Friday, 17 September 2010

A one track mind, but not blinkered

I really enjoyed The F Word Interview with Zoe Margolis, she's very frank and passionate about her views and it's refreshing to see someone in the mainstream talking so clearly about the fine line between empowerment and objectification. Often people misunderstand feminist objections to sexualised images, and, from what I've read, feminists themselves can sometimes seem confused about what they're actually fighting about! Abby Lee, Margolis' persona for the Girl With a One Track Mind blog/book, was destroyed by the media's desperate need to expose her real identity, so she is well placed to make statements like this - people have heard of her, and her notoriety makes her interesting to more than the usual feminist audience.

It's also exciting to see that she takes on the female magazine market:
My experience was a microcosm of what happens to women generally in society and women in the public eye especially: being outed, threatened and blackmailed. That type of shit goes on every single day in celebrity magazines and women’s magazines. Women should be questioning that when they buy into it - they’re buying into someone else’s misfortune and a very misogynistic view of women. I wanted to show that’s the reality. Women need to stop literally buying into it and supporting it. We need to question ‘why are we always talking about what women look like, what they wear and their sex lives?’

People say, “well, women buy these magazines so it’s what women want to read”.

But that’s what women are being given, there’s no fucking alternative. You’ll find the same stories in them all: they’re all dumbed down, patronising and very similar in style. Sometimes you’ll find something really radical and intelligent, but that’s not enough when 95% of the magazine is sexist conditioning. I do think women want more - the average woman who wouldn’t call herself a feminist, likes Heat and isn’t particularly political. But with no alternative provided, you have to take what there is: it’s that, or reading nothing at all.

There really aren't any alternatives on the high street, but if you're interested in a different women's magazine that doesn't sell the commodities of sex, objectification and beauty, you won't go far wrong with Filament magazine, but be warned, it's got an 18 certificate! (I think Zoe has even written a guest article in a previous issue)

Thank you, Zoe, for continuing to question our f*cked up society and trying to take the shame out of sex. You've proven they can't take you down, you will continue to say what needs to be said and hopefully, one day, women won't be shamed for having desires.

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