Modesty and Feminism

I was just reading a post on modesty, which I found interesting. I just wanted to add my views.

Ever since I was a teenager, (or no earlier than my early 20’s), I’ve never understood why the responsibility should be solely placed on women on how they are viewed and treated by men. I have always been outraged when I hear in the news about such issues potentially affecting a court case. In my mind, every individual is responsible for their own actions, not someone else.

So, is there any room for modesty? Yes. Let me explain.

People dress the way they feel, and it’s not just to do with sexuality. Some women may like to accentuate their curves and should be able to without fear. I think the key, though, is to do it out of confidence not desperation. Of course, dress on a way that also suits the context of where you are of where you’re going. This goes for both men and women. I know, for example, that many clubs don’t usually permit thongs (type of shoe they only covers the bottom of the foot). So, dress to fit the context of where you are and something you’re truly comfortable in. What that means is usually up to you and is not up to anyone else to dictate to you what if should be.

For those who who say can’t help but jeer at a woman because of how she’s dressed, turn your head. Or think of her as a sister, or if you’re older, a daughter. Treat the woman the way you’d treat them. Is that so hard?

I’m not trying to bad a man – hater. I’m really not. I just think it’s time that we as a society (and worldwide), change our approach on how we view women and what they wear.

‘Fat’ and ‘Skinny’ Shaming vs Health – Can We Ever Find Happy Medium?

It’s no secret that sections of online and traditional media aimed at women focus on body image. For years now, the media and fashion companies have been criticised by the public and health ptofessionals for promoting unrealistic images that Tweens (those who aren’t teenagers yet), teens and young women aspire to. It has largely been he,d at least partly responsible for body dissatisfaction and, in the extreme, eating disorders.

There has been a backlash against these ideals; so much so, that some bloggers and others wonder if we’ve gone too far the other way. Let’s get real here, being much more than your healthy weight isn’t good. But neither is obsessing about weight to the point where you don’t eat and you exercise to excess (yes, it is true that you can exercise too much). So where is the happy – medium?

Thing is, everyone is different. Pic think that’s what’s missing from the conversation. What  health should always be our we probably shoul focus on is health: physical, mental and spiritual. Holistic health should be our goal. Being at a relatively healthy weight is part of that. Getting enough exercise, good nutrition is part of that. I think the trick is to find out what health means for you and try to achieve that.

Gender

Pop star Miley Cyrus has expressed a rejection and annoyance of gender labels, telling “Out” magazine:

I didn’t want to be a boy. I kind of wanted to be nothing. I don’t relate to what people would say defines a girl or a boy, and I think that’s what I had to understand. Being a girl isn’t what I hate, it’s the box that I get put into.

Now, I’m not going to define Cyrus’s gender identity, whether genderqueer, gender – neutral, agender… that’s up to her to label… if she has one at all, I guess. But it got me thinking about how I define gender for myself.

I identify as cis – female. I’ve never questioned it, never wanted to be anything else. Just female. I’m not androgynous in clothing, although, I don’t go out of my way to be feminine either. I just… am. It’s never been any different.

I saw a documentary with British medical journalist, Michael Mosley and Professor Alice Roberts researched and debated whether there was any real differences in males and females in terms of the brain on the documentary “Is Your Brain Male or Female”? Roberts started off with the argument that gender is, at least largely, to do with culture and upbringing rather than biology, while Mosley argued that biology played a more major role. What they did discover is that there are certain differences in the brains of both men and women; one fundamental difference is how men and women handle pain.

A recent American study consisting of cis gender and transgender identified children did find some overlap. They did find that for example cis – gender females and transgender females did share a pattern in how they valued friendships with other girls. This small group that was studied consisted of children between the ages of five and twelve.

I find these cross – overs so interesting, both in terms of gender and sexuality. Does that mean that we’re hard – wired to identify a certain way? It could be. But then again, what about those who don’t identify as male or female or a gender fluid or androgynous? How does such research affect them. Many of these studies tend to focus on the male/ female gay/straight/ bi lines without taking into consideration of people who don’t identify with any of the prescribed labels or different labels.

 

Fortunately, I think progress is being made. I think the more people are made to feel comfortable in their identity, the better. Whether cis – gender, genderfluid, agender or androgynous, etc, I think knowledge is power and the more we know, hopefully, the world will be a less scary place for people who don’t fit the “norm”.

Sex Workers

It’s been 25 years since the movie “Pretty Woman” came out, starring Julia Roberts. The anniversary has sparked conversation and debate among feminists on how the movie portrays sex work.

Women’s site, Mamamia has portrayed both sides of the debate; one decrying the victim status often given to sex workers and one telling of the brutality of it (sorry, can’t post either at the moment… really hate that!).

Last night, “The Project” did a story also portraying contrasting experiences by women who are, or had been in the sex industry. So, what should people make of it?

I think there is validity in the argument that we should separate sex trafficking and forced prostitution to women who make a choice to get involved in sex work. I don’t think doing things like outlawing prostitution will really work. I think there’ll always be loopholes that could always be passed through. From a completely legal point of view (not moral), I think it’ll be somewhat better to have it legal and regulated.

Will that make the situation 100% safe? No. Prostitution has been legal in Holland since the early 2000’s (2001, i think) and they still have an issue with trafficking, particularly from Russia and Eastern Europe.

There is one more thing I think needs to happen. I think some young women get into prostitution to get some “quick” money, usually for study or tuition fees. I think this is something that needs to be looked at by the Government. Why do young women feel like they need to turn to sex work for money? Does there need to be more help for fees? Does there need to be more work for young people to choose? Let’s be clear: I’m not talking about women who actively choose to be sex workers. I’m talking about women who feel compelled to do sex work because of a lack of a cashflow. For some reason, it doesn’t seem right.

 

How should women, particularly self – claimed “feminist” view sex work? If it’s a genuine choice, then it’s their choice. However, I think there is something to be said about it when young women feel like they need to get into prostitution as a last resort to make money, whether to fund their current lifestyles or, more seriously, a drug addiction. It’s these women, I believe, should be guided to another path and get the help that they need.