Wednesday, 22 October 2014

Feminism vs. Human Decency

I don't usually post on a Thursday, but I'm going to make an exception for this one. I can't make it clear enough that this isn't a post directly about the Zoella article written by Chloe Hamilton and published by The Independent on Tuesday, but rather the reaction, nor is it directly aimed at any blogger(s) in particular.

There's no denying that the article about Zoella this week came across as cruel, irregardless of whether people were for or against Chloe Hamilton's points, but the whole thing (and the bloody aftermath that graced twitter) has made me wonder - Why is it always "Girls For Girls"?  As a blogger, most of my followers run beauty, fashion or lifestyle blogs (or somewhere in between) and, as such I am in the centre of a predominantly female circle. Based upon this, I don't think that it would be unreasonable to assume that a few, if not a majority, of us strive for feminism at least as it's very core value: equality. So, that begs the question - why did we react to the article in the way that indeed many seemed to do? Taking to twitter with passive aggressive tweets laced with an undeniable sense of "girl power". I suppose that, in a nutshell, is what riles me.

I'm not talking about passive aggressive tweets, if you follow me then you'll know in the past I've sent my fair share of those, but rather the message that girls need to support other girls simply because we were born into the same gender. I find it frustrating and, in fact, downright angering, that when men do wrong, we talk about them as people; how people should support each other, we talk about basic human compassion and decency. Yet, when women do wrong, we talk about them as just that- women. We are all too quick to step down off of our feminist soap boxes that we've been using to campaign for equality to remind everyone that "we've accepted that men won't respect us, but we definitely have to respect one another, as women". Never mind whether Hamilton was or wasn't correct, nor whether her tone was completely appalling, focus on my timeline seemed very much aimed on her jealousy at another woman and - not forgetting that dreaded "girls for girls" issue - the fact that, irregardless of her opinion or the tone that she used, the bottom line was that she was mean to another female. It's true that this particular post is one about feminism and was both about a woman and penned by one, but it could just as easily have been penned by a man. The issue with the article and the tone used has nothing to do with women grouping together and being nice to each other, but everything to do with something that we all too regularly seem to overlook; basic human decency.

The issue shouldn't be that Hamilton was mean to another girl, we aren't in the playground. The fact in itself is that Chloe Hamilton was unnecessarily cruel to Zoe Sugg, one human purposely writing offensively about another - irregardless of the gender of both parties. Maybe you're all sitting there disagreeing with me, but something about the whole suggestion just grinds on me. The (perhaps unintentional) suggestion that had someone talked in the same manner about a male, or had the writer himself been male, reactions would have different. Perhaps it would have provoked less of a reaction overall, given the reasons behind the hateful tweets I've seen sent to Chloe Hamilton more than once today (which is hypocritical in itself, by the way.)

I'm not saying don't defend Zoe, by all means you're free to voice your opinion the same as Chloe did. I'm not saying step back and watch girls be mean to other girls, just make the fight about human decency and not feminism, defend someone for being a human, not a gender. Feminism will come with equality, and this is a prime example of where we can make it happen. Furthermore, if you're going to defend Zoe by saying she's free to wear make-up and do whatever she wants if it makes her feel good, make sure your further tweets about Renee Zellweger don't contradict your point.

What do you think about girl power?

Sammy xo.

If you liked this you might like: Growing Up A Girl

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