September 21, 2005

Time to go after the pro-sex feminists again.

Here's another article about Ariel Levy's book "Female Chauvinist Pigs."
"Women had come so far," or so the thinking went, that "we no longer needed to worry about objectification or misogyny." If male chauvinist pigs "regarded women as pieces of meat, we would outdo them and be Female Chauvinist Pigs: women who make sex objects of other women and of ourselves."

Well, Ms. Levy is having none of it, and she is not the only one. Even Erica Jong seems to feel that something has gone wrong. Known for popularizing the idea that a woman may want consequence-free sex, Ms. Jong today declares: "Being able to have an orgasm with a man you don't love . . . that is not liberation." It isn't? Someone should tell this to Annie, a blue-eyed 29-year-old who admits to Ms. Levy that she "used to get so hurt" after a night of sex that didn't yield an emotional bond. Now she has gotten over it, or tried to: "I'm like a guy," she brags.

How did this happen? Why did feminism sell its soul to the sexual-liberation movement in the first place? After all, the original feminists were fighting to be taken seriously. Hugh Hefner, by contrast, said that his ideal girl "resembles a bunny . . . vivacious, jumping--sexy." There seems to be a contradiction here.

First of all, doesn't anyone read "Fear of Flying" anymore? Well, everyone read it when it came out, and I can assure you that the Erica Jong character in that book, after pursuing the "zipless f**k" for 300 pages, finally gets the opportunity and realizes it's a bad idea. ("My zipless f**k! My stranger on the train! Here I'd been offered my very own fantasy. The fantasy that had riveted me to the vibrating seat of the train for three years in Heidelberg and instead of turning me on, it had revolted me!") So what's with this "even Erica Jong" business?

Second of all, doesn't anyone remember the Andrea Dworkin/Catharine MacKinnon era anymore? There was a whole theme back then about how pro-sex liberals were ruining feminism (and how real feminism had to be very hostile pornography). There's an indignant little anthology from 1990 called "Sexual Liberals and the Attack on Feminism." Feminists have been fighting forever about whether to be pro- or anti- sex or something in between.
It may be that, like Ms. Levy, a lot of feminists now regret getting in bed with Mr. Hefner. Yet if you mention the word "modesty" within 20 feet of them their heads spin around like Linda Blair in "The Exorcist." This is where they get stuck. Only if feminism can embrace the more traditional ways that men and women have courted throughout the ages can it have anything practical to offer young women. To the extent that feminists dismiss as worthless anything that is perceived as "backtracking," they only help to perpetuate the "raunch culture"--even as they deplore its effects.

Take a beach scene that Ms. Levy recounts, when the male "friends" of two girls pressure them to take off their suits. Soon surrounded by a circle of 40 screaming men, the girls say "no way!" but eventually give in and spank each other to appease the crowd.
Hmmm.... I wonder who's going to buy Ms. Levy's book? There doesn't seem to be anything new here about feminism -- which it apparently distorts ridiculously. Maybe the intended reader is the virtuous, puritanical sort who finds these lame sex stories exciting.

The author of the linked opinion piece (from the WSJ) is Wendy Shalit, who, we're told, wrote a book called "A Return to Modesty: Discovering the Lost Virtue."

Well, I'm sure Shalit encounters plenty of feminists who don't like her word "modesty," but her assumption that they have bought into a Playboy vision of free sex is absurd. They just hear social conservatism in that word. It's quite possible to reject social conservatism without falling into some exaggerated libertinism. Shalit's title advocates going back to old-fashioned values, so it's no wonder most feminists balk. They rightly want new ways to think about what is good for women, not a re-insertion into the old set-up.

And as for that "Exorcist" imagery: that's a pretty old cliché. Can we have something fresh?

39 comments:

Jim Clay said...

It seems somewhat ironic to me that one of the main points of your post is that Ms. Levy and Ms. Shalit misunderstand and distort the views of "pro-sex feminists", while the title of your post, "Time to go after the pro-sex feminists again" says (to me) that you misunderstand and distort their views. I suspect that if you asked them if they are feminists and if they are pro-sex, they would say "yes" to both.

leeontheroad said...

That's not so clear, Jim: the piece caricatures feminism; and it's difficult to say that oen is what one rails against. The author would have to offer another definition of feminism, to set up the particular "feminism" with which she disagrees as such a -- wait for it--- straw man.

I think this is very clear; Prof. Althouse writes.

"It's quite possible to reject social conservatism without falling into some exaggerated libertinism."

Quite so, especially when the offered "conservatism" is, by definition, reactionary.

Meade said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Jim Clay said...

lee,
Actually, I agree with both you and Prof. Althouse that the two distort the views of many feminists- my apologies if I did not make that clear in my comment. I think where I disagree with you is that, if I understand you correctly, you seem to presume that there is a general consensus on what "feminism" means, and that they are trying to redefine it. I am no expert on feminism, but I find no such consensus.

Meade said...

Assuming a definition of feminism as simply the belief in the social, political, and economic equality of the sexes, I still say that if one is seeking a paradigm of anti-feminism, it can readily be found in the relationships between Bill Clinton, the employees he sexually exploited, his enabling spouse, and the millions of self-styled "feminists" who gave him a pass on committing sexual harassment because they, themselves, found Bill Clinton to be cute and attractive -- that, and/or they found it advantageous to themselves for him to be kept in power.

My guess is that the problem stems from a denial of what "sex" really "is."

Sean E said...

I would have hoped one of the basic requirements of being a "real" feminist would be a strong reluctance to dictate to women how they should all feel about any particular subject.

leeontheroad said...

Jim, then we're actually in agreement: I do not think there is an overwhelming consensus on the definition of feminism. It's easy to say that it is the same as "human rights" and get everyone to agree-- up until the point of what anyone should do to ensure those.

Ann Althouse said...

Jim: I certainly don't think there is one right answer in feminism. I consider it a very inclusive term. I wouldn't put modifiers like "pro-sex" in front of the word if I thought there was only one kind.

Bruce Hayden said...

LeeOnTheRoad

I think that it is more than just human rights. I would add empowerment, and I would include, in addition to what we are talking about today, yesterday's discussion on working.

Maybe here the distinction is between being able to be more promiscuous because of birth control and loss of societal shame on the one hand, and the power to decide whether this is what a woman really wants for herself on a personal level.

Larry said...

Male though I be, I'd venture into this thread just to make two points:

1) So-called "social conservatism" is itself a more complex phenomenon or bundle of positions, values and attitudes than is portrayed in the routine caricatures of the dogmatic liberal/left. Thus, it's also quite possible to reject liberal/left sexual mores without falling into some exaggerated conservative puritanism. Which may be Shalit's point.

2) That said, and once we exclude the fairly recognizable extremes of libertinism and puritanism, this ideal "middle ground" might well be more elusive, or at least less stable, than is immediately apparent. That is, and without going to extremes, it may be the case that (re)discovering lost virtues is in itself "a way to think about what's good for women" (and men). And this too might be a part of Shalit's point.

leeontheroad said...

Bruce,

I too think feminism is about more than human rights, too, which is why the later is fairly easy to agree about but one reason the former is not!

Larry,

if a virtue is lost, how do we imagine refiscovering it? Social archeology?

I don't see that personal modesty or self-restraint are particularly lost, or even rare, though I could coem up with all sorts of examples of their polar opposites in advertising, media and entertainment. But as powerful as the image-makers are, I still don't see "middel ground" values as rare. Therefore, it frankly makes me wonder if there isn't an anti-feminist agenda in calls to merely "return" to a set of values whose functioning mya in any case be more nostalgia (mythology) than real.

me said...

Unfortunately, generally speaking, feminism has hurt women in many ways, from the standpoint that most women must work full time and do the mother and housework tasks that were there before women worked full-time.

Of course, men are mostly to blame for this failure.

The industrial world is unkind to both men and women, but probably more so to women.

I think that a large part of mental illness in women can be traced back to our departure from nature.

Finally, the sexual revolution, too, has not been kind to women. The consequence free sex has led to divorce and women getting stuck raising children alone.

The former model of marriage had its downside, and there were many loveless marriages. All things being equal, however, it seems that the more rights that women gain, the further behind they find themselves.

Of course, the answer is not to turn back the clocks. We do need to rethink how we raise children and provide a better means to allow women to raise children and work, if that is what they prefer to do.

Larry said...

leeontheroad: if a virtue is lost, how do we imagine refiscovering it? Social archeology?

Yes, so to speak. A virtue is "lost" as a virtue if it's considered to be no longer relevant, functional, etc. But some of those that once seemed passe might be re-examined and even revived in light of new experience (on the part of individuals and of cultures). This isn't always, and certainly isn't necessarily, a good thing -- but sometimes it is. And in order to determine that, we really need to get beyond reflexive reactions to abstract labels -- e.g., "social conservatism", "anti-feminist", etc.

You're saying, as I understand it, that modesty is not one of those "lost" virtues, whereas Shalit is saying that it is. There are issues of degree here, and of relativity, definition, etc., all of which complicate the assessment (not to mention issues of gender roles, fairness, etc.). So all I'm saying, at this point, is that it would be good to try to weigh the issue on its merits, and without being too quick to paste labels on it that operate like intellectual short-circuits.

(By the way, I'll just state for the record that I'm in favor of pro-sex feminists, pro-sex women, pro-sex people. I.e., I'm pro-sex. I'm just saying that that doesn't have to be construed as being hostile to "modesty", however that's understood.)

tcd said...

Ann,
This is not to say that feminists and/or feminism ever aligned with Playboy. However, it infuriates me to no end when models/celebrities who pose nude for Playboy or who contribute to the pornography industry, exclaim that by virtue of their unseemly acts are somehow empowering women! It's like they're saying "I am woman, look at my titties, look at my crotch because I am only the sum of my body parts and nothing else." Yes, these women make lots of money but what did they sell in exchange for that money? It's women like these who give feminism a bad name and who love to hide behind the feminist cloak.

leeontheroad said...

** [start]: sarcasm.exe ***

so saul, you conclude that the problem is feminist men?

That would be the inescapable conclusion to draw from these assertions: "feminism has hurt women," and "mostly men are to blame for this failure."

How unnatural; they must be mentally ill. Mental illness never occurred during the pasoral period before industrialization. That would be because no toxins, viruses or stressors existed before industrialization. And it was always perfectly natural to leave a child to die on a hillside if it didn't seem "quite right." And you could beat crazy or sane women with thumb-sized sticks, too. That kept them in line. Yes, perfect pastoral scenes.

I'm so glad you know industrialization can not exactly be undone.

** /sarcasm.exe **

me said...

i think the world should have a human population of no more than 100,000...

i also think we were better off before the wheel.

and of course we can't uninvent industrialization.

however, from a purely theoretical viewpoint i think the unnatural state that we find ourselves in is more devastating to women.

leeontheroad said...

Larry, you wrote:

"A virtue is 'lost' as a virtue if it's considered to be no longer relevant, functional, etc. But some of those that once seemed passe might be re-examined and even revived in light of new experience (on the part of individuals and of cultures)."

Agreed. I've done too many years of yoga; had too many Luna bar lunches; and worn out too many pairs of Clarks trying to maintain my frump-- I mean fashionable-- edge.

No, seriously, I agree with you in principle.

me said...

on your fault logic, the problem is not "feminist" men, but men. The fact that women have made strides is 99 percent because of women, not men. The fact that the strides have backfired is probably about 90 percent to blame on men.

Diane said...

Tcd;

I guess I am one of those who do see sex as empowering.

I’m not for “free” sex in the sense of “Hop into bed with anything and everything that will say yes!” I don’t think women are generally built for that, psychologically. Our bodies release oxytocin after orgasm, which leaves us awful attached to our sex partners.

But I see celebration of our “body parts” as the ultimate empowerment of women. Yes! Look at my teats. Are they not nifty?! I am a creature separate from man, and special, and if you enjoy looking at it, then I enjoy showing you. I have a fleshy behind, too, and a narrow waist, and it is beautiful and it is all connected to a wonderful brain! Touch any of it without my permission, though, and die.

You *can* look without any intention of touching.

What I find appalling is our society’s need to separate a woman from her body completely before we acknowledge her intelligence. Attractive women are forced to wear unflattering clothing, and downplay their appearance, or we treat them like bimbos.

I don’t like the idea of making women over into men sexually. I doubt, as a whole, we will ever be happy with multiple anonymous sex partners. We shouldn’t either—it’s not that safe. But I see this “Cover up women, and discourage sexual curiosity!” as equally offensive.

It does not damage me to have men flirt with me. I can enjoy sex (with my husband) and talk about it openly and frankly with my friends without losing I.Q. points. People can see my cleavage, and respect my brain at the same time. Why should I have to give up being a woman in order to be considered smart?

I suspect society is telling us that it’s only okay to be smart if we do our best not to look like women.

tcd said...

Diane,

I will be the first to admit that I am a "girly girl" as my husband likes to tease me. I love make-up, I love clothes, and I love to dress up. But I think there is a wide gap between showing some cleavage and spreading your legs in the centerfold of Playboy. The former is sensual, the latter is gauche.

Judith said...

Ah yes, the feminist sex wars . . .

leeontheroad said...

Diane,

Half of me wants to say "you go girl." My hesitation is that what you describe isn't my own experience of the "way the world [always] works."

I waited tables at a neighborhood restaurant (think diner) as an undergraduate. So let's talk about folks' reactions to women waitresses, re: actual job description and what you get tipped for.

When I wore contacts, "did my hair" and wore mascara (even though I'd have to use a heavy solvent to remove the grease before taking off the rest), tips (cash, not "don't spit into the wind") increased about 30%. If I could come up with a really quick line in response to some creep's comment about my underage ass or cleavage, the usual tip was generous. I was actually once asked outright if I would "sleep" with a guy for $20.

I'm sure all the "appreciation" was because it was so obvious I was a brilliant conversationalist. You can tell that from the way I said "May I help you?"

lindsey said...

leeontheroad, if you wear a flower in your hair, your tips will go up even more. I'm not kidding.

XWL said...

I am going to stray off topic, yet not entirely off topic.

One unifying factor amongst the cohort of young women (under 30) who find themselves publishing books on cultural criticism is that they are almost invariably smoking hot (google them and see).

I remember fondly from a few years back Wendy Shalit's Books TV appearance pushing her Modesty book and indeed she was tastefully festooned in a pastel, just slightly too tight, sweater and adorned with tasteful jewelry and perfect makeup. They played her piece back to back with Elizabeth Wurtzel rambling and shambling about her Bitch book, and looking attractive in a disheveled, disreputable sort of way.

I have a strong suspicion that publishers have in mind the book tour when they ok these books and they don't want unattractive women scolding people about socio-sexual matters. Or it could simply be that attractive people are automatically more credible when discussing sexuality (humankind are simple beasts at our core; pretty good, ugly bad)

Whether these choices are conscious or not by the publisher I have no way of knowing, but the end result does seem to be consistent.

Ann Althouse said...

Leroy: This is an excellent point. There is a longstanding phenomenon here -- Gloria Steinem, Naomi Wolf. Then there are the super-ugly feminist writers: Betty Friedan and Andrea Dworkin were working a look too.

vbspurs said...

Then there are the super-ugly feminist writers: Betty Friedan and Andrea Dworkin were working a look too.

Argggggh! Someone had to go and mention the late Andrea Dworkin. Inevitable, really, given the topic, but still.

She once came to my University and posters advertised that she would be holding an informal talk at Freud Café, which is where all the gliterati would go for informal sessions with pseudo-intellectual students like me.

Oh my God.

What torture that was to listen to her rabbit on about how marriage is legalised rape, and any number of mind-numbing inanities which Julia Kristeva said better anyway.

She then said something similar to this quote of hers:

Romantic love, in pornography as in life, is the mythic celebration of female negation. For a woman, love is defined as her willingness to submit to her own annihilation. The proof of love is that she is willing to be destroyed by the one whom she loves, for his sake. For the woman, love is always self-sacrifice, the sacrifice of identity, will, and bodily integrity, in order to fulfill and redeem the masculinity of her lover.

After her umpteenth harangue on men v. women in history, I finally raised my hand to challenge that her assertion woman has been victimised or infantalised by misogynists in every period of Western History.

How can she say women have always had a secondary and derivative role in the whole history of mankind, and yet reconcile the High Middle Ages ideal of womanhood, where the concept of romantic love was PREDICATED on a man never ever physically "owning" woman, but rather of putting his chosen lady on a pedestal, and treating himself as her servant of life and limb, to the exclusion of all other earthly women?

Not because of sexual dominance, mind you, but in fact, based on never possessing her bodily.

Did she not know that tradition, popularly thought to have started via Duke William of Aquitane (the father of Queen Eleanor), but in truth derived from a combination of the then Spanish Court, and its
interaction with Moorish and Jewish cultures [note: she had made some remarks earlier in her talk about Jewish culture, from which Christianity took its lead, as especially misogynist]?

Furthermore, it is this ideal which has inspired the canon of
male-female interaction since in the West as an IDEAL, including(for her ilk) the hateful Victorian era?

She mumbled a response, never fully rebutting my question.

In England, people like a good verbal skirmish, especially with sacred cows, and I rather got the idea she was more used to the American academic way of her "supporters" drowning out any dissension in the ranks.

There was less of that there that day, although various girls in the audience (wearing the almost de rigueur Birkenstocks and nose-rings) looked daggers at me.

Bah.

I realise she was a polemicist and often said things for effect, but she is one of the reasons I never could call myself a feminist.

I daresay many of my generation had the same reservations...

Cheers,
Victoria

XWL said...

I will posit a hypothesis;

Smoking hot feminist; published by commercial concerns.

Stern, scolding, man-hating, aggressively unattractive feminist; published by university presses.

(just a guess, I'm not inclined to research this topic farther(in otherwords no force on this planet will get me to voluntarily seek photos of Dworkin, or Friedan)

I think there is a socio-economic dynamic at work. Commercial interests know that sex sells, as does sexiness. Academic circles have an outsized need to prove their "seriousness" (and yet that need for seriousness is also a commercial concern) and what better way to prove you are serious about feminism but to foreground seriously unattractive women (who are not only less attractive by birth, but also by design)

Aaron said...

I recently attended a wedding of two academics - very non-traditional ceremony and so the wedding had readings from various sources to create a body for the service. There was a long selection from Kierkegard about the ideal of love it included a rather feminist gender neutrality saying that if two noble Aquitane style loves settle upon each other - real love is possible. About as sweet as a three page essay from a german philosopher is apt to be. Don't know if I myself would choose it for myself.

There is certainly some tension on all sorts of approaches to relations between the sexes in the dichotomy between the body and the soul (for lack of a different word). Why should feminism be any different than any other ism approaching those areas where our bodily natures and spiritual natures are at odds. Doubt anything will get settled on the matter any time soon.

Bruce Hayden said...

Diane,

The problem, as I see it, of flaunting your sex in the work place is that there are men there. If there weren't, what would be the point?

The problem is that a lot of men cannot separate sexy looking from sexy acting. They see you in your sexy outfit. They get horny. And they cease to think of your brain, but rather your physical attributes. And they lust after you.

I would suggest that the concept of being able to safely dress as sexy as you would like for work in a coed environment is a feminist fantasy. A lot of women can separate their looks from their sexuality. Adn that seems to be the theory here - that men should be able to also. But, by and large, they can't. Or at least most younger men can't. The older you get, the easier it is.

I like my girlfriend's theory - she doesn't show cleavage except out on a date with a guy she has been seeing for awhile. In other words, in a situation where there are no mixed messages.

The other thing that you need to remember is that not only does the appearance of an attractive woman showing off her attributes cause a lot of men to get sexually excited, but they also resent it.

So, if you do that, you will be faced with suspicion from a lot of men - did you get where you are because you are good? Or because of showing off your attributes? Or, even, who did you sleep with?

vbspurs said...

The other thing that you need to remember is that not only does the appearance of an attractive woman showing off her attributes cause a lot of men to get sexually excited, but they also resent it.

True. Because in these men's minds, they could never compete with their bosses, versus a woman who is so brazenly coquettish at work.

This would all be solved if men just came to work in Speedos.

Level the playing field, I say!

Cheers,
Victoria

Bruce Hayden said...

I don't think you really want to see that many men over 30 in Speedos.

Diane said...

Bruce;

I have never had this problem. I worked as a waitress in a Chinese restaurant off of a grocery store for a while. I dressed more feminine (and a little revealing), and that helped business and my tips. I had *one* customer try to touch me. And I smiled at him politely, turned to the chief Xiangu, and waited for a six-foot Chinese man holding a meat cleaver to chase him out into the parking lot, and take his picture so that he’d never be allowed there again.

I might have gotten the occasional comment from customers attempting to lay me. All that required was pretending not to hear them and waxing poetically about how much I love my boyfriend and how no man or woman could compete with him. My co-workers valued me as a member of the team, and while they might have flirted, they never *ever* treated me differently from the woman who came dressing androgynously. She got an attempted groping from a customer too. Xiangu was there with his meat cleaver for her as well.

When I worked in an office, I dressed more modestly as it was appropriate to the business we were courting. But I did have cleavage as my breasts *are* prettier than my face. I’d rather people look there. *grins* I got stares and I didn’t mind. You don’t put them on display if you don’t expect them to be stared at. But I was promoted no faster or slower than anyone else. When I was late I got the same poor treatment. I got a couple comments where people underestimated my intelligence, and a well-placed blow to their egos (they don’t call me the “verbal castrator” for nothing) shut them up. They never underestimated my intelligence again. Note: This was an office of all women.

I have a theory that men, while different from women, are all nice guys. They are not slavering monsters, and they are quite capable of understanding that every woman is a person without women having to hide their bodies. They are quite capable of seeing women as a sexual being, but making decisions based on a woman’s abilities rather than her cup-size. Only the occasional creep is incapable of it. And the remaining 95% of men are quite capable of beating them down.

Now you don’t put it on display if you don’t expect stares and flirting. But there is a world of difference between flirting and appreciating visually, versus making dumb business decisions through sexual desire. I’ve never had a boss incapable of distinguishing between the two. If I did, I could appeal to my male friends and have his butt kicked. A female boss is even less problem—I love women. I worship at the alter of womanhood, and most women sense this about me. I usually ignore men when there are women in the room. Most women like that.

Diane said...

TCD;

Goche is not the same as harmful to women. The pictures might be tacky, but they *are* attempting to celebrate that which most visibly makes us different from men. While they might do it with better taste, the idea itself is not harmful.

Am I wrong? If so, how?

amba said...

Here's another take on all this, "Feminist Catfight: The Sluts vs. The Prudes. (Is There A Third Way?)"

vbspurs said...

A female boss is even less problem—I love women. I worship at the alter of womanhood, and most women sense this about me. I usually ignore men when there are women in the room. Most women like that.

Weird. I could never think like this.

Sometimes though, before I even open my mouth, I sense antagonism from many women towards me.

But these are almost usually women of "a certain age", who struggled during less equal times.

If there's anything they seem to dislike, unless you remind them of a younger them, is an athletic, intelligent, and competent younger gal with a face that isn't god-awful, around them.

OTOH, and I was discussing this with my mother the other day -- black ladies love me.

Not sure why, but whenever I see a black woman behind a cashier, or as a waitress, or as a bank teller, they bend over backwards to help me.

I don't do anything special. I treat male, female, black, white, the same. *shrug*

Cheers,
Victoria

tcd said...

Diane,

You're wrong. Playboy does not celebrate womanhood. Playboy celebrates female sexual body parts. If you think that womanhood is the sum of our body parts then maybe you would be right in saying that Playboy celebrates women. So are we just the sum of our body parts?

Diane said...

My dad was in the military, so my mother practically raised me and my sisters alone. I understand women intuitively. Men are a mystery to me.

Most women are insecure in the presence of other women. We are trained to be territorial. Like cats, unless you follow certain protocol, you will be seen as a threat. Some of it is just plain easy. Complement the other woman’s clothing. It’s like when a cat will rub up against a bigger cat to signal wanting to be friends. Also, you must not ignore where a woman has put in work. When a woman has a previous relationship with a man, try to acknowledge that. Direct at least a few comments towards both of them, not exclusively to the man. If the woman is silent *don’t* ignore her in favor of the talkative man. Make a point of trying to bring her into the conversation.

I tend to befriend women more easily than men. I know our signals. Strangely enough, I am heterosexual. I’ve often thought I would have an easier time if I was a lesbian, but I seem to have no choice in the matter. *grins* Luckily I found a masculine man who prefers women as friends as well.

Not every woman on earth responds to these signals, as we *aren’t* wild animals. But the majority of us are. It might by trained in us by society, rather than inborn, but the point is it *does* exist, and to not acknowledge these differences is foolhardy at best.

Diane said...

TCD;

A woman may not be just her “body parts,” but the body parts are part of who she is! If it is wrong to have a magazine that focuses on a woman’s body to the exclusion of her soul and mind, then it is wrong to have a magazine that focuses on a person’s mind to the exclusion of her body and soul. And wrong to focus on a woman’s soul to the exclusion of her mind and body.

It is the most obvious difference between us as men, and I refuse to say that it is not a part of who I am. My ovaries *make* my beautiful (and perhaps a bit jiggly) behind and my breasts, and they also shape the chemistry of my brain!

There isn’t enough room in a single magazine to celebrate *all* the parts that make a woman a woman. Why can’t they focus on just one part of women, and do a proper job of worshiping that part of it?

Just as my body isn’t all of me, it is not separate from me. I will not be ashamed of it, or hide it, or try to diminish it. It is mine, and I am proud of it. It is not the most beautiful in the world by far! But it is mine, and I love it.

vbspurs said...

Men are a mystery to me

Diane, you are the first woman I've ever heard say something like that.

Most men haven't the foggiest about women. Most women think they have men all figured out.

I don't claim to know all the ins-and-outs of the male psyche, but let's just say, I share that opinion.

Cheers,
Victoria