Need a Laugh? The Guilty Feminist

If you need a laugh and lets be honest at this very moment I think we all do .... give yourself the gift of The Guilty Feminist, you can get a dose in many ways, book, podcast and if you're very lucky live show.

I just read this in the Guardian ...

Comedian Deborah Frances-White is host (and co-creator, with Sofie Hagen) of the “50 million download” podcast The Guilty Feminist. Like the podcast, each of the chapters in Frances-White’s book starts with the line “I’m a feminist, but…”, followed by a confession. For instance, Frances-White (an Australian based in London) wants women to be taken seriously in leadership roles, but she also wants to look good sitting down naked. She can riff about patriarchal structures with the best of them, but she once lied about her weight when boarding a light aircraft, endangering herself and others. And so on. Anyone can play this game, including myself (I’m a feminist, but I still watch America’s Next Top Model completely without irony).

This is where The Guilty Feminist lives – the space where women’s good intentions bump up against being flawed and human, and they find themselves compromising. While Frances-White doesn’t want to “lower the bar”, she feels that feminist remorse can become just another thing for women to feel guilty about: “What if we are at base camp, and the summit looks as though it’s crowded with better feminists than us?”  This message is important – after all, most women end up practising what I’d term (ahem) “bespoke” feminism.

Certainly it seems counterproductive to reduce the rich, complicated arena of modern feminism to the level of a New Year resolution that’s too strict and unbending to keep up. However, Frances-White doesn’t make the mistake of diluting feminism to the point where the term verges on meaningless – The Guilty Feminist covers an admirable amount of feminist territory, historical and ideological. Moreover, throughout, there’s the fascinating subtext of Frances-White’s Jehovah’s Witness background (now atheist, her experience left her very alert to sexism within religion and elsewhere).


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Comments 1

  1. Why feel guilty at all. Let’s face it, men also lie about their age, weight and secretly want to look good naked! It’s not a woman thing, it’s called vanity and we all have it to varying degrees.

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