I dreamed a dream?

It’s an exciting day for us tomorrow, as we’re going to be meeting with other winners of Unltd awards for social entrepreneurs. We’ll be networking and attending workshops, and also I think be feeling very proud of our achievements.

PinkStinks was conceived almost a year ago, and in that year we’ve probably learnt more than we expected, met and spoken with many, many more people than we expected and maybe enjoyed ourselves in the meantime a bit more than we expected too.

Someone we’re definitely looking forward to meeting is Ruth Rogers from Body Gossip, a former winner of the award, and a project that is going from strength to strength. It just goes to show how there really is a movement at the moment of people that really have had enough of the marketing, image obsessed, celebrity culture that we are all immersed in, and we hope that together, all the different projects out there, and journalists and writers who are challenging it, well … maybe we can start to make a difference.

It’s fitting really, on the week that Susan Boyle shot to fame on ‘Britain’s Got Talent‘, where the three judges sneered down their noses in derision at her, as if she’d crawled from under some slimy rock. Where we were treated to shots of the audience rolling their eyes  and laughing with distaste. Where one judge said ‘everyone was laughing at you’ (that was Piers); and another said ‘everyone was against you … but now they’re not’ (that was Amanda) after she’d sung her amazing rendition of I Dreamed a Dream from Les Miserable .

HOLD ON A BLOODY MINUTE!

‘Everyone’?  I think not Piers and Amanda!  I wasn’t laughing at her. I wasn’t against her! Why were we against her again?  Was it because she was too old, or too fat? Or not preened and manufactured and slutty and plastic enough to have talent!?  Good God, what an insult. An insult to her, an insult to us … it was vile to watch. I’m not for a minute saying that seeing Susan didn’t challenge any of us, ourselves included. To see a woman look the way she does on national prime time TV … but it’s because all we do see, particularly when it comes to entertainment, is the preened, plastic, slutty variety. No wonder even the most open minded amongst us is still in mild shock. But doesn’t it show how far we have to go, to break these dangerous stereotypes, to really judge people, women in particular, on talents not tits.

There are some female bands and singers out there  attempting to do just that. So let’s encourage them, blog about them, buy them, tell our daughters about them. Let’s get the girls guitars and drums. Let’s get the girls making the music, not just gyrating to it with next to nothing on.

We really hope that we can start to showcase some great women entertainers and musicians for girls with our new project cooltobe.me, in fact we know we can. So, thank you for the support in the last year, stay tuned and we’ll let you know how we get on tomorrow.

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6 responses to “I dreamed a dream?

  1. I really wish you hadn’t used the word “slutty” because aside from that, I am bang alongside this. I watched the clip of Susan Boyle and when Ant and/or Dec said “didn’t expect THAT, didja?” I was stunned. WHY should we not expect someone to sing well just from what they look like?

    But as a bi-poly girl who is quite happy with her sex-life I am kind of uncomfortable with slut-shaming. Sorry.

  2. I don’t really watch shows like BGT as they represent a lot that’s bad in our society. (the driving desire to ‘be famous’ for anything, the freedom to laugh at anyone ‘different’, faux emotion).
    Someone sent me the link and I was surprised.
    As you say, we all swallow large chunks of the stuff we are fed. Stuff like, ‘good performers are slim, young, scantily clad, and probably black’.
    If adults can inadvertently take this in, what hope have children got?

  3. Jennie,

    I think what the comment was referring to was that discussed in detail in the book “Female Chauvinist Pigs: Woman and the Rise of Raunch Culture” (excellent read, btw) which goes some way in to discussing how we have become immunised toward the everyday sexualisation of women *outside* of erotic situations. Many women who describe themselves as feminists or certainly inhabit the world as one will use terminology, or dress in such a way as to sexualise the female form, as blandly as one would brush teeth.

    Ergo, young female singers willing to go through the treadmill in the hope that they’ll make it past 1 hit single have a tendency to be told that they should get naked in their videos, these days. I’m sureit’s all very tastefully and creatively suggested. I know, you can be in sillouette, holding an umbrella! And you know, you can wear a shield over your body hair, you’ll look gorgeous… and so on.

    I have no problem with the word slut myself, but I would have a big problem with using it to describe me as a person. I’m as sexual (bi-sexual just in case that makes a difference to you 😉 as the next person, but I’m… you know. A person first. Slut comes *wayyyyyyyy* down the lines in descriptor terms, and even then, only under very specific circs!

    (Card carrying seventies feminism adherent, that’s me).

  4. My problem with slut is that it’s a judgement on the woman, not on the system that forces her to dress/behave that way to succeed.

  5. I’m not so sure. It’s written in the context of “slutty and plastic” ie: a manufactured version of something, rather than a real person? Young women in music *are* consistently presented to the public dressed (I’ve described in the past) as whores. In one particularly repellent episode, at the Grammys, Snoop Dogg and other male rappers came on stage with a bunch of girls dressed *specifically* as whores. The perception of the word “slut” used within that context is someone up for it there and then. Claiming the word as a self-definer within the confines of an erotic situation is positive but for me anyway, using it clearly as a way of describing part of a created public persona (rather than the woman in herself) is a valid shorthand for elucidating on part of an ongoing problem.

  6. Must agree, loved Female Chauvenist Pigs. Thanks for your comments, it’s been interesting and thought provoking.

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