Why do women who argue define themselves as feminists make negative and harmful generalisations against men in comparing them to women?
I mean in reference to comments like: “Since when did men get so bitchy, why can’t they just punch each other like they used to?”
Do people think this is potentially more negative than stereotypes perpetuated by men? Not because women are perpetuating it because they are women who call themselves “feminists.”
What do you think?
This probably isn’t a good start. :/
Now, I know Liz Jones is not exactly a woman to admire; her inane rantings and middle-class furore drive me up the wall. BUT, here she is trying to spout feminist ideals and that I cannot stand.
Liz Jones utterly lambasts women who blog, women who blog about being mothers, and some of whom [only one is quoted, we cannot verify how many women actually do the same] use advertising on their blog as an income, allowing them to stay at home with their children [and thus get more inspiration for their blog, about being a mother].
She argues that these women have ‘again been duped into thinking the world exists in their tiny, safe, fragrant homes, that life revolves around burps.’ What exactly is your point, Ms. Jones? Are you arguing that these women’s choices to remain at home, look after their children, and use the internet as a form of income are a product of the ‘hand of patriarchy on [their] back[s]’? Are you arguing that their freedom to decide to stay at home was forced upon them by some external force that pushes them into believing their only worth is in their roles as mothers?
Has it ever crossed your mind, Liz Jones, that these women’s lives, at least for the moment, do revolve around burps. As someone who has read Liz Jones’ own personal column in an awful supplementary Daily Mail on Sunday magazine, I can readily assert that her focus changes, from constantly rabbiting about her boyfriend when committed, to her single-woman whines about her houses and how the community in her village don’t like her because of all her Prada Handbags. So, if their blogs represent the things they find important in their lives, and this represents the ‘hand of patriarchy,’ then obviously Liz Jones’ priorities are far superior to those of these women who are writing about their own lives, that consist of more than the ‘bile’ she expected from them.
But there is a wider point. Yes, Liz Jones was paid to attend a conference where she expected bile from a group of women and instead received questions, interest and admiration of her journalist work. Yes, she did then decide to make more money from it by criticising them. Yes, she is an embarrassment to the name of journalism and frankly her attempts to push ‘feminism’ are completely misguided. But she still represents a wider view.
Many women, who call themselves feminists and career women, are stuck in this second-wave feminist battle between the home and the workplace. Liz Jones argues that these women were not trying to ‘change the world’ as she expected, describing them as ‘little women who instead of tapping away at the glass ceiling swap recipes and tips for getting a child off to sleep.’ Women, like Liz Jones, who work and perhaps choose not to have children, often place themselves in this position of superiority. They are fighting against the patriarchy whilst these women staying at home aren’t doing anything useful, they are just tapping away, ranting on their computers.
This misses the point completely. In belittling these women’s contributions Liz Jones argues that the internet houses ‘the most revolutionary tool we have - namely free speech,’ and she regrets the fact it has been turned into ‘a giant WI meeting.’ She is missing the point that these women are using the internet as a tool for free speech. They are intelligent women documenting their lives, and representing themselves, in their decision to stay at home and their choices to raise their children. Yes, they can post their opinions about politics and culture and society, but they can also write about baking and childcare and the things that represent them.
This is a far more progressive move than Liz Jones’ adherence to second-wave feminist biases towards stay-at-home-mothers. These women are blogging about their lives and reasserting their own importance. They aren’t saying: ‘I wish I could do it all,’ or ‘all my friends get to work, I have these children to look after.’ They are saying: ‘my choice is exactly what I wanted and I love being with my children and have found an easy way to fund that choice, whilst maintaining the lifestyle I desire.’ These women are ignoring expectations of them to ‘do it all, to go out to work and tuck their children into bed when they get home. Instead they have used the internet, the most powerful tool we have, to reshape their livelihoods, and they are, in my opinion, doing it all in exactly the way the want to.
So, in appropriating the image of the Burka to argue that these women are ‘oppressed’ and ‘narrow [in] their vision, Liz Jones has not managed to convince me that these women are oppressed and that I should use my education to fight this patriarchal crisis but that these women are stronger and more exciting role-models than she is. I imagine that one day I will want want to do it all. When I do I hope that I can reshape my life in order to ensure that I give everything to my children and also ensure my mind is still stimulated. These women are an inspiration.
Liz Jones represents everything that is wrong with the wider media’s representation of women. She battles working women against stay-at-home-mothers on a website where women are constantly depicted in terms of beauty. She lambasts women using business prowess to make money from writing thoughtful, interesting pieces, in order to convince herself and others that her decision is ‘right.’ No decision is ‘right’, and before we can feel truly represented as women we need to question women like Liz Jones who pit us against each other, who make every type of woman feel like a failure, even those who are ‘doing it all.’