My Feminist Identity and Who Shaped it (and who is shaping it):
My Favourite Feminist Femmes of Twitter
A Beginners Guide
by Ruth Horsfall
I started giving feminism a real hot go thanks to the old cultural zeitgeist, Twitter, not all that long ago. I’d like to say I was that informed 12 year old that cottoned on to how things really were, but I had a lot of dismally uninformed teenage years under my belt before I joined in the party. Twitter came about as my saviour in that it became a vast resource for frankly, fucking awesome, articles and opinion pieces written by women who were funny, intelligent and unabashed. They wrote about everything and anything, and I couldn’t (and still can’t) get enough of it. So, I’ve compiled a list of those women who I enjoy the most – they are sexy, incredible and I’m madly jealous of all of them for being so darn cool.
1. Marieke Hardy – @mariekehardy
I first got into Marieke Hardy through reading her weekly columns in The Age and intermittent pieces written for Frankie magazine. Not only did her writing make me guffaw in a way most un-ladylike, she could be simultaneously crude and touching. I then went on to follow her online through her blog (here or here), then her television series, “Laid” and of course, her book ‘You’ll Be Sorry When I’m Dead’. I’m not sure Hardy has ever identified publicly as a feminist, certainly not to the extent of some, but her Twitter describes her as a ‘hedonist, raconteur, bon vivant’ and her writing intimates her as someone who is sexually liberal and a free spirit. Not only that, she is now around 40 years old, childless and unmarried and still having the time of her life. And she loves it. She is on Twitter a lot less frequently than I like but I’m still her biggest fan girl and I promptly ran into a tree when I saw her at Laneway Festival in 2010.
2. Catherine Deveny – @CatherineDeveny
You’d be hard pressed to find someone who gives less fucks than Catherine Deveny. Brash, outspoken and controversial (she was once, VERY unfairly compared to Miranda ‘Pro-Choice ‘Abortion Enthusiast’ Devine); Deveny makes no apologies for who she is and what she stands for. I was introduced to her acidic and very funny columns, which would often attract an unhealthy mixture of scorn and disgust. Her time at the Age culminated with her sacking after some un-PC tweets about Rove McManus’ late wife and Bindi Irwin (look, the tweets were *pretty* bad but don’t even get me started on the double standards in media when someone screws up – hello, Kyle Sandilands; about as palatable as anal prolapse) but she is now a staunch advocate for riding your bike, has had a very successful Melbourne International Comedy Festival Show called ‘God is Bullshit: That’s The Good News’ and recently did a great podcast with a sex therapist, covering everything from masturbation to anal sex.
3. Jane Caro – @JaneCaro
Like many, I first laid eyes on Jane Caro when she was a panellist on ‘The Gruen Transfer’ – where clearly she should have been there every week instead of that guy with the motif t-shirts. This led to following her on Twitter, where she is very vocal about a number of issues, such as public education, reproductive rights and women in politics. She is also a published author, runs her own communications consultancy and continues her freelance work – she does it all, and is a total bad-ass whilst doing it. I find her refreshingly unapologetic and I get a lot of joy from reading her arguments with people silly enough to rebut against a point she has made.
4. Caitlin Moran – @caitlinmoran
A lovely Englishwoman, Moran has penned a dazzling feminist tome called ‘How to be a Woman’ – get your hands on this STRAIGHT AWAY, if you have not already enjoyed its brilliance. I knew I was going to like her when she started referring to her vagina as her ‘foof’. The book is partly a memoir and aligns stages and events in her life with issues in feminism, such as porn, body hair and sexism. She is currently a TV critic and columnist at The Times in the UK and remains hilarious.
5. Clementine Ford – @clementine_ford
Clementine Ford is new to my radar (and subsequently I don’t know a whole lot about her) – I came across her after she was frequently re-tweeted into my feed. Most of what I know I have gleaned from her personal tweets and articles she has written in response to subjects such as the ‘War On Women’ in America. In her Tumblr biography here she claims to be a boner killer and writer of withering feminist social analyses, among other things. Read her blog now – she is cutting, scathing and totally awesome.
6. Leslie Knope – @TheKnope
As a fictional character in a television series, Knope is not technically a real person (but entertainingly enough, is being her dang fine feminist self on Twitter) however I did say in my piece last month there would be a time in the future where I talk about Amy Poehler – and that time is now. Poehler’s Knope is in charge of the parks department (part of the local council) and really the only word I have for her is incredible. Annoying, endearing, out-spoken and super cute; and that’s how she (and we) like it.
7. Tina Fey – @TinaFeyOfficial
It is about as unlikely as pubic hair on a porn star that you have managed to avoid knowing who Tina Fey is – the incredible force of woman that is Fey entered our psyches with Mean Girls, confirmed that she is officially The Funniest Person Ever TM with 30 Rock and uncanny impersonations as Sarah Palin. For me personally though, she wasn’t confirmed herself as my feminist goddess until I read her biography, ‘Bossypants’ – which is essentially about being a female boss and generally owning a vagina in the comedy industry. I have to stop writing this now because it makes me think about how Tina Fey and Amy Poehler hang all the time probably and I get sad I’ll never be in the same room as that much amazingness – ever.