The silly season is almost upon us and here at the F-Word we’re looking for guest blogs for December on the theme of Festive Feminism.
What sparked the idea in my head was the Christmas adverts starting up on the TV. I found myself getting annoyed by the portrayals of happy smiling women brandishing massive turkeys, piling presents under the tree and keeping everybody happy, all without a hair out of place and perfect makeup. It dawned on me that there’s still an awful lot of subliminal pressure on women to be the perfect hostess, wife and mother during the festive period, presumably whilst also holding down a full time job to pay off the credit card bills from all the gift buying.
I wrote about one of these ads recently, namely the Tesco advert for its gluten free range. While the article I wrote came at it more from the foodie/coeliac angle, the new “Tesco family” in their Christmas ad series has also raised my feminist hackles, because it features yet again the trope of capable-woman-does-it-all versus hapless, clueless men when it comes to the requirements of festive entertaining. It’s yet another example of how women are expected to pick up the emotional labour tab, in this case by remembering who has which dietary requirement (and knowing what the heck those mean). The whole thing does neither women nor men any favours.
It feels like for 11 months of the year we’re feminists, but then in December, we’re all expected to switch to Stepford mode. It’s enough to make me want to run away to a desert island for the whole of December, to be quite honest – and just come back when normal service resumes.
This got me wondering how our smart, savvy F-Word readers cope with the coming season. So, we want to hear from you! Are you more Scroogella than Nigella or do you love the festive season? Send your ideas to [email protected]. Blogs can be on any subject relating to this time of year, whether specific festival-related or not.
You can also join the discussion on Twitter using the hashtag #festivefeminism – our readers have been tweeting us their fab feminist gift ideas and wishlists – Mary Anne James sent us this photo of her favourite feminist badge, which we think would be a pretty darn awesome thing to find in your feminist festive stocking!