Monday, 17 August 2009

The Times gets it really really really wrong

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/comment/article6739280.ece

Umm - although I really like Nigella's recipes is she a feminist icon?
And seeing as Ellie Levenson has managed to piss off every feminist/woman i know with her "rape is just a penis" line of thinking, can she really be a feminist icon? ICON??
also - taking umbrage with the Times relegating all those who disagree with Levenson as the old guard - I'm 24 and i was pretty angry about her analysis of feminism.

so - who are my feminist icons? pretty tricky. but of the top of my head i'd say someone like jess mccabe and catherine redfern had a helluva lot of influence. i's put sandrine leveque down for founding object. i wouldn't want to miss out ariel levy because i bloody love her book. cath elliott for saying what others are too scared to say, and dealing so elegantly with the crap she gets back.
i agree with lubna hussein and hirsi ali, and there are many many women who are working in countries where women are oppressed and doing incredible work whose names i don't know.
i'd go so far as to say missy elliott and kathleen hanna and electrelane and miss kittin and ms dynamite and loads of pro woman music, not forgetting lovely thurston moore.
and then there are our older sisters - gloria steinem, germaine greer, bell hooks, irgaray and kristeva, woolf and wolf, the list goes on....

but my biggest feminist icons are the women i know. sue who was an activist now and in the seventies. sal who set up BFN. katy who works tirelessly for abortion rights. jenny who protests loudly against media objectification. jacky who set up rape crisis centres in the 80s. elaine and all the women who set up the rape crisis centre this year. jo who made a speech at reclaim the night. and many many more of the women i meet and talk to and keep in touch with who are working their asses off to make this world a better place for women and men.

7 comments:

watermemory said...

I found this blog through comments at the F Word, and just wanted to say how much I admire and agree with your list.

sianandcrookedrib said...

thank you watermemory! i could add so many names to the list of inspirational women and men i have encountered in life and through the blogosphere.
i think the problem with lists like the times one is that they rely on the celebrity and the newsworthy (fair enough, it's a newspaper) but fails to recognise the work of day to day women and men who are unsung but so dedicated to helping further women's rights. however much i admire michelle obama or think nigella's amazing baking is cool, to limit the achievements of feminism to such a small and specific list really doesn't do any favours to raise the profil of the tireless campaigning that is going on worldwide.

CathElliott said...

I'm very flattered to be included on your list. Thanks :)

sianandcrookedrib said...

cath - you totally are! i love reading your blog. and that's my point in the faultiness of the times list, there are so many women like you and the people on my list that are unsung, but are doing massively important work, as well as writing and encouraging women everywhere to stand up for themselves and feminism.

Catherine Redfern said...

Ooh ooh, I just read this! Wow, you have made my day.

I've been doing a survey of about 1300 feminists and one of the questions asked was 'who inspires you most as a feminist'.

Hopefully we're going to publish some of these results in more detail over the next 6 months.

One of the ones that made me smile the most was when people replied 'my mum' :-)

sian and crooked rib said...

hey catherine - i'm really looking forward to reading your book when it comes out. i am often quoting your article on why it is ok to be a feminist and concerned about women and women's rights, i can't remember the name of it now. i think the f word is such a valuable resource, we are so lucky to have it and i am sure many many people agree with me.

and yes - i should have put my mum! what an oversight. sorry if yu read this mum. she is such a strong woman who has come from a relatively unprivileged background and young divorce to raise me and my brother and live the life she wanted to live. a very strong and important woman.

Jess said...

Thanks, that's a big compliment :-)

The Times list is just... silly.

Maybe the list would have been less awful though, if they hadn't used the difficult word "icons", and the order wasn't quite so messed up. Lubna Hussein gave up her diplomatic immunity and risks 40 lashes in her campaign for women's self-determination and control over what we put on our own bodies and is at the bottom of the list; Nigella Lawson is a celebrity chef and is at the top.