The catch 22 of feminism

MILKSHAKE-DUBAI-catch22-hairyarmpitsblogCatch 22 Bar. Source: mesvacancesadubai.com

There was an argument I read a while back that shook my core beliefs. Or at the very least, made me question them:

The simple statement, ‘I want equality for women’ does not necessarily help the cause. It is behind the next phase. The next phase being – women are equal, women are empowered, now what? How can we improve? How can we develop as a sex? Yes, we have issues, what can be done about it, etc.

This almost post-feminist rhetoric is powerful.

Phenomenal-Woman-maya-angelou-hairyarmpitsblog-Maya. Source: visi.co.za

I like the statement Maya Angelou made – I am not a feminist, I am a woman, and that is a wonderful thing to be. (If you can find the reference to this, please let me know, I saw it a few years ago.)

Is there a difference? Yes, and it is very slight. There is a slight implication of victimhood. Perhaps the position of victim of this culture, this inequality, this life, is only an outside perception, and not meant by the statement ‘I am a feminist’ at all.

But somehow, it is unavoidably tied with the idea of injustice. And this may be so. The inequality is real… But if you want something to move forward, focusing on the problem and not the solution will not get you anywhere. (This may also not be the case. Prove me wrong if you like!)

are-you-a-feminist-or-feminist-ally-me.me-hairyarmpitsblogKorean. Source: me.me

The point I am getting at is, perhaps there is a new and exciting and more empowering way of stating who we are and what we want.

I am proud of what my feminist sisters have done and fought for. What we’re still doing and being today. Isn’t it time we honoured all that work with a new wave? Of women who are women who already believe they are equal? Surely this strength and belief would bring about equality and a demand for our rights to be met, in the most effective way possible?

After all of this thought, I had to ask, do I still see myself as a feminist?

The answer is yes. While I cannot say that I do believe that staying in feminism forever is the right path for women, I could not deny the belief I have for equality. I could not deny my sisters who say ‘what other choice do we have but to be feminists?’

And so I stand by and with them.

pinky-swear-womennow.in-hairyarmpitsblogI’m a feminist. Pinky swear. Source: womennow.in

But I will say, there’s something for being proud of being a woman (feminist or not). A soul focus on the strength of women, over the inequality being faced could be a game-changer.

And so, while I honour our past, I am set on the future, baby. And it’s lookin’ bright.

bright-future-bitcoinist.com-hairyarmpitsblogBright future. Source: bitcoinist.com

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In response to… me too

me too heartMe too. Source: all express

Well, this is an idea I had about two years ago. I’m glad someone else got there and made it happen.

I think the idea of sharing our stories of sexual pain or attack as women (and men, actually) can be majorly healing. I believe that shedding light on the dark corners of our human experience always helps encourage healing; helps us connect as human beings. We are all having difficulties and challenges with similar things throughoutour journeys on this tumbledown earth.

Like many, I have been assaulted. The #everydaysexism is something so common, it is unfortunately expected as a given if you are a woman. When talking of assault, the idea that you might be upset or want to express feelings of grief for the violence, is often frowned upon.

Feminists are mocked for being possible rape victims with a chip on their shoulder. The thing is, is this not a valid thing to be upset about? Hundreds of women (…or is it thousands by now?) are able to say that it is.

I find the idea of sharing a scary one. Many may feel their privacy needs to be kept intact and sharing is not for them. This I totally respect, of course.

But for me, the values of Lana Wachowski ring in my ears as I see the feed on my facebook wall fill with a chiming solidarity between my sisters, as they vulnerably speak their truths.

But, as Lana says:

‘Sacrifice of my private civic life 

shall have value…’

in-response-to-hairy-armpits-world-in-hands-inner-michaelWorld is in our hands. Source:

And so, here it is, my vulnerable, very human, expression of solidarity to my sisters and brothers: me too.

Eleven songs for peace

Good tunes. Musical pleasurability. Growing peace consciousness with a cool slice of funk, indie, folk or 70’s vibes.

 

For more posts on Peace, check here.

 

  1. Imagine, John Lennon

This is a classic hit that will be unlikely to ever lose popularity. The general message being, that we are all connected, so let’s imagine a world in which peace is real. That’s the first step to getting closer to the real thing.

“Imagine all the people living life in peace.”

  1. War! Edwin Star

Huh. Yeah.

Yes, you know the one, one of the funkiest songs to get down to in a peaceful way.

“What is it good for?”

  1. Redemption song, Bob Marley

This song is great for feeling peace on a personal level, as well as in the political spectrum. It encourages forgiveness of oneself and others.

‘Won’t you help to sing, these songs of freedom?’

  1. Where Is the Love? Black-eyed Peas

    I used to love this song when I was younger because of the values it expresses.The general idea being that love is better than all this pain.

‘Would you turn the other cheek?’

  1. We Shall Overcome, Joan Baez

I love this woman. She is an inspiration to me as a true folk singer and pioneer of peace. This tune is dedicated by her to the people of Iran. We shall overcome, I believe it deep in my heart.

“We shall live in peace, some day.”

  1. We Got to Have Peace, Curtis Mayfield

Super funky fresh song. Good message, too.

“People hear us, through our voice, the world knows, they got no choice.”

  1. Heard Somebody Say, Devendra Banhart

Love this song -indie style is definitely up my alley. It’s so hard to write a song about peace without it reeking of Emmental (being super cheesy!) but they’ve pulled it off.

‘It’s simple, we don’t wanna kill.’

  1. See Me Beautiful, Red Grammar

Talking of cheesy, this is definitely up there. But it gets away with it,because the message is so beautiful. -It’s all about seeing other people for who they really are, in all their vulnerability, rather than seeing enemy images. When we hear what’s really there, and not our judgements, we can find peace a lot easier.

“See me beautiful, look for the best in me, that’s all I really and what I want to be…”

  1. Hold on, Ellie Larke

This is a little known songwriter (ok, it’s me!) singing a song for those in pain in the world, to never give up the cause. This is a very rough take, but I wanted to share it with you anyway.

“Thugs and bombs and all of those problems, give us a game, but no one to play it with.”

  1. Bed Peace, Jhené Aiko Ft. Childish Gambino

This song is about your own peace of mind, wanting some time to chill out with your boo. It’s also a cute modern homage to John and Yoko’s peace bed in.

“The time is ours so we should take it.”

  1. Give Peace a Chance, John Lennon

An anthem of peace. And now we’re back where we started!

“All we are saying…”

❀

Peace, my friends!

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What did you think? Do you have a favourite song of peace? Ever written your own? Let me know, in the comments below!