It’s always amusing to watch feminists get their panties in a knot (heh) policing the decisions of other feminists, who are allowed to do whatever they want, except when what they want pisses off other feminists.
The sine qua non of rich, white lady feminist problems, xoJane, is running a column about a feminist who posed in panties for the New York Times to challenge the cultural assumption that women only have value when they are posing in their panties. Yes, it’s just as stupid as it sounds. The comment section quickly descended into a discussion of the ‘male gaze’ and how women are only of value to men in terms of their genitals and what use men can make of them.
The ‘male gaze’ is a topic of considerable interest in media/film/cultural studies, because it strikes right at the heart of the pointlessness and obtuse refusal of feminist ideology to acknowledge that even the most diehard feminists are heartbroken when men don’t want to fuck them. Fuckability, or lack thereof, is the very essence of feminism: feminists hate men, especially men who would rather put their dicks in a used sock than one of them.
What is the ‘male gaze’, you ask? Here, I’ll let a feminist explain that to you:
I like how men can just magically ‘decide to find a woman attractive’. Yeah, you keep telling yourself that sister. What can we do to ‘fortify, develop social structures that do not accept those values [ what an attractive woman looks like]”? Can you hear the desperation from these women? They imagine themselves posing in panties, inviting the dreaded ‘male gaze’, and not measuring up. Damn those men for not magically deciding to find a fat shrew attractive! Remember everyone, this is oppression:
This is empowerment!
And what do the ladies want to do about this horrid, horrid ‘male gaze’? Control it.
Karen Straughan recently posted a video in which she responds to a man from the Church of the Latter Day Saints (aka Mormons), peddling the same kind of nonsense about the necessity and achievements of early feminism we hear so much about from modern feminists, especially male feminists. Don’t you realize that without feminism you would still be the personal property of men, chained in the kitchen and raped daily!!! Yeah, that sounds so plausible. Here’s a really simple question to ask anyone who trots out the ‘women used to be a man’s property’ canard: Could he sell her? Was there ever a time in our history when men could take their wives down to the local market place and sell them? Like a cow, or a tractor, or some produce – you know, stuff they owned?
Leaving aside Karen’s excellent analysis and response, let’s give early feminism the benefit of the doubt, and acknowledge that at one point, feminism was a project concerned with legal rights for women (minus any responsibilities, mind you). Let’s acquiesce to the harpies and agree that at one point, feminism had some relevant points and pursued some admirable goals, even if those goals fell short of full, responsible adulthood.
What is feminism now?
It’s petty, mean girl jealousy. The attractive feminists lord it over their ugly sisters, humble-bragging and chastising their lowly sisters for perceived transgressions against Correct Feminism. The less attractive feminists fight back furiously, demanding that men choose to find them attractive, and critiquing their more attractive members for doing feminism wrong! Amanda Marcotte once railed against all the porny whores wearing yoga pants and thongs, when the issue seems to have come down to the fact that she gained weight, didn’t upsize her thongs, and consequently found them wedged in uncomfortable, unnecessarily gynecologic ways in her nether regions, which is of course, the fault of patriarchy and misogyny.
Marcotte was never on the attractive side of feminism, but a slight weight gain seems to have done the trick when it comes to tossing her into cannibal mode, shrieking at thinner women who wear yoga pants comfortably. Jessica Valenti has written multiple columns in which she alternately decries men who notice her, then weeps when men don’t notice her. Today she has a column in which she admits she keeps up an Instagram account filled with bullshit, unrealistic images of her ‘perfect life’, which she happily lords over her less ‘accomplished’ followers.
Petty, mean girl jealousy.
I’m beginning to think feminism comes down to feminists wanting to have their cake, and eat it, too. Literally. They demand the appreciative gazes of men (the correct men, of course – rich, white and handsome, not poor, brown and ugly), but refuse to stop eating cake, which results in weight gain leading to a dearth of gazes, which infuriates them, so they turn on women (both feminists and the rest of us) and the men who are refusing to make the choice to find them attractive. It’s a vicious little circle.
And the great irony, the irony that #WomenAgainstFeminism makes perfectly clear, is that if controlling the male gaze is your raison d’etre, it’s quite easy to do. Be pleasant, be feminine, maintain your body within the range of normal human weight, be loyal, be honest, be trustworthy, attempt as much grace as you can (my weak point!) and wear flattering, sensible clothing.
You will have all the male gaze you can handle. And a wonderful side effect is that you will likely be a very happy person. Look at this woman! She’s my new hero! Beautiful, affectionate, warm, friendly, funny and enchantingly feminine! She’s 60 years old, too. Beauty is not an age.
I want to be like Melissa55 when I’m 60. I’ll bet Melissa still captures appreciative glances. I’ll bet she has little reason to be bitter and nasty to other women. I’ll bet she is genuinely happy, contented and loved. And I’ll bet her husband and family are, too.
And I would bet a whole lot that Melissa is not a feminist.
Lots of love,