Comments on: Is ‘Chav’ a Feminist Issue? /2011/08/30/is-chav-a-feminist-issue/ A feminist pop culture adventure Sun, 09 Jun 2013 16:26:07 +0000 hourly 1 By: Chav Barbie Tulisa : Down with the Doll | plasticdollheads /2011/08/30/is-chav-a-feminist-issue/#comment-38745 Sun, 09 Jun 2013 16:26:07 +0000 […] London: Verso Jones, R (2011) ‘Is ‘chav’ a Feminist Issue?’, Bad Reputation, Available at: [Accessed: 3rd November 2011] Nayak, A (2007) ‘Critical Whiteness Studies’, Sociology Compass, […]

By: lindsey /2011/08/30/is-chav-a-feminist-issue/#comment-1754 Tue, 20 Sep 2011 11:09:29 +0000 I think that a lot of the reaction against chav clothing was to do with many of these clothes giving the wearer more freedom, Sports wear can be seen as unisex, when its not all pink and this clothing removed the oppressivness of restrictive clothing. In the late 90’s womens clothes became less restrictive, then they changed the fashion. In victorian times middle class women wore clothes that were more restrictive to keep them in place, but like now the women in those times in a sense did it to themselves by choosing these clothes to prove there were high class and not look like a (chav) pesant. Even in past times working class women were not as sexually oppressed as richer women, but working class people were always made to feel like they had to prove there decency, this kept them in place. Last decade most womens clothes outside chav wear were quite complicated, expensive when compared to mens and restrictive. This decade does set to change things somewhat, as i think that having a tory government will switch this snobbish set of middleclass people off trying to be better then working class people and onto socialism. It may be some have took there anger at the sucess of feminism out on the working class. Feminism will rise again too this decade, when all the middleclass women realise there freedoms have been won long ago and they no longer need to spend there lives living a moral code to prove there not a chav.

No one can stop the begginning of the age where all are free from class restraints, and false judo-christian moral code. Chavs are angry, and appear angry to the middle class, as a reaction to the way they are demonised, i know how they feel as im active so wear trainers that are gym trainers aswell as converse. When im wearing my nike gym trainers there is a big difference in how im treat by both sexes. There are a lot of middle class people around where i live, many of them libreral and as much for gender equality as i am. But when they see me coming towards them down a quite street in nike trainers they do give off a reaction of fear. Thats because the working class people who wear them have been made into angry monsters in the media, so when they see these clothes people fear violence. If you are in a position where these clothes are all you have got, then you will have to deal with people reacting to you like that every day, which is just not fair. It is gonna make you angry towards middle class people, because you might not understand why they are reacting like that and pass them off as snobs. Like i did once.

By: Placeholder. « Velvet Coalmine /2011/08/30/is-chav-a-feminist-issue/#comment-1753 Mon, 05 Sep 2011 20:03:28 +0000 […] Yeah, I’m still here, although increasingly writing elsewhere. Notably I wrote for BadRep on Why ‘Chav’ is a Feminist Issue. […]

By: Pet Jeffery /2011/08/30/is-chav-a-feminist-issue/#comment-1752 Thu, 01 Sep 2011 08:52:17 +0000 In reply to kirsty.

As someone from Essex, I prefer to avoid mass media treatment/stereotyping of the population of my native county. It’s a bit like not wishing to look at a car crash. But it’s not just the mass media.

In the early 1990s, I was working in an office in Southend-on-Sea. Whilst there, a young woman handed me an A4 sheet of Essex girl jokes. She wasn’t singling me out, she gave a copy to everyone. Most of the jokes have long since passed beyond recollection. One sticks in my mind, though… or perhaps it sticks in my throat (though the others were in a similar vein):

Why does an Essex girl wear knickers? To keep her ankles warm.

The jokes were filled with misogyny, and a geographical stereotyping/prejudice we would regard as racism if the people of Essex qualified as a race. (If it had been, say, “Why do Jamaican girls wear knickers?” it would certainly be racist.) There were also, I think, class issues. The word “chav” had yet to gain wide currency, but the implication seems to have been that Essex girls were chavs.

I said to the young woman distributing the A4 sheets: “But you’re an Essex girl.”

“Yes,” she replied, sounding slightly (but only slightly) troubled, “I am.”

This seems to me to raise a lot of issues to do with stereotyping, and self-oppression — as well as having something to say about the prehistory of stigmatising people as “chavs”.

By: Pet Jeffery /2011/08/30/is-chav-a-feminist-issue/#comment-1751 Wed, 31 Aug 2011 17:21:38 +0000 In reply to Sophie / clamorousvoice.

Class, as well as gender, obviously makes a big difference to people’s life chances. And, with social inequality increasing (and having, to their shame, increased under a Labour government) class clearly makes an increasingly large difference.

I think a large measure of blame for the working classes being held is such low esteem belongs with Mrs Thatcher. She seemed to have a deliberate policy of wrecking British manufacturing and mining industries. In their place, she promoted so-called “service industries”. What place the working class in her vision of Britain? (A vision that hasn’t, since her time, been seriously challenged by mainstream politicians.)

By: Pet Jeffery /2011/08/30/is-chav-a-feminist-issue/#comment-1750 Wed, 31 Aug 2011 17:04:26 +0000 In reply to Sophie / clamorousvoice.

Yes, as far as we can judge from his work, Matt Lucas seems to harbour snobbery, as well as misogyny.

By: Pet Jeffery /2011/08/30/is-chav-a-feminist-issue/#comment-1749 Wed, 31 Aug 2011 17:00:30 +0000 In reply to Pet Jeffery.

I think you’re exactly right, Jem. There seems some implication that educating girls is an unworthy or even ludicrous enterprise. It occurs to me to link this with the occasional media panics that girls are doing better than boys at school. I wonder whether anyone (in the mass media) would have remarked on it had boys been doing better than girls.

By: kirsty /2011/08/30/is-chav-a-feminist-issue/#comment-1748 Wed, 31 Aug 2011 11:51:28 +0000 Great article. Have been pleased to see this book making some waves: it’s disturbing that class-hatred does seem to be considered the ‘acceptable prejudice’. I was in Clapham Junction the other day, and on one of the hoardings much-reproduced by the Metro et al (‘thanks, riot cleanup! you rock!’) was a scrawl reading ‘chavs will burn in hell’. Yet Clapham Junction is being held up as somehow representing ‘real London’.

Oh well, maybe it does.

On another note, have you seen Fish Tank? Seems to be widely considered ‘a celebration of Essex and its womanfolk’. I thought it was hideously depressing! Might be an interesting one to consider though, as it is a kind of female ensemble drama, set in an Essex Council estate…

By: Jem /2011/08/30/is-chav-a-feminist-issue/#comment-1747 Wed, 31 Aug 2011 09:54:39 +0000 In reply to Pet Jeffery.

I think you put your finger on it when you mention “fancy dress” and “costume”. Delingpole’s rhetoric seems incapable of engaging with the people he’s discussing except through stereotypes, or in this case the revealing intersection between two. Though he’s trying to suggest the incongruity of a girl at school also being a parent, he instinctively frames her as the Blyton/ Skool Disco “schoolgirl”, which comes close to derailing his point.

Reminds me rather of Ju Gosling’s work on school stories, where she suggests that the idea of a “schoolgirl” often involves not only a potential leer, but also an undercurrent that educating young women at all is somehow incongruous or funny. Even as he sets up “gymslip” as normative, and “mum” as deviant, his language involves a snigger at the idea that the girl in question could be taken seriously, even without pregnancy.

By: Brave Sir Robin /2011/08/30/is-chav-a-feminist-issue/#comment-1746 Wed, 31 Aug 2011 00:04:39 +0000 In reply to Rhian.

Yeah, I am sure no one would argue the character is to be taken in that way. And I agree about the ending of that particular sketch. I just meant that the character in general is really hard to watch as a teacher. Personally I find it hard to appreciate the humour in the things that make my job harder and more depressing – even when I know they are there – which is all I meant by my comment.