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Writer's Block: Riddle me this

What is something that just doesn't make sense to you?
When women participate in their own subjugation. I see women on TV play stupid and wear next to nothing and allow themselves to be paraded around as ornamentation, only existing for the excitation and pleasure of the male viewer. How does a woman apply for a job at Hooters when she knows that the exchange for the tips and paycheck is her dignity? How do the stars of the new Playboy TV show handle knowing that the men they parade around in front of think of them as something less than human, an "entertainment item," to be used and then discarded. How did the real life "bunnies" deal with that? I actually knew a woman who was a former Playboy Restaurant Bunny, back when I lived in Chicago. She became a junkie and a prostitute, and died from AIDS in the late-90s. She gave me a small box of her earrings, which I still have. She was warm and kind, but always very, very sad.

Try as I might to wrap my head around it, it just makes no sense to me when women are active participants in their own subjugation and degradation.

Comments

( 5 comments — Leave a comment )
13masquerade
Sep. 24th, 2011 08:06 pm (UTC)
in my simple analysis..
Because like men, women are given the freedom of choice despite the fact they know they have given up something important and despite the fact they be treated as a commodity. The exchange is too high for them to disregard (good pay, popularity etc.). Not a good thing but for this moment, they feel they acquired something important and that matters..
(Deleted comment)
hopita
Sep. 25th, 2011 02:22 pm (UTC)
I guess I should have been more clear that I wasn't talking strictly about jobs and employment. As an example, last night on the subway, there were three women, dressed in a way that I would have definitely classified in my mind as "prostitute" were I not in New York City -- skin tight dresses, super high heels, etc., etc. Anyhow, one of these women was with a guy, obviously in a romantic way -- kissing him, leaning on him, etc. And he's wearing a T-shirt and jeans. And it's like, why does he get to dress comfortably and she can barely walk? If you want to argue "dressing up for a night out" then fine -- why isn't he in a suit, or at least something nicer than jeans and a T-shirt? I dunno. I still don't think I'm really being clear about what bothers me so much.
sabotabby
Sep. 25th, 2011 04:13 am (UTC)
It's just a more extreme version of what all of us do to some extent.

Why the fuck do I shave my armpits and legs? There's no reason. I'm a good feminist; I get why these silly beauty standards developed. But I still do it, because it's a compromise I make in order to make my life easier. It's a little fight that I've lost. I feel like I'm more attractive if I do it, even though I know that my standards of attractiveness are completely socially constructed.

I'd say that I dress a certain way because I like how I look in certain types of clothes, that I put on makeup and so on for myself, to express who I am, and while that's true, who I am and what I consider attractive is very much influenced by my culture. It's inescapable.

If I know it will get me ahead in work, I'll play up the shy, naïve, ditzy girl, even though I am probably substantially smarter than anyone else in the building. Yes, I'm completely playing into my own oppression. Yes, this bothers me, and causes internal conflict. But you do what you have to do to survive.

An old friend of mine was a stripper. She pulled in $700 a night at a strip club in Brampton. She said she felt disgusted doing it, but it was also a hell of a lot of money, far more than she'd make at any other sort of job. She saved up that money and took courses to become a jockey at the racetrack, which was her dream job. So yes, she felt degraded, she was naked in front of skeezy old guys at a skeezy place, but it helped her get where she wanted to be. I don't see it as substantially different than any other sort of work, where we put up with degrading shit because we hope it'll get us somewhere, or at the very least, pay the rent.
hopita
Sep. 25th, 2011 02:26 pm (UTC)
Why the fuck do I shave my armpits and legs? There's no reason. I'm a good feminist; I get why these silly beauty standards developed. But I still do it, because it's a compromise I make in order to make my life easier. It's a little fight that I've lost. I feel like I'm more attractive if I do it, even though I know that my standards of attractiveness are completely socially constructed.

This gets much closer to what it was I was trying to say. I guess my question really is why don't people see that these social constructs are bullshit, especially when it comes to subjugating one group while elevating another? Why don't women rise up GLOBALLY and refuse to be treated as anything but equals?
( 5 comments — Leave a comment )

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