Christmas & Feminism

Tuesday, 20 December 2016

Christmas, if you're not religious is mostly about giving and being together with family and friends. But there are underlying patriarchal values that effect people's societal behaviours around Christmas time. Not to be a Christmas killjoy or anything but when you think about this holiday more and more you find that its traditions are pretty anti-feminist.

I'm not taking religion into account during this blogpost because I myself am not religious, I didn't want to talk about something I have no experience with and upset anyone of any religion whatsoever, this post is not aimed to point out the patriarchy in Christianity at all. 

Father Christmas, a big fat white man that works only once a year and uses his powers over others to control a whole sub species to make things for him and take all the credit. Capitalism amarite?!
Jokes aside the idea of Santa really does leave quite a bitter taste in my mouth. When I do have children I might change my mind but right now all I see is a made up character that takes credit for all of a parent's hard work BAH HUMBUG. Another big part of my Christmas is all the Christmas films, but when putting on your feminist goggles you find that many of the nation's favourite Christmas films are, well, sexist. Hardly any of them pass the Bechdel test; a test created to find the gender bias in films:

1- The movie must have at least two female characters in it
2- These women have to talk to each other
3- The conversation has to be about something besides a man
Love Actually is the main one that comes to my mind when talking about gender bias Christmas films, although it still remains one of my favourites when I take my feminist goggles off. This link explains why Love Actually is actually quite damaging and the writer is so much more hilarious and articulate than me.

Just hilarious, but also very true. 

Even though the films let us down, the music is certainly a little better. Bands such as The Waitresses and Destiny's Child with their amazingly catchy and badass Christmas hits and Mariah Carey's All I Want For Christmas is You being the best selling Christmas single of ALL TIME (tied with Bing Crosby that is) is a huge achievement for women in the music industry as a whole not just Christmas-wise. 

Although Christmas will always be a patriarchal idea, we can always embrace the positives and the girl power vibes that come from it, even if there are few and far between. If we take all of the consumerism and capitalism away we are left with a holiday that provides time for people to spend with their loved ones, to spread equal love and all of that. Christmas may have underlying feminism in it somewhere if you look hard enough, now go and listen to The Waitresses and be badass!

What are your views on Christmas and Feminism?



  1. I applaud you for writing this, Ciara! I think its important to dig a little deeper with films we know so well we might not question anymore. But I also love the optimistic, positive end to the post too. Monica xx

    1. Thank you so much, yeah I feel like just because they are well known classic films doesn't mean they can slip by without us noticing the underlying sexism, cheers Monica!