Wednesday, June 6, 2012

I have to make a post. About Feminism.

Yea and it's not going to be easy. Lord.

I'm not a feminist; at least, I don't classify myself as one. (Does god exist even if you don't believe he/she/it/blank space does?) Of course I believe in equal rights for women, and access to the same opportunities and knowledge as are afforded to men. I guess some call that "feminism", while I like to refer to it as "human rights". Equal rights "for women" suggests that women are different from men, which they are, but only on a fundamentally biological level. In the end, we are all human.

Side Note: I spent the last year intimately studying language and the way we use specific words in particular contexts to mean things we don't even realise we are saying. Bear with me.

I don't really know how to approach this whole feminism thing, mostly because I am still sorting myself out about it. Ergo, I need some kind of focus to work from; a point of discussion, if you will. That point of discussion, because she has come up in several threads of conversation I have recently had with different people, is

Get the fucking picture?
Amanda Fucking Palmer.

No, the expletive isn't mine. This is how Palmer herself and her fans often refer to her. I don't know what it's supposed to mean. Does it convey coolness? An edge-factor?

Also, from all the fan-gushiness, it appears that Amanda Palmer is a feminist icon. She enables girls to say things like "Where do i buy a pair of those fabulous panties. I wanna show off my muff." (see comments section for the youtube video linked below). Or is that the internet? Is the internet feminist?

I don't understand Amanda Palmer. I don't get what she's trying to do. (It's because I'm not a feminist, isn't it?) It would appear that she considers herself extremely av ante-grde. She sings about her girly bits with complete abandon (though "map of tasmania" is slightly outdated as a term for the female pubic region, but hey, fuck it!). She doesn't shave her armpits and she plays the ukulele. She's married to Neil Gaiman. (Which I'm kind of irked by, because every time I think, or see, or hear anything about Gaiman now, I think of Amanda Fucking Palmer. But then again, I kind of lost track of Gaiman after Anansi Boys).

Did they call Julia Roberts a feminist after that time she didn't shave her armpits?

Amanda Palmer, as a feminist icon, is problematic. Google her name alongside such phrases as "disablism", "racism", "transphobia" and "rape apologism" and you will find a host of articles written by people with a lot more eloquence on the subject than I currently hold.

What I'm trying to get at, with Palmer as an example of feminism, is that this kind of "feminism" makes me very uncomfortable about what women think it is they need to do in order to be heard, or to be taken seriously.  Perhaps my argument is not about Amanda Palmer per se, but rather the idea of Amanda Palmer. Does she do what she does because Amanda Palmer is about shocking people?

Of course, there is nothing wrong with temporarily yanking people out of their comfort zones. On the contrary. However, pairing this notion of "shock doctrine" with "feminism" - I'm not entirely sure that this is a healthy path to go down. Feminism - the notion that women should have equal rights in all areas and aspects of life, should be anything but shocking. It should be the most goddamn normal thing you can think of.

Amanda Palmer doesn't give a shit about what anyone thinks of her, though. That's okay too, because I didn't write this for her. I thought this entry was going to say a whole lot of nothing, but now I've found it had a purpose after all. Amanda Palmer is not a feminist. Not how I see it, anyway. This somehow makes me feel better. About a lot of things.

* Let me link to this article, because it's really good, and it talks about Palmer and feminism and the problems between the two very well.

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