athousanderrors: from 'Spirited Away' - soot sprites, clutching confetti stars, running about excitedly. (Default)
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“Four decades of feminism later I am reading the comedian Angela Barnes’ blog. “I am ugly, and I am proud,” she writes. She goes on to say: “The fact is I don’t see people in magazines who look like me. I don’t see people like me playing the romantic lead or having a romantic life.”
At the top of the blog is a picture of Barnes. And the thing is, she isn’t ugly. Neither is she beautiful. She’s normal looking. She’s somewhere in the middle of the spectrum, just like lots of women you see every day in real life.
It made me think of this year’s Wimbledon ladies’ final between Sabine Lisicki and Marion Bartoli. When Bartoli won, the BBC commentator John Inverdale infamously said, “Do you think Bartoli’s dad told her when she was little, ‘You’re never going to be a looker, you’re never going to be a Sharapova, so you have to be scrappy and fight’?”
The first thing I thought was: this woman has just won a tennis tournament! And she’s being judged on her looks! And then I thought: but Bartoli is attractive. Sure, she’s not at the very highest point on the scale – she doesn’t look like a top model. But she’s pretty. And, in any case, why should it matter? She’s a top athlete. Surely that’s what counts.
A sports commentator refers to a pretty woman as “not a looker”. A normal-looking woman thinks she’s ugly. Why?
Because, even though the world is full of normal and pretty women, the world we see – the world of television, films, magazines and websites – is full of women who are top-of-the-scale beauties.
And right now, in the second decade of the 21st century, the situation is more extreme than ever. If you’re a woman, a huge proportion of your role models are beautiful. So if you’re normal looking, you feel ugly. And if you’re merely pretty, men feel free to comment on how un-beautiful you are.
As a normal-looking man, I find myself in a completely different position. Being normal makes me feel, well, normal. Absolutely fine. As if the way I look is not an issue. That’s because it’s not an issue.
As a normal-looking man, I’m in good company. Sure, some male actors and celebrities are very good looking. Brad Pitt. George Clooney. Russell Brand.
But many of Hollywood’s leading men, like me, look like the sort of blokes you see every day, in real life. Russell Crowe, Kevin Spacey, Bruce Willis, Jack Black, Seth Rogen, Martin Freeman, Tom Hanks, Steve Carell, Jim Carrey, Will Ferrell, Vince Vaughn, Brendan Fraser… In fact, you might almost say that most leading men are normal-looking blokes.
It’s true of television, too. Bryan Cranston, who plays the lead in Breaking Bad – he’s a normal. James Gandolfini – he was a normal. And chubby too. Kevin Whately – normal. Ben Miller – normal. TV cops all look normal. Ray Winstone looks normal. Tim Roth looks normal. They portray people who are interesting for what they do, not what they look like.
Oh, and think of sitcoms. The Big Bang Theory features four normal-looking blokes and a stunningly beautiful woman. New Girl is about two normal blokes, a guy who’s quite good looking, and two women who are… yes, strikingly beautiful.
When I watch the news, on whatever channel, it’s presented by the classic partnership of an ordinary-looking guy and a gorgeous woman. After the news, I watch the weather. Male weather presenters look like standard males. Female weather presenters look like models.
Footballers look normal. Footballers’ wives and girlfriends look stunning. Daytime television presenters: men look like Phillip Schofield; women look like Holly Willoughby.
A typical Saturday-night judges’ panel consists of two types of people – middle-aged blokes and young, stunning women. Sometimes a normal-looking or ageing woman slips through the net – but then, like Arlene Phillips, her days are soon numbered.
Countdown had an attractive woman and an ageing bloke; when the attractive woman began to show signs of ageing, she was axed – replaced by a woman who was, of course, strikingly beautiful.
Who presents historical documentaries? Guys like David Starkey. Normals. And what happened when a normal-looking woman, Mary Beard, presented a series about the ancient world? She was mocked for not being attractive enough.
In a recent interview Dustin Hoffman, another normal, made a revealing comment. Remember when he dressed up as a woman in Tootsie? “I went home and started crying,” he said. Why?
“Because I think I am an interesting woman when I look at myself on screen. And I know that if I met myself at a party, I would never talk to that character. Because she doesn’t fulfil physically the demands that we’re brought up to think women have to have in order to ask them out… I have been brainwashed.””
-

The ugly, unfair truth about looking beautiful
(via fucknosexistcostumes)

This is why I get infuriated whenever men talk about how they’re held to unrealistic beauty standards too, because it really doesn’t even compare. Men who aren’t attractive simply aren’t attractive and maybe that’s rough for them, but women who aren’t attractive are barely even people. 

(via escapingtoxicjustice)
athousanderrors: from 'Spirited Away' - soot sprites, clutching confetti stars, running about excitedly. (Default)
via https://athousanderrors.tumblr.com/post/152960341096:
animatedartist:

gaywrites:

Secret’s newest deodorant commercial is about a trans woman building up the courage to exit a stall in a women’s bathroom once other people have walked in. 

The tagline at the end of the commercial reads, “Stress test #8260: Dana finds courage to show there’s no wrong way to be a woman.” When Dana walks out, you can hear the other women saying, “Cute dress!” 

“I always have moments of insecurity but I have conditioned myself to act unbothered,” Karis Wilde, the actress featured in the ad, told Queerty about having to use public restrooms. “While shooting, I allowed myself to feel vulnerable. It terrified me how much I’ve stored all those emotions; I almost cried in the middle of taping.”

Androgynous queer actor, realistic storyline, affirming ending. I’m here for it. (via the Huffington Post) 

I feel this fear so much on the rare occasions I feel brave enough to use the right restroom, and it’s honesty great seeing it represented in as open and casual a format as an ad? Like, yes, normalize the trans experience. Start a dialogue. Love it
athousanderrors: from 'Spirited Away' - soot sprites, clutching confetti stars, running about excitedly. (Default)
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ardatli:

razzledazzlewaffle:

Dominique Christina - “The Period Poem”

Mother Dominique Cristina responds to a tweet her daughter sent her about a guy breaking up with his girlfriend because her period started while they had sex. (x)

Watch the whole thing.
athousanderrors: from 'Spirited Away' - soot sprites, clutching confetti stars, running about excitedly. (Default)
via http://ift.tt/2czDyef:
ardatli:

et-in-arkadia:

A radical feminist before the word existed, Isabella Beecher Hooker, my fave, advocated for women’s rights and suffrage until the day she died. She never got to vote.

But she did push the same bill every year for seven years in Connecticut, demanding that women could own their own property – until it finally passed. An elegant eccentric, Isabella was a Spiritualist who believed she could talk to the dead. Spiritualism was a female-driven movement that let their voices finally be heard in public by claiming that they channeled distant spirits. Their own thoughts were not considered to be legitimate, but those of ghosts were. Welcome to America.

I don’t believe in Spiritualism. But today I sat in the grass beside her grave and reversed hearing the dead: I told Isabella, wherever she may be, that a woman was about to become President of the United States, 110 years after the last year she was denied electoral participation.

This November, I hope you will vote, for all of us – and for women like Isabella, who fought their whole lives against oppressive patriarchy that laughed at them, and imprisoned them, for a basic right that we now take for granted. Vote.

“Spiritualism was a female-driven movement that let their voices finally be heard in public by claiming that they channeled distant spirits. Their own thoughts were not considered to be legitimate, but those of ghosts were.“

Ohhhhhhh. OHshit. I never made that connection before, but oh. Thank you, op. That sent a hundred thoughts spinning into a new perspective for me. 

….fuck me. That genuinely never occurred to me. 
athousanderrors: from 'Spirited Away' - soot sprites, clutching confetti stars, running about excitedly. (Default)
via http://ift.tt/2d8Ssdf:
ardatli:

razzledazzlewaffle:

Dominique Christina - “The Period Poem”

Mother Dominique Cristina responds to a tweet her daughter sent her about a guy breaking up with his girlfriend because her period started while they had sex. (x)

Watch the whole thing.
athousanderrors: from 'Spirited Away' - soot sprites, clutching confetti stars, running about excitedly. (Default)
via http://ift.tt/2d8jBgF:
ardatli:

et-in-arkadia:

A radical feminist before the word existed, Isabella Beecher Hooker, my fave, advocated for women’s rights and suffrage until the day she died. She never got to vote.

But she did push the same bill every year for seven years in Connecticut, demanding that women could own their own property – until it finally passed. An elegant eccentric, Isabella was a Spiritualist who believed she could talk to the dead. Spiritualism was a female-driven movement that let their voices finally be heard in public by claiming that they channeled distant spirits. Their own thoughts were not considered to be legitimate, but those of ghosts were. Welcome to America.

I don’t believe in Spiritualism. But today I sat in the grass beside her grave and reversed hearing the dead: I told Isabella, wherever she may be, that a woman was about to become President of the United States, 110 years after the last year she was denied electoral participation.

This November, I hope you will vote, for all of us – and for women like Isabella, who fought their whole lives against oppressive patriarchy that laughed at them, and imprisoned them, for a basic right that we now take for granted. Vote.

“Spiritualism was a female-driven movement that let their voices finally be heard in public by claiming that they channeled distant spirits. Their own thoughts were not considered to be legitimate, but those of ghosts were.“

Ohhhhhhh. OHshit. I never made that connection before, but oh. Thank you, op. That sent a hundred thoughts spinning into a new perspective for me. 

….fuck me. That genuinely never occurred to me. 
athousanderrors: from 'Spirited Away' - soot sprites, clutching confetti stars, running about excitedly. (Default)
via http://ift.tt/2bVr4he:
alchemyjones:

danaykroyd:

these are both still male dominated like……….this is wrong this is not more women than men look its plain and simple wtf

Men, despite dominating STEM fields, demonstrating that they do not even have a basic grasp on math.
athousanderrors: from 'Spirited Away' - soot sprites, clutching confetti stars, running about excitedly. (Default)
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fandomfeministe:

inkskinned:

it’s not about that i know how to do laundry. it’s that when i was four i knew how to fold clothes; small hands working alongside my mother, while my older brother sat and played with his toys. it’s that i know what kind of detergent works but my father guesses. it’s that in my freshman year of college i had a line of boys who needed me to show them how to use the machine. it’s that the first door they knocked on belonged to me. it’s that they expected me to know.

it’s not that i know how to cook. it’s that the biggest christmas present i got was a little plastic kitchenette i never used except to climb on. it’s that my brother used it more, his hands ghosting over pink buttons and yellow dials. it’s that when my work needs cake for a birthday, they turn to me. i get it from costco. i don’t even like cooking. a boy burns popcorn in the dorm microwave and laughs. a week later, i do the same thing, and he snorts at me, “just crossed you off my wife list.” it’s that i had heard something like this so many times before that i laughed, too.

it’s not that i don’t love being feminine. it’s that i came home with bruises from trying to be a trick rider on my bike and heard the word “tomboy,” felt my little mouth say, “but i’m not a boy, i’m a girl”. it’s that they laughed. it’s that until i was sitting in my pretty dress and smiling with a big pretty smile and blinking my big pretty eyes, i wasn’t given back the title “girl”. it’s that until i wore makeup and styled my hair i was bullied; it’s that when i don’t wear makeup i’m a slob, that my mental health diagnosis hangs on the hook of being dressed up. it’s that my therapist sees me returning to bright red lipstick and tells me i am looking happier and i have to explain that i am more sad than i have ever been. it’s that i dress myself in as many layers as i can every time i ride a train because it’s better to be laughed at than harassed. 

it’s not that i know how to clean, it’s that my brother’s chores were outside where i wanted to be, and mine were inside. it’s that i would have weeded the garden better than he did if they had just let me. it’s that i am put in charge of fixing other’s messes, expected to comply without complaint.

it’s not that i can’t open the jar. it’s that you ask my brother first every time. it’s that i am pushed into docile positions, trained to believe that my body when it’s strong and healthy is ugly, trained into being less, weaker. it’s that the jar is also science, is also engineering, is also every job, every opportunity. it’s that you laugh faster when he tells a joke, that you take him seriously but wave off me, that when he raises his voice he’s assertive but when i do i’m hysterical. the jar is getting into a car with a stranger as a driver and wondering if this is our last ride. the jar is knowing that if something happens to us, it’s our fault. 

it’s that i’m weak and i don’t know if it’s because i just am or i was trained to be. it’s that we need to sit pretty with our pretty smiles and our pretty words trapped pretty and silent in our throats, our hands restless but pretty when idle, our bodies vessels for nothing but a future white dress. it’s that we are taught someone else needs to open the jar for us.

here’s the secret: run metal lids under hot water, they’ll expand faster than the glass they’re around. here’s the secret: when you keep us under hot water, we do more than boil. we expand over our edges. and we learn how to open our mouths, our claws, our screams hanging in kites over cities. just give me a chance. give me a chance when i am four when i am seven when i am twenty-three. i promise i can be amazing. give me the jar. i’ll show you something.

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