Tuesday, November 5, 2013

A Rant- About Fitting into a Box

In the last week I have been called a feminist beer blogger, and a "forgetter"; so ignorant to the work of feminists the world over and the work they have done, all they have suffered... I certainly don't feel like either one of those names fits who I am. I work very hard in my life to promote equality of genders and embrace the differences between people. I want to believe that the strong role models I have who support me or inspire me to be a strong and successful person will also help inspire and support my daughter. I want my daughter to be strong and happy, but so secure in who she is the world of naysayers and categorizers will tremble at her glance. Maybe that makes me a feminist? Maybe the fact that I signed up for women and gender studies as my minor gives me some sort of ability to call myself a feminist? I really don't think that fits...

Of course on the other hand I do on occasion think of issues without considering the gender or minority aspect involved; I am able to separate those issues of equality from other issues on occasion. I am sure some of you have seen this article which has gone wild from the Daily Mail on "The History Girls", if not you should read it. I could pick apart all of the things which I find wrong with the article (and there are many) and you could all agree or disagree with what I say. I however want to discuss the fact that these women have PhD’s, should be addressed as Doctor, and all of them have extensive knowledge in their field. My issue is not how they dress, I don’t really think that the clothes you wear should decide how you are perceived by society, but I understand it does; I also don’t think that all of these women are dressed up like sexual objects.
 No, my issue is the lack of respect for their intellect, both on the blogs which I read that are condemning the stylized versions of historians (these doctors allowed themselves to be photographed like that), and within  the article itself. The questions which are being asked are AWFUL! But the interrogated makes the best of it that she can. Why is it okay for society to be up in arms over the way in which a magazine (a magazine guys, not a journal or a recognized media outlet, a magazine) portrays the physicality of these women? Shouldn’t the main issue be why are we focused on what they look like, and not the questions that were asked? Why is this magazine so sure that it’s audience wants to know a bunch of phony BS like who would you go back in time to see? Is it because we can’t focus on real issues? What about women who actually take bullets for their beliefs, like Malala Yousafzai? I am well aware of the fact that women the world over cannot get education, cannot get medical care, cannot vote, cannot drive, cannot earn enough money to support themselves or their children… to me THAT is what the issue of modern feminism should be, not what someone who is smart enough to make up her own mind decides to wear or say. I am not forgetting the past, I am only trying to look forward to the future because there are millions of women who still don’t have any sort of equality, and if a puff piece in a UK magazine brings a wider audience to a field where people can learn empathy and compassion for fellow humans, then is that so bad?
Here is a good link to a blog which I love where the writer picks apart the article: How Did We Get Into This Mess?
If you want to know more about women in the beer world, your first stop should be : Women Enjoying Beer
And if you want to learn more about helping women and girls around the world build a better future: Because I’m a Girl

This lady here has some fantastic ideas on raising strong and fierce girls: Dr Frankenbaby’s Monsters

2 comments:

  1. It is a fact that women are criticized more harshly and more often than men in our so-called modern world. The purpose is control. By shaming. By destroying a woman's confidence. By preventing her ability to attain self-fulfillment. The article about these female historians does read like the "Turn-Ons/Turn-Offs" of a 1970's Playboy Playmate, but as you astutely point out, it's not exactly posted in a respected academic journal. Perhaps it's in poor taste and presents an image that does not appropriately herald the credentials of these women. Perhaps, people should lighten up. Of course, if the article had been about "History Boys", photographed in GQ outfits, I'm sure no one would have cared. Doubtful it would have gotten this kind of worldwide attention.

    I raised my own daughters to be independent and tough as nails, but I don't always agree with the way they present themselves to the world (my youngest's "selfies" on Instagram are horrifying). Nevertheless, nobody makes them do anything they don't want to do, and no one will ever say they lack confidence. If one of my daughters wanted to pose for such an article, I'd advise against it--as if anyone ever asks my opinion--but if she had their heart set on doing some ill-conceived glamour shots, well, they're all big girls who can make their own decisions.

    As for women in the beer world, when our bottle sharing group started up earlier this year, it consisted of five guys hunkered around a picnic table with a few bombers. The one last month had about 50 attendees and about HALF of them women. Guess which one was more fun? ;-)

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    Replies
    1. I am not sure that this unfortunate fact will ever change. I can only hope that with future generations, the idea of women's equality will expand. I read an article about the discrimination which women face from other women a few weeks ago, and I was at first disgusted, but then realized that it is a fact women judge other women just as if not more harshly than men judge women. I think that is what bothered me about the suggestion that I was a "forgetter", it came from another woman, and one whom I admire.

      One of the things which I am the most thankful for, and I have mentioned it before, is the support which I have received from the beer community, regardless of whether I am a woman. I think that the beer community is one which is unique in the way in which they will accept you for who you are (unless you are a complete ass). :)

      As a parent, I wish you luck with your daughters, I have not had to deal with the teenage years yet, but dread them.

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