Feminism / Politics / Sex / Sexuality

Why No-No Feminism Ain’t For Me

I’ve been hearing a lot, and I mean A LOT, about this fervent feminist campaign to rid supermarket shelves of what we tend to call ‘lads mags.’

Now, unlike every other feminist I know – I’ve been meeting constant reminders of this campaign with a furrowed brow. I’m afraid I feel just as frustrated as I did when Lucy Anne Holmes started shouting and yelling about Page 3 girls. I apologise to every femme-supportive lady out there who can’t understand why I feel the way I do but it won’t change the way I feel and it won’t make me believe that the way I feel is wrong.

I can’t do no-no feminism, alright? I can’t do it. I totally get it and I understand that the reasons behind it are almost always positive and an intended step in the right direction at least, but I cannot be that kind of feminist.

To me, trying to shout something out of existence is asking to fail. Trying to ban something like Page 3 or lads mags or pornography –  is NOT going to work. And moreover, why should it?

Positive action results in positive change. Trying to eradicate lads mags doesn’t count as positive action. It’s a negative – it’s taking away rather than giving back, it’s obliterating rather than reclaiming. Cos you can’t reclaim what you’ve already destroyed and ladies, and there is so much out there that we can claim for ourselves.

It’s going to take a long time, of course it is. But are we not familiar with waiting for the world to change, have we not had enough practice?

I’ve watched pornography. I’ve read lads mags. I’ve browsed the breasts on Page 3 and I objectify just as many women as I do men. I’m a proud feminist and I’m self assured feminist, even though my own brand of feminism seems to so often differ with the mainstream offerings these days.

To me, feminism isn’t about saying NO.

It’s about learning how to feel completely unguarded when it comes to my mind and my body.

I refuse to look at the front cover of every lads mag and see a victim. I refuse to accept that all objectification is harmful and should be punished. I refuse to believe that every man who watches pornography or drools over Page 3 girls does so because he secretly wants to dominate the female figures in his life. I refuse to feel weak because I haven’t got the stones to go a month without shaving for Armpits4August.

I refuse to live life in shades of black and white.

I love feminism. I love talking about, sharing, touching, feeling, knowing my femininity. I don’t want lads mags banned – I want them to get better. I want them to learn how to discuss and share the female form in a more respectful way.

I guess what I’m trying to say is that the word NO feels like everything negative that comes with being a woman. It’s guarded and cold and closed. We’re so used to saying NO that we’ve forgotten how much fun it is to say YES.

If you hate the machismo of the porn industry – make some of your own and make it better. If you hate lads mags – start your own magazine and show them how it should be done. If Page 3 makes you dry heave, why not actually contact some of the girls who do make their living off of it and find out what really motivates them?

4507293590_27af562c28_zThere’s a lot of bad shit in the world and 90% of that shit is directed at women, I know. But real, permanent change can’t come from negativity – it must come from creation and innovation. We must teach our children how to distinguish between the right ways to treat women and the wrong ways. Then, we’ve got to give them confidence and the support they need to go out and exact positive change.

I can’t be a no-no feminist, it’s just not for me. I love breasts and thighs and hips and sex appeal and pin up girls and teeny tiny swimsuits and posing for nude-y photos. I love being female and I love the very special type of power that that brings – it’s not economic or social power but it is something extremely unique that no man will ever fully understand.

I love feeling strong and ballsy. I love feeling fragile and delicate. I like to stand on my own two feet but I also like to be taken care of when my self assurance is nowhere to be seen. I love the subtle interplay of mutual attraction and I love the crescendo – whatever form it takes. I love to feel attractive to the opposite sex whilst knowing that my body is my own and has no obligation to anybody else’s.

My feminism is YES feminism. It’s try anything once feminism. It’s why not feminism.

My feminism has nothing to do with the word NO and everything to do with forgetting that I’m a female altogether. My feminism is about feeling like a person, like Sam. That is, until I want to feel like a ‘woman’ or a ‘girl’ or a ‘female’- whatever it is you want to call me.

Otherwise, I’m Sam and I can do anything I like because I’m a strong, independent person.

So there.


3 thoughts on “Why No-No Feminism Ain’t For Me

  1. Well said! Men and women are supposed to be attracted to each other. Pornography is merely a reflection of that attraction. I wish it was better too. I think porn is so socially unacceptable that few with any talent ever attempt it. I’ve had a belly full of the macho bullshit but censorship isn’t the answer. It won’t get better through being driven underground.

    • I completely agree – that’s why I can’t support the feminist desire to ban everything that involves the female body. It’s not the fact that men are looking at women that’s the problem, it’s HOW they’re looking at women. There’s nothing wrong with looking at a woman and seeing sex but you can’t look at a woman and see ONLY sex. That’s my biggest ruck with modern feminism – it’s still so obsessed with separating the female body from sex when it should be trying to change the relationship between women and sex. To put it in a hideously long-winded fashion.

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