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Young feminists, old stereotypes

March 29th, 2010 · 1 Comment

The BBC is doing a documentary series on feminism, and last week, an episode aired focusing on young women activists. This could have been a great opportunity to showcase the influential and brave things that young women do every day in the name of women, but instead the BBC took this opportunity to hash out old stereotypes. Young feminist Sophia is faced with this comment from her mom, “She actually wears makeup, short skirts, and goes out sort of dressed to kill and then seems to think that no men should be paying her attention.” So the (female) reporter, asks Sophia if she “self-objectifies.”  Sophia handles the question well, that “if you follow that chain of thought to its logical conclusion, then maybe I should go out in a burka.” But god, I still hate that tired old assumption–that if you’re a feminist, you must forgo all makeup and nice clothes and dress yourself in a burlap bag, or else you’re invited men to objectify and disrespect you, because they can’t help it, poor things.

Then there’s this long, annoying, pointless, drawn-out part of the interview focusing on how “angry” Sophia is, if she’s an “angry person” or if she’s angry about other things. Uh, yeah, she says, “commuting.” Glad that Sophia realized the ridiculousness of the question, but will millions of viewers? Check out the clip for yourself. Katy at Jezebel has more.

Tags: Girls with Drive · Stop chastising young people · Young Women in the Media

1 response so far ↓

  • 1 Shannon // Apr 9, 2010 at 10:20 am

    I agree that the part about Sophia’s “anger,” is annoying and pointless. But, the most off-putting part to me was how insensitive her parents were. The most entertaining/infuriating part is when the interviewer asks her parents what made her “like this” (like what, I wonder? thoughtful? questioning? intelligent?) and her parents say that it must have been the time she spent at university! So, we’re back to that: education ruins women. What up, BBC?!

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