Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Feminism, Still Relevant 217 Years Later

Re-posted from the F-Word where I am guest-blogging for a few weeks.

The Independent has a rather poorly thought-out piece about how hip reading left-wing books is this season...? I guess since the realms of history is the only place you see any real socialism any more. One thing that annoyed me though was their dismissive remark about Mary Wollstonecraft's A Vindication of the Rights of Women. They say "Her central argument that women are as capable of reasoning as men, and have the same right to be educated is not controversial any more".

Now this riles me no end because not a week goes by that some idiot at a comedy club decides fourteen pints is about the right level of inebriation he needs to stumble over and treat me to a fifteen minute discourse on why women just aren't funny. On a good night he's just the member of the audience who loudly left announcing "It's a bird, good time to go to the bar" as I walked onstage. On a bad night, he's the promoter. Either way it feels to me as though that's my powers of reasoning being called into question on the basis of my gender.

Meanwhile in other news a Saudi Arabian Judge has just said women are partly to blame for domestic violence if they are rude to their husbands or frivolous when shopping for a full-length black abaya (which they are obliged to wear at all times under the draconian Saudi laws).

Maybe someone should mention to Andy McSmith, author of the piece in The Independent, that the battle for the vindication of the rights of women isn't actually over yet. In some places it has hardly begun.

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