This week I had some interesting exchanges on Facebook of the body-shaming and slut-shaming variety. A now-former Facebook “friend” posted the following status:
FFF: What's with women posting pictures featuring their breasts? Do they have so little self confidence or self respect that they really have to rely on that to feel pretty or appreciated? Please women, do yourself a favor: Have a little dignity and cover yourselves.
The comments were pretty much what you’d expect, nothing particularly notable.
Another “Friend”: So to play devils advocate here ( I Dont care either way) if a woman feeling empowered by her sexuality should feel ashamed to flaunt it in fear of other people's issues? Seems a bit narrow and small. But again, I honestly do not care one way or the other. Unless they are saggy ooky
FFF: It's not the just having them happen to show, but when the picture is like boobs only, no face, I feel like the woman is saying to the world, "hi. The only thing I want you to know about me is that my body is sexy." So far as that goes, hurrah for confidence in your looks, but its women who display themselves as sex objects like that in the name of confidence who also complain about being objectified by men. I say choose one, because it's unfair not to expect such a natural reaction: It is the human nature of mankind whether or not it is cordial or proper. That's why things like modesty were invented in the first place - not to constrict women, but to cause them to be appreciated for more than their physique. I posted this not to put down women who like how they look, but to encourage them to display themselves in a way which would cause them to be treated with more honor.
Me: Maybe women post such photos without face because they are proud of their bodies and also fear being victimized by those who would share their photos unethically, seems them to her employer, etc.
Maybe they post those photos because THEY ARE THE VICTIMS of a culture that's taught them breasts are their best feature and selling trait. Then again, why are we having this conversation without mention of dick pics?
Anyone who treats a woman poorly for her appearance is an asshole. It's no failing on the woman's part that others treat her badly and judge her based on her body.
So-called modesty was forced upon women by men who owned them as daughters and wives and wanted to maintain a premium on their sexual value for trade (dowry) and status.
Suggesting that men are incapable of viewing women as anything more than objects because "human nature" is frankly insulting and ignores/excuses centuries of misogynistic cultural socialization.
Choosing to adorn and display one's body on her own terms for her own reasons it's empowering, no matter who also happens to prefer her choice in that matter.
Jfc, this body shaming, slut shaming crap is petty 101-level ignorance.
Me: Or maybe women are unique individual human beings with myriad thoughts, feelings, and motivations who deserve respect no matter their appearance.
What in the world would motivate someone to disrespect or maltreat a woman based on her choice of appearance unless that person genuinely believes women lose value and respectability by choosing to expose their ankles, shoulders, thighs, cleavage, breasts, vulva?
Me: Attitudes like this do not protect or uplift but are the cause of brutality against women around the world. http://charlottedesorgher.blogspot.com/2012/08/a-darkness-at-heart-of-bellydance.html
And then she sent me a private message to inform me that she unfriended me and deleted all my comments in the flounciest of flounces that ever flounced, over which my friends and I had a good laugh and shared lots of cleavage pics:
FFF: I love that you are so opinionated and live to be so informed on only one side of every issue. However, I'm sick of you spewing your feminazi bullshit all over my posts. For this cause i am both editing and unfriending you. If you need to copy this and contort my intentions in this message to satisfy your estrogen-propelled fury as well, feel free.
No contortions necessary, dear.