After suffering through two days spent house-bound, wallowing in my sickness, I made the executive decision on Sunday to get the heck out of dodge (ie. leave the house before I was completely and forever subsumed by my pyjamas and empty mugs of tea.)
Even though I wasn’t (and still am not) feeling totally up to snuff, sometimes just a simple change of scenery can really help clear the cobwebs and bring on (if but a fleeting) sense of wholeness and health.
I needed to get out.
Mr. M and I drove to Steveston Village, a quaint and picturesque sea-side community that is a sight to behold in all of its splendour during the warmer months of the year, but pretty darn freezing in the face of a 80km/hour wind storm.
Erm. So maybe cabin fever wasn’t looking so bad the moment I stepped out the car, yet we managed to find a nice place for tasty pastries and over-priced coffees, where we could watch the world pass up by.
I told him how upset I was over the latest facebook meme that’s been making the rounds of late. Four “skinny” celebrities stand at the top of the picture, and four old-school “curvy” starlets pose on the bottom. The clever (take that with a healthy helping of side-eye) caption reads:
When did this (aka skinny) become sexier than that (the ever-malleable) “curvy”?
It’s all I can do not to step back and start yelling, “HEY LADIES! DO YOU NOT SEE ALL THE FISH WE ARE CURRENTLY TRYING TO FRY? I MEAN, THEY ARE SO BIG! WHY ARE YOU FIGHTING THE CAUSE INSTEAD OF SUPPORTING IT?”
There seems to be a common misunderstanding that women themselves cannot be misogynists.
We well can. And we are. All the live long day.
I would laugh if it wasn’t such a brutally destructive, highly omnipresent enterprise.
I mean, what (might you ask) would the point be in hating on a large, incredibly varied group of individuals, especially if they (along with you) are part of the same (already marginalized) group of people?
It is overwhelming to the point of paralysis (at least for me) to witness how desperate this situation actually is – women hating women is a huge, incredibly pervasive problem.
What is even crazier is how it is carried out with such a blithe, and yet somehow caustic attitude- an ignorance that is equal parts savage as it is glee.
How else could we explain the meme? And its 20,000+ likes?
Why do we float around “eat a sandwich” or ‘lay off the burgers” as if these aren’t even sentences, as if they are addressed to individuals completely stripped of their humanity.
These words, these attitudes are indicative of how we have not only bought into our society’s historically created, and incredibly deep rooted, sex-based hierarchy but are willing participants in its validation and perpetuation every day.
Women body-shame, slut-shame, baby-shame, mother-shame (the list, unfortunately, goes on and on) like it’s a professional sport – as competitors and spectators alike.
As the great Tina Fey says in her seminal work Mean Girls: “You all have got to stop calling each other sluts and whores. It just makes it ok for guys to call you sluts and whores.”
Because it gets us nowhere.
This systemic othering is destroying us.
So what do we do?
We stop calling out others to make ourselves feel good. Because our “fat” counterparts (or “thin” foils) are not the enemy here. Because in making them the enemy we are only feeding a machine hell bent on keeping the current (highly negative, violent, and overall destructive) status quo, no questions asked.
Because only if we manage to stop doing this as a collective whole, will we (maybe) be able to step back (as a whole), and then (and perhaps only then) will we be a powerful group, not a fractured, competing entity, fighting over whose discourse (or body shape) is right).
We will actually be able to take on other problems that desperately need to change: deep rooted, highly toxic norms, and the individuals and industries who profit massively off of these norms, and the dissention they are capable of creating and reinforcing among the female populace.
Or else it’s just one serious negative feedback loop.
So yes. This is what I talked about yesterday.
M listened to me as my cheeks flushed feverish, and my tears ran long, splattering the lenses of my glasses, like the rain on the coffee shop window.
Eventually, our discussion moved to autonomy, and choice, and marketing, and materialism.
And it helped me remember what I so easily forget – that I’m not here raging by myself.
It just would be nice to, every so often, see an internet meme to remind me.