The Quiet Feminism.
Feminism is such a hot subject lately that it feels to me like it’s an issue that just arose. I know better of course but I realise how, until very recently, I had not been subjected to that side of culture that would so openly either lament or defend it. Like Sarah Silverman said, I was one of those girls to whom it never occurred I could do anything less than everyone else.
And I realise I might have a good reason for my egalitarian views on gender because since I was in my adolescence I happened upon examples and inspiration coming from women whose first traits weren’t necessarily connected to their nature in gender, and one of those was Dolores O’Riordan, singer and main songwriter of the irish band The Cranberries. As the only woman in the band she still was the band herself. She never won attention over with anything connected to sexuality and derivative games where consequentially even femininity exposed in a way that can be perceived as sexual can play against a woman. She had heavy makeup but she shot videos in jeans, coats and always mis-coordinates moves. I expect people did not necessarily find her feminine enough to see her as beautiful but from the first moment I encountered her I wanted to be seen and perceived like her, because she seemed to be so at ease with herself and with never a need to try and show off to demonstrate something.
Don’t get me wrong, from some perspective I do see the value even in what women in the limelight such as Nicky Minaj are doing to support woman empowerment now, and possibly because it is seen in a very aware need to actually empower women it can go all the way to… Anaconda. Everything a powerful independent woman in the limelight does today seems it has to be a statement or reply in feminist terms, and although I see the point, maybe it’s my age revealing itself, but it seemed so much more meaningful when it wasn’t meant to be anything but the honest expression of someone’s attitude and personality, like it seemed to be for Dolores in the 1990s.
Which also makes me wonder if it’s possible then that things actually got worse, instead of developing for the better, in the last fifteen years, if women now just have to shout and state again like it was the 70s “my body is mine”, in an almost challenging way to men and their certainly questionable self restraint in most cases, pushed to the extreme with an almost aggressive gender definition only through sexualisation.
Or maybe when the world was still recovering from the AIDS epidemic of the 1980s, that allowed for the 1990s to be just generally less defined by sex, and so a woman with a long coat, jeans and no need to draw attention to her breasts was just still a woman, with no positive or negative connotation to that, whilst now we need to push on leotards, if they’re there at all, to claim since the body is ours we shouldn’t be limited in anything.
But possibly not even to the sidelines if a long coat and jeans are still our preference over tight t-shirts and enhancers.
Cause I still have to understand how such aggressiveness should work for women, if it’s exactly what we do not want nor justify to men.