Is Feminism only for the fat un-hot girls? If a girl is wearing underwear and is thin and attractive and confident – does her feminism mean less than that of an obese girl who no one objectifies? I want you to really think about this. Does feminism only apply to women who take great care to never expose cleavage, wear heels, or short skirts? Does feminism only mean something if women are dressed chastely and in no way presenting a temptation to the men around her?
This girl is thin and not dowdy. She likes to wear Victorian underwear. Is she less a feminist than this woman:
Obese, middle aged, almost sexless… do you think this woman has more credibility as a feminist than the thin chick in the corset? Does the fact that the only man who is attracted to her is her husband make you feel comfortable with her as a feminist role model? You would like your daughters to eat too much cheese and drink too much beer and hate their bodies so much they want to crawl out of their skin? You would prefer this to them being able to safely express themselves and not be afraid that men might take their stiletto heels as an invitation to violate
No you wouldn’t. You know what’s fucked up? That women are so exacting in their expectations of other women as role models. Women who are confident in their bodies and who are perceived as being “hot” can live by strong feminist values and still be discredited by other women as not being “real” enough. But a woman can be too real, too fat, too unattractive. No one will hold up an obese woman as a healthy role model for young girls any more than they will hold up a centerfold as a role model.
You don’t want your daughters to grow up and let their hot young bodies be objectified and so you don’t really want them to learn to celebrate the strong young beautiful bodies they’ve started off with but you also don’t want them letting themselves go – becoming fat and ugly and unwanted because that’s almost worse.
Women are the worst critics of other women.
Equal rights for women isn’t about women being equal only when clothed conservatively. It isn’t about women being equal only when not feeling hot and sexy and ready for a romp (which would be wrong because obviously it’s okay that men have appetites but not women). It isn’t about being equal only when women are ugly and asexual. It isn’t about women being equal only when men can still feel confident around them and not get boners.
Equal rights for women is about women living by the same standards as men. It’s about ALL women being treated with respect no matter what their personal style is or how much of their skin is showing or how smart they are or how confident they are or how beautiful they are or how young they are or how old they are or how many wrinkles they have or how big their boobs are or how thin they are or how chaste they are or how sexual they are.
Equal rights for women is about women being able to express their individuality and let their lights shine without ever having to worry about being sexually harassed or ridiculed by men or other women. Equal rights is about getting equal pay for equal qualifications. It’s about getting treated respectfully in courts of law, in schools, and among peers. It means that rape victims are taken seriously and offenders are punished severely. It means that skinny girls and fat girls experience the same respect of body and mind. It means that the opinions of all women COUNT and that being hot or having big boobs doesn’t disqualify your point of view.
Feminism is for ALL women.
It’s for the good girls and the bad girls. It’s for the strong girls and the weak girls. It’s for the smart girls and the dumb girls. It’s for all the girls in-between.
And if boys were girls it would be for them too because it’s really about equal rights for everyone.
Today I watched this parody of Robin Thicke’s “Blurred Lines” video:
Haven’t seen the original? Me neither, until today. So check out the original:
And here’s a critique of the feminist parody in which a woman thinks she might get behind it more if the women in the parody weren’t so hot and wearing stiletto heels:
Feminism isn’t about being better than men. It isn’t a contest with men. Or other women. It isn’t a contest, period. It’s about being held to the same standards as men and enjoying the same civil rights as men. If men can walk through town without their shirts on, women should be allowed to walk around town without their shirts on too – and be treated the same as the shirtless men. There are men who feel threatened by feminism but they shouldn’t be. Women love sex. Straight women love sex with men. There are lots of dirrrrrty women who would love to get nasty with men but who expect to be safe and be able to trust that when they’ve had enough and say “no” that they will be heard and have their drawn lines respected. Women want sexual fulfillment too so it doesn’t serve men to be misogynists.
Feminism is a message that every woman can embrace and embody.
Feminism is smart, obvious, essential, sexy, sizeless, and human.
Feminism is for all of us.
*So many of my regular readers have called me “brave” over the years but I haven’t felt brave until the moment I published the fat picture in this post. It makes me feel sick to my stomach to have it here on my blog but those of you have come to respect my honesty keep me honest.