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The Weekly Cheek
The Weekly Cheek

Episode · 3 months ago

87. What the F is choice feminism?

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

In this episode, we discuss choice feminism. What is it, and is it even feminism at all?

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Hello, I'm Christin Paris and Ato, and I'm Hannah Ferguson and where, Co founders of Cheek Media Co. This is the weekly Cheek podcast. Before we start this podcast, I would like to acknowledge that we are on stolen lands of the Yagra interable people. This was and always will be aboriginal land. Welcome back to weekly cheek. Welcome. So in this episode we're gonna talk about choice feminism. This is a second time recording this because and we never do that. The last time we bad. We didn't think we did. I haven't listened to it, id it's fully added. If you want to listen, don't ask for BES. You're not getting it. We started fighting about something that was like semi not relevant anyway, but we never ever Redo it, like it's really hard to recreate and also, I think the point of redoing this is because they're going to go a whole different angle, so it's not repetitive sort of thing. Yes, so we are talking about choice feminism. Um, I'm just going to read a definition quickly before we start. The individual choices. Well, choice feminism is the episode just the individuals, the individual choices other women. So choice feminism it's a school of thought within feminism. It's like a type of feminism Um dictated by this definition. The individual choices of a woman are inherently feminist because she made them herself. Yikers, big, I would I whole hardly disagree. Same, cool and pod done, goodbye. True, no new pod. We could release a pod every day if we need that. Imagine, I've just us doing the welcome and then defining something and then being like okay, bye. Okay. So first of all, that kind of like infers that all women, women are feminists. Julie Bishop, I mean to me hero, but even the ones who that. That infers that even even women who are like I am not a feminist, I still every decision they makes feminist. That's absurd. Absolutely. Where did this come from? I just don't know, because it's not very second way of feminist. I actually don't think that it's going for that broad over view. I think the true definition of choice feminism is that people who identify as feminists and make choices and define those choices as feminists are inherently feminists and the acts and every act is feminist then because they are feminist. I think that's one of the things. That comes back to is one of the nuance takes that I like recently that you came up with. was that you came up with that you said was, you know, like, for example, going to the football is that feminist? No, it doesn't deter undermine your feminism. It's sort a feminist act in itself. But I mean maybe, you know, it depends if I think that it playing football is a feminist act as a woman, but I think that's a bit of a St okay, no, no, I don't. Can I please? I don't think that it's an anti feminist act, but I don't think you are. You are doing a feminist act by simply playing football. Like I just think it's like, and I don't often say this, but I just don't think it's that deep. No, like you're just playing footy. I'm like, that's not really but I think that someone who is actively feminist and playing and playing elite women's sport in male dominating. If we're talking about elite women's Sport, that's a different thing. Also, I would highly recommend people follow and listen to the female athlete project. Recommend. Okay, back to it. So I have a question. So well, I think like, if you're a feminist, does everything you do have to be feminist? No, we fail every day, and also who are weak to determine what feminism is. Who is the judge of that? Yes, because I think that like what I mean. Okay, so if we're feminist, do we have a responsibility to try out is, to not do anything anti feminist?...

We don't. We don't have a responsibility all the time to act in a feminist way all the time, to try our best. We don't have that too, to try our best, to try out best. I don't think I'm trying my best. What I don't think I'm trying my best. What do you mean? I'm not trying my best. I'm not. Like that's pretty high, but what like being at a hundred? What is that doing as well? Obviously I would like to think that everything I do is feminist, but I actually think that it's not possible to be operating the d within a system like this. But so that that means that you're probably trying your best at seventy two. No, I'm not. You're not trying your best to be to be a feminist. I don't think I'm trying. I think that I know things that I do a notout feminist, but also who's definition of feminism? Someone else, about yourself, thinking of my own. Okay, I' I actually, no, I don't remond about that. It was going to be really funk up. You'd get really upset. Oh, it's really funny. You can I say it and we don't nuance it. Okay, I'll just leave it. I went out with a man a while ago and Um, he's red flag and at the at the dinner, he said do you think you're empowered? And I said if I was empowered, I wouldn't be here. It didn't go down very well. That's hilarious. Yeah, that's all I have to say about that. Okay, but I think there's things that we do that we know are not the best and we do these things and, like, I know it's letting myself down and learning the movement down, but I also don't think I always owe the movement something and I don't always owe myself something like sometimes I owe myself to funk it up. What's that's weird. I think it's okay suck it up. Yeah, it's okay, but you don't owe yourself to suck it up. I think sometimes it's it's okay to make the mistake because I think I learned more from it. But it's okay to make the mistake. But is it okay too? This is getting really complicated, but like, obviously everyone makes mistakes and it's not like if you make a mistake it's like you have to hand in your feminist card, obviously, but I just think that there is a difference between like trying your best and like actively doing something that you know, particularly when it affects other women, because when it's like just affecting yourself, like we all do things that are like probably a bit self sabotage you and we're oh, because I wanted to, or like I had like this sick like obsession with what would happen or whatever, or like deeper issues. But I think like if you are doing something, if you do something anti feminists that affects other women on purpose and you're fully aware of it the whole time, I think that could undermine one's feminism because it's about for you as the difference, because it's about affecting other people. Well, I guess that what there's very few actions that we're doing this that don't affect other people. So my thing is is, like what's the damage? I think when it affects more people are much more hesitant to do it. So I don't know. But also sometimes, Um, I'm not sure if this is that relevant, but in the opposite like sometimes I do something that's really feminist and I think, like, am I setting an impossibly high standard but no one else can meet for your form? Yeah, like sometimes I think we expect things of others that are too high. That is like part of my personality, I know. But the question then is is, like is that always helpful? No, probably not, but it's it's pushing a very specific idea of feminism, but it's also our idea of feminism, and I think we need to be hyper aware that we have a specific idea of what that is and sometimes we're probably setting stands for people they can't meet or they don't want to meet. And sometimes it's okay to have a different view to ours, like I don't want to say that like our way is the way also, but I also think that a lot of what we say, like I find it hard to argue against US personally. Do you know what I'm saying? Yes, and the red then that I don't water down my takes, though sometimes I would...

...have down. Imagine that is because I feel like the other spaces that have more Um, not even more nuance in them, but are like softer feminism and like, Um, it's okay to just like, you know, take a break sometimes. I think that those spaces are filled and there are so many people, mostly women, who are doing that, like making that type of content. And when we made cheek, I wanted to it to be a place where it's like, well, actually, not like this, this and this is not acceptable. Yes, sometimes this is like maybe what we should be striving for. Can I think I wanted us this example, because I don't think it goes to personal actions, but I think it goes to the differences and the NU ones that exists and the way in fighting occurs. So a couple of years ago, when we worked for it, we volunteed for an organization. One of the reasons that we were sort of one of the reasons we left, I think, was we had a few issues with some of the ideas, the intellectualization of feminism, and one of the ways that came through was were producing a magazine and the style guide that was we've received instructions to implement included that women. The E or a was replaced with an x, and I know that a lot of people, I know a lot of people listening to understand what that means. And the idea of that a couple of years ago was that it's more inclusive to use women with an x, women with an x at the end, and it didn't ever make sense to us because we thought, actually, that's less inclusive because you're pointing out that it's, you know, safe for Trans Women, it's not a woman because it needs this difference, whereas you just use women and that's or women like, aren't you just sort of pointing to sort of some exclusivity of the club if you're changing it and you have to change it? And it didn't make sense. And I think now, since in the last couple of years it's also it's come about that that argument has been debunked and people don't want to use women anymore. As we say, which is probably unprivate, and to say what we say. It Um. Well, that's how otherwise you can't determine, you can can't like match the different mark the differences that believe. So we say we're mixing and at the time I remember thinking like, Oh my God, I'm not radical enough. I remember sitting there and thinking like I am not enough for this space, and I felt really not conservative, but conservative in a sense, like I was like really questioning myself and my judgment. And then when it all sort of came out that I guess we were right. Um, I felt vindicated. But I also don't necessarily think that what was done was malicious or wrong. It was trying to do something in support of feminism, in support of women and support of gender identity, but it probably wasn't the best way to go about it. And I think they're not wealth thought out. Yes, and I think the way to think about that is like neither of those opinions are necessarily wrong, but what they do is they create some sort of competition for what feminism is and what it looks like. That's my point. I agree, when I'm like shouting about some Um thought, I'm not really shouting out people, I'm like shouting at the world generally. That's the other thing. It is like, I'm sorry, but how can we if we're not saying, like why the funk do we do this and why is this this way? Then like how can we possibly be striving for? Because I do believe that we need to put pressure on the institutions and like my theory of changes, like why not throw out like this is the this is an accepted, completely unacceptable and we need to get rid of it, because there will be plenty of people, including you, who are like well, let's like we can improve it. So I just think that, like, that's just my I don't know, it's my approach. Um. So I don't like feminism yet, absolutely not. I think it's like I think it's free. Yes, I think it's a blockade to the movement. Yes, it also Um undermines the idea that women can be misogynists and can uphold the patriarchy, because it's saying that everything a woman ever does is feminist because she's made her own choice. And I think I put up a poll recently that said, like do you think that part of feminism is the ability to critique other women? And it was like four sense said, Um, no, like they don't think we should be...

...critiqued. It was like a hundred people or something that's I mean, it's so small, but it's like Yikes, you know, but it's like so many people firmly believe that we should not be even critiquing other women. That's ridiculous. It is ridiculous. That's not a quality, but not even equity. We're not saying, okay, feminism is critiquing women at the expense of like reducing the critique of men. No, no, no, we know who the enemy is. Yeah, exactly. Also, like I just find a lot of the times with those types of arguments is like, do you think that we can't do both, like, do you think that it's like, well, actually, no, I'm critique for men today, so I'm just like I'm tapped down. But it's also this idea of like we have to we have to destroy every man before we start on the women. I think that's more the mentality and I don't think that works, because I think that the people that can be the largest players, and there's a women exactly. So recently I did one of my world famous take. You can say that, not leave it, keep going. That's a joke. It's your takedown, and I would say it's domestic, non international in terms of takedowns it maybe you know it's not confined to just Queensland. Actually it's went interstate takedown. How about that? So we go. It's like a Queens I knew southwhere East Coast takedown? East Coast takedown. Okay, I performed in East Coast takedown. Actually, this is all a joke because it wasn't a takedown. It was jakes critique of a really fucked up article in my opinion, and that's that is the more aggressive than the article I wrote. But what I just said, and honestly that was out of school. What just happened. It was a joke. Yes, it was, for the record if you're listening, but it's quite funny. Don't very hilarious. I think like if you say something really fucked up, it has to be really funny to outweigh it. Like if it's really fucked up on you, a little bit funny. It's just like wow, Jim Jeffreys would love that opinion. I don't know who that is. Okay, don't Google it. Okay, anyway. So, mom and me, I wrote an article about out the manly seven, the Jersey Saga. Um, I don't like calling a saga but whatever. And it was basically the idea of the article or the and the headline of the article was Um, that this is progress, what we're seeing is progress. And I read an article Um basically saying like no, incorrect and it's not. It's not up to Um, a straight woman who wrote it. It's not up to a straight person to determine what isn't isn't progress. And I also and I didn't specifically write this in the article, but to me it felt a lot like the marriage equality debate, the fact that Um, you know, a lot of people came out of it saying, well, yeah, now everyone can get married, how exciting, and ignoring the fact that you just like dragged the entire Lgbtq community through the month, essentially because the campaigns were like disgusting. Anyway, so I wrote an article and as a bisexual woman, Um, I've wrote an article critiquing Um, particularly a couple of excerpts from the piece, and I and also just making a bit of commentary on the issue as a whole and like how damaging it is to the Lgbtq community, um, et Cetera, and the reason why I chose that article to critique is because mom and MIA paints itself, not necessarily as a progressive company, but I think that it is perceived as a progressive company, Um, and you know, your definition of correct progressive can determine that. But because it is also, Um, very like. Its identity is that it's a women's media company. And the author of the article commented on it and was very unhappy with what I had written, Um, which obviously she is entitled to, as I am entitled to Critique It, and basically said the main, I think, I mean the main thing that seemed to upset her about my critique was that why would I go for...

...her, a woman who describes herself as being an ally to the progress, yes, and progressive to the L G B D Qi, a plus community, Um, and why would I pick her article to take down when there are all of these men who wrote things that were much more disgusting and hateful? Well, it's because, first of all, I hold women to a high standard. I don't really that's not necessarily fair. I don't really care, but the thing is I don't have any expectations for your Sky News, Andrew Bolts, Um, any murdock publications news dot com to day. You, Daily Mail. I don't have any like might have the lowest expectations. Also, can I just say I do go after them a lot. With our memes. I will often share and repose their content with like and, honestly, it's usually just a piss take like caption that's just having a go at them and just sort of honestly, usually to produce something that says, look at the inflammatory media our parents and grandparents are consuming. Yes, that's most of the point, but to do that constantly is not actually helpful for us because it's not challenging or stimulating argument. And not that we're trying to look for an argument, but if we're talking about critiquing media, we can't just be critiquing right wing shock jocks. Yeah, that's just too easy, to be frank, and also they don't care about what we have to say and we're not going to push them in any direction. There is value in critiquing pieces that are closely aligned with your own, yes, and that's not to say it's purposeful and unnecessary in fighting, because I don't believe that's what this is. This was genuine critique of a company that's claiming to be furthering the progress of women exactly. And I also think that a lot of the time is probably it is more worthy to engage with something that is more like closer to the center politically than it is too like I would never really bother, or shouldn't say never, I would rarely bother with someone like Andrew Ball, because I'm like, I know, like it's obviously what he's gonna say. No one's going to be some rise by what he says, like it's just like not even, I mean not even on my fucking radar. And also the people who are in our circles and in our in cheek circles are not even very likely to not have even noticed what he said. So there is always a balance that we have to weigh up between because to to critique something that Andrew Bolt has said, we have to highlight something Andrew Bolt has set. And when you're talking about Andrew Bolt, we don't think it's worth it. When we're talking about Pauline Hansen, it is worthy because she's an elected official. There's a difference, anyway, back to it Um. So, anyway, the point is I got wrathed on for critiquing her because she is a woman. In my that is my perception of what I don't know. I don't think it's that simple, but I think that that is the takeaway messaging. Yes, exactly. She was very upset that I like. Why would I tear down another? But I also think that that just negate to the point, which is we at no point did we name the author. We actually descript Diticriti of Amma mere article and the contents of that article. It wasn't Cherry picking, no, it wasn't. And also I think that a lot of time they go, oh, but that's not the whole contents of the article. That's not really that's not really necessary, it doesn't matter. The headline was quite enough. I'll argue Um. And at the end of the day the point is I think it is inflammatory and I think it is ignorant to say in a headline there is progress in the manly see Equals Jersey controversy. I think that inherent messaging is problematic and I think that's worthy of critique alone, if not with an in conjunction to the contents of the article. And I think what you did was actually a really fair and balanced critique and I think that US being disappointed in them is relevant because we are the people that they're marketing their content towards. We are their demographic and it is disappointing to see women who you think are aligned with you write something like that from a perspective that isn't really welcome in that space. I'm not saying as a straight person WHO's talking on there's clear I think I have some...

...sort of opinion to be had on the SE Eagles Jersey Saga, you might say, one at each other. Funk up Queen, you idiot, you like men. Only all of that said to me, but I think that it's not fair for that person to define progress. It's not my role to define for you what progress looks like in your community, a space that I don't occupy and never will exactly, and I think, like a lot so many times that everything's kind of lumped together. It's like, Oh, women and Queer people like lumped together, and it's like not really, like it's not. It's just because you're a woman doesn't mean you get to speak on queer issues. For example, women are not a minority. We are in a press group. We're not a minority where, unless you look at the government application for them. Special box, special box sticking. Um. I just think that like that, for me, is the perfect example of like, it's not like I don't have to just critique the things that conservatives straight men wrote. In fact, I often find that there is more value in critiquing people who are closer to me. And I would also just like to say the comments section on that post was horrendous, and also the people that came in to defend them were also white women. Yes, and I just think that they, most of them, seem, appeared to be straight from their content, employed or engaged with the moment. That's something else to be said, isn't it interesting? Interesting, you like Click on the profile. It's like movie, right, okay, that's been something in the work grips, like yes, exactly. Yeah, I mean, well, we're like so I heard someone on a podcast say, which is the guys we podcast Um, which is like fairly feminist, but sometimes I find them to be probably I never listened to it. This is not that. It's called guys. We funded guys to be fucked. Yeah, interesting, it's like about sex and shocked for anything else. It's about reviews of meals do um. Anyway, so one of the hosts said that often she doesn't want to. They like it's very, very popular podcast, like lots and lots of listens. She said that often she doesn't like to take critiques of Um Feminism as a movement or women to a public space because she doesn't want the men to hear in the way that it's like well, we don't need we don't, we can't have men seeing the cracks because then they'll like latch onto them. And I was like that is an interesting I don't agree with that. I don't think I do it because I think that they're they're there to be seen and I actually think that it's better to have a productive conversation when we're open and honest and transparent about the fact that feminism is a broader, nuanced thing and there are acceptable, multi acceptable forms. But I also think that when we present a front and don't critique feminism and don't critique other women, that actually sends a message, in my view, um that feminism is not welcoming of men and it it's just a barricade and it's something for a very radical few. Interesting because also if it's either all women and we're not critiquing women. I think that's like, well, so it's just women against men? I think it's it's it's feminist against patriarchy, and I think that's a very important distinction. Yes, the only fake thing that I agree with about it is like, how many times have you heard a man critique a woman in a feminist way? Like I just think that so often it goes down like a very slippery slope of like Yikes, because I will like, obviously I don't share away from critiquing women, Julie Bishop Um, but there have been times when I have been talking to a man and we have been talking about someone like Julie Bishop and it will be a productive critique session or discussion, but then he'll say something that I'm like Oh, no, no, no, no, no, it's like like, to use a very classy example, I then he's just like yeah, she's such a bit. I'd be like no, that's like reductive in my opinion, and I think that that...

...is the that is the valid point to be taken out of this idea that we can't let the men see. Yeah, but I don't think that's like not letting the men see. I think that's just calling out ship behavior. Well, I think it means like if we don't let the men see, then they won't do that. I think they're going to do it anyway because they've been told that's allowed. Yes, they've been told that's welcome criticism and that it's acceptable to talk about women that way. I don't think women have taught them that. Go back to your thought about it's not men verse. WO MINUTES FEMINIST, but first to patriarchy. Does that mean that we should like keep our critiques away from the Conservatives, the patriarchal people, critics of feminism? Yees, should be like keep it, if we're going to say instead of saying like don't let the men here, don't let the Conservatives here. Do you think it's the same or no? I just don't think it's possible to keep us secrets like this. Also, Patriarchy is everything that we live under. Yes, and I also don't think it's like a person represents Patriot ucky. I think that there's patriarchy in all of us. So it's almost like an inward fight as well, like I have to choose, like this is what we're talking about earlier. You know, like I'm not a feminist, all the time. I don't know it to myself to make a mistake. I actually disagree with that. Now that's a really weird thing to say, but it doesn't make sense. UN think about it, but I'd like to call that out. But I do think, like when I don't do something feminist, that's not necessarily patriarchy, but sometimes it is. So like internalized misogyny. Is the Patriarchy that exists in me right. So it's like I'm not keeping a secret from myself. I know that some people are representatives that feed into the Patriarchy and are symbols of it, but I think that like it's not there is. It is in all of us and it is all around us. So I don't think there's this ability to like keep the fighter secret. I think they know what they attack is quite interesting and often wrong because they lack the new ones, because they don't understand the point at all. Yes, something just made a nice Um I. I don't know a now that we're talking about. I kin't of agree with her point more now because I decide, do you do that? Because I'm worried that not really, not necessarily, but not about don't like the men here. I don't agree with that. But, like I just conservatives and like patriarchal people are going to like latch onto critiques. They're going to latch onto this ship. I don't know, it just makes me feel weird. I'm not saying I don't actually think that we should keep a secret, but I'm just talking about like the validity in that argument. Like there are people who I will not critique, women who I will not critique publicly. We both do it. Women, we will not critique publicly because we know how it will be taken by people who don't want to take the time to understand what we're saying. But that's because I think that it's not. I don't think that's the same, because I think that is more about they give more than the worth of critique. Oh, I want to talk about a very, very hated woman now that we're just like we don't want to, but she's not a feminist, Margaret Thatcher. So choice. When I was thinking about I was like, choice feminism is like Margaret Thatcher in my opinion because also, like again, you might be like, she didn't say she was a feminist, but choice feminism, again as a reminder, is the idea that everything a woman does is feminist. So choice feminism is Margaret. So I actually do still think it relies on someone claiming they're a feminist. Like if someone's actually like, I'm not a feminist, I hope feminism, I don't think you can then claim it's choice feminism. That's weird. That's the choice to be not feminist, you know what I mean? Like, I think there is a distinction. I actually think, even though I did just say that to be Um contrarian, you probably could make that argument. Of course, the choice feminism is choosing not to be a feminist, and that's okay. But those people would really hate that, which is kind of funny. Yeah, that's why I like it. Okay. Um, so, yeah, Margaret Thatcher, who picked no other women to be in her cabinet with her, and like this one's a bit spicy, I suppose, but like you know how she was always cooking, like she refused to let her husband do...

...the cooking, gap she refused to give up any of the later. I don't know enough about the thatched stuff. I mean stop that dog kind of started a fun new thing where she does adds stuff, people's names as at the handstuff. Um, yeah, I only needed from the crown, but I did look into it. When when it happened everything, every episode of the Crown, I was just like googling, is it real with you know and fucking that Dude, same uh. Summary. In summary, I believe choice feminism to not be feminism. In my head I'm choosing which pizza I'm about to get. Is that feminist? No, but our pizza choice doesn't have to be feminist, in my opinion, exactly. or Oh my God, what if dominoes is like really unethink it probably is. Yeah, okay, much you think about Hawaiian Pepperoni? Always Deep Pan, yeuck, deepen is cursed. No, you're fucking cursed. Your Vegan. I love Vegan. Also Vegan Vegan on deep pan is like not that. I get that. The flavors are not strong. Much power all the bread. The conclusion that was if you get thin and crispy, you're fucking unhinged. That is such a waste. Do you double the pizza with a deeper pan? I think flitting crispy Hawaiian. It's good, though I get the crunch. Geentlement was boring. If you didn't find US completely insufferable. Come back next Wednesday for a new episode. You could also find us on instagram at cheek media co or online at Cheek Media Dot Com. Donate you yes, that's the one. That's the one.

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