The findings of an art history student with a love of art, feminism, equality, opera, music in general, religion, mythology, sociology, medieval manuscripts, books, the body, and human love of all sorts.
Joan Crawford in Possessed (1931)
82 years later and it’s still relevant
Some people say that beauty is a curse. It may be true, but I’m sure I should not have at all minded being cursed a little. And I know several persons who might well say the same. But, anyway, I wish some one would write a book about a plain, bad heroine so that I might feel in real sympathy with her.
From I Await the Devil’s Coming: the “shocking, brave and intellectually challenging diary of a 19-year-old girl living in Butte, Montana in 1902.” I am looking forward to reading this!
We are relentless, judgmental with ourselves, and forgiving to others. We never want to be as passive-aggressive as our mothers, never want to marry men as uninspired as our fathers. We carry the world of guilt — center of families, keeper of relationships, caretaker of friends — with a new world of control/ambition — rich, independent, powerful. We are the daughters of feminists who said, “You can be anything” and we heard “You have to be everything.”
We must get A’s. We must make money. We must save the world. We must be thin. We must be unflappable. We must be beautiful. We are the anorectics, the bulimics, the overexercisers, the overeaters. We must be perfect. We must make it look effortless.
Perfect Girls, Starving Daughters (2007)
Affection is only one ingredient of love. To truly love we must learn to mix various ingredients—care, affection, recognition, respect, commitment, and trust, as well as honest and open communication. […]
Most of us learn to think of love as a feeling. When we feel deeply drawn to someone, we cathect with them; that is, we invest feelings or emotion in them. That process of investment wherein a loved one becomes important to us is called “cathexis.” In his book* [M. Scott] Peck rightly emphasizes that most of us “confuse cathecting with loving.” We all know how often individuals feeling connected to someone through the process of cathecting insist that they love the other person even if they are hurting or neglecting them. Since their feeling is that of cathexis, they insist what they feel is love.
When we understand love as the will to nurture our own and another’s spiritual growth, it becomes clear that we cannot claim to love if we are hurtful and abusive. Love and abuse can not coexist. Abuse and neglect are, by definition, the opposite of nurturance and care.
[*M. Scott Peck - The Road Less Travled, 1978] (via jenniferbundock)
“Judge women as people not as wives”
“MAKERS: Women Who Make America” premieres TONIGHT at 8pm. Watch a preview.
Just saw the Makers documentary on PBS. It was really informative, interesting, and inspiring. There were some issues (they kind of ignored contemporary feminism and the intersectionality of oppression) but I would still urge everyone to watch it.
A woman from the audience asks: ‘Why were there so few women among the Beat writers?’ and [Gregory] Corso, suddenly utterly serious, leans forward and says: “There were women, they were there, I knew them, their families put them in institutions, they were given electric shock. In the ’50s if you were male you could be a rebel, but if you were female your families had you locked up.
Stephen Scobie, on the Naropa Institute’s 1994 tribute to Allen Ginsberg (via thisisendless)
I’m just frozen. Absences of women in history don’t “just happen,” they are made.
People don’t wanna be compared to the teenage girl; the teenage girl is hated, teenage girls hate themselves. If you listen to a certain kind of music, or if you express your emotions in a certain kind of way, if you self harm, you write diaries, all those kind of activities are sort of laughed at and ridiculed because they’re associated with being a teenage girl. Even just things like being cripplingly self conscious or overly concerned with our appearance, that’s considered like a teenage girl thing and therefore its ridiculous, it’s stupid, it’s not relevant or legitimate, and you know, what we needed at that age was legitimisation and respect and support but all we got was dismissal and ‘oh you’re such a teenage girl.’
Men who want to be feminist allies do not need to be given a space in feminism. They need to take the space that they have in society and make it feminist. That’s what women had to do in the first place, and women have fought much too hard for what little space they have to be giving it to men.
The goal of feminism is equality. To achieve this, women must be seen as full human beings and rational agents. Discussing a single collective experience, motivation, perception, or behavior true to all women is antithetical to every facet of feminism.
Gloria Steinem [x]
This is completely true. If people have the option to decide WHEN to have children it changes EVERYTHING we are capable of doing in the world. And that scares the shit out of republicans because it means old, white, cis-men aren’t going to have as much power as they used to. That’s why republicans don’t like people of color and would rather ignore systemic racism than try to fix it.
Sex-negative messages don’t keep people from having sex. They keep people from having good sex. They keep people from having pride in their sexuality, from sexual self-awareness. They keep people from asking questions about sex, and communicating with their partners. They discourage experimentation. They blur the lines between consensual sex and rape by framing all sex as an undifferentiated mass of “bad.
Everybody knows by now from women’s magazines “on the street” questionnaires that men prefer us all in a simple white T and jeans and a bare face. So sexy! So casual!
In case you need a reminder, behold this recent Shape article on “What Men Really Think About Your Makeup.” Some sample quotes:
“Men want to kiss a woman’s face and not the makeup that’s on it. Who wants to feel like they are kissing a mask?”
“I think you can tell a lot about a woman’s personality by the makeup she wears. If it’s heavier, especially during the day, she’s more exaggerated and theatrical and may be hiding something. If it’s lighter, she’s more down to earth.”
“Nobody wants to kiss a clown!”
“All three of my ladies (my wife and two teenage daughters) are naturally beautiful, so I like when they wear no makeup or just something to highlight their big, beautiful eyes.”
“I think most women, my fiancée included, are pretty enough and don’t need a lot of makeup.”
How does this piss me off? Let me count the ways.
First of all, no one “needs” makeup. I hate the implication that makeup is something ugly women use to make themselves look less ugly, which is the flipside of “my fiance is pretty so she doesn’t need makeup.” Makeup is about enhancing beauty, not covering up ugly.
You may have noticed by now that there’s nothing subtle about my personal beauty ideal. I like the tallest shoes, the tightest skirts, the highest hair and the biggest tits possible. It’s funny that Jane “Makeunder” Pratt ended up with a Managing Editor with the style aesthetic of a drag queen an a Beauty Director whose black eyeliner you can basically pull from her cold, dead talons. If nobody wants to kiss a clown, I’m sort of in trouble, because I’m basically a sex clown.
But even more than being annoyed by the implication that there’s one right way to be sexy, I’m dubious that men have even the slightest idea what they’re talking about when they say “no makeup.” Most guys I’ve dated couldn’t explain the difference between a skirt and a dress, so forgive me if I am hesitant to believe they fully grasp the uses and appearance of various cosmetics. In fact, I hypothesize that they actually don’t know the difference between no makeup and natural-looking makeup.
Which is why these same dudes who prefer us make-up free can turn around and drool over the world’s most beautiful models and actresses, not one of whom they’ve ever seen with a bare face.
And in the end that’s what really, really pisses me off about the whole thing — that we can read about how men don’t like us to wear makeup on page 39, then turn to page 40 and see photos of gorgeous models who spent hours in the makeup chair or ads for the very same cosmetics we don’t need.
It’s the disconnect of being trained since birth to look a certain way, only to have dudes turn around and go, “Don’t you know we hate all that stuff on your face?” Like it was our idea! Like women collectively woke up one day and thought, “Wouldn’t it be awesome to slap a bunch of chemicals and dyes on our faces every morning from now on?”
We’ve got a multi-billion dollar industry doing their best to remind us daily that we need what they’re selling, so don’t act all befuddled about where we got the idea that we looked better this way. Plus, it’s not like men don’t still expect us to look beautiful. They just don’t want us cheating with cosmetics. Hope your face is naturally flawless!
And while we’re talking, don’t you ladies know how annoying it is that you’re all hung up on your weight? Sure, we expect you to have a great body. But don’t be one of those lame girls who orders salads on a date. We like to see you eat!
Most of the time, when men say they prefer “natural beauty,” they don’t mean that they’re ready for us to start leaving the house the way we roll out of bed in the morning. They mean that they want us to look perfect without appearing to try.
Basically, it’s a trap.
And look, if you’re a dude who is genuinely turned off by a made-up face, that’s your business. You can’t change your preference any more than I can suddenly become attracted to skinny dudes. But there are enough women out there who will fit your ideal that you don’t need to go around sharing it with those of us who don’t.
Because in the end, the only person we’re obligated to please with what we put on our heads, bodies, or faces is ourselves. And while I’m aware that my mode of self-representation is often more impressive to women and gay men than the dudes interviewed in these kinds of features, I just can’t stop being a big ol’ larger-than-life, red-lipped Glamazon.
Luckily for me, some men DO want to kiss a clown.
The typical American woman has sex for the first time at age 17 and reaches menopause at age 51. If she wants only two children, as most American women do, she will spend three decades being sexually active but trying to avoid unintended pregnancy. This is not an easy goal for an individual woman to meet.
My point is that feminists are not biological determinists. Feminists are the least likely people to say ‘all men are bastards’. Some of them might say ‘many men behave like bastards’. But they don’t imply that such behaviour is acceptable because its genetic or ‘natural’ for men to behave that way, like those arguments defending rapists which imply that men are really all just stupid cavemen who can’t be blamed when they rape because, hey, men just can’t help it when they see someone in a mini skirt. Feminists don’t write books about how men are genetically incapable of picking up an iron. Feminists don’t write books about how men are from another planet, one where men have to be left ‘in their cave’ because they just don’t have proper emotions like women do. That’s because actually, feminists think men should be treated as fully functional human beings with brains and morals who should be held responsible for the choices they make.