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I feel a need to rant here, to vent some of my frustrations.  There’s not one central source of these frustrations, which is a frustration in and of itself.  I’m talking about the new women’s empowerment thing.  The SlutWalks, the clothing, the empowering ‘exercises’, the body language, I’m referring to the whole damn thing.   All of the things we, as men, would ordinarily pay money to see and we’re just seeing it in public.  I understand the desire to take back certain physical and abstract entities (like, The Night…  and as an aside, fuck we’ve failed as a modern society when The Night still isn’t safe for both genders).  I do not understand why all of the empowering actions, choices, clothes, and jargon are more often than not now playing right into our (men’s) hands.  And by hands I mean right hand.  

Is the guiding principal that we can suffer some kind of overdose of sexy?  Is it thought that our attraction and lust will somehow be dulled by constant visual stimulation?  Are you trying to liberate these articles of clothing, these dances upon poles, these chest-jutting shoes from their old meanings and their old connotations?  If so, I don’t think you’re all going to meet with much success.   You could be screaming out praises for Our Great Master (Iä Ryleh!) and if your dressed like a prostitute we’d still only be seeing breasts (which we’re attracted to) and thighs (which we are attracted to in a tangential fashion) and devils take the rest.  

Which brings to my giant, huge question:

WHY?

Why those clothes, and those ‘dances’, and those shoes, and that verbage?  Why not wear long dresses, or parachute pants, or space foam, or normal things… or anything that doesn’t play into men’s desires?  Why those shoes, those heeled things which look so bloody painful?  Why, instead of trying to ‘take back’ what’s been sexualized for decades and decades not destroy these things, annihilate them and insist on being normal PEOPLE who do normal things in normal clothes who get normal respect instead of a loud and empowered pair of breasts?  

Who led everyone to thinking this was the path to enlightened equality and mutual respect?

What is a normal person?  A person who is afforded the respect and courtesy so expected and received by us Big White Males.  A normal person is one who has interests, hobbies, work, and so on without any of those things being influenced by the male libido.  What would normal clothes consist of?  Something comfortable and/or enjoyable to wear that isn’t spawned from an unholy union between men’s desires, men’s expectations of women, and women’s desire to be attractive.   More specifically, man’s desire to circumspectly judge every bloody woman within sight, a man’s expectation that every woman’s body be open to judging, and women’s desire not to be found wanting by said judging.   To hell with that!  Wasn’t the point of this movement to allow women to exist without a need to rely on other people’s perceptions?  To not be dependent on men?  Where did that go, how did that become, ‘do what men desire/wank to because obviously they will eventually sicken of something they’ve desired since the dawn of freaking time.’  

It’s like I’m taking CrAzY PiLls here!

And I know, I just know, that there will be someone in the comments section who will start on with, “oh, so I suppose you know what’s best then!”.  NO.  NO NO NO NO NO.  I don’t know what’s best for you, YOU know what’s best for you.  YOU.  Not whoever’s leading the movement, not those guys on the bus who look up at every pair of breasts that comes into view, YOU.  What do you want to do?  Model rocketry, miniature gaming, marathons, sailing, hockey, writing, photography, sociology, political activism?  I don’t know! It’s your freaking brain!  What should you wear?  Frilly goth dresses, short skirts, pants, cargo pants, droopy cargo pants, Victoria-era matron’s dresses, Capri things (although to be honest I don’t know what a Capri is)?  The possibilities are endless!  The possibilities that pander to men’s sexual appetites are not endless!  

/Rant

>>Catharsis achieved.  

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Comment Preferences

  •  I totally agree with you (0+ / 0-)

    I don't understand a lot of things.  Back in my day I went braless with huge platform shoes, fishnet stockings, teeny tiny mini skirts and tight tight tops and did all the free love stuff.

    But now that I am much older, at a different place, I do wonder how much I might not have respected myself and how much of it was plain stupid.  As far as I am concerned, these young women have not yet started to really to understand empowerment and are reacting to what they think are the things that are restricting them ... and that I do understand.  

    But this is an old woman's view and I don't have any children or grandchildren that are in this particular phase so I can stand back and be less involved.

    "Whenever a separation is made between liberty and justice, neither, in my opinion, is safe." Robert Browning in 'Ceuciaja'

    by CorinaR on Wed Aug 17, 2011 at 01:30:12 PM PDT

  •  What I think (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    PSWaterspirit, FloridaSNMOM

    is the point is this: No matter WHAT a woman wears, no matter how she prefers to dress, she SHOULD NOT BE BLAMED when a rapist decides to exercise his need for power over someonw else.  

    The flaunting of bodies in sexy, minimal clothing and other accoutrements may inspire lust/desire in lots of men, but does it inspire you to take, by force, from a woman what does not belong to you?  No?  I didn't think so.  Most men have more self-control than that.

    Rapists are not raping to have sex; they are seeking power and control over someone they preceive as weaker than themselves.  I'm afraid that some of the clothing, and particularly the shoes, allow women to be perceived as weaker and therefore perceived as victims, by those who want domination.

    BUT, no-one should be vicitimized due to their clothing, shoes, race, gender, sexual orientation, sexual identity, religion (or lack of same), weight, etc. (and please excuse me if I didn't include everyone in the list - you get the idea that I mean there is no reason for discrimination for pretty much ANY reason).  So I think these women are attempting to make this point in a dramatic way, and I think they have the right to do it.  Personally, when I  became aware of gender discrimination, I basically quit trying to conform to the rigid standards of what is considered to be "attractive" or "sexy" - and I was glad to do that since there was no way in hell I was ever going to make the grade, anyway.

    I'm not a big fan of this movement either. I'm sorry that men are sort of "programmed" to react to women's body parts and I sort of wish that that wasn't true, or that women would recognize that and not play into it so much.  But, I do hope that any woman, any time, anywhere, will be able to be home alone, or walk our streets, or be at work, safely; and if not safely, that she will not be held repsonsible for the actions of a power hungry guy with low/no self-esteem just because of what she was wearing.  

    Great evil has been done on earth by people who think they have all the answers. - Lynn W Andrews 1987

    by Spirit of Life on Wed Aug 17, 2011 at 02:25:25 PM PDT

    •  But lets go more than skin deep (hurr hurr) (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      PSWaterspirit

      on the issue.  If rape and assault is about control, its simply extending the control that is already present on the societal level: men are dictating what women do.  

      But this ignores the core question: why are women dressing like this in the first place?  They want to be attractive, they want people to like them which is very natural.  

      There are two ways to be attractive though, one is difficult.  You find yourself, center yourself, be who you are without kowtowing to the expectations and lustings of men.  The second way is financially easier, requires less brain power, allows for a laziness of spirit, and has been 'proven' by the media to work time and time again (damnable advertising): just play into a man's sexual desires.

      "Retaking" the second method isn't going to mitigate the sex-object mentality that taints it now.  

      But yes, it certainly cannot be an excuse for rape/assault.  

    •  You hit the point (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      tardis10, FloridaSNMOM

      that came to my mind.

      I used to volunteer with a group that helped women who were victims of sexual violence and/ or domestic abuse.

      When I was doing this I had one of my clients ministers tell her it was her fault. This woman was stabbed several times by her husband because she had gone to the grocery store without his permission. At the time it caused a stir because no one had ever imagined a minister would say such a thing. Now it is all to common.

      We have had cops that have commented within the hearing range of a rape victim, "What did she expect the way she is dressed."

      With the ultra right thinking that seems to have taken hold in the past few years back lash is to be expected, and there does need to be some nasty back lash on this.

      As far as cloths go people should just wear what they want. Wear whats comfortable. I remodel houses, I grew up on the beach so I have little modesty. When I am working up high on a house my cloths are minimum,really short shorts and a tank top, because the closest I have ever come to falling off of a roof was when my cloths got hooked on something. That this has been known to cause things like a traffic accident, well sorry but I am not into risking my life because some guy might feel the overwhelming need to rubber neck. that would be his problem. Sorry.

      It is the heart that makes a man rich. He is rich according to what he is not what he has -Henry Ward Beecher

      by PSWaterspirit on Wed Aug 17, 2011 at 02:56:15 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Control... (0+ / 0-)

    I'm not part of the empowerment movement, and I tend to dress rather conservatively for the most part now, though I admit more because I don't have the type of body anymore to flaunt like I did when I was young and had no kids.

    But, I think a lot of this movement is about saying "You have no control over us, not the way we dress, the way we walk or the way we act, and that still doesn't give you any right to rape anyone". I think it's a statement of innocence taken to extremes.

    On CNN.com today there was an article about a Mennonite compound in Bogota (I think that was the country), in which nine men have been arrested of anesthetizing and raping women of entire families, with their husbands sleeping beside them, including victims as young as 3 years old.  These women weren't wearing skimpy clothes, or going to parties and getting drunk, the children most definitely were not. And still their 'elders' are talking about the shame these women are living under, how they feel responsible for it somehow, never mind they were asleep at home in their beds, next to their husbands!

    Does this make the Empowerment movement any less scandalous? Perhaps not. But perhaps they're trying to get their voice heard, to get the media to NOTICE them and their message of "Stop blaming the victims!" Perhaps it says more about how society views the crime of rape, the crime of domestic violence and less about the women advocating for that cause.

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