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Sat Apr 27, 2013, 01:57 PM

What's Wrong With Boys, Luscious 'Lolitas' and Yummy Mummies?

I really really love Soraya Chemaly.

...

In general, parents, schools, counselors, "concerned" adults aren't openly confronting the unrelenting pressure girls feel to base their self worth on being beautiful, perfect creatures idealized for the sexual and breeding purposes of others. For many people, girls and women are biologically meant to be available to boys and men in these ways. Our default is "Yes!" and "Of course!" You know the kind of being I'm talking about -- females whose purpose, abstracted, divine or biological, is to look out for boys and men and guide them to ultimate pleasure and eternal happiness. Hey, aren't Victoria's Secret's models called ANGELS? What a visually pleasing, totally random and meaningless coincidence.

Once a self is ceded it's hard to get back. Regardless of a girl's or woman's age, this kind of objectification and "sexualization" results in a performance. It's not about being a sexual person, it's about acting out someone else's idea of a sex object. And, as in the video above, what girls and women want, feel, need and experience are irrelevant unless they help fulfill the dreams of boys and men. The impact is real, meaningful and measurable. It's also serious and not at all entertaining.

Girls who conform well and internalize their "thing-ness" don't miraculously stop doing it when get their driver's licenses. It NEVER ends. Which brings us back to Stacy, her hot, wet, mom and this book: The MILF Diet.

...

Here is where I say that this isn't a girl/woman=good, boy/man=bad problem. This environment is equally toxic to both, but for entirely different reasons. But the issue here is a girl crisis we keep dancing around. What people like Burgdoerfer et al intuit correctly and leave unquestioned is that girls learn to self-objectify and they keep doing it as adult women in grossly gender-disproportionate numbers. The cultural idea that we have to calibrate how we should
look,
dress,
stand,
speak,
run,
sit,
eat,
walk,
work,
sleep,
starve,
fix our hair,
shave,
bleach,
cut bits off,
add bits on,
pose,
BE... in order to remain eternally dewy and optimized for male pleasure and comfort. This will be the case for as long as our human rights are mediated through boys and men and our equal access to resources, power, safety and everything else is vicarious and contingent on whether or not we are "nice" enough. It's assaultive. Regardless of how you dress up... or undress... there is nothing ironic or empowering about this process and its effects.

Mostly, many of us simply detach from ourselves and cheerily go about our days. And it has lifelong personal, political and societal consequences. Once in a while, a story is sufficiently appalling that it ruptures into public consciousness and we give it its 15 seconds, shake our heads and wonder how we got here. Steubenville is spelled with a 'u' in the middle, by the way.

The rite of passage we should be obsessing over isn't virginity, childbirth or mid-life aging. It's the inflection point when self-objectification settles into a girl's psyche because we failed to arm her with the cultural currency to say "hell no," or stronger, four-letter words to that effect. Even the strongest, most protective parental love is incapable of stemming the tide of culture, especially in our media saturated age.

...

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/soraya-chemaly/america-from-luscious-lol_b_3008557.html


Sorry for all the bolding but DAMN. Just DAMN.

Seriously, you need to read this.

21 replies, 3670 views

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Arrow 21 replies Author Time Post
Reply What's Wrong With Boys, Luscious 'Lolitas' and Yummy Mummies? (Original post)
redqueen Apr 2013 OP
msongs Apr 2013 #1
redqueen Apr 2013 #3
Sekhmets Daughter Apr 2013 #4
redqueen Apr 2013 #5
Sekhmets Daughter Apr 2013 #7
redqueen Apr 2013 #6
Skittles Apr 2013 #9
MadrasT Apr 2013 #11
Skittles Apr 2013 #13
redqueen Apr 2013 #14
Skittles Apr 2013 #16
Sekhmets Daughter Apr 2013 #2
CrispyQ Apr 2013 #8
redqueen Apr 2013 #10
MadrasT Apr 2013 #12
redqueen Apr 2013 #15
ismnotwasm Apr 2013 #17
seabeyond Apr 2013 #18
CrispyQ Apr 2013 #21
redqueen Apr 2013 #19
CrispyQ Apr 2013 #20

Response to redqueen (Original post)

Sat Apr 27, 2013, 02:10 PM

1. step one one: quit using makeup nt

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Response to msongs (Reply #1)

Sat Apr 27, 2013, 02:27 PM

3. Teaching individual women how to stop self-objectifying is great. It's necessary.

However, addressing the cause is better than treating symptoms.

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Response to msongs (Reply #1)

Sat Apr 27, 2013, 02:30 PM

4. That's an interesting observation....

Years ago I read studies that showed women wore make-up as much to impress other women as men. Many men don't care for the heavily made up face and they really don't care for makeup on their clothing.

I always referred to it as 'my war paint' It was never men with whom I was at war.

As an adolescent, teenager and then young adult female, it was always the girls who were critical of each other...how they dressed, how much makeup they wore or didn't wear, whether their hairstyle was the latest etc.

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Response to Sekhmets Daughter (Reply #4)

Sat Apr 27, 2013, 02:38 PM

5. Yes, women internalize these rules.

As she said in the article, it isn't a women/girls = good, men/boys = bad issue.

It is a societal issue. Our culture sexually objectifies women. Most women learn to do it and most still reinforce it.

I just posted a video where Caroline Heldman lists just these tips, too, btw

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Response to redqueen (Reply #5)

Sat Apr 27, 2013, 02:54 PM

7. Sadly, too true.

One of the most difficult things I had to do when I was raising daughters was to teach them that the expectations of others carried no true weight. It takes a certain amount of arrogance to overcome all of the messages being directed at girls and women. The biggest problems were the daughters of women who had bought into the whole message...complete with breast implants etc.

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Response to msongs (Reply #1)

Sat Apr 27, 2013, 02:46 PM

6. Also I just have to add that you reminded me of this particular part of a video...

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Response to msongs (Reply #1)

Sat Apr 27, 2013, 05:55 PM

9. I wish they would stop wearing ridiculous shoes

I mean, seriously, they look RIDICULOUS

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Response to Skittles (Reply #9)

Sat Apr 27, 2013, 07:00 PM

11. The shoes thing totally stumps me

I laugh my ass off every time I see women staggering around in shoes that prevent them from walking normally

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Response to MadrasT (Reply #11)

Sat Apr 27, 2013, 07:08 PM

13. sorry, I don't laugh: it makes me CRINGE

ESPECIALLY when I hear women BRAGGING about their obsession with shoes - it is PATHETIC and I always wonder if these gals ever complain about not being taken seriously

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Response to Skittles (Reply #13)

Sat Apr 27, 2013, 08:20 PM

14. You're really quite worked up about shoes aren't you?

All caps and pukey smilies and everything. Interesting.

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Response to redqueen (Reply #14)

Sat Apr 27, 2013, 11:13 PM

16. YES

I feel women will never be taken seriously if they continue to think that an obsession over shit like shoes and fashion is ADMIRABLE

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Response to redqueen (Original post)

Sat Apr 27, 2013, 02:21 PM

2. Step Two: Stop comparing yourself to anyone else.

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Response to redqueen (Original post)

Sat Apr 27, 2013, 03:26 PM

8. Some disturbing articles there.

Three year olds worried about their weight? Mother of an 8-year old letting her get a Botox injection? I especially liked this article:

http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2013/01/rape-and-violence-against-women-crisis

snip...

The Chasm Between Our Worlds

Rape and other acts of violence, up to and including murder, as well as threats of violence, constitute the barrage some men lay down as they attempt to control some women, and fear of that violence limits most women in ways they've gotten so used to they hardly notice—and we hardly address. There are exceptions: last summer someone wrote to me to describe a college class in which the students were asked what they do to stay safe from rape. The young women described the intricate ways they stayed alert, limited their access to the world, took precautions, and essentially thought about rape all the time (while the young men in the class, he added, gaped in astonishment). The chasm between their worlds had briefly and suddenly become visible.

Mostly, however, we don't talk about it—though a graphic has been circulating on the Internet called Ten Top Tips to End Rape, the kind of thing young women get often enough, but this one had a subversive twist. It offered advice like this: "Carry a whistle! If you are worried you might assault someone ‘by accident' you can hand it to the person you are with, so they can call for help." While funny, the piece points out something terrible: the usual guidelines in such situations put the full burden of prevention on potential victims, treating the violence as a given. You explain to me why colleges spend more time telling women how to survive predators than telling the other half of their students not to be predators.

more...

Of course, women are capable of all sorts of major unpleasantness, and there are violent crimes by women, but the so-called war of the sexes is extraordinarily lopsided when it comes to actual violence. Unlike the last (male) head of the International Monetary Fund, the current (female) head is not going to assault an employee at a luxury hotel; top-ranking female officers in the US military, unlike their male counterparts, are not accused of any sexual assaults; and young female athletes, unlike those male football players in Steubenville, aren't likely to urinate on unconscious boys, let alone violate them and boast about it in YouTube videos and Twitter feeds.

No female bus riders in India have ganged up to sexually assault a man so badly he dies of his injuries, nor are marauding packs of women terrorizing men in Cairo's Tahrir Square, and there's just no maternal equivalent to the 11% of rapes that are by fathers or stepfathers. Of the people in prison in the US, 93.5% are not women, and though quite a lot of them should not be there in the first place, maybe some of them should because of violence, until we think of a better way to deal with it, and them.



"treating the violence as a given"

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Response to CrispyQ (Reply #8)

Sat Apr 27, 2013, 06:45 PM

10. As she said, we hardly address it... hell, most hardly notice it.

It's just there. Like air. We grow up thinking we have to accept it as a fact of life.

And now that more and more women are starting to wake up and say, 'Um, excuse me, but fuck that', the backlash is intensifying everywhere. I hope it only motivates more women to start noticing this stuff, and stop believing the lie that we can expect no better.

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Response to redqueen (Original post)

Sat Apr 27, 2013, 07:01 PM

12. Awesome

Thanks for pulling all this together

Bookmarked for future reference

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Response to MadrasT (Reply #12)

Sat Apr 27, 2013, 08:21 PM

15. Soraya Chemaly is fantastic.

Truly.

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Response to redqueen (Original post)

Sun Apr 28, 2013, 12:04 AM

17. A young women in nursing school was showing me the Dove "you're more beautiful than you think"

Commercial. (I bring up feminism as often as possible to my co-workers)

I told her that one irritates me, buts "lets watch it and Ill tell you why"

So we watched it. I acknowledged the discrepancies of actual appearance vs. real appearance. Then I asked her "why be beautiful at all"? I used some comments from this group to try to explain, that while aesthetics aren't wrong, what adds up to Beauty to women is compliance what men find --supposedly---sexually desirable.

Instead of women not wearing make up, I want to see men wearing it. I want to see less macho or men in black crap and more Edwardian type fashion for men. Instead of denying beauty, I want to broaden the perimeters and descriptions of what's beautiful, not just what's fuckable.

I didn't downplay the pressure to be attractive. She is attractive in the first place and doesn't feel the pain of others not so blessed. But she does feel the pressure of it. But she said she hated the dumb blonde characteristic, and was far more insecure than I realized once we got talking.

Excellent article!

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Response to ismnotwasm (Reply #17)

Sun Apr 28, 2013, 09:59 AM

18. attractive girls and women had better get a handle on it. in ways i think it is harder being

 

attractive in a really odd kinda of way. i think that being totally unattractive (and we are talking purely shallow physical criteria) there is a freedom in that. and allows for a woman to age more gracefully in ways. they may not have the advantage at the younger age, and this is true of all unattractive (go back to my clarification) people, but they are not "losing" that advantage or self worth as they age in the same manner of an attractive woman.

so, i think women had better let go of the pressures and worth of attractiveness, let go of ego, in the 30's to take the next decades more gracefully.

it is interesting in the psychological perspective of self.

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Response to seabeyond (Reply #18)

Sun Apr 28, 2013, 02:16 PM

21. I could write a book on the difference between being slender & fat.

I was always slender. Over several years I gained 50 pounds. I was overweight for many years. Now, I'm 50 pounds lighter but I'm also about 12 years older. The biggest difference in how I feel I'm perceived, has been my weight, not my age. America is not kind to fat people, but especially to fat women & more so to fat, older women.

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Response to ismnotwasm (Reply #17)

Sun Apr 28, 2013, 10:53 AM

19. Yes, many men look good in eyeliner.



I really like what you said about expanding the idea beauty... it isn't just fuckability, or hotness, or youth, or symmetry. IMO those definitions come from a limited, outdated, and primitive perspective. A very narrow minded view that deserves a narrow, shallow term. Not beauty.

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Response to ismnotwasm (Reply #17)

Sun Apr 28, 2013, 02:10 PM

20. I've always wondered why men accept the restrictions of what's considered 'professional' wear.

Just look at any of the news shows. Women have so many choices - they can wear dresses, skirts, suits, there is so much more latitude in what qualifies as professional wear for women. Men wear a suit, tie & shirt. Once in a while one will don a sweater vest, but that is it for diversity for men. I won't even get into hair. My husband wears his hair long & I'm always amazed at how some men treat him - like he's a freak or something.

I love long hair on a man! Long hair & tight jeans, oh yeah, that's what this man hating feminist likes!

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