Receiving a newsletter from a store, fashion label, human rights group and whatever you have sign up for to get a one-time-extra-discount and whatever you have sign up for when rushing through the streets of a busy city and got stopped by some teenager to sign something for a good cause, via mail is rather common. These constant mails, call them spam, inform you about important discounts or new arrivals or even if you should sign some petition to save the world from its utter evilness (means from us). However, after a time the inbox is filled with these kind of mails and it’s a mystery how some of the stores go you mail address. However, after a time the adverts just land directly in the bin and the attention is captured just by the tagline. Thus, the other day I got the weekly newsletter of some fashion label I used to buy my clothes from, I was about to delete it when I saw the headline:
‘We Know What Girls Want, We Know What Guys Like’
Well, I thought to myself ‘really?’ you know what I want, that’s interesting, so yes I clicked on it and voilà…
Obviously they didn’t know what I want, but I guess it’s a nice tagline to upset people like me. Hoping to be FINALLY enlightened in ‘what I want’
Nevertheless, my personal desires aside, I also noticed something else and I am pretty sure that I wouldn’t have noticed it some months ago.
Before I went to the University of Melbourne, before I took a class in Gender Politics.
Yes, this text will address feminism. So don’t stop reading. In fact, I was convinced to do it. When I first started studying the course ‘Sexual Politics’ at Uni Melbourne I thought
‘Why should I engage in this class? I AM a woman, I am naturally a feminist, I know what it is about!’
My friend showing provokingly her unshaved armpit and our courseliterature
Also, I had a quite strong belief that many so called feminist are totally against men, in a mystical sphere of overanalysing and self-pitying ; basically, that they are somehow crazy. In fact, if you type in ‘crazy feminist’ on Google images you will be surprised how many memes and pictures are ridiculing that movement. However, a friend of mine said that it wouldn’t hurt to attend the course and she believed that I should go. Another thing that stroked me when I discussed it with her was something that some people would undeniable call a female reaction.
I was scared. I was scared that I might find out that feminist are not crazy, that they have a point, and that I not just belonged to the biological sex which is supposed to be weak, but also that I wasn’t doing anything against it, that I was laughing about jokes which were sexist, but hey ‘it’s just a joke’, that I was one of the girls which laughed with the guys when a sexist joke was outspoken and that I judged the girls who weren’t, that I looked at them and said:’ what a prude’.
I do have the strong but strange feeling that many women do feel like this, and that so many men don’t what to have the feeling of being ‘the evil one’ maintaining the system.
How stunning it is, how personal feminism is; as nowadays the decline of state-identity men and women tend to search for another identity-pool which is mostly to be a man or to be a woman, thus the theory (which was widely supported in the 60s) is instead condemned by ridiculing it, or by claiming it is too extreme. The radical voice is always the loudest, so in which theory don’t you hear about the radical views first?
Back to the newsletter I got the other day from the fashion label; the ad suggested that girls want:
a hair straighter
and a book about fashion.
Guys liked (notice how the brand knows what girls want whilst they just know what guys like)
A pencil case
A case to put your eventual writings in it (uh wait, that could be something for for me but ahh.. no. that not what I would want.)
2 books about hobbies
… well, of course it could be claimed that there is no difference and of course it could be said that this choice of products is based on demand, but then again:
That’s not the point is it? The point is that girls just want something which includes looks, whilst guys like something which includes action, includes reading something with content (not just plain picture of how you are supposed to look), having something which has an actual purpose: headphones-to listen to music, writing utensils, a wallet to put all themoney in which is earned.
Clearly, as a girl I wish to have more choice and my choice to study feminism brought me closer to this wish.