Sunday, March 04, 2012

The F-Word Feminist Day at the Opera House

Very happy to report that the discussion covered women in global contexts, rather than concentrating on white western women (my previous complaint about these events.)

Here’s what everyone said, in a nutshell.

Germaine Greer

Prefers Women’s Liberation Movement to the word Feminism.

Suggests we join the Country Women’s Association.

Suggests we join a green group. Was it Women of the Earth? I’ll check.

We need to move on from considering abortion as a badge of feminist honour and start talking about the rights of the foetus and the very real violence that abortion is. Move on to talking about responsibility for contraception.

Talked about the word ‘fuck’. As a word that damages. The fucker and the fuckee. That the one who fucks without permission is the one who is damaged, not the one who is fucked.

Identifying as feminist is enough for her, even if you disagree with said feminists’ politics.

Talked about personal relationships. Self confidence. Not trying to please men. Encouraged women to be difficult.

Was funny.

Naomi Wolf

She’s just written a book called Vagina.

Shes interested in how the ideas of the Enlightenment are merging with feminism for women in the Middle East and Muslim women.

She’s interested in democracy as a process, so if you identify as feminist, that’s good enough for her - she takes you at face value that you believe you are helping women - then you can have a discussion.

She’d rather we start by celebrating the successes of feminism instead of starting with its failures.

She told a 20 year old that you can be a feminist, have children a, career, friends and lover, and be happy.

She told the audience that any of you can lead an aspect of the movement - don’t wait for someone else to lead.

Eliza Griswold

A news foreign correspondent who has worked a lot in the Middle East. Her main concern is the women in Afghanistan.

Clem Bastow

Makes jam and works in her pyjamas. (Didn’t I say she would be out of her depth here?)
And she offended many when she suggested older aren’t hip to online feminism because they can’t type on a keyboard...

The event would have been better if they just stuck to the questions already submitted, instead of taking questions from the audience, because, frankly, they were rants and not clear questions, or were rehashing ground we’d just covered (female genital cutting) and wanted to move on. And Eva Cox asked a question. Doesn’t she have enough platforms to talk from? Couldn’t someone else have a go? Why do we always say that young women aren’t engaged with feminism when a quick look at the audience shows there were lots of young women in attendance. And do we really have to end every feminist meeting with ‘what now?”


Motherhugger said...

Another write up here, by Sarah Macdonald.

chellecahill said...

Sounds like you attended all 3 sessions after all?! Thx 4 paraphrasing the event! I really enjoyed it. Germaine Greer is priceless!