By Lurkasaurus on How to Mount a TV When You Have No Boyfriend, No Prospects, and Lack the Shamelessness Required to Ask for Help
Welp, this walking stereotype loved it. LOVED it. This felt like it could have been downloaded directly from my brain, I share so many of the same thought processes, impulses, and flaws that this author describes. (That bit about money not feeling real!) Right now, I could scrounge up a couple of male friends devoid of awkward history...but in the tiny and screwed-up social circles I have found myself a part of over the years, that has not always been the case, so even that didn't feel unrealistic or unnecessarily sexist to me. The title does have an air of assumed universality that it is fair to push back on, but on the whole I think this piece was waaaaay more about sharing her personal experiences in the spirit of self-deprecation than making some kind of general statement about the "uselessness" of women, or what have you.
By iceberg on How to Mount a TV When You Have No Boyfriend, No Prospects, and Lack the Shamelessness Required to Ask for Help
guys I thought it was funny I dunno. it's her experience!
I used to have my own toolkit and i GUESS I could figure out how to do it, but I've never been that into that stuff and Mr. Iceberg doesn't necessarily know how to do things with tools either, but is SUPER into looking up how to do things on the internet, and then doing them.
By melmuu on How to Mount a TV When You Have No Boyfriend, No Prospects, and Lack the Shamelessness Required to Ask for Help
When did Hairpin commenters get so judgey? (sp?) I thought this story was great! When I'm faced with the prospect of moving or installing something very heavy, I usually think of the men in my life who have more body mass, therefore are usually more equipped (or maybe I should say more willing!) to lift/install heavier things, and if I had any lady friends with their body mass, I'd think of them, too. I don't think this author's impulses were in the wrong at all, and she installed the freaking thing all by herself! Sheesh.
1. There is no "being good at being a girl". Playing with dolls and makeup does not make someone good at being a little girl. It means they hold sex-role stereotypes about what is appropriate behaviour for little girls.
Do you mean girls can only enjoy dolls and make up because they hold sex-role stereotypes, or do you mean that only people who hold sex-role stereotypes think that dolls and makeup are necessary to be "good at" being a girl? I'll be charitable and assume the latter. Perhaps you could also be charitable and interpret what she said as "performing femininity felt easy and natural".
2. Arisce says that she did not feel body dysphoria. She talks about being told that she is trans because of the way she behaves, from lovers, friends, and a therapist. I think those people have likely unduly influenced her to see herself as trans when she did not expressly identify with that when she did her own research.
Man, if only she had someone in her life more qualified to tell her what her gender identity should be. Someone more feminist. Someone more educated. Someone better. Someone more like you. I mean sure, she has her "lived experience" (overrated), but you read an edited interview with her that one time, so you probably do know best.
3. Following that, she admits that she couldn't be seen as a woman in modeling until she got fake breasts. Plastic surgery to attain a misogynistic male-defined view of a "good body" for women is anti-feminist. Feeling that your breasts are a true marker of your femaleness is wrong.
Dang, now she's personally responsible responsible for how the world decides which bodies are female too? What a heavy burden. Good thing she's got courageous advisors like you, willing to make proclamations on which feelings about one's own femaleness are WRONG.
4. Being strong and lifting weights = man body? It is damaging to women and girls to be told by role models that lifting weights is counter productive to having a nice body. It's also blatant sex-role stereotyping.
Sure, she could have worded that more delicately. But I get the impression that you think her proper role as a role model would be to pretend that she could still get work even if she were perceived as more masculine. Fight the good fight, even if it means you can't pay your bills!
5. I think we can totally question, as feminists, what transgender models represent when we use them as a culture, to embody the "perfect woman" body. This is a question that has already happened with other trans models, while Arisce can't control that, I think that as feminists it's important to question getting beauty advice from someone who has an unachievable body for 99% of women, even more so than non-trans models do.
I absolutely agree with this, and I wish Jia had asked Arisce her thoughts about it. That said, I also think it's perfectly fine to ask her advice on modeling for the camera, which (as her answer demonstrates) is a skill separate from having a certain body type.
6. The over emphasis of "boy craziness" as a way to bond with women/demonstrate womanhood is clearly not feminist. We as feminists should call out the overemphasis of men as central narratives to women's lives.
7. The clearly misguided belief that men actually care about women's hopes and aspirations when they date us. I don't know a single woman who hasn't had men say gross porny shit to her- this should be where she empathizes with the misogyny that women face from men, not where she believes that men are only asking her gross porny things because she is trans. We all feel this misogyny, let's recognize it for what it is.
Yeah? You go on a lot of dates with men? Or do you just think you're probably better qualified to know what goes on in heterosexual relationships than those other women because you're The Best Feminist? Tell you what, I've gone on dates with lots of men, and the stuff she's talking about does not resonate with my (cisgender) experience at all. Is there misogyny? Yes. Does it take that form? No. Because what she's dealing with is specific to her being a trans woman. Talking about her personal experiences with transphobia does not erase the existence of misogyny. There is enough oppression to go around.
8. Emphasis on looks as only redeeming quality. Arsice herself says she wishes she were good at something other than being a model so she can eat. If you don't see the fucked up nature of that statement and what it communicates to young women who have been told all their life that their only value is looking pretty, well, I just gotta say, go back to women's studies 101.
Wait, I thought she wasn't even really a trans woman? Whatever. Sure, this is an issue. But is it an issue of her own sexism? No.
@sintaxis 1. That conflates two separate comments: she mentions playing with barbies and later says that she was good at being a girl, so it's not clear that one defines the other.
2. Who doesn't have people influence their identity? Why would research make an identity less valid?
3. Modeling as an industry does have some twisted beauty standards. Acknowledging an industry standard and conforming to it (getting paid to do so) isn't misogynist: it's a practical response to the misogyny embedded in her profession and, as Arisce mentions, it's not easy for someone without a lot of class privilege or a nest egg to simply change professions.
4. I found that to be a bit of self-deprecating humor, but I don't think that the implication was that having a muscular body wasn't desirable, in fact, it's implied that a lot of models do train with weights.
5. 99% of women aren't going to look like models anyway you slice it.
6. I have no problem with boy crazy. I was/am boy crazy and it's been a fun ride.
7. "The clearly misguided belief that men actually care about women's hopes and aspirations when they date us." Is that a typo? Why would anyone date someone who doesn't care about their hopes and aspirations? Those gross porny questions she gets are unique. Or at least they aren't the same as questions that I've gotten: I would be a dollar.
8. Again, I think this is something wrapped up in performing the expectations of the profession itself and her own experience. She hasn't found something else she's good at that someone is willing to pay her for yet: that's not a crime.
Women's Studies sounds like a circle of hell if it's all about doing it wrong.
@sintaxis just as she uses "tranny" towards herself with a ton of self-love, i think she also uses "bitch" towards women (and would use it towards herself) with a ton of self-love (because she is a woman) and love extended in general - gotta say i'd 1000% rather arisce (or anyone with her attitude) say "bitch, ya look good" to me than hear another person call me by my name, or by "miss," or a "lady," with any bit of negativity in their lil heart
I'd love to see regular contributions by Arisce, if she ever had the time!
I really enjoyed this. I think she uses a few words that other people may be upset by, but in this context it didn't feel unnatural or offensive. She's a woman, she gets to say "bitch", and she's a trans* lady, so she gets to say that other word too (which I personally don't think is offensive but I'm an Aussie, we shorten everything and it doesn't denote disrespect).
I was actually more upset by her having to starve herself to achieve modeling success, but one of the things I really appreciate about Jia's interviews is the total lack of judgement, and I think it is something that lets the subject open up more than a question that had a motive behind it.
Says a lot about "Ask Men" readers that they would assume that vacuuming is a once-monthly activity.