Just lately I have heard/seen/ read/ experienced the ongoing issue of being dismissed because of the lady parts between women’s legs.
When Tara Moss, (a writer whose blog makes me like her a whole lot, she is super smart, self deprecating and got her shit together) wrote about women crime writers being under represented because of their sex, the senior arts critic for The Age, Cameron Woodhead, accused her of “privileged whining”. It’s not whining when it’s the truth is it? Men are published more than women, win more prizes and are nominated to more lists more than the other sex and for the record, ALL the books I studied at school, were by men. It is unbalanced and it must be remedied.
My issue with Cameron Woodhead’s comment to Tara Moss was that the subtext felt like, “Hey, woman, you should be grateful you are published despite your ladyparts, so why the hell are you bitching, bitch?”
This attitude isn’t just in publishing. Take Tina Fey’s quote from her essay on working mothers.
I know older men in comedy who can barely feed and clean themselves, and they still work. The women though, they’re all crazy. I have a suspicion- and hear me out, because this is a rough one – that the definition of crazy in show business is a woman who keeps talking even after no one wants to fuck her anymore. It seems to me the fastest remedy for this women are crazy situation is for more women to become producers and hire diverse women of various ages. That is why I feel obligated to stay in the business and try hard to get to a place where I can create opportunities for others…
Everywhere I look, I see women doing more than men and still we are overlooked. If we challenge, we are whining. If we resist we are bitches and if we dare to be successful then we are ambitious, a terrible word for a woman, so I’ve heard.
I write stories centered around female characters. Good, strong, flawed interesting women, like myself and the ones in my life. I don’t have an agenda, I write about women because I know about women. If I knew about horses then I would write good stories for horses and address the equine inequality system.
Does the problem lie with men or women? Fuck, I don’t know. My daughter is trying to decide what to do as work experience, worried because her peers who want to work in fashion and magazines. *weeps*
She is afraid to say what she wants to do as a career to her friends because she thinks people will think it’s dorky and not cool. I reminded her, unless she is planning to start a challenger brand to Zara, then fashion is a shit career (see fashion retail stats on Google as evidence) and print magazines are dying, she could start her own magazine right now if she really wanted to, on the web…judging from her reaction, she doesn’t want to work in magazines that badly it seems.
Here’s my theory. It all comes from your dad. My dad was raised by a woman for the first few years of his life, while his father was at war. My father will do the domestic tasks a woman is expected to do without complaint or attitude. (Cooking is not advised as he puts tabasco in most things.) My mothers father was a trooper also, stepped up and get in when needed. I am fortunate that both of my parents had models for men doing what they were supposed to do. I hope my daughter chooses a man who can do stuff for himself.
Recently I heard of a man who said to his wife, “When will this whole career thing stop and you’ll be at home again?” WTF?
It makes me angry and then it makes me want to cry.
I have been reading Helen Garner’s book True Stories, my mothers favorite. It got me thinking; if Helen were a man, would she be a national treasure? If The Slap were written by a woman would it be deemed as Chick Lit? And most of all why are we still having this conversation? FUCK. *slams head against wall*
Part of me wants to tell all women to STFU and get on with it and then another part wants me to ‘whinge’ and still get the hell on with it. I get we aren’t given great role models. Carrie Bradshaw and her shoes seems excessive in a post GFC world, then onto “I don’t know how she does it” themes…maybe we should blame Sarah Jessica Parker? Who are the role models for our daughters? Disney stars? Bella in Twilight, waiting and putting her life on hold forever for a man.
In my house, I push the following role models :
- J.K Rowling – single mother, who wrote a character called Hermoine who is kick ass and smarter than her eventual husband and he celebrates this.
- Tina Fey – for being the smartest person in the room at anyone time.
- Emma Watson – who played Hermoine and hasn’t fucked up publicly, we haven’t seen her lady parts while exciting a car and is at University.
- Adele and Kelly Clarkson – for flaunting their talent not their tits.
- Ellen Degeneres – Being out and honest and making a career out of her talent not her sexuality.
This conversation is huge. I want to write about my own experiences but I feel disloyal so I won’t, because i have a great partner but I will say, it’s so hard to go for it in your career or to pursue your dream when you are also considered to be a primary care giver, cook, driver and daily event manager. my kids always come to me first, I remind them they have a father who can write notes, signs forms and buys school socks.
When my friends husband is away on business she gets little help and doesn’t ask for it but when she is away, people come flocking to her husband. “What do you need they ask? Oh, you’re a good dad.” They say. Um…how about fuck off?
Both my husband and I work at home. Some days I find myself doing jobs around the house instead of working. I am trying to stop it. He doesn’t do it, so why do I feel the need? Am I conditioned? *slams head into mirror*
I am positive that young women have it tougher than I did as a teenager. The obsession of appearance is insane. Not just from each other but from their their mothers. I know of a mother, who is supposed to be this self realised guru, who sends her daughters friend, who is not stick thin, weight loss tips. I want to tell the mother of the child but it’s not my business. Instead I make an effort to tell her when I see her occasionally how fucking amazingly smart and talented she is and I hold myself back from punching the mother in the face.
This is the shit we are facing. Women who are afraid to be successful, afraid to age, afraid of speaking up. Afraid.
Women just got the vote in Saudi Arabia but don’t have the right to drive to the polling booths. Women who are punished for being raped in many societies and called whores. Women are not supported in their careers if they choose to have children. In the US, a woman earns 77 cents to every dollar a man earns. The Democrats tried passing the Paycheck Fairness Act but the republicans voted against it, the bill failed. Do the Republicans not have daughters?
Ah well, I just hope Cameron Woodhead doesn’t have a daughter who wants to be a crime writer.
That’s it. For now.