Saturday, 27 June 2015

confidence // a feminist issue































File this one under things I can’t stand: women deciding that Megan Trainer is a role model. ‘Wow what a strong, confident woman!!1!11!!!!’ She’s not. 

Here’s the thing, to understand why this is a stupid and ridiculous thing to say, there’s a number of factors we need to take into account. Let’s deconstruct something first…what exactly is it that creates confidence in a woman? How does this relate to the society we live in?

Let me address the women reading this post: do you ever feel small? Do you ever feel as though there’s a weight pushing down on you? Because guess what? That’s the idea, that’s the intention.

Lucky for us, this idea manifests itself in large and small ways. Grand et petit. Obvious and quiet. At the forefront of our minds and the back of our subconscious.

Women speak up less in classes at co-ed schools. They’re less likely to apply for promotions. They even take up less space on public transport.

SO why? In the most obvious and the most subtle of ways women in our society are made to feel small.

The reason this effects women so deeply f is a lil’ something called internalised misogyny. Internalised misogyny is responsible for all the things we internalise that don't help gender inequality one bit. But they’re fed to us by the media and the people in our lives because they’ve lived in our society for centuries. And once they’re internalised they’re difficult to unlearn.

Internalised misogyny is responsible for: slut shaming from women to other women and in turn an expectation to keep your sexual escapades under wraps or not to have too much sex. It’s responsible for girl hate. It’s responsible for women feeling like they have to look a certain way. It’s responsible for things that…in the long run, aren’t doing women any good, including that little thing that tells us we need to be small, the little thing that might tell us to tone ourselves down around men.

This seems like a good time to add something else to the file of things I can’t stand: people telling young girls to ‘just be confident!!1!!1!!! it’s easy!!!1!!1!!!’

It’s not easy for young girls to find confidence. It’s a journey of unlearning internalised misogyny…and that’s difficult stuff.

Bringing it back to our good mate Megan Trainor. In her song ‘All About That Bass,’ she does, yes, celebrate the full figured form so we could give her a brownie point for that.

But on second thought we’ll be taking that brownie point away because of the line ‘boys like a little booty to hold at night.’ Female validation and self-love and confidence cannot happen in the context of boys for it to work in the long term. Confidence is about one’s relationship with…themself. Finding confidence is about the opposite. It’s about not basing your worth on what men think of you.

If you are looking for a strong, confident female, look no further then the literal goddess – Nikki Minaj. She’s unapologetic, she talks about disregard for authority, about dominance, about getting to the top of the game. The ultimate thing that really gets me about Nikki is that she owns her sexuality. And for centuries, as fucked up as it sounds, whether is be kind of subconscious or deliberate, women’s sexuality has been for the pleasure of men.


So, what’s the end game here? I think it’s about drawing the lines, pulling the logic, pulling things together. I think the first step for women to hijack their confidence is this awareness, to realise the reasons it might be difficult for them to reach confidence. But with Nikki behind our back, ladies, the only way is up.

What are your thoughts, 
Bella Sucks

5 comments:

  1. LOVE this! I have always found "all about that bass" strangely problematic despite claims that is is some kind of new feminist anthem. I wonder if a lot of it has to do with intersectionality of feminism and racism, esp. that people are so ready to tear down Nikki Minaj as "not feminist" despite her awesome reclamation of her own sexuality, while Megan Trainor gets abundant praise for a problematic pop single (white feminism at its finest imho)

    Claire
    www.augustlikethemonth.blogspot.com

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  2. Completely agree! She bases all her songs on gaining male acceptance rather than accepting herself and it's sending a really bad message to young generations! Women should strive to accept themselves not for men to accept them x

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  3. So great sharing! Thank you a lot!
    Being a female is great, right?
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  4. I completely agree with your view on Megan Trainor , the only thing that All About That Bass shows is that yes although she tells girls not to be ashamed of their curves , she does this by shaming those who are skinny and saying that boys only want girls with curves bringing it back to the statement that we are only here to make guys happy.
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  5. Meghan Trainor is the perfect example of a white feminist. My acceptance of my own body is not down to how men see me. Nikki Minaj all the way, baby!

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