11+ Reasons Why This ‘Top 11 Reasons Why It’s Awesome Being a Woman’ List is Full of Sexist Crap
I really should have known better, right? Clicking on anything titled “Top 11 Reasons Why It’s Awesome Being a Woman” was 85% guaranteed to make me roll my eyes and/or fume. But there was also that 15% chance that it was genuinely going to be something my feminist soul could nod in agreement with.
Guess what? Yep. It was the “eye-rolling” opinion.
So, let’s just break this list down one by one:
1. Makeup!Unlike men who wake up and look the same every single day, we have the luxury and privilege to experiment, camouflage, and highlight our best features with makeup. One minute we look like the sweet, sun kissed girl next door with the glossy lips – the next, we’re the sexy siren with the come-hither eyes.
URG. We are NOT off to a great start. While I absolutely LOVE make-up, wearing it isn’t entirely a “luxury and prvilege.” I say this as a lover of make-up, but it stems from a patriarchal ideal of beauty. Not that I think wearing make-up is somehow anti-feminist…but the ideal of beauty is that women should, without question, “camouflage, and highlight our best features with makeup.” How often do we see headlines in magazines about “STARS WITHOUT MAKE-UP?” How DARE Drew Barrymore run out to buy groceries without looking like she’s about to step onto the red carpet? Long story short: It would be a “luxury and a privilege” if society didn’t tell us that make-up is something we’re REQUIRED to wear.
2. Um hello, free stuff?Sure, we’ll take that free drink at the bar. Oh, we don’t have to pay cover? And we get the first available cab and an extra scoop of ice cream at Pinkberry because we winked? How does that song go? “I enjoy being a girl…”
NO. NO. NO. NO. ALSO? NO. First of all, that “I enjoy being a girl” song is LOADED with sexist statements…BECAUSE IT WAS WRITTEN IN 1958. Do you know what the 50’s were like for women? No? RESEARCH.
You’d better be conventionally attractive if you want all that FREE stuff.
3. BoobsI don’t know if you guys know this, but breasts are pretty amazing. Scratch that, they’re exquisite, no matter their shape or size. And we get to play with them, whenever and wherever we want
And you’d better have a decent pair, or else you’re not up to par. And if you’re not BORN with a great pair? PLASTIC SURGERY! Have a quick factoid: “In the United States, however, there is a growing trend of parents giving implants as gifts to their graduating 18-year-old adolescents. The number of 18-year-olds who underwent breast-implant surgery nearly tripled from 2002 to 2003.”
Oh, and those great boobs had better be on a skinny body. Large breasts don’t count if you’re fat. So, yeah. Your body is going to get shamed and mocked no matter WHAT size you are, unless you fit into some “ideal” body as constructed by the media.
Oh, and don’t forget, those boobs come with the added risk of cancer.
4. Legs for DaysSpeaking of body parts, now’s the time of year when we get to show off more of our beautiful assets that leave men weak in the knees: our legs. Skirts, shorts, dresses, bathing suits – you name it, we’re wearing them to show our beautiful stems off. No one wants to see anything on a guy above his knees. Really, dude working out in hot pants. No one.
Once again: this is all good SO LONG AS YOU HAVE “NICE” LEGS. If you’re a woman without sleek, svelte, toned legs? You get the added pleasure of feeling self-conscious while wearing skirts, shorts, dresses and bathing suits. In fact, take a look at some of the “dresses” sold to plus-sized women. They are glorified ankle-length potato sacks.
5. Nice things.Why do we have such nice apartments, with such beautiful furniture and clean counters and bathrooms? Oh that’s right, because we don’t like living in our own filth, unlike our male counterparts. That’s why many guys don’t have nice things until a woman enters the picture.
I could accompany this with a picture of my messy apartment. I really could, but you don’t need to see that.
INSTEAD: Um, hello negative stereotyping of MEN. I have known some extremely clean guys. I know guys who could not stand to have anything out of place and who really like scrubbing stuff down. But of course, any guy who owns nice things and cleans is GAY, right?
See, this is part of the problem with this sort of CRAP: if a guy acts in a way we consider “feminine” then it’s automatically assumed he must be gay. It leads to making judgements on a person’s sexuality based on personality quirks RATHER THAN ON WHO THEY ENJOY HAVING SEX WITH. Which is completely unfair to guys.
And take it from my friend, spoken-word poet Jenn D. Some girls LIKE it clean (WARNING: THERE’S SOME SEXUAL CONTENT HERE. A LOT OF IT. THE POEM’S CALLED ‘FETISH’ FOR CRYING OUT LOUD.)
6. Lingerie…Tell me: do guys have a collection of anything that brings out their inner sex god? Or anything that makes them feel as instantly seductive, confident and sexy as lingerie does for a woman? No, they have banana hammocks that make every girl within viewing distance want to run for the high hills. Checkmate, women.
Please see my above arguments for “Make-up” and “Legs for Days.” Apply those here as well. Nothing wrong with lingerie, but seriously? SERIOUSLY?
7. Kids love us.It’s in our nature to want to be great mothers, which is why babies laugh and giggle whenever we’re around. For some reason, we instinctively know what to do when it comes to children, which gives us an advantage as parents. Plus, we have a magical, lifelong connection to our own children, because we’re lucky enough to carry them in our bellies and feel them grow.
Really? Has the author of this article never met a woman who was awkward with kids?
Maybe I should introduce myself. I’m the New Age Amazon. Some people call me “Ashly.” I’m awkward with kids. And I already struggle with a lot of stress because there’s this attitude that if you don’t want kids you’re some kind of selfish, uncaring unwoman. You’re not a REAL woman if you don’t have babies.
So, remember girls: you can’t get your “womanhood” card until you’ve had kids. OH! Just don’t have TOO many, or you’re a “welfare queen.”
PS: Way to negate the existance of trans women.
8. We’ve got the jobs.Men may still be out-earning us in the work force, but we’re currently holding it down by having the most jobs. Take that, unemployment rate.
Yeah, take that, unemployment rate! We might still be lagging in holding top level corporate jobs, we might still make SIGNIFICANTLY less than men, we still might have to deal with sexist dress codes that require women to wear heels and make-up but basically require guys to remember to iron their shirts in the morning, we might still not be granted maternity leave for those babies we HAVE to have (or we’re not a woman, remember?) and could instead be fired and replaced, we might still have to deal with unaddressed sexual harassment in the workplace, but WE’VE GOT THE JOBS, RIGHT?
9. We live longer.Since when is dying first the better way to go? I’m sorry, but when the guys go, that’s when the real joys of retirement start. And we get to see our grandkids grow up and keep all the money when we win at Monday night bingo – it’s a win-win.
A) If we have grandchildren.
B) Way to wish death on men. And people call ME a “man-hater.”
10. We can ask for directions.Unlike guys, our egos don’t hinder us from getting ahead in life. So, when we’re lost and need to ask for directions or our friendship is on the rocks with our best friend, we don’t let our ego come in and ruin everything.
Once again: nice generalization and negative stereotyping of men. Anymore jokes from bad sitcoms you wanna break out as “positives” for being a woman?
11. We hold the power.And my last point, which is the most important – guys are foolish if they don’t think we hold all the power in relationships. As soon as a guy falls in love with a woman, it’s over for him. Life as he knows it has forever changed, and he’s helpless when faced with the amazing combination of our sex appeal, tenderness, and love. Beyonce says it so well: “Who run the world? GIRLS!”
Oh, geeze. NO. NO. For ONE thing, we do not. Ask that to any woman who has been a victim of intimate partner abuse. That would be 1 in 3 American women, by the way, so you won’t even have to look that far.
For another thing: why does it have to be about “holding power?” Do you really think that’s a HEALTHY approach to a relationship? It should be about mutual respect and equal partnership, not about who holds some ridiculous idea of “power.”
Honestly, there are some AWESOME things about being a woman. But I don’t see ANY of those on this list. It’s negative stereotypes wrapped up in some ridiculous idea of “empowerment.” And we’ve had enough of that. Can we get some REAL empowerment in here, ASAP?
(Books in this shot: Girl Power: The Nineties Revolution in Music by Marisa Meltzer, Full Frontal Feminism by Jessica Valenti, The Guerilla Girls’ Bedside Companion to the History of Western Art and Girls to the Front by Sara Marcus. Read ’em. Because they talk A LOT about what’s really awesome about being a girl.)