The importance of women’s physical beauty as a means to social acceptance cannot be overstated. Reports of acid attacks as a means of retaliation by rejected suitors demonstrate the importance of physical beauty in women’s social acceptance.
In Bangladesh between 1996 and 1998 there was a fourfold increase in reported acid attacks from forty-seven to more than two hundred (Bellamy, 2000). Acid attacks have been reported in Egypt, England, India, Italy, Jamaica, Malaysia, Nigeria, and Vietnam (Welch, 1999).
Dano, a teenage boy, had a crush on Bina’s cousin, who did not return his affection. One night, while Bina and her cousin were asleep in a shared bed, Dano and a few friends entered their room with battery acid to punish Bina’s cousin for rejecting him. Bina, to protect her cousin, jumped in front of Dano. At first, Bina thought the burning liquid thrown in her face was boiling water (Welch, 1999).
In Kashmir, acid was thrown into a bus and three women were burned. Such attacks are a part of a campaign to enforce an Islamic dress code among women (Hussain, 2001). In India, some women have been attacked by acid after refusing the advances or rejecting arranged marriage proposals or because the dowry a woman brings to a marriage is not large enough. When desire and sex are the motivating factor, acid is thrown at the genitals and the breasts as well as the women’s face.
In Cambodia, women have been burned by battery acid by the wives of men with whom they had illicit sexual encounters as a means of punishment, retaliation, revenge, or making the woman sexually unattractive (Mydans, 2001). The targets of attempts at disfiguration are usually young, beautiful women (Welch, 1999).
Nargis, fourteen, refused to become her neighbor’s second wife. The rejected man sprayed her genitals with acid while she was in the bathroom that she and her brother shared with the neighbor’s family (Welch, 1999).
This practice of disfiguring women who have rejected men is not limited to Asia. In 1986 two men slashed American model, Marla Hanson, in the face. Her landlord, Steven Roth, a television make-up artist whose overtures Hanson had rejected, orchestrated the attack after Hanson broke her lease early and demanded the return of her rent deposit (Welch, 1999)."
Parrot, Andrea & Cummings, Nina. Forsaken Females: The Gobal Brutalization of Women. Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc. 2006, (p. 38 - 39)
Footbinding was supported by and carried out by women because the prevailing wisdom of the time suggested that this practice promoted health and fertility. Girls usually between the ages of three to six years had all toes broken and bound tightly with cloth strips to keep their feet from growing larger than three to five inches. The arches were broken, and the toes were bent toward the soles of the feet at extreme angles that causes disfigurement. For the foot to “shrink”, this binding was left on the feet for at least three years.
Although the bound foot was believed to be pleasing to look at compared to an “unbound” foot and purportedly had erotic attraction for men (Mackie, 1996), conditions such as ulceration, paralysis, and gangrene were not uncommon, and it has been estimated that as many as 10 percent of the girls died from complications of footbinding.
Women whose feet had been bound were more likely to fall, be less able to get up from a chair without assistance, and have more osteoporosis (as indicated by lower hip and spine bone density) than women with unbound feet, putting them at greater risk of suffering hip or spine fractures.
In the late 1990s, more than one-third of women over eighty and almost one-fifth of women between seventy and seventy-nine years in China had bound-foot deformities (Cummings et al., 1997). Despite their infirmities, these women appeared to accommodate to their impairments because they were socialized to not complain (Cummings et al., 1997)."
Parrot, Andrea & Cummings, Nina. Forsaken Females: The Gobal Brutalization of Women. Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc. 2006, (p. 5 - 6)
Parrot, Andrea & Cummings, Nina. Forsaken Females: The Gobal Brutalization of Women. Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc. 2006, (p. 4 - 5)
this is stupid though. i get that they’re not the most pressing issues in that even if we stop shaving or wearing makeup, women are still oppressed and those aren’t the basis of our oppression. but femininity rituals obviously aren’t trivial, or why else would men so strictly enforce them on women? and it has wider effects, since women who present themselves “nicely” (read: femininely) for jobs are more likely to be hired (and you can be fired from your job for not conforming—if not openly, then your employers use covert lines about “sloppiness”). which means you have less money, and have a financial incentive to stay in line. and women face violence for not conforming, being perceived as men, etc.
i can’t see how you can have this “revolution” when you’re worrying about buying/applying makeup, nice clothes, etc. so you can keep your job and please men. if you can’t tackle the small issues you aren’t prepared to handle more fundamental ones.
Let’s come to the last power aspect: the power of pornography is also power through influence on our self-perception. The economist I. C. MacMillan said: influence is the capacity to not only control the information channels, but also to control and to change the perception of others.
We could corroborate this very well – and presumably for the first time statistically - with our sexuality study in 2008. 37.3% of the [relatively small percentage of] women who consume pornography daily believe that their partners want them to have genitals like those generally seen in the pornographic movies. You may ask me afterwards what constitutes the famous “porn vagina.” Surprisingly, we find less impact on the men. But even among the women with weekly pornography consumption, every fifth woman is obviously affected by the causality between porn consumption and the idea that one’s own genitals should look the same as those displayed in the porn movies.
I would like to quote another example, which is taken from the practice of sex counsellors. Attitudes toward anal intercourse have changed dramatically in recent decades. What is inconceivable for most people is that when Kinsey did his studies in the 40s, not even gay men practiced anal sex frequently. The first changes occurred during the 70s in the gay scene and then, especially under the influence of the so-called gonzo pornography, also in heterosexual circles. Suddenly, anal sex seems to have become quite a common practice. And accordingly, sex counsellors report that not too long ago the first boys enquired, “How can I persuade my girlfriend to have anal sex?” Then, a few years later, came the first girls, “How can I dissuade my boyfriend from anal sex?” Now, the girls come and ask the sex counsellors, “What pills can I take to prevent it hurting like hell?” All this in a period of only fifteen years, which began when anal sex was introduced in pornography as a common sex variant, in the mid-90s approximately."
"What pills can I take to prevent it hurting like hell?"
THERE IS NOTHING I WISH MORE THAN FOR WOMEN TO STOP FUCKING, MARRYING, AND LOVING NASTY VILE SADISTIC MISOGYNISTIC MEN.
And that men who are nasty, vile, sadistic, misogynists stop existing.
I think what’s particularly disturbing now is when you see, for example, - there’s a growing market for cosmetic procedures on the vagina, where people will get their labia reduced, they’ll get cosmetic surgery on their genitals.
And the problem with that is, gynecologists come forward and say, more often than not, this inhibits sexual pleasure. That’s a real illustration on how we’re putting performance in front of pleasure.
It’s certainly not sexually liberating to say, ‘Okay, I’m going to make
my genitals look like a pornstars even though it’s going to give me less pleasure.’ And the pornstar-thing is an interesting detail because the pornstar is sort of the model for all this, this is like the Queen of Raunch, and what is a pornstar…?
It’s somebody whose job is to fake lust. So our idols, the women we’re
supposed to look up to and learn how to be sexual from are women who are having sex, not because they’re in the mood too but because they’re paid too and it’s backwards.
Animating female characters is “really, really difficult” because you have to “keep them pretty” while they go through “a range of emotions”?
Oh, come on.Bu that’s what the head of animation for Disney’s Frozen said in an interview this week. Not great PR, particularly since Frozen features two female lead characters who bear a suspicious resemblance to one of Disney’s other recent princess characters, Rapunzel.The similar appearance of Rapunzel, Anna and Elsa only highlights the lack of racial diversity in Disney animation. Is it authentic for Western European fairytales to focus entirely on white characters? And if so, does historical authenticity even matter when you’re marketing the movie to a diverse, 21st-century audience of kids who live in a multiracial environment? Particularly if the movie includes decidedly un-historical details like talking animals or magic. [READ MORE]