Sunday, 4 May 2014

Woman writes blog in pants with no makeup.

This week saw me tie up some loose ends at work, get my huur did and, drink with two of my favorite women and get in one fantastic Facebook argument a la 9th grade. I was slightly ashamed of myself for indulging, but the topic I was fighting about is something I feel incredibly strongly about. I am super passionate as you may have noticed, and am not afraid to look like a dick in front of the kingdom of of Facebook (not really. I don't have that many friends) And all of you. After our debate came to a natural end I couldn't believe my luck when I found this listicle that so beautifully demonstrated what I was trying to say. I posted it on my Facebook page yesterday.
Go on. Have a look and I'll wait.

I adore The Vagenda and this exercise has cemented that love in a deeper place in my heart. Never afraid to tackle women's issues and be direct, it is one hell of a publication. What they are asking us to do here is to challenge the headlines that we see every day, that we find acceptable every day and see them for what they truly are, superficial, sexist bullshit that should not stand. Not one of the articles pictured is one I'd want to read. Every headline, no matter the actual subject includes a play-by-play about how each woman looks, what each woman is wearing or in poor Amy Adam's case, not wearing (makeup. GASP!) How is this fucking relevant?

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Answer: It's not, but we as a society have become so desensitized to this scrutiny that we are complicit in it, and by being complicit, we are propagating the idea that a woman's appearance is newsworthy. Now I'm not saying this can't happen to men. It does, but in a different way. Men are often sexualised in the media without context. Let's take Heat's Torso of the Week for example. Yikes. Total sexism there ladies and we are to blame.

Even in the articles I'm discussing, if you look at #2 there's Diet Coke's Hunk of the Week. Really, ladies? This is a thing? There is pressure on men to look great too, of course, but rare are the articles chastising men for leaving the house with a hair out of place. #5 would not be newsworthy if we were talking about Benedict Cumberbatch's nipples, but Rhianna's are worth reading about. We've all got them, people,and sometimes they like to play peek-a-boo. Stop being a pervert, watch the fucking game and get your eyes off my tits!

The most fucked up point to make here is that nearly all of these articles were written by women. I was asked a very interesting question earlier in the week which was 'can women be sexist to each other'? The answer is fuck yes. All this talk about 'shapely legs' #6 and 'enviable figure' #5 is fucking sexist. These authors might as well have been wolf-whistling as these celebs walked by as well as chronicling their physical attributes above all else.

It should not be important that Jennifer Garner has a nice rack under her frumpy shirt. Poor Clare Danes in #13 is just trying to go for a run, but the author comments on how she is displaying her body. Who doesn't run in leggings? Is this really fucking print worthy and why are we sexualising this woman when she is quite clearly doing nothing of a sexual nature? If these articles were written by men I believe more people would see the problem, but because it's us women-folk visiting these expectations and limitations on each other it often goes unnoticed.

Notice it. We as women are hard enough on ourselves, let's not be hard on other women too. Even if they are celebrities that we will most likely never meet. It's bullshit. The reason we are so hard on ourselves is because of all this vacuous nonsense flooding our brains and taking up space where our confidence and empathy should be.

I challenge you all to not pick up that US Magazine, or that Heat magazine. It's full of stories designed to make you hate on other women. And none of you are malicious. I know that, but it happens without us even knowing it. Read magazines that make you feel god about yourself. Myslexia or The Vagenda.

Let's change the conversation. Let's make it about who these women are, so we can be inspired in a positive, healthy way and not about how they look. I know that I as a woman would hate to think I was being judged in the same way. Let's cut this Mean Girls shit out and start being more supportive of each other.

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