Monday, February 13, 2012

Girlfriends


fem·i·nist

[fem-uh-nist]
adjective Sometimes, fem·i·nis·tic .
1. advocating social, political, legal, and economic rights for women equal to those of men
As luck would have wit I'm alone (beau is sick) on Valentine's Day and although it really is nothing more than a day on a calender, I can't help but feel the conflict of emotions of abandoned feminist values and morals. Often I am quite happy to mill about the house on my own and don't need any company but perhaps with the raging hormones I feel weaker in myself than I normally would in principle. If my old literature teacher were able to tune into my emotions via some cosmic radio I'm sure she would give me the verbal lashing of a century, lecturing me about the uselessness of men and how you don't need them to be happy.

With the gentle progression of women's rights becoming equal to that of men, it's hard to define what a true feminist is these days. I suppose its someone who continues to work towards supporting women emotionally as well as opposing such demeaning and pornographic magazines such as Playboy.To sell your body is widely considered to be the lowest point in your life, although many people are content to make that their day job. Is feminism deterring others from resorting to 'demeaning' work or is it giving women the choice to act as they like, sit around in their underwear and read whatever magazines they like?

One firm belief I have always held on to in the cockles of my very heart is that no matter who you are, what you look like and where you come from; it should be your write to dress in the way you like. This is a concept that seems to have readily escaped my mother, someone who weeks ago decided to tell me what wedges were (as if I hadn't discovered them already eight years ago)  and also doesn't let me wear my American Apparel skirt during the day. Well for an adult and someone who has always taken on responsibility I think it's unfair that I'm not allowed to express myself with fashion and style. What would have happened had Tavi Gevinson's parents forced her to stop her fashion blogging for Style Rookie? Her career wouldn't have ballooned into the runaway train that it currently is and she wouldn't be one of the most recognisable teen bloggers in the world.
 
As of late it seems my own girlfriends haven't been inviting me to the get together and with high school over and university exposing us to new people and new experiences, maybe this is the end of my journey with my group of friends. The thing about girls is that we're so busy competing with each other over the attention of boys is that we really fail to help each other out when we need it. Someone very wise once stated that the only thing standing in the way of women's rights and the progression of the modern feminist movement is women- how can we expect to receive the regard and not be met with contempt when young girls continually fight with each other as opposed to working towards a greater good? Too bad there isn't a feminist club at my university to join, I may not become a member but a five minute conversation could do wonders for my still politically developing brain.

Another unwelcome and current occurrence I personally encounter in my day-to-day routine is the cat calls and amorous look from other guys. It has its positives and negatives, as someone already in a relationship and to receive unwanted attention from other boys makes my skin crawl. I was shocked when driven home by my boyfriends older brother to hear him suggest people in the next car were trying to get a look at me. It made me feel like an animal in a zoo, not like a person with real feelings. For some girls and from the right kind of people receiving romantic attention would be something to lift their spirits but I always feel objectified and worried when it happens to me. Whatever happened to conducting yourself with chivalry and in a gentleman-like fashion?

Feminism is something that has brought me one joy in my life; in some countries women are disadvantaged and unable to study while I have always been able to study freely and will be starting tertiary orientation in the coming days. I can't wait till I feel the bump and grind of a full timetable and also spreading my legs and arms out after a long day of being chained to a desk once more. While I may not embrace many of the finer points of feminism, I can proudly say that I have always performed to the best of my abilities in terms of schoolwork and have sought to become the most intelligent and educated woman I can be.

Through studying Shakespearean text and in particular, Hamlet, I was shocked to learn that a woman could be deprived of her funeral rights if thought to have lost her virginity without marriage. I am thankful that people care less about a woman's sexual experiences but there's still this taboo subject about young girls finding their sexuality and exploring in this new side of themselves as opposed to boys. Movies from Hollywood have always portrayed young boys as being out of control and continually seeking to lose their virginity but there is very little discussion between girls during high school about these issues.

I would be more than happy to be able to sit and enjoy another woman's company and value a friendship of someone with similar interests- I've been lucky enough to be able to have a wonderful girlfriend in my corner to talk t about anything and I think that's one of the greatest things feminism can achieve in these modern days. It's not often that women talk to one another about relationships as well as life experiences so when this does happen it's important to have someone you can really trust to share the conversation with.

One of the great modern commodities of the computer age has been empowering normal, everyday people with the ability to express themselves in a way they sit using a combination of cameras and computers. This has been available to all but it seems that the fashion industry has in particular become booming with young girls and women such as myself keen to prove themselves in the realms of fashion and styling. I can't find the guts myself to do styling when anyone else is home but at least I have the bravado to put myself out their online and express my opinion- I think if blog accounts were only open to men I would either go insane or have a sex change. Possibly both, one resulting from the other which is not a nice thought really.

I've always wanted to be the arty type of girl who cut out images and stuck them onto something else, scanned it into her computer and then saved the hard copy in her scrapbook and become a part of this strange cult or something similar. The advertisements that have been catching my eye as of late involve gorgeous models dressed similarly in the same manner and moving around in groups as a singular unit. I suppose that reflects my own early alienation and vulnerability when it comes to any sort of platonic relationship.

These sorts of images make my heart ache- the group of girls that all look similar perched in front of a spooky little cliff-side shrine of flowers and candles out in the open. I won't have to deal with the close knit groups of high school and hanging out exclusively with people and I feel that I sort of messed up my opportunity to make situations like that work in my favour. My idyllic feminist world in which girlfriends all help each other out and jealousy doesn't exist is at an end and I realise that in the end I'm alone and no one really wants to hang out with me.

 
It's just a photo edit so everyone relax, Kate Moss doesn't currently have green hair. Although as a point of conversation it would be absolutely fine if she did have green hair because feminism embraces and empowers women giving them a choice to decide what they look like. However, I am concerned about this empowerment for bratty young girls who seem to abuse this modern age where they dress scantily clad with their ass hanging out of their skimpy denim shorts and have no idea about the art of 'leaving more to the imagination'. Did generations of feminists and bra burners survive the scorn of ignorant and masochistic men simply to hand over their rights to girls who regress the feminist movement and play dumb to please men? I think not...

Whether or not you have girlfriends to talk to on the phone when having a long and relaxing soak in the tub, I think there's no better feminine ritual to celebrate the end of the day then a soothing bath or shower. I wouldn't mind taking a long dip myself in the sheltered sanctuary of my tiled bathroom were it not for the fact that my family's bathtub had long ago been converted into a shelf for toilet paper, shampoo and conditioner. Yes it seems that somewhere down the line, my mother chose to forsake the cherished bathtub in the name of thrift and buying in bulk from the supermarket. Who am I kidding, my bathroom doesn't look anywhere near as tidy as this shady setting anyway...

1 comment:

  1. your rose maxi skirt is so lovely!

    http://blameitonthecoffee.blogspot.com/

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