sohotrightnow: the top of a swimming young woman's torso. ([buffy] society's only protection)
My birthday was nice! Between that and it being a coworker's last day, we had pizza for lunch at work, and then I went out with the Cabal and it was delightful. Afterwords, why so great.

Today, however, seems to be a day for capslocking angrily and semi-coherently about things! Man oh man, LJ, mostly I am on Tumblr these days but today I am just too full of angry for one blog. Things I have TL;DRed about: my issue with including the Bible in a list of things that might be ~next on the chopping block~ if the new Huck Finn sets a precedent; a butch lesbian being a condescending douche and reinforcing patriarchal ideas about femininity. )
sohotrightnow: the top of a swimming young woman's torso. (Default)
WHY DO DUDES THINK IT'S OKAY TO STOP A COMPLETE STRANGER ON THE STREET AND ASK HER OUT? AND THEN CONTINUE TO PRESS THE POINT WHEN SAID COMPLETE STRANGER HAS SAID "NO" AND IS CLEARLY UNCOMFORTABLE?

Ugh and such is the magic of the patriarchy that I feel bad about saying no and am grateful that the stranger making unwanted advances was at least polite about it. >:(

On the bright side, the Discovery Channel, whose headquarters are two blocks from my apartment building, have let us all know that it's almost Shark Week by turning the building into a shark. And when I was agonizing over whether to buy an amazing purple leopard-print top at the store (I've been trying to save on the grounds that whatever I spend now is money I won't have at Comic Con, but I desperately needed a pair of jeans, since I wore the last one to death), "Lucky Day" came on, and then it was obvious that Steve Van Zandt was telling me to buy it, so I had to.

Now it is time for pasta. And beer. I deserve beer.
sohotrightnow: the top of a swimming young woman's torso. ([etc] morally illiterate)
This is all pretty old news to the HAES folks on my flist, I think, but I've seen a couple of posts/comments pop up that have really infuriated me, and I just need to let off some steam.

Here is the thing. Saying things like "oh, I just want to give that poor girl a sandwich" of ultra-skinny models is really fucking offensive to me on a lot of levels. Here are the big ones:
  1. Some people are naturally skinny. Do I think all, or even most, models just happen to look like that, and that they all look completely healthy and natural? No (and in fact, I think that generally you can tell when someone is just naturally skinny and when they've crossed into "getting that skinny in ways that are damaging to their health"). But...
  2. ...that kind of phrasing is really fucking offensive because it is incredibly condescending. A lot of the women you're cooing over like they're particularly unintelligent two-year-olds are legal adults who are competent to make their own decisions. Yes, there's a lot of exploitation going on in the fashion industry (and I'm not touching on child exploitation for the moment, because that's not really what I want to focus on), but by infantilizing these women further, guess what, you're just doing the same damn thing. How about you respect them as adults and if you want to complain about something, you discuss the system that's exploiting them instead of treating them like wayward children who need Real Women to save them?
Like, okay, I'll admit that I take this kind of personally: I am slender. Cut for a bit of weight/size talk and references to my ED experiences, which might be triggery for some. ) That's just how my body is shaped. Hence why the "real women have curves" meme is really fucking offensive to me, as well, I admit, because guess what, all it does is the same damn thing: it assigns a specific standard of beauty that everyone has to conform to in order to be X (where X can be "beautiful", "a real woman", or just about anything). The implication being that because I'm not particularly curvy, I'm not a "real woman", and, you know, fuck you. I really love that the folks over at Shapely Prose will bring the hammer down on people for skinny-bashing as quickly as they will for fat-bashing.*

And, okay, maybe this comes off as "wah wah poor ~oppressed~ skinny girl, ml;sh" but it's not so much about size in particular, because I see this come up in a lot of discussion of photoshoots and movies on things like costumes and a lot of things besides the weight of the models/actresses in question. What this is really about, I guess, is the fact that nothing gets my hackles up faster than condescension. Like, guess what, that model in that awful exploitative costume is a grown-ass woman who is competent to make her own decisions!

Edit: Better example as a response to [livejournal.com profile] rhipowered here:
Another example would be the cooing of "oh, I just want to wrap her up in a towel" as a response to women in bikinis/greased-up and mostly-naked in men's magazines. Guess what, that lady's arms are not broken, she is perfectly capable of getting herself a towel. If you want to talk about exploitation and the male gaze, we can do that, but how about we do that without further robbing these women of agency?
(It can also start to get a victim-blaming feel to it, sometimes, but that is another issue and one that probably needs another post because I keep editing this as I think of more already. /o\)

IDK. It just feels like another form of that particularly nasty, condescending manner that certain stripes of feminism can get. Which is not news to a lot of my flist, who have dealt with being women of color and/or women of anything less than upper-middle-class in the feminist movement, and/or who have examined the failings of the feminist movement wrt race and class, but, again, I needed to rant. :\

* "But there are a whole lot of fat (or even just not skinny) women out there who don’t yet have the self-esteem to say, “lots of different body types, including mine, are just fine” — many feel the need to put down skinny people the way they’ve been put down for being fat their whole lives. And I fucking hate that, even if I understand it and empathize with it, so I kinda just didn’t want to open the door to that whole conversation on my blog." (source)
sohotrightnow: the top of a swimming young woman's torso. ([buffy] what's flesh and what's fantasy)
Things I have heard about on the flist today include [livejournal.com profile] minna's having to explain that "I wear tight clothing and high heels/platforms for my own reasons, and they aren't an indicator of my worthiness as a human", one friend talking about how she was followed home from work, and [livejournal.com profile] burntcopper relating the story of how she was harassed on the street -- and, further, how she's resigned herself to a certain amount of harassment, and this incident was only extraordinary in that the guy actually grabbed her. That part was probably the most appalling of all until I read the news, because in what fucking universe should a large percentage of the population have to resign themselves to being harassed?

But then, as I say, I left LJ and I read the news, and that's when I heard about how a man who couldn't get a date walked into a gym, picked out a fitness class because it had a lot of women in it, walked into the room, and opened fire. Then I read blog comments on this case where people were saying that, well, with the way women tease men -- with the way women dress provocatively, and then don't deliver -- well, you just can't blame the guy for getting angry, after awhile; that "feminism is to blame and [Sodini] is taking a last stand".

When I started running the Home Team Matches, I got a pingback notifying me that American Idol fandom was talking about how I was just "butthurt" and whining.

Here's the deal: as long as I live in a world where I'm trashed as a tease for not wanting to open myself up to further triggers, because I broke down sobbing when I was fooling around on several different occasions, and I finally gave up on dating for the time being because, among other things, repeated experiences taught me that no one was going to put up with my panicking, and that one day I wouldn't be so lucky as to just escape with being called a tease or trashed to my face or behind my back to my friends, I am going to keep whining.

As long as I live in a world where my friends and I just have to resign ourselves to being harassed by friends, strangers, and coworkers, I am going to keep whining.

As long as I live in a world where one of the biggest fandoms out there has its characters refer to females by pejoratives 18 times in 16 episodes, and yet its (white male) stars are astounded by the "incredible sexism" of their female fans, I am going to keep whining.

As long as I live in a world where a series of books telling girls that the most wonderful thing they could ever hope for is an abusive and ultimately deadly relationship is a bestseller, I am going to keep whining.

As long as I live in a world where rape tourism fucking exists, I am going to keep whining.

As long as I live in a world where everyone, including women themselves, is taught that the rest of the world is entitled to view, access, violate, damage, and destroy female bodies as they wish, then yes, I'm going to keep whining. There are a lot of good reasons not to identify with the feminist movement, first and foremost, IMO, being that movement's tradition of focusing on the conditions of a very narrow band of upper-middle-class white women, ignoring and far too often out-and-out excluding women of color and/or of lower classes. But the idea that no protection of women's rights, no advocacy on women's behalf, is necessary anymore is not one of those reasons.

One of the reasons I will always have a fondness for Joe Biden is that for all his stupid gaffes and comments, he considered it a personal career failure that, though his advocacy was a major force behind the Violence Against Women Act, he was unable to get in the part where violence against women was classified as a hate crime. None of those women at that gym would be dead or hospitalized or terrorized if George Sodini didn't hate women, didn't consider them something less than himself, maybe -- probably -- less than human. Rape is not about love or even lust; it's about entitlement to a woman's body because it is a woman's body and thus not her own to decide what to do with, and it's therefore about dehumanization, power, and, yes, hate.

Ugh, now I'm crying. It was kind of a crappy depressive day earlier, too, though, so idk. There were some really nice hours in the evening there where [livejournal.com profile] austen and I got together for more X-Files, though. ♥

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