Time to discuss an elephant in my living room…
I am a feminist and yet I judge women based on their looks.
Phew. Ok. Breath. Please don’t chase me with pitchforks.
So… to explain.
I believe women should have the same opportunities and rights as men. I believe we should be judged on what is in our heads rather than on them and I believe the world still has a long way to go in correcting the deep rooted misogyny present in every single culture.
Even with this, when I look at a woman my instinctive thought is about her appearance. The thoughts are so quick into my head, like pulling your hand away from a hot pan, that there’s no time to stop them.
A prime example from yesterday: I was on the bus, looking out of the window when we overtook a women who was running along the pavement.
Was my first thought “She’s keeping up a good pace – I bet she could do an impressive marathon time”?
My very first thought was actually… “God, her tits are pretty saggy”.
Horrible, spiteful and completely contradictory to my belief that there is too much pressure on women to be ‘perfect’ at all times. However this is not an abnormal thought for me, I think it all the time, every day…. Bit fat, bit old, scruffy hair, shouldn’t be wearing that, bad shoes, smells a bit, chipped nails, back fat, yellow teeth, wonky eyes. My stream of criticism is CONSTANT.
One of my pet hates is those articles where a female celebrity is photographed in every day circumstances (food shopping, going to the gym, walking the dog etc) then is pilloried for not being ‘red carpet ready’, having a spot, having messy hair, having bags under her eyes. Essentially things EVERY woman has.
And yet. AND YET. Here I am, doing exactly the same thing, the only difference is that my comments are in my head rather than in a ‘news’ article. Does that make it ok? Nope.
Having written this down I’m now feeling ashamed, liberated, curious, confused, annoyed but most of all, helpless.
I feel helpless because I’ve no idea how to stop being so judgemental, I’ve no idea how to change society’s attitude to women and most terrifying: I’ve no idea if we even can.