Thursday, 5 April 2012
First I was..and then I really wasn't and now I actually am...doing what almost everybody else in this country is in the process of doing right now or had already done-voicing their opinion about Samantha B and the fact that she thinks she's beautiful. Correction: about Samantha B, who does not only think she is beautiful, but writes about it, as recently appeared in a (typically low-quality) Daily Mail article. Guess what happened next...
It was in fact the above image, across which I stumbled on somebody else's blog, that convinced me of wanting and needing to join this debate, for it perfectly visualises one of the core concepts that triggered her becoming the most hated woman in the UK virtually over night. Some may triumphantly agree: "Yes exactly: the fact that she is a dick..or rather prick!" But NO, the fact that she hasn't got one, yet dares to behave as if she does! 'The phallus is a semblance' to use Nina Power's example of Alain Miller's feminist-analysis in her book 'one-dimensional woman', where trying to be like a man is suggested as the key to being a strong, independent and self-confident woman. This patriarchical strategy for equality, is of course revealed as a fallacy not only through its obvious unreachablility (a women will thus forever remain a lesser man), but also through the simple fact that women, who behave like men are simply generally disliked-both by men and women as this story pin-points. To be honest, I too felt uncomfortable and reacted with an initial 'WHAAAT?" having first seen the post on a social network site, when admittedly I had never heard of Samantha before. Some research later, being able to read just a fraction of those thousands of nasty comments that came as a reaction to her 'inflated/deluded/' self-image, I am more saddened than surprised as for the story's explosive powers. WHY DOES IT MAKE OUR BLOOD BOIL TO HEAR SOMEBODY ANNOUNCE THEIR OWN SATISFACTION WITH THEIR LOOKS? I acknowledge entirely that, the reason for people's anger was less her profound conviction of her own beauty, yet rather the fact that she would A. present it as a problem and B. use this 'shamelessly' to provoke attention. Yet remember...this is the Daily Mail for God's sake! Whatever Mrs Brick's initial intention...by publishing the Daily Mail certainly knew that in any case, they were to walk away as the winners. Hadley Freeman, writer for the Guardian, takes Samantha's story to ask the question of just how much the Daily Mail hates women..(http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2012/apr/04/samantha-brick-thrown-to-wolves)
While it is always important to be careful when using arguments, that are more or less based upon national identity, I want to conclude still by mentioning Kate Fox's prime rule of being English: The-Importance-of-not-Being-Earnest rule. Breaching this rule through being in any way OVER THE TOP, pompous or too proud, in this society results in causing at least cringes, but quite possible disgust. One could argue that this story has provided us with a striking example to prove this rule. Yet it remains to highlight that the burden rests (to an unproportionately higher extent) upon the shoulders of a boasting woman rather than on those of a boasting man: while woman + arrogance makes a traitor, man+arrogance usually makes a success story
Tuesday, 3 April 2012
"God, this is where I should have brought my mum...instead of a walk through Dingle..!" I said as we walked through the stunning sandy dunes. It was sure to make the two of us laugh. The Freshfield coastline never fails to move me. Yet as for my mother... perhaps you could argue that I was somewhat determined to emphasise my existence to be so distinctly different from anything going on in a Rosamund Pilcher movie (the epitome of the European illusion of the sickly-sweet lives of the women of England's landed gentry), that it makes me withhold such beauty from her, and instead prone to expose her to some of the bleak truth of the rundown streets, where I would engage her in a heated debate about class war. Ok...it was never that heated, in fact, it didn't actually get off the ground at all. Yet still, I was proud to be left with: "Isn't the Queen embarrassed for her streets to be so dirty?" "Yeah Mum, EXACTLY!" In any case, the reason why this post has turned onto to my mother, I cannot recall, but it may lie within my own inner conflict between 'always seeking the beautiful' (which is something my mum has taught me) and 'not looking away' (which is something my own cultural heritage continuously provokes in me). Not naive, nor hypocrite, I do believe in both, and this is why a beautiful day at the beach is equally as radical as all those demos. x
Thursday, 22 March 2012
...desire to feel at home while being away; desire to get away while being at home; desire to reject one's home while yearning to create a home; desire to strive, desire to rest........oh this human condition......!
Sunday, 25 December 2011
I am not sure which to chose as the leading point of perspective for the dissection of this jewel of a comment (taken from Twitter a day after the UK-riots of the summer 2011). Should it be 'class war', 'racism', 'the active encouragement of a control state' or a simple 'What side are you on?' as a question of principle?Unable to attend to all of it in what is set out to be a brief post, I feel I may today settle for 'Xenophobia', which is here so distinctively materialised through pieces of cloth.
From Greek ξένος 'strange' and φόβος 'fear' most will know that it bluntly translates into the 'fear of foreigners'. But I think there is so much more to it...
You could look at this fear passively as something that is evoked without guilt..i.e. 'what I see is strange to me and I therefore lack trust in you and/or the situation'. You could go even further and discuss this fear less as an objective fear of 'the foreign' but as a subjective one that is evoked in yourself through the realisation of your own distinction, your own 'otherness' to what you are confronted with, which then may leave you feeling uncomfortable.
Be that as it may, what is so dangerous is indeed the fact that this fear readily serves to justify unjust (racist/classist) action.
You may argue rightly that the reasons for the covering of faces for Muslim women are distinctly different from those of UK (less privileged?) teenage boys (and girls)...
Set aside any sartorial signs, what remains an emotional similarity still, is that by being marginalised in the first place this fear for both may become a suspicion and eventually turn into denial..
...a denial of identification with what is presented to you as normal - covering up then is both a statement an a measure.
I don't always want to show my face.