Tuesday, 27 April 2010

Sexy: Sometimes I don't want to think about it

So, today I read on a Feminist website about Boobquake. I'd not known it was today. When I first saw something about it, I was amused at the concept and a little annoyed at the 'huh, boobs out - woooo!' comments from some men, but I noted it and forgot about it.

Until today where one writer posted that it was on and loads of commentators leapt in and argued that it was in some way or the other degrading/part of the system of women's exploitation and that women should be showing off their brains instead. Now at this point, I just give up and walk away shaking my head.

I mean, I get it. I know that women are, in general, supposed to present themselves as sexually attractive to some (somewhat) arbitrary, elusive standard of male desire and that it is unfair that women have that expectation put on them and men don't. However, that does not give a green light to some women who insist on looking down on other women to judge and shame them for showing their bodies. And this is what these arguments seem to boil down to. Some feminists hate that they are required to look a certain way so they hit out at other women who fit or aspire to it. You get stuck there and any subtle critique of beauty standards, what ideals they promote, the actual cost of these requirements, the benefits and drawbacks etc, just gets lost.

I happen to think that it is normal for humans to want to appear sexually attractive to other humans. No, I don't think it's healthy for that want to consume and govern your life, but I think it's healthy to take pride in your appearance and enjoy it.

Sometimes the means to that are not the way that these feminists would ever endorse. For me, coming to enjoy my appearance and body has been through pole dancing. It means I now take a pride in my body and its abilities that I never had before. I can now think of myself as sexy, which is something I really never did (thank you years of Christian indoctrination!). I've always been encouraged to take pride in my brain and make that my source of self-esteem. Taking pride in my body and enjoying its capacities is a pretty radical thing for a woman to do, really. Sadly, for some feminists, I've done it in a way that makes them cringe.

Really, all I want to do is not think about these people telling me I'm wrong and just enjoy the way I am.

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