Before you start hammering your keyboard, take a look at this page and see if I’ve listed your question here.
Q: Why are you called Dolly Dastardly?
A: If I’m honest, I don’t really know. The name came to me in a flash of inspiration and I thought it sounded good. However, I’ve thought about it and I think it serves its purpose rather well. It combines Dolly, which is a fairly passive-sounding name, something inanimate, an object, with Dastardly, a decidedly more lively and active adjective. In short, it brings together the traditional cultural expectation of women – to be quiet and subservient – and the more pro-active modern woman.
Q: Do you hate men?/Did you have a bad experience with a boyfriend that made you hate men?/Why do you think all men are rapists?
A: Every feminist has to deal with these exact questions. So this is me dealing with it.
I don’t hate men and I don’t think all men are evil abusive rapists, not at all. But we live in a society that encourages women to prioritise the egos of men over their own lives, so I don’t think I’m wrong to hold men accountable when they say/do unacceptable things.
Q: Have you always been a feminist?
A: Depends what you mean by “always”. If you mean “launched from the womb screaming “DEATH TO THE PATRIARCHY!” in a suffragette sash”, then no, sorry. I think the issues that I’m critical of now always bothered me; I just didn’t have the social or emotional capability to acknowledge them. I think I started referring to myself as a feminist aged about 14, if I remember rightly, although I had yet to fully immerse myself in feminist literature and the work of my foremothers.
The very first person to call themself a feminist in front of me – linking back to the previous question – was actually a man, my Creative Writing teacher. He was the one who encouraged me to start talking about feminism, and it stopped being a dirty word. Without him, I would never have managed any of the activism I did at school.
Q: What are your political opinions/stances (outside of feminism)?
A: I’m pro-choice. I don’t believe it’s possible to be a feminist and not advocate for a woman’s right to choose. Even if abortion is not something you want for yourself, the option should still be there for those who need it. I’m also passionate about LGBT equality; I think our education system is severely lacking in sex education for LGBT students and we never hear the stories of LGBT figures in history lessons. That has to change.
I consider myself a “socialist feminist”. I am both of those things anyway, but I choose to lump them in together because I think issues of classism and the demonisation of the working class contribute to our unequal social hierarchy – thereby bolstering the patriarchy. I’m a pacifist. I’m firmly in favour of widespread gun control and the decommissioning of nuclear weaponry.
Q: Do you get paid to write this blog?
A: Nope! I’m lucky to have found a free platform like WordPress that doesn’t restrict the content I can offer. Everything you see on this blog is written by me in my spare time, which is why posting can be a bit intermittent – a flurry of articles and then radio silence for weeks.
Q: Do you have to be a feminist to read/follow this blog?
A: I don’t expect that everybody who stumbles across my humble blog will share my views. I do, however, expect that you respect my opinions and those of other readers.I respect your right to an opinion, but I also firmly believe I have a right to challenge such an opinion if I think it’s bigoted or damaging. Just FYI.
The only thing I ask of you is to keep an open mind and to really think about what I’ve written before you post a nasty comment. Remember that I’m a human being too – if you wouldn’t say it to me in person, don’t write it to me online.
Q: What is your header picture all about?!?!
A: It’s a reference to this scene from Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas.