Okay, I should start a feminist rant blog or something, ’cause I’ve got one coming right now! Again!
I read these news bits about Finland’s Eurovision song contest hopeful having been accused of SEXISM! First reactions: hold your horses Swedish and Finnish-Swedish feminists! The song, sung by Krista Siegfrids is called Marry Me. It’s this fun, light-hearted song (I mean, it’s god-awful, but Eurovision music always is) about a woman madly in love with some dude or dudette (suppose it depends on whether same-sex marriage is legal in your country/state). Let me quote the INFAMOUS part:
“I’m your slave and you’re my master”
(Okay, so I take this probably is about a heterosexual marriage when sung by a woman because master might be replaced with “mistress” there.)
Anyway, this post is not about me analyzing this song. I’ll get to the point soon.
The feminist in question who condemned this song, Linnea Portin, probably has her heart in the right place, but when I was reading the news article, one comment struck me right below the belt. Here’s a loose translation:
“Feminists are the offended party of our time. It feels absurd to compare feminism e.g. in India to the Western feminists who get offended by music, videogame characters and toy commercials. Our feminists seem to be quite sure of the moral superiority of their opinions.”
I recognized myself right there. Me nagging of portrayals of Western women in pop culture. Gee, aren’t you concerned, K! But it’s true. I get miffed when I see scantily clad women in pop culture while men are safely clad (again, I wouldn’t ban nudity. Fuck that.) Yeah, I do get miffed when a teenager — no, I get enraged, when a teenage girl is gangraped to death in India. Or when girls in third world countries can’t go to school. And I become enraged at Sharia Law if it’s executed particularly strictly and obsessively. And the list goes on.
Yet what I write about, what I yap about is so superficial. It’s about the stuff that touches my life. I get my panties in a bunch because of the pervasive male gaze. I mean, sure, that shit is important to me, a well-fed and educated Western woman, but at times it feels like… why should I bother? Things are so fine and dandy in my life. I have independence, power, and respect. Is the half-nekkid silicone-boobed starlet on TV really going to take that away from me? Compromise it somehow? Is she hurting my womanhood? Does the song about a lovesick woman attack my livelihood or endanger my future children?
I mean, I know it’s possible to really ruin one’s life because of some superficial Hollywood trend, but that’s kind of where I’d recommend eveyone to have a reality check: do you really want to be miserable because you aren’t as skinny as X, as big-boobed as Y or if a woman sings about being head over heels in love with a man? At least if you get raped, the rapist won’t get as mildly punished as he would in some countries where rape is around as bad as robbery in the eyes of the law! At least you can drive a car, freely express yourself (both, Krista and Linnea), keep your downstairs fun-parts un-scalpelled, and so on.
That song or questionable role models; they are not going to send the Finnish society
back to the 19th century.
In fact, calling Ms. Siegfrids out on this song feels like her freedom of expression is under attack! What, a woman can’t be in love with a man without being called or implied to be a sexist, a traitor? She should hold back her feelings? (I don’t know if she really feels this way, but I have, so basically someone criticizing me of it would feel somewhat unfair).
The point is, suddenly m
y problems feel oh-so-small when I think about the struggles feminists face in other non-pampered countries.
– K. Trian
Helsingin Sanomat -article (In Finnish)
Häxbrygd -blog by Linnea Portin (In Swedish)