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  1. Megpie71
    Megpie71 at |

    The elephant in the room of “feminism” is that by and large, most organised feminism has always been about the concerns of white, upper-middle-class (at minimum) women of means. Have a look at the various “triumphs” of the British suffragettes if you don’t believe me: they were after property rights (the right to manage their own inheritances, rather than having to leave that to their fathers, brothers or husbands); educational opportunity (they wanted to be able to go to university at a time when this was a very clear mark of privilege); the right to work in professional jobs (as opposed to the right to work in menial or servant level jobs, which women of the working classes have always had); and the right to vote (since that right had recently been extended to working-class men). By and large, they achieved those aims which were important to wealthy women, at which point the momentum behind the movement petered out.

    The second-wave feminists came along a generation or two later, mainly in the USA, and started agitating about how damn boring the life of a white, educated, upper-middle-class housewife was, and how they wanted the chance to be something more. Again, it was the right to participate in the workforce in a professional capacity they were chasing (as opposed to participating in the workforce in a menial capacity, something that working-class women were still obliged to do in order to make ends meet – as well as attempt to live up to the homemaking standards being set by these full-time housewives).

    Third wave feminism, again, was primarily about the concerns of the white, college-educated, upper-middle-class, professional woman. Now they were starting to find that balancing full-time work and managing home life is difficult (particularly when you’re the one who is expected to do the second shift of housework on top of everything else), that they’re still being expected to perform womanhood to a high standard, and that they’re not being paid the same as men for the work that they do. All of these are things which working-class women have been living with and complaining about for generations, but they didn’t start reaching the top of the list of formal feminist concerns until they affected white, college-educated, upper-middle-class, professional women.

    Feminism as a movement has always largely been about the concerns of wealthy women, primarily because wealthy women are the ones who can afford to organise, the ones who can afford to take time out for activism, the ones who can afford to have the nanny look after the children and the maid clean the house while they go to their consciousness-raising meetings.

  2. Moz
    Moz at |

    Nice analysis. I noticed John Clarke also managed to mention aborigines a few times in the first few minutes of “Sporting Nation” (also on iView). 3:50 into it is the first reference.

  3. tree
    tree at |

    Really glad it wasn’t just me. I actually baulked at the title because, really, “girls”? But I thought I ought to give it a try anyway. Honestly, I didn’t get past the part where Barry Otto appears in sepia. If it’d been a book, I would’ve thrown it across the room.

  4. M-H
    M-H at |

    I agree. I was appalled at its airbrushing of real women’s history. Populist pap. I did like the way they used the sepia pictures with speaking actors, but that’s a design thing. The content was drivel.

  5. Helen
    Helen at |

    +1 to the first part. But is the vote really only something middle class, rich white women want/need? Were they wrong to seek female enfranchisement?
    (Disclaimer – missed the program.)

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