On women’s site Ravishly, Annie Walton Doyle wrote an article praising the girls featured in the reality TV show “Geordie Shore” as being “unlikely paragons of sex positivity”. Doyle writes:
The reason why I love and respect the women of the show is their openness and hilariousness about sex. Their portrayal of sexuality not only as power, but even as a weapon is commendable.
I’ve seen Geordie Shore before. Not my cup of tea, and frankly, I didn’t find anything really powerful about it. I don’t give two hoots if people want to have (consensual) sex, but… I mean “dismantling of masculinity”? If the genders were reversed, wouldn’t it be seen as sexist?
Secondly, how is this going to translate in real life – both for the women featured on the show and more broadly? Something tells me that it won’t cause a new sexual and women’s liberation revolution, to be honest. It’s not just the sex thing, it’s the whole lack of self – respect that so many of the people on the show, (both men and women), seem to have (from parts I’ve seen in the past). That’s why I doubt that it’ll translate to empowerment of women.
I get Doyle’s criticism that for too long, women have been unfairly shamed and marginalised because of their sexuality. I get that. But to me, women bragging about treating men the way that men would be crucified for if they treated women a similar way, is not feminism and, quite frankly, not empowering. Let’s celebrate women’s achievements, support them in their goals and as well give women sexual freedom and autonomy without reverse sexism. Otherwise, I can’t help but fear that these cheap shots will only stagnate feminism. Or worse, send feminism backwards.
What do you think about the show “Geordie Shore”? Do you agree with Annie Walton Doyle?
It’s a word that divides and too often, leaves women feeling unnecessarily guilty – whether they are mothers or not. Christine Stoddard of Ravishly has written about the flak she cops from “feminist” friends for wanting children. On the other hand, women like TV personality Kerri Anne Kennerley has copped a lot of flack for being married without children. Everyone only left her alone when she revealed to Australian Women’s Weekly trouble conceiving and a miscarriage years earlier..
I think society is (slowly) coming to terms about the fact that some women don’t want, or can’t have children. Actresses like Jennifer Aniston are challenging the whole family narrative altogether, claiming that (I guess the obvious that: “we don’t need to be married or mothers to be complete” . Good on her.
Also recently, a Fairfax columnist was slammed on “Sky News’, Paul Murray Live after suggesting that women who aren’t mother don’t know what it’s like to run the country. Former Chief of Staff of Tony Abbott, Peter Credlin choked back tears of rage while she condemned the comments. To those who don’t know, Credlin has had a public battle with infertility that came to light in 2014 after Clive Palmer made snide remarks about Credlin being the main beneficiary of former Prime Minister, Tony Abbott’s Paid Parental Leave scheme.
I am sick to death of constant evaluations of women based on whether or not they are mothers. Not only is it not anyone’s business whether someone has children or wants children, I think, as seen by the cases of Peta Credlin and Kerry Anne Kennerley, it can further shame and stigmatise women who have trouble conceiving, have suffered miscarriages or, for whatever reason, can’t find a partner to have a baby with. Stop judging women over things that they don’t always have control over or do something that doesn’t fit a certain script that everyone else has written! Women with AND women without children – for whatever reason – deserve to be cut some slack.
Written by a woman who’s not a mother.