Monthly Archives

February 2016

food for thought

Body Positivity is So Goddamn Important

February 28, 2016
When I started this blog, I thought I’d just write about whatever
seemed interesting to me, and I didn’t really plan much further. Now, I am realizing
that apparently, what interests me is mostly smashing the patriarchy. I really don’t
want to come across as the stereotypical angry feminist who doesn’t shave her
underarms (not that there’s anything wrong with that, either). But some things
just piss me off, you know?
Like the other day when I was scrolling through my Facebook
feed. A German magazine had posted an article about the #DropTheTowel campaign encouraging women of all body shapes to enjoy the summer, the sun and the beach
without obsessing over who might judge them or hiding inside their
towels. It was accompanied by a beautiful picture of women of all shapes and sizes showing off their bodies in bathing suits.
Awesome, I thought, maybe I can manage to do that this
summer, too. And I would have kept scrolling, but then the comments caught my eye. Basically,
it was a bunch of women, mostly, pointing out that obesity is unhealthy and
shouldn’t be glorified, and the idea that overweight or obese bodies could be
beautiful is just ludicrous.
And then I thought, that is SUCH bullshit.
First of all, the #DropYourTowel campaign doesn’t glorify obesity
or suggest that it is a desirable ideal to aspire to. I don’t think any sane
person would argue that there are no significant health risks associated with
being obese. In fact – news flash – I’m pretty sure obese people themselves are
well aware of this and there is no need to berate them. Do these supposed
health advocates open their whiny little mouths when smokers are portrayed in
movies or the media? No, they don’t, so they should quit their hypocrisy and
stop pretending this is about anything other than the fact that they don’t like
to look at people who don’t conform to their twisted beauty standards. Thanks.
Secondly, there seems to be this stupid misconception that
obesity is self-inflicted and therefore overweight or obese people don’t
deserve anything good in life. That’s also incredibly misguided. There is such
a thing as susceptibility to obesity, and also to food addiction. Genome scans
have been finding susceptibility factors for decades. It’s quite simply more difficult
for some people to maintain a healthy weight in today’s obesogenic environment, and for many people is not just a matter of “going to the gym once in a while”. 
And even if excess weight was entirely people’s own fault, every human being deserves to feel accepted.
Even unhealthy people. Even people who are unhealthy “because of their own
choices”. All that body positivity campaigns hope to achieve is that everyone
will be able to go outside and enjoy the sun and the warmth and the water
without worrying what people might think, regardless of how much or little they
may weigh. Why can’t people just see the value in that and shut up? Do they
really think some of us deserve to enjoy life less and constantly feel shit
about themselves because they don’t look a certain way? Besides, overweight
people are much more likely to be motivated to lose weight, and do so
successfully, if they do it because they love their body and want the best for
it, rather than because they hate their body and are ashamed of it, thank you
very much for your altruistic concern.
Another great campaign on the topic, by the way, is #BodyLove, in which women of all shapes and sizes strut around city centres in their underwear. How is that not awesome?! Imagine you are a 14-year old girl obsessing about your love handles, and the positive impact that a campaign like that could have. This also got a bunch of mean-spirited comments. 
I read a quote somewhere on
the internet recently that said “Why can’t we all just read books and be nice
to each other?” Seriously, though, WHY?
food for thought

A Letter Every Man Should Read

February 7, 2016
This is an open
letter. I am writing it in light of the recent rise to notoriety of self-styled
“pick up artist” Daryush Valizadeh and the ideas he propagates, and in response
to the mindset of the “seduction community” as a whole.

Dear Reader,
My body is not your fortress to conquer.
My belt buckle is not your lock to pick.
I am not your game to bring down.

You might feel lonely, or frustrated, and I am sorry about
that. You were likely influenced by a media machinery which has taught you that
sex and sexually available women are everywhere, up for grabs. They are not. Society
has likely led you to believe that your worth and your masculinity are determined
by how many women you “manage” to sleep with. It is not. You might feel
entitled to my body. You are not.
I don’t care what you believe the “natural order” of things
should be. I don’t care whether you think I am naturally weaker, or less, than
you. I don’t care about your testosterone levels, and I don’t care about your misrepresentation
of evolutionary psychology.
I am a human being with the right to self-determination and
the right to decide what happens to my body. You cannot trick me or talk me into
sleeping with you. You may be able, in my weak moments, to take advantage of my
emotional vulnerability, or my loneliness, or my inebriation. That is
psychological violence.  You are being
emotionally abusive to another human being.
I am not the scantily clad model on the billboard you see on
your way to work. I am not a sexualized, dehumanized body. I am not a pair of
legs waiting to be pried open. I am your mother, your sister, your daughter,
and your wife.
I understand that in many ways, being a man is difficult.
Your worth in the eyes of society is often measured by how much you earn, how
shiny your car is and how attractive and numerous your sexual partners are. Your
masculinity is only intact for as long as you don’t show emotions. When you
grow attached to a partner, you are mocked for being “whipped”. That
representation of what it means to be a man is just as false as the idea that a
woman’s worth is determined by her exterior. We are fighting the same harmful
gender roles. We are on the same side.
So please stand with me. Please treat me with respect. If
you would like to sleep with me, your best bet is to take a genuine interest in
me as a human being. If you would like to have casual sex, please be honest
about your intentions so I can make a fully informed decision. If you feel
obligated to have sex with me in order to feel manly or to validate your ego,
please reconsider.
It will not make you any less of a man.

A Woman