Q. ‘You call yourself a feminist, but you’re being a bitch to Kaley Cucoco! Being mean about a woman, that’s not being a feminist!
A. I don’t want to sound harsh, lest I get a million more comments telling me I’m evil, but you are so utterly misguided it makes me feel a bit ill. Feminism is not about loving all women, or even liking them. You don’t have to support all the choices that other women make. You can disagree with them, and even be mean about them if you want to. IT IS NOT UN-FEMINIST. I can call any woman a bellend, or a nob-jockey, or even a cunt. As long as I believe in equality for men and women, I’m a good feminist.
Q. ‘You’re being a patronising bitch.’
A. Alright, fair play. I was. AS A JOKE. I obviously wouldn’t write that way if I was writing a serious piece for the Guardian. I said on Twitter that if a man wrote that way about another man, it would be ‘banter’ (sorry, I know). Bantersaurus Rex. Lord of the Bants. If I was a bloke, loads of other blokes in V-necks and wedge haircuts would be giving me high fives and slapping me on the arse in a homo-erotic way. But because I’m a woman, I’m a bitch. Whatever. We’ve reclaimed the word bitch anyway. I regularly call my sister a sassy bitch, meaning she’s brilliant. All thanks to RuPaul: werk it.
Q. ‘Stop attacking her for choosing not to be a feminist! She’s allowed to have her own views!’
A. Of course she is. If you thought the blog was really a personal attack just about her, you were severely missing the point. She is a celebrity, however, and what she says is visible and open to criticism. I’m sure she feels like an idiot now, and wishes she’d never said anything. I feel bad for her; I don’t dislike the girl, just what she said. But I feel very, very strongly that what she said is wrong, and I’m allowed to disagree with her. And I hope that the sheer volume of people disagreeing with her may lead her to reassess her views. Come on Kaley, join the club, we’re all hairy and furious and we’ve got pictures of Germaine Greer as our phone screensavers!
Q. ‘I’m not a feminist, but it doesn’t mean I want inequality. I just don’t think women should be better than men.’
A. NEITHER DO FEMINISTS! Feminists do not think that women should be better than men. They think that they should be equal. 99% of us are not aiming for some Margaret Cavendish-style utopia where men are servants used only for their sperm (although….). We do not think women are some sort of superior beings. Most of us love and admire men. We just want to be loved and admired equally in return.
Q. ‘The word ‘feminist’ has so many bad connotations; maybe she didn’t want to associate herself with it.’
A. What bad connotations? Heroic campaigners over hundreds of years, fighting for basic human rights for women, teaching people that domestic violence and sexual assault shouldn’t be the accepted norm? Women literally starved themselves so that we could vote. The word ‘feminist’ has amazing connotations, and those that deny it are simply ignorant. To those people, I will reiterate what I’ve already said: ‘read a fucking book’.
In particular, read The Awakening, to see what it was like for a woman to be trapped in a loveless marriage, her sexuality stamped out. In fact, if you want to read about women’s sexuality leading them to death, try Madame Bovary, or Wide Sargasso Sea. If you want to read about what used to happen to women who had illegitimate children, read Moll Flanders, or Tess of the D’Urbervilles; which is also about rape. If you want something a little more modern, try anything by Moran, Fey, Poehler, Dunham, Ngozi-Adichie, Angela Carter or Maria Warner.
Read those books, then come back to me and tell me feminism is a dirty word. I DARE you.
In a bit, bitches.