Friday, November 2, 2012

#27 The Fight Against America's Sexism

I can't believe there are only 22 days until Thanksgiving. That went by pretty quickly. It just goes to say how important it is to keep some sort of a journal or blog because life keeps on going whether we record it or not. With only 4 people left to highlight for my challenge, I hope to finish before Thanksgiving 2012 if my capabilities of getting on the internet permits.

Many of you know that I am a feminist to the core. That being said, I am a feminist who believes men and women are made equal with different talents and capabilities. Eva Burrows eloquently said, “We have to be careful in this era of radical feminism, not to emphasize an equality of the sexes that leads women to imitate men to prove their equality. To be equal does not mean you have to be the same.”

I love that quote because it is exactly how I feel as a stay-at-home mother who happens to be a Mormon feminist at the same time. Why, may you ask, is it so important I share this when we live in an age when a woman can do just about anything? Well, because sexism is still rampant around the world and I believe women are in some ways shown less respect now than ever before in some of our mainstream media. Although women are cast in more powerful roles today, there is still this perception that most women are similar to the ones in reality TV shows like The Bachelor: fake, foolish, and feisty. They are portrayed as sex symbols rather than symbols of intelligence, nurturance, and virtue. They make women everywhere needlessly worry more and more about their body image and whether or not they’re fit and fashionable; they confuse women about the reality of beauty, real beauty, not the kind that is just skin deep and can be fixed by Botox or with the click of a mouse. I’ve noticed even women in highly powerful positions—doctors, FBI agents, lawyers, and so forth—have to have the sex appeal added to their intelligence. This, I believe, is taking generations of women in the wrong direction, and it’s sexism at its finest. It’s not saying, “Hey, I am proud to be me without all of the cover-up, style, and glamour.” Of course, the prevalence of pornography addictions which objectify women more and more in these degrading, fake roles only make the cycle continue to worsen as men bully their wives to look more like the facades they are so used to viewing, and women grow more and more depressed because they do not look like their media counterparts.

I love how Susan Douglas puts it, “Young women today are pulled between the message that they can do or be anything they want, that the world is their oyster [and that] full female equality has been achieved—and, on the other hand, there is enormous pressure to conform to this hyper-feminine ideal of hotness and beauty.”

I’ll be the first to admit that it is hard to fight against that pressure to conform, but we must stand up to it and say, “Hey, I can be beautiful by just being me, a healthy me.”

This is why I wanted to add to my grateful list twin sisters who began another woman’s suffrage persay by redefining beauty. Their names are Lexie Kite and Lindsay Kite and you can find their website here: A friend whom I deeply admire, Candace Woodbury, is on Lexie and Lindsay’s team to fight an ever growing battle of the definition of beauty.

Before Candace told me about this movement, I had a different idea of what beauty looked like and I felt I was not it. When John would look at me and say, “Honey, you are so gorgeous, really you are.” I would be upset with him because I felt like he was lying to me. The more I read Lexie and Lindsay’s blog, the more I realized that John was right and that I am beauty redefined, and it’s more than okay to be comfortable just being me. Which, I am still in the process of discovering.

Anyways, thanks to all on the Beauty Redefined team, your non-profit work is much like Elizabeth Cady Stanton’s speech at Seneca Falls. I hope and pray it will go down in history and women can stop the fake madness and redefine beauty, which is essentially redefining womanhood. 

*Hope you don't mind that I posted your photo to showcase your awesome group.

1 comment:

  1. Pamela, thank you SO MUCH for this post! I got goosebumps as I read it. I don't mind one bit that you wrote such beautiful things and posted a pic of us. Thank you for your support - it means more to Lindsay and I than you know. It is what pushes this movement forward. You are wonderful. Continue this fight! It's a hopeful one. You are more beautiful than you know. Thanks for sharing Beauty Redefined with those you love!