I was eating lunch with my wife a few days ago when she said that in hindsight she is thankful for a rule I established early on in our relationship. I told her many years ago that I would never raise my voice with her, but that I would expect the same treatment in return. I said I was willing to end the relationship if she could not abide by the rule.
This seems like a common sense condition, but it does not take long to realize that many people do not follow it — even in public. In fact, some people claim that yelling adds “passion” to a relationship. I would argue that screaming at a spouse and calling the ordeal an aphrodisiac is a form of denial; it is dysfunction masquerading as love.
When a person raises his or her voice in an argument, it is a sign of desperation. It indicates a loss of control. The couple immediately enters an emotional realm that is conducive to mental and physical violence, which is why it is exponentially embarrassing if the man is the one who raised his voice first.
Yelling at someone does not add legitimacy to an argument, but for some reason many individuals think increased decibel-levels magically perform such a function.
Raising your voice does denote anger, but a healthier way of conveying that feeling is to simply say, “I am angry.” If you say what you mean and mean what you say with your spouse on a regular basis, then that statement alone will be treated with the seriousness it deserves.
As was already mentioned, a man should never yell at his significant other. The vast majority of men are physically stronger than the women in their life, so ending a disagreement by introducing the specter of violence — even if the man has never physically harmed his wife — is cowardly, wrong, and ipso facto detrimental to the long-term health of the relationship.
“Anybody can become angry,” Aristotle wrote. “That is easy. But to be angry with the right person and to the right degree and at the right time and for the the right purpose, and in the right way — that is not … easy.”
Anger is a natural feeling, and in general there is nothing wrong with feeling anger. The key is to channel that anger in healthy ways. If you struggle with this task, then I suggest checking out the book “Overcoming Sinful Anger,” by Rev. T.G. Morrow. It is a short book, but one filled with advice that will leave you happier and healthier if you take his words to heart.
Burger King recently started a limited-market promotion of the Proud Whopper, which included the underlying message “We’re all the same inside.” It was supposed to be a show of support for San Francisco’s gay community, but it could also serve as Burger King’s stealth pro-life campaign. Since Burger King employee Victoria Duran of Columbus, Ohio seems to think that the unborn are just a “clump of cells,” the Proud Burger message can teach her that we’re all just bigger “clumps of cells.”
Ms. Duran is composed of many more cells than an unborn child, but no one is advocating that we kill her. It seems odd that she would a.) discriminate against someone with less cells than she, and b.) resort to assault and battery on the streets of Columbus because other clumps of cells are exercising their First Amendment rights.
As Hotair’s Ed Morrisey observes, “It’s amusing in one respect to see someone so passionately engaged in exposing her ignorance of human biology while attempting to lecture someone else about it, as well as her ignorance on basic American civics.”
As humorous as it is, it’s also rather frightening. While Ms. Duran ultimately has little power to strip social conservatives of their rights, there are plenty of “Durans” out there who would love to see that happen. Sometimes they expose themselves (literally) in places like Argentina when they assault Catholic men, or sometimes such bigotry rears its head when guys like Marvel Comics writer Dan Slott tells Hobby Lobby and its Christian supporters they should go to “Christ-land.”
Let us revisit Ms. Duran’s actual speech. While it is hardly eloquent, the intellectual DNA is similar among “clumps of cells” who categorize themselves as liberal.
“This is absolute lying there, fucking dipship. That is not what a fetus looks like, okay? It’s a clump of cells at twelve weeks. It does not look like that. It’s a clump of mother fucking cells. No hands are shown at that time. You so white privilege racist fucking male that doesn’t stand for women’s rights. Get the fuck out of her, fucking dipshit. And get that camera out of my face, either. Fuckwit! … Fuck you. Fuckwit. You are fucking white male privilege assholes. What you are is a racist motherfucker as well. How dare you fucking do this kind of shit, asshole. … You fucking sexist misogynist motherfuckers. That is all you are! You don’t give a shit about women! You don’t give a shit about life! All you are is a bunch of assholes. All you are a bunch … No uterus, no right to talk about it! Understand me, motherfucker? … Your signs deserve to get fucked up!
The thought police are out in full force. Race? Class? Gender? It’s all there. “Privileged…white…males” only have free speech until that speech upsets women like Ms. Duran. Then it’s gone. Regardless, it seems odd that Ms. Duran would accuse a young man from Created Equal of being racist, when it is women like Ms. Duran that have arguably cheered on black genocide via abortion for decades.
What if science told us that certain DNA sequences are likely to result in a gay or lesbian child? Would Ms. Duran support abortion then? Does she support forced abortions in China? Burger King’s motto used to be “Your way, right away,” but in Ms. Duran’s world it’s “My way, right away. Understand me, punk?”
We used to live by the old saying: “I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.” Today, a bunch of totalitarian thug wannabes don’t even give the phrase lip service — they just get in your face, destroy your property and threaten you with violence.
At the end of the day, it is not the Victoria Durans of the world who are the most dangerous to society as a whole. Instead, we must primarily concern ourselves with influential individuals sowing seeds of hate into the fertile minds of the young. Her consciousness is filled with weeds, but it is the farmer who planted them there that we should be concerned about.
And with that, I will leave you with this: Even The Burger King Kids Club was once just a “clump of cartoon cells.”
Just in case there are any Ms. Durans who want to take part in the comments section, I have some hard science for you.
“Five weeks after conception, the embryo first begins to assume features of human appearance. The face is recognizable, with the formation of discernible eyes, nose, and ears. Limbs emerge from protruding buds; digits, cartilage, and muscles develop. The cerebral hemispheres begin to fill the brain area, and the optic stalk becomes apparent. Nerve connections are established between the retina and the brain. The digestive tract rotates from its prior tubular structure, and the liver starts to produce blood cells and bile. Two tubes emerge from the pharynx to become bronchi, and the lungs have lobes and bronchioles. The heart is beating at 5 weeks and is almost completely developed by 8 weeks after conception. The diaphragm begins to divide the heart and lungs from the abdominal cavity. The kidneys approach their final form at this time. The urogenital and rectal passages separate, and germ cells migrate toward the genital ridges for future transformation into ovaries or testes. Differentiation of internal ducts begins, with persistence of either müllerian or wolffian ducts. Virilization of external genitalia occurs in male embryos. The embryo increases from about 6 to 33 mm in length and increases 50 times in weight.
Structurally, the fetus has become straighter, and the tubular neural canal along which the spinal cord develops becomes filled with nerve cells. Ears remain low on the sides of the head. Teeth are forming, and the two bony plates of the palate fuse in the midline. Disruptions during the latter part of the embryonic period lead to various forms of cleft lip and palate. By 10 weeks after the last menstrual period, all major organ systems have become established and integrated,” (Gabbe Obstetrics: Normal and Problem Pregnancies. 6th Ed. Copyright 2012 Saunders/Elsevier. Chapter 8: Drugs and Environmental Agents in Pregnancy and Lactation: Embryology, Tetratology, Epidemiology).
It looks like I wasn’t too far off with my observation about the intellectual DNA of Ms. Durnan. From the Tumblr account “Pro-choice or No Voice” comes this gem: “I always look at these ‘pro-choicer assaults pro-lifer’ videos hoping to see some smug little shit get socked in the face…”
You have it first hand from the source, folks. That’s the “tolerance” of Ms. Duran’s worldview.
Months ago ‘I Look Down on Young Women with Kids and I’m Not Sorry’ was published. It was written by Chrissy Stockton under the pen name “Amy Glass.” My wife read some of it out loud to me last weekend and asked what I thought. I told her that it required a blog post, even if the original piece was released in January. Besides, sometimes feminist drones get really upset and say things about me like: “I want to boil his nuts in Aunt Trudy’s cast-iron chicken pot and set a match to his wiener until it explodes like a cigar,” which also provides a window into their soul.
Let’s start from the beginning:
Do people really think that a stay at home mom is really on equal footing with a woman who works and takes care of herself? There’s no way those two things are the same. It’s hard for me to believe it’s not just verbally placating these people so they don’t get in trouble with the mommy bloggers.
Having kids and getting married are considered life milestones. We have baby showers and wedding parties as if it’s a huge accomplishment and cause for celebration to be able to get knocked up or find someone to walk down the aisle with. These aren’t accomplishments, they are actually super easy tasks, literally anyone can do them. They are the most common thing, ever, in the history of the world. They are, by definition, average. And here’s the thing, why on earth are we settling for average? …
You will never have the time, energy, freedom or mobility to be exceptional if you have a husband and kids.
Indeed, any two fools can have kids. That is easy. But it is difficult to be a father and a mother. It is hard to shape and mold young hearts and minds and spirits so that little human beings grow up to become productive members of civil society. One could make the argument that being an “exceptional” mother and father is society’s most important task. Ms. Stockton confidently crosses “exceptional” off the list for young married women, even though she’s never even been in love. Sad.
Let’s say you want to have a husband and kids and a job that pays enough for you to be comfortable. That’s an achievable dream for most of my peers, the upkeep of a relationship with an easy to moderate job can work for a woman. You can balance. However, there’s people like me who don’t like middle ground, it’s not for everyone. I don’t want to be a latte, I want to be an espresso. I want all of something, or I don’t want it at all.
Ms. Stockton obviously considers herself a “successful” woman, or at least on her way to being a success, so we must deduce from her own statement that she has never fallen in love. How is it that a woman who has never been in a loving relationship — especially a loving marriage — is so sure about what is possible for those couples? If a mother is doing what truly makes her happy, why is her life any less “successful” or “exceptional” than Ms. Stockton’s? Answer: It isn’t. Ms. Stockton just fashions herself an intellectual espresso-in-progress when in reality she’s more like drip-brew coffee.
In the case of Amy Glass, a pen name is justifiable. Amy Glass did not (and cannot) destroy anyone’s life by publishing “I Look Down On Young Women With Husbands And Kids And I’m Not Sorry.” It can make people feel bad, yes. It can make people rage, yes. But it can also lead to a massive, weeks-long discussion about the merits of the argument, rather than the merits of the person who published it. This distinction—exactly how the pen name is used—is crucial.
Then she says of her core beliefs:
I think of all my opinions as in transit. None of them are destinations: stagnant, immobile things that don’t change. I’m human—I have all sorts of ideas, and not all fall in line with one grand, value-consistent philosophy. Like Whitman, I am large, I contain multitudes.
Ms. Stockton pats herself on the back for not destroying someone’s life, and then brushes off the fact that she says mean and hurtful things that she might not even believe a month, a week, a day or even a few hours after hitting the publish button. Why? Because she “contains multitudes.” I agree: her mind houses the belief that she’s smarter than the young married woman next to her while also possessing deep wells of vapid pseudo-intellectual psychobabble.
If the nonsensical ramblings of this self-absorbed single woman sounds like a philosophy major to you, then give yourself a hand.
Ms. Stockton, OMG-Philosopher extraordinaire, is the author of PhiLOLZophy:
A popular question in philosophy is “How do I know I exist?” That seems really boring though. How about, “How can I use logic to get over my ex?” If you really love wisdom, you love it in all situations—you don’t need to be spoonfed unsolved problems in philosophy, because you’re already analyzing the US Weekly you’re reading or your kinda significant other. Sarah Heuer and Chrissy Stockton are writers living in Minneapolis who are determined to do something more interesting with their philosophy degrees than talk about dead white guys.
The picture is becoming so much clearer now: A female philosophy major who has never been in love — who has convinced herself that she can’t be successful and in love — finds out after graduation that a.) being able to quote Plato’s The Republic is nice but it isn’t particularly a marketable skill, and b.) she may not have the chops to be a “philosopher king.” She soothes her inner frustrations by lashing out at women who are in truly loving relationships before moving on to denigrating “old white men” — intellectual giants — who would “L-O-L” at “PhiLOLZophy.”
I hope that one day Ms. Stockton does fall in love. I hope that she enters into a healthy marriage. When that happens she’ll see ‘I Look Down on Young Women with Kids and I’m Not Sorry’ for what it really is — shallow self-centered tripe. There’s something deliciously ironic about a philosopher who doesn’t see that she’s The Allegory of Cave vivified. I’m confident that one day an older and wiser version of Ms. Stockton will see the light.
In America today, the modern liberal feminist has a strange problem on her hands — the United States is light years ahead of much of the rest of the world when it comes to women’s rights. Hillary Clinton, Madeleine Albright, Sarah Palin, Condoleezza Rice, Meg Whitman, Nancy Pelosi, Ruth Bater Ginsburg, Janet Yellen, Sonya Sotomayor, Elena Kagan, Oprah Winfrey, Ellen DeGeneres, Megyn Kelly, Sheryl Sandberg, Michelle Obama, and Melinda Gates barely scratch the surface of the endless list of female role models — living proof of just how much progress America has made since its inception. The tendency of the modern American feminist to inflate legitimate concerns into insurmountable obstacles often makes them look silly.
Take for instance, feminist Suey Park. After recently calling her out for seeing white boogeymen where they don’t exist it was then intimated online and in the comments section of this blog that I was racist. What I didn’t get a chance to do while discussing Ms. Park’s fears of “structural whiteness” was to zoom out to 30,000 feet. Pulling back allows readers to compare Ms. Park’s problems with those of women around the globe. It allows us to see if limited time and resources are being allocated properly.
But I also saw a lot of pressure to dye my hair lighter, wear color contacts, to wear Abercrombie jeans, to wear Ugg boots and Northface and it was all these symbols to make me look more white but could never make me white enough, which was really frustrating, so of course I took that out on my body.
As an Asian American woman you’re told that you have to be smart and pretty to be heard. And you have to be exceptional, and of course people want us to be exceptional, so it was hard for me because I did struggle with math and science and I couldn’t live up to the ideals of what my sister could.
Ms. [Preeti] Dhaka’s training as one of the capital’s nearly 1,000 female investigators couldn’t insulate her from Indian traditions that often conspire against laws meant to enforce women’s rights. After a day of protest duty on New Year’s Eve, she wrote a despairing note: Her new husband, unhappy that her dowry hadn’t included a car, “tried to motivate me to die.” …
Pressuring a bride or her family for wedding gifts is against a 1961 law passed in an effort to end dowry abuses. The dowry tradition persists, with a woman’s family often giving lavish gifts to her fiancé’s family.
Dowry disputes remain a prevalent cause of violence against women, usually by husbands or in-laws who think a dowry was too small. According to government crime statistics, nearly one woman was killed every hour in India last year over dowries. In Delhi, “dowry comes a lot” in police complaints by women, says Ms. Insan. “In the village, the girls don’t come forward. They prefer to protect the home.” …
On Jan. 12, her body was discovered hanging by a scarf from a ceiling fan in her husband’s quarters, according to a police report.
Police charged Mr. Mund, his mother and his sister with harassing Ms. Dhaka into killing herself and inflicting cruelty on her. They are awaiting trial.
The dowry persists. It looks like for all the legitimate complaints about the British Empire, India could use some more “structural whiteness” when it comes to women’s rights. (I would replace “structural whiteness” with “Western Civilization,” but for the purposes of this blog post we’ll stick with feminist jargon.)
In America, “pressure” to “wear Ugg boots” makes it into fawning Washington Post pieces on upstart feminists. In India, women still die over dowry disputes.
In America, “structural whiteness” causes so much pressure to be “exceptional” that feminists have turned it into an issue; in the Middle East, Islamic clerics issue fatwas on the legitimacy of raping non-Muslims in Syria:
An Islamic cleric has cleared the path for rebels in Syria, who are trying to oust President Bashar Assad, to rape women, so long as they’re non-Sunni.
Salafi Sheikh Yasir al-Ajlawni, who hails from Jordan but who lived in Damascus for 17 years, sent a message via YouTube: It’s a “legitimate fatwa” for Muslims waging war against Mr. Assad and trying to put in place a Sharia government to “capture and have sex with” Alawites and other non-Sunni, non-Muslim women, Human Events reports. Mr. Assad is part of the Alawites sect.
Americans should always strive to form a more perfect union, but it is also important for us to acknowledge that the system of governance put in place by our founding fathers is exceptional. Liberal U.S. feminists struggle (in large part because they’ve formed coalitions with perpetual race-baiters) to admit the greatness of the American experiment and, as a result, the credibility of their own cause continues to take a hits.
Suey Park is a young liberal feminist who recently gained some notoriety within academic circles for starting the Twitter hashtag “#NotYourAsianSidekick.” She told the Washington Post she wanted to “create a space where Asian American feminism does not leave any group behind and where they’ll be anything but a sidekick.” Her story gives us a unique opportunity to identify what the next crop of liberal American feminists represent.
I come from a middle-class family. My father is a chemical engineer; my mom, a housewife. And I’ve thought hard about what is it [about America] that has made my life different […] and I would answer this way: If I had stayed in India, if I’d remained, I would have probably ended up living one mile from where I was born. I would probably have married a girl of my identical religious and socioeconomic background. I would probably be a doctor or a lawyer or a software programmer, and I would have a whole set of opinions that could be predicted in advance. By coming to America, my life has taken a totally different shape. I became interested in American politics. I […] went into writing and journalism, public speaking. I joined the government, the Reagan administration. So America, in a sense, gave me the chance to write the script of my own life. And I think that’s the intoxicating appeal of America to outsiders, it’s a country that’s sort of like a blank sheet of paper and you are the artist, and you get to create your own destiny instead of having it given to you.
America is a country where you write the script of your own life. It’s a country that is like a “blank sheet of paper” and you are “the artist” who creates his or her own destiny instead of having it given to you.
Suey Park is like most liberal feminists — they spend an inordinate amount of time trying to blame others for the obstacles to their advancement. They live in the past, looking for the elusive boogeyman who made them feel sad, angry, insecure, weak or confused. In those cases where there is a grain of truth to their complaints, they inflate it into a mountain that they can endlessly traverse.
When did Ms. Park find her excuse mountain? Childhood.
Suey Park: It was a long time ago — from when I was really young. Even from the start of kindergarten, I was quickly racialized and made to understand that I was different based on what my mom packed for me in my lunch bag. On the playground other kids would pull their eyelids to their side and run around and chase me. I always thought to myself that someone must have taught them that. What kid would know to put their hands on their eyelids and make their eyes slanted? It’s not like they would look at an Asian girl for the first time if they never heard of Asians and do that. So it really proved to me that racism is taught.
Things seem so much bigger than they really are when we’re young. Sadly, for Ms. Park, the childhood trials and tribulations all kids go through have been turned a weird affirmation of American racism. Is it more likely that some dumb mean kids saw someone who looked different and responded to it like dumb kids have for thousands of years — or that parents instilled Asian hate in their kids when they tucked them in at night?
Kids can be downright mean in their attempts to come across as smart, witty or popular. Sometimes, insecure kids become bullies to mask their pain. “Mom is an alcoholic. Dad is abusive. Might as well go pick on the scrawny kid to make myself feel like I’m in control…”
Jerks make fun of fat kids, skinny kids, birthmarks, overbites, glasses, the tall, the short, the shy, white kids, black kids, Hispanic kids and yes, Asian kids. Those who don’t go through life with race-goggles strapped tight around their head can see that.
Suey Park: As an Asian American woman you’re told that you have to be smart and pretty to be heard. And you have to be exceptional, and of course people want us to be exceptional, so it was hard for me because I did struggle with math and science and I couldn’t live up to the ideals of what my sister could. So then I internalized that I had to be the pretty one and that I had to be the thin one and that became extra hard for me as I hit puberty and I wanted to hold onto it.
We’re back to childhood again. Freud would have a field day with Ms. Park. Keep that in mind as she discusses her eating disorder and the big boogeyman reveal.
Suey Park: I also think there’s also a lot of silence around mental health issues and eating disorders in Asian American families whether it be because of a cultural barrier or a communication barrier. There’s a lot of pressure to not struggle. It was hard for me to tell my parents about my eating disorder because I didn’t want them to know I was struggling because I knew they had sacrificed so much to give me this good life and so-called American dream.
So Ms. Park has a competitive dynamic going on between she and her sister, her parents put pressure on her to succeed, and the household environment wasn’t conducive to talking about emotional and psychological challenges. Sounds like something that any American might deal with, right? Wrong.
Suey Park: I think what was most disappointing was that even some “progressive” white people or “progressive” Asian Americans were telling me that I was demanding too much and telling me that meritocracy exists and that I should stop complaining and try to overcome my circumstances — the typical spiel.
The boogeyman is real, and he is white. Those darn white people and their “spiels” about overcoming adversity. Apparently, Ms. Park hasn’t been hanging out with the progressive white kids from Minnesoata, because they scrawl all over their bodies with black ink in bizarre attempts to shame themselves for their whiteness.
Instead of seeing a blank sheet of paper, Ms. Park sees “white” and then wonders why there isn’t a “Korean” color in her box of Crayola crayons.
Ms. Park continues:
Suey Park: I think a lot of white people have a visceral reaction to the fact that they belong to a structural whiteness. But I think it shows us something really important, which is that fraction of discomfort is nothing compared to a lifetime of being racialized and put in a subordinate class of people in the U.S.
“Structural whiteness.” Feminists like Peggy McIntosh said that “white privilege” was invisible, and that we couldn’t see it. Now Ms. Park comes along to inform us that this invisible whiteness is of immense size and shape — and it’s subordinating Asians. America is a giant mad house that is so insidious that millions of immigrants come here thinking they can shape their own destiny. If Dinesh really understood he was in an oppressive white matrix, he’d realize that his many successes and the American dream he fondly speaks of are figments of his imagination — it’s really only a “so-called” American dream.
Side note: When I was in college I had a professor tell me the American dream didn’t exist. I told him that I was living proof that it did exist. I left home at 18 years old with $100 to my name. I joined the military, and only a few years later I was putting myself through college at the University of Southern California. It took a little longer than I expected after an honorable discharge, requiring some time as an overnight stock boy at Target (as the only white guy, for those obsessed with race), but I got there. I often get nostalgic for those 1:00 a.m. breaks, where I’d watch my coworkers play soccer in the parking lot while I cheered them on and ate tacos from the back of a food truck, but I digress.
Question for Suey Park: Would she prefer something more “structurally Korean”? The gulags in North Korea are filled with Koreans, and sometimes you get to watch your parents get executed. They put rocks in your mouth and then tape it shut before the firing squad gets to work. (We can’t risk the Dear Leader getting disparaged by someone with nothing left to lose, now can we?) I’d talk about South Korea, but the wealth and prosperity it has seen over the last several decades is largely due to its embrace of America’s “structural whiteness” and the safety and security provided by our marbled Armed Forces. Check out satellite imagery of North and South Korea if you’d like to see what “structural whiteness” can do for the nation state nearest you…
The problem with most feminists is that they spend the bulk of their time reading the ramblings of other feminists, and not enough time examining the authors of the greatest experiment in self-governance in the history of mankind. Their intellectual wells on Washington, Jefferson, Madison and John Jay are dry, but they run deep on Gloria Steinem wannabes.
A bunch of really white guys hundreds of years ago laid down a road map for achieving levels of freedom and individual liberty that, to this day, is an aberration in much of the world. The ideas embedded in the Declaration of Independence and codified into the law by the U.S. Constitution transcend race. America is not structured around “whiteness” — it is structured around freedom and liberty. That is what millions of immigrants get, and what Americans like Ms. Park either a.) fail to understand or b.) willfully downplay to concentrate on a level of racism that simply does not exist in modern America.
In the end, we all want to be happy. Even though I disagree with Ms. Park, I want her pursuit of happiness to end well. According to her Washington Post piece, she has achieved her own definition of success. That’s great, right? Wrong again, white America.
Immediately I’ve become the cool Asian friend and all of my Facebook friends who thought I was really annoying for talking about racism, my feelings and my eating disorder are somehow now tokenizing me as a successful Asian American woman. I mean, how token is that?
At one time Ms. Park was upset because her friends rightfully found her obsession with race annoying. Now that she has found a modicum of success, and they patted her on the back for it, she is perturbed that she has become a “token.” But is she really a token — or just a token in her own mind?
No matter what happens to Ms. Park, there is always something to complain about.
Congratulations, Ms. Park — you are the quintessential liberal feminist.
Ashley Judd is angry. She’s really angry. So angry, in fact, that she wrote about it in The Daily Beast. Over what, you ask? Apparently the endless chatter that occurs in Hollywood circles, entertainment magazines and on talk shows about whether or not she’s had plastic surgery reached some sort of crescendo that demanded her attention. She writes:
“I choose to address [this now] because the conversation was pointedly nasty, gendered, and misogynistic and embodies what all girls and women in our culture, to a greater or lesser degree, endure every day, in ways both outrageous and subtle. The assault on our body image, the hypersexualization of girls and women and subsequent degradation of our sexuality as we walk through the decades, and the general incessant objectification is what this conversation allegedly about my face is really about. …
That women are joining in the ongoing disassembling of my appearance is salient. Patriarchy is not men. Patriarchy is a system in which both women and men participate. It privileges, inter alia, the interests of boys and men over the bodily integrity, autonomy, and dignity of girls and women. It is subtle, insidious, and never more dangerous than when women passionately deny that they themselves are engaging in it. This abnormal obsession with women’s faces and bodies has become so normal that we (I include myself at times—I absolutely fall for it still) have internalized patriarchy almost seamlessly. We are unable at times to identify ourselves as our own denigrating abusers, or as abusing other girls and women.
A case in point is that this conversation was initially promulgated largely by women; a sad and disturbing fact. (That they are professional friends of mine, and know my character and values, is an additional betrayal.)
If you make a deal with the Devil, you’re going to get burned. How many magazine covers has Ashley Judd been on? How many of them have been Photoshopped to hell? How many of them have been marketed almost exclusively to women? She enters into an industry filled with the most shallow, narcissistic and vain clowns among us and then wants to blame a patriarchal system designed to brainwash her female friends into betraying her? Not quite.
Sixteen to twenty-five year old men see women as objects because they’re raging balls of hormones. Literally. The rest of the male world will always appreciate a good-looking woman, but they have more important things on their mind. That’s what happens when you become a man. Although, sometimes, they have less important things on their mind (e.g., the football game). Either way, they don’t give a rip what Ashley Judd looks like…except when she willfully dons a football jersey and poses seductively for the camera.
Do you want to know who does care what Ashley Judd looks like? Women. Specifically, the kind of women who host The View. Angry, catty types who like to say mean things behind the back of others. The kind of women who take great glee in seeing beauty fade in someone they once saw as a rival, or were jealous of simply because she was beautiful. On some level Ashley Judd is even worse, because she’s a good-looking woman who goes around throwing out terms like ‘inter alia’ (unnecessarily) just to rub it in that she’s more beautiful and more intelligent than you. If our pretentious friend wanted to put an end to all the “nasty, gendered, and misogynistic” conversations she could start by having a heart to heart with the person in the mirror.
Below is a picture of Adele. A friend of mine had this to say about her Vogue cover shoot:
“Taking a women who IS in shape, photographing her in a bathing suit and putting her in a men’s magazine is one thing. But that is light years away from taking a woman who is somewhat overweight—who is known specifically for her TALENT—airbrushing her to the point that she looks like she’s had surgery, painting her with makeup and putting her in, easily, the most revealing top she’s ever posed in. Then they point a fan at her and hide her chin with heavy shadows—and FOR WHAT? A magazine aimed exclusively at women? That’s who this is for? That is something [women] all should be ashamed of. Including her.”
Remember how women fought for all sorts of basic rights, and then generations later their daughters and great granddaughters used those rights to turn themselves into Photoshopped mannequins? I do. Note to Ashley: next time you write a piece on the “insidious” women who don’t realize they’re part of the problem, all you have to do is to stick it in an envelope, put a stamp on it, and then send it to your home address. The mailman might think you’re a little strange, but your message will be better targeted.