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Lily Allen: The Finale

Where we left off last time was wondering whether or not Lily Allen, who has released some pretty compelling songs that have challenged a lot of social injustices, can be considered a feminist if in some of what she does, she excludes race from the issue altogether. It’s important to remember that feminism cannot be condensed into one singular creed. As a concept, feminism has several different layers that are all equally important to the general definition, which is equality of the sexes. This is something we learned in one of the readings for our class. Equality of the sexes cannot exist if there is a disparity within the sexes. If a White woman has more rights than an African-American or Latino woman, parity between the sexes still hasn’t been achieved, and cannot be considered as a success. So, by Lily Allen, unintentionally perhaps, throwing women of color under the bus in the “Hard Out Here” video, Lily Allen has not helped to perpetuate the correct idea of feminism, which I think is a recurring theme with famous celebrities nowadays. Celebrities, Lily Allen and Beyoncé included, are perpetuating a half-baked and majorly one-sided idea of feminism, which allows for us as an audience to receive a very misinformed idea of feminism. See, I believe that in order for someone to be considered a feminist, something about what they are doing, setting out into the world, has to actively challenge the patriarchal ideals that we as a society have come to accept as commonplace. Now, I believe that a lot of what Lily Allen and Beyoncé have had to say about the matter is very inspiring and wonderful to have put out in front of so many eyes. However, I can’t ignore the fact that at the same time, there are a million controversies around what they DO put out there. This only makes believe that their ideas, and their intentions are not as thought out as they should be, which would be fine in any other situation, but these are women who are claiming to be feminists to the general public, so unfortunately, I don’t know that they do have the luxury of making these types of mistakes. That is of course, when in regards to getting the feminist message out there and making substantial changes.

Before I ended the last Lily Allen post, I mentioned that she had stated that feminism isn’t something that we need and that we were all equal. Obviously that is not true as we are far from equal and to think that we are would be a huge over exaggeration. Allen was apparently misquoted, however when she said that “we are all equal.” Instead, Allen believes that the fact that the need for feminism still exists is ridiculous, she believes we SHOULD all be equal at this point. To that, I say, “same…”

There are also sources out there that have quotes of Lily Allen saying that in reality men aren’t the enemy, but in fact women are their own worst enemies. Allen says this in direct correlation to jealousy and that women put each other down. I think that that is an interesting concept in that women are often very catty towards one another, eager to tear the other down as long as they keep moving up, but this makes me think of the article we read about misogyny in the workplace. Within the confines of the patriarchy, men delegitimize other women by objectifying them for their most basic traits. Women who want to so badly make a name for themselves, devoid of any sexism, learn to hate the women who are so objectified as being someone like the “marketing chick” who is only there to serve beer and order lunch, because through those men typifying women in that way, it makes it that much harder for those women who work hard to gain any ground or recognition. While I’m sure a lot of jealousy does exist between other women, I’m sure the same can be said between men, or between any human for that matter, as the emotion is completely natural. I do believe that that jealousy is in fact something created by the patriarchy. So in response to what Allen said, I think that on a small-scale, one could say that women are their own worst enemies, but if one were to delve deeper into this statement, they would find that the patriarchy is in fact to blame and the basis of the problem. 

Lily Allen has proven to be quite the conundrum when discussing someone's merit as a feminist. As always, I don't think I have the right to proclaim her one or the other as people will define feminism as they so please. For now, all I can do is bring to attention the disparities between what we the public understand and what lies behind the implications of these celebrities' actions. 

This is Serena, signing off.

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#1 POSTED BY Tale Catherine Burge Oyehaug, 04/16 4:15 PM

You bring up so many strong and accurate points here! Really good job, I think that you clarifying what some crucial facts about feminism (equality of the sexes) is important. Great post!

#2 POSTED BY Madeline Hanna Robles, 04/21 5:28 PM

I think this post highlights the problems with a patriarchal society for both women AND men. I agree with the idea that the sole reason women critique other women is due to the patriarchal society in which we have learned to live by. We have become so used to living in a society where women are inferior, that we don't even notice when we're enforcing these ideas amongst each other. 

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