Slut shaming 101

I found this quote on Facebook this morning, it´s taken from the book More Than A Hero: Muhammad Ali’s Life Lessons Through His Daughter’s Eyes, and yes, it´s exactly just that, a “life lesson” taught by Muhammad Ali to his daughters on a day when they were apparently wearing clothes a bit too revealing for his liking.

“When we finally arrived, the chauffeur escorted my younger sister, Laila, and me up to my father’s suite. As usual, he was hiding behind the door waiting to scare us. We exchanged many hugs and kisses as we could possibly give in one day.
My father took a good look at us. Then he sat me down on his lap and said something that I will never forget. He looked me straight in the eyes and said, “Hana, everything that God made valuable in the world is covered and hard to get to.
Where do you find diamonds? Deep down in the ground, covered and protected.
Where do you find pearls? Deep down at the bottom of the ocean, covered up and protected in a beautiful shell.
Where do you find gold? Way down in the mine, covered over with layers and layers of rock. You’ve got to work hard to get to them.”
He looked at me with serious eyes. “Your body is sacred. You’re far more precious than diamonds and pearls, and you should be covered too.”

This is the foundation of what we today refer to as slut shaming, that a woman who is sexually liberated (or just happens to be wearing a skirt that´s a little too short) should be ashamed of her behavior and that she´s not respecting her body. See that´s what I don´t quite understand, how is restricting what you wear in order to please someone else respecting yourself? To me respecting my body is maintaining the control to do whatever I want with it. I respect my body in the sense that I keep it happy and healthy by eating healthy, giving it sunlight, fresh air and exercise, if I´m cold I put more clothes on, if I´m hot I take some clothes off, if I´m thirsty I drink water, and if my body feels like putting on something slutty and sleep with every guy within a mile radius, then you can be sure I will let it! I respect myself enough not to be constrained  and judged by the opinions of a slut shaming society.

I find it sad that we live in such a man hating culture, reducing men to testosterone driven animals who are triggered by only the sight of a woman’s legs or cleavage. Personally I think men are better than that, I think you are intelligent enough to constrain yourselves and act respectfully towards women in spite of how much of their skin you see. Don´t let sexist opinions get you down, I have faith in you men of the world!

As a final thought, a question; how many parents would have a conversation like this with their son? Telling them to dress less sexy, and to hide their “diamonds” in “the mountain”?? Why does this rule only apply to women? Shouldn´t men “respect” their bodies as well?

As with every situation in life there is a Sex and the City quote to go with it:

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Another kind of survival strategies

First it was the Japp chocolate bar commercial, and now this! Why do cavemen like this get to have a well paid writing job while awesome intelligent people like me still remain unpublished…?? What kind of publisher thought this would be a good book to give out in the year of 2012? I´ll tell you, they´re called Scholastic.

I now present to you How to survive anything, by Martin Oliver and Lottie Stride (Dear god woman! What did womankind ever do to you to make you hate your own gender this much??) The books come in two different versions, boys only and girls only, since we obviously encounter different dangers in life depending on the shape of our genitalia. (The links above go to the books on Amazon UK if you feel like dropping by and giving them a bad review.)

So let´s start with the boys only version:

These are the titles of the chapters:

How to Survive a shark attack
How to Survive in a Forest
How to Survive Frostbite
How to Survive a Plane Crash
How to Survive in the Desert
How to Survive a Polar Bear Attack
How to Survive a Flash Flood
How to Survive a Broken Leg
How to Survive an Earthquake
How to Survive a Forest Fire
How to Survive in a Whiteout
How to Survive a Zombie Invasion
How to Survive a Snakebite
How to Survive if Your Parachute Fails
How to Survive a Croc Attack
How to Survive a Lightning Strike
How to Survive a T-Rex
How to Survive Whitewater Rapids
How to Survive a Sinking Ship
How to Survive a Vampire Attack
How to Survive an Avalanche
How to Survive a Tornado
How to Survive Quicksand
How to Survive a Fall
How to Survive a Swarm of Bees
How to Survive in Space

Pretty good and interesting tips for a kid to pick up, right?! If I had a son I´d gladly buy him this one, if it weren´t for the fact that the same publishing company had decided to make a girls only version in the same series.
Now, let´s see what kind of life threatening situations young girls might end up in…


(Ahh, and the cover illustration gives such promise, oh well…)

How to survive a BFF Fight
How to Survive Soccer Tryouts
How to Survive a Breakout (That would be skin not jail.)
How to Show You’re Sorry
How to Have the Best Sleepover Ever
How to Take the Perfect School Photo
How to Survive Brothers
Scary Survival Dos and Don’ts
(“Don’t throw things or yell at your ghost, it may react badly.”) (Noted! Thanks!)
How to Handle Becoming Rich
How to Keep Stuff Secret
How to Survive Tests
How to Survive Shyness
How to Handle Sudden Stardom
More Stardom Survival Tips (Oh good, cause one chapter just didn´t feel like enough when it comes to this very common life and death situation…)
How to Survive a Camping Trip
(“fresh air is excellent for the skin”)
How to Survive a Fashion Disaster (Oh come on!!)
How to Teach Your Cat to Sit (Haven´t we all been victimized by those damn cats who just don´t know how to sit?!)
How to Turn a No Into a Yes (Uhm…okay…question mark…)
Top Tips for Speechmaking
How to Survive Embarrassment
How to Be a Mind Reader
How to Survive a Crush
Seaside Survival
(“Don’t wear heels, tie your hair back, sunglasses add glamour.”)
How to Soothe Sunburn
How to Pick Perfect Sunglasses
Surviving a Zombie Attack (Finally something useful! Oh wait, zombies don´t actually exist…)
How to Spot a Frenemy
Brilliant Boredom Busters
How to Survive Truth or Dare
How to Beat Bullies (Fair enough, I´ll give you this one.)
How to be an Amazing Babysitter

Apparently the only situation both boys and girls may be a victim to is the zombie invasion, and we all know how often those happen… Luckily Scholastic received so much criticism for these books they had to “apologize” (well they acknowledged the criticism given at least) and ensure that no further copies of these books would be available. That´s a step in the right direction I guess, but my question is still; why were they made available in the first place??

Warning! Angry feminist rant!

So this photo has been circling around Facebook for a while now. I like it because it represents a kind of sexism that absolutely drives me crazy. The sexism by nice guy trick. You see this guy, he´s just trying to be nice and helpful to us girls. Cause obviously somewhere along the quest of pleasing the male population we women just got it wrong, so wrong! Nice clothes and make up, that´s not what men want, they just want natural beauty. Isn´t that great?! Thank god this guy finally stepped up to the plate, and took the responsibility of educating women everywhere, on what it is that men want. And also at the same time cementing the belief that womens´ sole purpose in life is to be attractive to the opposite sex. We don´t wear nice clothes and make up for any other reason than to get the male population to notice us so they will want to fuck us. That´s it, all we care about is our fuckability.

I have on a number of occasions, and I´m sure a lot of you have as well, met one of these guys. “Men don´t want skinny girls, men like curves, so you should just stop dieting!” (“Oh really?? Praise the lord!!”) Did you ever stop to think for a minute that maybe, juuust maybe, I actually don´t give a shit if you want to fuck me or not?! That maybe I have bigger ambitions in life than to please the entire testosterone filled half of the population?? That maybe I eat the way I do because I´m actually concerned about my health so that I can live a long happy life doing things that I love (and that does not include doing you)!? Maybe I wear make up because I find it a creative and fun way of expressing who I am!? Maybe I wear nice clothes and jewelry because I enjoy looking at pretty things!?

So yes, this might come as a shock to all of you “nice guys” out there, but women don´t need your help learning how to be more attractive, because we´re not interested in being reviewed by you anyway, and how we choose to present ourselves in this world is non of your fucking business!

Will I be pretty?

To my future daughter and every little girl in this world.

When you approach me, begging, “Mom, will I be pretty?” I will wipe that question from your mouth like cheap lipstick and answer NO!
The word pretty is unworthy of everything you will be, and no child of mine will be contained in five letters.
You will be pretty intelligent, pretty creative, pretty amazing, but you will never be merely “pretty”.

If you still don´t get it:
How to talk to little girls

We are spiritual beings having human experiences

Every now and then I get into a discussion with people about their spiritual beliefs and what happens when you die. I believe in a spiritual world, and that we never really die, we just recycle. When our bodies stop functioning our souls go back to the spiritual home we came from, we rest and revise the lessons learned from this life, and then we go back and are born into another body. We are put here on earth to go through challenges that will help us evolve as spirits. I´m not afraid to die, because I know that our home is a place more wonderful than this, and our souls are always safe, they can not be harmed, only our bodies can be harmed, and they are just a shell, a tool we use to get the work done. I`m always grateful for the challenges life gives me (even though sometimes it feels like you just want to crawl into a fetal position and cry), because no matter what happens I will learn from it and come out a wiser stronger person.

When I tell people this, I get different reactions, there are the ones who think I´m crazy, the ones who agree with me and every now and then you get the ones who have an experience of realisation (those are my favorites). What amazes me though are the ones that think I`m crazy, that always need to pull out the old argument of “if it can´t be scientifically proven, it can not exist”. (Sigh…) And I receive a lecture in how are bodies work, that everything is just a chemical reaction, our feelings, our thoughts, we´re really just highly advanced robots with the ability to interact with other highly advanced robots. (How is that not the most depressing thing you´ve ever heard?) Look, I studied physiology, I know how the biochemistry of our bodies work. I`m a smart person, but that also makes me believe that this can´t be all there is. There´s a collaboration going on between our minds and bodies, we are one for the whole life we´re here. We´re not just robots, we´re so much more than that. I don´t need that to be scientifically proven, it´s already real in my world. I`m sorry that some people can not feel that, but I guess they have a different lesson to learn in this life, and their minds aren´t as open yet.

The funny thing is though, these people, they go through mid-life crisis (or any other life-crisis), fear of death, fear of life, fear of people, fear of failing, fear of losing loved ones etc, while I´m happy and content trusting the universe to guide me to where I need to go, and yet they´re telling me I´m doing it wrong.

Why your vagina is gross

So I recently read this article about yet another attempt to make money out of women’s insecurities and of course this is by pointing out to us that the most important thing in life is to be attractive to the male gender. Keeping the patriarchal society intact. Pheew, I was worried there for a second that the foundation was starting to crack, you know with women being given the rights to vote and drive and all. Good thing they found new ways to maintain power.

So this all started with an ad for Clean and Dry Intimate wash, a bleaching cream for your, yes that´s right, vagina! Apparently the shade of your lady parts is a crucial matter for your fuckability (by which all female value is measured naturally). I mean haven´t we all been there, right on the verge of intercourse when the guy just suddenly shudders at the sight of your vag, and runs out the room fighting his gag reflex. (Please don´t answer yes to that!) Hopefully your lover actually doesn´t give a crap what shade it comes in and is happy just to get access. Well, I´ll leave the rest to Lindy West, author of the article that seriously made me want to embrace my inner lesbian and propose marriage to her and her, surely, perfectly shaded vagina. Enjoy!

Your Vagina Isn’t Just Too Big, Too Floppy, and Too Hairy—It’s Also Too Brown

Good news, ladies! Society has discovered another new thing that’s wrong with you, which means another opportunity for you to make yourself more attractive for your man. Score! Turns out, the color of your vagina is gross and everyone hates it. So bleach that motherfucker. Bleach it right now!

In this commercial for an Indian product called Clean and Dry Intimate Wash, a (very light-skinned) couple sits down for what would have been a peaceful cup of morning coffee—if the woman’s disgusting brown vagina hadn’t ruined everything! The dude can’t even bring himself look at her. He can’t look at his coffee either, because it only reminds him of his wife’s dripping, coffee-brown hole! Fortunately, the quick-thinking woman takes a shower, scrubbing her swarthy snatch with Clean and Dry Intimate Wash (“Freshness + Fairness”). And poof! Her vadge comes out blinding white like a downy baby lamb (and NOT THE GROSS BLACK KIND) and her husband—whose penis, I can only assume, is literally a light saber—is all, “Hey, lady! Cancel them divorce papers and LET’S BONE.”

Needless to say, certain citizens are troubled by this product—which, in addition to just being fucking insane, brings up painful issues about the hierarchy of skin tone within the Indian community. As if it isn’t bad enough that darker-skinned people are encouraged to stay out of the sun and invest in skin-bleaching products like Fair & Lovely, and that white actresses are being imported to play Indian people in Bollywood movies, now everyone has to be insecure about the fact that their vaginas happen to be the color that vaginas are??? Splendid! God, I was just saying the other day that my misogyny didn’t have enough racism in it.

So what are the pro-vadge-bleaching people thinking? Here’s a hilarious explanation from a male ad exec:

It is hard to deny that fairness creams often get social commentators and activists all worked up. What they should do is take a deep breath and think again. Lipstick is used to make your lips redder, fairness cream is used to make you fairer-so what’s the problem? I don’t think any Youngistani today thinks the British Raj/White man is superior to us Brown folk. That’s all 1947 thinking!

The only reason I can offer for why people like fairness, is this: if you have two beautiful girls, one of them fair and the other dark, you see the fair girl’s features more clearly. This is because her complexion reflects more light. I found this amazing difference when I directed Kabir Bedi, who is very fair and had to wear dark makeup for Othello, the Black hero of the play. I found I had to have a special spotlight following Kabir around the stage because otherwise the audience could not see his expressions.

See? It makes perfect sense. We just want our vaginas to reflect more light—is that so wrong? I mean, WHAT IF MY CAR BREAKS DOWN AT NIGHT AND I DON’T HAVE A REFLECTIVE ENOUGH VAGINA? Really, the ultimate one-vagina-to-rule-them-all would glow in the dark like one of those deep-sea fishes. I need my vagina to attract more krill so my husband will fuck me again! (My husband is a whale.)

Basically the idea is to get as far away as possible from any color that vaginas actually come in. Because that’s what’s at the heart of this type of thinking—the perfect vagina would be something that’s not a vagina at all.

By Lindy West for Jezebel.com