Hate to break it, but this is more done by other women than men.
Guys are mostly differently awful.
- there are mountains of research backing up the fact that advertisers and media prey on women’s insecurities
- like the rest of media ]and the world, basically], the ad industry is run by men. so is the beauty industry [the ceo’s of elizabeth arden, l’oreal, ulta, revlon, paul mitchell, nars, the miss universe pageant and several others are men].
men are the driving force behind media that is toxic to women and they are the ones who profit off of it.
on the ground, it may appear that women are the ones doing this to each other. that is a result of internalized misogyny, which women at times perpetuate due to the pressure to perform in a patriarchal society.
but do not think for a moment that women are behind this entire industry. do not think that women are the reason for this, do not think that women profit off of this, and do not think that mothers want this for their daughters.
~real men don’t abuse women~
In actual fact,
- yep, they fucking do
- being a real man is associated with masculinity, and masculinity fuels violence against women, so yes again men abuse women
- campaigns like this prioritise the preservation of masculinity before the safety of women
A girl in my Sociology class turns around during a class activity on goals to start a conversation with me. Her opening line is: ‘I want to get married.’ I nod and smile. She does not ask me my goals, just continues telling me the sort of guy she’d like to be with and how many kids she’d like. Thoughtfully, she adds, ‘My mom told me to meet someone and marry them. You don’t wanna date around because you wanna be fresh for the guy and not a….you know what.’
My cousin’s Facebook ‘About Me’ lists things she would like in a man. There is nothing about her or the things she does, only qualities she finds attractive. ‘Looking for someone who can play the guitar and cook a great dinner,’ she wrote. I can hear her bubbly, singsong voice while reading it. She is thirteen years old and has told me that girls ‘oughta only kiss their husbands and that’s it.’ When I ask her what she wants to be when she’s older she says, ‘Married.’
My male friend tells me that he has no problem with what girls do, but that he would not date a girl who’s ‘been around’ because she’d be ‘dirty.’ I wonder if each time someone touches you, a part of you is soiled. If there are piles of dirt in the spaces where others’ fingers once rested. In the shower, I try to scrub the smell of dirt from myself, but come out, still polluted, with red scratch marks all over me.
Being called a ‘you know what’ taught me some things: that I do not want to be touched by somebody who will judge my past. That I am not a tally book, with others’ names burned into me. If you have to label me as something, let it be a human being.