Police officers are killing Black people, Covid-19 is killing all people, and poverty and unemployment are reaching giddy heights around the world. Communities and victims’ families are asking us to amplify photos of Black people who’ve died in custody such as Tanya Day, David Dungay and George Floyd. And a local campaign to raise the age of criminal responsibility from 10 to 14 is encouraging people to post childhood pics of themselves and sign a petition so Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander kids stop being sent to prison at alarming rates.
Terrible things are happening out there. We get you.
So it was with incredulity that this Tuesday past I watched as a rapidly increasing number of women on my Instagram feed posted beautiful photos of themselves. Of course, hot selfies are the bricks upon which the house of Instagram is built, so this alone wouldn’t have piqued my interest.
But these were different. These stood out. They were all black and white, they were all aggressively artful and they almost universally opened with #ChallengeAccepted. Each woman acknowledged having been “challenged” by another woman and subsequently nominated 10 more. Most praised “strong women”, exalted empowerment and ended with #WomenSupportingWomen.
These weren’t just random selfies. This was a movement. But for what?
While the intention seems pure and intellectually feminist-lite, there was, at first at least, no groundbreaking or even mildly new point being made. The overarching message seemed simply to be that women are beautiful and wonderful and we should help each other out. But as an awareness campaign, it seemed futile at best. We’re already aware.
Hmm. Our lassie seems not to have met many actual humans. Nor quite understood what drives them. Which is, as with all other animals, to have grandchildren. Which means making the most of whatever assets one has to gain and keep a mate to have them with and to aid in raising them. That’s actually the base game of the species.
This, often enough, going into hyperdrive the worse the surrounding environment is.
‘E was right you know, eppur si muove but it’s sex that makes the world go ’round.