No More Page Three protest London

Gathering outside News International

On Saturday my boyfriend and I went along to a protest outside News International, the owners of The Sun, organised by No More Page Three and OBJECT.

It was protest against Page Three on the 42nd anniversary of its launch.

For anyone outside of the UK Page Three is feature found in some tabloid newspapers, like The Sun and The Daily Sport, where there’s a large photograph of a topless female glamour model on the third page of the paper (hence ‘Page Three’).

When we were there everyone signed a card to give to the editor of The Sun, Dominic Mohan. We did a bit of chanting and then the front of the card was revealed (see picture below).

We were all asked to ‘spot the difference’ between the two sides. Then some of the activists tried to deliver the card through the doors of The Sun. Security wouldn’t have it. One woman was hurt during the scuffle but seemed OK afterwards.

We did some more singing and chanting and then moved peacefully back to the pavement. This is when my boyf and I left to grab some food.

I’m gutted that we left early because after we went the police were called and ended up signing the petition. A policeman said they’d banned The Sun from the police station because it’s degrading to women and left a comment on the petition saying ‘women deserve respect from the media’. AMAZING.

East London Lines did a great report on it and you can sign the petition here.

Card for Dominic Mohan for page three’s 42nd birthday

Singing the card

Trying to deliver the card to The Sun

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15 things…the Daily Mail taught me

I read the Daily Mail for six weeks (for research, that’s why there are scribblings on some) and here are the pearliest of the pearls of wisdom I found.

[Click on photos to enlarge]

1. Boys should be BOYS and avoid things that are ‘feminine’ so they aren’t called a girl.

2. That thing where I quite like the woman who gave birth to me, that, that’ll end in tears.

3. When (not ‘if’!) I get married I’m biologically programmed to dictate my husband’s eating habits.

4. Getting back in the kitchen will make everything better.

5. As well as the kitchen, dusting will make us feel better and show our men we love them.

6. We should be worried about “foreigners” getting life changing health care.

7. There was no point getting that degree.

8. If you’re a size 12 you’re obviously having too much fun and should stop it immediately. (I MUST BE HAVING SHIT LOADS OF FUN).

9. If you’re curvy your dress is hard working – not bejewelled and fabulous.

10. YOUR PARTNER’S (potential) INFIDELITY IS YOUR FAULT.

11. Feminism is about being ‘honest’ with ourselves and accepting the status quo.

12. Being a working mother is dangerous.

13. It’s OK to be a bigoted homophobe.

 14. Stuck in a dead-end marriage? GRIN AND BEAR IT.

15. Loads of, like ALL, career women feel like they shouldn’t be there.

Meet the Feminist Beauty Queen

As part of a project about beauty pageants I’ve been working on for university I spoke to one pageant winner who takes women’s rights seriously. Clara Belle is Miss Durham 2011 and a feminist.

Read the article here.

I personally do not agree with her take on feminism as you will probably have guessed from this post but it was really interesting to talk to her. She spoke a lot about what I’ve started calling “individualist feminism” because that’s the only way I can describe it. She says it’s about “doing what you want to whether or not it promotes equality between the sexes. It’s individualism as well as feminism.”

“I’m not damaging. I know I’m part of an industry that could potentially be seen to be damaging. But I personally am not”, she says.

This kind of thinking is alien to me as feminism in my eyes is about making change for the whole global community. Women and men are not equal and so we can’t justify doing these kind of competitions.

I could see the argument for pageants in the UK if women, like Clara with a degree and drive, had the same chance of getting a place in the cabinet or editing a newspaper as a man of the same age, with the same degree and the same ambition. Only then can they be seen as ‘harmless fun’.

I will write a bit more about my experience of watching a pageant and how it is still a cattle market within the next couple of weeks.

Much love,

Chloe

x

The curse of the post-modern feminist

Fem 11 was a great event but more suited to newbie feministas

I’m not going to be feminist bashing, so if you thought this was that kind of post click off now (or stay, read and troll, I’m not too fussed). I’m not going to start the whole man-hating-doc-martin-wearing-angry-bitches crap because I am a feminist and proud.

First off I don’t hate men. Proof; my dad’s amazing and I have some great male friends. One even urinated on my radiator and we’re still talking. I also want a family some day. I wear heels, dresses and make up. Basically I look like an average 20-year-old woman. But yes I’m a feminist. Like every self-respecting female should be (my Mother’s words).

Feminism changed my life and I owe a lot to it. But it can be bleeding annoying at times. Currently for me this is all of the time.

Somewhere along the line I’ve wound up in a world where sexism is screaming at me from every corner of life. And it won’t shut up. Everywhere the little gremlin is there, on my twitter feed with stories of yet another atrocity against the female race, someone on Facebook using the word “frape”, people on Tumblr posting pictures of gender insulting fashion ads, even my bathroom has a bottle of shower gel called “clean, girls!” which is just goading.

I while away hours reading “Oh God, another person in America has said something stupid about abortion/abstinence/homosexuality.” No, I don’t have time for this! I don’t want to spend all day reading articles that prove exactly what I already know about the world. How did I get to this state? I have absolutely done it to myself. I’m not looking for it where it isn’t there. It just is and I seem to have put myself at the centre of discussions of where, how and why.

Just please, please eyes, for one day if you see a news report on yet another rape or Nadine Dorries saying something silly, just please stop working. I want a big CENSORED sign across my peripheral. I feel like the biggest bitch in the world when I’m analysing, not purposefully, what my friends, lecturers and everyone on Facebook is saying. Just for one day.

For one day I want to watch a film without applying the Bechdel test. I want to watch Misfits without thinking “there’s a rape joke. Oh and another”.  I want to hold my tongue when someone calls me a girl or ‘young lady’. I want to be able to read the Daily Mail without throwing it across the room. Actually I could leave that last one.

I started out loving feminism, relishing in pointing out the damaging portrayal of women in the media. Now I’m starting to resent it taking over my life. I don’t want to talk or think about it all the time. I was definitely tired of it when I came back from a feminist conference last month.

A friend and I went along to Fem 11 in London. A conference organised by one of the leading feminist groups UKFeminista. We spent six-and-a-half hours talking about and listening to all the ways the world is bad to women. I didn’t learn a single thing. Granted we did talk about how to get involved with activism but it just seemed like I’d heard it all before. It was a great event but not for me. It seemed perfect for someone who had just started out in feminism and I bet they had a crackin’ day. But I came home feeling thoroughly depressed.

So this is the curse of feminism. Don’t let it put you off though. It can be thrilling seeing and recognising inequality that you never noticed before. You feel like you’re making a tiny difference each time you tell someone about what you’ve read or found out. The world needs feminism, every type of it. It would just be a lot less annoying without all the pesky sexism.

Written for The People’s Republic of South Devon.