This subjective commodification of feminism in an attempt to stay relevant is so tedious.
This subjective commodification of feminism in an attempt to stay relevant is so tedious.

Bono-approved feminism? I’ll pass, thanks

THANK goodness for Bono mansplaining feminism.

Without the guidance of the vertically-challenged singer, we'd have no idea what women to idolise. God forbid I ignorantly encouraged my daughter to admire Steph Rice, Ash Barty, Turia Pitt or Jess Mauboy.

Thankfully, the millionaire frontman of Irish rock band U2 has graciously educated us colonials with his list of inspirational females.

The tribute to "herstory" was beamed across a 60-metre-long backdrop during the band's performance of the song Ultra Violet on their current Joshua Tree tour.

Among the history-changing females were Cate Blanchett, Hannah Gasby, Nova Peris, Magda Szubanksi, Greta Thunberg, Ellen DeGeneres, Melinda Gates and Miles Franklin.

Oh, and Bono was up there too, of course, because he was the first man named one of Glamour magazine's Women of the Year in 2016.

During their Brisbane show, Bono celebrated a number of Australian feminists, and included himself among them. Picture: supplied
During their Brisbane show, Bono celebrated a number of Australian feminists, and included himself among them. Picture: supplied

In the New Zealand leg of the tour, politicians Jacinda Ardern and Helen Clark were honoured in the roll call. But Julia Gillard and Julie Bishop failed to make the cut in Australia.

This subjective commodification of feminism in an attempt to stay relevant is so tedious.

Why is that celebrities think we need to be preached to? Why can't rock stars stick to being rock stars? Trash a hotel room, join a cult, fall out of a coconut tree, but please, don't sanctimoniously lecture us.

And this is the problem with this arrogant curation of feminism - it's just a woke exercise in telling us who we can and cannot idolise.

Hillary Clinton's new book about "gutsy" women, co-authored with daughter Chelsea, is yet another buffet of 'acceptable' women.

DeGeneres is in there, plus some actors and a Chinese gynaecologist, but not Margaret Thatcher (who won three elections, just saying).

When questioned by BBC Radio 5 about the omission, Hillary Clinton explained that Thatcher wasn't "really knocking down barriers" or "trying to make a positive difference".

Regardless of whether you love or hate her, Thatcher was Britain's first female prime minister and helped bring down the Iron Curtain. "Gutsy"? Certainly.

 

But as The Times noted: "In Hillary Clinton's book the only good feminists are women like her, but slightly less successful."

Of course, Clinton is the same feminist whose daughter's wedding guests included Ghislaine Maxwell, who was convicted paedophile Jeffrey Epstein's alleged pimp and trained his underage sex slavettes. Maxwell denies the claims.

But don't let reality get in the way of a good idealisation.

Even children's television can't escape this scourge of righteous feminism.

Twitter's outrageaholics erupted last week over the online bio for the mum character on hit show Bluey.

Chilli, the cartoon mother of a talking dog, was apparently not the right type of feminist role model.

"After having the kids, Mum's recently gone back to her job working at Airport Security and juggles this with raising her two little pups, which means sometimes she falls a bit short of what her other mother friends are able to pull off," the bio said.

Cue the calls for a correction and an end to the "mum shaming".

Climate activist Greta Thunberg was one of the feminists celebrated. Picture: supplied
Climate activist Greta Thunberg was one of the feminists celebrated. Picture: supplied

While I don't think the bio accurately captures how Chilli is the wise and unruffled rock holding the family together, it's also not wrong.

As a full-time working mother with three small children, I fall short. My laundry baskets and late night milk runs can attest to that. That's not reinforcing gendered ideas that mothers are never good enough. It's the reality of a modern working mum.

Do I care that other mothers pull off more than me? Does Chilli care? Not at all.

We celebrate Bluey for its beautifully accurate portrayal of modern parenting, until the mum doesn't quite fit the satisfactory criteria for imperious feminists. Then, as Bluey's creators were forced to do, reality gets a politically correct glossing over.

It's no different to the incessant portrayals of curated perfectionism from narcissistic mumfluencers on social media.

This nitpicking every nuance and cherrypicking idols damages feminism.

Call me old fashioned, but I'm the type of feminist who would prefer the focus to be on stopping women being murdered and closing the gender earning gap.

But I suppose that doesn't fit the self-promoting agenda of a smug celebrity.

Lucy Carne is editor of RendezView.com.au



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