Saturday, October 29, 2005

Courtney Love: Feminist of the Day

Courtney Love
"I'm not a woman, I'm a force of nature."

To which I said:


Courtney love identifies as a feminist, and I'm not going to argue with that, but I couldn't think of one reason to classify her as 'feminist of the day'. It's not that I dislike Courtney Love, the only opinion I've ever had about Courtney Love was that she was good in People vs. Larry Flynt (I'm not known for my large music collection, if you want a feminist who knows their shit when it comes to music go read Amanda).

So I did some research, and the first thing I found was a really interesting post by Margaret Cho. She was a conversation with a feminist friend of hers and the friend said that she hated Courtney Love, but when Margaret Cho asked why the friend didn't have any reason:

Why is this ok? If you are a feminist, or even if you are a woman, I don't think it is acceptable to hate another woman in the media anymore unless you have a well worked out explanation as to why, have examined all your own prejudices and can convince me that you are not just another fascist follower of fashion. I don't care if that in itself is a sexist notion, for it forces the burden of guilt on the jury's shoulders. Individually we must be called out to prove our suspicion, put words to our guilt. If you are going to triple her bail, that is the least we can do for her.

I thought this was an important enough point to quote, but it doesn't tell me what Courtenay Love could have done to be classified as feminist of the day. No it was Jillian Freeman, a Candadian Junior High student, who did that. In 1999 she wrote Ally McBeal or Riot Grrls - role models for girls?* It's a really cool essay, and you should go and read it. This was the bit that officially upgraded my 'huh' to an 'ok':

However, if you look past all this, there are still a lot of women who teach you to be yourself and to fight the male oppression, with whatever your talent is, whether it be writing, music, politics, art, acting or sports. Sometimes, however, being yourself is hard to do when you don't know who you are.

Conclusion: My favourite feminists are always going to be women who fight and women who organise, but other women need different sorts of feminists to show them that they can fight, and I'm glad they can find them.

*Your blogger does not endorse the idea, expressed in this essay, that Buffy the Vampire Slayer's Feminist politics should be classified (along with Ally McBeal and Spice Girls) as Girl Power. In fact she could go at great length about the strengths and weaknesses of the feminism portrayed on Buffy, but promises that when (not if) she decides to do that she will give plenty of warning.

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