Some American Expats in Britain are Scoffing Scones and Looking for Other Feminists
Posted on January 19, 2009 by peacefulyorkshire
“Feminism is a belief in the right of women to have political, social, and economic equality with men.” -Wikipedia
Before she made her move to Britain, there was once an American gal, age 20, that liked to wear gold kitten heels and had an explosive laugh. She was a feminist extraordinaire. Determined to be the “modern American Feminist of the 21st century”, she would happily get regular bikini waxes, but eat men on toast for breakfast. And while wearing Revlon all-day coral lipstick, she took the words of magazines like Ms., Bitch and that “Feminine Mystique” book as wise ways to live life. I am telling you about her because that gal was once me.
Ok–So, what does this have to do with being an American Expat in Britain?
I ask you: Where is Feminism in Britain, dear readers? Could I have been Ms. Peaceful Yorkshire, feminist extraordinaire, age 20 in Britain if I were here then? I can’t figure out where the British Feminists are, nor have any other of my American Sistahs. We have spent many afternoon teas scoffing scones and wondering “Why is it so uncool to be a Feminist in Britain?” I don’t outwardly see a big feminist movement here nor do the English women I meet readily talk about woman’s inequalities. Ok, not like I am expecting debates on fetus rights or suffrage history over clotted cream. But how about equal pay salary? Women in politics? Alan Sugar’s rampant sexism? We make small talk, like the weather. Celebrities. New Topshop boots. Woman’s rights? Uh, no.
Doing some further investigative research into British Feminism, I found this Guardian article.Is Feminism in Britain dead? Or just unspoken? Is it a DIRTY BAD ASHAMED WORD? It seems to be that saying F*** or the word “Feminist” might as well be scaled on the same social “no-no” list.
I had to dig. Germaine Greer writes articles for the Guardian (always getting slammed by her British readers), and another great lil’ Brit resource I found is a cheeky little “feminist” site called The F Word.
Just because I am living in Britain doesn’t mean I will stop calling myself a feminist–but do I need to be so quiet about it?