AFTER almost 50 years of aggressive, government-enforced affirmative action and non-stop celebration of every and any worldly accomplishment by women, feminist outrage lives on with no sign of abating. Jessica Valenti argues in a piece in The Nation that women continue to be victims of society’s relentless beauty standards. Beauty shouldn’t matter at all.
Be forewarned: There is profanity in this article. Valenti’s anger is so boiling hot one wonders if she might assault someone — but whom? The enemy is everywhere. Surely, Valenti will not rest until every little girl is a fuming, cursing revolutionary. Girls still want to be girls, and that’s a problem. She loathes femininity with a red-hot fury.
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Jessica Valenti is correct that girls today don’t need feel-good mantras and false confidence and that self-esteem is not a cure-all. What she doesn’t see is that since modern notions of attractiveness have been completely sexualized her promotion, as a feminist, of sexual exploration in girls is the very cause of what she complains about. Feminists have helped create the sexually preoccupied culture that girls are being raised in today by systematically breaking female sexuality away from it’s natural protections (modesty, embarassment, etc.) and from it’s traditional social ties (marriage, procreation) and tossing it in the air to land how and where it will. Because sexuality and attractiveness are intrinsically linked, feminism in essence is the birthmother of sexual pressure on girls: pushing sexuality = pushing sexual attractiveness. Prior to the sexual revolution girls felt no such pressure, or nothing near the pressure felt today. And I thought the 7u0′s were a bad time in which to grow up.
Her suggestion for girls to use anger to survive is simply foolish. Truly wise people know anger as the blinding and consuming emotion that it is for both men and women. The simplest peasant had more wisdom about human interaction than these highly educated, very angry women.
I agree that feminism has made beauty more important, not less, and another way it has done this, aside from its support of sexual freedom, is by dissolving informal bonds that help people to know each other and to rely less on criteria such as education, looks, possessions and career. Materialistic by nature, feminism exalts status, not inner qualities.
Is this dark feminist humor? It reads below Valenti’s name: ‘Feminism, sexuality & social justice. With a sense of humor.” And she writes within the piece: “I developed a sharp sense of humor.”
Funny woman. I’d hate to experience her anger.