When I don’t wear makeup and my hair is up in a ponytail afro puff, I experience somewhat different street harassment from when my hair is in a more “adult” style and I wear lip gloss, let alone makeup. Now, the patriarchal men who think street harassment is “flirting” (it’s not) will assume that these are men who like “real” women (read: they associate not wearing makeup with being willing to be more obedient to men, and thus “real,” or associate it with hypersexuality and independence, for which they cannot control; either way, misogyny and the politics of respectability are at play here) more than “fake” women who wear makeup.
It actually has nothing to do with this…at all.
The issue is that when I don’t wear makeup, men anywhere from 15-65 years old try to pick me up and it often devolves rapidly into street harassment, or it’s street harassment from the start (primarily with men 18-40).
I’ve had several teenage boys think I was a high school student whenever I was at a public library near a high school reading. This has happened a few times. I am assumed to be 16-18 on a regular basis. I am carded anytime I try to purchase scratch-offs or wine, where often the cashier assumes that I am 17. The point is, I easily look like a teen at times.
The street harassment in these incidents tends to be more sexually inappropriate than when I look my age, 33, because these men are SPECIFICALLY looking for teenage girls. Usually once I open my mouth, the way that I speak (the actual words used and my tone) and how I tell them to go away helps to reveal my age. They seem utterly…devastated or “tricked.” I, however, remain disgusted.
As I’ve mentioned before, I’ve experienced street harassment since age 12. The men who harassed me from 6th grade through 12th grade were THE SAME AGES as the men who harass me today. And though I experience more harassment overall now than when I was a teen, it is very telling how the harassment itself differs when I am presumed to be a teen versus an adult. It’s more sexual; more psychologically manipulative in intent. In many ways, it is actually worse and even more reprehensible when I think about what their motives really are.
I remember having a conversation with a few mutual follows on Twitter—about how I never really discussed street harassment with my parents. I endured this hell almost everyday in middle school and especially in high school. I dreaded walking home from the bus stop or walking home from school. My heart rate would increase just thinking about it. I had nightmares. What’s sad to me is not that I thought I couldn’t trust my parents (though my mother being highly religious and a past member of Black Apostolic churches where misogynoir was not only the norm but deemed “god’s will” was reason enough to feel fearful) with this, but that it seemed like some sort of truly sad and painful anti-Black woman “norm” and “rite of passage” where I grew up. Many girls that I knew though this was the ONLY way that men interact with women. They didn’t know anything different.
When I think about the fact that 60% of Black girls are sexually assaulted before their 18th birthday, the fact that most Black girls who become pregnant in their teen years have significantly older men fathering the children and that girls (just like adult women) bear the responsibility of what adult men choose to do, from street harassment to dating violence to sexual assault to rape, I get even more angry about this. This is rape culture. The same men who are spending their days hunting teens they do not know could be harming the ones they do know. In fact, the statistics reveal that some of them have to be.
Related Posts: The Beauty Binary, Street Harassment and Rape Culture, Race, Gender and Emotional Policing, On Being A Black Female Engineering Student: Street Harassment and Microaggressions At School, Street Harassment and Repeat Harassers
I love this image so much.
I’ve seen some women who are offended by this and say it’s ridiculous that her cleavage is showing and things of that sort.
Personally, I think it’s great.
Why should we have an image of a women with her hair tied up and flexing her muscles like she’s a man? (not that that isn’t great too!) In a way it suggests that when our hair is down, our breasts are visible and we wear (GASP) lipstick, we’re somehow lesser than men? We can do it! We can be feminine and successful.
You see what I’m saying here, ladies?
You don’t have to lose your femininity. Being feminine is great. Being masculine is great. Strength is not limited to one way of being.
Okay, this picture bugs me, and here’s why:
It completely ignores the context of the original picture.
The original pictures wasn’t positing that women have to be “masculine” to be strong, it was an ad from from World War II about women joining the workforce.
The hair tied up? Was for two reasons so that it wouldn’t get caught up in machinery, and because there wasn’t always shampoo, so it hid the hair.
The lack of makeup? The original art actually does have her wearing makeup, (at least, I think so), but it’s the makeup that was popular at the time:
natural eyeshadows in brown and grey tones, a touch of eyeliner and mascara, while the brows were kept quite thick but had to be perfectly arched and defined with an eyebrow pencil.
On the face, they would first apply a dark but warm foundation and, on top of it, a powder that was actually lighter than their skintone. This would give skin a rosy glow. Natural pink shades were used on the cheeks while the nails were painted in lots of different colors, from pinks to reds and mauves, to greens and blues. And what about the lips? Red lipstick was all the rage and was considered a natural look back then!
(As for why there was no nail polish, that would chip too easily when working with machinery)
The boobs not showing? Was because it was a work shirt, for work in factories. You don’t show your boobs when you’re working in a factory, because that’s just more bare skin that can get injured/dirty (see above about shampoo.)
The muscles? Were because the woman was working in a factory. Again, not to be more “masculine”.
Like, like this picture if you want, I don’t care, but for fucks sake, realize that the original pictures wasn’t about masculine vs. feminine, but has what is actually a pretty “feminine” woman (for the time) doing a traditionally “masculine” job, and the remake of the picture completely ignores the context.
But the greatest tragedy made manifest in Steubenville is the attitude of teenage men toward girls. Immanuel Kant wrote that the definition of immorality is treating a fellow human being as a means rather than an end. The abomination of American slavery was that a white child was taught to see a black child as a walking bale of cotton. Slavery trained a white man to see a black woman as lacking the same spark of the divine that lent him his humanity. When he looked upon the woman, she was stripped of her own dreams, her own opinions, her own aspirations. She was nothing but an extension of the white slave owner’s drives and ambitions. Like a third arm she existed to simply to do his chores.
Something analogous is happening with the growing sexualization of women wherein teen boys are being taught to see young women not as their equals but as the walking fulfillment of their sexual desires. This is an issue I addressed a few years ago in a full-length book called Hating Women, but it’s only gotten worse. I had a seventeen-year-old boy, from a leading prep school, tell me how angry he was at a sixteen-year-old girl he knew because she had gone out on a date with a friend of his and had not given him anything sexual. “Not even a hand job. Can you believe it? She’s just a c—-tease.” He said this with righteous indignation. A girl like that, who refuses to play the role accorded her by a secular society that uses women’s bodies to sell beer, cars, and everything in between, is often called a ‘b—-h’ for not playing ball. Who does this uppity girl think she is anyway, not to give men their rightful due?
That this is attitude is becoming prevalent among teen boys is evident from how the two accused sent pictures of a drunken girl to all their friends, posting them on the internet, and there was no outrage. Just another guy feeling entitled to see a girl as some drunken ‘dead body’ who was there for his erotic enjoyment.
…But is it really too much to ask that when a girl is drunk and helpless, a young man feels the obligation to get her safely home to her parents, enjoying their thanks and the feeling of being a gentleman as something far more pleasurable than whatever sexual thrills her drunkenness can provide?
We males combine within our person the carnal desires of the animal as well as the spiritual transcendence of the uniquely human. The struggle between the two is felt within us constantly. Employing our freedom to choose moral behavior over outrageous indulgence is a serious battle and one that should be helped by an overarching culture that trains boys from their earliest days to respect women as equals and to see in them a divine image rather than the breathing realization of an erotic urge.
And I was a little kid, not yet desensitized to violence […] Jabba’s death scene freaked the hell out of me. It wasn’t a clean blaster shot to the chest or a slice from a lightsaber that sent sparks flying or made you turn invisible. There were struggles, and flailing, and twitching limbs. The shots are close-ups, and very dark—it’s vicious, and vengeful, and physical, and very very personal.
So for me, wearing that gold bikini does not mean Here I am, a sexy toy for your amusement and gratification.
To me, that gold bikini says, If you fuck with me, I will end you.
I WEAR THE GOLD BIKINI OF VENGEANCE.
Tropes Vs. Women in Video Games
Nine months after her successful Kickstarter campaign, Anita Sarkeesian unveils the much anticipated pilot episode of the Tropes Vs. Women in Video Games series, which examines how video games often portray female characters as someone who needs to be rescued.
Hey! Listen! Watch this video, okay?
“I heard police or ambulancemen, standing in our house, say, “She must have provoked him,” or, “Mrs Stewart, it takes two to make a fight.” They had no idea. The truth is my mother did nothing to deserve the violence she endured. She did not provoke my father, and even if she had, violence is an unacceptable way of dealing with conflict. Violence is a choice a man makes and he alone is responsible for it.”-Patrick Stewart
You make me happy inside
This belongs here no matter what anyone says.
For the people on my flist who do arty crafty things:
Hobby Lobby has decided that their oppressive religious beliefs trump federal mandate, and are refusing to pay for their employee’s health care because it includes coverage for emergency contraception. They feel so strongly about denying this care to their female employees that they are willing to pay fines up to 1.3 million fucking dollars PER DAY.
That is how much Hobby Lobby hates and loathes and despises women. They hate women so much that losing 1.3 million dollars a day is worth it to them so long as they get to punish women that they think are godless sluts.
Please give your arty crafty money to literally anyone else on earth.
I have only seen this on my dashboard ONCE. It’s kind of a big deal to me, so if you’d consider reblogging I’d be grateful. It’s KILLING ME that Hobby Lobby make the vast majority of their money off of women, and yet are more than willing to be fined huge amounts just so they can deny the women who work for them their legally protected (the motherfucking SCOTUS stepped up) rights to reproductive control over their OWN GODDAMN BODIES.
And when I looked under the hobby lobby tag on tumblr most of what I saw was people wailing about how the Xtian fundamentalists who own the chain are being denied their religious freedom.
To me, this is the very definition of FUCKED UP.
Adding a media source to this so that anyone who was reluctant to reblog it without one can do so, because holy fuck.
Hey Anne Hathaway! I think I love you now.
Matt Lauer asked Anne about that photo of her vagina and she ended her response with: “I’m sorry that we live in a culture that commodifies sexuality among unwilling participants, which brings me back to Les Mis.”
OK, like, sure, I’m vomiting all over Les Miserables, but that’s talent. She went from vagina photo to Les Mis without even blinking. And the Oscar goes to.
THIS IS MARRIAGE!!
Permission to be a bad ass. Nod.
He looks back at the guy like, “SEE THAT? SHE SAID YES. YOU’RE SO FUCKED.”
Like, guys. Sparta was so kick ASS sometimes when it came to women. Spartan women were given these small knives so that if their husbands came home and tried to hit them or assault them, they had a weapon within reach. That weapon was for CUTTING THEIR HUSBANDS’ FUCKING FACES so that when he went out in public everyone would know he was an asshole, abusing jerkface and they would publicly shame him.
I DID NOT KNOW THAT THAT IS GREAT
LET’S JUST TALK ABOUT SPARTAN WOMEN FOR A SECOND.
In Sparta, women could own land and were considered citizens. THAT IS A HUGE BIG FUCKING DEAL. Why? Because that was RARE AS FUCK and there are lots of places TODAY where women don’t even get that much.
Divorce was totally fine, and a woman could expect to keep her own wealth and get custody of the kids because paternal lineage wasn’t very important. And it didn’t make her a pariah! She could totally remarry, no big deal at all.
Spartan women participated in some fuckin’ badass sporting events, too. And because they were expected to be as physically fit as the Spartan menfolk (who all had to serve compulsory military duties, btw, and couldn’t marry until they finished them at thirty) they didn’t have time for lots of swishy dresses. So they wore notoriously short skirts. According to some accounts, their thighs were visible at all times. HOLY SHIT.
Also, In Sparta men only got their names on their graves if they died in battle. And women? Women only got their names on their graves if they died in childbirth. THE SPARTANS COMPARED CHILDBIRTH TO FUCKING BATTLE AND IT WAS VIEWED AS A GODDAMN BADASS AND HONORABLE WAY TO GO OUT.
FUCKING SPARTAN WOMEN. THIS DUDE HAD FUCKIN’ BETTER MAKE SURE SHE’S COOL WITH WHATEVER HE’S DOING, IF HE KNOWS WHAT’S FUCKIN’ GOOD FOR HIM.