Saturday, 6 March 2010

Charlotte Raven tells us all how to be feminists

Really annoying, offensive article on The Guardian Review today, telling us how the 'new feminism' went wrong. Apparently, according to Charlotte Raven, it's all down to women of her generation selling out to marketing somewhere in the nineties.
I was at university in the nineties. I once dressed as Geri Halliwell for a student party and I'll admit it wasn't my finest hour. Nevertheless, it wasn't because I was strangely oblivious to the fact that "the girlpower we were all getting "into" was in fact a bit of marketing aimed at getting tweens to buy records". Nor was it, as stupid and anti-feminist actions go, anything like as bad as writing an article for a mainstream newspaper in 2010 in which you assert that we women "only have ourselves to blame" for the hyper-sexist and hyper-sexualised culture that confronts us.
I really, really hate this kind of thing. Someone, somewhere, realises they were completely wrong in their beliefs and actions many years ago, yet, in a fit of sheer arrogance and self-aggrandisement, decides that it can't just have been them - it must have been the whole damn generation. Well, no, Charlotte, no. It was just you. Or at the very least, I can think of very few people whose experience of the nineties was as follows:
In my Dolce & Gabanna number, I believed I was free to be what I really really wanted. Like Tony Blair, I felt I was a person of destiny.
Honestly, it was not like that for the rest of us. And perhaps the reason no one challenged you in your delusions wasn't because we were all too busy "dancing around in bra tops". We were just doing our best with the same old sexist crap we confront every day, the same as now, with the daily frustrations compounded whenever someone claiming to have our best interests at heart wrote another self-serving article of the kind you've just produced.
The Geri Halliwell thing was one evening of my life. I still have my leopard print Spice Girls top, but can only see a problem with that if you're unimaginative enough to read into it an ideology that was never there. Yes, you can say it's treating things that may have misled and distorted with frivolity and carelessness. But that's not beyond redemption, at least not in the way that getting paid to kick women, all women, in the teeth in the national press might be.

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