If you are female, expressing hatred for your own body is not just acceptable, it’s practically de rigeur. Failure to indulge in the requisite amount of self-flagellation – my thighs! my skin! my face! – isn’t just negligent, it’s unfeminine. Self-hatred is fundamental to how femininity is constructed, more fundamental than any of the more obvious external symbols (dress, make-up, shoes). What matters is not that you are beautiful, but you know your place in the beauty hierarchy (and since every woman ages, every woman’s place will eventually be somewhere at the bottom).
Young women are encouraged to bond over their dislike of excess body hair, surplus flesh and “uneven” skin. They are meant to do so in a jovial way, egged on by perky adverts informing them what “real women” do: worry about having underarms beautiful enough for a sleeveless top, celebrate curves with apologetic booty shakes and cackle ruefully over miserable Sex-and-the-City-style lunches of Ryvita and Dulcolax. It’s a gendered ritual; men get football and booze, women get control pants and detoxes. We are supposed, of course, to be grateful. Hey, you don’t have to be perfect! Just know you’re not perfect and act accordingly, with the appropriate levels of guilt and shame!
Fairy tale after fairy tale tells us that what matters is being beautiful “on the inside” but what does that really mean? It means submission, obedience and the suppression of one’s own desires. Don’t be haughty and proud. Clean the hearth. Kiss the frog. Love the beast. Suck it up when you’re replaced by a younger model. Sure, you may look fine, but you mustn’t feel fine. You mustn’t be vain. You mustn’t be angry. All fury and pain must be turned back on itself. That way you’ll be a real princess: silent, fragile and never threatening to challenge the status quo.
“If you are female, expressing hatred for your own body is not just acceptable, it’s practically de rigeur. Failure to indulge in the requisi...”
“If gender neutral clothes are only made for and marketed to the parents of little girls, it is less a sign of gender equality and more an in...”
I saw a little girl today who was absolutely riveted by the life in the rotting seaweed around the harbour. I love seeing these little moments, because it takes me back to some of my first experiences as a ‘young naturalist’ of sorts. I was nearby, photographing and identifying pollinators: I was ju...
“When you grow up as a girl, the world tells you the things that you are supposed to be: emotional, loving, beautiful, wanted. And when you a...”
Why are we robbing little girls?
The other day my best friend and I were walking through a department store when we stopped in the toy section. This is something we usually do, it entertains our inner children. But this time, well, we paid a little more attention and noticed some things that for the most part, we all look at as nor...
“It’s easy to be considered a misandrist when men are socialized to feel entitled to women and our time. So, if you ignore them, you...”
“Women are told it is unfeminine and gross to have muscles and to cultivate strength, which in turn leads them to actively avoid doing things...”
“The woman who checks her makeup half a dozen times a day to see if her foundation has caked or her mascara has run, who worries that the win...”
That women feel the need to create an entire hashtag just to badmouth men.
i have no patience for anyone who brands themself a feminist and does not respect a woman’s personal choices in terms of clothing, gender expression, etc. if you find things like shaving to be tiresome, by all means, don’t shave, but if you start acting like any woman who picks up a razo...
“If you actually cared about men’s issues, you wouldn’t tack them on as an afterthought to a woman’s conversation: You’d instead be actively ...”
No woman, cis or trans, is a “real woman,” even without considering terms of “being” any gender. The “real woman” doesn’t exist, because she is nothing more than an amalgam of patriarchal standards and values, unattainable and in constant flux, but always in...