"Focus on the journey, not the destination. Joy is found not in finishing an activity but in doing it." Greg Anderson
Easy for him to say! All he ever has to do is wash and shave. That's because he's a man.

My journey starts with the FIRST BLOG; you'll need coffee/tea and probably some chocolate digestives, or maybe some Cadbury's Fruit and Nut, or Green and Black's Organic if you've got more money than sense.

Saturday, 5 March 2011

Beset by doubt

You remember that Stella was kind enough to point out my broken capillaries? I made an appointment at the local beauty clinic last week and today I was lasered! Plus, the wart has been removed. We’d sort of managed to disguise the wart for the photos with Bobbi Brown’s something or other concealer, and Stella gave me her old Chanel lipstick because it made her face look blue. I think I’m looking cuter by the minute.

I came home, having parted with the equivalent of Sri Lanka’s GDP in the interests of youth and beauty, and was quite looking forward to the further improvements I’d shortly see. While I was busy examining the stitches in my 10 x magnifying mirror, my 20 year old son strolled into my bedroom, sat on my still unmade bed, and said, ’Mum, I just don’t understand it. How is it that girls these days always say they aren’t feminists? I mean if you’re a woman, how can you not be a feminist?’

I nearly fell off my chair; Germaine Greer’s grisly spectre suddenly appeared in the mirror and walloped me on the head with a hardback copy of the Female Eunuch. There followed a thorough arse-kicking from Betty Freidan, Nancy Friday, Simone de Beauvoir and all those other icons from my youth who reside in cardboard cartons in the garage.  Feminism? I think I remember that… What am I doing here?

Would they be lasered to hide the ravages of time? What would or do they make of this complete turnaround since the 60s and 70s? If the First Wave of feminism got women the vote, the Second Wave liberated women from the role of housewife, what is the Third Wave about? I haven’t got a clue; there is some sense of freedom, more possibilities. So why am I trying to conform to some ridiculous notion of desirability?

I think this question was to some extent answered in the comments on the blog entitled I’m a Sex Symbol. Men, no matter how they look, appear to have some inbuilt mechanism of self-belief: women ought to be grateful for their company. What I don’t understand is why we ought to be grateful? What, if you’ll excuse the jargon, do men, or should I say middle-aged men more specifically, really bring to the table? Stella, of course, might posit that all they need to bring is a good shag. I assume by that she means her physical need is met by a male human being, and that’s about all. From that point of view, she is arguably a feminist. But why the need for all this titivation?  

Today I’m left with a feeling that I’ve betrayed someone. But when I think back, there was nothing more irritating when I was in my twenties than women who were stuck in the post war years or in the sixties, droning on about not having a washing machine.  Perhaps we all need to move on. All the time. Erm, I can feel a Scarlet O'Hara moment coming on - maybe I’ll think about this tomorrow; my head is beginning to hurt.  

Oh do shut up, you lot. It's like there are two armies out there and I'm stuck in the middle. Of course, I’m still a feminist! I just want to be a youthful, attractive one. That’s OK. I think. Isn’t it? Well, isn’t it? 

By the way, my biker chap and I have exchanged several emails. I think a date is on the cards. He does sound rather lovely. 


bella emberg said...

Feminism has nothing to do with appearance - it is a
state of mind. When dolling myself up- here's the kicker- I do it with other women in mind. No I'm not a raving lezzer, its just that my girlfriends opinion is MUCH more important to me than any blokes. This is because most women put more effort into their looks than men, and therefore my effort will be appreciated and praised for the time I devoted to myself. Because lets face it- what do men do for us? Do they turn up in lingerie, full make up, new outfit and accessories- er no. No- they think breathing and with a pulse is enough. Nuff said!

Downith said...

It sounds like you raised your son well at any rate.

Reb Alexander said...

I'm a feminist so leave my broken veins, scruffy hair and declining bosum well alone as I embrace cronehood. It helps that my husband's eyesight is fading...

Cousin Bette said...

Reb, my dear! If I had a husband, I would embrace cronehood too! In the meantime, I am doomed to lasering, smooth legs and underarms and mascara. The competition is tough! Stella thinks I need sex to improve my complexion: I, on the other hand, think I need someone to dig the garden!