Wednesday, 29 February 2012

What does feminism look like?

This day, marking (in the UK) that absurd leap-year-female-proposal tradition, seems as good an excuse as any to share an excellent line I came across during my recent recapping on feminist history. Made into a cheery, meme-able image.

(The image, by the way, shows a clash between suffragettes and British police in Parliament Square, November 1910; it can be read about here.)

Incidentally, while preparing the lecture on romantic comedy that occasioned my re-trawling through past articles and books, I was reminded again of quite the extent of the anti-feminist backlash in the U.S. that Faludi wrote so well about in the early '90s, and again for the post-9/11 climate. Looking absent-mindedly, as I often do, for easy anecdotal evidence with which to catch students' imaginations, I ventured onto Youtube and actually began seeing the site's like/dislike bar as some kind of depressing barometer of just where we're currently at on this subject.

Entirely unscientific as the evidence is, it's difficult not to feel disheartened when an almost embarrassingly friendly and non-confrontational video promoting feminism like this one gets this rating:

...while one that carries this title gets rewarded with a bar that looks like this: