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Hi, I am currently finishing my degree in Applied Social Science in Hull. For my final essay I have chosen to discuss "Feminism" This is the question: "'What women signify has been taken for granted too long... We have to instead break from the list of meanings and expand the possibilities of what it is to be a woman.' (J. Butler in A.McRobbie 1994:70) Discuss this comment using contemporary feminist approaches." Could you please put me in the right direction, and tell me what I should be looking for, I have an idea, but I would be very grateful if you could help me in any way. Thank you - Aiveen

Thanks for thinking of us for help with your project. I certainly have an opinion/interpretation about the quote, which I'm happy to share. I call this phenomenon "buying our own bad press." Essentially anything that is "female" is less valued in society. For instance, the arts section of the newspaper is less important than the business section; crying is weak, while yelling is making your point; raising kids isn't as valued as raising chickens (at least not economically); girls basketball just isn't as exciting as boys basketball. Basically things that are female have been undervalued - and because this has happened for so long, we believe this to be the case rather than thinking about what we really believe to be true.

What this quote hints at is getting over this hump and instead not only celebrating females as being equal to males, but really believing it. Traditionally, the response to this reality has been to change ourselves to follow a more masculine pattern - i.e. climb the corporate ladder; hold back emotion; etc. However, what we should have been doing is just believing enough in ourselves and our qualities (be they nature or nurture) enough so that they are our choices. I do think this is the direction we are headed - making women's things as valuable as men's things - and thereby, a good enough choice for even men to want to choose "women's" things.


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