sabotabby: raccoon anarchy symbol (fuck patriarchy)
[personal profile] sabotabby
I found this post quite interesting. It's a video put out by Glamour (one of those magazines that tells women to be anxious about wearing the wrong foundation) about men and women's hygiene routines, and how long each take. It's pretty gender essentialist (I imagine trans woman and trans men have a vastly different experience, to point out the obvious) and an overgeneralization (after spending time in Mexico City with rationed water, I do know how to take a fast shower) but I think the point still stands—the performance of femininity robs you of time. Like, a lot of time.

What's interesting is the comments. BoingBoing skews white male, and there are dudes lining up to say that, no, my wife doesn't do that, or this is just about people being vain and doing what society expects, as if women don't face serious financial penalties for non-compliance. As if there isn't an election on where one candidate looks like a puffy orange bezoar and the other looks like a regular woman who pushed an illegal war in Iraq, and all the media emphasis is on her appearance and whether she smiles enough.

Nowhere did I see a woman pop on and say, "nope, this doesn't describe me." The women are all like, "yeah it takes longer in the bathroom because you guys can just whip it out and we have to sit, how is this rocket science?"

At a certain point, I feel like people are deliberately not getting it. Not just with gender, but with any site of oppression. You get the same with "colourblind" anti-BLM folks, who just want to pretzel-logic their way around the obvious, which is that black people are getting killed and jailed en masse. It's exhausting.

Date: 2016-09-28 03:45 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
On Clinton smiling - I am enraged that one of the complaints was during some kind of security meeting, where one should not be smiling at all, IMO. I don't understand how anyone can't see that harping on women's appearance while ignoring men's isn't sexist or even subtle sexual harassment. puffy orange bezoar - Ha! That's great!

I'll be honest. Until I moved to Charlotte and started meeting business people a few years ago, I had no idea that women in offices had different dress codes to the men, as in having to wear makeup, heels, and changing clothes more often. I was blown away when I learned. It's not just a time issue, but an unfair money issue as well. As that's a much bigger investment than men have to do.

In my own experience, I used to get a lot of social pressure to wear a bra, until I finally caved. And then I found out it actually entices men to see a hint of 'women' nipples, so I always make sure they're hidden now, and it is such a pain in my ass. I still get grief for not removing my body hair, but that's a hard line for me, and people usually leave me alone after the first salvo.

Date: 2016-09-28 08:22 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
The make-up dress codes blow my mind. I feel really lucky that I've never encountered that (at least, not in a way that was known to me) because I genuinely don't know how to apply most kinds of make-up. :/ And if it takes as long as this article says (39 minutes?????) then I'm not sure I want to learn if I can avoid it, I'd like to wear make-up for not-office-friendly styles for sure, but there's no way I can ever add 39 minutes to my morning routine and still be functional

Date: 2016-09-30 04:58 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
For me, make up has always been more like cos-play, even before I knew what that was. Or it was a gothic/witch thing. Or for stage performance and such. I would absolutely hate to have to wear it all day, everyday. I would get claustrophobic.

Date: 2016-10-01 07:19 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Yeah, it's those things I'd be interested in learning (more expressive/dramatic make-up)! You're right that there's a difference there, and on top of being forced to wear make-up sounding terrible, I can't imagine everyday make-up being as fun :(

Date: 2016-09-30 05:01 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Thanks for sharing that about your youth and body type, and the clothing issues. I had no idea, but that does sound frustrating. I wonder what kinds of shirts would be better for large busted girls and women?

I've usually been underweight, which has different problems, but not nearly as many I'd guess. Certainly not as much social disapproval :-/

Date: 2016-09-28 08:06 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
It doesn't describe me! But that is because I made a deliberate choice, like becoming vegetarian or even more so vegan: one has to realise that things will not be exactly the same, that it is hard and that there are difficult consequences which some can bear easier than others, etc. And for me it has been worth it.

People are indeed deliberately not getting it, partly because it's so terrifying. I know SO many women who truly, deeply believe that they are ugly without makeup to "fix" them. Yet no one I know says they are doing it for men. They say they are doing it for themselves. I believe them and actually find this troubling. Altering your appearance for an exciting moment or special event -- sounds fun. Doing something at the expense of your own convenience for love and/or attraction -- most of us do that, it makes its own sense. But to alter your face every day because your relationship with your own self is not at peace until you do, that is nothing to blame women for but it is absolutely the hard work of patriarchy bearing fruit.

Once I was teaching the laws of Shabbat to a little group. What to me is one of the more interesting facets of Shabbat is that signs and performances of class and gender are prohibited. One may not indicate one's profession (e.g. a tradesperson going out with a tool even if they do not intend to use it). One may not carry weapons, even decorative ones, or signs of male authority such as signet rings. In the days of the Talmud it was the fashion for wealthy women to wear little, non-functional gold chains that chained their two feet together. That was prohibited on Shabbat. Braids and makeup are also prohibited. Ritual roles which were classically gender-specific also cease to function on Shabbat. The idea is that for one day a week, the community encounters one another as humans rather than the roles which are inevitably foisted on to us.

One of the women in the group became very upset when she heard about the makeup issue. "The rabbis clearly hated women, since they wanted us to look like witches!" she told me (the wording really stuck in my mind). So women without makeup = witches (not YOU, as people will always hastily add, you don't NEED it) and it is an abuse of power to separate them from the only means they have of hiding their shame. For one day a week.

By contrast, in Sweden perhaps a majority of women did not wear daily makeup. Few aging women dye their hair. I can't really convey what that was like to experience, to actually see women's ordinary faces as a matter of course. There's a lot I never internalised until I felt it for myself there. Yet it is not a fear of a feminine paradigm either: all genders wore bright colours, floral prints, men's suits were tight and cinched at the waist, etc. Literally everyone who met my baby, whether he was wearing cars and trucks on a grey onesie, or pink with frills and a print of shoes, asked me first: "Boy or girl?" Even the elderly had no sense that gender was reliably inferable from clothing style.

Date: 2016-09-29 11:20 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I think these are great rants and appreciate reading them. With regard to the penalty: it's true. But I think our question has to be what we can do to make change. That doesn't have to be nonparticipation in the time and money traps involved in presenting a certain kind of femininity. But we do need solidarity (even with attractive women!) and action.

I am not an attractive woman without makeup. I would say that I am pretty mildly ugly. In Israel I get street harassment a LOT for presenting "masculine" and as I've posted about, I need to think and rate people for safety before I ask someone for directions if I get lost. I lose the privileges of appearing Israeli (only American women would dress like this apparently) and of appearing traditionally religious.

BUT. Literally every single time I show my face to anyone, I am making a difference. Every child who ever sees me knows that I am a possibility -- maybe their own future possibility. And those kids will grow up. Everyone who achieves civility even one time with me is practicing being civil to me and to all other "transgressors." It lowers the bar for all the women around me -- in my community in Hamilton I have seen it, since I have come here and grown in influence, the women who come regularly dress down more and one said to me she has had a tie since forever, but never the courage to wear it, but now she thinks she will try it.

What I'm saying is, the costs are huge but the potential is too. One cannot help but make change. I guarantee your hairy hot friend made some of that change too, no matter what her modeliciousness, in weakening the association in straight boys between makeup and beauty. ANY weakening there, in no matter how specific the circumstances, is meaningful in this climate.

We must go farther than thinking, "I hate it, but what can I do?" Again, no one is obliged to put themselves on the line, but neither do I think the fact that women get penalised excuses us from finding a way to change things and support all other women who do. You hear that line I'm sure all the time when it comes to other oppression issues. It's not wrong, just not a place to stop.

My community is not an anomaly. Where I grew up in Saskatoon, the rabbi called me in to tell me concernedly that we had to find a rabbinical school that would be both intellectually rigorous and completely accepting of "the way I am" (in that 90's progressive way he assumed that my bad fashion skills meant I was a lesbian). We had never discussed rabbinical school or my sexuality, he was just looking out for me and trying to find a way to clear a path for me.

In Toronto my community actually had the same-gender-ritual police. They had people that would politely ensure that both men and women were wearing kipot and if they were Jewish talit/tefilin. They realised that without this pressure the community would backslide into old school performances of gender difference.

Both my yeshivot in Jerusalem and another yeshivah I have not been to in New York are ALL about equality of men and women.

Here in Hamilton I have witnessed the community be welcoming and warm to non-binary trans people, which for many is one of the more confusing kinds of gender to encounter. No talking behind the person's back except to clarify to one another what the person's wishes were.

You have not encountered this, because you have no reason in your busy life to seek out such communities. If you ever want I can find one quite close to you I'm sure. But again, your life is ordered as you wish it and that's great.

Date: 2016-09-28 11:17 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I've never worn makeup as a daily ritual and I haven't shaved my legs more than half a dozen times in over a decade.

But this definitely impacts my career. Nearly every female partner wears heavy makeup, business-professional jewelry, and is clearly very familiar with hairspray. This is not coincidence. I was told at one point delicately by two partners that for women, unfortunately, appearance matters.

Date: 2016-10-05 10:38 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Oh yes. If you don't use hairspray your hair moves around and does not stay Professional.

E.g., this was the main opposing counsel for a case I was on recently:

Date: 2016-09-28 11:59 pm (UTC)
firecat: red panda looking happy (Default)
From: [personal profile] firecat
I can't see the comments for some reason, but it doesn't describe me and I've been rigidly resistant to doing any of it my whole life, which is one reason I decided I must be nonbinary.

Link problem

Date: 2016-09-29 06:56 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
It's late and I haven't check this link yet, but thought you'd want to know that your version has some HTML issues. I had to view source code to find out what it is.

Will read later.

Date: 2016-09-29 02:16 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
The penalties seem to be getting worse as I age, and I see this for other women too.

Date: 2016-09-29 11:12 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Not to be a downer, but from tired it jumps to "sick" "maybe cancer" "menopausal!!!!" "senile"

Date: 2016-09-30 04:06 am (UTC)
ironed_orchid: pin up girl reading kant (intellectual hottie (green))
From: [personal profile] ironed_orchid
I love that I have a job where I'm not expected to wear make up or pantyhose of any of those other trappings of femininity unless I choose to... but I have had those jobs, and I used to spend time getting ready for them (and occasionally tell myself it was a disguise or war paint or whatever I needed to hear that day to make it through).

But I realise I am lucky.


sabotabby: raccoon anarchy symbol (Default)

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