What it’s like to be an unattractive woman

I googled “What it’s like to be an unattractive woman” in the hope of finding other women like myself to befriend, and among the results was this article by Tracy Moore called “Will Women Ever Have the Freedom to be Ugly?

It begins on a promising note, as Moore describes her personal experiences of being called ugly and pointing out that if beauty were not expected of women, it would free up a lot of our time, resources and energy.

But then Moore goes on to say:

Second, what do I mean by ugly? Like all things subjective, it’s arguable to infinity. I think when women are called ugly, they are not actually ugly — they are simply noncompliant. They are not willing to spend the time, money and energy it takes to live up to a cultural beauty standard that says skin tones must be evened out, eyes must be enhanced, cheek bones accented, weight managed, desirability advertised, and so on. (Remember, pretty is a skill set.)

 

Some of us cannot be pretty no matter how compliant we try to be.  Spackling makeup on an ugly face will not turn it into a pretty one.   Moore seems to be one of those idealists who think there is no such thing as an ugly woman, but the real world tells us otherwise.

Sometimes I really think one of the most radical things a woman can do is simply not brush her fucking hair.

There are many more radical things a woman can do than not brush her hair.  For example, she could recognize that she is a member of an oppressed class, and work together with other members of the same oppressed class to dismantle the system that oppresses her.

Reddit is a cesspool of misogyny, but this thread is worth reading:  Do Unattractive Women Really Feel Completely Ignored/Invisible?.

“You’re not unattractive!” “You’re not even that fat!” “Someone finds you beautiful!” “Beauty is subjective” OH MY GOD FUCK RIGHT OFF.

Just accept that the world is a mean place sometimes. You telling me my struggles don’t exist makes me feel more invisible. Like you can’t even comprehend the life unattractive people lead so you have to blow smoke up my arse to make yourself feel better? It’s not like people are flinging shit in my face but can we please accept the fact that not being attractive impacts my actions and the actions of others?  — commenter sehrah

OMG, THIS THIS THIS.

And my own related piece, Feminists Are Ugly.

So readers, if any of you are conventionally unattractive, I want to be your friend.

 

 

Spot the Misogyny: My Ex-Friend Wim Soetaerts (2)

misogynyisntreal

In the first installment of this series, I introduced my ex-friend W. and explained how we met, became friends, fought and broke up.  This installment describes what happened after that.

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Spot the Misogyny: My ex-friend Wim Soetaerts

“No one is born a bigot.  Hate is learned.”

This is a old childhood picture of someone who used to be my friend.  This cute little boy, smiling so brightly, surely deserved to be happy and loved.

But W. was viciously bullied.  He wasn’t athletic and the other kids constantly made fun of him.  Home wasn’t much of a comfort either, because his mother would punish him for trivial things by sending him to his room.  He spent much of his childhood immersed in comic books.

He grew up believing that people in general were just cruel to one another.  This cruelty affected him to his core: inwardly he aligned himself with the bullies and learned to take pleasure in other people’s suffering, and call it humor.  But you wouldn’t see it if you know him only casually, because on the surface he can be very kind, generous with gifts and time.  You might think he has a dark, twisted sense of humor, but you’d probably overlook it because he seems so good in other ways and is devoted to his friends.

He seems like a nice guy – as long as you don’t get too close.

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On horrible friends

 

the light falls

People with horrible friends tend to be horrible people themselves.

People who take pride in being horrible, as in the Cards Against Humanity crowd, tend to be overprivileged white males who are severely lacking in empathy for anyone other than overprivileged white males.

Good comedy punches up, not down.

 

On gaslighting

Gaslighting

From the 1944 film Gaslight. (Source)

Gaslighting is a form of psychological abuse in which the abuser tries to undermine his victim’s sense of reality.

“The gaslighter’s overall goal is to modify evidence then falsify information for the purpose of making their intended target(s) question their own recollection, memory, analysis, and perception of events and/or behaviors. In other words, they reject reality and substitute it with their own for personal gain and entertainment. In short, they enjoy inflicting psychological pain onto others and will stop at nothing to psychologically abuse their targets in order to get their own way. So what is it that they do?  The primary behaviors are listed as follows:

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Quote of the Day: Be A Man

Iron Man by M.K. Hajdin

Iron Man by M.K. Hajdin

Be a man.

It is a simple imperative, repeated over and over to men, starting when we are small boys.  The phrase usually is connected to one man’s demand that another man be “stronger”, which is traditionally understood as the ability to suppress emotional reactions and channel that energy into controlling situations and establishing dominance.

Be a man, then, typically translates as:  Surrender your humanity.

To be a man, then, is a bad trade.  When we become men — when we accept the idea that there is something called masculinity to which we should conform — we exchange those aspects of ourselves that make life worth living for an endless struggle for power that, in the end, is illusory and destructive not only to others but to ourselves.

(Robert Jensen, Getting Off)

Feminism: Some men do get it

rainbow

The only reason a man would feel threatened by feminism is if he enjoys his power and privilege and doesn’t want it questioned.  And it’s clear that a lot of men do.  But that’s the default setting in a misogynistic society, and there are men out there who question the default settings.  They are relatively few, but they do exist.  These men are also tired of having to participate in a system of toxic masculinity that harms them and robs them of empathy.

What I’d like men to understand is that women, even radical feminists, are not trying to set up a gynarchy.  Men fear that women will do to them what they’ve done to women for centuries.   But that’s not what we want.  We want to put an end to ALL hierarchies and create a world where nobody has power or privilege over anybody else.  That is true equality.