Last saturday my boyfriend M, my flatmates and I went to a bar in one of those pretentious Londonian neighbourhood. Dark smoky settings, loud trashy electronic european music, and people eager to hit on one another.
Can't say I am a fan of those places. I used to enjoy going out loads, but in the past years it gradually changed. I don't see the point in going to places where I cannot hear my friends and dislike the music at the same time.
M and I discussed this while drinking beer on an uncomfortably comfortable couch.
"I guess I don't really see the point in venturing in those places where nothing excites me, really. The music is bad, the people pretentious, the alcohol expensive. I'd rather go to a gig to hear music I love or go to a quite bar or terrasse to drink wine and have long conversations with my friends."
I wrote this little piece today after doing a bit of research about Forced Marriages...
Last Tuesday here in Britain we discovered the tragic story of Gina Satvir Singh, a young ex-bride once caught in an arranged marriage. She had been routinely forced to do menial works for dusk until dawn by her mother-in-law. Treated as a slave, her marriage fell apart and finally went to pieces when she decided to move out of their shared house. Sign sued her jailer under the 1997 Protection from harrassment Act and won Â£ 35,000 in compensation. The case was unusal, but I rejoiced at the thought that the young woman won her case - maybe her example would encourage newly-wed women in similar positions of abuse to seek both freedom and justice.
Years after the whole Spice Girls 'Girl power!' craze hysterical mania, I remembered feeling better now that the world of girls and boys band was slowly dying off. I have always been a fan of songwriters, proper ones that truly put their souls and hearts in their craft, so the less pop-marketed with a fake political agenda bands around, the better.
It does not mean that I dislike pop. I have always been a fan of Madonna, and always will. Like I said in an old blog entry:
Sorry about not blogging - the evil world of London gave me a pretty bad throat infection. Not only do I look like a monster (my throat has tripled in volume!), I am feeling so weak that I can barely type anything coherent on my keyboard.
Ah, London, 8 million + metropolis, how i love thee in summertime, when it's 34 degrees, polluted, and full of mysterious viruses...
I will update as soon as I can (hopefully in one or two days)...
ps. But I am still lurking, AGA women/girls!
I realised something aout blogs today: a lot of political bloggers are men. Why?
Could it be that the blogosphere is a perfect reflection of our offline gender-centered world and that women are more reluctant than men to take a stand in the public sphere and be vocal about opinions? Statistics are ambivalent about the issue, and research seems to say yes and no.
The Pew Internet & American Life project Center recently reported (pdf link) that in September 2005, 25 percent of women were reading blogs, compared to 29 percent of men (11 % of men had already created one, while only 9 % of women had). The survey also reports gender-based differences in terms of usage: men seem to consume information online more aggressively than women, their approach to consulting news can differ greatly:
Remember how we and our friends would sometimes laugh at the baby boomers generation?
All those ex-hippies too hastily converted into golden boys when the 80's came and went, all those people who once had ambition, dreams and passion, but had to gradually let go of those defining elements - for they choose a family, business, a good career and financial security?
Remember how you hoped, aged 21, that youâ€™ll still act according to what your core beliefs are once youâ€™re 31,41,51? That in your opinion, the worse thing one can do is selling out?
I hope you still live by your principles. I hope youâ€™re not a cop out, and that youâ€™re sincere in trying to help others. I hope youâ€™re resilient enough not to give in and compromise your values in the name of a strange accumulation of capital. I hope you still genuinely go out of your way to engage in conversations and debate because you believe that sharing can have a good impact on people.
Funnily enough I've never furiously tracked down every feminist singer, writer or artist just because they were actively political and made art that was close to what I'd call the 'women's cause'. But here's the interesting part : I find myself naturally attracted to the art and crafts made by powerful, unafraid and furious girls/women/activists.
In other words, I didn't actively look around the music planet to find Ani DiFranco's work; I'd rather say her work came to me.
I did not spend hours googling 'feminist singers' - I somehow naturally ended up listenning to PJ Harvey, Coutney Love, Martha Rainwright, Tegan And Sara, le Tigre, Hole, and other Riot Grrls.
This is something I wrote last year, when really really angry. It was a long time ago, and looking back I think my thoughts were ridiculous. I am now so proud to be a woman - wouldn't change it for the world. But this strange 'Grrr I hate being a women' phase was very necessary.
I said, making general assumptions about a particular gender and its specific behaviours is wrong.
I said, we are not even in the right position to comment on something we will never truly understand. Another genderâ€™s reality cannot be grabbed by someone of the opposite sex because the person will never ever experience how it feels to be a man, or a woman.
It's the soccer World Cup in Germany right now!
Major sales! Last days before liquidation! 40.000 women available for sexual services!
With the ecstatic moments of joy linked to sport-related victories come the moments of celebration: all those â€˜hurrahsâ€™ and hand clapping, the hilarity and cheers accompanied by the â€˜popâ€™ sound of champagne bottles.
And during those festive times, one might also seek physical proximity. At least that is what the German authorities anticipated when they decided to create mobile brothels to satisfy the -mainly heterosexual- maleâ€™s sexual needs which are susceptible to arise during the next four and a half weeks.
I was raised by women. Womyn. Womon. What have you.
There always was a majority of women surrounding me as I grew up. Strong ones. Courageous ones. Single ones, married ones, divorced ones. I can safely say most of them have been role models, in spite of everything classified as 'hurtful' which happens in every families.
Some of them were part of the first wave feminist movement, some of them are belonging to the second wave, some are apolitical, some are activists.
All of them are inspiring in their own personal, unique ways. All of them are role models. All of them impress me and encourage me.