and that shit ain’t funny

May 7, 2010 ginginbonbon

I saw a thing on the internet this morning that was supposed to be a clever and hilarious composite of women’s magazines. This post isn’t exactly about that image, which is too gross and mean to even touch on my lovely blog. But it did get me thinking about a few unproductive conversations I’ve had about Stuff Women Like (à la Sex and the City).

You see, I pretty much get painted into a corner with shit like this. We’re talking about women’s magazines, right? Let’s look at some of the options:

If I agree that god those magazines are so stupid and shallow, and people who like them deserve our scorn, I’m essentially trying to distance myself from “those women” (and men? What are they gay or something? EW AMIRITE) and admitting that they are worthy of contempt. I shouldn’t have to do that. Even if I were able to successfully separate myself from other women every time someone told a sexist joke or disparaged women, not only would would it still be sexism, but I would be playing right along with it.

It’s really hard for me to explain, because the more I try to unpack how sexism works the more I realize it doesn’t make any sense or have a standalone, internal logic, and then it just looks like I have a giant chip on my shoulder. But it’s kind of like this. Women are often judged as having inconsequential, frivolous interests like getting their nails done, instead of caring about important things, and when they do it somehow reflects poorly on all women, or all women who get their nails done, as well as getting one’s nails done. By association. With women. In case you thought that was a coincidence. Note that sports, video games and other more traditionally masculine things are usually excluded from this list of meaningless pursuits. It’s one of the many ways that feminine=inherent and feminine=bad. Alternately, one might believe that those dumb people who read trashy magazines INCIDENTALLY happen to be almost exclusively women, and also they totally don’t have to be like that, yo. The system supports both contingencies. But come on. CHICKS are supposed to like this stuff, and at the same time when we do we’re vapid.

So what else is there? Take your pick:

– override all gendered social conditioning, become “neutral” and immune to injustice and extract myself from this conversation (and this culture);

– be girly, or not, in a few of the expected ways, or not, and be made fun of and diminished because I’m an easy target no matter what;

– take exception and spend all morning trying to verbalize why, agonize over whether I’m being oversensitive and/or just looking for someone or something to be angry with, deal with the constant pressure to explain myself properly, wonder if I’ve actually gotten through to someone or maybe they just didn’t want to talk about it anymore;

– tbc?

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1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. Lina&hellip  | 

    add me into ur blogrolllllllllllllllll. ps i love u.

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