elisabeth @eroberts ?active 4 months ago
“Feminism is just a phase!” Perhaps the saddest sentence I have heard since the words “Amy and Rory are being written out of Doctor Who” last September. But no, telling me that my feminism is simply a phase of my hope-filled, liberal, wide-eyed view of the world was pretty damn depressing too. I get that [...]
Re: Jenny Gonzalez-Blitz The point I’m trying to put across is that I don’t think FEMEN convey any positive image of feminism. Personally, I think their website (with chainsaws and, having recently checked, large knives dripping with red) makes them seem a bit crazy – or at least not the sort of women that you’d [...]
So I’ve decided to re-start my blog for a couple of reasons: a) I’m at uni now and everyone else seems to have a vocal outlet and mine has always been feminist-based; b) I feel like I’ve learnt a lot about the wider world and feminism in the past few months (coming in future posts) [...]
really love this so much! It’s true, the shire number of tween&teen magazines that show you the latest trends (which really is what the whole ’geek chic’ thing is) isn’t there just to make you buy stuff, its so you fit in and conform to being unique. Trying so hard to be different is a massive contradiction that people don’t tend to recognise because they’re too busy with seeing if someone’s noticed them yet.In reply to - Frankie posted an update: ”Geek” Girls and how they’re part of the problem – not the precipitate. Let’s face it: all teenagers have their own slightly altered version of rebranded uniqueness they sold just last year. And every time, it’s a new type of top, a new cut of jeans, a new place to put a [...] · View
“He is H.O.T.T” and other reasons I can’t dating programmes.
Ok, don’t get me wrong – TV can be great (stress on the ‘can’). There are some truly fantastic documentaries, drama’s and superb comedy shows on pretty much every channel – however rare it may be to find something that doesn’t send you to sleep. What I mean is that TV is powerful, it’s the thing that we can rely on to entertain and inform us pretty much anywhere around the world. Sometimes however, TV makes blunders…and I’m NOT just talking Big Brother style.
As feminists I’m sure you’ll agree that we all tend to be a little more aware of the stereotype of women in reality TV shows as well as advertisements during the breaks (coming in my next blog). TV can really bug me, but nothing makes me want to bang my head against a wall more than a dating show we have over in the UK called “Take Me Out”. Seriously it’s awful. If you’ve never watched it, be glad and if you have I totally give you permission to stop reading now for a moment to shudder in disgust before you continue to read.
I have a major thing against dating shows (and the way they portray women) for a few reasons:
1 – THEY ARE NEVER, EVER, ‘REAL’ PEOPLE ON THESE SHOWS. Not once have I seen someone who looks fairly average. Ok fine it doesn’t make ‘good TV’, but surely in this culture of so-called ‘reality’ shows, that’s what the public want right?
2 – If on a rare occasion they actually do have someone who actually NEEDS a little help getting a date (what Take Me Out promotes), they simply get laughed at. The token ‘ugly’ person of the series, someone for all the pretty people to reject because they’re obviously aiming too high (yeah, cause I’m sure everyone wants to date a plastic fantastic bimbo)
3 – They are shallow. Take Me Out encourages the contestants (yes ‘contestants’ because all the women are ‘competing’ to date the man) to ask deep and meaningful questions so as to make a worthwhile decision about their potential date. (Questions like “how would you get me to fall head over heels girls?” and a genuine response being “I’d make you wear these shoes!”…yeah real deep)
The contestants of Take Me Out are the stereotypical tall, tanned, fashion-conscious, manicured, shallow-seeming girls; whilst the boys are the macho, muscly, rich, suited characters you’d expect to see in a magazine. How these people even ‘need’ dates in the first place is slightly beyond me…though one girl did in fact answer my question on last Saturday’s show: “I go on 3 or 4 dates a week…well a girl’s gotta eat hasn’t she?!” Because of course, it would be ridiculous to think we could provide for a meal ourselves right?
Possibly the worst thing about Take Me Out is the bit at the end where there a few girls that are left still interested (of the 30 or so who all have lights that they turn off “when they’re feeling turned off”). The man chooses which girl he wants, then the channel pays for them to have a week’s holiday as their date. Last week’s show ended with the ‘lucky chosen one’ stating that she thought the guy was “H.O.T.T” (I buried my head too) and the man with; “She seemed quite good…hopefully I’ll be seeing a lot more of her”
(NB: if I was being REALLY picky, I might be asking why there isn’t ever a gay couple equivalent of Take Me Out)
The mile-high club just got an app.
I had hoped my first feministing post would be something encouraging and empowering as I regularly trawl the internet and books for new inspiring figures and campaigns. Yet here I find myself on a Friday night sitting on my sofa, constructing a strongly worded letter to the complaints department of RyanAir. For those of you fortunate enough to have never encountered this seemingly good-natured cheap flight company, that claims to help those in our current hard times to get away from the depressing weather of this time of year, I have to say you are indeed lucky. What appears to be a regular cheap airline (apparently the “world’s favourite” according to its webpage), is in fact so much worse. Not only are its ticket prices cheap, but also its view of women. Just over a month ago, the company’s CEO Michael O’Leary announced plans to launch an in-flight porn app.
Porn on an aeroplane? Really? And I thought the company had crossed the line with its annual staff charity calendar that included some rather…revealing…images of company air hostesses. Now don’t get me wrong, I’ve nothing against the profession but ladies please – I thought we were starting to get over selling ourselves as big-boobed blondes who serve sandwiches upon request!
Had RyanAir considered the implications of such images for these young women as they tried to carry on with their job of ensuring safety and service? Frankly I feel sorry for miss September as she gets spotted by a group of lads on a weekend away as she attempts to show them where the lifejackets are stored… I’m getting distracted, my blog today is about the porn app available to passengers once the flight has commenced. Mr O’Leary stated that the videos would not be on screens on the back of chairs but instead on handheld devices…well that makes it fine then doesn’t it? Just so long as we can’t directly SEE the portrayal of women as sex objects in degrading scenes purely for pleasure, that’s ok? It’s almost as bad as the interview in 2008 (at the launch of the first calendar) when Mr O’Leary said that business class would have “beds and blowjobs” to make long-haul flights more pleasurable, arguing “what a better way to spend 5 hours across the Atlantic”. (I think I’ll just leave that one there, no comment required).
The logistics of said handheld porn app devices have flaws and its estimated it would take around a year to be rolled out across all of its long-haul flights. Nevertheless, whether the idea goes ahead or not, the fact remains the company has an image that is becoming more and more tarnished with every outdated and degrading policy towards women it proposes. Porn and the depiction and exploitation of women in the sex industry are incredibly serious issues that as feminists we should be standing up against. OBJECT (a UK based feminist group) is committed to “challenging the sexual objectification of women”, and I think it would be wise to take a leaf out of their book and start to say no to porn and big industries (such as RyanAir in this case) using sexual images of women to gain a profit.
So, if like me, you are appalled and downright disgusted by porn on planes, then write a letter (or send an email) to their customer complaints department (details on their website). Let’s show RyanAir and Mr O’Leary that not all feminists are “bitter old women” (interview 2008), and that we object to selling sandwiches and sex on “the world’s favourite airline” (yeah….right).