Comments from September 2007

From James Parker

Re: Peaches – Impeach My Bush: I was just reading your review on Peaches and

thought I’d pass on the name of another superb Canadian artist, also

with a consistent feminist slant, just in case you weren’t already a


Anyway, the artist’s Emily Haines. She’s the lead singer out of

Metric, whose second album “Live it Out” is one of my personal faves.

Gotta love “Poster of a Girl” and “Patriarch on a Vespa”!!! But she

now has a solo project too called “Emily Haines and the Soft

Skeleton” whose only album so far “Knives Don’t Have Your Back”,

although a little less accessible than Metric’s post-punk / new rave

thing, is ultimately a far more rewarding listen. Amazing!

From Emily

Re: One Hundred Strokes of the Brush Before Bed: I really enjoyed Irina Lester’s review of “One hundred strokes of the

brush before bed”. It was well written and well researched and treads

a careful line between condoning and condemning Melissa’s behaviour.

It makes me realise what a perilous course the sexual transition from

child to adult is for a woman and how badly sex education and society

have let down young women in this country and the rest of the world.

It is something I can relate to, and this review really highlighted

the pressing need for a discussion of sex, “the flesh and blood” and

the emotional consequences with young men and women, fast.

I really commend Irina for writing this and I look forward to more of

the same. Many thanks.

Irina Lester, author of the article, replies

Thank you very much for kind words for my review, your response is very reassuring as it is my first ever (I think) piece written in English and first for The F Word as well. When I was reading the book while on holiday, I remember feeling disappointed because I always want to read about positive sexual experience from a woman, something which can inspire us all to be more assertive and more in control, not some stories that make you wince. (In that case Abby Lee’s book “A Girl with one-track mind” is superb.)

But then I thought that I don’t want to sound patronizing towards Melissa Panarello on The F Word, and I do have lots of sympathy for her.

If things go well, maybe I should try to become The F Word’s “drooling feminist auntie” who reviews books about sex.

From Jennifer Drew

Irina Lester has written a very insightful review of One Hundred

Strokes of The Brush Before Bed. Lester is correct, the hypocritical

criticism levied at this author clearly demonstrates how female

sexuality is still perceived. Namely for the sexual gratification of

men and boys. It also proves how girls and women continue to be

taught female sexuality is bad if it is expressed for the woman

alone. Male pleasure is paramount. Interestingly Lester also

highlights how pornography insidiously is intertwined into male

beliefs concerning their ‘sexual rights’. Lastly, the critics, as

Lester wrote, refused to see or accept many of this author’s

experiences were ones of male sexual exploitation and sadistic male

violence. But then women are still sexually constrained and subject

to male sexual control.

From Alice H.

Re: Skinny porn: Thank you for

articulating so clearly what has been buzzing round my head for

months. It is unbelievably refreshing to read such an honest and

sensible piece about this insane issue.

From Sara Helen

I totally agree about the

“size-zero debate” – it’s not helping any woman feel better about her

body, it’s just letting magazines print even more pictures of skinny,

half-naked celebrities. I want to draw attention to your mention of the

Jezebel bloggers, though. I admire their style and confidence, but

reading the comments made me wonder whether it was the website of

Heat magazine. All the comments were along the lines of “cute booty”

or “you’ve got nothing to worry about” – a clear indication that

these women were being objectified and judged just like the

celebrities. How does that make them any better than the magazines?

From Alan

Re: Can burlesque be feminist?:”strip clubs cater to lonely business men and stag dos”.

If you actually went in one I’m sure you’d see a cross section of men

in them, not just the types you mentioned. I thought feminism was

about breaking down stereotypes, so why bring in this lazy and tired


I’m not asking anyone to agree or disagree with strip clubs, but I

can’t see how repeating stereotypes advances any arguments.

Chloe Emmott, author of the article, replies

I agree that is a lazy stereotype and I apologise. However that image of a strip club pervades in popular culture and is tied up within how we see women’s sexuality. I was using it as an example , although I admit it was perhaps not the best one and rather poorly researched, to make a wider point.

From anonymous

I’m beyond sick of seeing middle class white women who don’t have a

fucking clue about what they’re saying romanticize prostitution. I

used to love this website but lately you’ve been pushing this

happiness in slavery idiocy hard and I’d really like it if you’d just

stop cashing in on whore chic bling bling every month for the rest of


From Irina

I absolutely agree with the author of the article What does the

politics of hair say about modern Britain?: we should not tolerate

things that, for progressive mentality, constitute an abuse of human

rights just because some other cultures claim it is their tradition.

Honour killings, genital mutilation, senging gays for “reformation

and healing” are criminal offences and have nothing to do with

culture, in fact they are an anti-culture. (With niqabs it is not so

straightforward: the practice of covering a woman in order not to

inflame a man is doubtlessly sexist and barbaric but many muslim

women in UK embrace the culture of their families in order to protest

against British pro-war agenda. They may do it out of defence, it is a

common trick to stick to your roots when you feel unsafe. you need to

have the war in mind when looking at the islamisation of families

which, otherwise, in a peaceful time, would be secular and just like

any other british family)

Like Veronica’s experience of sexism in her own culture, I had the

same rejection of traditionality of Russian culture and the position

of women in it, submissive and selfless, ever-tolerant and

unassertive, which was praised by its advocates (always men, of

course). I mean, normal Russian culture exists with all the balley

and classical music, with Dostoevsky etc., but for nationalists “the

Russian culture” means the worst in our history: religious control,

strong family values at the expense of individual happiness,

subjugation of women in the family. I hate that stuff and I am happy

to live here where such attitudes are less wide spread.

I also agree with Veronica that some dodgy attitude to non-English

women exists. It;s a mixture of sexism and seeing a foreigner as “the

other” who is here either to be exoticized or looked down on because

of her accent, for example. (I have a suspicion, from the way my

other eastern-european female acquaintances were treated sometimes in

shops etc., that a strong accent is an invitaiton for prats to treat

you with disdain)

From Sam

Re: Maid of the manor: Please keep in mind that not all men are the misogynists that some

women believe them to be. This of course coming from a male and avid

reader of the F Word. Thank you for the wonderful articles and keep

up the good work!

From Irina

Great article and the links to the research

mentioned are very handy, they prove the point and make the article


However, I think, the author slightly mixed two very separate points:

one, that women opt out of the office in favour of becoming

housewives, and second, that men are rubbish at housework. From

reading the article, if I am not mistaken, it looks like first

follows out of second.

But in reality women don’t quit work because hubby yet again forgot

to empty the bin, they do it when and because they have kids, as we

live in a country with obscenely expensive childcare. So, instead of

giving out her salary to a student who puts the telly on and dishes

out ready made stuff to kids, a women might just stay at home and

look after them herself.

Useless men is the other topic altogether. My heart goes out for the

author as her man didn’t suss it up what consitutes a welcome

greeting to a tired wife. I’d just sit down, pour myself a glass of

wine and bark orders seeing him run around like a blue-arsed fly.

Only first step is a difficult one, once he’s done it all from

beginning till the end (nice supper and massage, if needed), he will

know what to do in future. I think she made a mistake doing it

herself. It teaches a man that not doing this is no big deal. To

paraphrase the well-known saying: to pity a man is to ruin him (by

denying him becoming a modern civilized gent).

From Mark Kuramoto-Headey

Wow, Amity Reed is clearly angry about the division of labour in her

home, and justifiably so, if her description is to be believed. And

it sounds so familiar. I sometimes feel equally irritated about my

partner’s lack of appreciation of the need to clean the kitchen

floor, or where dust may accumulate. But, I’ve spotted a flaw; I’m a

bloke. What’s going on?

I lived alone for 25 years and cooked, cleaned, washed etc in my own

house (Not rented, I think that could be an important factor) and was

pretty good at it. Indeed, some female friends said they felt

intimidated when visiting my house, as it was much cleaner than

theirs. True, I did take some perverse pride at being good at things

that were considered ‘female’, but there was also the realisation

that, if I didn’t clean the toilet, no one else would and the sight

of dirt would reflect directly on me. And there’s the rub. I

realised that, were I to marry, even the day after the ceremony,

anyone visiting the house would immediately praise my wife for the

state of the house, who ever actually did the work. Indeed, when

visiting our house shortly after our return from honeymoon my sister

(who ought to have known better) did compliment my wife on the


My wife married me when she was 48, but had lived with her parents

until that time. At present, she stays at home doing the domestic

chores (Not my choice, but that’s another story.) but I am very

concious of dust accumulating behind the loo or on skirting boards.

She never sees it. Sex differences? Hardly. I had 25 years of

experience looking after my house. She’s had none. Yes, she would

do domestic chores, but generally if her mother asked her to. She

had no experience in TAKING RESPONSIBILITY for them and it’s been

hard for her to learn when I was hovering around casting a critical

eye on things. I try not to be over-critical, but it’s hard as I

honestly don’t think she’s being deliberately lax. I would genuinely

be happy to even be a full-time house-husband (especially when there

were lots of DIY tasks to do as well) but her earning potential is

nowhere near enough for even the basics, let alone compete with mine.

So, the status quo continues.

Obviously, our situation is unusual. The age we married and the fact

that my wife is Japanese has conspired to put us into this slightly

odd situation. So, what about others?

My first thought is; how did you act during your first few months of

marriage? In our family there is an expression, “Don’t forget the

steamed apple dumpling.” refering to the time my sister was

impressing her new husband with her culinary skills, though they were

both working full-time. I think the roles newly weds fall into it is

not always the fault of the man.

nother family story; when they were in their 50s, my parents were

invited to a friend’s for a meal. After eating, my father carried

the dishes into the kitchen where the women were washing up. “Aren’t

you lucky to have a husband who helps you.” To which my mother

replied, “Luck didn’t have anything to do with it. I wouldn’t have

put up with anything less.” One of the women then turned to her

friend and asked, “Do you think it’s too late to change our husbands’



I am now stepping out onto thin ice. I think there are some women

who actually take some perverse pride in their ‘incapable’ husbands.

When listening to overheard conversations, or comments on Woman’s

Hour, I sometimes hear an almost proud tone in the voice of women

describing their husband’s shortcomings in the domestic area. Why?

I will hazard a guess that it’s a combination of factors. One might

be that, unless the woman earns more than her partner, there’s

something she is obviously better at than he is. Another might be

the ability to have a common topic of conversation with other women

as they compare stories about the ineptitude of their respective


I could go on, but I think I’ll call it a day at this point.

From Dennis the Menace

In Maid of the Manor, Amity Reed seems extremely unfair. Men usually

buy the home, they are out working all day while the ‘housewives’ are

sitting at home with their feet up watching the crappy afternoon t.v.

Now, I live alone so have to do my own housework. I hoover up once a

week, i do just one washing (whites, blacks and colours all in the

same wash). I’ll re-use dirty cups and cutlery sometimes without

washing them, and wthout getting food poisoning either. If a woman

moved in and decided she wanted a cleaner house why should I suddenly

have to start scrubbing away at things? Does Amity really believe that

a man’s dumb enough to think she needs to be doing housework all day.

Even if she does it’s her choice- why should he play along? In my

experience, a womans work is never done because it’s not really there

in the first place. Clean and scrub all you like ladies but don’t

expect the man to join in. If you don’t like it, you can get a job

and pay the mortgage and let the man sit at home all day doing the


From Lisa

Re: Here we go again: women really do just want a sugar daddy: I like to think that the people coming to these sorts of conclusions

are usually men consoling each other with ‘don’t worry that you’re

fat and ugly, women are only attracted to money anyway!’

Now I don’t know which women they asked, but I for one go for looks

first, personality second, and money doesn’t actually come into it.

I’ll be spending my own money anyway, thanks.

I’m getting pretty sick of these assumptions that ‘men are turned on

visually, women are turned on emotionally’ and ‘women value money

over looks’ crap. It’s like no one can admit that women are attracted

by appearances as much as men are, which of course gives men a lot of

leeway to go out clubbing in something they slept in while we’re

expected to spend hours putting on make-up and uncomfortable


Someone out there needs to realise, we like our men to be good

looking. So it’s time they started taking care of their appearance

and stopped thinking money can win us over.

From BrevisMus

Re: Cartoon on internet women: With respect to Louise Livesey’s recent post today on Cartoon on

Internet Women – I think that cartoon is actually very anti-feminist.

Why on earth can’t Joanna knock down the door herself? Joanna has no

voice in the cartoon: a man speaks on her behalf, a man confronts

another man on her behalf, and a man orders her to fire.

The surface message is fine (treat women as human on the internet),

but the way in which it has been drawn completely undermines that.

From Helen

Re: How’s the petition on women’s right to drive going, then?: I know that the freedom of women to drive in Saudia Arabia is a very

serious and important issue, but whilst reading “How’s the petition

on women’s right to drive going then”, I’m afraid a scene from “Life

of Brian” sprang unbidden into my head. There is definitely a

marketing opportunity in Saudia Arabia for fake beards.

(Grovelling apologies to all Saudi Arabian feminists)

From MuzakBox

Re: Hairy anniversary: Isn’t it nice? All the time and money saved.

And the self-acceptance of the rest of you seems easier too. Well,

for me it did. I stopped shaving my arm pits 6 years ago. I perform

in theater and I do shave for shows when it’s character appropriate

and it will show. But if it’s not I can go years without shaving. I

still shave my legs occasionally because I like the way they feel

when they are all smooth and lotioned up. But I don’t if I don’t feel

like it. I can’t remember the last time I did a pubic anything. I got

a wax once like 3 years ago. OUCH! and it wasn’t comfortable after.

Sometimes I’ll shave if I’m going to the beach. Mostly not. I thought

when I stopped my husband would either say can’t you shave sometimes

(he shaves his package) or just not notice one way or the other. I

was surprised to find out that he thinks it HOTT! So that just made

me love him more.

From Hannah C.

Congratulations on

your Hairy Anniversary and your beautiful hairy armpits! I have

always been a hairy person, and have had a hairy chest since I was

16. I mean thick, black coarse hairs on my cleavage and nipples. I

shaved them (nasty stubble), plucked them (ingrown hairs), waxed them

(infection) until I realised I was damaging my body for the sake of

what other people thought, what, in fact, a man had said to me when I

was 17: “I’m jealous of you – you have a hairier chest than me.” Now

I think, who cares? I realised the worst thing about a hairy chest

was the health implication of polycystic ovaries. I got tested and

came out okay. So if anyone wishes to comment on my wonderful

healthy hairs I say bring it on!

From Snusket

Re: ‘;Honey! Your vagina needs a mint’: I am always amazed to

hear the argument that supposedly mens “ideal is a hairless,

porn-star pussy that’s barely more than a minuscule orifice. The

last time my vagina looked like this was when I was 10 years old”.

Where does that nonsense come from? OK women do not consume porn, but

if you want to make a statement like that maybe you want to have a

look at some porn in order to figure out that there are all shapes

and sizes represented. The reason for that being that tastes are

different. I am afraid that women often think that certain ideals

come from men while they really are mostly nurtured by the fashion

industry (gay men) and women themselves. I do not believe that people

who would enter this site would start to dislike certain types of

vaginas because they are told they are ugly. If I like blond women I

would not start to dislike them because some webpage tells me they

are ugly- would you? Besides all this- sure this page is nonsense,

but not worth the feminist-anger.

Samara Ginsberg, author of the article, replies

At what point did I state that the Vagina Institute was run by men? There is

absolutely no evidence anywhere on the site that reveals the gender of

anyone involved, apart from the fact that their press officer signs him- or

herself “Jennifer” at the bottom of emails.

The creators of the site focus

on male “preferences” because they feel that this is the most effective way

of persuading readers to part with their money. The quotes on the site are

from men who have filled in the surveys where, as I stated, visitors are

heavily encouraged to make such comments.

It’s merely the odd misogynistic

remark made by the odd Neanderthal visitor to the site – I shouldn’t think

that they air the (hopefully) hundreds of comments they receive from men and

women who see it as the pile of wank that it is. It’s not in any way a

representation of what men want: it’s a representation of what the VI want

readers to think that men want. I apologise if you feel that this is an

unfair comment, but I get the impression that you are seeing “man-bashing”

that just isn’t there. It would be ludicrous to blame this site on men and I

have done nothing of the kind.

I have looked at a lot of porn and have to disagree with your statement that

there are a wide variety of female representations. Sure there are, but they

are sidelined into fetish sites. I have yet to see a woman in 21st century

mainstream porn whose pubic hair is more extensive than a little Hitler

moustache above her clit. If you Google “hairy pussy”, the vast majority of links are to hair fetish sites. “Shaved pussy” produces 5.2 million results, all of which seem to be from

mainstream sites. In the world of pornography, hairlessness is normalised

and a liking for a natural bush is considered a fetish. I’m glad that you

see that tastes are different, but pornographers seem to have a very limited

view of what is “normal”.

I also have to disagree that it is “not worth the feminist anger”. It is,

because it’s a representation of how pathetic and suggestible some people

think that women are, because it touches upon so many wider issues (somebody

already commented last month on the concept of “femininity”), and more

importantly because some women are likely to be negatively affected by it.

I’m glad that I took the time to uncover what a scam it is, because those

click ads really do look as if they are for unrelated organisations. And

anyway, it was just so easy to make fun of, my “feminist anger” didn’t cost

me much effort.

Regarding your comment, “I am afraid that women often think that certain

ideals come from men while they really are mostly nurtured by the fashion

industry (gay men) and women themselves” – this is a really good point, and

if you were talking about the “size zero phenomenon” I would wholeheartedly

agree with you.

Right. I’m off to clear my internet history :)

From Erin

Thank you! What a brilliant article, and a much needed commentary.

As a 16-year-old girl just starting to worry about how I ‘measured

up,’ I had the good fortune to encounter a woman of your caliber

before encountering pornography. I worked for her at a Teen Sexual

Health clinic as a peer counselor, and while there she encouraged us

to read her books. One I found had the most beautiful pictures of

female genitalia; photos next to drawings. All were portrayed

lovingly, regardless of how ‘beautiful’ an organization like the

vagina institute would consider them. It was a moving experience. 8

years down the road and I’m always more grateful how experiences like

that have shaped my self-concept and my choice of partners in life.

I wish more teenagers, both male and female, had like experiences.

Thanks again!

From Sarah

While the writer of

this article has made useful and valid points, I’m afraid she has

spent her time reviewing a porn site, or in of I Blame the

Patriarchy, a

“subscription hetero softcore fetish site”

that was never intended for women in the first place.

From Jamie

Thank you for your comments about the “vagina institute.” That stuff

was absolutely ridiculous and offensive. It’s really just

pornography, but unfortunately unsuspecting women, young and old are

being tricked into thinking that it is fact. It’s sad really.

From Travis Whiteside

Re: The farmer wants a wife, the wife wants a wife: I agree about the article about women don’t want to end up just like

their mothers and raise the kids, clean the house, cook meals ect.

but I disagree about men not able to do these things. I am a

stay-at-home Dad, I raise our 18 month old daughter, cook, clean up

after, wash cloths, and work part time as well. Just because some men

can’t (won’t) do what I do please let women know that all men are not

like the fathers of years past. Thanks for reading.

From Tori

Re: Fairy tales are Grimm: I think you’re article is very relevant to these times and i find it

unbelievable how much sexism is around especially in children’s

advertising (pink for barbie – a girl’s toy, blue for thomas the tank

engie – a boy’s toy). This is not always obvious though and so sexism

seems to be taking over society again although in more of a stealth

form. I am interested in how this stereotyping affects young

children and so am making it the main focus for my personal

investigation in English.

From Irina

Re: August Comments and Abby Lee – girl with (not just) a one-track mind: I would like to dwell a bit on a letter from Laura (Comments, August

2007). What if a woman doesn’t WANT to get active in bed, says Laura

in regard to Abby Lee urging women at least to try it.

It is easy to feel jealous about the amount of pleasure Abby has in

her sex life and to an discard active outlook on your sexuality out of

defence. Also Abby doesn’t represent the majority of women being not

only so free in her attitudes but also multi-orgasmic (and in

penetrative sex!). Besides, there IS a pressure to enjoy sex for a

woman, otherwise you are seen as uncool and frigid. (The quality of

sex women are having is another matter, maybe there is nothing to

enjoy, but a man alone cannot change it.)

When I read her book, i thought: gosh, here goes the mighty libido of

someone who’s not on the pill! (I tend to muck about with the pill and

end up feeling that it suppresses my sex drive in the end.)>/p>

But we shouldn’t throw Abby’s advice out of the window just because

we are not so highly sexed as she is. What we should do is to feel

entitled to pleasure and have sex that is worthwhile. But that means

thinking about it and lookng at your sex life and seeing what needs

to be changed, from little things like a particular type of

contraception to the whole attitude to your body as capable of

experiencing sexual pleasure. (Being a demure lady doesn’t pay off in

terms of great orgasms, so telling a partner to move in a different

way, with a different speed or under different angle, and trying

things is what it means to be “active”. It is simply a skill to learn

for your own benefit.)

Abby O’Reilly, author of the article, replies

I think Abby’s comment

about women needing to get ‘more active in the bedroom’ was not an order,

but rather providing support for those women who would like to and feel that

they cannot owing to social stereotyping and prejudice. Of course, not all

women want to be sexually vociferous, some may be more passive, and others

may not want nor enjoy sex at all. But on the other had some women really

enjoy sex and want to be more adventurous, and more than that they want to

feel that they can talk about this openly without being criticised for doing

so. Abby Lee falls into the latter cateogory, and I believe her comments

reflect this attitude rather than telling woment the way they should behave

– if anything I think she actually resists the tendency to place women in a

box of any sort, offering a new way, not the way.

I would disagree that she advocates ‘compulsory heterosexuality,’ I think if

anything she shows that sexuality can be fluid, that women can be attracted

to men and women. A lot of her experiences have been based on superficial

attractions resulting in one-night stands, and so I think that it’s

difficult to look to her writing to show a balanced representation of a

meaningful lesbian relationship, as Abby is predominantly attracted to men,

and pursues relationships with men. Maybe she does have specific physical

criteria she likes a sexual partner to meet, but so do a lot of women. She

should not have to conform to political correct modes of sexual expression

as people generally don’t think that way when assessing the eligibility of a

sexual partner. As I said in the feature, I think what Abby’s work

demonstrates is that both men and women can be subject to objectification-it

is part of the human condition, meaning that both commit the crime and are

the victims of it. I also think it’s worth remembering that when Abby first

wrote the blog it was an an outlet for her personal thoughts and feelings,

she did not anticipate her identity being made public knowledge, so she was

not attempting to offer a utopian view of female sexualit, which is part of

the effectiveness of it. It is sincere and real, and whatever criticism that

is levied against it, the support she has received from a number of women

indicates that she has written something that represents the thoughts of a

portion of the female population.

I think that the ‘straight woman who isn’t interested in sex’ is something

that has already been done – I think this is the way women were

predominantly seen (think Queen Victoria and the lie back and think of

England line). In the Victorian era there wasn’t even a term to describe

sexual attraction between women as authorities believed that lesbianism

didn’t exist. What we have done over the decades is move away from this

oppression, so women are able to articulate their own sexual desires, and

what Abby Lee’s book has done is shown how we have moved a step forward

again as women can admit to having sex outside of relationships and not feel

ashamed about it. They can enjoy sex and talk about it explicitly. The

reaction to her book and the media surrounding the release show the extent

to which this is still something society finds difficult to swallow.

There is a market for lesbians as part of the male masturbatory fantasy, but

I think this is largely the ‘she’s straight but she’s kissing her friend

because she’s turned bad and she’s so horny’ idea. Abby Lee is genuinely

attracted to women, and indulges in sexual relations with them for her own

gratification. I also think we need to move away from the idea that a

person’s sexuality can be determined by their appearance.

From Lynda Roberts

Re: Loose Women: loose women is a great show full of fun the presenters are garet and

they have some fantastic guests on

From mitchell m. haas

Re: Taboo for who?: my dad thought ‘cunt’ was a severely punishable inquiry, as even when

i asked if the word ‘cunt’ meant he got lividly angry, even while i

had two friends over that deared me to ask him. mom was nearby. i

was pretty upset with him for reacting that way. his answer was that

it was ‘a very bad word!’ having to do with a woman’s genitals, but i

think he also indicated that there was something more disturbing,

maybe something about the slit. but really i think it was because my

mother was in the room. she probably wanted to see some punishment

because she’s very unhealthy, and after he died when i was 10 years

old, she drank incesantly despite the fact that she gave him her word

that she would stop drinking as well as to his best friend who was

attacked for trying to intervene against her drinking, and then she

told me still as a little boy that he tried make to make love to her

so that i would be unsettled by him. so woman have to be nice about

the ‘cunt’ word also, and not get angry and feel inferior, and like

to watch their friends get beat up to help them with their inner


From Bill

Re: 300 Spartans and one strong broad: The 300 is a MOVIE. A MOVIE. This so-called analysis smacks so

obviously of tired 2nd / 3rd wave feminism, that is irrelevant. It’s

just a movie, dear.

From Prefer not to say

Re: Are you married? If not, why not?: Why do you really bother with all this? It really is your inner

imbalances, psychologically speaking, trying to fight \”unjustice\”.

You all must have problems with yourselves which you are trying to

project onto the world. Why not just leave the whole issue of

marriage alone? Do as you please, but let others choose for

themselves. It looks to me, and not just to me, that deep inside you

are feeiling so inferior that you need to find a cause for your

misery in the outside world, or are you perhaps like those Christians

and the Church that you detest so much, that you absolutely need to

proceletyse about something that for most people has no significance.

Please don\’t pollute the Internet with your hatered!

From jethro

Re: Gifts for her: i find it hard to believe that stereotypical feminist views still

exist within a society today, surely to have a choice on how you live

your life is the most important thing and if women in relationships

choose to live a stereotypical female life of provision for the

people they love why should they be critisised for a making a choice

that may seem alien to feminist “thinkers”, I am a man, I cook, i

bath the kids, I wake my girlfriend with tea, I tidy up, we share the

burdens that life throws at us because we love each other, i also

work. My daughter loves pretending to cook and helps with the house

work, she is 2 years old, we have not “socialy conditioned” her, it

is what she likes to do, I shall be making her a kitchen of her own

so that she can play and have fun doing what she likes, my son who is

5years old is also looking forward to playing with the kitchen, My

daughter also likes to play with dolls, we didnt teach her that

either, its just the way we are as a people, children are innocent

minds that display our natrual instincts and they do not deny

themselves what the want or like but will fight what they dont, those

with children may understand this if they dont then they should spend

more time watching their kids

From Snusket

Re: Deconstructing masculinity: on male aggression: wow I do not know where to start. your article is

so full of wrong claims and non-sense, it is simply unbelievable. You

have let your fantasy run wild. Where do you get the idea that 1 in 4

women are victims of domestic violence? What makes you think there is

some kind of “male crisis” at work making males more violent? Where is

the evidence that men become “hype masculine” due to women working

more? Oh, my god…

Jess McCabe, editor of The F-Word, replies

See Amnesty International’s explanation of the statistic of one in four women experiencing domestic violence:

“An analysis of 10 separate domestic violence prevalence studies by the Council of Europe in 2002 showed consistent findings: one in four women experience domestic violence over their lifetimes and between 6-10% of women suffer domestic violence in a given year.”

Pretty conclusive.

From Lucy Reese

Re: Yummy-mummy or pramface?: What a brilliant article. You completely get the way in which

motherhood has become the ultimate stick to beat women with – young

and poor, older, single etc.

In fact all mothers are TERRIBLE PEOPLE unless they are rich and

pretty and ideally don’t go to work (being a glamour model is

probably ok but that’s about it).

I am a 37 year old working mother who is basically made to feel like

a second class citizen/war criminal/child abuser because I’m not a

yummy mummy.

Being a working mother in 2007 is seen as a sign of failure –

basically it means you haven’t scored a rich enough bloke to spend

your days doing yoga/at the plastic surgeons.

If you want a really good vom, then read that “book” by the dreadful

Jools Oliver.

That’s what women are supposed to be like in 2007.

It’s like the 1950s only worse!

From Charlotte

Re: Skirting the issue: “We’ve heard all the arguments before, but it’s worth reiterating

that that “daily natural discharge” they mention is dealt with

fairly effectively by the humble knicker.”

I do agree that sanitary products have been unneccesarily and

opportunistically flogged to women, but I beg to differ on this

particular point. I do need to use pantyliners everyday as I get a

lot of discharge. I actually find them really useful because a normal

sanitary towel is too much padding to wear every day. MY knickers

can’t cope with my slippery vagina! Just a point…

From John Ndege

Hello, I am a fan of the F-word and read it quite regularly. When will

you let your articles open to comments. The site needs a blog and some

interactivity. Solving issues of gender inequality requires a debate.

Its too one way with your site. Let the people reply!

Jess McCabe , editor of The F-Word, replies

Thank you for your kind words about The F-Word. We do have a blog, which is usually updated several times a day. You can find it here. You can comment on posts using our feedback form.