I’m in a not so good mental health zone at the moment, lots of self criticism but then my distraction from this tends to be Instagram or reading…and both fuel my general hatred of men. Shockingly neither hating men nor yourself is the key to a contented life. I have Bupa approval for some CBT so maybe at some point I’ll get round to booking sessions in – in the hope this will give me some tools to jump off the negativity spirals before I fully go fully insane.
I have definitely mentioned before that I have massive jealously and life comparison issues. If you think I haven’t been on Instagram much I absolutely have not kicked the habit, every time my phone is in my hand my thumb automatically opens the app and resumes scrolling. I’m not joking it is actually very, very bad but also exactly what some very smart people in California designed it to be so i’ll ease off on the self guilt on that front.
What I did do is almost lose my shit, decide not to lose my shit and just mute everyone my thumb scrolled upon one Sunday afternoon that made me feel jealous. That turned out to be pretty much everyone who isn’t either a general man hater or English Heritage. So now my feed is largely feminism and castles, which sounds pretty good but makes me long for some kind of all female fortified commune where men are temporary and time restricted sex visitors only (if you don’t know about the Mosuo women already then check out this Guardian article and I’ll meet you in China).
But for now I’m going to have to continue having conversations with men. One of which recently took great joy in mansplaining my own feminism to me. Apparently I’m not a great feminist as I try to look thin, and as much as I hate to agree with a man there is a point here. Women are expected to look small as to be feminine is to be smaller than men, so that they can feel big by comparison. Food is wonderful and we restrict that to inflate men’s egos so that they feel all masculine standing next to our dainty little lady selves. They eat all the carbs, use the word ‘bloated’ approximately 4000% less (fact checked) then spread their legs wide and get comfy. We monitor what we eat, hold our stomachs in then sit compactly with our legs together.
Take up less space please ladies, it needs saving for the men folk. It sounds ridiculous but that is literally what I’m doing.
I love the body positivity movement but my internalised misogyny is so well entrenched I can’t help but equate weight loss as success – I enjoy seeing my app confirm I am underweight, the more shit my life is going the more important this is. I am five foot nine (175cm), which by British standards is taller than 98 percent of women. I’m three inches taller than the average Dutch woman – the tallest of the tall people. Despite all logic I feel as though being tall is another reason I need to be slim, as if it is only acceptable to be one type of big. Being tall and fat would be unacceptably large (as a woman). Whereas tall and skinny is willowy and that’s OK, you might be big but a weak fragile looking version of big that isn’t quite so intimidating to men.
Intellectually I want to shake off the slim preference but in reality I don’t want to see my body looking fat and it makes me feel like a hypocrite.
I love @clementineford she is a single mum, journalist and mega feminist. She gives out caps that read ‘Leave your husband’, she is fighting the good fight. But even Clementine recently admitted on her podcast that she eats differently when in public and doesn’t clear her plate as if to demonstrate to any onlooker what a restrained person she is, that she deserves to be small – that she puts effort into taking up less space. That shit is hard to shake off (side note that her podcast Big Sister Hotline is excellent).
And I wish it stopped at weight. I have yet to meet a man who is cool with full body hair (I’m talking legs, armpits, moustaches, monbrows). I know most aren’t pedantic about full scale pube removal but if you add up the time it takes up in a year to do the rest of the crap I reckon you’d be pretty pissed off about the unread novels / naps / wanks that could have been accumulated in that time.
And yet here I am…a relatively hair free lady.
That’s just the tip of the iceberg…imagine if the patriarchy refunded us on our lifetime make up spend? The cost of wedding guest outfits because women feel like they’d be judged for rocking up in the same dress every time. I’d also like our hourly salaries for the time spent researching said outfits…(gender pay gap adjusted where applicable).
As always I’m not entirely sure what the conclusion of this rant is. But I did at least feel validated that I’m not the only feminist doing stupid shit to fit into gender stereotypes because patriarchy has influenced my preferences for how I like to see my body looking.
If anyone is further along the road to hairy (@rubyrare), bigger body friendly (@bodyposipanda), make up optional life (@florencegiven) than me then they might want to check out these ladies accounts for body positivity plus all sorts of good stuff.
And in the meantime I guess I’ll keep on being the dumbass who weighs herself before deciding whether a Monday morning mcmuffin is advisable. Fucking patriarchy.