. What are we/women saying when we draw

attention to our breasts by stretching a coarse, sexually-available slogan

across them? How does that affect the message that men receive from women

wearing these t-shirts? Like Jo, I certainly don’t want to make even the

tiniest step towards any kind of clothing restriction for women, but I think

that the received messages are something we ought to consider.

Congratulations, by the way, on a really fascinating and stimulating site.

We need it!

From Erin Strawser

Re: A Perfect

Delusion. Absolutely fabulous!!! It’s so nice to read something reasonable

these days!!!

From Teresa Rose

Re: Catherine Redfern’s article: Why

Irma Kurtz is wrong about rape. Ms. Redfern is absolutely right. Further,

if the woman’s eyes no longer sparkle (like in Margaret Hassan’s case – check

the photos on the woman has been raped. No jury can find a

perpetrator not guilty of rape if her eyes don’t sparkle. Rape is not

emotional – it is a physical act that has permanent physical consequences.

That should end the discussion permanently. Now publicize this fact and all

women will be safer from now on. Thank you in advance. I will be publicizing

this in the U.S. and have already told the Supreme Court here. Needless to say

I did not get a response. They will be extremely embarrassed when this fact is

widely known. Sincerely,

From Jo Searle

I found your article about Good Housekeeping very interesting. A friend and myself

have just been looking at the publication for a presentation we have to

complete for uni and both of us found it to be the exact opposite of feminist.

Perhaps the fact that it was the christmas issue but it seemed to perpetrate

the myth that women are supposed to be fantastic cooks, interior decorators,

great gift finders, and look fantastic whilst doing all the above. Its

surprising that the same magazine can create such a different impression.

Catherine Redfern, editor of The F-Word, replies

The issue that was reviwed was the 80th Anniversary issue and included a

lot of stuff about women’s achievements – so perhaps that issue was a bit of a

one-off. – Editor