Clearly society likes to objectify African American women while simultaneously shaming them for their sexuality. Basically, black women’s bodies only acceptable when other people are controlling them. Growing up surrounded by these messages causes a lot of confusion and anger—I can vouch for that. I live in a world that tells me how to act, but there doesn’t seem to be any kind of “acceptable” behavior. Every day I see women who look like me face consequences no matter how they act. From a young age, I learned that I was in a perpetual lose-lose situation.
During conversations about the DREAM Act and other legislation that would make it easier for undocumented immigrants to become citizens, I’ve encountered a number of peers who have suddenly changed their stance to “support” immigration reform because they have a perverted obsession with Latina women. Whenever immigration comes up, these guys immediately mention their infatuation with Jennifer Lopez, Salma Hayek, Shakira, or Selena Gomez. Words like “exotic” and “spicy” get thrown around, like they’re describing a dish at a restaurant rather than an actual person.
A bill that could send women to prison for going topless in public appears set for approval by the North Carolina legislature.
Triggered by two topless rallies held in Asheville, the Republican-backed bill headed to a floor vote in the House and would amend the state’s indecent exposure law to expand the legal definition of “private parts” to explicitly include “the nipple, or any portion of the areola, or the female breast.”
exposure of dude nips remains a-ok because of course
ATTN: WRITERS, PLAYWRIGHTS, SONGWRITERS, THEATER PPL ETC.
We are launching a new project focusing on girls’ experiences with sexualization, and we want your submissions! Inspired by works like The Vagina Monologues, we want to curate 20 monologues/poems/songs/standup comedy acts/literally whatever for a theater piece to be performed annually across the country & the world. Submissions are open NOW and go until March 15th, 2013. Get on this!
These images show two women together in sexual or sexualized situations. However, they have a few factors in common that reveal the ways queer female sexuality is used and appropriated for the pleasure of a male audience. Notice that all of these women are conventionally attractive and feminine—thin, white, long hair, wearing dresses and high heels. Notice that none of the women are looking at each other. Now notice that in every picture, one of the women is looking directly out at the camera and viewer—inviting the observer into the picture instead of connecting with the other woman.
This perfectly displays the way in which queer female relationships are co-opted and distorted to make them more acceptable. These women are not being allowed to relate to each other, only to a viewer. They must fit the narrow mold of what society considers beautiful. They must be clearly on display for someone else to observe.
Girls are conditioned to believe that their power comes from being sexy and that Halloween is the perfect time to manifest that. It’s totally a sexist double standard, of course, but it’s powerful, and it means that wanting to indulge in it is both super common and super confusing. Your costume is your choice, my lovely readers, and it’s up to you to decide how much you want to show, but how are we as young women supposed to meaningfully decide our limits when every costume maker on the planet is trying to get us to show our butts? How do we negotiate all of these different factors into our decision making without seeming like we’ve bought into some stupid notion about sex and power that people have been trying to sell us since we were little? It seems like no matter what happens, they win, we lose, and they want to keep it that way.
Wanting to wear a sexy costume doesn’t make you an idiot or a slut, just like not wearing a sexy costume doesn’t make you a Super Feminist immune to all media. We need to get beyond critiquing individuals for their costume choices, and spend more time and energy calling out the industries that make it so difficult for us to negotiate our own desires.
*drops the mic*
Halloween vid of the day: TheeKatsMeoww takes a group of kids into a costume shop and finds…well…
The costume choices were, of course, sexualized. I was at a point where people and the entire world made me feel ugly and I didn’t feel sexy, not once, not ever. But not dressing like that was a constant weighing of the scales. I could cave, attempt to look sexy, and feel bad about it, or I could resist, wear something else, and feel bad about it. I just felt bad. I hated Halloween, and I felt like an idiot. Every time.
A lot has changed since then. I’m too old for Halloween now but I’m also a million times happier than I was then. The pressure to wear “sexy” costumes faded out. The idea that my body wasn’t disgusting stuck around. I slowly but surely learned how to love myself, even if I was a total dork who wore a nude undershirt. For a long time, Halloween was this moment frozen in time every single year where I participated in some sort of freak show parade where half of us were gonna be cool kids with relevant, sexy costumes and I was going to look like I went thrifting in the dark. But suddenly, Halloween is less scary. I’ve seriously figured out who I am and now changing into someone else doesn’t sound so impossible. Women are so beautiful – I am so beautiful – and if it hadn’t become a battle of wits I’d probably be retired from the Look Like Something Else game entirely, but I can stick around for now and shake down the last demons. This year I think I might be Young Bob Dylan, or Romi Klinger, or my friend Patrick. Last year I was Wonder Woman, and the year before that I was Richard Simmons.
I feel beautiful all the time now.
And now nothing scares me.
The models in Teen Vogue are often older than the models in regular Vogue.
Creating a relationship between alcohol, sex, and the commodification of the female body is very dangerous. These ads take sexualization to a new level when they literally turn a woman’s body into a bottle of beer for a man’s consumption. As if my body being associated with a product for sale were not bad enough, let’s add booze into the mix. Even if I were able to overcome the idea that my body is not a bottle of alcohol to be consumed by men, other drunken individuals are still seeing me this way.
It’s time to take a more serious look at sexual assault on college campuses, and maybe the place to start is by looking at the media’s influence. We cannot keep allowing girls and boys to internalize and normalize the images that we see in alcohol advertisements. The alcohol industry clearly has an invested interest in young people. However, the advertisements that they are currently producing are not acceptable in that they are creating a dangerous environments for the young people who they are targeting. They are creating a dangerous relationship between alcohol and sex, one that feeds directly into strengthening rape culture. We cannot let the alcohol industry define how kids grow up perceiving themselves and perceiving their lives after high school, particularly when such notions of what is “normal” for college students are leading to such serious consequences as sexual assault. (via)