There seems to have been a spate of small feminist victories around the world of late, which I would like to share with you here as an antidote to the usual Friday vitriol (though fear not, regular readers, the patriarchy looms large, and you can bet the Times Women Section is never far from secreting some new toxic bile for analysis in our lablogatory).
First up, this story on CNN about a 12-year old girl who managed to convince her entire village in Africa of the humanitarian horrors of female genital mutilation. Starting with her dad, who initially had reservations at the idea that women ought to be given the right to their own basic bodily sovereignty, she managed to convince the whole village that Female Genital Mutilation is incompatible with a basic human rights and a vaguely decent view of the world. At the age of 12!
Next, this highly-recommended documentary about the Gulabi Gang, a maverick and growing group of women in Northern India who refuse to tolerate the misogynistic treatment handed out to them every day under the guise of culture. The Gulabi Gang, armed with sticks and an admirable intolerance for bullshit in any form, rescue abused women, make sure poor people are being fed, and generally advocate and enforce the right of females in their community to be treated as human beings. The fact that their uniform is bright pink isn’t so nauseating either, when the narrator explains that all the other colours were taken by political parties, and the Gulabi Gang (‘Gulabi’ means ‘pink’) wanted to remain non-partisan.
Thirdly – no link to this one so you will have to take my word for it – I attended a lecture organized by the Oxford University Queer Studies Circle recently, which was part of the launch party for the new Agendered magazine. The talk was given by Professor Deborah Cameron, a specialist in corpus linguistics, on the subject of sexuality in the media. An entirely feminist subject for the launch of a feminist magazine, and the room was so packed (with women and men, of various orientations) that they had to put up a sign (after sneaking everyone they possibly could into the building) saying that the event was full. This feminist event is full. I never thought I would see the day!
So, conclusive proof that the world of feminism in the 21st century is not all doom and gloom.
Anyone else got any to add to the list?