I am so glad that the #metoo movement has been so cathartic for so many people, and I admire the bravery of all those who have felt able to come forward and disclose their experiences of abuse and/or harassment; equally, let us not forget about those who have not felt able, and those who are just so dang tired of having to rehash and relive their experiences that they chose not to, and those who just want to distance themselves from it as much as they can and exclude it from their identities. It has reaffirmed what we already knew: this is a reality for pretty much all women.
There’s something that still troubles me, though, about the response to this movement; the reaction of men*. Obviously there has been the usual backlash of idiots mocking the movement by trying to join in, but those aren’t the ones I am talking about.
One of my fondest imaginings of my mother, Susanna, is of her marching down the high street in a pair of clunky Dr. Martin boots and a whimsy floral dress, with her yellow hair wild down her back. Another story I’ve been told is how she once dyed her hair one-half red, one-half green when she was around fifteen. As I discovered my independent sense of style during my teenage years, I was inspired on a foundation level by my mother’s don’t-give-a-damn attitude. I chose not to give a damn either, and despite the natural self-consciousness of being a young person, especially having crushes and relationships, I wore things that made me feel the happiest I could be in my own body and communicated exactly who I felt I was. I didn’t listen to pressure and actually looked like the odd one out a lot of the time.
Yes, yes, I know – floods, Nazis, everything is terrible right now. But you’d be forgiven for not being entirely in the loop; as I’m sure you all know, there’s been a recent major international event that’s been permeating our consciousness.
Guest post by Lara (Miller) Rowand. Lara is a writer, Tarot reader, homesteader, Pitbull mom, and self-proclaimed ecofeminist who owns a farm in central Virginia, USA. She holds a B.A. in History and M.A. in English literature, both of which she forgets about the majority of the time.
The day I became engaged to the man who would become my husband, one of the first questions I was asked was, “Will you change your last name?” I came to find that I would be asked this question numerous times over the months until our marriage (and even after), by friends, family, and even some strangers. Evidently my response of “Yes” surprised some folks, who know me to be a vocal feminist, and I was disappointed to find myself criticized by some. I received comments such as, “I can’t believe you would do that. But you’re a feminist.” and “You’re taking a man’s last name?” These instances caused me to notice similar criticism elsewhere as well, whether in person, via social media, in magazines, etc.
For me, it has been a joy to see the ways in which feminism has changed several societal and cultural traditions, especially over the last decade or two. I grew up in an incredibly traditional region where it is still unheard of for a woman to refrain from changing her last name after getting married. Acts such as this may seem small to some, but I do recognize the important implications of a woman keeping the last name she was given at birth. It is still something that symbolizes greater freedom and further acceptance as an equal. This is why I didn’t immediately jump on the idea of changing my last name—at least not to my husband’s. I certainly had some questions in my head pertaining to my own identity and what kind of statement I may be making either way.
GLOW opens on Ruth Wilder (Alison Brie), reading for a part in an audition. She emotively delivers a powerful and dramatic monologue, at the end of which the casting director informs her that she had been reading the wrong part—the man’s part. They reset. The casting director leads her in. Ruth performs the women’s audition part:
(knock knock) Sorry to interrupt, your wife is on line two.
This opening scene sets the flavour for GLOW perfectly; the show is a delightfully nostalgia-hazed and also critical and shrewdly observant portrayal of the real-life women’s wrestling circuit of the same name—The Gorgeous Ladies Of Wrestling.
Eve Jones examines Lorde’s latest album, Melodrama. Eve is a 19-year-old writer and waitress from Plymouth. Obsessive by nature, she’s always in pursuit of some delicious syntax. This is her first article for Boshemia.
Lorde: explorations of youth and power
In 2013, Lorde, aka Ella Yelich-O’Connor, released her debut album Pure Heroine. Its popularity was hailed by Clash as proof that ‘there’s still an intellectual, polished and important place for pop [music]’. She was 16 at the time. Four years on, Lorde launches back into our minds with Melodrama, which still buzzes with that potential energy—though it hasn’t all been plain-sailing. In a recent interview with The Guardian, she likened her fame-riddled celebrity friendships to ‘having a friend with an autoimmune disease’—‘there are certain places you can’t go together. Certain things you can’t do’. The insensitive analogy received backlash from fans, prompting Lorde to apologise on Twitter. While her conduct has been controversial, her music continues to question youth and power in a dynamic habitat of scorched harmonies, flinty 80s keyboard and lyrical wit.