i don’t think there’s a singular voice that can or should speak for all of feminism. all of these voices are, whether we like it or not, the voices of women.
Catching up on the Caitlin Moran Twitterstorm and the Tumblr post referenced above seems to capture my take best. I LOVED Caitlin Moran’s book. I honestly didn’t think about whether it spoke to all aspects of feminism evar because I picked it up for its humor. It is at heart an autobiography/memoir. And it has some lovely, very true things in it that may make some people embrace feminism who might otherwise have been scared away by it. Big applause for that. I’m glad it’s become a bestseller because that’s a great book for people to see, hear an excerpt of, etc. It gets those thoughts in the culture.
I’m a non-white woman. I identify as a woman first, and a person of color second. It’s not something I think about every single day and I like it that way. But it’s absolutely a fact that’s shoved in my face every day and as someone who believes in teaching media literacy and having wide representation in our media I am slightly bothered by the fact that Lena Dunham’s show doesn’t have any realistic representation of women in color in it. Especially to represent post-college women in New York in this day and age. But at the same time, I’d be very, very suspect of the show if it had one non-white woman just to make it more representational (psst we can tell when they do that). It’s telling a story well as is. Of course wider representation COULD make it better, but it wouldn’t be a solution in and of itself. Picking one show or one book to harp on isn’t the solution. It should be a swell of stories from different angles and multiple voices. Anything else would be false and phony and wouldn’t make us any happier.
I retweeted a video a few weeks ago about what Mindy Kaling’s show means to Indians in America. The show is also great (I’m definitely going to keep watching it) but it’s not perfect. I couldn’t ask for it to be (though I might hope otherwise). But it’s funny and it’s on a network. Seriously, I’ll take it. And hope that opens the door a little more and then a little more to more voices and actors and writers and producers from different backgrounds and who bring something else to the table.
I do think Caitlin should have expressed her opinion a little more eloquently, but that’s the hazard of Twitter and being known for snappy one-liners. She should (when she feels sincere about it) own up to coming across as dismissive and say more about her opinion (especially as a pop culture journalist) or she’ll be remembered by a lot of potential supporters as something I don’t think she is. And that would be a shame.