Fun is a feminist issue May 5, 2006Posted by Winter in fun.
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.