The ratio of males to females in my “Masculinity and Femininity” course remains only 1 to 5, despite the fact that the course gives equal attention to each gender. Males encouraged to enroll often respond, “I don’t need another semester of male-bashing.” … These students, like most other American males, usually know about only one side of feminism, the social-political side.
They know feminism raises fundamental social and political questions, questions about justice and equality and power for women—which necessarily involve criticism of male dominance, of male attitudes, of men. … Yet for the most part they—again, in company with most males, have not yet begun to hear the second set of questions posed by feminism, the personal-psychological-spiritual ones that call for an honest probing of men’s needs and aspirations, as well as women’s, and imply empathy and compassion for both.
Some of these questions are: Why do you define manhood as being tough, in control, in charge, superior to what is non-male, detached—even from your own feelings? If that’s what it means, do you really want to be a man?"
"Rather than fighting for every woman’s right to feel beautiful, I would like to see the return of a kind of feminism that tells women and girls everywhere that maybe it’s all right not to be pretty and perfectly well behaved. That maybe women who are plain, or large, or old, or differently abled, or who simply don’t give a damn what they look like because they’re too busy saving the world or rearranging their sock drawer, have as much right to take up space as anyone else.
I think if we want to take care of the next generation of girls we should reassure them that power, strength and character are more important than beauty and always will be, and that even if they aren’t thin and pretty, they are still worthy of respect. That feeling is the birthright of men everywhere. It’s about time we claimed it for ourselves."
idk this article reeks of white feminism? like as a woc, i am never told that i am pretty, i’d get maaaaybe a “you have ~nice features~ but….”. i mean i agree that we need to move towards a culture of respecting women w/o adding qualifiers but this article rubs me the wrong way
Um YEP. I’m way more interested in, say, a combination of a) valuing women for who we are as whole human beings and b) MAJORLY expanding our extremely narrow ideas of what constitutes the bottom line of what it takes to be beautiful (i.e., whiteness).
Having spent most of my life being told I’m “so articulate” and “so intelligent” like it’s a fucking surprise not because I’m too-pretty-to-be-smart but because I’m black — having been told constantly, to my face, how beautiful mixed-race black people are when they have light eyes and skinny noses and straight hair when I am a black-eyed clunky-nosed nappy-haired biracial black woman — having never once in my entire life been asked to dance at an event where there are white girls present, no matter how plain or large or old or young or differently abled they are — having learned to settle for people liking my brain and my character because my appearance and sexuality don’t even register for a huge part of the population — and also having noticed that all of the women the author mentions by name are white, and that the only mention of race is a throwaway line about skin-bleaching products — I feel like that blog post really wasn’t written with women of color in mind at all.
I don’t think there’s anything wrong with wanting your appearance not to factor into how and why people value you, and I don’t think there’s anything wrong with wanting people to consider you beautiful when they usually don’t. I think there’s next to no point in discussing Western beauty standards without acknowledging how much of a GIGANTIC factor race is. And I also can’t think of any kind of widespread feminism we can “return” to that doesn’t enforce some kind of bizarre standard for the “right” way to be a woman / perform femininity.
#if i am never scolded again by feminists who Know Better Than Me #for liking heels and miniskirts and makeup and ‘chick flicks’ and pop music #it will be too goddamn soon #also #i really think that blog post would have been more interesting #if it had addressed more specifically the idea of women’s appearances only being of value when we please MEN #i’d rather help the next generation of girls figure out what they think of themselves #without the overarching bullcrap of ‘here is what dudes want to see; now conform’ #it would be so much nicer to tell the next generation of humans:#’here are the zillion different ways for women and for anybody who performs femininity’ #’to love themselves and be healthy and be beautiful’ #’if you can’t value that shit enjoy being alone on your island’ #’peace’ #idk #i am so much more into the idea that there’s no wrong way to be a woman and/or to be feminine #than into the idea that there’s any part of womanhood and/or femininity #that should be thrown out with the trash #i think i’m done