26 Mar 2009
Well she wasn’t meant to be naked, but Melody insisted.
Pauline Stewart, winner of the 1987 ‘Business Woman of the Year’ Award, explains “As part of the course we match the alpha female behaviour within a wolf pack to the behavioural characteristics of today's successful business women.”
According to Pauline, and to other people who know absolutely nothing about wolves (or women…), the alpha female plays a pivotal role in every pack of wolves. Along with the alpha male, they control access to resources, exploit other pack members' strengths and weaknesses, and they can expertly manipulate situations and individuals. As leaders they are confident, socially independent and good at turning a situation to their advantage. “These are highly intelligent creatures”, said Pauline to Melody. “Examination of the alpha wolf's strategies provide real food for thought about the way we can usefully assert ourselves when it matters.”
Oh really Pauline? On the contrary, I would frame your analysis as incredibly sexist and brimming with the ignorance of a thousand Grazia magazines. What on earth do women have in common with wolves? Why do you think these kinds of courses don't exist for men? We should be embracing the ‘female economy’ in the workplace, not trying to imitate vicious bestial killers, who dine on the hearts of little babies and chickens in rural Bedfordshire. We should embrace those 'female ways of knowing' which involve increased listening, more emotional displacement and self-estrangement, rather than the argumentative ways of men and wolves. If more women were to enter Parliament the world would be a better place, not simply because their insights would inform new policies, but because their presence holds the possibility of transforming the ethos of the political ‘establishment’. True they haven't actually done that, but still (I call for All-Female short lists and Proportional Representation!) Anyway, if such a feat were achieved it would stand testament to the possibility of liberating the work ethic from centuries of masculine norms, thus saving the world.
This is not a Charlize Theron film, nor is it an opportunity to denigrate women to the level of animals. Think outside the box, Pauline, pick up a vagazine: Melody and her colleagues should have gone walking with a pack of wild Feminists. Walking with feminists is far more dangerous and would provide a much more enlightened observation of a highly intelligent creature.
What do you think? I’ve set up a little vote at the side of the page: which pack of feminists would you most like to walk with? The Gals from Seneca Falls; The Militant Suffragettes; The Bluestockings or The second-wave Bra Burners?
24 Mar 2009
And I'm not talking in a Christina Hoff-Sommers way either, I'm being serious.
We are most certainly digitalised feministas (that and a strongly worded letter here and there)and I whole heatedly embrace the language of H(er)TML. But where's it all going? It's a terribly curious question and one that I shall certainly be taking some time out of my very busy schedule to answer.
I call for more off-line activity and will therefore be partaking in a little activism all on my Posie own. I am planning on sticking envelopes over rude men's magazines in newsagents, yes, that's right in newsagents. Maybe even in W.H Smith.
Apparently the gals from Object did it and the Police got involved! Gasp!
In the mean time here's a little taste of artistic activism: I give you the wonderful images by the See Red Work Shop: a print screening group from the 70s to the 90s. They made beautiful posters for sale and to hang on men's faces/walls.
Here are some of their amazing artworks! I seem to remember my great Aunt Lilly telling me she was a founding member...
23 Mar 2009
Bridget (although she is a mess) is undoubtedly subservient to those perverse images of femininity staring us in the face, ye visual position. Helen Fielding pretended to destabilise this receptiveness, I go further: I take it to the bottom of the river, like a iguana takes a monkey. I drown it using my lady talons, I leave it down there for three weeks only to return and gobble it up when its all juicy and decomposed.
Sally Pooper, my heroine, shits bigger than Bridget Jones. Her inane self lethargy sickens even the most fickle of minds.
Here she is: Part Thrice:
Sylvia Bloomingdale and Sally Pooper were sworn enemies. As far as our heroine could remember Sylvia had been the dullest, meanest person in the world, ever. Their mothers were friends and they were forced to play together as children. Sylvia would pretend she was a trader on the stock market, which gave her an excuse to scream at Sally who only wanted to play princesses and shoe queens.
The last time they met was at Sylvia’s parents’ golden wedding anniversary in Cornwall three years ago, when Jenson had poured an entire terrine of salmon into Sylvia’s new handbag. But there she was, one sunny afternoon is Notting Hill, bellowing into a payphone. Sally wanted to run away, but knew she couldn't.
“Sylvia what are you doing on a pay phone? No mobile?”
“What?” she couldn’t hear through the glass and opened the door. “Sally Pooper, it’s weird but I’m actually glad to see you, can I borrow your phone? I’ve left my handbag in a bloody taxi somewhere and I have a meeting with a client in half an hour.”
“Still having handbag trouble I see?” Sally chuckled.
“Yes,” she replied in a stern voice. Sylvia was a lawyer, which gave her an inflated opinion of herself.
Sally handed over the phone. “Only sorry it’s not a blackberry,” she added sarcastically.
“Oh come on don’t apologise, I mean why would you need the Internet? Do you even have an email account?”
“Bitch.” Sally thought to herself. “I mean everyone has the Internet.”
“Oh really?” Sylvia seemed surprised (which makes sense because Sally didn’t really have an email account) and tried to disguise her disbelief with courtesy. “Well in that case you must give me your address. I’m throwing a birthday party for mum and I’m sending out the invitations online, you know ‘Flash’ that kind of thing.”
“Yeah I know Flash.” She was cunningly trying to create a facade of technological know how.
“ What’s your address?” Sylvia was poised with a pen.
“Oh well it’s… Sally,” she panicked, “…dot…Pooper…” She had to buy herself more time. “That’s Pooper spelt ‘p’ double ‘o’-”
“I know how to spell your surname.”
“Yes of course you do!” she laughed. “So, it’s Sally dot Pooper at…” she looked around frantically for inspiration. She had to make up a server name. She glanced at her shoe bag, “…at LK Bennett dot com.”
“LK Bennett? Are you working for LK Bennett?”
“No not working, I’m just a really good customer.” She smiled knowingly.
“Right. Well I’ll send an invite for you and Dominic” Sylvia paused. “Jenson’s not invited.”
Sally was falling asleep but had to seem interested. “What’s it called?”
“It’s a reconstruction of the Irish potato famine.”
Her ears pricked up.
“Half of southern Ireland is suing for emotional damages. Apparently the figures look like their ancestors or something. I mean come on: they're robots for godsake.”
“I had a nightmare about the Irish potato famine last night!”
But Sylvia wasn’t listening. She was too busy doodling something on the back of the card with the email address. What Sally doesn't know is that the doodle spelt out ‘I Hate You’ just above her name.
“That reminds me,” she continued. “I bumped into Dominic when I was out there last week. He was looking well.”
“Sorry Sylvia but that just can’t be. The last time Dominic went away was with me on a wine tasting course in the Loire Valley this summer. You must have got him mixed up.”
“No, it was definitely him.” There was an uncomfortable pause. “Look I’ve really got to make this call Sally. Give me two secs.”
“Dominic? The Irish Potato Famine? Dominic in LA?” She thought long and hard while Sylvia was on the phone talking lawyer speak. "There was no way Dominic could have gone to America. First how could he have got there? Second he was always busy when he came home late. Third he would always call me. Could you make phone calls from America to the UK? Anyway, what am I thinking, this is fuck face Sylvia- she cannot be trusted.”
“I don’t trust you,” she said when Sylvia handed back her phone. “Dominic was never in LA!”
“Don’t talk to me in that way. Why would I lie?”
“I don’t know, why would Dominic lie to me?”
“Maybe he forgot to tell you?”
“You’re a liar and I would rather be sick all over my new shoes than come to your shitty party.”
“How dare you! You wouldn’t be welcome Sally Pooper." Syliva heaved and grew red. "Don’t accuse me of lying when it’s blatantly your husband that’s the liar! He’s probably got some blonde bombshell tucked away in the Hollywood hills, likes to tuck into a juicy burger now and then when he’s not choking on stale bread in west London!” She hailed a taxi, opened the door and got in. “Goodbye Sally!”
Sally was fuming. “Fuck you Sylvia Bloomingdale!” she marched onto the street and started chasing the taxi down the road. “I don’t even have an email account you silly bitch!”
22 Mar 2009
I was sitting on the train to Waterloo, working on my little (non-pink) laptop, when some awful 'man' got on the train and greeted me with those charming words:
"Alright darling, what's a pretty gal like doin' workin' on a Sunday?"
As you can imagine I was almost sick, but managed to swallow it back down. This man had obviously be drinking heavily and felt at liberty to reprimand an independent young woman for being hard working and youthful. Well it's just not on. Where will it end I ask you?
Women are never safe, even in floral.
21 Mar 2009
20 Mar 2009
Now we all know that ricky gervais is a fat-ugly racist with no personality, but did you know he's also a chauvinist. I KNOW! I, along with the London Feminist Network, are taking strong action against, using female force in the form of a strongly worded letter to his agent, the (craftily named) Mr Hayes:
London W1F 0LE
Mr. Hayes, I presume,
At the first of three Humanist Seasonal Specials your acting friend the so-called 'commedian' Ricky Gervais made several ‘jokes’ about sexual violence against women and girls. Us Feminists do not find this funny and we are extremely upset. THIS IS UNACCEPTABLE.
Mr Gervais told a 'joke' about the sexual abuse of an eight year old girl and another 'joke' about raping women suffering from Alzheimer's. My Grandmother died of Alzheimer's and I wasn't sexually abused, but I might have been, so you can imagine that I did NOT take to this well.
Rape and child abuse are not a joke, and should never be laughed at. According to the British Crime Survey there are over 40,000 rapes every year, and over 300,000 sexual assaults. That's a lot of people who won't be watching awful films like 'Ghost Town' and 'Not now Helen I'm taking a Shit', which in all fairness isn't a film but could be and if it were would most certainly star Mr Ricky himself because he has the basest tastes imaginable. Baser than Hitler.
I am upset. Very upset Mr Hayes. I would appreciate a reply indicating your views. Ideally I would like to see an apology from Mr Gervais.
In the meantime you should take a good, long look at yourself in the mirror Mr Hayes and comfort yourself with the knowledge that no one will be sexually attacking you, nor your 'client' in the near future because you are both perversely ugly.
I look forward to your response, Mr Hayes.
POSIE BLOODY RIDER.
Now remember gals- personalise, personalise.
Keep up the fight! Toodles xx
17 Mar 2009
One of the things she says is
I admit it, I want to be like and look like many of the women I see on TV and in the movies, yet I am highly critical of them. I want them to more accurately represent my self and the women I know and admire.>
This is great because she wants women in the media and public eye to be more representative of herself. Rather than sitting around doing nothing and waiting for this massively unlikely thing to happen, she's decided to replace images of other women in the public eye with images of herself and become massively successful- how much more representative can you get?
I want to sew vaginal, womb-like forms out of lush smooth fabrics, I covet any excuse to wear curlers and crinoline, I fancy baking brownies and consequently, I need to work my abdominal muscles.
I can't resist an ode to the inimitable Georgia, this is her divine Black Iris, which I think we can can all agree is much more like it.
It's a funny video! Emmeline Pankhurst is laughing so much she just wet herself! We are going out for lunch-time muffins in Primrose Hill now. Toodles x
16 Mar 2009
Buy some today! xxx
15 Mar 2009
Read her thoughts on what the world needs to do to sort out Afghanistan....
Apparently they want the real Emmeline Pankhurst (my cat) to perform one of the action scenes (rather than her body double). She's quite up for it! It's the bit where I go at him with a carving knife and Emmeline holds him down with her claws, trying to strangle him with her tail.
14 Mar 2009
13 Mar 2009
Here's an awful video about her turning 50 (she doesn't look 50). Silly Bitch. They should make a Kirsty Wark Barbie (I could conserve more pins that way).
A paradox like me!
12 Mar 2009
11 Mar 2009
Laurie Penny, who I encountered in Oxford on a short course in avante-garde poetry (dire) stays in my memory for having asked Will Self at a lecture:
"Will, do fucked up people write better poetry?"
To which Will replied:
"That depends how fucked up they are. If they're really fucked up, they wouldn't even be able to leave the house to buy a pen.".
So, no, to his mind. This didn't put Laurie off. Instead she interpreted this as "Fucked up people mightn't write better poetry, but they certainly will be able to peddle probing articles about their terrible past for the rest of eternity, at least until they've found a nice niche as a freelance features journalist."
cf. her article. Honestly, I'd feel sorry for her if she wasn't such a shameless self-promoter. This stuff doesn't do women any favours!
About half way down - Sam, now in her 20s, comments, "I went to my GP quite early on and told her that I couldn't eat because I was scared of gaining weight, but she just told me to eat more nuts and gave me some vegetarian recipes. My overriding memory of that time was of being trapped in an endless black nightmare, with no visible way out."
I AM THAT SAM! Ok, I used a pseudonym, I am POSIE. Laurie asked me for a quote because she remembered me from Oxford and how wonderfully thin I was. Ok, so I never had anorexia, but notice how I never actually SAID I had anorexia. I am naturally very beautiful and thin, but hey, if it's going in the Guardian, giveaneffinshit! Next week buy a copy to see me talking in gory and shocking detail about how I used to do 200 sit ups on a Sunday evening in front of Return to River Cottage and cry when Hugh killed the geese. They were fat like me!!
Do you think that when she finishes truly rinsing her 18 months of teenage angst in various pull-out features sections she'll:
a) Need to develop another mental illness pretty fast. Multiple personality disorder? Or something really glamorous like narcolepsy?
b) Give up and write a low cal recipe book.
c) Break into misery lit and while away her thirties making up new renditions of her tortured youth, maybe rejuvinating the genre by adding in quirky Bridget Jones-esq details, eg Monday, 40 cals, v. bad, Mummy cut me, bad Mummy! etc.
Scratch your answers into your thigh with a compass!
10 Mar 2009
9 Mar 2009
I think Posie has been keeping herself too busy trying to stop chauvinism in interpersonal politics, when really she should have been attacking chauvinism in the economy and in environmental issues. I’ve just signed up to Plane Stupid, and not only because I want to dress up as a Suffrajet and chain myself to Parliament like Lily Kember.
As a freelancer with no savings or debts to speak of (except for Aunt Lily's trust which the lawyers say is unaffected) I can't really identify with most of today’s economic concerns. However, I can tell bloody-mindedness when I can see it, and I can see it now. It’s time for Posie to get financial.
Last week, I was most cruelly confused by the Irish Times' article "Working women almost certainly caused the credit crunch". The alleged author, Newton Emerson - a foolish name, my lady premonitions should have been up! - claimed that working women caused the credit crunch by raising families' income levels and pushing up house prices. His solution? Remove women from the workforce! This, to his mind, would solve the problem of unemployment - jobless layabout men could replace women in work - and also of overburdened public transport as, while climate conscious women get in everyone's way by taking the train, most men drive to work in their big cock jags. Women are more suited to home life, which depresses men. Women are greedy and their "oestrogen-crazed acquisitiveness" was at the root of the greed that caused the credit crisis.
His article is clearly an offensive, nonsensical, bigoted and sexist anomaly which no newspaper should have been willing to print, even under the 'moral lease' of a 'free comments' section.
Of course I responded to this article at once, sending a three page treatise of Kantian proportions to the vile rag. Echoing Wollstonecraft’s Vindication and Rousseau's On the Origin of Inequality, with more than a dash of J S Mill, my complaint, entitled Bloody Fuming in Hampstead hit their desks on the morning of Friday 27th February at 10am sharp. Only today did I receive a response.
A smug, arrogant letter was waiting on my Habitat Boucle Stripe doormat. Even Emmeline Pankhurst didn't like the look of it. She generally brings me my post at 11am, when I rise, but she had left this right where it was on the mat. Her lady premonitions were clearly on top form!
I was told by Tony O'Daly, the comments editor, that the article was in fact a raging satire. No such writer as Newton Emerson exists, he is an avatar for the comedian John O'Farrell. I was asked to look up Swift's A Modest Proposal to compare tone (SWINE. I wrote a 2000 word essay on Swift as a Cambridge Undergrad, which is much more than can be said for John O'Farrell. I got 67%).
Apparently my scathing response was all in vain, as the article was in fact a parody of the chauvinist press and its representation of women. I came away with egg on my face and an afternoon wasted. All that I managed to do was amuse a few overpaid hacks. Three cheers for Posie.
Their article was certainly controversial. But is it satire?
In my understanding of satire, there must be someone or something who is being mocked. In this case, the anti-working-women views of the chauvinist press. But does anyone actually hold such views? I don’t know what it’s like in Ireland, although if their government’s outdated abortion laws and restrictions on getting the contraceptive pill are anything to go by, I can imagine that women don’t have the best of times over that Irish Sea.
The opinion that women are more suited to confinement in the home than men may seem like a comical anachronism, but it is a view espoused in earnest by the Daily Male in their article on house husbands -
Just as many women feel the deep-seated urge to bear children, so most men feel a similar need to do their duty, not only in terms of offering care and protection to their wives and children, but also in a wider, public sense - to be useful to society.
Honestly! One point to Mr O'Farrell.
As a born-again green activist, it’s not hard to find examples of wanton destruction of the sort satirised by Mr O’Farrell in his suggestion that more workers should travel to the office by car. Two points.
But everything else? Women’s natural acquisitiveness? Our greed? Our oestrogen levels? I encounter ‘biological’ nonsense like this everyday – see my F WORD FEATURED ARTICLE, Pity in Pink – but it’s hard to see who Mr O’Farrell’s target is this respect.
My major complain against Newton Emerson’s approach is that, by making his satire so broad, he leaves most of his targets unnamed and unscathed. Yes, feminist satire is a powerful tool, one that I myself am want to wield like a petrol soaked tampon, but it must be one that hits home and hits hard.
Who is really the victim of Newton Emerson’s wit? Feminists like me who respond in affront and then themselves become the victims. Like a straw-mugger, he sends his argument wheeling down the poorly lit street as I return home alone at night, and when I lunge in self-defence, he pulls the straw mugger away and I fall over at his feet in a cascade of lipstick and pamphlets. Then the editorial team of the Irish Times appear from various shadowy bushes in a chorus of
laughter. Very funny, John O’Farrell. Those chauvinist hacks you were ‘mocking’ can join in too.
This is right-wing satire if ever I saw it!
6 Mar 2009
Here it is: the next one in the trilogy!
This is the second part of my 'Forbidden Fruit' art short triology. After 'Bloodsoaked Tampon et al.' comes 'Fucking a Mango' watch as this poor fruit, like woman, is visciously exploited by this 'man/pig'.
I want you to draw your own conclusions- what does it mean? What does the white cream symbolize?
Art, like love, never ends. Let us explore ourselves!
4 Mar 2009
IT STARTS THIS 5TH MARCH!
With Golden Globe winning actress Sally Hawkins launching festivities, with a selection of mindblowing shorts from around the globe, including Chinese thriller August 15th and artist Sam Taylor Wood's brilliant Love You More AND POSIE RIDER'S FORBIDDEN FRUIT TRIOLOGY (he he he only joking!)
Check it out giriles!
Here's some blurb:
Grassroots Feminism: Transnational archives, resources and communities
is a user-generated Web 2.0 tool, encouraging anyone with an interest
in feminist culture, activism or politics to participate - by
uploading their projects, viewing or adding to the digital archives,
sharing interviews with feminist activists and media makers, and
creating their own profiles.
And here's the link:
And who said contemporary Feminism is too internet based? These women are doing real things everyday out in a park or lawn near you. They just use the internet to let you know about it, like speech.
O holy laptop, when will you cease to be a tool of state repression and become an instrument to realise my potential? Now! Freedom awaits.
3 Mar 2009
Come join me bitches! Here is the invite:
Joint us to celebrate the International Women's Day on Sat the 7th March. If you feel it is appropriate, would you please forward this email to your female colleagues. Spaces will be available on a first come first serve basis but please email email@example.com to register your interest. Best wishes, Amisha Bhavsar l Inner Space l 020 7836 6688 l firstname.lastname@example.org
2 Mar 2009
We were going to the park to feed the fucking ducks when Josh fell over next to my feet. He was still rolling round on the floor and Martin's eyes went from me to Josh, from Josh back to me (he probably wanted me to pick him up from the floor - male exploitation strikes again!) My eyes went from Martin to my feet, then back to Martin and then on to the ice cream van pulling up beyond his left shoulder.
He huffed and picked Josh up, who also noticed the ice cream van.
After I had finished my Twister (yummy) Martin gave Josh a loaf and I pushed him into a hoard of geese. We sat on a bench to talk.
'What's wrong Posie? When Josh fell over you just kept staring at the ice cream van'
'I know. I like ice cream, but I'm not going to lie anymore Martin, I haven't seen you alone now for quite some time. Josh is always there and well I can't help but think you are exploiting me as a woman. Next thing you'll be asking me to breastfeed.'
'But Josh loves you, P! Why the other day I was reading him a story and he called you Mummy No. 2"
"Oh that's great, so now Josh associates me with shit!'
I was incredibly annoyed and when Josh came back over Martin ran off somewhere. We were alone.
"Hello Josh - did you have a nice time over there?" I was trying to sound nice.
"I heard what you said Posie Rider." I looked down to see Josh staring right back at me. He had suddenly acquired a proper grown-up voice and his hands sat resoundingly on his hips. He was tapping his toddler foot, aggressively. "If you think you can get away with my Dad and not me you are not right. I am big boy and you do like I say, do you understand?"
I was furious - yet more misogyny and at such a young age!
"Or what Josh? What ARE YOU going to do about it?"
Josh growled, clenching his little eyebrows. He lifted his hand high above his head. "Or else I do like Dad does - bang bang!"
At that point Martin came running back over the hill. He gave me a kiss and it smelt like he had be drinking. Heavily. I was speechless and Josh gave me a big hug upon seeing his father return. The hug of betrayal.
What did it mean? Did Martin hit Josh? Am I safe? Does Josh want to kill me? Am I a woman?
What do you think? Something is definitely brewing. I am reminded of one of my literary heroines: Judith Coalstream. She was a real life woman and it was up to her to solve the death of her mother. Had someone played her mother foul? Had she been...murdered? All eyes pointed to her brother Harry, and she was the only woman brave enough to accuse him. She got it all wrong of course but I'm must more intelligent than her and I live in the future.
Martin...I'm watching you.
Here is some blurb:
Women make up more than half the world’s people and yet, barely 20 % of parliamentarians around the world are women. This is the highest level it has ever been in history but it is not enough.
And here is the link: