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Response to The Straight Story (Reply #19)

Sat Sep 6, 2014, 07:50 AM

23. Well, I don't agree with that essay either.

Well for one, how has she marketed herself as feminist icon? Sure, other people have discussed whether she is or not, but how does she have any control over what other people say about her?

And that "whole narrow and often times impossible beauty standards" line is just weird. We're talking about a woman here, who has been ridiculed for having a big ass, looking pregnant while out in public, for looking plain and ordinary by not wearing makeup in public and not always having hair perfectly coiffed when a paparazzo takes a pic of her doing some mundane errand. Yet whenever she's got her hair and makeup done, she's wearing an outfit that she either bought herself or was donated to her for she to wear and she's at some gala event with a bunch of other people who are all doing the exact same thing, she alone is the problem here.

And really, "impossible beauty standards?" For whom? There are all kinds of beautiful women walking around this planet, who are just as beautiful or even more so than she. They wear nice make up and nice clothes and beautiful fragrances and the have their hair done… And many, if not most, paid for all of that out of their own pocket without the help of any man. Some of these woman may even be lesbians, so there's absolutely no factoring of men or patriarchy into those particular instances at all.

It really appalls me that women are somehow criticized for looking attractive, as if that's all they're supposed to be about. Or that women are unable to establish their own standards of beauty, apart from the norm, when there's absolutely nothing true about that whatsoever.

The world is full of many so-called "non-traditionally beautiful" women… Women who may be considered too short or too tall or too curvy or too whatever. And I can tell you that that particular article that you've posted smacks to me as if it was written by a white feminist author. Which is problematic in itself, given the discord between both white and non-white feminist activists.

The last thing that I would want to do is criticize any woman's look. As man, I don't have that right. It's not my place to grade whether or not her beauty is valid or not. That's where the misogynists come in, telling women that they're too fat or too ugly. Or whether or not they're remotely "fuckable."

In the last couple of years, especially from exposure to feminist women of color's voices in places like Tumblr, I've had to do a reassessment on my own views about women and the validity of how women look at themselves. What I've realized is that my own judgement about how women live their own lives is completely irrelevant. That's why I am completely opposed to harassment of women and cat calling, judging their clothes or whether or not they smile, blaming the victims of abuse for being abused, whether or not they meet some narrowly definition of beauty based completely on a standard of white supremacy and most of all criticizing the choices that they make about their own bodies.

None of it is any of my own business, especially as a man.



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