America’s Next Bill Clinton!


Women willing to go to jail to lose weight

http://www.usatoday.com/news/health/weightloss/2008-01-06-diet-confessions_N.htm

Because one of the classes I am taking this semester is “Women’s Ways of Knowing” (A class on feminist epistemology and women’s experiences), I am focusing a lot of the notes on body image issues – at least for the next few days anyway.

I ran into this story just reading the news last night, and realized that weight issues and body image is another one of my male privileges – and what’s a male privilege is also a check for women’s plight. The summary of the article is below.

Nearly a quarter (23%) would spend a week in jail; 23% would shave their head; 22% would wear a bikini on TV; and 21% would trade 10 years of life, according to the survey of 1,000 women 18 and older. Most (85%) would rather have an extra toe than 50 extra pounds.

How is it that women have gone through such great lengths just to look the way they’re “supposed” to? Health issues aside – this has nothing to do with health, but rather, the media representation of what a woman is supposed to look like, and it bothers me.

Rather than focusing on healthy lifestyles, women are made out to be Wonder People who are supposed to be everything that’s of the male fantasy. Companies are selling diet pills, gym memberships, and alternative foods just so women could lose weight – and are these women’s health ever taken into account? – of course not. Their goal is to firstly make money off these women, and secondly, setting unrealistic standards for women – standards that few will ever meet. Both the corporations and the media are responsible for this.

What bothers me even more about this article is the fact that one of the survey questions finds that women would rather be the “friendly chubby girl” than the “pretty witch.”

What the hell does that even mean? Why was the question even asked? As if women have to fall into one or the other category. I tell you what it does – it divides women. It divides them into “thin little bitches”, and “fat housewives.” That bothers me, too, because it pits women against one another and the solidarity of the feminist movement and puts it at a stall.

The fact is I know plenty of women – both thin and heavy, whose significant others love them, and who are my dearest friends. The worth of a woman is not based on her weight.

Of course, we ask how the women surveyed could ever got to the point that they’d be willing to lose these things to lose weight …the answer? The patriarchy. One you’ve been socialized that your body is all you’re worth, it kind of feels that way after a while.

It gets to the point where it’s sickening – that no matter how a woman looks, she suffers from it. Ever since they are little girls, pretty women have been sexualized and in some cases, assaulted. “Ugly” women, though, are seen as the outcasts of the world and are forced to go through diets and bizarre ways of losing weight.

In short, they’re fucked either way. If you’re pretty, you get treated/viewed as a slut and piece of meat, and if you’re not, you’re treated like you’re not worth anything …

I once dated a girl who said for a period of time in her life, she gained a lot of weight because she didn’t want to risk being sexually assaulted – but then she was known as the fat bitch.

That’s not a fair trade. Being human and loving one’s body shouldn’t be a trade.

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Can I still be “masculine” and be a feminist?

My apogogies for the lack of posting. I’ve been extremely busy, and extremely sick. I am still kind of walking around in a haze, not having eaten since Tuesday because of this really bad flu … 

Can I be a feminist and still, at the same time, hold on to my masculinity? I mean, if a female feminist can still cling on to her “womanhood” and be a feminist, why can’t I be the same? If a woman can still wear make-up and high heels and be a feminist, why can’t I be masculine and still be a feminist?

I bring this up because lately, I’ve been charged with not being a feminist because I still enjoy male privilege.

The most serious charge is that I still want power – that in having political ambitions, rather than giving up power, I am clinging on and going after power.

But if I am using such power for something good – feminism, why is it so wrong?

So what if I enjoy a good fight? So what if, upon hearing a Navy guy make an anti-women, anti-feminist comment at the bar, and acting like a misogynist objectifying jackass, I challenge him to a fight? Sure, it’s violence; but it’s violence for feminism?

So what if I enjoy the sense of women (sexually or otherwise) or the taste of beer, or that on Sundays, I am watching football? So what if I love the feeling of being able to shoot my M-16 so accurately that i can hit a target 500 meters away? I am still a feminist.

I can still be tender, loving, caring, and I can still stick by my values and convictions.

To be sure, those who accused me of such are 2nd Wavers, those who live in their own worlds, reject what is reality, and just are “radical.”

I like sex, I like beers, I like violence, I like football, and I still speak out on behalf of human and women’s rights.

I still fall in love I still enjoy wooing women, I still enjoy wearing my heart on my sleeve.

I love being the center of attention. I love power. I love being in control.

But I would never harm, objectifying, hurt, or deny women of their humanly rights.

Why am I not a feminist?

A girl I just spoke to told me one can still be masculine and “manly” and be a good person and a feminist and that I am an example of such.

I shouldn’t give a fuck what the 2nd Wave thinks. But I still need to give up male privilege, as it is how we pro-feminist males are supposed to act.

What am I to do? What’s a guy supposed to do? If I give up masculinity, all that’s in me will be gone. I’d be left with no passion, no drive, no ambition. This is not because it’s what defined me as a man, but it’s because it’s who I am.

I want to be a man, but I still want to be a feminist.

Thoughts?



Of love and masculinity

For the last few weeks, I’ve become more interested in exploring the theories of masculinity in feminism. This came after charges were brought up that I was still hanging on to male privilege – and that my tendency to compete, be violent and even my ambition to grab power and go into politics are signs of male privilege. Because of that, I will be exploring male privilege and masculinity a lot in my notes.

 

One thing I’ve noticed a lot – sometimes in my own life, but in other men’s lives, is their reaction to a rejection of love – and how, no matter how genuine they were in wanting to get to know someone, a rejection drives them into showing their masculinity.

It is, as if, a rejection of love is a challenge to their “manhood” and masculinity – speaking volumes of their maleness when they are rejected. More over, it also says something – coming from a male perspective, that they’re not manly enough and that they don’t have what it takes.

The rejected man, his ego and self emasculated, takes it upon himself then, to re-energize his manhood. How does he do this? He does this by being a womanizer. This does not always have to be about sex – but sometimes does include it. He has to prove to himself (not to others because the rest of the world probably doesn’t know or doesn’t give a damn) that, much like Stacy’s Mom, he still has it going on.

He has to prove to his close circle of friends that he still has it. That he can still get women – even if it just means them falling for him, and him rejecting them. This reinforces his masculinity and ability to attract women. I am not a fan of evolutionary psychology, but I think that there’s some truths hidden in that idea when mixed with masculinity.

This brings up a paradox: if women are seen as less than men, and if what is “feminine” – or belonging to women – is considered negativity, then why does a man, in his manhood, need a woman to elevate his status and to make him feel good about himself?

The reason I bring this up is that I am beginning to realize that masculinity can hurt us all. It hurts us in that our relationships and interactions aren’t defined by who we truly love or care for, but rather, how does our interaction with that person make us feel? Further, it also opens doors to less-than-desirable relationships, in which the purpose isn’t to nurture and to share and to love, but to boost one’s ego.Also – in such cases, the victims are also the women who fall for men who feel like they need to be with these women to feel boost their masculinity. When come to find out that they’re not in it for the love, but rather, their status, women are hurt.

Moreover – it does make one wonder: did this man want to get into the relationship with the original and supposedly true object of his affection because he truly felt something for her, or was it just to boost his masculinity?

Love, after all, isn’t defined by how you react if your romantic advances are welcomed. It’s how you react if your romantic gestures have been turned down.