We smile when we’re harassed on the street or hit on by jerks. We laugh at sexist jokes. We learn that when we have strong opinions, we’ll be called bitches and that if we get angry, we’ll be called hysterical. When we say what we want, we’re called pushy or aggressive.
Part of learning “ladylike” behavior is about learning to smile politely when someone is being crude. Femininity has long been attached to passivity and to being docile. Men fight, women giggle and fume silently."
— Women And Girls Don’t Need To Be Told To Be Nicer (via idioticteen)
Does your boyfriend or brother spend a lot of money on skin and hair care products? Does your dad spend much time at the hairdresser or beautician?
In your city’s daily paper do most of the political news items feature women? Are most of the stories in the business section written by and about women? Is there a special ‘Men’s Section’ filled with celebrity gossip, fashion and beauty tips?
When you watch a big sporting event on TV, are the athletes usually women? When you watch female sporting teams are there hot guys in tiny outfits cheering for them on the sidelines?
Do girls you know talk openly about getting off while watching porn? Do they boast about their sexual conquests?
When you’re at the food court, do your female friends happily gobble down a large burger and fries combo while your male friends pick at a salad and sip diet coke?
Do the majority of the fathers you know spend most of their time at home washing, cleaning, cooking and taking care of their kids? Do you often hear mothers refer to looking after their own kids as ‘babysitting’? Have you heard women talk about earning brownie points for cleaning their own house and washing their own clothes? Are you sick of men going on about how hard it is to balance work and parenthood?
Are your male friends afraid to walk on their own at night? Do they avoid drinking too much in case they get raped? Do they dress to protect themselves from attack and always carry their keys poking through their knuckles? When they complain about all this do your female friends shrug and tell them that’s just how the world is?
If the answer to all of these questions was yes, wouldn’t that mean something was wrong? Is that still true if the genders are reversed? Does it matter?"
— Opening from Emily Maguire’s ‘Your Skirt’s Too Short: Sex, Power, Choice’ (via disabledbyculture)
Margaret Atwood, Second Words: Selected Critical Prose (1983), pg. 413.
You’ve probably heard the punchline before, but here’s the full context for the quote. (via muffinw)
In this post-feminist context it has become difficult to be openly critical of sexual mores (even those regarding consent and sexual violence) without being labelled anti-choice, anti-sex and seen as rejecting the very sexual freedoms that feminism fought to achieve. This in turn demonstrates how fields of interaction can indeed be re-moulded (as feminist adaptations of Bourdieu have suggested). However, in this particular case it is a re-packaging of old gender norms within a rhetoric of choice that both resists any substantive challenge to the underlying gender structure and obscures the persistent operation of male power and dominance within sexual encounters that continues to exist"
— Anastasia Powell, Sex, Power, and Consent (via sociolab)
— Simone de Beauvoir
It’s a fucking curse. You fall in love, it’s bullshit. You’re talented, it’s bullshit. You love something, bullshit. You care about something, bullshit. You destroy something bullshit. Something kills you, bullshit!
We’re all so trivial. Nothing we say has any weight, any precedence. Because we don’t know shit.
What do we like? Who cares. What do we love? Who fucking cares. We hate ourselves and we’re called dramatic and self-obsessed. We love ourselves and we’re called dramatic and self-obsessed. Since when was loving yourself a character flaw? Fuck. I think it’s astounding. Why wouldn’t you want to raise a generation of strong, proud girls? I know why, because you’re fucking scared, and you don’t even realise it. Somewhere, in the back of your head, past all the patriarchal bullshit, you know what we’re capable of. And don’t look at me like that, I know what the patriarchy is, and that’s exactly my fucking point. You underestimate us, you reduce us down to silly little girls.
In the back of your head, you’re scared for us to have voices, you don’t want us to have power. Because then, then we’ll speak up about the shit you put us through. And you know what? If you don’t educate us, if you refuse to educate us, we’ll educate ourselves.
I am so, so sick of this biased crazy bitch-teenager idea. Being passionate doesn’t make us crazy. And even if we are crazy, so fucking what? It’s you who made us like this.
You, who raised your daughter to keep her voice down. You, who taught her it’s better to be meek. You, who told her she just drunk too much, helped her throw out her ripped underwear, and never thought to ask questions. You, who told her sex was an obligation. And you, for telling her it’s a bargaining tool. Her desires aren’t natural. Don’t act, don’t speak. Repress, repress, repress. Repent, repent, repent. Be ashamed. Shut your mouth.
You shut it for her though.
Every lesson, every time you ignored her need, you plucked out another vocal chord. And you kept going and you kept teaching until her throat was empty, and you stole her words and threw her voice box down a fucking well so no one would ever hear her speak again. And you think we’re the crazy ones? You’re draining the life from you daughter so you can stick it in a glass vial and give it to your son in law.
You want us to be meek? You want us to be quiet. We’re fucking monsters. You made us, you’ve silenced us, and now we’re going to scream and scream until you notice."
— The curse of the teenage girl - J.M (script extract)
— Emilie Autumn
See also: “You’re overreacting.”
Women, too, have been socialized to believe that the ultimate arbiters of their appearance are men, that anything they do with their appearance is or should be “for men.” That’s why women’s magazines trip over themselves to offer up advice on “what he wants to see you wearing” and “what men think of these current fashion trends” and “wow him with these new hairstyles.” While women can and do judge each other’s appearance harshly, many of us grew up being told by mothers, sisters, and female strangers that we’ll never “get a man” or “keep a man” unless we do X or lose some fat from Y, unless we moisturize//trim/shave/push up/hide/show/”flatter”/paint/dye/exfoliate/pierce/surgically alter this or that.
That’s also why when a woman wears revealing clothes, it’s okay, in our society, to assume that she’s “looking for attention” or that she’s a slut and wants to sleep with a bunch of guys. Because why else would a woman wear revealing clothes if not for the benefit of men and to communicate her sexual availability to them, right? It can’t possibly have anything to do with the fact that it’s hot out or it’s more comfortable or she likes how she looks in it or everything else is in the laundry or she wants to get a tan or maybe she likes women and wants attention from them, not from men?
The result of all this is that many men, even kind and well-meaning men, believe, however subconsciously, that women’s bodies are for them. They are for them to look at, for them to pass judgment on, for them to bless with a compliment if they deign to do so. They are not for women to enjoy, take pride in, love, accept, explore, show off, or hide as they please. They are for men and their pleasure."
Reblogging again because it’s SO IMPORTANT.
patriarchy proverb (via stfueverything)
WELL THAT ABOUT SUMS IT UP
— Marge Piercy, “The Grand Coolie Damn”, 1969 (via notesonresistance)
We’ve got a multi-billion dollar industry doing their best to remind us daily that we need what they’re selling, so don’t act all befuddled about where we got the idea that we looked better this way. Plus, it’s not like men don’t still expect us to look beautiful. They just don’t want us cheating with cosmetics. Hope your face is naturally flawless!
And while we’re talking, don’t you ladies know how annoying it is that you’re all hung up on your weight? Sure, we expect you to have a great body. But don’t be one of those lame girls who orders salads on a date. We like to see you eat!
Most of the time, when men say they prefer “natural beauty,” they don’t mean that they’re ready for us to start leaving the house the way we roll out of bed in the morning. They mean that they want us to look perfect without appearing to try.
Basically, it’s a trap."
- it’s bullshit disingenuous rejection of responsibility for patriarchal beauty standards
- it hides yet another performance standard: never let us SEE what we are doing to you
- it shows contempt for effort. people are not supposed to try at anything, you’re supposed to be a gifted special snowflake
- and admitting that femininity is effort means fundamentally undercutting the idea that women are flighty and trivial and weak
- and it makes - OF COURSE - the whole thing about dude’s boners, and not the way there are social and financial consequences for not being a little made-up
- and it is so hostile to the idea of self-expression? someone who wears bright red lipstick does not think that people will actually assume their lips REALLY ARE bright red, any more than we assume a dude who shaves his face is naturally hairless, or think that a person wearing a blue shirt actually has blue arms. sometimes we make aesthetic choices to communicate with the world.
- which in and of itself depends on women as fundamentally underhanded. of course even the way we present ourselves is a bald-faced lie
basically it is a Gross Things About The Patriarchy 101 midterm all rolled up into one passive-aggressive bid for a pat on the back over some Nice Guy’s “enlightenment”
Being feminine is being desired and hated at the same time. A feminine body or mind is expected to be open and receiving to everything from others’ emotional baggage to sexual fantasies of total strangers. At the same time, receptivity (not that this defines femininity by any means) is considered weak and inferior. The result of this is often violence. Femininity is to be present for other’s needs and then destroyed for its perceived weaknesses.
Being feminine and of color is especially dangerous. Not just because we are a walking target for racist, stereotyped sexual fantasies but because so often we are blamed for being that."
Womanist Musings: Processes of Feminization: Becoming Myself (via aseanti)
I know this all too well. :( Even pre-transition, I was the person in my social groups who was always the one who had to do the emotional work with my (mostly straight cis male) friends, but it was always one way. I listened and reflected back on them, and they talked to me, but when I needed them, they thought I was being selfish and got angry at me because the default dynamic was so one-way to them they saw anything else as being unbalanced.
And it’s the same way with men now, especially white and/or cis men who fetishize me: that it’s a very one-way default thing for them, and any attempt where I try to hold a boundary or stand up for myself seems like a huge giant incursion to them because I’m supposed to be the one receiving & handling their emotional needs, desires, fantasies, etc. That’s the default dynamic in their minds, and any push back feels like I’m taking something from them. And also they’re not afraid to lash out at me because of the perceived weaknesses stated above.