Clementine Ford. I’m not a big fan. I find some of her ideas interesting but most a little too self-indulgent. This is quite probably because she triggers a mirror for me … I was once a Clementine. But as we age, we develop a stronger awareness of the ‘other’ and the much ‘bigger picture’. And some of our youthful idealism is sacrificed. Some. Not all.
Last week she posted a piece on Facebook that was anti-victim blaming and shaming. Her post was spot on.
Our society does blame women victims … All. Of. The. Time. It’s implied in the language we use and the expectation that women should change their behaviour to avoid becoming a victim.
The problem with this is that it also marginalises men and strongly suggests that they aren’t capable of behaving appropriately. I’ve known enough men who do behave appropriately to know that this is unfair.
Anyway, I’m breaking away from my point.
She was hammered for her piece. Metaphorically of course. But only because they couldn’t get to her, and I think they lack conviction. Men and women saying atrocious things.
One man told her to sit on a butcher’s knife so that she couldn’t reproduce – it won’t be a surprise to you whom have followed my fertility journey to know that I could happily kill this man.
She has been called a ‘whore’, ‘slut’, a ‘c#*+’, and her body and general appearance denigrated. She has been told she is fat and unfu*#able. Like, really!
What has our society become? Sisters turning on sisters, and our ‘protectors’ violating trust. How did this happen?
I am a feminist. It is not the sum of me but a significant part. I am so grateful to the women who stood up for basic human rights and later equality, so that I can write this blog using my own name, I can voice my opinions, I can have dreads and tattoos and swear and laugh out loud and be WHO I AM without too much fear of persecution. I am a feminist because I own our collective pasts as integral to who I am today.
I am a feminist because I am grateful.
And all this means is that I believe in social justice, in equal opportunity, in equity, and in service that reaches far beyond the proverbial kitchen.
I am proud of Clementine. She stood up and she fought, and fought hard, at a personal and probably professional cost. And she still fights. Whilst I am still not a huge fan, I have respect. And I stand with her …
With her, and against misogyny, and against patriarchy, and against ignorance, in all its guises.
Julia Gillard endured the same. And that devastated me. Likewise, I wasn’t a fan. But there is respect.
Feminism is clearly needed … A new fight ensues.