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


And my own related piece, Feminists Are Ugly.

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



On extreme masculinity

Poet's-narcissus textile, by Candace Wheeler.

Poet’s-narcissus textile, by Candace Wheeler. [source]

Masculinity is not some fragile butterfly on a wheel. It depends on reducing other people to objects. The solution is not to recreate an imaginary golden age in which said objects were – so we tell ourselves – more pliable and less likely to disrupt the narrative. A world in which not only jobs were stable and not going anywhere, but neither were women and children. That world dehumanised over half the human race and we should temper our sympathy for those men who would openly mourn its passing.”

— Victoria Smith, It’s extreme masculinity – not love or despair – that drives a father to kill his children

The entire article is a must read.

On sexual violence


Tulip appliqued panel by Candace Wheeler. (source)


Sexual violence cannot be attributed simply to some men behaving in ‘anti-social’ or ‘inhuman’ ways: it has everything to do with the way society is structured: i.e., the way in which our society organizes production and accordingly structures social relationships. Once we understand this, we can also recognize that society can be structured differently, in ways that do not require – or benefit from – the subordination of women or of any section of society.

Nivedita Menon, Capitalism, Sexual Violence, and Sexism: Kavita Krishnan

On liberation

Blue Copper 2 by M.K. Hajdin

Blue Copper 2 by M.K. Hajdin

Feminism is about the struggle for the liberation of women as a CLASS. It is a fight to end the global oppression of ALL women. Feminism cannot be about individualism or about personal choice and empowerment. It is simply contradictory to our goals and to the entire notion of feminism as a political movement. This means that if you’re pushing a neoliberal agenda in the name of “feminism,” you are not doing feminism. No woman is free until we are all free.

Feminist Current

Class analysis is the key to the conclusion that “equality” isn’t enough or even possible in a system based on structural violence, oppression and dehumanization. 

— Commenter Naida Pintul

Quote of the Day: Objectification


Women are still effectively being punished for being female, and in so many ways. One of the most significant and far-reaching issues is the objectification of female bodies. It’s a feature of most, if not all, cultures. In the best case scenario objectification riddles us with shame, in the worst instances it brutalises us. I truly believe that no woman is free of it, we have all, at some point, felt obligated to contort our minds and bodies into society’s vision of Girl and Woman. And all the while we have to carry on with the work that’s been designated to us by a world that defines femininity in the most rigid of ways.

Read the rest of this blog post at Redefining My Reality here.

I was reading an article about how some women artists redesigned female comic book/video game characters to look less objectified and sexualized.  The art was great.  The text was so wishy-washy about feminism, so nearly apologetic, so bending over backwards to reassure pissy, entitled males that no, no one is trying to take away their sexxxy laydeez and that women like to be sexxxy laydeez sometimes because it empowerfulizes them and that this redesign in no way means to challenge that.  It was sad.

No woman should ever apologize for being a feminist.  If men can’t take it, let them go fuck themselves.

No man who is a halfway decent human being would be threatened by feminism, because halfway decent human beings know they’re living in a viciously unfair world and don’t object to efforts made to level the playing field.  Unfortunately, the conditioning process men go through to become men often renders them less than halfway decent human beings.  Nevertheless there are those who resist this conditioning and do get what feminism is about.  You won’t find them whining in the comments section of feminist blogs.

On internalized misogyny


Bell hooks describes internalized sexism as “the enemy within” and explains that women have been socialized by the patriarchy to “judge themselves and each other without compassion and punish one another harshly.” The material realities of internalized sexism indicate that the feminist agenda need not only focus its attention on the relationships between men and women, but also on “the enemy within” women which perpetuates dynamics of patriarchy as well.


The opposite of internalized misogyny is female solidarity.

On patriarchal reversals

Blue Copper by M.K. Hajdin

Blue Copper by M.K. Hajdin

This brings up a very important subject which is the idea of reversals. We live in a reversal society. For example, the idea that Eve came from Adam is a reversal. It’s ridiculous. Who could believe that? It’s contrary to all biology. But with that myth in mind, people can justify somehow the idea that God is male. And therefore that male is God. And that he’s the origin. But he’s not the origin. The Bible is full of reversals. There are reversals everywhere. Orwell thought that when he wrote in 1984 about Doublethink. You know, the Ministry of Truth was where they made up lies, the Ministry of Love was where they tortured people. Everywhere you go there is Doublethink. There’s ‘natural’ make-up that of course is unnatural. Or think of ‘pro-life’. When they say ‘life’ they mean ‘death’.

Mary Daly

Patriarchal reversals happen when a man, or a woman who has aligned herself with men, asserts that feminists are guilty of X when in fact it is men who are guilty of X.  It’s a projection, a verbal sleight of hand that seeks to distract from what the patriarchy is doing by putting women in a defensive position.

Example:  “Radical feminism is all about money”.  In fact, the patriarchy is all about extracting financial resources and other resources like time, ideas and labor, from women for the benefit of men.  Feminism is about redistributing those unfairly hoarded resources, not about greed, as some of its critics suggest.