…and I’m not the first to write about this. Yes, ladies, we’re mean. We hate each other and we’re often WORSE to one another than men are to us. Most of us grew up hating our mothers criticizing us for what we did, yet as adults, we do the same to one another – especially for what we CHOOSE to do. It’s no wonder many of us don’t want to call ourselves feminists, despite believing in equality. In theory, yes, most of us are feminists – defined as believing in equality and freedom of choice – but I’ve noticed that women who CHOOSE more traditional paths such as “sacrificing” her career for motherhood – see more criticism than those who pick something less “traditional.” Take for example, the whole issue with Ivanka Trump. I’m no fan of her father, but to say that she has “gone against her principles” by resigning after her husband was offered a position in DC is crazy. She resigned because she had to, due to conflict of interest.
Then you have the whole “Princess vs. STEM” thing. The anti-princess movement, however unintentional, implies that “being pretty” = BAD, liking science = GOOD. Well, there’s no reason why one can’t like both. There are women who in STEM-related careers who are also fashionistas. Like my mom. My mom worked in IT until the early 90s when she resigned due to my father being transferred abroad (and we moved to Bermuda for a year). My mom also read Vogue every month and was the one who introduced me to Seventeen, clothes and make-up along with IT itself (while we never had a Commodore 64 (which my mom hated), we DID get a 640K DOS machine in the mid-80s. We also had a modem fairly early on). As a child, I toyed with the idea of following my mom’s footsteps but realized that I probably had zero talent in coding when none of my programs ever worked. In other words, I understand technology IN THEORY, but execution? 🙁 I can also go on about good manners/etiquette. Charm schools, “princess camps,” finishing schools or whatever you want to call them are IMPORTANT, not because one wants/feels the need to be “lady-like,” but good for anyone who aspires to be an executive – male (and goodness, I think men/boys need it more than women/girls, sadly) or female. What I’m trying to say is we shouldn’t be driving girls away from liking and wanting to be “princesses” or soft pinks and purples but AT THE SAME TIME, encourage more “non-traditional” areas.
The “let’s do the opposite” philosophy is something I see in the body image movement as well. Seriously folks, I’m really tired of the “well, we see lots of people your size in the media, so you don’t matter” perspective. Am I NOT ALLOWED to have size issues because I’m thin (and under size 4 to be exact)? So-called “thin privilege” doesn’t mean I shouldn’t be able to discuss my “issues,” because guess what? WE ALL HAVE THEM. We have our down days. And it should be okay to talk about it, regardless of your size. I acknowledge that larger sizes aren’t portrayed enough in the media and that there’s a need to talk about size diversity, but “diversity” means ALL CLOTHING SIZES, ALL HEIGHTS. The body image movement also needs to stop implying that women who ARE smaller are just as unhealthy as those who are larger. Some of us are, some of us aren’t. This same movement often refuses to acknowledge proportions. So often, I see images of two women who are noted to wear the same clothing size, have the same weight and consume the same number of calories each day. Catch? One appears to be taller and more muscular while the other one is shorter and, shall we say, “softer.” The women’s height and what they actually eat remain a mystery. Well, DUH, people. DUH. The perception to me, as someone who works out fairly regularly (though not as much as someone who is training for a marathon) is “taller, muscular girl is healthier than the other one. The taller, muscular woman probably eats less added sugar and “bad” fats too. And if I were to reply to said post with my theory, I will likely be criticized for believing this or completely ignored.
The whole “do as I tell you” philosophy is also seen in motherhood. Especially from the pro-breast feeding brigade. I’m not a parent yet, but I know women who feel very guilty about their inability to nurse their child and/or are nervous about taking out a bottle, period, because they believe others will stare at them for doing so. The bottle has become an evil thing – even if the milk is pumped (and for those who say this doesn’t exist, it does. There’s a reason why Fed is Best exists). This doesn’t bode well for those whose children are adopted or were carried by a surrogate (and goodness, they get enough criticism in THOSE areas (I’ll save THAT for another day)). The anti-bottle (even if the milk is pumped) movement, in fact, (unintentionally??) discourages men from taking a larger role in the home as it implies that women should be the only ones doing the feeding.
Why ARE we so mean to each other? Or rather, why are CERTAIN views shot down and seen as “bad” while others are “good?” To the point that certain people feel uncomfortable because they do something which a more aggressive group disagrees on? And why can’t someone whose views may be a bit more “old fashioned”/”traditional” have the same rights to voice an opinion or opinions than those who aren’t? As long as the former’s views aren’t verging into hate territory, things should be good.
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