I’ve been becoming more and more agitated by everyday sexism recently. It has been subtly creeping in to my day to day life like the crass joke an acquaintance shared recently on Facebook. The joke goes like this: A woman confronts her husband with a knife. Rather than running away in fear he produces a loaf of bread and some butter and his wife’s ‘instinct’ kicks in prompting her to make him a sandwich. Hilarious.
Then I watched a documentary on Female Genital Mutilation because, you know, our vaginas are so dangerous they need to be cut out and the remaining flesh sewn tight together, erasing any trace of our womanhood. Horrifically, this actually happens right here in the UK, not just in far away lands. Thinly veiled as the preservation of cultural identity it is in fact child abuse leaving a legacy of severe physical and emotional damage that will haunt the victim for the rest of their life. If it horrifies you – and it should – please add your name to this petition now.
Women hating is becoming cheekier by the day, its perpetrators even marketing themselves as our pals. One such example is a new television advert from ‘feminine hygiene’ brand Vagisil. Even the name sounds like an STI: I’m afraid you’ve contracted Vagisil, my dear. You’ll need some antibiotics and a cream to clear that up and, of course, you’ll need to let any partners know you have it. It thoughtfully advises us poor, stinking women that help is now at hand for it – and it alone – can help us mask our putrid natural scent for a small fee. Thank goodness for that, I can sleep easy now Vagisil is on the case! One of my favourite writers, Caroline Criado-Perez, wrote a great article in response to the new advert, you can read it here.
And of course we can’t forget the hundreds of girls all over the UK who ‘ask for it’ when they are raped. I’ve never really understood that one. Regardless of what I’m wearing if I want ‘it’ believe me, you’ll know about it. And if I don’t want ‘it’ you’ll know about that too.
Attacks on women by other women is a particular pet peeve of mine and one at which Katie Hopkins of The Apprentice ‘fame’ excels. When she’s not poking fun at the weight of female X Factor contestants via big, brave, social networking site Twitter she’s explaining just how much better than us she is on her now regular daytime TV slot on This Morning.
But all hope is not lost! Not yet anyway. Often when women address woman hating we are met with impatient sighs and knowing glances with that familiar ‘here we go again’ attitude. Not wanting to come across as a whiny woman – urgh, they’re the pits, aren’t they? Always whinging for equal rights? Why don’t they just pipe down? – I’ll leave you with a great piece of writing from the team that brings us the hit US TV programme, Scandal. It pretty eloquently addresses a lot of issues facing women in the public eye and certainly gives us food for thought. But not too much. You know how we women like to watch our weight.