Monday, December 10, 2007

No-Win Situations

Damn, am I ever glad piny's back. Piny's nearly unsurpassed for seeing and exposing the no-win:

The problem isn’t so much–or isn’t only–that some women are taught to hate their bodies and fixate on official bodily imperfection. That situation can’t exist until all women are taught to think of their bodies as the most important thing about them. That’s why it isn’t exactly a privilege to have big tits or to get fake tits. A buxom girl isn’t only subjected to all sorts of virgin/whore conflicts because of her chest size. She’s also receiving the message that she is her big breasts, that her y’know actual personality is negligible, that she can’t escape those judgments because they aren’t only pervasive but paramount. Any reaction, adoration or disgust, will be toxic so long as that belief underlies it.

Bingo! This isn't about whether it's better to conform or not conform to patriarchal standards. This is about there being such a reductionist standard in the first place--one that says, "You are your body."

Think of grading (I'll use the U.S. system here because it's what I'm most familiar with): Anything above and including a C is passing, and anything below that is failing. Whether I pass or fail matters if I'm trying to take calculus. But if the teacher grades solely on the attractiveness of the students, is the problem that some students are passing while others are failing, or is the problem that the grading system is for shit?

I'll just add that from what I've seen of the comments, I may need to finally get around to a post on the dreadful circular firing squads that are out to Ruin Feminism, Like, Totally. Another day! Remind me.


Chris said...

Such an interesting thread.

Re: the circular firing squads, I look forward to your post.

My feeling about the accusation of taking part in those circular firing squads is pretty much "I was trying to shoot at oppression. It's not my fault you hustled over there across from me to give it some cover."

Anonymous said...

So glad to see you back!