Posts Tagged: sexism

You Can Do It

“The most common way people give up their power
is by thinking they don’t have any.”

~ Alice Walker
Quote shown at the beginning of “Miss Representation”

Last week, I attended a screening of Miss Representation, an amazing and heartbreaking film about how mainstream media contribute to the under-representation of women in positions of power and influence in the United States. The film touched on body image, sexism, racism, the systematic demonization of feminists, the nauseating objectification of women, and many other issues that outraged and sickened me. Images of high school girls crying because they hate themselves, political leaders being dismissed for their fashion choices,and bikini-clad body after roiling bikini-clad body made me dizzy with dismay. And, if I’m being honest, it made me call into question my work, my writing, and my goals. I want women to be empowered, and in a moment of panic I questioned the value of style advice as a tool for empowerment. After all, the problem is that women are increasingly taught to believe that the ONLY thing that matters about us is how we look. And I’ll be damned if I’m going to contribute to that insidious lie. read more

Originally posted 2011-10-24 06:07:24.

Modesty and Immodesty

Do you feel that the term "modesty" is overly judgmental and potentially damaging? Is it a word that's important to you as an individual or to your community? Is it important to use more specific or descriptive terms in place of "modest," or does the word serve a purpose in and of itself?

Curly Hair Bias

curly hair bias

My hair is naturally curly/wavy and has been since I was a baby. My mom’s hair is naturally pin-straight and I have literally never seen her without a perm. I grew up in a household that revered curls, had a long string of boyfriends who adored my curls, and have never gotten anything but praise for my own voluminous curls.

When I cut my hair short and began straightening it, I got some comments and e-mails lamenting the loss of my curls. I am about 6,000% happier now with short, straight hair than I ever was with long curls and don’t foresee going back anytime soon. And over time I’ve realized that despite the near-constant influx of praise for my curly hair, I never actually liked it. Never felt like myself in it. Even though I never got anything but positive feedback about my hair, I never enjoyed it or felt like it suited me. I felt like it was the most dominant thing about my appearance, that it overtook nearly everything else about me, engulfed me, even eclipsed me. Also my curls were delicate and unpredictable. A stiff breeze or a shirt pulled over my head would completely change how my hair looked for the remainder of the day. It drove me nuts that my hair took such intense and constant babying to look good. My current ‘do is reliable, predictable, blissfully boring. read more