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Old 06-08-2011, 12:50 PM   #31
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Glad to have found this thread. I am 54 and have been back in school for 1 1/2 years and am finding myself horrified repeatedly. Young women think feminism is a bad word, instructors using sexist language, history classes that force reading after reading of outside documents about how evil/worthless/untrustworthy women are (one or two would have driven his point home).
Backlash is real.
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Old 06-08-2011, 01:10 PM   #32
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Dang, women trashing other women with terms of measly, comparing thin women to boys. When will that change????????????????? We need to stick together they way the boys do, that is why feminism has failed. Oh, that and we still are reducing ourselves to objects by making what men want important. What about what we want? What about how we feel about ourselves independent of the opinions of others? What about celebrating all forms of the female shape? I personally believe objectification is a factor in weight issues. That being said, it is not shallow to be sexually attracted to what you are attracted to, that is something beyond our control. There are plenty of men who marry a woman of small size only to watch her expand through the years, and some still love their wives because it has gone beyond the visual, and sadly some don't. All over I read women trashing other women, making fun on long blonde hair, barbie doll types, etc etc etc. It breaks my heart that there is no sisterhood.
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Old 06-08-2011, 01:56 PM   #33
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If the majority of men prefer short, chubby women...then why is ALL media full of tall, super-thin women instead of women like me? Because people don't want to see fat.

Any time a "normal" or average woman gets a picture or video put up publicly there are hordes of people calling her fat, people even seem downright insulted or offended that their eyes have been assaulted with such an atrocity. What is sad is that alot of those people complaining are women.

I think it is this media that makes it so difficult for there to be a sisterhood amongst us that goes deeper than how much we weigh. The ideal that is shoved at us from every direction is just too hard for the average woman to achieve and maintain, and that makes the majority feel inferior. With those feelings of inferiority come feelings of resentment.

Let's face facts here. Men may date and marry the average woman, but everybody can't have the minority. There aren't enough perfect people to go around. But those same men are also the ones who are out buying playboy magazine and all the products sold with those ads that feature perfection. Sex sells. Skinny = sexy.

The day I see billboards of chubby women tempting men to buy cars, liquor, jewelry, and clothes is the day I'll believe that the majority of men prefer sizes 10-14. Advertisers are in it for the result, folks. They spend beaucoup bucks finding out exactly what people want to see. If the idea that the majority of men preferred to look at miss average was genuinely true, they would jump on that bandwagon and ride it straight to the bank.
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Old 06-08-2011, 02:24 PM   #34
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Originally Posted by gonnadoitthistime View Post
Dang, women trashing other women with terms of measly, comparing thin women to boys. When will that change?????????????????
AMEN!!! I get SO offended when people berate other women for "looking better" than they do. Just yesterday I went on a tirade to my two workout buddies who were trashing this beautiful, thin Asian woman in our class out of jealousy. Dude, SHUT UP! She is SO nice. It's wrong to Hate on people just because you wish you looked like them just as much as it's wrong to Hate on people because they are heavy.

I absolutely HATE how now that I'm fit, people will say things to me like "oh you're too thin" or "Eat a cheeseburger" or "I wouldn't want to lose my curves like you did." Uhoh, my blood is starting to boil right now thinking about this!

We need to stop the appearance-based hate, from all angles.
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Old 06-08-2011, 08:40 PM   #35
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I agree that we need to stop the appearance-based hate...but if that's so, why assume that people who were talking about a thin woman were doing so out of jealousy? Their actions may have been ugly, but that doesn't make them jealous of a thin woman or mean that they want to look like that.

I'm guilty of saying things like, "Damn, Candice Swanepoel needs to eat a sandwich!" in the privacy of my own living room, I admit it. But that's someone who's paid to be in the public eye, to look a certain way, to convince me to buy clothes--and when she looks like a bag of bones, I do not say she looks like a bag of bones because I wished I looked that way too. It's a little different because Swanepoel's profession demands that people look at her, unlike the thin woman in your classroom, but I still don't know that it's always jealousy that says "ew" at another person's body type.

I don't wish I looked like anyone else but me--but I do wish to look like (and am working toward) a leaner, healthier me.

Anyone who told you that you "lost your curves," by the way, has no eyes, because your "after" picture looks fit, healthy, and still quite curvy. THAT was clearly a jealousy-motivated comment as there is no truth to it. No wonder that one made your blood boil!

As for men liking "Miss Average," I do think there's a kernel of truth to it. Some of the stars men consider hottest are robust, curvy, and/or athletic body types. They may be hourglasses, apples, pears or bananas, but they look healthy. Everyone's tastes vary, but most men I've known think that Kate Winslet or even Kate Middleton has a sexier body than Kate Moss. Beauty ideals also get influenced by what people see on a daily basis, so it's hard to say how much of what we or men consider beautiful is native to us and how much is distorted by the heavily Photoshopped images we see in magazines and on billboards.

Are thin bodies sexy to us, or are we simply told so often that sexy bodies are thin that we internalize that lesson? I'd like to think that eventually, we'll realize that healthy bodies of all sizes are sexy in different ways and to different people.
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Old 06-09-2011, 04:02 AM   #36
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Different strokes for different folks. I don't know many men who are so picky about proportions that they whip out measuring tape in order to determine whether they are attracted to women.

I do know it's stupid to get snarky at other women about bodies, especially harping on healthy sized people for having/lacking T&A or whatever you want to call it. It's not like people have autonomous control over how their fat distributes.

Also LOLOLOL at those tactless dingdongs who would say something like "I don't want to lose my curves like you did."
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Old 06-09-2011, 05:59 AM   #37
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I find it quite telling to look at a very famous myth.

Take the Trojan War. In reality, it was most likely a series of wars fought over control to the Bosphorus Strait, a key position for controlling trade routes. The version we know about has a warrior prancing around sulking, and a woman who allegedly started the whole thing. In the mythic version, Helen of Troy (who should better be known as Helen of Sparta, she never chose Troy) was originally married to the king of Sparta, and then the Trojan prince Paris came and stole her, took her back to Troy, and a war was started to retrieve her. As far as I recall (my Greek's fuzzier than my Latin), the word used means both "stole" and "raped"; evidently it was handy to have a word meaning both back then. There is no suggestion that her actions were in any way voluntary.

Then there's the idea that she was the prize in a beauty contest amongst goddesses; again, Helen still has no choice here. But somehow it turned into the idea that it was consensual adultery, and on the way to this we get the notion that even if it wasn't, it was all her fault for being so beautiful. "Is this the face that launched a thousand ships / And burnt the topless towers of Ilium?" says Faustus in Marlowe's play (1592). Somehow, she has moved from being a rape victim to an entire war being all her fault. After that a general hate-fest set in, and Helen took her place alongside the biblical Eve as one of the most loathed women in mythology. The name is still used to conjure up an evil woman, evil precisely because she is beautiful. It is still completely acceptable to hate Helen of Troy, it's the default position and it's never changed. I have read oodles of writers who revision mythology with a feminist slant, and the only thing that even comes close to exonerating Helen is Christa Wolf's Cassandra, where Helen never actually gets to Troy at all and the whole thing is political spin. The otherwise-superb Sara Maitland has a short story in which Helen is sort of apologetic and sort of defiant about the consequences of her chosen adultery, and that's about the best you can usually find. In fact, despite being a keen classicist from the age of eleven and lifelong feminist, it only occurred to me to challenge this a few years ago.

So I'm not terribly surprised that women are still encouraged to hate beautiful women. It all boils down to a patriarchal system of control and scapegoating. You can do a much better job of staying on top of subordinates if you turn them against each other, so that they won't get around to fighting you instead. Feminism has had many victories, but even in the Western world we still live in what is very much a patriarchy, and in the rest of the world it's worse.

As for clothing, I think there are many factors and that by now it's spun so far out of reality that it's farcical. Read about how the best catwalk model for women's clothing is a lean man. (Which is at least a small victory for cross-dressing issues, but dear lord, this whole fashion thing is way off the rails by now.)
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Old 06-09-2011, 10:24 AM   #38
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I've read this thread with interest.

It's so true that a "normal" woman looks like ... well... whatever she looks like when she wakes up in the morning!

Short, tall, average, thin, fat, curvy, slender... if she woke up with a vagina she's a normal woman! Damnit!

Do I get jealous? Sometimes. Sometimes I think "gosh I wish I had hair/breasts/legs/eyes/lips/butt/stomach like that".

But to hate a person...truly hate a person for what they look like... well, I've been on the receiving end of that for not being attractive enough... and it's hurtful. So, why would I want to encourage hate for someone just based on what they look like when I know it's hurt me in the past?

What I do hate, and what I don't know how to change, is that it's somehow okay to hate people based on what they look like. It might not be right, but it's socially okay to hate a woman you've never talked to because of what she looks like. I feel a hate building inside of me about that. How many times have I heard a man or a woman say about another woman "I hate her, she's so thin/tall/pretty/ugly/fat"? How many times have I heard a man say the same about another man? ... I'm trying to recall even one moment when that's happened, and I'm having a tough time.

And then I hear that it's only natural that women try to put down other women so that they can "put down the competition" for men. And I think to myself... really? Really, we're gonna sit here and try to say it's natural? That all women want is to giggle and run around in order to pick up men? That's where our motivation lies, that's our goal on earth? To get a man? Men, in order to take out competition, just... punch each other in the face and then become best friends, but I'm supposed to talk about a woman behind her back viciously. Sure everyone needs to vent every once in a while, but come on.

And that's another thing. If a guy talks about another guy it's venting, if a woman talks about a woman it's gossiping. Which is it?!

There are so many women I run into who say the same thing "I don't get along with women. I only have male friends." I won't lie... it sometimes makes me angry and sad. To be hated by a fellow human before they get to know me... because I'm a woman. And yet, I know why they say it. I know why it persists. It's easier to be friends with men, because they aren't petty (or so it's implied).

But, honestly? I've cherished my friendships. And I've had just as many petty arguments and eye-rolling moments with male friends as I've had with women friends. It makes me so sad, because I want to cultivate normal friendships with other women, and it's harder to do because I'm a woman! I feel like that somehow means I'm not as good of a friend or person. AND THAT MAKES ME FURIOUS!

...and then of course, my angry feminist side comes out... and that perpetuates the stereotype that feminists are all just angry and hate men, and that makes me so angry that I want to roll into a ball on the floor and start drooling and twitching...

It's so "silly" for women to get mad... we're just being "hormonal"... we're just "angry lesbians" (don't get me started on the pages worth of stuff I could write about that response I've heard)... we're just "being cute" and we'll "grow out of it"....

I don't know how to change it. I don't know how to make it right. I don't know how to make sense of the differences. I don't know...

*sighs and rubs her temples* Sorry for getting... how I can I even put it? Passionate? Venting and ranting.

I just... I just want to be a human being.
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Old 06-09-2011, 03:14 PM   #39
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I think many famous women starve themselves thin because they *think* that's what people want to look at, probably because people making the shows and movies are telling them that. Fashion models are thin because it's easier for the designers (I guess that's what they say), although I think most high fashion clothes are ridiculous and unflattering.

I agree that every woman is a real woman, but if I hear another famous woman breezily tell us she eats fries and cake and junk and "hates exercise," only to publish her memoir about her eating disorder 5 years later, well.... grr, it doesn't matter what I'll want to do, since it's sure to happen.
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Old 06-13-2011, 01:41 PM   #40
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nola Celeste View Post
I agree that we need to stop the appearance-based hate...but if that's so, why assume that people who were talking about a thin woman were doing so out of jealousy? Their actions may have been ugly, but that doesn't make them jealous of a thin woman or mean that they want to look like that.
I agree, it isn't always the case. But a lot of times it IS the case that these comments are made out of jealousy. In the case of my two workout buddies and the thin Asian girl in our class- it's DEFINITELY jealousy. They say things like "She's just too perfect" or "I hope she has some personality flaws to make up for that body."

A lot of very thin models look genuinely ill because they are so underweight. In those cases, I have also been known to make comments *in private* about how they would look better if they gained some weight. That's kind of different than what I was talking about- which is the reaction a lot of women have to women who are very beautiful by societal standards. It's like we resent them for having the gall to be so gorgeous. Either one is wrong, IMO. It's really none of my business what any other woman's body looks like. And from now on, I'm going to make a true effort not to judge or make comments, even in the privacy of my home.
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Old 06-15-2011, 03:11 PM   #41
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Edit: Lol. I totally didn't even read the article that this thread is about before I wrote this! It's pretty much a rant. I thought it was about feminism and jealousy.>>

I don't think a woman is absolutely un-feminist if she gets miffed at skinny people. I mean, the anger is misdirected but what she is really pissed about is that she feels social pressure to be that skinny woman.

And frankly, as much as I am grateful that women are allowed to show their ankles now, I would argue that the objectifying of women has taken another form. We see so many half-naked women who are airbrushed into perfection that we have unnatural standards for ourselves (depending on our individual levels of confidence, creativity, and desire for perfection, and a lot of other factors). Then, when we see real live women who have almost achieved that ideal, and our boyfriends drop their jaws and start drooling, well--it's only natural to feel a little resentment. Because society is putting us in a rat race together, and only a few of us will ever get the cheese, so to say.

Some of us might even choose to walk away from the rat race, and to say--no way! I won't participate, I am going to flaunt my wonderful personality, and my desire to change the world, and I am going to make myself who I want to be, not who the sexist media wants.--but even then, it is easy to look at the girl who suggests the archetype of the contemporary sex-pot ideal and to hate her more because she is fueling the system by participating. Meanwhile, the men just sit back and watch women cat fighting and moving mountains to become first in the rat race to beauty perfection. It's a very undignified scene.

Helen of Troy is the perfect example of this, as was described above, because she, like the skinny blonde with too much collagen in her lips, is the perfect scapegoat for womankind's resentment at being forced into the confining box of beauty expectations. "So you're a great artist? Well how big is your butt--pancake butt? Next. And you, you say your an excellent mother, well you sure haven't parented your hips very well--loser. And what about you little girl? You want to be an astronaut? I suggest you start wearing a training bra now, you're already gonna be manly enough as an astronaut, no need to sacrifice your figure." And none of us know where this voice is coming from, so we might have well blame Helen of Troy or the blonde who looks like her.

I think the anger really comes from the fact that we aren't Helen of Troy, and deep down inside we really want to be ourselves, yet we feel the strange pressure, internally and externally, to attempt to be her. And we hate her for that.

Of course, most of that is rant!

At my school, the feminist stuff is pretty good. All the teachers are required to teach about female contributors or to at least look at feminist perspectives in the context of the course--for all disciplines. It's a newish UC requirement.
I actually like reading the old misogyny because it reminds me how serious feminism really is. I mean, women now don't realize that feminism is more than complaining about leg hair. That just a short time ago women couldn't vote, but go back a few hundred years and women were considered property of men, had absolutely no rights, and could be burned at the stake because Eve supposedly indoctrinated womankind into the tendency towards sex with demons....yucky. So yeah, feminism is a good thing.
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Old 08-19-2011, 08:00 PM   #42
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Oh "studies." This version says men like women who are 5'4" with measurements of 36-28-38. But someone in the comments read the actual study and found out what it was ACTUALLY about:

"The work, by Rob Brooks at the University of New South Wales in Sydney, Australia, and colleagues, suggests that the popular notion that a waist-hip ratio of 0.7 is the most attractive only holds if the rest of the body is average." (Behavioral Ecology, DOI: [dx.doi.org] ).

So basically what the media is reporting is totally not the point of the study. They already know that men like women with a waist-to-hip ratio of .7, now they just confirmed that they like it best when you don't have giant shoulders or a huge left hand or something.
That's so ridiculous. I'm 5'5" 33-28-38 and I am far from the ideal that men want- I'm sure that they can be satisfied with me but I'm sure as **** not a catch. I concur with the notion that these studies are all crap- we frequently are told that men prefer a size 6 or 8 or 10 without them explaining the methodology behind their research. A drawing of a girl won't look like a real girl and then again, most of the studies conducted were probably done on male undergrads in the 18-22 demographic.

As for women-hatred and the feminism issue, I used to call myself an "equalist" when I was a freshman- I was convinced that men were also the victims of inequality... well, I know a lot better now thanks to liberal arts The ignorance is definitely still out there though. All my friends are shocked when they learn I'm a feminist.
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Old 08-23-2011, 09:51 PM   #43
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Interesting...I'm 5'10", 135 pounds with measurements 36-28-38 but obviously I'm very thin. I get attention like CRAZY from men! Honked at on the street, yelled at out car windows, heads turning, whistling (the whole bit) yet I'm rarely approached and asked out on a date. That kind of leads me to believe that men for the most part are very insecure and find 'average' less intimidating and easier to ask out/date.
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Old 08-25-2011, 11:05 PM   #44
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This is a very annoying subject to me. My dad is a sexist pig. Also are my two brothers. My brothefrs and dad all have weight issues 1 brother not so much because he is in the army but forced to meet standerds ir they make him work out to death. My dad left my mom because she gained weight when prego. My brothers both married phsyco biotches for one reason and one reason only. They were a size 1. Its rediculouse. My dad dates woman after woman and never settles down because the only skinny women who will tolerate his sexist fat *** are nutts themselves.
How am I not supposed to have issues. My brothers have tore apart my family because they refuse to have a "fat" wife. And they consider like a size 6 fat. And don't hesetate at calling me horrible stuff about my weight. Needless to say we don't have much of a relationship. And my dad for my whole life would bring different women to viset and talk nothing but how beutiful they were no matter what a horrible influince it was for me or my brothers. It has been very very hard to stop the **** but when I had a daughter that was it. I told him that unless he was in a comitted relationship for over qimonths I didn't even want to meet one of his whores. I bhave a daughter and I refuse to let her develop self esteem issues like I have.
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Old 08-29-2011, 01:19 PM   #45
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My daughter (who is in her 30's and significantly overweight) said she first recalls being self-conscious about her size when she was 8 years old. She was in a swimsuit and her Daddy -- my husband -- said to her "Sissy, you're getting chubby". Thus began the decades of obsessing about her size -- and one diet after another -- and binging when she wasn't "dieting". And guess what? My husband still obsesses about her weight -- MY weight -- every woman's weight. He makes comments like "I saw so-and-so the other day and boy, has she gained weight." Does NOT say "they have a new grandbaby" or "she's been sick" or "they're going on a cruise" -- but discusses her WEIGHT!! GRRGHHH! Now he's semi-retired and bored and LOSING WEIGHT because he's off his regular work/meal schedule. Says he "doesn't think about eating" until I get home from work. He's actually looking quite thin. And naturally, while he's losing, I'm GAINING! I have gained pound for pound what he's lost this summer (I haven't had the courage to change my avitar info yet, but trust me, it SHOULD be changed!). Some men are simply jerks who think women's bodies should be topics of discussion. Unfortunately, I'm married to one of them. 'Nuf said.
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