Feminist, late twenties, looking for Sisterhood in Britain

Posted on January 26, 2009 by peacefulyorkshire

yahooavatar15Leave it to us 3 “She’s not From Yorkshire” women (still feeling highly liberated, thankyouverymuch!) to get things rollin’ and spinning. Our last post on Looking for Feminism in Britain has really has got things hottin’ up in cyberspace–Whoohee!! The post has inspired a lot of thoughts, but has also inspired fellow blogger, Iota. On her post you you will see a plethora of insights into British Feminism from her readers, too. I am lovin’ it!

Now–men can be insightful about feminism too, especially a British man about British Feminism on a Sunday morning, 10:32am. As I was eating my scrambled eggs, Mr Chill said: “Hey babe, guess what I heard the other day when I was driving in the car? A FEMINIST radio show on Radio 4! A twenty-something man called in. He thinks there is a lack of feminism in Britain… because he sees a lack of sisterhood among women his age. And he wasn’t gay either.”

Still eating my scrambled I pondered this possibility. Lack of SISTAHOOD? Hmmm… does this mean that British women are more likely to slag each other off more readily? I had to have a listen online to the show! There were a wide range of callers with issues that bother them: affordable childcare, maternity leave, lap dancing clubs on the high street, equal pay, equal pay, equal pay. Did I mention equal pay?

But yes, the most interesting perspective for me was that guy who suggested that misogyny was not practiced by men but funnily enough, by women. “Where is the sisterhood?“, he asked.

I don’t have the answers. And I am not going to generalize.

But it did get me thinking…ok, here we go again…

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What Others Are Saying

  1. Yorkshireyank September 26, 2009 at 6:50 pm

    I think the issue of dressing up depends on why you are dressing up. Are you wearing Gucci sunglasses because you think you look fabulous in Gucci sunglasses, or are you wearing Gucci sunglasses because you think wearing them will make other people like you?

    If you are constantly concerned about whether other people think you look OK, then you aren’t empowered.

  2. Steve Shawcross August 2, 2009 at 10:26 pm

    I don’t think feminism is much of an issue in the UK anymore, rightly or wrongly– certainly not like it was in the bra-burning 1970s.

    It was in 1979 that all changed, when Margaret Thatcher became PM. This was significant in two ways.

    1) Symbolically: That a woman had risen to the most powerful position in the land, despite even herself predicting there wouldn’t be a female PM in her lifetime only a few years before.

    2) Thatcherism arguably empowered women, with the economic revolution that occurred in 1980s, and encouraging women to get into boardroom and kick butt– think of power-dressing for instance.

    I think many women consider the feminist argument to be won here, and most accept there is equality (at least in theory) and there are the laws to back it up now.

  3. peacefulyorkshire February 1, 2009 at 9:46 am

    Update on my post:

    So there I was one lunch time this week reading this week’s Grazia magazine (2 Feb 2009 issue, pg 52). Lo and behold! Guess what!?

    A whole article devoted to women slagging each other off in Britain! Where is the sisterhood?

    Article excerpt written by Megan Lloyd Davies:

    “So, why are so women so quick to judge? These days it seems women versus women has become a national sport. As the battle rages, perhaps its worth remembering an old adage: together we stand divided we fall. The battle of the sexes might be a tad old fashioned now, but if we don’t start pulling together a little more, we risk losing a far greater war–and its between ourselves…..”

  4. Howard January 29, 2009 at 7:48 am

    Sorry, I was so angry, I misspoke (sic). I meant ‘nonsense.’

  5. Howard January 29, 2009 at 7:34 am

    > My first impression of British women is that they worried too much about appearance. I thought they wore too much make-up, over accessorised, wore way too much perfume, and repeated too many times “Are you sure I look ok?”

    Dear G0d. You must surely be out of your mind. Please, Brits, support me to describe this as the ghastliest of all nonsence.

  6. Iota January 27, 2009 at 2:07 pm

    Well isn’t that odd? Coming here, my conclusion was that women are much more concerned about their appearance this side of the pond. I’m among a very small minority of women who haven’t got full make-up on (THICK make-up) and perfect lacquered hair when I’m at the school gate. And teeth of course! Adults in braces to get that perfect smile. They seem very much defined by what their husbands do. But then I meet the stay-at-home variety a lot more than those who are working and therefore not at the school gate so much.

    I guess it’s just impossible to generalise. How can you sum up the attitudes of half the population of a nation? Impressions are bound to be limited.

  7. peacefulyorkshire January 27, 2009 at 9:14 am

    You couldn’t have said it any better, Sistah– haha! I know that we always agree to not generalise but I see this attitude among British women my age too–
    For some reason its valued here to be better looking than to have a high IQ. Or to speak up about what you believe–And I am not talking about which men you think are hot either.

    You are right, trying to be less feminine isn’t liberating either.
    Great commment, thanks!

  8. Pingback: Hollywood dream or gun crime crazy? « She’s not from Yorkshire…

  9. pacificyorkshirebird January 26, 2009 at 10:21 pm

    I was told “Good Girl” just today and cringed. Another woman knowing rolled her eyes as if to say “I know your pain sista.”

    Here’s the main thought that I keep running up against, disappointed that I actually have this argument with myself:

    My first impression of British women is that they worried too much about appearance. I thought they wore too much make-up, over accessorised, wore way too much perfume, and repeated too many times “Are you sure I look ok?”

    These were the same women that I was never able to get close to. They read Grazia and actually spent real money on designer labels. What woman had so little self respect that she must impress others with her Gucci sunglasses? I was not impressed.

    I thought that this behaviour was anti-feminist because I thought they were perpetuating societal expectations of women as beauty objects. But let’s say they do the opposite and deny traditional feminine norms. Actually, that doesn’t make a woman more feminist either. In fact, that makes her less feminist as she is trying to live more like a man. Not the same as an empowered woman.

    The same argument works for ladette culture. A female who can drink 12 pints of lager and outlast most of her male peers in a pub does not a feminist make. Instead she becomes more like her male peers. This is an alcohol trend continuing to rise among university age females in the US. But changing behaviour to live more like men is not a feminist idea. It can’t be, right?

    I suspect this argument I have with myself will strike many of you as rather old fashioned. It is all about appearance – but that truly was my first impression of British women – appearance was high on the list of priorities.

    And then it shocked me that my future British M-I-L got fake nails for her first visit to the US because she thought women in America all were really into perfect appearance. It goes both ways I suppose.

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