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Fun is a feminist issue May 5, 2006

Posted by Winter in fun.
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Today is Blog for Radical Fun Day.

From our manifesto

To encourage new networks of friendship and mutual support among members, time will be made for fun events such as socials, outings and film nights.

The other day I e-mailed a group member to ask whether she thought we should give our discussion night meetings a more formal structure. Her reply somewhat surprised me. She said she thought the informal conversations and the “joking” was one of the best things about the group.

Then, the other night, after the Post-feminism discussion, I was dithering at the bar with a wad of cash in my hand trying to decide which bottle of wine to buy. Siberian Falls grabbed me and cried, “For the love of God just get some wine!”

It’s about time we blogged about fun because the Mind the Gap group has an insatiable appetite for fun. Sure, we spend time in serious feminist discussion (also a kind of fun) and we spend time on serious activism (again fun in it’s way), but what do we do most of the time?

We have a bloody good fun feminist time of it that’s what.

We’re always in bars. We drink a lot. While in the bars drinking, we laugh loudly, talk outrageously about feminism and bang on the table shouting “Well what I think …” We joke all the time. We joke about feminism a lot and we talk about sex a lot. Despite our blog’s appearances we really don’t take ourselves too terribly seriously in our non-cyber existences.

While I haven’t viewed the emphasis on carousing as a waste of time, neither have I asked myself if it’s a feminist or radical activity. Now, I’m going to come out and say that I think it is. Why?

Because feminism is not generally associated with fun
Because women are not really supposed to have fun just for themselves
Because most women police their behaviour around men and the women they’re encouraged to compete with
Because women restrain their laughter in the prescence of men and the women they’re encouraged to compete with
Because women often don’t feel safe to say what they’re really thinking

We’re not perfect by any stretch of the imagination and there are always tensions in groups. But, I think we’ve gone some way towards creating a space for feminist fun, a space in which women feel relatively free to laugh, shout, talk dirty and say what they really think. This is important.

Fun is also a feminist issue because it builds friendship. And friendship is a feminist issue. Friendship among women and their male allies is radical because women are not really supposed to be friends with one another, and they’re certainly not supposed to be friends with men on equal terms. In refusing to compete and sell each other out for the attention of men, we work to break down patriarchal norms.

So, you see, it’s all to the good, all part of the Mind the Gap feminist agenda. Naiades and Siberian Falls I will see you on Saturday for some radical Dr Who watching. At the same time, perhaps we can have a chat about presenting that rape petition.

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Comments»

1. deviousdiva - May 5, 2006

Loved this post. Loving this day!

“And friendship is a feminist issue. Friendship among women and their male allies is radical because women are not really supposed to be friends with one another, and they’re certainly not supposed to be friends with men on equal terms”

Wish I could join you for a glass of wine ot three!

2. Naiades - May 5, 2006

See you then you old winos!!

3. brownfemipower - May 6, 2006

haha, as i’m going around visiting all these great posts, i’m coming to see exactly what a dirty old lady i am. i loving talking dirty and swearing and looking at umm…properly positioned young men…. 😛

great post!!! i’m with diva–i wish i could join you!!!

4. IrrationalPoint - May 6, 2006

Fabulous.

–IP

5. Winter - May 6, 2006

You’re all more than welcome. We love having visitors because it’s … fun!

I haven’t had a chance to read round the posts yet, but I’m looking forward to doing it later.

6. Sage - May 6, 2006

Don’t you all wish we were all in the same city with the coolest bar nearby – maybe one with live music, but not so loud you can’t talk. This post makes me really feel that. I tend to have friends who carefully police their voices. I’m working on them, but it’s such a slow process fighting their group think. (This describes them more clearly.)

7. reasonably prudent poet - May 7, 2006

fun is such a radical expression in the face of oppression of any kind. my girlfriend is the child of a holocaust survivor and she was certainly raised to police her voice, her laugh, her happiness. at 40, she still struggles to allow herself to relax, to feel joyful, frivolous, fun. what a wonderful idea, to think about and celebrate fun! thanks.

8. Laurelin - May 8, 2006

Okay, that’s it. I’m going to have to come to Cardiff and gatecrash one of your meetings! :p

9. Andygrrl - May 8, 2006

well if fun will bring down the patriarchy, I think you guys are public enemy number one 🙂
All I know is I sure had fun with you all!

10. Winter - May 11, 2006

Patriarchy’s a big no fun.

If anyone can make it to Cardiff they’re more than welcome!

But we should try and organise a UK feminist get together at some point.

11. KC - May 18, 2006

A great opening post for the Carnival. Cheers!

12. belledame222 - May 28, 2006

Raising a glass from the other side of the pond; and if I ever get the opportunity, would love to clink in person!

13. Winter - May 29, 2006

Cheers. I think this could get very rowdy!


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