Another week, another shitfight.
In case you were sleeping, this week’s installment of International Female Outrage was started by a Norwegian blogger/WAG who posted a provocative, smug selfie of her hot body just 4 days after giving birth.
What happened next was a blueprint for a familar cycle of outrage that goes like this:
1. A woman does something – plastic surgery, licking a sledge hammer, airbrushing her own photos, taking money from a magazine or diet company to showcase her extreme post-birth weight loss or posting a boastful selfie.
2. Instantly, there’s a loud, negative reaction. From angry blog posts to scathing social media commentary, it’s a spontaneous, authentic pushback driven by women.
3. Next comes the vocal minority who push back against the pushback. Invariably, they accuse the critics of being ‘unsisterly’, ‘judgmental’, ‘non-feminist’, ‘nasty’, ‘disrespectful of other people’s choices’. The critics are also often called “fat, jealous bitches’, usually by men.
I’ve watched this cycle play out in the same way with increasing frequency this year.
Here are some from just the last few months:
While it’s a basic tenet of feminism that women should be able to choose what they do with their own bodies (and thus their own selfies), it’s totally naive and disingenuous to think that the choices we make are made in a vacuum, free from societal influences and pressures.
When a woman rushes to post pictures of herself looking sexy after having a baby or when she gets Botox and fillers to the point of looking alien or photoshops her already skinny body in half or lies about her age….. all of these ‘choices’ are made in the context of a society that values a woman for her hotness and her youth above all else.