Thursday, December 9, 2010

Jeanette Winterson on Annie Lennox

Writer Jeanette Winterson for The Guardian:
I was listening to Radio 4's Woman's Hour recently and heard this fabulous Scottish voice and intelligent, warm-sounding woman who suddenly said "I am a feminist, I've always been a feminist". And then the radio erupted into Sisters Are Doing It for Themselves, and I thought: "Wow, it's Annie Lennox!" This is one helluva woman – great music, tough politics, activism, principles. What more do we need to celebrate?
First off, Jeanette Winterson talking about Annie Lennox? Double win. I think this could be a good jumping off point for a discussion of artists and their reluctance to embrace a feminist label. One of the questions Bust magazine used to ask of their monthly cover models was "Do you consider yourself a feminist?" The answer?  Usually a disappointing, "no."

While I'm incredibly happy that Annie Lennox, unlike a lot of artists, is unafraid to use the "F-word," I'd be just as pleased if an artist said, "I'm not a feminist because traditional feminism has done a poor job of serving the needs of all women," instead of "I'm not a feminist but..."

(A version of this was posted to my Tumblr blog)

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