I find it difficult to rant. When I say I find it difficult to rant, what I actually mean is that I find it difficult to rant coherently, which is to say I feel coherence is important in a rant. A quick “define: rant” search on Google revealed amongst other things a rant (Rant) is an
“Old English dance of the seventeenth century in duple meter and binary form”.
Yes I ignored the other descriptions, but I like that, the notion that rants are impassioned outbursts (like movement and dance is) but only becomes communicative with form. Form is important in a rant because without it there’s no expulsion of feeling… it’s dissatisfying. To continue with the dance metaphor a bad rant is like watching those people on the dance floor who are too nervous/too much of a dickhead to dance properly, and who just pull stupid poses and ‘do the lawnmower’. Now dancing… and I mean real dancing – when you kind of phase out other people and don’t care how sweaty you are or how stupid you look – that’s the point at which it’s about you, and your emotions, your expulsion of energy. Go to an unfashionable rock club and try it. Good rants are transcendental while you rant, but at the end, when you sweating and breathing hard and dizzy and feel like your legs might collapse, expulsive too. But without the music, and without its end, you would either continue until you died, or finish before the song, a job only half done.
So why do I find it hard to rant coherently? You see there’s just so much to rant about I can’t stop, I fly from tangent to tangent, getting more and more stressed and missing the end of each rant until I just pull back because I’m getting so down that I’m too scared to go any further. It doesn’t feel like good writing, I do like some kind of structure…
So maybe it’s not the tangents that are the problem, maybe I am a naturally multilateral ranter, a Brecht of the ranting world, an episodic denouncer of society’s ills… maybe I should stop worrying about the read-ability of it, and let each little episode stand on its own…
Well here goes:
British Captives in Iran
It really annoys me the way that it’s ‘appalling’ that Iran was showing videos of the captured people ‘paraded’ whilst it’s fine that the entire British press were doing so, at the same time as extolling on the horror and hurt caused by these videos to the families- making the very ‘private’ grief ‘public’. Surely the way to prevent this would be to NOT SHOW THEM, leave them to Iranian/middle eastern TV, yes probably youtube, but still, I’m sure these families probably don’t pay for al jazeera in their sky subscriptions, and its effect on them would have been lessened.
Objectification of Women
While we’re on the subject of the media’s treatment of this, various sources’ singling out of the female captive to create that special kind of emotive slant on a story is just ANOTHER example of how women are used again and again in the media victim/mother/whore/angel/clever the problem IS the label, men are just men, but women are so very often ‘that type of woman’ or another and playing gently on the general western preconception about the ‘backwards’ treatment of women in middle eastern countries is an abuse far more terrible than someone suggesting, or she deciding, to wear a headscarf.
East vs. West (Feminism)
50 years ago in Britain it was unthinkable to go out on a Sunday without gloves on, if someone had seen your bra strap peeking out from under your vest top they would have been shocked, presumed you mad even. Yes there are certainly many ingrained and terrible inequalities for women, the poor, racial/religious minorities in the East, but these are not solvable by the West- they are compounded- western accusations only solidify the ground of the neo-conservative, far right Islamist (who are taking away many rights given to them by the Qur’an itself) and also supposes that the fight is finished here. And ignoring the rights being withheld in a slightly more familiar (safe, Christian) manner by neo conservative Christians. The fight is not done, the fight for men and women to just be themselves, a patriarchal claw back is occurring as we speak, and the gain for men is just as destructive. It’s more subtle, we are lead to believe that we’re choosing one construct or another as we play the flirt, the provider; we think we’re wielding power, but so long as we do that, we’re playing a part that someone else has written.
No Bra Burning Ever Happened
It is actually embarrassing to call yourself a feminist these days, I have to follow the “I am a feminist” statement with the fact that not all feminism is hairy, very little is anti male, and at no point in the entire 70s feminist movement was a bra burned (popular myth- some women threw nasty girders and false eyelashes and metal bras into a bin, but no burning went on- a newspaper made it up) and YES is still very necessary. It’s not about hating men, it’s about making us ‘people’ or individuals more or less equal. I eventually have to quote rape prosecution statistics, mention MP representation, the still lingering 30% or so pay gap in the part time sector, and the ‘bonuses’ in some areas of work which are paid unconditionally to men to supplement the ‘basic’ pay women get (this really does happen) In the 1960s, women were earning less than 60 pence for every £1 earned by men. Today, they are still paid only 71p for every £1. You can quibble with statistics, you should, how else can we get to the bottom of the reality of the situation. At the end most men are kind of surprised, and no longer threatened by me… But attitudes everywhere remain painful:
Plus Forty Four
I went to see an all male band who were supported by an all female band- the all female band wasn’t great, but most supports aren’t, that’s why they support, however all the men around me found it completely acceptable that their first comments about these women was not their music, but how ‘fit’ they were.
I object to people calling me pet names, this is not because I necessarily believe the person is doing so vindictively, it is because I do not wish to be pigeonholed along side a million other ‘luv’s, someone pulled me up on this the other day ‘he didn’t mean anything by it’ – but surely a couple of decades ago words such as ‘nigger’ or ‘wog’ being part of common parlance was even worse than them being used now with spite- because the person using any of those words is placing an individual in a group, as an ‘other’. In short is unconsciously prejudiced.
If I ever grabbed an indie boy’s dick (in a hurty way) and said he was asking for it because of the revealing, spray on, skinny fit jeans he was wearing I’d be weird, but when guys find it ok to pinch my ass, and pinch is so that it hurts (up until the point I stamp on their stupid indie converse covered toes) it’s ok, because I’m wearing jeans that vaguely show off my shape (because I HAVE one, which is slightly alien in the indie world). Why is it always women asking for it? Why does it matter if a rape victim is drunk? Why are men portrayed as completely incapable of controlling their lust? It’s because women are continually portrayed as objects, not individuals, but one stereotype or another, something selling a magazine or a car. This isn’t a man (singular)’s fault any more than it is a woman (singular)’s fault. It is gender roles.
Movies Aren’t Real
Gender roles don’t fit anyone, they just damage people, if men feel usurped it’s because they are also tormented by an unattainable gender role. It’s like sex in the movies, if any guys out there still think that’s how you do it, please do talk to a female friend as soon as possible, it’s never going to be like it is in the movies, you’re never going to be able to think say or be everything you think, or are told, that you should. So give up. No, give up now. Do it. If it rains when you are outside having an argument it’s coincidence. Saying exactly what you feel and then storming out is never productive. Running along the platform as a train leaves will just mean you’ll bump into someone. Deal with it.
Sigh. I could go on for longer… but I should go to bed. I promise not many of my blogs will be like this.