Finding the Right Words

One of the things that bothers me most about the way I blog is that I never really get too in depth on a lot of subjects that push my buttons. Maybe that’s just because I don’t want to deal with the internal stress. (Which is a fancy way of saying I tend to get worked up mentally and then I’m useless for several hours – which is time I can’t really afford to give up right now.)

And lately? I’ve gotten angry about a lot. Much of it has to do with the GOP basically crapping all over women’s rights (and which, as bad as that is, doesn’t really hold a candle to what women in other parts of the world have to deal with. Birth control issues aside, I’m not going to get stoned to death because I was raped, either. Not that it makes the other stuff any better, but perspective does change the outlook a bit.)

But I tend to shy away from political/religious issues, mostly because I don’t always feel as though I’ve got the debate chops to really do those subjects justice. (And sometimes I feel that way in general – I may get worked up about certain things and touch on them – like the women in games issue or in comic books, but there are so many other people out there who can say it so much better than I do.)

Anyway, today I was thinking an awful lot on Ashley Judd’s extremely well written essay on appearance and women in the media and how a woman’s value is still so wrapped up in her looks. And there isn’t anything I can really add to what she has to say, except that so much of this seems to be self-perpetuating, both in the media and in society in general. (One feeding the other, so to speak. It’s really rather monstrous.)

And sure, you can make the argument, that hey – it’s Hollywood and she is selling herself, etc…but no one can deny we hold women up to a much different standard than men – and often for no other reason than because we always have.

I was on Twitter today and observing the #shitnobodysaystomen hashtag, for example. And yes, I’ve heard quite a few of those aimed at myself, as ridiculous as they are.  These three in particular struck a chord:

I admit I felt a moment of despair when I read them. Even when we’re not selling our appearance…we’re selling our appearance. (And as a fellow author, those three hit pretty hard, especially given that I KNOW some of the bigger name Sci-Fi male writers sometimes show up to events looking pretty under-dressed.  (Of course, then they’re considered eccentric artists or some such.)

It just seems dreadfully unfair, doesn’t it?

There’s more I want to say here, but I will save it for another post, and hopefully one with a bit more focus. After all, I’ve got revisions to work on. 🙂

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2 Responses to Finding the Right Words

  1. Tonia L. says:

    This is a great blog, Allison. I agree with all the points you’ve made. I also know some artists/writers who don’t want to be known by the general public past their names, in fear of becoming physically ridiculed.

    Just like those stupid posts that fly around facebook, “When did -INSERT PHOTO OF SKINNY ACTRESS HERE- become sexier than -INSERT PHOTO OF MARILYN MONROE HERE-?” Why is there a need to always rip on one body type to feel better about the other? It’s a nasty circle, “Skinny is gross, fat is gross”. We should be celebrating individuals on their accomplishments, not their size. (And yes, if someone is concentrating on becoming as physically perfect as they can be, that should be just as celebrated as someone who excels in sciences, or arts, or languages…)

    Sorry for rambling, this is also a hot-button topic for me too, as you may have noticed. I have a long standing belief that people should be treated as individuals and not shoe-horned into stereotypes and such goofy garbage. Just think of how much farther we could be in curing terminal diseases or discovering new planets if we stopped concentrating on the new wrinkle cream or fade diet? Grah.


    • allison says:

      Heh. I don’t think it used to be as big of a deal for me, maybe because certain things were status quo when I was growing up as far as media consumption goes. (Books and games, written by men, mostly for men – I think girls have to learn to adapt their interests into what’s provided…or at least, they did. Slowly, it’s changing.)

      And speaking of appearances, I probably will touch on the Jennifer H. issue at some point, because I think it’s still so relevant to how women are perceived, particularly in what is a mostly male-dominated industry.

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