Living With A Feminist (An Explanation)

 

I am a feminist. I often describe myself as a ‘bra-burning feminazi’ when someone asks – half joking, half serious.

I have written LOADS of diatribes on Independent.ie about feminism, misogyny, everyday sexism, the sexualisation of breast cancer campaigns, gender imbalance in politics to name but a few.

I get a lot of hate for my openly feminist views. I have to put up with a lot of feminist-bashing. (I once got a handwritten letter in red pen that called me a ‘gendercentric’ – Planning on framing it)

One day I was on my way home in the car. I was frustrated. I don’t always let it get to me but there are days it does.

I had had a bad day of reading/watching/seeing sexism everywhere. Once you begin to notice incidences of misogyny or casual sexism it becomes impossible to stop noticing.

Sometimes it gets on top of me, and today was one of those days. I was frustrated, annoyed, upset – in particular, because someone on Twitter had inferred that feminists like me are never happy, picking holes, can’t we just shut up already because we have the vote and running water kind of stuff.

I thought to myself that ‘feminist’ was almost a dirty word these days, and we were all being tarred with the same brush. Then I thought – ‘The F Word!’ and laughed. Then, the whole way home, I was thinking of the silly stereotypes. The bra burning, the being-against-makeup, the man-hating.

Eventually I found my concept to make these annoying stereotypes into a video. I wanted to take the piss out of these ideas about feminists, show how ridiculous they are. I decided on the concept ‘living with a feminist’, inspired by the video ‘Living with Jigsaw’. I decided I would play the feminist completely over-exaggerated, and the housemate as one of ‘those’ girls – the ones that decry feminism, slag off feminists. The idea was inspired by ‘Living with Jigsaw’ and was supposed to follow that format – ridiculous, over-exaggerated living situations that would never happen in real life.

So that’s the joke. Just like I did with ‘YouTube Comments IRL’, I took something that was upsetting me and made a video showing how ridiculous it is. The idea made me laugh, the video made me laugh and then it wasn’t bothering me anymore.

I’m actually upset that I feel I have to explain the joke. I feel that it reinforces the stereotype that feminists have no sense of humour, which is something I struggle with daily as both a feminist and a comedian.

I’m trying to understand the opposition, and I’m wondering if there was anything more I could have done to avoid this – but I really feel the joke is so over-the-top I couldn’t have made it any more obvious that it’s a send up. I hiss at a hair straightener, burn a bra and refuse to do MY OWN dishes because I’m a woman! The only thing I could have done to avoid this was to not make the video and we can’t be censoring each other.

Being a feminist is a large part of who I am, but I am also Clare Cullen and I love having the craic. I particularly love taking the piss, especially out of myself. Nice to meet you.

 

FEMINISM

On the bright side, a lot of Irish feminists get the self-deprecation I was going for:

 

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About Clisare

From now on I'd like to be known as comedian Clare Cullen, said with inverted comma fingers. Ireland's most subscribed-to female comedian on YouTube.

Posted on April 24, 2014, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. 8 Comments.

  1. You are pretty funny ( in a good way ) Perhaps you should also have more serious video’s expressing your opinions and views.

  2. John Evan Patrick Clarke

    I am a far cry from a feminist; being male and all.

    Once you realize that this world is full of people, whose entire lives revolve around breaking down others for any view/opinion that is not of their own. Or they just want some sort of validity to their own existence by doing so…

    Only then you realize that you cannot argue with stupid! Arguing with stupid is like instructing an obese person who has Alzheimer’s to leave a breadcrumb trail during their exploration of a forest……. (TIS IMPOSIBLE)

    The more energy you give in to this kind of thing, the more you become another dull blade of grass in the field of shite we call life. But I do get the frustration, and the therapeutic effects of the way you dealt with it. You have been doing this for some time now, the comedy thing that is. If they don’t get it, or if you have angered someone, so be it; it’s fecking comedy!!!!!

    I apologize for any grammar, and so on; I am currently writing this note from my vehicle while my coworker is driving.

    The world needs more Clare Cullen’s

    With the kindest of regard,

    John Clarke

  3. George Shornack

    Great video, and yes, jokes are soooo much funnier after having to explain them for people. 😉
    Speaking of the joke, I thought of something while watching your video. Well, specifically, when you said, The F Word, gave me the idea. There used to be a show here in The States called, The L Word. If you’re not familiar, it was basically a show about specific lesbian couples, and their lives and relationship issues set to a drama series. It was on a cable t.v. channel named, Showtime.
    My thought was, that you could probably do something similar with feminism, and call it, The F Word. I think the way you produce your videos is really clever, and your sense of humor & timing would be spot on for the subject matter. I get a lot of laughs from your videos, (Thank you for that, btw) but, I also know how to listen, and I understand that between the jokes, you’re telling the truth about yourself and whatever else you happen to be discussing, or poking fun of at any given moment.

    Anyway, I just figured I’d share my thoughts. And, again, thanks for all the laughs & the lessons. 😉

    ~ George

  4. I read some of the comments you got on YouTube and I can’t believe how ironic some of them are.

    Your whole point was to make fun of the stereotypical point of view of Feminists, including the fact that we have no sense of humor, and then they show that they have no sense of humor by complaining about your video.

    People have this idea in their head about what a feminist should be and they either try and be like that or debate against that idea. Those of us who don’t have these stereotypical ideas then find things difficult because people don’t debate you, they debate this idea of a feminist that they have.

    Anyway, before I start ranting, it’s a pity you had to explain this joke.

  5. Hey, there!

    I’m definitely pro-feminist and I really enjoyed the humor of your video. Being able to joke about things is really, really important! Please keep up the good work – I mean that!

    I do hope that you’re getting lots of messages of support!

    Slán go fóill!

  6. Give it time and your kitchen will be like mine. Do dishes ? Take out the recycling (and put it all into the one bin anyway – sure it say “recycle” on the bag and good enough for me). No build up of wine bottles out the door – yet. And the Marigolds still in their bag with the unopened Vim – been a year of two now has it – sure the cooker can wait. Oh yes I stole the picture to put on Facebook. Plagiarism Yah !

  7. I totally understood that it was a video intended to be a satire of straw-feminists (as I know your views on the subject of feminism!), but…not until a little bit into the video. The problem was, in the set-up, it felt like the “complainer” was the real you, not the scary ‘feminist’. The non-feminist seemed like the sane one to compare the weird scary feminist to. I was honestly really confused at first until I stopped & thought “but this is Clare..!”

    The problem for me is that not everyone will come across this video & know that you are wanting to be satirical (especially if they don’t know you). The stereotypes are funny, but only if the joke is obviously at the expense of people who think these over-exaggerated stereotypes are widespread & real. Also, people who hate feminism *also* over-exaggerate feminist stereotypes in order to laugh and reinforce those stereotypes; I know you’re wanting to take the p*ss out of that, but I can imagine MRA group completely missing it, latching onto this video and going “see!!! Even WOMEN hate feminists!”

    Perhaps calling it “living with a straw feminist” might make it work and make it more obvious that you’re making fun of the stereotypes? x

  8. I think your video is hilarious, some people just can’t take a joke- or they’re probably jealous 🙂

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