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Thursday, December 8, 2011

Feminism: The Sliding Scale

FEMINIST - Seriously, feminists will protest almost anything they think causes inequality.

ie. The Muff March

Activists in London and Southampton are staging a "Muff March" on Saturday December 10th to speak out against labiaplasty and what they call a ‘pornified’ culture driving increasing numbers of women to seek vaginal cosmetic surgery, and to protest against the cosmetic surgeons profiting from it. The activists will be wearing fake ‘muffs’, will march down Harley Street, famed for its cosmetic surgeries, and stage a synchronised "muff dance".

Demand for labiaplasty is increasing rapidly due to the online porn industry. Its not just saggy breasts women are seeking surgery for. Between 2007 - 2008 there was a 70% increase in the number of labiaplasty operations carried out by the NHS, and last year the Harley Medical Group received more than 5,000 inquiries about cosmetic gynaecology. Researchers at Kings College London are studying the demand for labiaplasty and have suggested this increase stems from the increasing ‘pornification’ of culture. The protest comes two weeks before Christmas, a period during which demand for cosmetic surgery has been found to surge.

The "Muff Marches" protest includes slogans likr: “Keep your mits off our bits!”, “there’s nothing finer than my vagina!”, and “Harley Street puts my chuff in a huff”.

Over 325 people have so far signed up to the London event on Facebook.


Which brings me back to the real reason I am writing this post: The concept of a Sliding Scale of Feminism. A scale of 0 to 10, sort of like wine dryness to sweetness.

0 - A woman who doesn't care that she is treated poorly and basically does whatever men want her to do.

5 - The average woman in the world.

10 - A hardcore feminist.

Obviously there are some women out there who want labiaplasty and have a specific idea of what their vagina should look like on an aesthetic level. On the opposite end there are women who think body modification for the sake of male standards of beauty is wrong.

Now I admit there is always the potential for some kind of horrible accident and a woman might want to seek labiaplasty as an effort to get her self esteem back, and yes, she should totally have that option. But that isn't really a feminist issue to me except on the level that it gives the victim back some of their self-esteem.

Thus I would leave the door open to people doing these things because they might see it as part of their healing process after some horrific accident.

Also some people are just really into body modification... tattoos, piercings, implants... there is a whole sub-culture for such things. Not my cup of tea, but people are free to make their own choices.

There are some things I believe in that makes me think I might be more of a 9.5 on the Sliding Scale of Feminism. Maybe a 9.1 or a 9.9. There is no way to accurately measure unless I come up with some kind of more scientific survey which determines exactly where people are on the scale.

So... on my list of things to do in the future I need to craft a survey which does two things, 1. gauges what topics people consider to be a feminist issue, and 2. asks people to gauge themselves on a scale of 0 to 5 how much they agree to disagree with a specific feminist issue. Add up all the scores, come up with a score out of 100, and then pinpoint based on the responses people give whether they are a 5.2 or a 9.7 or whatever on the scale.

Note: The questions and answers on the survey should be made precise and avoid any vagueness. Vagueness decreases the accuracy of a survey because then people will just pick one of the numbers when uncertain which number reflects their own beliefs.

1 - Disagree Strongly (worth 0 points).
2 - Disagree (worth 1 point).
3 - Not sure (worth 2 points).
4 - Agree (worth 3 points).
5 - Agree Strongly (worth 4 points).

Times 25 questions... a grand total of 100 possible points. Divide the total by 10 to get your result. Voila! Suzy's Sliding Scale of Feminism.

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