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Thursday, July 17, 2014

12

"I Don't Fucking Care If You Like It"

riri DEF don't care if u like itRebecca Traister goes nuclear at the New Republic, beginning with her qualified gratitude that Tom Junod's Esquire piece wasn't anything close to reasonable; that way, she "didn't have to consider thinking Yay, thanks for some crumbs of enlightened thinking, for some slightly nuanced improvements in the daily, punishing business of publicly evaluating and then reevaluating women’s worth."

She goes down through all the latest bullshit: Hillary Clinton's facial arrangements, the "you don't know you're beautiful" scourge in music, the casual horror inflicted on Jada and other teenage girls, the Hobart and William Smith rape case among cases, the Tennessee mom in jail for drug use while pregnant, the imprisonment of Debra Harrell. "It’s such a comfortable pose," she writes, "gathering around women and deciding what we think of themhot or not, alluring or tragic, moral or immoral, responsible or irresponsible, capable of consent or incapable of consent, maternal or neglectful."

But what all these issues, no matter how gigantically separated an Esquire puff piece and a Tennessee mother’s jailing for meth may seem, reflect back at us: How, in this country, every barometer by which female worth is measuredfrom the superficial to the life-altering, the appreciative to the punitivehas long been calibrated to “dude,” whether or not those measurements are actually being taken by dudes. Men still run, or at bare minimum have shaped and codified the attitudes of, the churches, the courts, the universities, the police departments, the corporations that so freely determine women’s worth. 

"I wish we could all tell them how little it matters what they think," writes Traister. But of course it does matter, legally and economically and politically; life being life, we must engage with the bigotry of cloistered idiots.

I wish it were different. I wish that every woman whose actions and worth are parsed and restricted, congratulated and condemned in this country might just once get to wheel aroundon the committee that doesn’t believe their medically corroborated story of assault, or on the protesters who tell them that termination is a sin they will regret, or on the boss who tells them he doesn’t believe in their sexual choices, or on the mid-fifties man who congratulates them, or himself, on finding them appealing deep into their dotageand go black in the eyes and say, “I don’t fucking care if you like it.”

Read Traister's whole piece here.



12 Comments / Post A Comment

Rookie (not the magazine) (not that there's anything wrong with that)

As someone who's been trying to ignore an ever-increasing feeling of "not good enough", reading this article was cathartic.

vittoriama

So in love with this...@v

Lisa Frank

I think what really galls me about the kind of men who applaud women for having "a few dings" (like a car, because they are always comparing women to cars) but still being fuckable is that they seem to think her "experience" is an excuse for them to be callous. She's already been damaged by life right, so what's a little more?

saul "the bear" berenson

Yeesssss yes yes yes!

So last night I finished reading The Love Affairs of Nathaniel P, and of course I immediately wanted to read more by Adelle Waldman. The New Yorker published a great essay of hers about the problem of female beauty. Here's one good bit that's relevant to the barometer that's calibrated to "dude":

"Beauty is often treated as an essentially feminine subject, something trivial and frivolous that women are excessively concerned with. Men, meanwhile, are typically seen as having a straightforward and uncomplicated relationship with it: they are drawn to it. The implication is that this may be unfortunate—not exactly ideal morally—but it can’t be helped, because it’s natural, biological. This seems more than a little ironic. Women are not only subject to a constant and exhausting and sometimes humiliating scrutiny—they are also belittled for caring about their beauty, mocked for seeking to enhance or to hold onto their good looks, while men are just, well, being men."

And here's the whole article:
http://www.newyorker.com/online/blogs/books/2013/10/a-first-rate-girl-the-problem-of-female-beauty.html

lyzl@twitter

@saul "the bear" berenson I remember reading that essay, I loved it. Maybe I will have to read the book you mentioned.

puncturedbicycle

@saul "the bear" berenson And of course women are mocked for not caring too, or being thought to not care, because if you don't hit your mark (too wrinkled/grey/frumpy etc) you are said to be telegraphing the message that you don't care, even though essentially you're just *being* someone with grey hair, wrinkles, etc. Whether you care or not is only known by you.

I was just thinking last night about 'signals' and 'messages' which women are credited with magically sending to men who are credited with passively receiving them and how upset it makes me.

'What message does it send' to be sexy/fat/angry/weak/wearing a bikini when you're not a size zero etc. 'What signals was she sending' by wearing/not wearing something, looking/not looking like something, doing/not doing whatever. Please just let me be a human fucking being who is not telegraphing magic thoughts.

I have no idea if I've made any sort of organised point but your comment made me feel all the feelings. So there they are. :-)

Thanks for the link. Off to read the article...

saul "the bear" berenson

@saul "the bear" berenson Right. It's the whole thing of "Prettiness is not a rent you pay for occupying a space marked "female".'

Maybe I will get a t-shirt that reads, "Hi, I'm sending a message to myself, from me, and it's just between us, privately. Thx!"

puncturedbicycle

@saul "the bear" berenson Would you get two pls and I will PayPal you the money.

lyzl@twitter

Fuck yeah to this.

puncturedbicycle

Hang on, I thought Germaine Greer said that when I became a crone/hag or whatever I'd be done with this dudebro assessment bullshit. Now it goes on forfuckingever?

2655215756@twitter

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dontannoyme

Yup to all of this. I think of it as - "Hold on, I never said I was doing a survey"

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