Politicians, media and feminists beware: Our youth are paying attention

Noely Neate

Noely Neate

Columnist at No Fibs
Female, Mother, Partner. Day job: small business owner, co-founder and community site co-ordinator on a regional portal. Doonan (the land of the dam and franken–spiders), Queensland.
Noely Neate

@YaThinkN

Memo to self: Remember Democracy rules; Don't swear on Twitter, even during #SOO; Just a Punter; #NBN; #MyBroadbandvReality
RT @R_Chirgwin: Anyone who thinks nursing is trivial has never seen three nurses trying to find a usable vein for a long-term chemo patient. - 6 hours ago
Noely Neate
I am not a journalist, nor am I a writer. I don’t belong to any political party, though I will admit that back in the day I was a paid-up Democrat until Meg Lees screwed us over. Now, I don’t believe in political parties at all; I find them terribly UN-Democratic. In my preferred world I would have actual elected representatives whose primary responsibility was to accurately represent their electorates – not the party, not men in grey suits – the punters, then get together with all the other reps to compromise and work together to run this country/state/council. I know, I know … but a girl can dream!

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by Noely Neate

23 June 2013

My daughter Caitlin ( @LacyMartini ) had her first foray into public activism yesterday and I have to say I was both thrilled and scared for her.  I was thrilled that as a young person she was entering the political fray with an opinion, taking a stand against sexism and advocating for respect of office.  On the other hand I was terrified that she would cop a lot of flak and that Twitter, being an older more politically aware audience, might prove her assertions right in a hurtful way that ‘adults’ really are not interested in the opinions of youth.

So far, the feedback on her “Cleavage 101: My natural response to #ConvoyofCleavage” video has in general been really positive.  What has really surprised me is how many have congratulated me.  Don’t get me wrong, I am very proud of my daughter, I am proud she has a social conscience and proud of her jumping out of her comfort zone to do it and put herself ‘out there’. But her awesome video has nothing to do with me.  Caitlin is her own person with her own opinions and her own thoughts, interests, worries, reasoning and concerns.  That is probably what I am most proud of.

Many watched her video, though I am not sure that they read what she wrote under the video.  Not only was Caitie offended by the disrespect the Prime Minister has received, most of it sexist, she was also cranky about the flak that people like Jennifer Wilson ( @NoPlaceforSheep ) had received for starting the #ConvoyofCleavage from more famous feminists like Helen Razer.

Being younger this whole, ‘you are not a real feminist…’ academic quibbling and downright nastiness was offensive.  Jennifer’s call to arms captivated my daughter.  It was an inclusive call. You didn’t have to take a photo of your boobs. You could take a photo of your ear lobes or any other body part the Prime Minister had been pilloried over in the media, all to show how ridiculous this attention to our Prime Minister’s physical form was.

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#ConvoyofCleavage

Traditional feminists beware. Women like Caitlin are the feminists of the future. They look upon feminism differently. They face different discrimination than we have, they think differently to us.  In fact, I would go so far to say that the likes of Cait are more ‘humanists’ than feminists, not quite comprehending why they need to fight to be equal, why any group of the humans race need to fight to be equal.  If Feminists want to truly help their fellow women they need to embrace all women, young and old, not alienate them…

Media also be aware.  Media need to have good hard think about themselves too. You base of older readers will not last not forever and you will need to pick up your act if you wish to replace them with younger generations.  If the likes of a teenager who is part of the reality TV generation can smell bias and hyperbole, and know when she is being bamboozled with bullshit, you have a very serious problem going forward.

I hope you take the time to watch Caitlin’s video, or, at the very least, read what she had to say and consider :)

Firstly I just wanted to apologise for the bad quality of this video. I didn’t realise I was going to get so riled up about this and I probably should have made 2 or 3 videos about this but nothing is as clear as hindsight right?

Also, if I don’t sound very articulate or educated, that’s on purpose. The convoy of cleavage movement on twitter got some backlash from self proclaimed feminists calling it frivolous and such. For a lot of the people participating though, that was probably one of the very few times they would have experienced or participated in any form of feminist/sexist movement.

I think ‘professional feminists’ need to take a step back sometimes and look through the eyes of the passionate and naive, as opposed to their highly educated and academic selves.

Not all of us can be scholars. So that’s why I tried to do as little research as possible and made a video on my gut feelings and my total natural response to the Convoy of Cleavage.

My mum writes blogs, others tweet. Well this is what I like to do.

*Here are some links to some of the articles I read in the process of filming and editing this video*
http://tinyurl.com/TheTruthBehindTheCleavage
– http://tinyurl.com/GutfulOfSexism
– http://tinyurl.com/TheConvoyOfCleavage
– http://tinyurl.com/ForFuckSakeFriday
– http://tinyurl.com/NotFeministActivism
– http://tinyurl.com/FeminismCanBeFrivolous
– http://tinyurl.com/BattleOfFeministIdeologies

*Links to ideas I very briefly mentioned but would love to have gone into more depth about*
http://tinyurl.com/SlutShamingExplained
– http://tinyurl.com/MustWatchAboutBoobs

*Follow me on Twitter if you want to say hi or tell me how much you disagree with me*-https://twitter.com/LacyMartini (@LacyMartini)

Politicians, Media & Feminists beware, our Youth pay more attention than you think, alienate them at your peril

I hope you appreciate my daughters efforts, who would have thought that nearly 19 years ago when that scrawny little thing arrived that she would turn into the intelligent, social justice advocate, musical loving, well read young lady she is today :)

Cheers,
Noely (@YaThinkN)

Comments


  1. Just a correction – It’s Helen Razer not Razor.
    I’m not sure that Razer has status as a Prominent Feminist. She’s a popular media figure who claims to be feminist, but she comes across as fairly incoherent ideologically (wrote that we must focus completely on “masculinised violence and feminised poverty”, but fails to produce any substantial writing on those subjects and indeed, did a piece for the Hoopla recently in *praise* of masculine violence!)
    It’s a bit of a shame that other feminist voices are being denigrated or drowned out by this writer who has added nothing of value to the debate, although her antiracist writing is admirable. Maybe that’s what she should focus on, but she likes to troll and the outlets which publish her like the clickbait.
    All power to our daughters who are carrying on feminist work.


  2. I had a different approach to sexism in 1967 when I was only 14 years old. I had a Mia Farrow hair cut during my Peyton place fan days, I was called a lesbian by some stupid boys and my own father so I had it cut even shorter. Most of the girls in my home town were so jealous come summer and 110 degree days they did the same thing. No more lesbian crap.

    The next year I saw Twiggy and others in mini-skirts so I made mine a bit shorter. I was called a slut. So I cut the next one even shorter. We all know that by 1969 mini-skirts barely covered bums.

    That was and is the only way to deal with sexism of all kinds.

    Similarly my 16 year old male soul mate neighbour had long hair and was told to wear a skirt when he went to school unless he had it cut. He grew it longer and so did other boys so the skirt idea went out the window.

    He liked torn jeans, he was told to sew them up because he looked like a cast off human, he made more cuts.

    I guess you can see why we were soul mates. Two rebellious brats in a small country town.

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