Our Top 5 Girl-on-Girl Anti-Feminist Crimes

I have some bad news for you: you, YES YOU, have probably done or said something anti-feminist.  Probably within the last month.  Probably not on purpose.  You probably didn’t think it was anti-feminist.  Maybe you don’t think this is something feminism should deal with.  But I’m going to tell you that you, YES YOU, and I, YES, ME, THE PERSON WHO WRITES THIS BLOG, am, without any doubt whatsoever, guilty of some sort of girl-on-girl, crime.

But what are these crimes?  What did we do?  What did we say? And how is it against what feminism is supposed to stand for?  Let me break it down for you:

1. “She’s not even that pretty”

We have all done this: looked at a couple and wondered how HE ended up with HER.  But doesn’t feminism advocate that women are worth more than just their appearance?  We’re not just pretty faces, right?  So then shouldn’t men value women for more than just their looks?  Probably, yeah.  I’d hate to think my boyfriend was only with me because he liked my body.  So this brings us back to this comment: when we fixate on how women look and say, “She’s not even that pretty, why is he with her?”, we disregard everything else that woman has to offer.  And I’ll bet that she makes him laugh, makes him think, does really sweet things that he finds adorable.  Plus, who freaking cares if she’s pretty or not?  What, she doesn’t deserve to be loved because she doesn’t quite meet our weird standards of beauty?  Shush.

2. “She’s such a slut”

Where to start?  No one slut-shames more than women.  Why? Because women are taught that we should reject their sexuality, and we police other women’s relationships with their sexualities.  But slut-shaming doesn’t make any sense.  Be sex-positive.  Sex-negative messages aren’t getting society anything except crappier sex and a disgusting rape culture that I know we’re all at our wit’s end with.

But on top of that, this reduces women to what we perceive to be their attitudes about sex.  That’s problematic, because of course women who like sex have so much more to their personalities as well.  And this also allows men to objectify women, because all we associate these women with is sex.  In the words of Tina Feys’ character in Mean Girls, “You have GOT to stop calling each other sluts and whores.  It just makes it okay for GUYS to call you sluts and whores”.  And it’s true.  Slut-shaming, which I am sure we are all guilty of, is getting us nowhere.  Catch it when you’re doing it, when other women are doing it, and let’s try to check ourselves.

3. “If she weren’t there, this would never have happened to her”

HOPEFULLY, no one who reads this blog is a victim-blamer.  But women are actually guilty of victim-blaming far more often than men, which is why I wanted to go over this.  Plus, I’m still mad that an Arizona judge literally told a sexual assault survivor that if she hadn’t been at a bar, wearing a skirt, she wouldn’t have been assaulted.  I mean, HELLO, a cop walked in and stuck his hand up her skirt.  I think we all know who is at fault here (he was convicted, I believe, for the record.  Thank goodness).  Women victim-blame more often because we would like to believe that specific behaviors lead to getting raped, and therefore if we don’t engage in those behaviors-~-if we’re not drunk, if we don’t dress a certain way, if we aren’t walking home alone at night-~-it will never happen to us.  But all victim blaming does is shift the blame from the perpetrators and let society go on ignoring the actual imputs to rape culture.  So that’s got to stop.  ASAP.

4. “She could really stand to lose a few pounds”

Now, I know there are health issues related to being overweight.  But I also know that that’s not what anyone means when they are commenting on another woman’s body.  Commenting on the health issues is a doctor’s job.  And fat-shaming is NO ONE’s job.  Here’s the thing: bodies are different.  Not everyone is built the same.  And it’s okay to not be a twig.  Of COURSE it is okay to not be a twig.  Curves are beautiful.  Stop insisting that the women of the world live on celery and be in a relationship with their treadmill.  And when women do this, we make it okay for the rest of society to eschew those who don’t fit our bizarre societal standard of beauty, and we perpetuate this standard, which none of us can ever actually meet anyway.

5. “That’s not very ladylike”

Pardon my French, but the hell with being ladylike.  I’m looking at you, judge who deducted me at debate because I cursed during a speech but didn’t deduct the guy in the round who cursed just as much.  I’m looking at you, woman who told me that young ladies do not wear shorts.  Apparently, it’s also not ladylike to stay out all night, it’s not ladylike to be in a fight, it’s not ladylike to eat a lot, blah blah blah…Guess what?  All you are doing is reinforcing the gender binary, and placing restrictions on women’s behavior that do NOT apply to men’s behavior.  In fact, the entire idea of “ladylike” is that it contrasts with what a “man” would do.  To be “ladylike” is to be gentle, neat, quiet-~-but today’s women should be proud to be loud, bold, and noticed.  I want to be seen, and I want to be heard.

There was a female protester at Occupy who was asked if she wanted to be dragged, or if she wanted to come quietly like a lady.  Her response?  “I would like to be dragged like a lady”.

Well said.

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~ by Randi Saunders on September 10, 2012.

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