Hey guys, I’m here with a fresh new blog post, about something that has been bothering me lately, well not bothering me per say, but something I’ve been thinking about a lot; Feminism.
I am a girl, woman, female whatever word you’d rather use and I have to say I’ve never really thought of myself as a ‘feminist’ as such. I can’t ever say I necessarily talked about it, or had opinions on it. Although a few things have happened recently that have had me thinking what actually does it mean to be a feminist? What beliefs do you have to have? I’ve always thought of myself as just a person who’s not really bothered, as long as everyone’s equal, and I suppose that’s probably when it dawned on me, feminism IS equality.
You think of the word ‘Feminism’ and in your head you see the images that the media has put there, masculine women who refuse to shave or wear bras, women who hate men and believe women are superior and deserve to get more than they do. Which is not the truth, and it never has been the truth. It has been made to feel like an unattractive word. Luckily, mostly due to a lot of female celebrities like Emma Watson for example, when you see most things in the media now a days it has become a lot more positive, and is showing a more forward way of thinking that it is entirely about the inequality we face. Although, that still doesn’t stop the ugly side of people, something I’ve seen far too much recently, which is what pushed me to write this blog post.
Firstly I’ll talk about something that all of us have witnessed in these past months, the unveiling of the new Doctor. Which has caused controversy, and outrage everywhere, and why? Because she’s a woman. C’mon people, as if you couldn’t see it coming. The last series saw a female Master, Missy, which should have been precursor enough to prepare people that this was really a possibility. Now I’m waaaaay behind on Doctor Who I must admit, and 14 year old whovian me would be so very angry at current me for giving up on the series, but honestly I just found it so hard to get over David Tennant leaving. I have tried though, I saw a couple of Matt Smith episodes and vowed to go back and watch them (if only it wasn’t for a lack of time lol), and I gave Capaldi a shot, but honestly I couldn’t stick him. I think he’s a fabulous actor, but just not my kind of Doctor. I also didn’t take to Missy too much either. So apologies if some of my Doctor Who theories are a bit out of date, although I will try my best.
Now I have to be honest, when they first spoke about the possibility of a female Doctor, I wasn’t really for it. I think it was due to many factors, partially everyone they were suggesting I just couldn’t see capturing the Doctor correctly, and other than that the biggest problem is they didn’t do it sooner. The thirteenth Doctor is supposed to be the last Doctor, so if their reasoning is it’s making more parts for women in TV then it’s kind of pointless, as yes you’ve made one extra role, but only one. It kind of feels like a slap dash decision by the BBC, it’s like them going ‘let’s just make the last Doctor female, it will make them happy.’ I personally would have used it as a way of continuing the series past the thirteenth Doctor, by having the thirteenth male and then having him regenerate into a woman, creating another thirteen opportunities for women to play the Doctor. If my Doctor Who knowledge is wrong here and they’ve said that thirteen isn’t the final number of regenerations now then that’s brilliant. As knowing there’s a chance for women to be cast in the future as the Doctor is amazing, and incredibly exciting as a female actor. Isn’t that the beauty of the Doctor? That it can be ANYONE? That they can look like any human, and just fit into the crowd? Isn’t that why we love them?
When they revealed it was Jodie Whittaker honestly, all of my worrying about a female Doctor being the right fit for the show just disappeared. It was weird, I had so many doubts about other actors, but she just seems to fit perfectly. Also teamed with the fact Chris Chibnall is now at the helm, probably helped. As his writing for women is brilliant, I just loved Broadchurch for the strong female characters. The backlash received via the internet that I have seen is just despicable, and scares me quite frankly. Why should an actor be made to feel awful for creating history? For taking a part that could sky rocket their career, along with giving more dreams to those little girls watching? The answer is they shouldn’t, and it sickens me to see people being so childish. These feelings count with a lot of things I’ve seen on the internet recently, and I suppose I want to know where all the kindness has gone?
If I’m honest this casting and choice has made me very excited, for the first time since Tennants departure I actually want to watch it again, properly, follow it from week to week. I have great faith in their choice and I think we could see some great things.
Another thing that happened which made me think about all of this was a gig I did recently. Now I’m used to drunk people being idiots when we play, I’m used to having to wrestle my tambourine back, watch out for drinks placed by my feet on the stage, if we even get a stage, I’m used to microphones being knocked into my mouth and general prattishness from various drunken people. Although since the age of seventeen, when I started singing with the band, I’ve never had anybody cross what I call ‘The Line’. The Line being touching me inappropriately without consent, or even just touching without consent, and I suppose I’m lucky for that, but why should I be? It should be a given that you don’t do that kind of thing.
At this particular function it was getting towards the end, and everyone had had plenty, this one guy kept getting close to my microphone throughout the evening, waving his arms trying to get my attention. I did my job, I smiled at him the first couple of times, but continued entertaining everyone, every other time he did it I began to ignore him more. Now when we were near the end of the function he did it again, but this time he decided he hadn’t been given enough attention, he reached up and grabbed me around my hips, and tried to pull me forwards. I instinctively stepped backwards to avoid it, as I did he slid his hands down my legs. Luckily that’s where it ends, well, after another attention seeking show from him. Then he skulked off into the crowd. After that I felt really uncomfortable. For the first time in my life I didn’t want to be on stage anymore, I wanted to leave right there and then, I didn’t feel safe anymore. Obviously I continued the gig, but from then on I was distracted, doing my job was a lot harder. I wished there was something between us and the audience, like bars or a plastic wall, so no one could get to us, but that wouldn’t be right, and we shouldn’t have to feel like that’s our only option to protect us from those we’re entertaining.
Why should I have been made to feel like that though? Why should someone think that that’s acceptable, however drunk they were? Would it have happened if the roles were reversed?
I’m not, and no one is, an object there for anyone to do whatever they like to. No one has that privilege. No one has the right to undermine another person, and make them feel uncomfortable in their own skin, or scared somewhere that they should and normally do feel safe. Of course, I know things like this happen every minute of every day to every different kind of person. That scares me more than anything.
I think that’s why I realised I am a feminist, and I’ve always been one. Everyone should be equal, judged as an equal and not be discriminated against because they’re different, whether that’s gender, skin colour or religion etc. Every girl and boy should be able to grow up to do whatever they want, and to be proud of who they are. It shouldn’t matter what they like or dislike, how they dress or how they spend their free time, everyone should be able to enjoy life without the fear of being judged or not as successful as the next person, because they’re different.
Hold your heads high, and go and take on the world.