Monday, 16 March 2009

Our Fair Ladies

Sisters (Doing it For Themselves), Yesterday

I'm writing this post for two reasons. First, last Sunday (08/03/2009) was International Women's Day, recognising all of the contributions women have made to society, technology, progress, and human development, and continuing the debate of the position of women in the world. Secondly, as a response to a couple of posts placed by my good friend ka-os|theory (he gets everywhere, these days). But all in good time.

International Women's Day: someone else can debate the fairness of having a day for women, and an entire month for Black history and LGBT history; I choose not to have an opinion on that. However, isn't it nice to know that there is at least an agreed time to recognise the achievements of our ladies across the planet? After all, they've spent plenty of time being considered the "weaker sex", "companion" etc. Nevertheless, as one of my teachers has pointed out, women have of course been an active part of history, throughout, it's just a matter of perspective and assessment.

Which leads oh so beautifully into my second - and probably more interesting - focus. ka-os|theory recently wrote two blog posts. The first was more or less his anger at the relationship between the gay man and the straight woman as a "fashion accessor[y]" for straight women. It is, in his mind, essentially "dangerous", because she will eventually want a man to give her babies, and he will provide the non-predatory company that she needs until then, and promptly drop him like a hot turkey baster. An interesting theory, on the surface; but ka-os|theory knows I disagree fundamentally with him on the grounds that not every gay man is the same, nor is every woman. Now, of course, he understands that, but he argues that the majority of straight woman/gay man relationships are essentially master/slave. Also not untrue, but still a huge generalisation. He subsequently gets very annoyed by women like Kylie, Madonna, Beyonce and the cast of Sex and the City, and their swarms of adoring gay fans.

Now, while I agree - the cast of Sex and the City ought to be rounded up and shot: "SJ-P" cannot act; sue me, Sarah, I'm sure a public enquiry will prove me right - I have an essential problem with his dismissal of these women and the men who celebrate and admire such figures. Kylie, Madonna and Beyonce - the talent debate aside - are commercial performers. If there's a profit to be found in one market, then they are going to milk that cash cow until it's as skinny as Kate Moss at 60. All's fair in a capitalist world, unfortunately. They don't have to produce good music in order to make money. Furthermore, there is nothing wrong with enjoying the "music" nonetheless, as long as you recognise this: I don't condone any form of hero-worship, regardless of whether the hero is straight, gay, or anything in between.

Also, think about these women who supposedly see their gay friends as accessories. If they really see other people as commodities, then there is a problem with them, and, as ka-os|theory points out, their accessories should use thir brains, and free themselves from this destructive type of relationship.

That said, I will reiteraite my earlier point of not every gay man and every straight woman being the same. Among the number of people I consider friends, the highest demographic are straight women, all of whom are vastly different from each other; they are closely followed by an equally diverse bunch of gay men; trailed by a relatively small number of straight men (I don't know very many lesbians, but they're welcome to apply for friendship - vacancies are open). I most certainly am no-one's pet. Indeed, my very best friend in the world is a woman, and I'm proud to say I know her. She is the person who knows me best (better than my dad, the only family member I'm still in contact with), andwe tell each other everything. She respects me 100%, and would never consider me as anything less than an equal. Needless to say, the feeling is mutual. I wouldn't be surprised if that was the case for most straight woman/gay man friendships.

And another thing: I like Kylie, Madonna and Beyoncé! They ain't art, but at least theccy're good fun.

Professor Germaine Greer: Fun Feminist (yes, such a thing does exist...)

No comments:

Post a Comment