Choose ‘Science’ for posts on the the science of sex differences, ‘Sexism’ for more general posts on sexism in contemporary culture, and ‘Optimism’ for slightly cheerier pieces on events and activists.
With an academic background, a female foreground and a penchant for research, I spend most of my time thinking, reading and writing about the way we see women and men. In 2016 I ran away from a violent relationship and spent nine months at 1000m in the French Pyrenees reading feminist theory; in 2017 I spent six months largely funemployed back in London reading up on the science of sex differences. I now live in Bristol where I fit the feminism in around tutoring and kickboxing.
For me, feminism is a way of seeing and a means of producing knowledge.
What I see is that women are still second class. Yes, great progress has been made, and is being made daily, but only because we’re fighting hard to be seen as fully human in a world shaped by and for the male perspective.
A note on words:
For me, ‘sexism’ and ‘racism’ do not ‘cut both ways.’ They are terms that describe asymmetrical ideologies and structures of power. We live in a white supremacy: a system that makes whiteness and the white perspective supreme: in such a system, ‘racism’ refers to the prejudice+power that operates against everyone who is not white. Similarly, in a system that makes maleness and the male perspective supreme, ‘sexism’ refers to the prejudice+power that operates against everyone who is not male.
(Misogyny is the all-too-common extreme of sexism.)
Which is why I like the term ‘male supremacy.’ (I picked it up from Kay Leigh Hagan’s brilliant Essays From a Feminist Hothead — read it! It’s got a hot pink cover.) Yes, I know it sounds a bit funny, but I got over that sort of embarrassment when I lived in the mountains and my social life consisted almost entirely in watching videos of bell hooks dropping the phrase ‘white supremacist capitalist patriarchy’ into conversation every five minutes without flinching.
I decided I liked descriptive terms, and that it was alright to find them faintly amusing: might as well be having fun if I’m going to feminist full time! I find that ‘patriarchy,’ which emphasises fathers and male leaders, falls short of describing our situation. Because we can have female heads of families and states and still find male supremacist thinking being reproduced. We have been floating all our lives in the amniotic waters of sexism: it takes some labour to see a ubiquitous element, let alone to split the sack and start breathing clean air. But fear not (and fear not my metaphors)! for that is what this blog is for.
You may comment here or find me on Twitter if you should want to discuss these or other topics.