I feel you Grace, I feel you hardcore.
I feel you Grace, I feel you hardcore.
The representation of unrestrained appetite as inappropriate for women, the depiction of female eating as a private, transgressive act, make restriction and denial of hunger central features of the construction of femininity and set up the compensatory binge as a virtual inevitability. Such restrictions on appetite, moreover, are not merely about food intake. Rather, the social control of female hunger operates as a practical ‘discipline’ (to use Foucault‘s term) that trains female bodies in the knowledge of their limits and their possibilities. Denying oneself food becomes the central micro-practice in the education of feminine self-restraint and containment of impulse.
Susan Bordo, Unbearable Weight: Feminism, Western Culture and the Body [x]
Even as I sit here writing I’m hungry and promising myself that I’m not allowed to eat until I’m done with this project.
But as Bordo suggests, food isn’t the only outlet for this kind of obedience training. The kind of shaming women experience over food is also applied across other avenues of pleasure. Sex, dancing.
It’s hilarious that we live in a society that will shame you for how much sex you have and for the junk food you eat. Like, wow, how dare you eat delicious foods and have orgasms, you’re a monster. Enjoy your miserable life filled with pleasures. [x]
A whole bunch of ladies competing for being the most transgressively indulgent. For, you know, eating.
Pleasure isn’t “bad.” In fact, it’s good. It’s the best.
Puritanism: The haunting fear that someone, somewhere, may be happy.
H. L. Mencken
On the way home tonight this very tired and fussy kid was sitting next to me. I don’t know if you can see it from this blurry-ass camera phone picture (did I mention that this kid was squirmy?) but he’s wearing pink uggs with the disney castle embroidered on the side. He was also sporting a purple coat and a few different colors of neon nail polish.
And no one died. The institution of marriage didn’t collapse, no one committed any sins they weren’t previously planning on committing.
I just wanted to point that out. If you were curious about what would happen.
Rock on, kid. Rock on.
A friend of mine reblogged this the other day.
And the final one being “…most of us are pretty sick of being assailed by uninvited male opinions.”
Here is the argument. Men try to say “Why do you put on so much makeup when you look so beautiful with conventional ‘pretty’ makeup?”
And I say “I do what I want because I’m my own person and do what makes me happy.”
You know what’s crazy?! That some women don’t wear makeup to impress men. Some women do it because they like it. When I wear 5 different colors on my eyes with bright ass pink lipstick I KNOW that shit ain’t cute. But you know why I do it? Because makeup is about having fun and being artistic. So if you don’t like my fabulously defined eyebrows I’m okay with that, I didn’t need your approval anyways. I just think some men really need to put their egos to the side and STOP thinking that everything women do is to impress you guys. [x]
Your body is your own. Sometimes you do things to your appearance to change how you’re treated but just as often do you do things because you feel like it. Or maybe you wanted to scare people or look really different.
And if you aren’t down with women controlling their own appearances then I’m not down with you.
The other day I got to see a friend I rarely ever see. A friend I cherish and respect.
As long as I’ve known her she’s been the same weight. And as long as I’ve known her she’s been griping about this mythical ‘normal weight’ that she used to be. The weight she was before she was ‘overweight.’ And she called herself fat. And she said that other mutual friends of ours who were the same ‘over (but seriously not really) weight’ were also ‘overweight.’
You know what really drives me crazy? The word Overweight. You know what is Overweight? A 51 lb suitcase. And that’s according to TSA, who no one takes pride in listening to. Ever.
So why do we buy into the idea that your weight at age 20, when you’re on 3 different sports teams, is your ‘normal’ weight. And that once you go a hamburger over that weight, then you are FAT?
As the oft-problematic Moran puts it:
The worst part is that she accused our friend’s kid of also being Overweight. At 5 freaking years old. She said that she wouldn’t ever dream of letting her body anxiety rub off on this kid, but you know what? It will. Whether you want it to or not. I’m sure it already has.
Because this perspective is the problem. That your weight, which is healthy, which is not obese, which is not even approaching being a health risk for you or anyone else is capital-W Wrong and needs fixing in yourself and others. That just because you and her and her don’t look like Cindy Crawford, you must be in need of fixing. THAT YOU’RE ACTUALLY JUST GOOD, KIND, SKINNY PEOPLE TRAPPED IN BAD, FAT BODIES.
“Female fat [as] a moral issue is articulated with words like good and bad. If our culture’s fixation on female fatness or thinness was about sex, it would be private issue between a woman and her lover; if it were about health, between a woman and herself… A cultural fixation on female thinness is not an obsession about female beauty but one about obedience.”
- Naomi Wolf, The Beauty Myth
But that’s not how bodies work. Your fat content is not what makes you a good or worthy person. You are beautiful. Your body is beautiful. Just ask your husband. What do you think you see that none of us do? and why do you think it’s inherently wrong?
And do you know how I know your issues are going to rub off on our friends kid? Do you know who you sound just like? You sound just like the problem.
P.S. You’re probably reading this so please remember that I love you. Your position on this just offends everything I stand for and makes me really really mad.
I just read Nora Ephron’s book “I Remember Nothing” in which she tells a story about one of her first jobs as a writer, or more exactly as a “researcher” aka fact checker at Newsweek. In the story a name was spelled wrong and there was a tizzle in the ‘research room’ about which researcher had made the error and would be fired.
What she points out that she understood in hindsight is that the writers were all male. The male writer had written the name wrong and the all-female pool of ‘researcher’ underlings would be blamed.
Ephron points out that at the time she didn’t see the institutional sexism for what it was.
This reminded me of a great article about the talented Nicki Minaj.
Brags and disses are inherent to the culture of hip-hop—part of defining one’s self is by showing how flamboyantly you can cut down someone else—and Nicki Minaj as a spitter is not exempt from this tradition. But the feminist inside me wishes this was not the case, beginning with her feud with Lil Kim during the release of Pink Friday, after Kim accused her of stealing her style. (Prior, Minaj properly genuflected at the throne of Kim.) A few unfortunate barbs back, and the first single from Minaj’s second album, Roman Reloaded, is “Stupid Hoe,” a Kim dis that is sonically adventurous, lyrically amazing (“You can suck my diznik, if you take this jizz-is,You don’t like them disses, give my ass some kisses”), and then verbatim calls her adversaries “Nappy headed hoes.”…
Meanwhile, fans of women rappers watch with dismay as the new crop repeats the male-centric cycle of dis-retort-repeat, rather than supporting one another. As Azealia Banks gets increasingly famous, her Southern counterpart, Tampa Bay’s Dominique Young Unique, is throwing barbs her way, releasing diss tracks and having Twitter fights with the fellow 20-year-old. At this point, the good old-fashioned rap beef feels regressive, especially when we’re finally getting over the drought of women receiving attention. With Minaj’s lead, it would be kinda nice if, just once, all these awesome women would get together and do a “Ladies First 2012.” Because we have a much bigger, much more deadly adversary to combat: patriarchy.
I know basically nothing about rap music or the surrounding culture but I do know that if it’s about proving yourself by dissing others and Minaj as a woman is being pitted against other women, then the Newsweek offices of the 1960’s aren’t that different from wherever Minaj is hanging out. No matter what it might look like on the outside.
I wanted to mention this in the last post but thought it might be upsetting if you had images of your underage sons in your head.
On top of being good people, can we raise our boys not to think that girl’s bodies are gross?
Just imagine how happy your daughters would be then!
“Males as a group have and do benefit the most from patriarchy, from the assumption that they are superior to females and should rule over us. But those benefits have come with a price. In return for all the goodies men receive from patriarchy, they are required to dominate women, to exploit and oppress us, using violence if they must to keep patriarchy intact. Most men find it difficult to be patriarchs. Most men are disturbed by hatred and fear of women, by male violence against women, even the men who perpetuate this violence. But they fear letting go of the benefits. They are not certain what will happen to the world they know most intimately if patriarchy changes. So they find it easier to passively support male domination even when they know in their minds and hearts that it is wrong.”— bell hooks, Feminism is for Everybody