Category Archives: feminism

Beauty pageants and what it means for young women

Beauty

A thoughtful look at beauty pageants and what are we really celebrating there by Aya de Leon.

A brown girl became Miss America, which in itself a definitely a good thing. It’s good that more people seem to accept that beautiful does not necessary mean white.

But… what are we really happy about? Happy to let young women starve themselves and spend thousands of $/£/€ purely on making their bodies more appealing to men? If becoming Miss America is not a first step to a successful career (as Aya de Leon suggests) but rather a one year tryst with popularity, is it really worth our time and efforts?

I know it’s not worth mine, even if I was anywhere near ‘our’ beauty standards.

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A few thoughts about spanking

So, I’ve read this wee article in the Times today about a minister who was arrested for allegedly [don’t you just love this expression? frees you of any responsibility for your own words] inflicting ‘religious spanking’ on his fellow female worshippers.

The reverend of course claims he did nothing wrong and that he doesn’t even know what he is accused of. Sounds a bit of a stretch, as in the UK it is your right that the police tell you why they arrest you, but never mind.

What really caught my attention thou was the Christian Domestic Discipline and the quote from a wife of a real Christian:

“My husband doesn’t need to impose strict rules as I am now naturally submissive. He rarely punishes me and when he does, he is firm but fair,” she said. “It is always consensual and loving.”

I think the word ‘now’ hidden there in this sentence should ring some alarm bells. She is now naturally submissive, but was she submissive when she entered that relationship? She didn’t say she realised she is naturally submissive and she enjoys the type of relationship she has with her husband. It rings more like ‘ I had no choice so I got used to it’ kind of situation. Or maybe its just my own filter…

See, I am all in for freedom of lifestyle choice and I think people should have a right to enter a mature, consensual relationships, also those including physical punishment, if that is what they like, what turns them on or what helps them relax and enjoy their life.  I’m not into BDSM but I accept the fact that there are people who love it, on both dominant and submissive side, and I think they should be able to enjoy each other’s company in the way they like, as long as it is fully consensual.

I also can’t stop thinking how many relationships like that are just a cover for abuse and there is no consent, but rather misuse, fear and self-hatred. [I do hope I am wrong!]

I absolutely loathe hypocrisy! When people find justification for cruelty, abuse and mistreating of others in religious books and preachings my blood pressure is rising to dangerous levels and I just don’t know how to deal with it.

But if someone tells you that he has to spank his ‘disobedient’ wife because Bible tells him so, I think he is lying to himself and everyone around!

Die Wand – The Wall

What would you do if you woken up in an idyllic valley in Alps and realised that there is an invisible wall separating you from the rest of the world?

Would you scream and shout? Would you do anything to break the barrier? Would you try dig under it or climb over?

Or after seeing people frozen on the other side of the wall would you give up, and slowly accept your fate?

That’s what the German-Austrian film The Wall is about. An unnamed woman wakes up one lovely morning and realises that her hosts, an older couple who own the lodge she stays in, did not come back from the village. By midday, worried, she heads down the valley to see what could have happened. But halfway down the road she bumps into a wall – literally. An invisible barrier does not allow her to go forward. She is trapped, and has no idea what happened outside in the world. She’s on her own.

The film has an amazing atmosphere. The landscapes and the shooting is excellent, but it’s Martina Gedeck who really makes this film. Lost at first in her reality, close to losing her mind, she focuses on survival – planting potatoes, learning to hunt, harvesting a meadow of hay for a cow. From the perspective of long months in loneliness she writes a diary to not forget. To keep her mind occupied and to ward of insanity.

I kept thinking – what would I dream about? Would I wake up screaming every morning, reliving my existence even in the dream? Or would I dream of the world as it was, of freedom to go wherever I wanted and of company of others…?

Would you try harder to get out, even if getting out might have meant death? Or would you also focus on survival, facing the reality one day at a time?

Slane Girl, In Solidarity

I’m almost too angry for writing.

The girl might be young and silly (if the sex was consensual) or she is a victim of rape and sexual assault – but in our twisted society even if the second is the case there are people out there who will say she didn’t have to go to the concert/drink/take drugs, and blame her anyway.

We are living in omnipresent rape culture, where a woman has to be always aware what she’s doing, what she’s wearing and make sure she’s not smiling at a wrong person too, because if something terrible happens to her, people will will give more attention to where she was at the time and what was she wearing than to the simple fact that it’s the person who forces someone else to a sexual act who is at fault. Always.