Feminism is having a wardrobe malfunction.
Does your brand of feminism remove barriers for women, or simply move them around? Does is expand options for women, or does it just shift them? You don’t liberate women by forcing them to choose option B instead of option A. What is comfortable for you might not be comfortable for someone else, and it’s entirely possible that what you see as oppressive, other women find comfortable or even downright liberating.
Before you think the girl in the middle is a strawman, let me tell you I used to be her, back in my misguided youth. I considered myself the standard to which other people should adhere. But that was stupid. It’s not up to me to tell people how to dress, and it’s much nicer to let everyone choose for themselves.
Some women would feel naked without a veil. Some women would find it restrictive. Some women would feel restricted by a bra. Some women would feel naked without one. Some women would feel restricted by a tight corset. Others love them. Some wear lots of clothes with a corset. Some only wear the corset and nothing else. What makes any article of clothing oppressive is someone forcing you to wear it. And it’s just as oppressive to force someone not to wear something that they want to wear.
Can we not address that n>1 women that wear the veil do so not out of their own choice, but because the consequences for not doing so can be horrendous?
You know, don’t rip the veil off women in the street, and if someone is happily advocating for wearing it, whilst wearing it, then yeah, whatever floats their boat. But some women DO wear the veil solely because they’re oppressed, just like some sex workers are only sex workers because they’re forced (I’m using that as an example because I AM a sex worker, and I will draw the distinction between SSWs and sex-workers-by-choice and people-involved-in-sex-related-human-trafficking).
So many people seem to pretend that *everyone* who wears the veil does it because they’re more comfortable in it and it’s all a beautiful spiritual choice, rather than (anonymised example from someone I used to know) because their uncle will stop paying their tuition fees and kick them shitless if they don’t.
Obviously there are tons of women out there who have to dress and act a certain way because they’re forced to. I’m not saying every woman gets to choose. But 1: for those that do, it’s not for anyone to criticize their choice, and 2: for those that don’t get to choose, yelling at them soooooooo doesn’t solve any problems. I would argue that the weight of the patriarchy forcing them to do something, plus feminism guilting them for doing it, is going to be twice as heavy.
If you think the patriarchy is forcing women to act/dress a certain way, take it up with the patriarchy, not with individual women.
last comment super duper awesome great
My question is always “But why would you choose to run around naked?” But then again, in some circles, the notion that I simply do not want to see most people naked puts me in the same camp as Ayn Rand.
Some people enjoy baring more skin…many for a wide variety of reasons having nothing to do with sex, ad nothing wrong with the ones who DO like it for sexual reasons. Many people also enjoy eating zucchini in many was for many reasons. I hate zucchini and cannot fathom why anyone would enjoy eating it, but it’s not my place to ban or police or God forbid piss on your plate just because I don’t like it. The point where I would become like Ayn Rand would be the point where I decided that my particular opinion on zucchini was a sign that I was somehow a better, smarter, superior, more morally enlightened human being entitled to better things than zucchini eaters. And you’re not like that with nudity, I would hope. Because if you actually think you’re a superior human because you prefer to wear more clothes, you’re wrong and deserved the comparison.
In her jeremiad against trigger warnings, which has received accolades from academics as famous as Jack Halberstam, Jenny Jarvie claims that to employ the language of triggering in college classrooms, we are “structuring public life around the most fragile personal sensitivities.” Jarvie foresees that such a gesture would “only restrict all our horizons,” but, I can’t help but think that the opposite effect would come about: to consider the needs of those most vulnerable first and foremost would foster all lives, not just those Jarvie sees as strong or fit. I think we must protect those who are fragile. To protect the weakest or frailest among us would mean that we would all be safe. Trigger warnings don’t shut down discourse. Rather, they open it up: a trigger warning is a recognition that survivors exist and an invitation for them to participate in conversations on their own terms. It is a gesture that acknowledges (“I see you”) and promises at least an attempt to be an ally (“I will try not to harm you”). To work on ending harm to others - what could be a better use of public life than that?
i m a g i n e
comic about how I’ve been feeling recently
I’ve recently decided to freeze myself to -273℃. My friends think I’ll die, but I’ll be 0K.
when we talk about women in refrigerators it’s not always something super literal
i don’t imagine in writers room across the globe they’re all sitting there like “well we’re out of ideas let’s fridge another one” (but maybe they do i have no idea)
but what’s happening consciously or unconsciously writers are deciding that women are more valuable dead then alive. this goes way back. this is poe saying there’s nothing more poetic than the death of a beautiful woman. this is a dozen pre raphaelite paintings of ophelia drowning because they found her suffering erotic. this is the first reaction to laura palmer’s body being found being, “she was so beautiful.”
fuck this. fuck this.
i’m sick of writers getting passes. fuck this. our strong women are taken from us. we don’t get survivors. we don’t get triumph. women get chopped into artistic little pieces for the male heroes to choke own because we’re more valuable this way. because this way you don’t have to worry about our hopes and fears and opinions because we’re dead and dead women tell no tales. they can’t speak out against injustice because men took their tongues. and they think it’s beautiful. death, the ultimate passivity, the ultimate waiting room, is the most beautiful thing of all. there’s nothing more poetic than the death of a beautiful woman.
women matter. they matter when they are living. not listening to women while they’re still breathing is a failure and should not be regarded as anything else. it is a failure with very serious effects
someone put this on neil druckman’s desk.
Because I’ve been thinking about all of this a lot lately, and I decided I should probably channel that thought into something.
"But life IS trauma!!!"
No, fuck you, we are humans and we have the power to tell life what to be. Don’t use life as an excuse for your shitty, thoughtless behavior.