0800 - 8A8YFAC3 – HELP: we answered your feminist woes and worries
Welcome to our special Babyface hotline, open to all lazy feminists with urgent feminist related dilemmas that need solving, pronto. Featuring insight from the world’s leading female minds.
Maybe you're 99% sure what intersectionality means, or maybe Emma Watson's chest have thrown you into a spin. Whatever your problem, we're here to help. Obvi, we're not doing it alone, we've called on the whole gang to assist. From Viv Woolf to Gloria Steinem and Viola Davis, we've rooted around the feminist-for-dummies archives to do our absolute best to answer your fem-related 2017 conundrums. Quips at the ready, here's your essential FAQs for all those questions you were too embarrassed to ask.
Q: "I think of myself as a feminist but I love SATC - help"
A: Sex and the City should not be a guilty pleasure just because lots of it's about shopping. Everyone knows SATC is full of valuable life lessons babe. As Naomi Wolf so eloquently put it: "For I conclude that the enemy is not lipstick, but guilt itself; we deserve lipstick, if we want it, AND free speech; we deserve to be sexual AND serious - or whatever we please. We are entitled to wear cowboy boots to our own revolution." Start walking, boots!
Q: "OK Babyface, confessions part 2, Lena Dunham is hella annoying. Am I a rubbish feminist?"
A: Women, like men, are people, and you're not expected to get on with 50% of the population just 'cos. Hadley Freeman said it best. "The suggestion that women should unthinkingly celebrate one another purely out of sisterly feeling is about as patronising as the idea that women shouldn't trouble their brains with opinions."
Q: "Help I don't know what inspiring IWD quote to regram today for maximum likes"
A: Emergency over, we always go for Viola Davis "I'm no longer accepting the things I cannot change, I'm changing the things I cannot accept". Whatever you do, remember Beyoncé lyrics are so 2015.
Q: "Every other word I say is "empowerment" help!"
A: Babes we totally feel you, sometimes rhetoric is like, so empty. But head high and remember in the words of Betty Friedan "No woman gets an orgasm from shining the kitchen floor" so do what feels good but also be wary of swinging that white privilege around as you go.
Q: "OMG I've had four offers to join four different girl gangs this week, what do I do?"
A: Fear not, bell hooks has the answer, "If any female feels she needs anything beyond herself to legitimise and validate her existence she is already giving away her power to be self defining". In short babes, you don't need them, they need you!
Q: "OMFG I went out last night and I freed my nipple mid-evening because it felt good. Am I a bad feminist? "
A: Your breasts were meant to be set free not squidged up into a cheap bra, so, relax. And remember, as Erykah Badu put it. "Society has a problem with female nudity when it is not… packaged for the consumption of male entertainment."
Q: "Babyface help. I've been talking to this WASPY guy on Tinder, but I think his whole woke attitude might be a ruse to get in my knickers. Am I being cynical or should I go on another date with him?"
A: Why not ask him what he thinks about De Beauvoir's distinction between sex and gender and what role that had in shaping second wave feminism and existentialism as a whole. To his face. As ultra-babe, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie once said: "of course I am not worried about intimidating men. The type of man who will be intimidated by me is exactly the type of man I have no interest in." Text him. Now!
Q: "Help! I want to start my own feminist zine but everyone I know has their own zine and what can I possibly add to the conversation?!"
A: Roseanne Barr to the rescue. "The thing women have yet to learn is nobody gives you power. You just take it." In short, if you have something to say and if you feel it, write it. See you for free warm beer at your next zine launch babes!
Q: "Hey. A lot of the feminist collectives I follow on Instagram are cis white females with Double Ds and designer wardrobes. I'm not sure where I fit into the equation."
A: That's great for them but anyone can be a feminist and the more different you or your friends are in terms of mainstream media's criminally poor representation of what a woman looks and think like, the better. Might we call to mind Audre Lorde's beautiful words. "I write for those women who do not speak, for those who do not have a voice because they were so terrified, because we are taught to respect fear more than ourselves. We've been taught that silence would save us, but it won't." Get yourselves out there and proudly.
Q: "Hey Babyface. Now Trump is on power don't you think we should just throw in the toupee, roll over and play dead?"
A: Hey! We get that you're deflated but that is not IWD approps fight talk. As Dolores Huerta warned us: "It always gets worse before it can get better. But it will get better. Like everything else, and like our past struggles, at some point we win, but before that win, there's always that loss that spurs us on." Now is the time!
Text Claire Burman and Nellie Eden
Photography Lily Bertrand-Webb