So here we are, yet again. Battling even more displays of complete and utter misogyny that are open, public, unconcealed and apparently acceptable.
If you don’t know what I’m talking about then you probably, like myself, don’t read The Sun. What I’m referring to came up on Facebook feed from a forum and it flabbergasted me. I would say I have no words, but I do, I have many words that describe my absolute outrage at this:
According to The Sun, actresses like Emma Watson and Angelina Jolie have no right being anything other than the characters they portray, particularly if it concerns a position of power like being a UN Ambassador for example. Nope, not kidding. They truly believe that because she is an actress she had no place being a ‘goodwill Ambassador’, something The Sun can’t even comprehend asking “what’s that when it’s at home?”. But unlike The Sun, Emma Watson does know what a job like that entails and has been doing marvelous work for the past few years with her campaigns like #heforshe and its IMPACT 10x10x10 Initiative which is a year long project seeking to engage governments, corporations and universities as instruments of change with regard to advancing gender equality and the empowerment of women. You can see why The Sun cant get its head around that, it does appear a tad complex for a media company like themselves, one which in the very remark I am referring to with this blog, has done the opposite of the 10x10x10 campaign: It has disempowered a woman.
In a small, almost invisible remark, The Sun questioned why Harmione Granger, the CHARACTER, would bore the UN with rigid “whining, leftie, PC crap” instead of telling them something worthwhile and useful, like perhaps how to turn someone into a frog. They confidently go on to say “just like all actresses do if people are stupid enough to give them a chance.”
Note that they point out actresses..not actors, actresses, only women who have acted, that’s where the issue lies. Because they appear to have left out that men too have been UN ambassadors, men who have been listened to and heard, welcomed, cheered, and applauded for the volunteer work. Actors and celebrity men who have “used their celebrity to raise awareness of the issues faced by victims of poverty, famine, and violence worldwide”(Find all UN ambassadors here). Such men include Roger Moore, Antonio Banderas, Jackie Chan and Nelson Mandela. They have all spoken out about human rights issues, equality and poverty, but The Sun has no issue with any of these, because that’s important work. They take issue with Emma Watson and Angelina Jolie because they are simple actresses, with nothing but Notions about the world. Their education doesn’t matter, their opinions, their experience, their volunteer work, their lives don’t matter. All that matters is that they have acted, therefor cannot possibly be anything but actresses. Although The Sun does state that they “don’t object to them having views and expressing them.” rather it is that they don’t understand why they are taken seriously, they are after all but simple women.
So that’s one instance of absolute sexism and misogyny that I’ve come across today, how about the second?
Wrangler jeans, for some godforsaken reason, have come out with a #fakefeminist advertisement about empowering women and seeing them as #morethanabum. Said advert uses beautiful women who are apparently more than a bum. It shows these women, who are dancers, Journalists, photographers, artists, being silent while a song with a chorus of literally the word ‘BUM’ repeated over and over is heard. And whats inter cut with this long advert? Shots of perky, plump bums in wrangler jeans. That’s right, these women are more than bums, they have voices (don’t they?), hopes, opinions, careers, histories and ….bums, did you forget they have bums? Here look at this bum:
This bum is an activist. What is your bum?
Ooh another bum! But this bum wants women to know that you are not defined by one piece of you, like a bum. You are defined by who you are, and what you do.
I disagree. Like Emma Watson, Angelina Jolie, the women of the Wrangler advert and every other woman on this planet, we are not defined by these things.You can be one thing and many things and everything. You can even be two opposing things. Just because you are an actress, this does not mean you are nothing else. Just because you are a musician it does not mean you are only a musician. Because here’s the thing:
I am a mother. I am a sister, a partner. A film fanatic. A business woman. A creator. A reader. A writer. A swimmer. An anime Lover. Animal rights advocate. A nerd. A singer in the shower. A bunny rehomer. A feminist. A diaper maker. A baker. A poet. A nature lover. A blogger. A Tumblr fan. An occasional tweeter. An artist. A wine lover. A foodie. A knitter. A crafter. A theatre goer. A self proclaimed comedian. A critic. A woman.
I am all of these things and more. Yet, none of these things define me. Human beings (that includes women!) are, unlike the word definition, fluid by nature. We are all ever changing, shifting, learning, improving. What defined us once wont define us forever. And much like Emma Watson, who yes portrayed Harmione Granger for a time, will continue to grow, and change and be indefinable. Her work will make more of an impact on the planet and the way in which people are treated than the fucking Sun media company.
She is indefinable.
We are much more than a bum!
We are #indescribable.
Some of my previous blogs on Public displays of misogyny over the years: