What was a feminist? I’d heard folk tales of them hiding in the woods ready to attack men but I was worried I might actually have been thinking about the witch from Hansel and Gretel and not an actual feminist. Couldn’t chance it though, what if feminists were extensions of witches? Did she secretly dislike me? Was I automatically bad because I was a man?
Mike Reynolds, “What I’ve Learned as the Husband of (Gasp!) A Feminist”
A rare moment when the Huffington Post gets it right.
We live in a society where beauty is demanded of women. There’s a beauty industry making billions of dollars by convincing women that they’re all ugly and unacceptable unless they buy this or that magical beauty product. A lot of us are sick of it, sick of hating ourselves, but we don’t know what to do about it.
People don’t want to hear about how women think and feel. They don’t want to picture women as people whom others might actually have to negotiate with. They want “equality” insofar as they want the erasure of all measurable signs of women’s oppression (because let’s face it, these get a bit embarrassing). They do not, however, want this to come at the expense of being allowed to see women as whatever they want them to be at any given moment. We just don’t have space to accommodate the humanity of women as well as that of men. Sisterhood might be powerful, equality might be a fun badge to wear, but casual, unacknowledged misogyny is a hell of a lot more practical.
If anyone were to ask me which, feminism or misogyny, would be the most practical choice, I’d answer in a heartbeat: misogyny, stupid. Of course it bloody is, and that would hold true whether the person asking was male or female. It’s a total no-brainer, especially if you’re female. This isn’t a criticism of most men and women; it’s just the truth. Being a feminist – believing that women matter and trying to persuade others of this fact – does not have the magic effect of suddenly making women matter. Indeed, you will find in the short term that pointing this out really pisses people off.
Glosswitch, Choosing Between Misogyny and Feminism: A Practical Guide
While doing research for another post on beauty, I ran across this old review, written by Karen Lehrman, of a book called Survival of the Prettiest by Nancy Ercoff. The cover features a headless female torso wearing a painful-looking corset.
Lehrman points out that Ercoff has won awards for her research on sex differences and the brain. Which doesn’t mean her book isn’t full of shit.