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Lessons learned…

February 8, 2011

This is not an issue that’s going to be resolved any time soon but there was enough discussion about what I was talking about in the last post to make my brain quit on me for a bit. Then I went to bed and of course, it started working again. They say lavender is supposed to help you fall asleep but I don’t think that’s true unless you snort or inject it or something. That should be a thing.

Anyway…

  • It’s alarming how many women perpetuate the idea that we are objects and it’s okay to treat us as such. It’s not just the female bloggers looking for fame. Calling yourself a slutty party girl on your Facebook or Twitter profile is probably not the best way to command respect. I hope the many, many women I’ve seen do this learn to respect themselves someday.
  • Choosing to show everyone your boobs is not sexual empowerment. Sexual empowerment is having a healthy sexual attitude and demanding that you be treated with respect.
  • When you talk about this stuff, you make some people angry and you lose a bunch of followers.
  • Good riddance.
  • But on the other hand, when you talk about this stuff, discussions happen and it never hurts to get people talking, because you learn the extent of the problem that way, you get insight into how some people think and hopefully you get at least one person to think about things differently.
  • Not defending them in the least, but a large part of the reason that men think it’s okay to objectify women is that women allow them to do it. How are they going to learn when for every woman who refuses to be used like that there are five who are willing to be?
  • Sometimes I wonder if men are ever told they’re worth less because they are fat. Women hear it from both men and women.
  • I’ve been having trouble articulating this, but one thing I’ve been struggling with is the idea that I’m all about staying true to yourself while at the same time I’m trying to change my body. It’s hard not to wonder if you’re being hypocritical sometimes but I do know this: I’m doing this for me, and because I’m not happy this way, not because anyone said I had to look like Blake Lively or whatever.
  • But it’s going to be incredibly hard not to be bitter when I get treated differently. I like to think I can rise above it but it’s going to be hard.
  • Despite the amount of discussing and arguing that’s been going on, there are still a lot of people who are missing the point.
  • Once again, five readers, thank you for reading, sharing, and your thoughts. The more we talk about it, even when it’s exhausting, the better. Mad loves to you all.

Back to hockey tomorrow. I may or may not have a post almost ready. Stay tuned.

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25 Comments leave one →
  1. mbouf permalink
    February 8, 2011 11:07 am

    I really like this blog…you and I could have some great, long conversations on this topic. I have WAY WAY too many friends who think dressing overly slutty when they go out and getting whistled at makes them hot and “special”. (Among many other things I wont get into right now)
    You’re absolutely, men only do what they do because they get away with it. I don’t allow it. I work at a hockey arena and every single shift I have creepy guys (up to 45 +) hitting on me, making dirty jokes and then they think Ya, she’ll go on a date with me. AS IF.

    All the guys I’ve actually dated were the ones who DIDN’T hit on me (aka objectify me). They found a different way to approach the matter. Obviously they found me attractive but they weren’t shouting “hey babe, nice ass” etc.. Nope, they chatted with me about work, school, life in general and made me laugh…they flirted without bringing mine (or their own) looks into the subject and I was like WOW, a decent man does exist.

    Seriously, women talk about girl power….well girl power isn’t about the number of notches on your bed post and the number of guys commenting on your cleavage on Facebook.

    Keep writing posts like this (when you don’t have hockey things to say, because I do enjoy the hockey ones too)

  2. February 8, 2011 11:32 am

    Wasn’t this the whole point of the previous post? Saying the same things without asking new questions, taking some kind of stand or challenging thoughts doesn’t help, it’s just beating a dead horse. There are so many “feminists” already; set yourself apart by speaking up, not just being background noise.

    “I’m all about staying true to yourself while at the same time I’m trying to change my body.” If you’re doing it for appearances, and not to be in better shape and better health in the first place, you’re doing it wrong, and no matter how thin you get, you’ll never be satisfied with the result because guess what? Unrealistic ideals, physical or not, are not reserved to a) women or b) women with a BMI of over 25. We’re all affected by them, and a healthy body means nothing if you don’t have a healthy mind.

    Take it from someone who used to have a BMI of FIFTEEN when she let all this stuff mess with her head years ago: you won’t feel better about yourself if you don’t fix your mind first, no matter how thin you get, because there will always be people to judge you. A healthy attitude about health, your body, and sex will get you a long way in warding off the negative thoughts.

    Also, question: what lessons have you learned that you didn’t know already?

    • theactivestick permalink*
      February 8, 2011 12:15 pm

      I wasn’t aware that I was just being background noise. What do you want me to do, walk up to “it girls” and puckwhores and demand that they put their clothes back on? Would it be better if I never say what’s on my mind? Or was I supposed to only revisit the topic after I had completely changed the world?

      There are too many people who don’t want to talk about this or would just rather not. Maybe to you it’s beating a dead horse but to me it’s getting the jumble of thoughts in my head down and sharing them. Maybe to you it’s talking in circles but to me it’s continuing to talk.

      Also that quote is out of context. The context of that quote was the question of whether or not it’s possible for my thoughts on objectification and my actions re: losing weight are contradicting each other. And the conclusion is they aren’t, because, as I said, I’m not doing it to conform to someone else’s ideals. I’m doing it for me.

      As for the lessons, well, for one thing, I didn’t know there were girls out there that were proud to call themselves sluts (their words), right there on their “about me” pages, Facebook profiles, Twitter profiles until a few people showed me, thanks to the discussion, thanks to the post. I thought I understood the motivation behind the “it girls” and the puckwhores selling themselves but never did I expect to see girls introducing themselves as such.

      For another, I didn’t know people could change their minds about engaging and interacting with you because this is what you want to talk about.

      For yet another it amazed me how people can just miss the point no matter how much arguing you do with them.

      And for yet another, I learned that you are throwing a lot of anger at me for not expressing myself the way you think I should be, and also for wanting to better my own situation.

      • February 8, 2011 12:58 pm

        If challenging your post/thoughts is “throwing anger at you,” then maybe you should reconsider letting people comment on your blog.

        I appreciate you expanding on the lessons you learned in that whole debate on twitter yesterday. It was eye-opening, and certainly got me going like crazy. I tweeted that if guys think that girls who aren’t asexual are asking to be objectified, that’s some SCARY shit.

        It’s either guys lack comprehension of the English language and don’t understand what the word “objectification” means, or the internet is once again exposing us to frightening amounts of stupidity. I fear it’s the latter.

        As for the girls, it’s a self-esteem thing. Like you said, it isn’t empowerment, but if they weren’t taught any values, didn’t have a positive role model growing up, had absent parents, abusive parents, etc. then they probably don’t know any better and they do what they gotta do to get some form of praise, approval, a sense of belonging, some sort of power over others, etc.

        The culture is offensive, obviously, but to me those girls who do that are more sad than anything.

        • theactivestick permalink*
          February 8, 2011 2:57 pm

          No problem with being challenged. Just struck me as being berated rather than challenged is all.

          As for those girls… it’s kind of heartbreaking. I feel like people could point to that and go “hey, they have no problem being objectified, you just need to lighten up” and in the meantime, are any of those girls happy?

          • February 8, 2011 3:09 pm

            Only stupid people would ever say that. Like the debate I was having on twitter yesterday with someone claiming that “some women [smart, healthy, with good self esteem, etc.] LIKE being objectified,” and to stop comparing objectification to being treated like dirt. Perhaps the analogy of treating women like a rug would be more appropriate. Either way, an object is an object is an object, and human beings are not objects to simply look at and/or use.

  3. February 8, 2011 11:47 am

    Joining roller derby has been a fascinating observation exercise in male and female behaviours. Never have I been involved in a sport where sex and athleticism go hand in hand. Some would have the opinion that derby players objectify women, as some uniforms often have bum and boob cleavage.

    But the good news, more often than not, men who go to a bout to see the bums and boobs, often leave with a huge appreciation for the athleticism of the players. It’s definitely given me some hope where mankind is concerned. But it somewhat sucks as to what draws them there in the first place. I hope one day the men who go to see the athleticism first, then enjoy the grace & beauty of the players as a second thought outnumber the others.

    A few years ago our city hosted the Scotties Tournament of Hearts (Canadian women’s curling for you non-Canuck readers 😉 ). Would you believe it if I told you the organizers got complaints because some players chose to not do themselves up with loads of makeup and therefore their ‘look’ didn’t translate well on TV? Crazy, but true.

    Fast forward to the Olympics… how many comments did everyone hear in cyber-world about the look of the Canadian women athletes versus their actual skill? I’m certain the numbers would be slanted to their looks. Unfortunate.

    I’m not sure what my point is in speaking about these observations. I don’t have answers either. But thanks for talking about this!!!!

    • theactivestick permalink*
      February 8, 2011 2:59 pm

      Interesting about the women’s curling team. I didn’t know the background, but I remember the talk about their looks…

  4. AngusMcCracken permalink
    February 8, 2011 12:34 pm

    Yet another great post. I’ll try to get into a little more detail then indid in the last post.
    You were curious if guys get the same hassle as women do when they’re larger/overweight. Hell yes. In fact, I almost think we guys have it worse then the ladies do. Before everyone jumps all over that, hear me out. As much as there is tremendous pressure on women and girls to look a certain way in order to fit into the “norm” (and I use that term loosely), there’s as much pressure, if not more on guys, especially in their youth. Girls do start from a young age modeling themselves after what they see in the mass media…to be “pretty”. Guys have a whole different type of pressure. They’re expected to play sports, be athletes, and these days, be as pretty as Justin Beiber, too. I was always a larger kid, and was ruthlessly picked on for most of the time I was in school in Montreal. It is literally a miracle I survived.
    Guys also get tagged with an extra little bonus that you don’t hear so often in relation to larger girls: Lazy. If guys are fat, they’re also lazy slobs. You can be the most energetic, meticulously clean fat guy, but you’re still a lazy slob, because you’re fat.
    This stigma follows guys through their academic career, in fact, it almost intensifies as you move into high school, where sports programs become more organized.
    Aside from that, the easiest way to tell that it’s more socially acceptable for women to be larger is to look at the retail world. Wal-Mart has large selection of “Plus-Sized” clothing for women…it even has it’s own section. Men? Not so much. go to the malls, the pattern repeats itself in various stores, you even have stores like Addition-Elle in almost every mall. How many malls do you see with a “Big and Tall” store? See my point?

    Onto other thoughts… Be true to yourself means just that. Anyone trying to tell YOU you’re not being true to yourself can take a long walk off a short pier. You know you better than anyone else. Don’t let anyone tell you different.
    I like who you are: fat, skinny, or somewhere in between. As long as you’re happy, I could care less.

    • theactivestick permalink*
      February 8, 2011 12:54 pm

      Thank you, Andrew. I’d never heard that perspective before.

    • February 8, 2011 1:08 pm

      That’s really interesting, Andrew, and now that I stop to think about it, you’re totally right.
      As women age, it becomes inappropriate to talk about their weight and there is less (I feel) ostracism for those who are overweight. But men… it never really changes, does it? If you’re the awkward tubby at 13 or 33, it doesn’t matter, you still get made fun of. Does that sound right?

      • AngusMcCracken permalink
        February 8, 2011 1:46 pm

        Exactly right. It’s Quasi accepted for a guy to get a bit of a paunch, but with guys a fatty is a fatty.

    • leafer1984 permalink
      February 8, 2011 1:43 pm

      I know exactly how you feel. I was always a big guy and still am. I’ve grown to become comfortable with who i am, although I always want to change it.
      Women forget that, it isn’t ok for a guy to be overweight.

      • AngusMcCracken permalink
        February 8, 2011 2:52 pm

        Testify, brother!

      • theactivestick permalink*
        February 8, 2011 3:04 pm

        Interesting that you say “women forget that.” Sometimes we don’t even notice that. I’m not saying never, but definitely sometimes. At least in my experience.

  5. SensDew19 permalink
    February 8, 2011 12:58 pm

    There’s nothing wrong with trying to do something good for yourself….losing weight doesn’t mean you’re doing it to get people’s attention and nobody should ever be judgmental of that, since when is wanting to be healthy/fit focused on other people’s opinions? Being a good person or having great talents has nothing to do with looks, gender or weight and the problem is sometimes it’s not only guys who judge girls for liking sports or non-girly stuff sometimes its girls judging other girls too and asking them to conform to some kind of girl protocol where we all have to love pink dresses, flowers and watching every episode of the Bachelor/Grey’s Anatomy.

    Great post!

    • theactivestick permalink*
      February 8, 2011 1:22 pm

      Thank you. It’s really hard not to get confused sometimes, but I can understand how people can be worried about someone who’s trying to lose weight/get fit.

      The Bachelor makes me want to throw things, particularly because it helps promote the problem. “Hey, let’s get a bunch of girls to compete with each other for a man’s attention by being as slutty as possible and bringing each other down! Yay!”

      Also, if guy’s ever thinking of getting me flowers, he should keep in mind that a ticket in the whites at the Bell is about the same price as a dozen roses 🙂

      • SensDew19 permalink
        February 8, 2011 1:28 pm

        haha I like the way you think, while roses are nice (obv not Bachelor style) Ive always said the perfect date would be a hockey game and a Wings dinner :p

  6. February 8, 2011 2:27 pm

    I guess I’m a bit out of left field with this one…but to shine a light on a rather dim bulb, I would imagine that somebody like @MsPanamaBOMB, who pushes tweets with the #tittytuesday hashtag, and pictures of herself really doesn’t help things either.

    And with a number of 44,000 followers, it seems she’s very happy to perpetuate stereotypes and objectification. Pretty sad.

    • theactivestick permalink*
      February 8, 2011 3:11 pm

      #tittytuesday, huh? How about #getyourheadoutofyourassandstopsellingyourintegrityandbodyforpopularitytuesday?

  7. February 8, 2011 7:23 pm

    First of all, I’ll say that I won’t really add anything that hasn’t already been pointed out but I did want to share. I think it’s great that you’re choosing to talk about this because a lot of women still don’t like having this discussion and you have a readership that are interested so bravo!

    There really is no easy answer to this. Everybody’s relationship with their self-image and their experiences are different so I can really speak from my own experiences but it sounds like to me you have a healthy perspective on things in that you’re doing this for yourself, not for anyone else but at the same time acknowledging the fact that there will be certain people that may treat you differently. We live in a shallow society and that will happen but it’s important to remember that it’s about how you feel about yourself in the end.

    And as horrible as certain men treat women, I think we’re sometimes worse to one another. If a person’s self worth is based on their beauty it’s built on shaky ground indeed. I can only hope that when they get to the point where they’re struggling with being respected for more than their looks that they get the support they need.

    Uh, hopefully that made some sense.

    • theactivestick permalink*
      February 9, 2011 10:57 am

      The one thing that stood out to me in your comment is this:

      “Everybody’s relationship with their self-image and their experiences are different”

      This is true. Nobody can possibly know what’s going on inside when it comes to your self-image. Since everybody’s experiences are different, I think the path to a better relationship with one’s self-image is also different for everybody.

  8. February 9, 2011 10:41 am

    Just wondering if anyone had seen another point of view on the motherpucker contest: http://www.dahliakurtz.com/1/post/2011/02/one-hot-hockey-fight.html

    • theactivestick permalink*
      February 9, 2011 10:59 am

      I had seen that, but didn’t have any comment on it as the author clearly completely missed the fact that the contest was degrading and promoted objectification.

      “It’s just for fun,” doesn’t make it any less of a competition that allows a bunch of strangers to dictate what a woman should look like.

      • February 9, 2011 11:03 am

        Agreed.

        I thought it interesting that there clearly are some women who will objectify themselves and their attractiveness for material gain, then chalk it all up to innocent fun, and scoring swag.

        You’re right – they miss the point entirely. Objectification is objectification and throwing your name in the hat plays in to the whole broken culture of it.

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