Monday, January 26, 2009



I’m so sick of this “I choose my choice!” feminism, as if taking on the trappings of a masochistic beauty standard is somehow divorce-able from the beauty myth we’ve all absorbed since we were zygotes.

Clitoridectomies are a common practice in Taliban-ruled Afghanistan. I’m sure some of the women who enforce and police this barbaric procedure will go on and on about how great it is, how they think it’s a good thing. I’m sure some of the women who had their feet bound thousands of years ago would yammer on about how much they loved it as it imbued a social status.

Does that make those practices right? Fuck no, moral relativism be damned. The simple FACT is that if we haven’t been told all of these cosmetic procedures make us more desirable and wonderful and fuck-me fun, we wouldn’t get them. The truth is, the woman inserting a toxin into her forehead to freeze her muscles is much closer to the woman mutilating her vagina then we’d all like to admit.

Does that mean we should all abandon waxing and Botox and manicures and make-up tomorrow? No, although that would be great — we’re all part of the patriarchy in different ways, and shaming people isn’t really a valid step. But don’t act as if making the decision to co-opt patriarchally-approved beauty choices is some sort of value-neutral proposition. It’s not.

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