Re: Sick of
Celebrity: I absolutely agree with you on the mirage of hollywood that is
personified by the illusion of perfection. Perfection is only supported by the
assistants that are paid to be at these celebrities beckon call. Another that
really atonishes me is that some celebrities are really lying about their
weight. I have many friends that are 5’4″ or 5’5″ and look like they weigh
less some celebrities. Some of these celebrities claim they weigh 110 lbs.
Give me a break. Most women will lie about age and weight at some point.
Re: Contraception and Control: Teenage Rights: although your
points are true i disagree with some parts i think u should have some privacy
but not too much of it . iam 12 and doing a speaking and listening test on
this matter so am just practising out so do not hesitate to email me with your
opinion to help me with my english scores.
Children, chilcare, families…. I’m sure there are a few feminists out
there who are involved in the above. As they will know, the ideal of
“equality” takes the hardest hit when you realise that chilcare in this
country is not tax deductable… and that you need to be earning a very large
salary indeed to be able to even start to juggle career, interests, and family
– as opposed to drop out of one altogether. Or that the job of looking after
children, as mother or carer is the most despised in our culture, of such low
These are the day to day realities of gender inequality. The ones that mean
real loss, heartache and sacrifice for ordinary women. Borne out of a system
that pays lipservice to equality, but would rather you were at home, unpaid
with the kids, but does nothing to prepare or educate you for that shocking
The great 20th century feminists went there. And were at their most
radical, and their most pragmatic and emotional when they did. Yet, on the
subject, here strangely silent… Is this a lifestage thing? Seen to be a tax
or finacial thing? Just not PC because it implies we’ve copped off with a
bloke anyway? I like your site. I’m just interested as to why the lack of
content on the above?
FOUND THIS SITE BY MISTAKE, hence drunken capitals, but made me think about
things I usually avoid thinking about drunk, high or sober. Will be coming
back when the latter.
Re: Men Are Back: But Where Did They Go? Hi, wanted to say
thanks to Sheryl Plant for mentioning my Friday Thing piece about the ‘men are
back’ Peugeot ad – she went into it in more depth than I was able to and put
it better than I could! It’s interesting for me being the only female writer
at TFT – when I’m not writing about specific female issues I find readers who
write in often just default to ‘male mode’ and assume I’m one of the men. I
don’t think they even think about it, actually, it’s just like the neutral
gear, especially where satire is concerned – and I suppose given that there
are more male writers, it’s just more likely that any given piece was written
by a man.
We did discuss introducing bylines for individual articles (we don’t have
them either in the full newsletter or on the site, which shows about a third
of the content each week). I was one of the ones who resisted, because ashamed
as I am to say it, I enjoy the freedom of being able to write without any
gender assumptions, which is quite a rare thing although of course part of me
feels this is a cop-out on my part. But then I don’t want to make absolutely
everything I write about being female – I want my views to be taken as views
full stop, not ‘the female view’ in every case. It’s almost a taste, for me,
of what things might be like if we really did have equality. Still, I’m told
that I ‘write like a boy’ – it’s a bit like putting on doublet and hose to get
a job at court to support my ailing father, or something. What is ‘writing
like a boy’, anyway? Just an absence of girliness? It’s not much of a
compliment to me, but then it passes for one in a boys’ club.
I have mixed feelings about it, to say the least. On the one hand I feel
like I’m getting one over on people, but then if no one knows it, maybe I’m
not. At least there’s bound to be an article in all this! Anyway – great site,
keep it up.
Re. Men Are Back: But Where Did They Go? by Sheryl Plant: Thank
you for your interesting article , I have wondered about these ads and it was
very useful to see them deconstructed. I have forwarded your article to other
What the person who wrote the Men
Are Back article failed to mention was the blatant backlash phenomena so
overwhelmingly shown in those 2 ads. Note the Peguot ad where, when the song
starts up singing ‘what a man!’, they happen to show PREGNANT women with the
penis symbol – the car – threading it’s way confidently thru the ‘sea’ of
heavily pregnant bodies.
I was thrilled to find the Men
Are Back: But Where Did They Go? article on this site – I am writing a
dissertation on the construction of gender stereotypes through music in
advertsing, and I’m actually looking at the “Men are back” ad. The article
reitterates alot of my thoughts and ideas, and also gave me some new ones. I
found it really interesting. Small observation though – I’ve watched the ad
alot and the blonde with a curious smile is actually a brunette! In fact there
are generally more brunettes than blondes in the ad which makes me wonder
whether men are prefering brunette to the blonde bimbo look?! Many thanks.
There is a very definite connection between two things that have had
coverage in the f word recently. The twisted sexual confusion of our popular
culture, as described by Ariel Levy in her book Female Chauvinist Pigs, and
the infamous rape case in LA involving an unconscious 16 year-old girl being
gang raped and tortured by three teenage boys. Much was made of the fact that
the girl had supposedly claimed she wanted to be a porn star, as well as
trivialities such as her dress, alleged promiscuity, and the fact that she
apparently shaved her pubic hair. I think that the mentality of the boys
involved is indicative of what is wrong with popular culture’s attitude
towards sex, where we have a craze for revealing clothing (for women); the
notion that pornography is postmodern and liberating; music video’s and the
like promoting the pimp/ho aesthetic (no surprise that the film of the attack
had a hip hop soundtrack); and yet at the same time the dominant culture of
the day is as prudish and conservative as it’s always been.
I am not blaming MTV, Playboy and gangsta for the assault – I blame the
perpetrators entirely – but there is a very definite connection between a
popular culture that tells girls to walk around scantily clad, playing dumb
and being sexually passive, while telling boys that Playboy and porn are cool,
and the fact that these young men appeared to have no notion of how serious
what they had done was. The misogyny of these boys, and their friends who
watched the tapes, including young women who apparently sympathised with the
perpetrators, is indicative of the culture we are surrounded by.
When I recently attempted to criticse Britain’s hopelessly low rate of
conviction for rapists on a nominally progressive website, I was shouted down
by nearly all other posters, who thought that I wanted to lock all men up
(despite the fact that I am one myself), and was told that women should take
cabs home instead of going home with men they don’t want to have sex with.
Even the acquital of the security guard who raped an unconscious student in
the hallway of her student halls was defended. I get the feeling that we have
barely moved beyond the 1950’s in our attitudes towards sex and gender. As the
character Kim asks in Sugar Rush, “Why is everybody so fucked up about
I would like to commend Rachel Bell on her article Challenging the Sex Sells Cliche. I recently made a
complaint to an Advertising Standards Board regarding a TV comercial that I
felt objectified women. My complaint was dismissed and I was told the ad was
only “tongue in cheek humour.” Reading this article has reasured me that I am
seeing these images as they really are – that is, degrading, dangerous and
irresponsible, and not being “overly sensitive.” Thanks!
I just read Rachel Bell’s Challenging the Sex Sells Cliche article, which summed up
the obvious inequality women are still facing in our misogynistic media
culture, and the blatant, creepy way that objectification of women is shoved
in our faces without consent. I remember one day, quite a few years ago, my
younger brother and I were at the newsagent with our parents. My brother (who
was about 4 at the time) was reprimanded by the lady running the shop because
he had picked up a so-called ‘lad mag’, and was busy staring at a picture of
some half-naked woman. But how was he to know that he wasn’t supposed to be
looking at it? The magazine was within his reach, and like all curious young
children, he picked it up. It disgusts me that we allow children to be exposed
to this kind of sexist crap and then expect them to know right from wrong
without explanation. It certainly is a damaging way of introducing female
sexuality to new generations, and I often feel like nobody really gives a
damn. I am glad to have found this website, as I now realise there are people
out there who feel the same way as me. If only we had similar positive action
here in Western Australia…
I’m a male, and wholly agree with Rachel’s basic points, esp regarding the
garbage mags aimed at men [Challenging the Sex Sells Cliche]. I was ‘trained’ when a
young student, by the ardent feminists who were my girlfriend, and my
fellow-students, to readjust my attitudes towards women. I’m not perfect, but
owe a real debt to them, as they helped me to undermine and kick out the prior
conditioning I’d had up until that point.
In today’s Guardian (23/3/06) we have an ex-journalist from the garbage Sun
newspaper (Kate Taylor) deprecating Rachel’s viewpoint, and I wholly disagree
with Taylor’s take on things. Whatever else, for as long as men are seeing
women and girls as merely ‘vessels for their lust’ then things are not going
to be good, either for girls and women, or the men themselves, nor for society
as a whole. And I am appalled at how things have slipped ever downwards in the
media, from the days when Claire Short (or Dawn Primarolo was it?) complained
about how the media were sexually selling women’s bodies all over the
All the trashy publications on sale, and on view, (TV and Internet)
nowadays just compound the view that women are here just for men’s pleasure.
This is a totally crap thing to be propounding and affects (and *infects*!!)
so much of our culture. I’m no prude, or religious fanatic, but really resent
what is going on. And I am heartened by Rachel’s viewpoint being expressed in
yr mag, as I think such a resurgent feminist stand is long overdue.
I personally will carry on doing what I can to try to get blokes to change
their daft heads in their attitudes towards womenfolk, and I hope you women
reading this will likewise carry on helping to get things, (read: *men*!) into
some better shape, or our societies will be suffering very ill effects for
many generations to come. Thankyou.
Re: Challenging the Sex Sells Cliche: I live in the U.S. and
there is so much filth here too. I am so disgusted every time I go to the
supermarket or turn on the t.v. Women are gross as far as I’m concerned. I
don’t know why they allow themselves to be torn down the way they are.
Pornography should not be sold at all but if anywhere not in the check out
lane of a supermarket right at your childs level. I’m am a 24 year old mom of
3 and don’t want my children growing up thinking this is a normal way of life.
There are decent women out there who don’t deserve to be treated or looked at
as a sex object. I am extremely happy to hear there are others out there
trying to clean up this world. God bless your good work.
Rachel Bell’s Challenging the Sex Sells Cliche was an excellent article.
I get so fed up of the porn = sex charade, that porn is some normal and
natural expression of male sexuality, becuase “men and women are different”!
Porn = the production and consumption of inequality and it’s all about
backlash against what feminism has achieved. It’s about manhood being
threatened and on the offensive, retreating to the realms of sexuality and
defending itself there. It’s about desperate attempts to make “manhood” real.
And as Rachel points out, it’s no different than racism. Would the sale of
“Klu Klux Klan weekly” be permitted, depicting pictures of abused “niggers”
with the justification that those niggers chose to pose for the magazine and
were getting paid? Hmmm… I fail to see any difference. Freedom of speach, my
On another issue, it saddens me so much that articles such as Sheryl
Plant’s “Deconstructing masculinity” have to be written this far on
within feminism. The entire feminist focus should be on deconstructing
masculinity! If masculinity did not exist, we would not need feminism in the
first place. The whole gender issue revolves around this, and (most) feminists
waste their time by focusing on anything else. I’ve been pushing this logic
for the last 15 years, but am still regularly dismayed to meet feminists to
whom this is only a peripheral.
Femininity exists to shore up masculinity, and until we recognise that
manhood is not the norm to which everyone should aspire in order to achieve
equality, we are doomed. Well done to Sheryl for aticulating this, and for
mentioning my hero Jackson Katz. My favourite feminist writers are (nearly)
all male: Jackson Katz, John Stoltenberg, Michael Flood, Michael Kimmel. Do
read their stuff and shift your feminist focus to the big, underlying issue.
We have to tackle the cause, not just the symptoms.
Deconstructing Masculinity: hurrah, great article. I
totally agree – especially the part about the media making out binge-drinking
women are the scourge of society. I’ve worked in several London bars and it’s
very rarely the women who start the fights or vandalism.
Sheryl Plant’s aritcle Deconstructing Masculinity raises important points about
the glorification of violence in male cultural circles. But by using terms
such as ‘deconstruction’ and by referring to men’s ‘constraining little gender
box’ she perhaps misses an important point. Masculinity is not absolutely
reducible to transient cultural forces. It holds characteristics that are the
products of tens of thousands of years of evolution, beginning perhaps with
the role of the hunter-gatherer. I feel it is maybe naive, then, to implore
men to simply step out of this ‘gender box’, which to some significant extent
is to ask men to rebel against some of their most primal and genetically
Re: Deconstructing Masculinity: I could not agree more. I think
its terribly unfair for those men in our society who don’t feel they have to
live up to a superficial concept of maaculinity. Your srticle has helped me
with some research i’m doing at the moment on society’s views on stereotypes
etc. can it be argued then, that the men we see as ‘feminine’ aren’t actually
feminine at all? but just NOt stereotypes of what society think ‘real’ men
Re: Ordinary Ads, Everyday Images: I found your article really
insightful and interesting. Now that I’ve read it i feel a lot more aware of
media stereotypes that surround me and everyone else. I worry though that
there aren’t enough people who are aware of this. And is it a good thing or a
bad thing to have these kinds of stereotypes? I’m hoping to use this article
to help towards my research for a college assignment.
Re: Ordinary Ads, Everyday Images: Thankyou for the very
interesting advertising article. It has reminded me to think critically and
deconstruct the texts of adverts I see when I commute in London every day, and
hopefully will help me to comment critically about the adverts with my young
son and daughter. Especially interesting was the comment that all Asian women
are portrayed as “geishas”. This has given me a lot to think about so
Ordinary Ads, Everyday Images: This is very very funny and
I have indeed tried to be an alien looking at what I would think of men and
women If I were an alien. As well I have tried hard to not look at bill boards
etc but it can be quite dangerous walking around with you eyes closed. Thanks
a lot for that experiment too. As a man I am regullaly upset at what I can’t
be. I seem to contiunally find myself trying to act out a role that is alien
and my emotions just seem to get the better of me. I am however looking
forward to going on Holiday were thier are no men around but on second
thoughts I also like my male friends.
Advertisments aims are quite obvious. To sell products using women as sex
objects and as such seeing no problem with the objectification of women. I
might even go round my self tring to be a cup or something perhaps a pen or a
Just thought that you might be interested in the complaint below. I am a
man but still hate the promotion of these gender stereotypes which I think
denies so many men of so much of themselves. It is a comment on some of your
stuff on gender stereotypes to and I would be gratfull for any feedback.
I am making a complaint about the use of children to sell products and
particularly in this case of two children used to sell cars. The advertisement
features two children taking on the roles of adults and acting out these roles
for the purpose of selling cars.
It is my opinion that putting two male children in these stereotypes
fosters a particular culture, specifically a patriarchal culture, were viewers
are taught to value stereotypes of power. In addition to this the promotion of
children in adult roles were children are taught to take on roles of
masculinity, for the purpose of increased consumption, is not a healthy way to
learn. When a powerful industry pushes boys into roles that they wish for them
to take on it denies proper development and the promotion of choice in what
roles children wish to take. In particular in reduces young adults the ability
to value self determination. I would like these advertisements to stop that
the use of children used for advertising to stop and that gender roles are not
pushed on viewers for the purpose of consumption.
There is no
groom – I found this article great, I am glad I’m not the only one finding
it difficult to try and explain to friends and family why I’m doing things the
way I am, why I refuse to change my name or be given away. And why my fiance
would never have dreamed of asking my father’s permission. We are getting
married in 3 months, and have opted for a register office wedding, followed by
a humanist service that we are writing ourselves. I am struggling a bit to
find something to replace the “you may now kiss the bride” part, as obviously
I do not want this!! Any suggestions gratefully received. I too, am not having
the big white dress, and would turn up in my jeans, if I thought my fiance’s
gran would not faint away!!
He’s Just Not That Into You: Oh you so don’t get it. I was a real man
chaser. Not necessarily to get married but to have someone around. (Did the
married thing…not my cup of tea.) Still, I had some pretty poisonous
relationships and it seemed I was exhausting myself running down men. It
actually made me physically ill. I took He’s Just Not That Into You to heart
and voila! I’ve got everything from 18 to 80 interested. Face it girls, men
can smell a woman on the hunt and they run. But be unavailable…and it’s like
when your female dog goes into heat. Everything shows up on the doorstep. Now,
for me, it’s just a case of pick and choose. The surfer? The artist? That
older gentleman I met at the museum? The barely legal young thing that chased
me down in the mall? (I’m probably older than his mother.) My
disinterestedness is sexy. He’s Just Not That Into You says relax, enjoy
life…and stop fretting about where he is…or isn’t. If he isn’t paying
close attention to you then go ahead, move on to the next interesting thing
that catches your attention…man or adventure. Stop putting your life on hold
for him. And if that ain’t empowering…well, then I question YOUR motives.
In response to the article “Pretending That Men Aren’t Grown-Ups,” I have several
concerns. First of all, rape *is* a fact of life, and pretending that it isn’t
is sheer fantasy. Of course, in an ideal society, rape would not occur.
Neither would assault, robbery, or even violence in general. However, people
can be nasty, violent, cruel, selfish and the rest. Accepting this and dealing
with it is not succumbing to the powers of patriarchy, it is simple common
No one in their right minds would suggest that women should take
responsibility for being raped – that would imply omnipotence. Rape victims do
not have the power over their attackers to prevent rape from happening.
However, taking responsibility for one’s own actions is only sensible – indeed
essential, as we assert our rights. Of course we have the right to remain
unmolested – or at least, we should have. But where is the shame in reducing
the risk to one’s person? Given the choice between upholding my principles and
walking down a darkened alley, head up and proud, or listening to the voice
inside that says “May we should take another way round” and remaining
unassaulted, I know which one I’d choose. Why should I be ashamed of my
I *am* afraid of being raped, and it’s that precise fear that means I don’t
behave in a way that is likely to mean that I will get raped. I’m sure that
many women will accuse me of suggesting that a women wearing a mini-skirt is
‘asking for it.’ Nothing could be further from the truth. No woman deserves to
be raped. No woman should take the blame for an act of violence committed
against her person. But she can and should take responsibility for her own
actions and behaviour, and it is a fact that engaging in certain behaviours
will make you more vulnerable. Why is there a problem in admitting this?
I love women. My mother is a woman, my sister is a woman, my best friend is
a woman, and the person I love most in the whole world (myself!) is a woman. I
have, therefore, a vested interest in making sure that women are not put in
unneccessary danger. And if this means retaining a vestige of control over my
actions, rather than putting my safety wholesale into someone else’s hands by
putting myself out of action, then I don’t see a problem with that. In fact, I
am actually offended by the author’s assertation that “The message to women
here seems to be: ‘you are weak, so take good care to protect yourself,
because it will be all your fault if someone stronger than you assaults you.
You can’t trust that men will control themselves.’ ” It’s not chauvinist
ideology to claim that women are, on the whole, not as strong as men. It’s
fact. And it’s not chauvinist ideology, either, to suggest that a woman takes
care of herself because she can’t always trust the people around.
Unfortunately, that’s just common sense, something which seems to be lacking
in this article. I would suggest that encouraging women to think of themselves
only as victims is entirely counter-productive. By acknowledging that there
may be something we can do to reduce our chances of being assaulted, we take
responsibility for ourselves and our choices, and we all know that there’s no
shame in that.
Check out the video for I’M SO SICK OF MODELS! on IFILM.com. The
search/submit is “so sick of models!” The videos great .It really empowers
women and dismantles the myth of the”model.” Your readers will love it.
Re: Hairy Women:
Sad Sad Sad ! To think in this day and age you so called femenists have to
bring into youre agenda female bodily hair to help raise the awareness to your
cause. Sad Sad Sad ! There are men out there who love women in any form
guise,style,I.Q., colour of hair, eyes, cufflinks or matching wraparound. Sad
Sad Sad !!!!!!!!!!!
Re: Why it’s time for the battle of the sexes to end: A very
inspiring objective and diplomatic argument.
Feminism’. I’m male, and agree with you Lizzie, we men really REALLY need
to change our heads in our attitudes towards women, or it corrupts the whole
of society for many generations to come. Keep up the good work, dear soul!
King Arthur: I’m
sure you’ve been told already but Lancelot was not Orlando Bloom (not even in
the picture, ) it was Ioan Gryffud.
Hi , I am a 59 yr old male . Experience of 3 women in my life , Sheltered
perhaps !. I agree with Irma’s comments [Why
Irma Kurtz is Wrong About Rape] . Considering the present and proposed
laws I am concerned . If a woman is raped there should be just punishments
,considering what women have to endure if they appear in court . Perhaps women
should take some of the blame for the latter though , because so many cases
have found to be a waste of time , ie;- they were lying . Because of this the
courts have to be so thorough .
Sisterhood: This is a very inspiring article, and although it was dealing
with something negative (women being women’s worst enemy), it had a very
I have recently been rather annoyed by the BBC one radio show I sent a
complaint regarding the song played on there called ‘beep’ by the pussycat
dolls it’s atrocious. One of the lines of the song being i know you’ve got a
brain but i’m looking at your beep beep but I have been completely dismissed
what can i do to get the point across this song encourages particularly young
girls and young boys to view themselves/ or someone else as nothing but a sex
object at five o clock in the evening! I am angry that the BBC don’t seem to
care that they are promoting this degradation of women could you give me any
advice on how to take this further!
Re: Under the
Knife: I would just like to say that I have been studying Gender and
Society at University (in my last year of Sociology at York) and I am
presently doing an assessment essay on Harmful Cultural Practices (versus
empowerment). Your article was extremely interesting – especially since I am
interested in the cosmetic surgery industry as a growing ‘norm’ in our
society. Most people often dismiss cosmetic surgery as a ‘choice’ that women
make and therefore it is not harmful. I find it shocking that the cosmetic
surgery has now expanded it’s repertoire to labiaplasty, hymen ‘restoral’ and
vaginoplasty. Isn’t this remininescent of cliterodectomy in the Victoria age??
I would say that women engaging in cosmetic surgery are not ‘cultural dopes’
but the pressures or unhappiness leading them to surgery are usually
patriarchal ones embedded in the cultural norms of our society. Thanks for
writing something so relevant and interesting!
Re: Teenagers and Cosmetic Surgery: I think this article raises
some issues which are really valid. As part of my exam work I wish to argue
against plastic surgery as a form of altering our appearance. For one thing,
it really isn’t necessary and having a ‘quick fix’ does not ultimately deal
with issues of confidence or self-esteem; underneath you are still the same
and if you cannot accept that, then altering the outside will never have the
miracle effect wished for. But more to the point, why should we feel as though
we need to conform to some ridiculous image of being the perfect woman? It’s
not realistic and is unattainable and surely only the superficial would agree
that plastic surgery is way to create happiness.
Thank goodness!! Finally, a place where we can discuss feminist matters
without the disaproving looks and eye – rolling smirks of friends and
acquaintences!! (or is that just in my experience?). “Whose Slut?” caused me
to roll my own eyes, as well as the odd raised eyebrow and the emmition of
slightly pissed off “hmph’s”. I’m sick and tired of hearing how we should or
shouldn’t be, how we should or shouldn’t dress, etc etc etc!! Enough already!
Why can’t I simply be me without men and women alike making some rash
assumptions about what I’m trying to gain from doing so?
I am a young woman working in the Prison Service – a very male orientated
environment. Every moment I spend walking around the prison, working with
prisoners, or indeed dealing with colleages, is spent constantly and
obsessively keeping my behaviour in check. Don’t touch my hair, smile too
invitingly, move the hips too much when I walk, for if you do these things,
not only are you seen as unprofessional but also as WANTING the attention.
I have found that the most effective way to get on in the “boys club” that
is my career, is to attempt to strip myself of all things feminine. I wear
minimal make-up, never have a neckline lower than my collarbone, hair neatly
tied back … Needless to say that I am labelled as either a lesbian or frigid
and cold. I am neither of these things. I am a woman who likes going out to a
bar and having a few drinks and a chat with my friends without having to slap
away the errant hands of strange men and having to pretend not to feel highly
uncomfortable and, dare I say, threatened by the blatant and leering stares of
males. Is the author of this article telling me that I should welcome this
attention and be glad of it because it is what makes me a woman? Not bloody
Working in an environment like I do(with Male Juveniles and Young
Offenders) being young and attractive is nothing but a hindrance. Example:
just 2 weeks ago I had to go to a Governer’s review concerning a 16 year old
boy who over the course of two days made lewd, disrespectful and disgusting
comments to me about how, where and when he wanted to “fuck” me. At this
review meeting I was asked to explain what had happened so a decision on
punishment could be made. Imagine my horror and disbelief when the panel of
governers (all male by the way) asked me what I had been wearing when this
I was sexualised and objectified tht day, not only by the little runt who
made the comments, but also by my colleages and bosses. My point is, telling
women to enjoy being sexualised is dangerous. How many times is a woman raped
and blamed due to the outfit she was wearing at the time? You tell women to
dress provocatively and flaunt what men want left right and centre and all
you’re doing is giving me the excuse to abuse and insult and disrespect. It
saddens me that I go to work everyday and deal with male children and young
men who think it’s perfectly acceptable to shout insults at the females that
are supposed to be their authority figures. We have a big enough problem with
women being treated like shit just becasue they lack a penis … we don’t need
to add to it by accepting it as something we deserve.
I am writing in response to an article written by Ilona Jasiewicz called Re-classifying
Rape. I am a survivor of rape and I agree with this article. The justice
system downplays this crime so often. Sometimes, they don’t even seem to care
about the victim. I agree, rape laws need to be changed.
In response to comments on my article Feminism
and popular culture, I appreciate the feedback I received, but disagree
with the comment that I did not research law statistics enough. I wrote about
these subjects in my A-level law exam and received an A grade (only 17 f
people in England got an A-grade the year I took my exam). However, law
becomes outdated very quickly and the situation may have changed since I wrote
the article. Regarding the comment that I was too bogged-down in the Yorkie
advertising, I basically wanted to incorporate as many subject areas i could,
such as law, personal experience, T.V., advertising, e.t.c. Moreover, if the
Yorkie was a white bar with “It’s not for *******”, and “not available in
black” printed on it etc then it would be banned (and rightly so). Also, I see
it as part of the new trend in sexism that is ingrained in every day life.
Re: Not For Girls: the Yorkie adverts: I think this article is
totally right. I mean men do always think it’s their world and that THEY are
stronger but they aren’t always! I think that it is a very sexist slogan and
that it should be banned, women are always judged about being weak and
innocent but we’re not! This is a wonderful article and that it should be
Women: I hate to say it, but the fact that you think progress was being
made from the early 40s (“Maltese Falcon”) to the early 50s (“All About Eve”)
with regards to the portrayal of women shows your simple lack of knowledge
about films in this era. If anything, the roles of women were being diminished
by the early 50s. The power of women in Hollywood was at its peak from the
early 30s, with films like “Miracle Woman” to the early 40s, with “”Lady Eve,”
largely thanks to the charisma of Barbara Stanwyck. By the early 50s, women
started to become more objectified with the likes of Marilyn Monroe and the
leggy Cyd Charisse. Even Barbara Stanwyck’s roles were dminishing by the 50s,
as she began to play tough, but limited, parts as more motherly characters. By
1993, women had films like “Rising Sun,” and the dignity of women on screen
was offically sapped. If you don’t believe me, look at Adam Sandler’s latest
Body Language Speaks Volumes: Just to say it was a thought
provoking read and I happened upon it accidentially. I was looking up body
language to work with some young people on assertiveness, this offers a new
slant on the subject. I will enlighten them with some of this information
(slightly more diluted!.) Thank you.
If there was a structured organization that was a mens version of femanism,
lets call it mascanism, there would be a huge public out-cry and all hell
would break loose. Anyone with anything to do with it would be called
shovenist bastards and the list would go on. I don’t see why females can get
away with it. The majority of femanists have never lived in a society without
equal oppertunities, they should therefor have nothing to rebbel against, any
more than men. so whats the go? whats going on? can’t you all just get off
your high horses and learn to live with the population as a whole, including
men. In this day and age, we now have a lot bigger issues to put our energy
towards, you sholdn’t feel the need to keep femanism alive, it’s no longer
relevant to society. Get out and enjoi the world that woman before you worked
so hard to make.
Re: Maxine Carr and Other ‘Evil’ Women. I could never see why
there was such hatred of Myra Hindley over and above that for Ian Brady save
that she forebore to have a mental breakdown and, in fact, made more of her
life in prison than he did. Unlike Carr, about whom I know nothing, Myra was,
in fact, guilty of murder. However, I could never see the point of keeping her
locked up for the rest of her life when she was obviously no longer a danger
to herself or anyone else. But, being a woman, I suppose society had to vent
its spleen on such an ‘unmotherly’, ‘unnatural’ phenomenon, even at vast
expense to the public purse.
In a similar context, read, “She Must Have Known” by Brian Masters, who, in
essence, says that, whether guilty or innocent, the legality of Rosemary
West’s trial was a farce. But, again, being a woman she, too, has had be
demonized over and above Fred who, I suppose, at least had the decency to hang
How would society manage, I ask myself – before nipping off to add gin to
the baby’s milk – without all these appalling women to blame over and above
their male counterparts?
Great site! Enjoy it very much. Two notes: Pink’s video – I don’t
understand the offensiveness bit regarding the toothbrush scene. I had (and
sometimes still have) problems with an eating disorder and don’t find this
scene offensive whatsoever. Taking oneself (and the rest of society and its
so-called role-models) too seriously is what contributes, in my opinion, to
such disorders. The pay gap issue – do I really want to be ‘exploited’ rather
than ‘underexploited’????? So the pay gap has to be closed because women want
to be equally exploited for the sake of the UK economy? Well, that’s really
nice of us. I don’t want to be exploited at all, if I could help it. And I
even would go so far as to say that I don’t want men to be exploited either. I
think we still need the critique of Captialism. Or do we really think that
overall equality, respect etc will fall into place once we earn the same
amount of banknotes?
I thought I was mistaken when I saw an article from the billion-dollar porn
industry profiteer-apologists $pread Magazine spoken of at your blog as if it
were a feminist source of information. If you had quoted Playboy or Hustler I
could not have been more affronted. It is in no way pro-woman for a few
extraordinarily privileged employees of a global sex trade to explicitly urge
other women to become prostitutes, to normalize prostitution as ‘women’s
work’, and to speak glowing defenses of pornographers and pimps while
shredding any feminist woman, like Levy, who details the physical, mental, and
social harms of accepting men’s right to prostitutes.
I hope never to see $pread Magazine referenced as a feminist text at your
website again, just as I hope you would not consider Playboy, Hustler,
Penthouse or other lad mags worthy sources of feminist dialogue since $pread
shares the same agenda with other pro-sex industry publications: increased
acceptance of prostitution and pornography as beneficial for poor women and
necessary by all men. That’s not feminist by any stretch of the
The F Word recognises that some will disgaree with $pread’s approach, the
magazine itself, and its editors’ definition of feminism – but this site
cannot define what is or isn’t feminist. F Word readers can (and will!) drawn
their own conclusions. We carry a review of $pread magazine
here, or to form your own opinion, $pread’s official website is here. – Ed
i am writing a rewiew of my own at the moment on the incredibles for
gcse coursework and while everyone is trying to promote the film, i take your
views. i would just like to say thanks for inspiring me to make a individual
review and i just hope it has the same effect yours does and gets a good
I enjoyed your ‘25 Burning Questions men are too embarrassed to ask‘
article. I don’t think anything you said was negated by the article being
written by a woman and I’m not surprised it’s written by a woman [see previous comments received].
Men bashing of this sort seems very popular at the moment. Both sexes
propergated damaging gender stereotypes. Articles of this sort ‘Men:we can’t
help being a bit crap but you find it endearing.’ are incredibly harmful,
particularly for young men. Many of my male friend think of being male as a
bad thing exacty because of these negative stereotypes, this is very sad.
Thanks for writting the article. Keep up the good work!
I agree with everything written about Grazia magazine and
thoroughly enjoyed reading the article. Although Grazia does promote the
stereotypical female “danger” areas like dieting, fashion, gossip – it does do
so with a sense of humour and irony lacking elsewhere in the women’s press.
Behaviour: I understand what you are saying about this programme but these
girls choose to enter a show like this. Choosing to go in to the world of
modelling means you certainly will be judges on your appearance, it’s what
earns you the money. I bet there wouldn’t have been such a lengthy article
published on the horrid comments passed on peoples singing voices on Pop Idol.
It’s exactly the same situation, they’re just putting themselves up for being
judged on something else. Like when you go to a job interview, your skills and
experience are judged and evaluated in order to see if your good for the job.
Model’s skills are in their looks, so obviously this is what people will judge
about them when seeing if they’ll front a successful campaign.
Jayne – I enjoyed your article on Sin City very much, and I
have to say that the film struck me as being very much as you described it. As
soon as I saw the billboards and beer mats that you described I knew it was
going to be a T&A bonanza with a few black eyes (female) thrown in for extra
titilation, all neatly packaged as ‘coooooool’.
Sin City was voted the most popular by patrons of my local (arthouse)
cinema this year, the Ritzy in Brixton. Most of the cinema’s customers seem to
be your common-or-garden left-of-centre Guardian readers, so perhaps they saw
some kind of intellectual irony in it. After all, this is what life on the
wrong side of the tracks is life, isn’t it? This cinema – which is one my
favourite things where I live, by the way – wouldn’t think twice about showing
a film that denigrated black people and was labelled ‘a cool film’. Neither
would Brixtonians flock to see it! Last year Ritzy customers’ favourite film
was ‘Spring, Summer, Autumn and Winter’, a film about Buddhist monks. Who
knows what the semi-detatched of SW2 will favour next year…
To Rachel Eastwell – Rachel, what can I say about your article [Every Girl
Wants a Stalker] apart from it’s brilliant? And here was I being told I
was ‘desperate, needy and clinging’ – not to mention a slapper and probably a
stalker! – because I ask men out. Like you I cannot fathom why a woman would
not let a man she likes know she is interested, and asking him if he fancies
meeting up for a drink is much better than doing one of those confounded
hairflicks and hoping he’ll ‘get the message’. I figure that he can only say
no, which is something men have to hear day-in day-out. And, being a grown
woman, I don’t harrass the man if he’s not interested, as much as I may want
him to say yes.
And I’ve always thought it was the done thing to ask a guy you like out and
have been encouraged to do so by my father. His opinion is cool; although men
are usually the pursuers, thank God the rules do break down and what have you
got to lose? After all, what’s the point in looking back and wondering what
might have been?
I can think of two times in the recent past where I’ve asked men out or let
them know I’m interested. In the first case I got talking to an Italian lawyer
on holiday. We got on so well that I asked him if he fancied meeting up for a
coffee later. Hmmm… well, another Italian friend (male!) half-condemned me,
saying that I would have made the man feel unmasculine – but it turned out to
be not the case, and two years on this lawyer fellow is still in contact with
me. In the other case I asked a Brit man out and the result wasn’t so
positive; truth to tell he’s a bit of a playboy and probably a man who
pursues. Strangely enough, initially he’d been interested, so who knows what
happened there – but I haven’t stopped making the first move!
Ditto the good point you made about backing off when someone’s not
interested. One of the main reasons I ask men out is because I absolutely
ABHOR being asked myself, simply because it always seems to be by men whom I’m
not interested in and who get irrate when I graciously say no. I feel that I
can handle rejection a lot better than they can, hence I’d rather be the
rejectee. Well, you’ve touched on something I feel strongly about, so thank
you for that. And I agree – Bridget Jones is a total arse!
I am responding to : Every Girl Wants a Stalker Every Girl Wants a Stalker. I
was looking for a film about a female stalker of which i had forgotten the
name and due to the similar words used in the search i came across said
article. As a man, notably a shy man, i found the article interesting and
moreover, truthful. Admittdly i am not the greatest fan of feminism but i do
however find the sentiment in the article true.
I read Rachel Bell’s article (“Subvert the dominant Pimpiarchy”). She seems to have been
sold a dummy by Sam Deleany. The use of the verb “pimp” in “Pimp my ride”
refers to making something more appealing. Not to make it look like a pimp or
something belonging to a pimp. Hip-hop language evolves very fast, the nature
of the language is quick. I’ve heard people refer to soemthing as “pimped” up.
The meaning here being that the object was looking its best.
I think Neil rather misses the point here. – Ed
re: Subvert the dominant Pimpiarchy. . I’m a linguistic student
and after 3 years of researching and discussing the idea of damaging
discourses, have been going half crazy feeling like I was the only person who
recognised the sickeningly unthinking use of ‘pimp’, particularly by those who
should know better (other linguistic students for instance, who apparantly
have been on a different course to me…). Thank you so much for quieting the
screaming in my head.
Review of Hardcore:
After seeing this documentary last week, i walked around with it in my head. I
never ever knew that this is the way to go in the pornindustry. It made me
sick, angry, sad but I can understand how the sick minds among us (men) can be
totally arroused by this. The poor girl was manipulated into this. First of
all the meeting without clothes, it is a total uneven situation there, you’re
vulnerable as it is. She repeatedly said she was terrified of him and that
only seemed to please him. The way he asked her to hold up her hand, sprayed
some lubricant in it, asked her to bend over and fuck her… Amazing. The way
he acted like a father (obviously knowing these girls can have big father
issues) upstairs and then turned against her… My thoughts exactly… what if
the crew weren’t there. Would she be abused (more then already)? Would he MADE
her do everything he wanted from her?
I started surfing the internet, looking up this mr hardcore (who looks like
a dumb hillbilly in his cowboyhead). As I got to his site I couldn’t help but
being curious. it is awful, it is plain abuse and people pay for it…
LEGALLY. How can we stop this???!!! Isn’t it possible for pornstars to get
their free castrated bodyguards (like you get ajourned an attorney, when you
win the att gets a percentage). It gave me sleepless nights. Amnesty
International, what are you going to do about it? (excuse my english i’m