Tag Archives: women

Women are taught to see their bodies in parts and to evaluate each part separately. Breasts, feet, hips, waistline, neck, eyes, nose, complexion, hair, and so on—each in turn is submitted to an anxious, fretful almost despairing scrutiny.

Susan Sontag, Woman’s Beauty: Put-Down or Power Source

(via knowledge equals black power)

Advertisements

This is how thoroughly we women have been sexualized, that we cannot make the kind of noises that come with physical exertion without it being associated with sex. In fact, everything about our bodies has been sexualized in one way or another. If we groan during sport or we breast-feed in public, we are criticized for making people think about sex. If we talk openly about things like menstruation and poop and farts, then we are criticized for making people not want to think about sex.

Think about what it means to be ladylike and all of the adjectives that go along with it: elegant, cultured, classy, sophisticated. To be successful at being feminine means being successful at being private, keeping your body’s natural functions behind closed doors and never letting anyone know they exist. It means to be constrained, that you do not let your legs spread wide in public transportation and you do not make noises that are harsh on the ears. It means presenting a polished, shiny surface to the world at all times, one that allows others to project whatever they wish onto you while never showing too much of your true self.

Women’s tennis and the gender politics of grunting

(via because i am a woman)

People of color, women, and gays — who now have greater access to the centers of influence that ever before — are under pressure to be well-behaved when talking about their struggles. There is an expectation that we can talk about sins but no one must be identified as a sinner: newspapers love to describe words or deeds as “racially charged” even in those cases when it would be more honest to say “racist”; we agree that there is rampant misogyny, but misogynists are nowhere to be found; homophobia is a problem but no one is homophobic. One cumulative effect of this policed language is that when someone dares to point out something as obvious as white privilege, it is seen as unduly provocative. Marginalized voices in America have fewer and fewer avenues to speak plainly about what they suffer; the effect of this enforced civility is that those voices are falsified or blocked entirely from the discourse.

–Teju Cole

(via spinsterette)

This idea — that women can always find another way to get the coverage or care they need — underpins just about every recent restriction on women’s health. What’s another 24-hour mandatory abortion waiting period? To a woman who lives 25 miles from the nearest provider, it’s everything. What’s one more tweak to a law about the width of clinic doors? To a clinic that can’t afford to remodel, it’s everything. What’s a minor policy change that means you have to pay full price for that IUD? To a woman who makes $14 an hour, it’s everything.

What a Woman’s Choice Means to the Supreme Court – NYmag.com

(via She Who Shall Not be Linked to)

Women know that femininity is both punished and rewarded. We also know that acting more ‘masculine’ — being openly ambitious in the workplace, or ‘pushy’ or ‘brusque,’ or speaking directly — can carry both risk and reward. A few weeks ago, in response to an Atlantic cover story about how the “confidence gap” is holding women back in the workplaces, Jessica Valenti at The Guardian suggested that women refrain from negotiating salaries and asking for raises and promotions because they know it can have negative consequences. It’s not a ‘confidence gap’ that holds us back — or at least, it’s not only that — it’s an accurate reading of the reality. We know we’re supposed to ‘lean in,’ but we also know that doing so can have negative consequences, because leaning in isn’t feminine. Asking a direct question or speaking in a low voice isn’t feminine. Making declarative statements with no friendly, deferential, self-doubting question mark at the end, isn’t feminine. We know that in order to achieve what we want, we sometimes have to expend extra energy making sure that people aren’t uncomfortable with how we talk or dress or behave. We have to collude with the expectation that we should be feminine. But we will also be punished for that femininity. This is the impossibly fine lose-lose line we toe, and though women are, historically speaking, quite new to the workplace, we have been toeing this line for centuries.

What’s Actually Holding You Back In the Office (Hint: It’s Not Your Feminine Voice)

(via the dopest ethiopienne)

They don’t believe us. Hundreds of thousands of women from around the world can weigh in and tell their first hand experiences and there are men out there — seemingly reasonable and intelligent men — who still refuse to admit that maybe, just maybe, we have good reasons to be afraid. A 22-year-old kid spouts the same misogynist rhetoric that my coworkers and I receive in our inboxes on a daily basis and goes on a shooting rampage with the expressed purpose of punishing women for not giving him the sexual attention he felt entitled to and we’re still told that we have no right to be scared because #NotAllMen are like that.

I Am Not an Angry Feminist. I’m a Furious One. 

(via because i am a woman)

Once you’ve realized that you’re living in a world that believes women are “less than” in every imaginable way, one of the things that can be most frustrating is that very few men get it. You want the people in your life, the men you care about, to understand the awful toll it can take on you. Operating in a world that sees you as less than fully human can be soul crushing— but it’s also incredibly lonely. When you speak up about any sense of unfairness or injustice, you’re told that you’re overreacting, you’re too angry, too silly— shut up already. It takes a tremendous amount of fortitude to be able to live in this world as a woman, let alone a woman who wants things to change.

–Kathleen Hanna

(via because i am a woman)

*loads up the trusty old Intersectionality Ray to fire it at #whitefeminism *

My great hope for us as young women is to start being kinder to ourselves so that we can be kinder to each other. To stop shaming ourselves and other people for things we don’t know the full story on — whether someone is too fat, too skinny, too short, too tall, too loud, too quiet, too anything. There’s a sense that we’re all ‘too’ something, and we’re all not enough… I hope we can be supportive of each other and try to really have each other’s backs, especially when we don’t know the whole story.

Emma Stone, seventeen

(via because i am a woman)

The problem with identity politics is not that it fails to transcend difference, as some critics charge, but rather the opposite- that it frequently conflates or ignores intra group differences. In the context of violence against women, this elision of difference is problematic, fundamentally because the violence that many women experience is often shaped by other dimensions of their identities, such as race and class. Moreover, ignoring differences within groups frequently contributes to tension among groups, another problem of identity politics that frustrates efforts to politicize violence against women.

Kimberlé Williams Crenshaw in “Mapping the Margins: Intersectionality, Identity Politics and Violence Against Women of Color

(via the dopest ethiopienne)