Category Archives: Issues

Ugh.

Saw this cover in Woolworths yesterday…

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I mean, how dare women put on weight when pregnant?! We should pit them against each other until they look fuckable again.

Ladies pay attention to those yellow circles crying ‘Too thin?’ and ‘Too fat?’…that question will follow you around forever. Your body is a battleground.

Am I a feminazi? Probably.

The ANC Women’s League recently stated that ‘they do not consider themselves feminists.’ Well I’m South African (where the ANC is in power) and I’m a woman so this affects me. And for them I have a very eloquent response: wtf? Angie Motshekga, you are meant to be on my side. You are supposed to be my voice in government, the voice of our gender. And when you reject the movement that gave us our rights in the first place, it makes me want to punch a hole in the wall.

Buying into this outdated view of what being a feminist entails is lazy and irresponsible. So since feminism seems to be becoming more and more uncool, here are my reasons for defending it…

Why I am a feminist:

– Because blogs like Hot Chicks of Occupy Wall Street exist (Tagline: The sexy side of protesting corruption)
– Because I have been asked if going to an all-girls school makes you bitchy, as if being in close confines is the equivalent of feeding gremlins after midnight
– Because my family assumes that I will get married and have kids, and I think that’s a decision and not a default
– Because I have had a guy come on to me, me reject him, and then see him tweet that ‘It isn’t easy to find the right girl, and the right girl won’t be easy. #Truth’
– Because I’m sick of old men talking about my uterus
– Because American Apparel ads exist
– Because women don’t want to be called feminists, but believe in being treated equally by men. Erm?
– Because my first instinct when I meet a woman is to judge her, and a man to flirt with him
– Because stats say that we engage in about 10 hours of media consumption a day…and almost all of it makes money out of giving us reasons to hate ourselves
– Because (and it’s an old example, but still true) a woman who is celibate is a prude and a woman who enjoys sex is a slut
– Because I’m sick of people saying that ‘Nobody’s going to buy the cow if they get the milk for free’ (Oh shock oh horror, to end up an old maid!)
– Because men are not all chauvinist pigs, and to assume that they are and acquiesce to that is doing both genders a disservice
– Because girls feel the need to hide their intelligence around potential boyfriends
– Because talking about my gender in a derogatory way lets me be a part of the ‘boy’s club’ and gives me male attention that I have been taught to crave
– Because I meet men who are more comfortable with calling themselves feminists than some women
– Because guys constantly talk about having sexual feelings, but girls must hide and be ashamed of any sexual desire they might have (Bring up the topic of masturbation with a girl and a guy and see what I mean)
– Because when outdated prejudices and policies infringe on one’s right to build the life that they want, it is NOT OK. And you don’t get to remove yourself from the debate, it’s too big for that.

Why you should be too:

– Because you can be a feminist and STILL be sexy, feminine, fabulous…whatever those words mean. You can wear red lipstick or no make-up, shave everything or nothing…and still believe that no one gets to assume anything about you based on those choices.
– Because hairy-legged vegetarian cat-lovers are not going to camp out on your lawn until you become one of them. We’re too busy making organic lentil bread.
– And on the other side, it doesn’t mean that just because you want to get married and pregnant that you are not a valid part of the debate.

To me, feminism is about doing your thing and not letting people give you shit about it.
Now who could be against that?

Go to Who Needs Feminism for other answers (Spoiler alert: We All Do!)

Bitches be voting

On Tuesday night, I couldn’t sleep. I was so excited to find out the results of the American election that I woke up at 7 to watch Sky News. (This may not seem early to most of you, but I am lazy) I was OVERJOYED that Obama won, literally could not stop smiling all day. Which may seem weird, considering I am South African and according to many friends’ facebook statuses, the US election has very little to do with me.

I disagree. The reason why I am so excited about the result is that it shows how previously oppressed groups have taken their power back, and this sets a precedent for the rest of the world.

A lesson for the Republican party: if you ignore the rights of women, gay people, the poor and ethnic minorities…WE NOTICE. And in the words of Tyler Durden…

Til next time…xx

Why body-shamers can eff right off

Yesterday I received my monthly Marie Claire in the post (the only women’s magazine worth reading imho), and here’s the first insert that fell out…

This prompted me to write a response…
Dear Planet Fitness
Thank you so much for your concern over my body. Why, just this morning I was contemplating how I could possibly feel worse about myself, and then you came along! For years I’ve been wondering why all my skinny friends want to sit next to me on the beach, and now I know. Thank you for pointing this out to me, for a moment there I thought I was living a normal life as a *GASP* overweight woman!
I’m sure whatever ad agency conceptualised this ad thought it was hilarious. I guarantee that whoever wrote it has never struggled with being overweight. Now I know, I know, it’s just so much fun to laugh at the fat kids. Kinda reminds you of that false sense of entitlement you had in junior school right? Well since the fat kids might be interested in going to a gym (we like to go and be fat in public, INCONSIDERATE right?!) maybe it’s time to rethink your strategy.
Please allow me the honour of spending my money on your gym, it’s just not summer unless I’m being made to feel like a beached whale on a pilates ball.
Love and cake, Mich xxx
This kind of direct marketing is exactly why I will be staying put at Virgin Active. Their latest ad campaign (that’s been going for ages now) makes me happy every time I walk into the gym. Because it is such a spot-on human truth, we all really do have our stuff. Mine might be a food addiction and someone else’s might be an undereating disorder. One is not superior to the other, we are both just doing the best we can to overcome it and feel at home in our bodies. And I really appreciate that being acknowledged by a space generally known for body-shaming; the gym.

Anyone out there not 100% happy with their body (so everyone then?), a little less shame and a little more compassion makes all the difference.
x

Jiminy Cricket

So after watching The Cove, for some strange reason I just couldn’t face the idea of eating meat. This is not what the movie deals with, so I’m not sure why I felt that way. Maybe because I was so outraged and deeply sad for these dolphins, whereas I know cows, sheep, fish and pigs are treated the same way and I eat them everyday. I’ve given power to the industries that exploit animals for 20 years now. So maybe its time to make a change.


I’ve been talking to my friend Lisa (check out her blogs Days Like Today and V is for Vegan). She recently took a pledge to become a vegan for 30 days. Shes been a vegetarian for 2 years now, and her willpower really inspires me. She also showed me Meet your Meat, an undercover investigation into the meat industry. If you want inspiration to cut meat out of your diet, watch it. Warning, it will probably make you really nauseous and bawl your eyes out.
Since I’m usually so bad at follow through, always getting a great idea and then lussing it later on, I’ve signed a pledge to be a veggie for 30 days. I obviously intend to keep going way longer than that but its a good way to start. I’m also blogging about it to stay accountable, so if I slip feel free to tell me I’m a bad person 😉


If you find the idea interesting, go to GoVeg.com, and if you want to try it out you can sign the pledge at Meat.org


xxx 

The Cove

“I don’t have to tell you things are bad. Everybody knows things are bad…We know the air is unfit to breathe and our food is unfit to eat, and we sit watching our TV’s while some local newscaster tells us that today we had fifteen homicides and sixty-three violent crimes, as if that’s the way it’s supposed to be. We know things are bad – worse than bad. They’re crazy. It’s like everything everywhere is going crazy, so we don’t go out anymore. We sit in the house, and slowly the world we are living in is getting smaller, and all we say is, ‘Please, at least leave us alone in our living rooms. Let me have my toaster and my TV and my steel-belted radials and I won’t say anything. Just leave us alone.’ Well, I’m not gonna leave you alone. I want you to get mad! I don’t want you to protest. I don’t want you to riot – I don’t want you to write to your congressman because I wouldn’t know what to tell you to write. All I know is that first you’ve got to get mad. You’ve got to say, ‘I’M AS MAD AS HELL, AND I’M NOT GOING TO TAKE THIS ANYMORE!’ Things have got to change. But first, you’ve gotta get mad!… You’ve got to say, ‘I’m as mad as hell, and I’m not going to take this anymore!’ Then we’ll figure out what to do about the depression and the inflation and the oil crisis. But first get up out of your chairs, open the window, stick your head out, and yell, and say it: 

 “I’M AS MAD AS HELL, AND I’M NOT GOING TO TAKE THIS ANYMORE!”
 – Network


So today we watched The Cove in Critical Studies. This is the documentary that won the Oscar for Best Documentary (amongst a whole load of other awards). It is honestly one of the most harrowing films I have ever seen. It takes a lot to keep my class interested, and every single person was absolutely absorbed. If you haven’t seen it, go to Cinema Nouveau NOW. Honestly, its so worth it.

The Cove is a 2009 American documentary film that describes the annual killing of dolphins in a National Park at Taiji, Wakayama, in Japan from an anti–dolphin-hunting campaigner’s point of view. The film highlights that the number of dolphins killed in the Taiji dolphin hunting drive is several times greater than the number of whales killed in the Antarctic, and claims that 23,000 dolphins and porpoises are killed in Japan every year in the country’s whaling industry. The migrating dolphins are herded into a hidden cove where they are netted and killed by means of spears and knives over the side of small fishing boats. The slaughtered dolphins are then sold disguised as whale meat. This is because dolphin meat is ridiculously high in mercury, and should not be eaten by humans. 

The film follows a group of activists as they work to uncover the truth of what’s really going on. It shows them diving into the harbour in the middle of the night to hide cameras disguised as rocks. This gave them the first documentation of the dolphins being killed by Japanese fishermen. Watch the documentary to hear the rest, it will honestly stick with you for a while. Watch the trailer now, then go to http://www.takepart.com/thecove/ to sign the petition.