Wednesday, August 13, 2008

The softer, smoother side of feminism

Did we really need an image overhaul? I happened upon this video:



I know sometimes we Feminists have a bad reputation (Man hating and the antithesis of feminine). This video was created by feminist.org, and I think is fairly effective at putting across its point.

My main beef is that does Feminism really need a PSA, the same way buckling your seat belt and not smoking does? Are we that misunderstood and distorted in the public eye that we need to reach out publicly to re-define ourselves? Just as Gloria Steinem was the figure head for the new [attractive] feminist movement, why don't we just create a friendly character a kin to Smokey the Bear or McGruff the Crime Dog to further marginalize our cause? Any suggestions? I vote for Martha the Multi-talented.

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Update: Please check out the best PSA ever "Don't you put it in your mouth." Thank you Canada.

5 comments:

frau sally benz said...

Unfortunately, I think we really ARE that misunderstood. I love this video and when I posted it on Facebook a while back, some of my friends (who do not identify as feminists) actually sent me messages saying that they liked it too.

petpluto said...

I think frau sally benz is right. It is wholly disheartening to hear people's -men's and women's- views on feminism. In college classes, I heard so much of "I'm not a feminist -but" that it almost made my head explode.

Feminism is feared, it is misunderstood, it is cast as something women shouldn't like and men should look down upon, and we need to change that. I don't know if PSAs are the best way to go (though I did enjoy this one), but something definitely needs to be done to get those people who say "I'm not a feminist -but" to either lop off that first part or start with "Well, I am a feminist -and".

Habladora said...

I actually love this video, because it is fighting back to reclaim/hold onto a term that anti-feminists are actively trying to redefine as a slur.

Every time someone juxtaposes 'man-hating' or 'hysterical' or whatever version of 'hairy radical' with the word feminist, people start associating feminism not with the real movement for women's equality, but with some stupid caricature largely invented by the right. Too often we just capitulate immediately, a la "oh, we can't use the word liberal anymore because people now think 'god hating' when they think liberal, so let's find a new word like progressive." With adds like this one, feminism is fighting back.

Besides, don't you just adore Lisa Loeb?

Habladora said...

Oh - I just watched "Don't You Put It in Your Mouth" and... I love it! I'm going to be singing that all day...

frau sally benz said...

A similar discussion- about feminist heroes and teaching feminism- is up over at The F Word.