The young woman pictured below has become a Facebook star for women everywhere who get tired of fitting in with the norm imposed upon them by society — a misogynist society that has fashion “advisors” telling women what to wear and what not to wear, mothers, friends, grandmas, well meaning co-workers and of course, complete strangers, feeling entitled to step in and judge a woman.
Yes, in our society and many societies the world over a woman just can’t live in peace. Her entire world, from her outside public appearance to what happens or grows inside, is up for public review and critique all the time.
We celebrate this young woman’s grace in the face of the brutal reality of being a woman in this society and of course, her in-your-face honesty. Bravo and read below what she wrote:
It started with one pointing me out to the other.
I watched while the friend “casually” stretched and turned to face me, her head whipping back around to confirm her shared opinion of what I was wearing. They both began to laugh.
I sighed, willing to let it go… but it didn’t stop.
Finally when the friend pulled out her phone to take my photo over her shoulder (disguising it as a selfie) I had had enough.
I got up from my table approached them both and simply asked “I’m sorry but are you both laughing at me?”
They responded that it wasn’t the case, but the obviousness of whole façade made the bullshit buzzer go off in my head.
“Oh good! I was starting to feel really self conscious!” (I finished) and went back to my seat.
What these two women subjected me too today is a symptom of Internalised Misogyny:
“involuntary internalization by women of the sexist messages that are present in their societies and culture.” (for further reading http://everydayfeminism.com/2014/07/choice-feminism-internalized-misogyny/ )
I haven’t mentioned the women’s age or what they were wearing because it’s not relevant.
How they present themselves does not affect me.
It doesn’t change my life in any way.
Women are constantly judged for everything. It’s inescapable.
Let me get one thing straight.
I am fully aware that I dress like I’ve been fucked by a unicorn.
I know because I dress myself every morning… and would you believe? It’s deliberate!!!
I don’t wake up and think “Gee, I wonder how I can appeal to strangers today?”
Our patriarchal society makes strangers -of any gender- think it acceptable to humiliate a woman based on how she woke up that morning and got dressed to please herself.
So next time you catch yourself critiquing someone’s appearance negatively (In particular, how women dress) maybe try to think instead of why you feel the need to make that horrible assessment?
Are you intimidated by them? Are you sexualising them? Are you repulsed because they don’t adhere to your standards of beauty?
Then ask yourself why any of those things bother you in the first place.
— with Lauren Halstead.