Irish doctor with too many thoughts, too little time and a blog that's supposed to check in on reality.

Thursday, December 01, 2005

Women, Sex and Blogging....

Sinead at Sigla blog has a post about women being underrepresented in the Irish blogosphere.
Over the last few years I've developed an allergy to people talking about needing more women in one thing or another - once I hear mention of "encouraging more women" I tend to switch off.
While I know this a rather controversial statement and rather general I'm gonna go ahead and make it! I think I'm probably the only Irish woman blogger whose manifesto completely excludes feminism.
I'm a 22 year old girl and I hate feminism. I'm not a feminist. As a woman, I don't want my achievements to be lumped in with those of my sex. My decisions are my own and my opinions don't come straight from my ovaries. And I really don't like monologuing about my vagina.
I've no interest in the great big loving sisterhood bursting through glass ceilings. (Especially when the women left behind to sweep up the glass fragments are underpaid women for whom "career" is a foreign notion and work is a matter of cold, hard cash - and have nothing in common with the feminist establishment)
But (and there's always a but!) Sinead has point - there aren't many Irish women blogging and many of them that do tend to focus on more personal issues.
The big question is "Will more female bloggers make a difference"?
More women blogging will hopefully disprove the idea that all women tend to agree on "women's issues" and that not all women are willing to march (metaphorically or literally) along with the dinosaurs of the feminist "revolution".
Apart from that, more women blogging will hopefully mention things like the differences between the sexes (be warned this article is quite strong!), women winning elections in Iraq (via Eagle) and the advances made by Afghani women after their liberation from the Taliban.

Random observation - isn't it funny how the blogger spellchecker doesn't accept the words blog, blogger or blogosphere?



Anonymous Sinéad said...

Feminism and being a female (and a blogger) are mutually exclusive for me and for many womean. I hate being judged on my gender but the lack of Irish women blogging (compared to men) struck me, hence the observation. I think we can talk about women bloggers without it being assumed we're talking about feminism. As I pointed out, I'm definitely not interested in women becoming a seperate entity within the bloggersphere.

I'm pretty sure my opinions don't come from my ovaries, but the views we hold are informed by being the people we are. I'm lots of things - a journalist, a Dubliner, a dog owner, a wife, a music lover, etc. I'm also a woman and all of those things contribute to the way we view the world.
I'd just like to see more women blogging. It becomes a gender issue if we say (as That Girl does in the comments section) more women should be blogging about the so-called weighty perspectives and about politics and issues, which is what most men blog about.
One of the blogs I mentioned (and the only time the 'f' word is mentioned) you may want to read is Beth Bond's Broccoli For Breakfast where she has some interesting posts, particularly about how younger women in the Western World see Feminism.

December 02, 2005 9:13 a.m.  
Blogger Beth Bond said...

That a 22 year old 'girl' (are you not a woman yet?) hates feminism belies a basic lack of understanding of the objectives of the movement. Without the condiserable progress that feminism has made in the last thirty years in particular,I very much doubt that you would be at liberty to give voice to your opinions in such an open and undiscriminating forum.

Feminism is NOT about men-hating ball-breakers and shoulder padded macho managers; moreover, feminism IS about the ongoing battle for egalitarianism between the genders which at its very core seeks to provide those women who you refer to as those 'left behind to sweep up the glass fragments' of the ceiling smashers, with equality of pay, access to the judicial system, property rights and sexual rights amongst others.

I am a feminist and proud to say so. I do not wear dungarees, doc-maartens, nor am I a lesbian. I have never once monologued about my vagina, nor do my opinions come straight from my ovaries (what nonsense is this?)

Young women today in the main run away from feminism because they have no clear understanding of the benefits it has brought not only to women, but society as whole - consider the fact that women today can now work after marriage, have access to contraception and all areas of education - tell me this does not benefit society? And yet, there is so much more to do, on our own doorstep as well as in developing countries.

Look, if you think it is a level playing field out there you are quite mistaken and naive in your assumptions. And you would do well to educate yourself in the history, the success and the future of feminism before trivialising it so crassly and carelessly.

December 02, 2005 9:21 a.m.  
Blogger Suzy said...

I am a lesbian, feminist, one time doc marten wearing Irish female blogger! If I want to write about my vagina I will do so. (but it will be an occasion of some significance)

The fact you have an education, income, an opinion and the right to express it, can marry when you want, get legally separated or divorced, have children when you want or not has an awful lot to do with the women who went before you. (the fact these things were denied to many women was due to the actions of men and women but it was gender which denied them)

Much of the debate against being a feminist is deeply homophobic and insulting to lesbians and heterosexual feminists alike. And it still is not alright now, but maybe when and if you have a family, or don't get a job or a payrise or a house or a hospital bed or other service because of your gender you might find that out.

December 02, 2005 1:52 p.m.  
Anonymous Sinéad said...

I would respect your right to hold your view of disliking feminism, but I think many young women are only in a position to hold this view because of things pointed out by the other comments here.

Things have only changed because of tireless and continued action of women to make these rights - rights that are taken for granted these days - available to this and younger generations.

Also, I can't help but think that it's easy for feminism to be dissed from the comfort of our post-patriarchal Western World. A lot of women, from workers to lesbians, muslim women to mothers, still experience discrimination on the basis of their gender every day and that's why feminism is still relevant.

And on the glass ceiling thing, just wait til later on in your career...

December 02, 2005 2:58 p.m.  
Blogger Auds said...

Thanks for taking the time to post all your long comments...I'll reply in much more depth in the morning when I'm not so tired! - on re-reading my own post, I realise that I should have taken more time to explain my point of view.....

But 2 quick points -
1. My ovaries' opinion comment - most feminist activism in the political world is predicated on the notion that women somehow have the same opinions on certain issues, simply because they're women (have ovaries). I disagree very strongly with this.

2. As for my hating feminism - I'm not a feminist. I don't identify with any of the leading lights of today's feminism. I feel that feminism has gone as far as it can really go. If Maureen Dowd's and Mary Robinson's comments in the past few weeks are any indication, modern day feminists are more oppressive towards women and the decisions they make, than any misognists in the past.

I'll try to post in morning explaining myself more clearly. I have thought about this loads actually!

Check out this article in the meantime -

December 03, 2005 12:04 a.m.  
Anonymous abhcoide said...

Thanks to all the other feminists who posted. I am in full agreement with them, not because of my ovaries but because the benefits that feminism and the feminist movement or movements have brought me personally are quite readily apparent to anyone with the briefest recollection of social and political history. The perception that all feminists are pro certain rights of which you may not be in favour is misguided. There are as many different and distinct kinds of feminism as there are women. There's room for everybody, all that's required is a desire to be recognised as equal and to be unimpeded the realisation or your potential as a human being by biases which do not reflect your ability. As for the statement that women bloggers tend to focus on "personal issues" is there any proof for this assumption? Have you considered the many anonymous bloggers out there myself for one, who happen to be women, and who post on politics, law, history et cetera.

May 14, 2006 11:27 p.m.  
Anonymous abhcoide said...

I should add that I mean in no way to denigrate personal blogs, many of which, are among the most interesting contributions to blogging. I mean merely to illustrate that women are all individuals although we face the same discriminations and difficulties and so understandably share many of the same goals. Feminism is nowhere near achieving all of its objectives, any such suggestion can be taken to refer only to first world experiences and even at that we're not there yet.

May 14, 2006 11:34 p.m.  

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