Stuck In My Head – Portishead (+barely contained rage)

This week has been pretty shitty and I’m going to talk about it.
These are my ineloquent views, so please don’t think for a second that I’m saying that these should be your views or are your views. I have been called an extremist, feminist, and an atheist sometimes all in the same sentence and I am happy with those labels.

Reading the news has left me tired, sad, and undervalued as a member of society.
As a lady in a committed relationship, who doesn’t want children, and who knits I couldn’t help but feel sorry for another lady in a committed relationship, who doesn’t want children, and who knits, and who also happens to be Prime Minister of Australia.
I have always believed I was fortunate enough to live in a time where I could choose my own destiny.
Without having a husband I own property, I have a credit card, I have a degree, and I can vote. Yet I have shockjocks on the radio saying that there are people that might assume my partner is homosexual – as though there is something wrong with that.
As though there is something wrong with the way I choose to live my life.

I am strong enough now to not care about opinions of people who don’t matter to me. However I do care that while this is in the media, people in the lunchrooms and in the pubs feel entitled to criticize and comment on my life choices. Whether they’re doing that intentionally or not, when they’re talking about a lady in a committed relationship, who isn’t married, doesn’t want kids (I believe deliberately barren is the phrase), and who knits, they may think they’re talking about the PM but they are also talking about me. This week the world has told me that I am not a “real woman” because I don’t see marriage or children in my future.

In the same week, we’ve seen a high profile domestic abuse case. I was prepared to hear victim blaming opinions from the people in the lunchrooms and in the pubs but I was seriously shocked when this was the only live discussion I’ve heard (I’m excluding online as I have a lovely online bubble where no one would even consider this comment). The comment was about how bad she looked without wearing makeup, and how she is pretty on tv, but not on the cover of a newspaper.
SHE WAS JUST ABUSED! Seriously, her appearance is so low on the available topics regarding domestic abuse it doesn’t even warrant a mention. And yet it’s the only conversation I’ve heard about the whole thing. This week the world has told me that even if I’ve just been strangled in public, I am still obliged to meet a beauty standard.

It would be easy for me to untwist my knickers* and retreat back into my own sheltered world where every person is equal, everyone can choose how they want to live their life, and as long as it’s safe and consensual no choice is better than any other.
But I just can’t do that at the moment. And I don’t just want to talk. There are ways to contribute. There is where you can donate straight to real people and causes. (I’m sure at some point we will see news reports about scams, but I feel the risk is justified.) I recently donated to help cover the living expenses of a sex worker who needed money to be able to prosecute her rapist. There is a getup campaign to steer the conversation away from personal attacks and to the very real consequences of being born a woman.

I don’t usually talk about these things on my blog. But when it came to choose this weeks song, I couldn’t think for all the opinions and thoughts in my head.
If it seems glib to be talking about domestic violence, and then music in the one post please excuse me but I’m starting to think instead of talking about these difficult issues in hushed tones, they should be open and everyday conversations.
I want my niece, and every other young lady out there to find a world where they’re not financially worse off as soon as they come out of the womb, be it through tampons being taxed as a luxury item, not being paid for equal work, and not having adequate superannuation. I want my niece to be able to go to work and be asked “if she wants to get married and have children”, not asked “when” as though it’s a foregone conclusion that because she is female she must have a husband and babies to be complete.
I want my niece to choose her own path in life, whatever that may be. And I want society to accept that choice.
Maybe I’m dreaming of a perfect world, but the only ways that I can think to achieve change is to talk about it and give my time and money.

How can any song possible make its way through all of this clutter? Well there was really only one choice.
In many ways it’s not relevant to this conversation, but it’s the song which is giving me the strength to write these thoughts instead of leaving it solely to the proper writers who explain themselves more eloquently than I do. See articles here, here, and here.

*Is “got your knickers in a twist” a common colloquialism outside of Australia? If not I know it to mean get worked up about something you have no control over.




11 thoughts on “Stuck In My Head – Portishead (+barely contained rage)

  1. Great post, I think you’ve articulated very well the disquiet public treatment of (high profile) women causes inside each if us. Insulting particular aspects of the PM, especially those that echo our own lives, reduces us all.

    1. “Knickers in a twist” is also know or I read it in a book because I know it in the US. Sometimes we just have to make our voice known. We are all on this planet for a reason and not the same one or it would be a pretty lifeless boring place. Don’t think you are the only one. I hesitate to even begin my blog as so many issues sometimes get “my knickers bunched” that I might rant way too much about way too much. Better to knit, create, and be calm quietly fighting the battles as we can. But a good venting helps everyone, the one getting it out and the hearing/reading it. It reminds us all that “we” are not what the world is all about. It is about all of us in it. Take care. Fellow bloggers hear your voice and your blog is very active reaching many. I know you as a woman who knits and that is enough. All knitters share that in common. Everyone doesn’t need to share everything about any of us unless we choose to reveal it. And that goes for people in the news which usually misses the whole point and doesn’t know much that is accurate about anyone anyway.

  2. Q – Good post! Whenever I see a “mess of a woman” I think and voice “How the hell did women allow this to happen?” I mean, thousands of years ago? What the heck?

    And, here in the states we say, “Don’t get your panties in a bunch.” LOL!

  3. Heya! This is your space and anyone can voice their opinions in their own space. I find it sad that in this world we live in, too many people are too quick to judge, and the moment you have a different opinion to them (esp when it challenges their believe of what is right or wrong), they jump on you or look at you as if you’re a bad bad person for not thinking like them. Can’t fight the world sometimes! Anyway, just wanna say that your vents are all well warranted. It’s your opinion and everyone’s entitled to have that! 🙂 I’m not looking at you any differently.

  4. Knickers in a twist is used here in the UK. Your rant sounds to be very justified to me. It is a shame. People should be able to live the way they want without any questions asked.

  5. Great post, thank you. The stuff about the Australia PM has been on the UK news too. I find it shocking and sad. At least the DJ has been sacked, hopefully people will realise that saying stuff like that does have consequences.

  6. Missed this last week- I feel the same as you on these issues. The US has had a shitton of anti-woman laws that conservatives are trying to pass this week- both reproductive health rights a d equal pay laws. I’ve cried in anger several times and even defeated a twitter troll. Anywho, we can chat later on twitter about how awesome women’s rights are, but I’m on my iPod touch and writing long messages on here sucks my ass.

  7. Ps the labels ‘atheist’ and ‘feminist’ are both totally badass and I use them to describe myself. Anyone who uses them as an insult is clearly dredging the bottom of the barrel.

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