Patrick G. Landes
So I’m beginning to see a trend here. The culturally normal clothes that women wear, shape of their bodies, and their economic and social activities vastly put them in a position to be to be taken advantage of by men. These norms, of course, are created to place men in a position to manipulate women and dominate society based on gender and sex lines. It is true that men have made binds on themselves which value both a wealthy and muscular appearance and an aggressive personality, and breeches in this image have severe consequences, but men as a whole have not been put at a global socioeconomic disadvantage as women have. It kind of annoyed me that Naryan went such a roundabout way to illustrate this while Brumburg and Jackson went right to the punch. I also very much appreciated Stabile and Kumar’s analysis of journalism and how it casts an evil image of how foreign people treat women while we have significant gender oppression in the United States as well.
Since we’re focusing on how images of femininity are created by men and the negative impacts it has on women I’d like to bring some attention an extremes of the spectrum:
If you have ~30 minutes of extra procrastination time, I would encourage you to read this short article and watch at least some of this 20 minute movie and then think about what sort of psychic manipulation one would have to go through to contort oneself like this woman has in order to become a feminine ideal. But maybe I misspoke earlier when I said that this was an extreme example–women who contort themselves to fit western ideals of feminine beauty are common, particularly at Conn. There’s little to no acceptance of the “freshman 15” here for women at Conn. There is an epidemic of body shaming here just as there is in Saudi Arabia or areas dominated by the Taliban–only the men in these areas have gone a step further by fully taking women out of all public and economic spheres, rather than putting them at a vast disadvantage as we have done here.
I’d like to now turn to the Oscars now because it just happened yesterday. I didn’t watch it (although I did catch a few clips) because I generally don’t like to see the very images of what patriarchy says we should be parading around and being praised. Hero worship and body shaming everywhere. I think it’s great that Lupita Nyong’o won for her role in 12 Years a Slave, however she doesn’t really break the ultra-skinny feminine image that makes her “beautiful” in the eyes of old white men. It is, at most, a small dent in the immense steel wall of white male hegemony. I could go on about different celebrities, but I think I’ve made my point. Hollywood does not ever portray real life because they have to make things beautiful–people pay to see beautiful people on screen. I’ve not actually seen 12 Years a Slave, but I can assure you that she was picked because of her beauty that matched white standards.