British journalist Polly Vernon’s new book Hot Feminist certainly raises the eyebrows with its title alone, but is not so much about being exclusive as inclusive, to those women who may think that just because they like pink, high heels and dresses means they can’t be taken seriously as a feminist.
It was getting to a point where it seemed like there had to be a feminist angle on absolutely everything and in quite a negative way. I think that was making people disconnect from feminism almost, because they felt it was prescriptive and narrow, that there were all these rules in place. I was talking to women in their late twenties who were feeling angry and tired and bored with it. It didn’t feel like this exciting, joyous, fun thing, which it really should be.
She explores in her book the though that traditional concepts of femininity and feminism are mutually exclusive.
I think it’s an inherently sexist idea. It amazes me that a man is allowed to be a very passionate football fan, that makes him more masculine and interesting and sexy. It doesn’t in any way detract from his intelligence, his work, his morals. Whereas if a woman cares about fashion or pop music, she’s assumed to be lesser, a bit daft, a bit shallow. It basically says the things girls and women like are stupid. That’s hugely sexist. Incredibly girly women can also be incredibly feminist.
I do think we have become increasingly hung up on the minor details, like whether your shoes are too high or your hair is too long. If you shave your legs, if you wax your bikini line, that in no way stops you being angry about the bigger issues of equality.
Feminism is about women earning the right to be as idiotic as men are, quite honestly. I do really silly, messy, immoral, ridiculous things all the time, but none of that means I don’t care about women having equal rights.