Kirstie Allsopp: Feminist or fuckwit?

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So, this is an article on the Guardian website a friend posted to Facebook entitled “Kirstie Allsopp tells young women: ditch university and have a baby by 27“. I clicked the link, expecting to get a bit pissed at Kirstie but ended up thinking “Hm, yes, she has a reasonable argument for her point of view”. What actually really irked me was the people who commented on the Facebook post slagging her off, saying she is not a feminist, and calling her a terrible mother. Which I thought was totally shitty of them.

Kirstie Allsopp

Clearly several of the commenters had not fully read the article and just went off on a tirade based on those 13 words in the title. Those who had read it were taken in by the journalist’s use of leading phrases like “Kirstie tells women” and “Kirstie urges girls” which he uses to try and stir up exactly this kind of controversy (you have played right into his hands, fools!). Kirstie gave this advice as HYPOTHETICAL advice to her HYPOTHETICAL daughter. Advice and instruction are two different things, which these soap-box feminists seem to have missed. I started to write a comment on Facebook, which ended up being a rant Then I thought why not make this a blog post, current affairs an’ all that, so below is my opinion on the matter in response to the perpetually defensive feminists:

Playing devil’s advocate (also a very fucking passionate feminist myself) Kirstie is right in saying that in this society we are made to believe our life needs to be carried out in a certain order: Uni, Work, Husband, House, Baby. Kirstie is just saying why not switch that up: Work, House, Baby, Uni? Us saying her point is not valid is just as bad as people saying women should not go to university at all. Sje is just suggesting a different way of doing things. Feminism got us into Higher Education and got us into the Boardroom, but it doesn’t mean we HAVE to be there as soon as we can. It might not be what some women want o,r they might want it, just not til later. This society tells us there is an order to things, and us young women are made to feel like we have to do EVERYTHING in those 15, in that specific sequence, in order to be ‘successful’.

At no point did she say “Find a rich husband” – she does not have a husband herself. She did not say women should not work or study – she said you could go STRAIGHT to work, then you can go to uni AFTER you’ve had baby if that is what you wish to do. So lets not get up on our high horses and start slamming her just because we’re feminists and she has mentioned women’s potential life choices. That is why feminists get a bad name. We need to support each other; if us feminists can’t support each other then how the hell can we expect other people to listen and support us?

It is her opinion, it has valid basis in fact, and her points make sense:

Have kids young
Human bodies are biologically geared for us to have kids in our 20s. She is just stating a scientific fact there. Everyone knows that. Tick. Done. NEXT POINT.

Go to university when you are older
I think university probably could more beneficial to middle aged people than a bunch of 18 year olds who have moved away from home for the first time to the other side of the country all sweaty and excitable and full of hormones; armed with a new found ability to legally buy alcohol, whilst studying things like “Social Anthropology” in between getting freaking wasted. (Seriously, I accidentally went to see a Social Anthropology PHDs 50 minute documentary on gender identity and, despite being a big LGBT advocate myself, after 10 minutes I wanted to gouge out my own eyes with a rusty spoon in the hopes of contracting scepticemia and dying). Who the fuck knows what they wants to do with their lives at 18? And what is realistic? (Marine Biology, whist freaking awesome, does not have great career prospects. Sorry guys, knowing about the microbiome which reside in the digestive tracts of sea faring birds is not a ‘transferable skill’).

I don’t want children, I didn’t got to uni, I went straight to work, I have a fantastic career AND a degree even though my family was SO SHOCKED when I quit college aged 16 and left without a single A-level. Turns out I did pretty fucking well for myself in the end despite not following the prescribed path.

We should just do whatever the fuck we like, when we like. With no judgement on what is right, and when is right, for whom. Regardless of gender or age.

From PolicyMic

We will never get respect if we don’t respect each other. Img from PolicyMic.

So Feminists, just because she does not share the exact same feminist manifesto as you it does not mean she is not one. PLEASE read a freaking article and form your own opinions before you go all Judgy McJudgerson on someones ass.

EDIT 22:38pm – Link to original interview in The Telegraph here

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The day I discovered I was a feminist

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It has been only within the last year that I have started self-identifying as a feminist. It’s not that I didn’t agree feminist ideals or support work towards female equality previously; it just didn’t really cross my mind that I was one. Until one fateful Monday was when I was in counselling the man called John flipped a switch in my head.

John, my counsellor, was the first person to say to me outright and plainly that our society is negative, horrible place to be a woman. That was it. All of a sudden I was angry. Really fucking angry. Really fucking fucked off at the whole fucking world for making my entire sex feel that way.

It’s not that I didn’t already know that glossy magazines, music videos and many other things were affecting the self-esteem and expectations of women and girls across the globe (expectations of themselves, and expectations men have of women); it was because suddenly this issue become entwined with my mental health and moved from the fringes of my beliefs to the forefront of my mind. It was the realisation that society and the world at large were putting pressure on me in ways I hadn’t even noticed; and no matter what work I was doing to help improve my mental health I’d be wading through emotional treacle because of the cultural and societal pressure still dragging me back, clawing at my ankles with their perfectly manicured fingernails.

The world is engineered to make women feel like they are missing something: 15 foot billboards bearing down on us with glowing skinned beauties holding the latest ungent that will turn you into Princess Diana, brightly coloured soft focus TV adverts for shampoo that will give you an orgasm every time you take a shit. IT’S ALL POINTESS WANK. It was this cacophony of wank out there in society which was a barrier to me getting better, and that was what made me angry. I was constantly being told everywhere I go, every day, that I am not good enough: I need shiner hair, I need a flat tummy, I have too many freckles, I need a mechanical foot scraper because my little toe is the wrong shape… I thought I was strong, I thought this stuff really didn’t affect me because I never bought Grazia or Heat or followed fashions, I dyed my hair all the colours of the rainbow and pierced my face just because I wanted to. I’m counterculture! I’m impervious to this shit!

Why is this stuff affecting me, It’s not fair they can do this to me.

No, it’s not fucking fair we are exposed to that negativity OUR ENTIRE FREAKNG LIVES, because our society is entirely geared around making people feel like crap. It was like an invisible forcefield of shit in front of me that you can’t permeate until you are told it is there, you acknowledge its existence, and from that point you can FUCKING DESTROY IT with a FUCK OFF SLEDGEHAMMER. (Okay, and a little help from mental health professionals and understanding friends…) Now instead of feeling shit about myself, I feel angry at them.

How vile and self-interested are the people that promote this culture? Do they not know or care what they are doing to women? It’s not fucking fair they can get to me, use their skills and money to worm their slimy way into my head and plant nasty little seeds of doubt and self-loathing. Those magazine Execs and beauty R&D teams sat there on the 30th floor of some skyscraper in Chicago inventing a new yoghurt which makes your vagina taste like watermelon if you eat six a day, whilst jerking each other off over how amazing they are and how much money they are going to make out of others feelings of inadequacy. Then they get in their big shiny wankmobile and take home their pay packet to give their wives and daughters who take that money and spend it on POINTLESS WANKY BEAUTY PRODUCTS. AGHGHGHHH!! The cycle continues.

my new pink buttonTHIS IS A THING. Because your snatch just ain’t what it used to be?!

Our consumerist society will never let us achieve the goals which it sets women, as soon as we come close they pick up the finishing post and move it a mile in another direction; just so they can make more money.

We are supposed to be the women you love, the mothers of your children, your sisters and friends – and you treat them as pawn in your game, as moneymaking little cash cows who you crush and destroy so you can succeed. Well fuck you. There are 100s of intelligent, strong, fierce women (and men) in this city alone who are fighting against the overwhelming tide of ingrained societal negativity that batters us every day. And hopefully one day, the tide will turn.