When I was a little girl, I got almost straight A’s. I was quite the little achiever at school, with little to no effort (luckily because I wasn’t interested in applying myself). My brother was lucky to get C’s, and when he got anything higher than that, he received praise and congratulations and rewards. I got shit all for my great grades, so I started doing my own thing and trying to get attention in other ways. I remember once in high school, my mum spent all afternoon hounding my brother about whether he’d skipped school that day and he kept saying he hadn’t (he truly hadn’t). Meanwhile, I sat in the background saying “I skipped school today. I went to x place. I hung out with (friend)’. I was telling the truth, but my mum just laughed it off and went back to my brother. So I became this loud, talkative, attention seeker you’ve all come to read regularly.
Anyway, the relevance of all this is a thought I had today. Sometimes when unexpected people do small women/feminist friendly things, I give them cookies. Sometimes when people do big things, I don’t give them any cookies at all. And it got me thinking, what should we be giving cookies for? The depression and weight of being a female in a patriarchy is often so heavy upon my shoulders that I want to applaud anyone for doing anything remotely subversive. Other times I wonder if we’re ever going to get anywhere with faint hearted bullshit. Why should we meekly accept the crumbs they toss out (they’re not throwing them our way, they’re throwing them out, trust me.)?? Why should we content ourselves with this shit when we should be pushing for bigger and better? At what point do we stand up and say, no, near enough is NOT good enough.
If you believe it, it was a Beyonce song that made me think of this. Her ‘put a ring on it’ or whatever the hell it’s called. The verses are halfway to being blamey, and then she says ‘if you liked it then you shoulda put a ring on it’. Argh. And she’s so p approved. But she’s a woman, making a successful career. With some halfway blamey lyrics. So, cookies or not? Do we decide that, this is it. No more cookies for half arsed shit. Either treat us like human beings or fuck off. Or do we keep rewarding the little things in the hopes that they grow to bigger things? And so that the ones doing the little things are encouraged to continue?