Comment from Seregon O’Dassey (Goodreads reviewer)
“I agree with everything you said. I couldn’t have said it better myself. Believe me, I’ve actually said everything you said, and in return I get “faminazi”, “found the feminist” – as if being feminist is a bad thing – , or “man hater”.
In addition, I’ll add that a HUGE part of the opposition isn’t men – it’s other women! Women put down women a significant amount of the time. A big part of this are the women that hate on other women who feel empowered by exposing skin. All too often models – especially those in Playboy or who dance for a living – are called “whores” and “asking for it”. Meanwhile, those same women love to drool over shirtless men with muscles on book covers. Why do men get to chose to be half naked, but women don’t? Nudity is the SAME as birth control/abortion: You’re right when you say it’s not about the birth control or the abortion – it’s about women making the choice for themselves. The same thing can be said about clothing/nudity. The common denominator is that men have choices women do not. Because society looks down upon women making their own clothing choices.”
Response to Seregon’s commentary
Seregon’s comment added value. Yes, the word “feminist” has been used as a pejorative. Isn’t it curious that the word feminazi would even be created. Women have been working for their justifiable rights for a long time. What a travesty to refer to it as fascist. I, for one, am very clear that feminism and empowering women is not about domination. I believe strongly that what we are seeking is equality and productive partnership. Otherwise what a waste. There is enough which should be demanding our attention which is truly threatening.
I’ll admit I hadn’t focused on the opposition to the movement on the part of some women. Certainly I had heard some complaints by women but I took them to be from extremist “nutcases” to put it nicely.
As to skin, it is all rather bizarre. Certainly there are issues of decorum depending upon the place and time. But choice should be ours in many regards. Men do indeed seem to have more choice without criticism. But I must admit I’m amused at the beach when I see women in bikinis and men going to swim in what I call floods. That means full length pants a boy had outgrown.
And then there was France. After World War II when we were in France my older brother was delighted to take pictures of women in bikinis on the beach. When the film was developed Kodak had placed big black marks over the women.
Cruising in France recently we passed beaches with signs saying “plage sans vêtements”, meaning beach without clothes. When we pulled up at another beach two young women were unloading summer clothes for sale. Then they removed their tops. No one batted an eyelash. The culture is different and they were not degrading themselves.
It is clearly a mixture of custom and choice. But the underlying troubling issue is about women’s rights and suppression. We are having a discussion at last and the dividends are already coming in. More on these issues to come in future posts.
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