Let’s be real here, a lot of feminists are intellectual, life choice and occupational snobs.
A feminist works hard in her high flying profession. She may or may not have a child or two, but boy if does, she definitely doesn’t stay home with them. She’s never vulnerable, never lets a man pay or help with anything. She’s definitely not a porn star, or a model, a hairdresser, a nurse or a stay at home mum. Nope. Those things are for the poor oppressed women. Those who know their own minds so little that they are forced into these positions by the patriarchy. They probably don’t even know it. Those poor women need saving, right? No woman could choose to do those things.
A while ago, a BBC news article explored the reactions to a window ad that appeared in a UK high street window. It was for Agent Provocateur’s new concession in a department store. It featured a model wearing the store’s famous underwear. It was provocative and suggestive, which seems pretty on-brand for Agent Provocateur. Many feminists were outraged. They said she looked vulnerable, her pose akin to someone being tied up, her lack of eye-contact making the viewer appear as a voyeur.
I was actually quoted in that BBC news article (my biggest ever claim to fame – ha!) as someone who felt the image was powerful, and showed a confident woman being playful and posing in sexy, empowering underwear. I stand by that. Apparently that makes me a traitor to my gender.
Some women saw that image and thought “here is a woman, a poor vulnerable woman who has been forced into posing like that, looking all vulnerable and helpless, it’s so pornographic, it’s so male, it’s so patriarchy. I am outraged.” I argued that it’s her choice, she’s an international model for Agent Provocateur. She was likely over-the-moon to feature in these adverts.
Here’s the thing. The feminists refused to accept that a woman could make these choices. Apparently, she must be brainwashed by the patriarchy. She doesn’t really want these things. Women don’t wear makeup because they want to – they do it because they are brainwashed. Those feminists take it upon themselves to judge and try to control other women.
To me, and for the point of this post, that is not feminism. That is oppression by a matriarchy. A matriarchy that has decided that certain things are just not proper – if you aren’t a ball-busting high-flying Wonderwoman, you just aren’t enough. The patriarchy has said for thousands of years that a woman must act a certain way, or look a certain way, has a certain role in our society. It seems like a lot of feminists have taken it upon themselves to replace that with their own matriarchy of telling women they must act in a certain way, look a certain way and have certain roles in society.
I proudly call myself a feminist. In that, I believe that gender is irrelevant to abilities and possibilities for all people. I believe in choice.