Friday, March 8, 2013

International Women's Day

Happy International Women's Day to everyone. Today I want everyone to take an extra moment to appreciate their bodies, especially women. Women are the primary victims of constant body stigma and policing. We're told what to wear, what to do with our bodies, how much to weigh and what to eat (or don't eat). It's cute to see a woman eat "like a man" as long as she stays skinny. We're told to constantly make ourselves prettier, skinnier, smarter (but not too smart now!), to be perfect homemakers while also bringing home an income. Every part of our lives is policed from getting dressed in the morning to how to have sex with your lover (thanks Cosmo!).

Women are objectified and over sexualized. Our bodies are always wrong no matter what they look like. All women are under immense pressure to conform to sexist and outdated expectations while also being a modern woman. It's impossible to achieve. Fat women have an extra dose of discrimination and oppression heaped on them. From making less money compared to thin people and men, being passed over for jobs, having medical problems ignored, and extra body policing (should you really be eating that?). Fat women are both overly sexualized and fetishized by some groups while being desexed entirely by others.

In a man's world and a thin person's world (and let's not forget a straight, white, cis, wealthy, able bodied person's world) it's difficult to stand up for oneself. It's difficult to stand up and say "I am here. I take up space and that's okay". Doing so it's an act of rebellion. It's a giant middle finger to the patriarchy. To the society that would pathologicalize your body, to dehumanize your body. To stand up and say "I am a beautiful, sexual being, with my own autonomy and responsibility for myself" is a full scale attack on a culture of hate. To exist, is to take part in taking down a system of oppression. Your voice is important, it's necessary, it's essential! And that voice is the voice of body acceptance and love.  It's a difficult voice to raise over the roar of advertisements for perfection and obedience, but together we can do it.

So on this important day look around you, see the women around you, in your life, and appreciate them and their uniqueness. They deserve it. We deserve it. You deserve it.