- Not body positivity: Shaming thin women.
- Not body positivity: Promoting curvy as the ideal body type or as "real" and "what men want".
- Not body positivity: Shaming a woman for wanting to lose weight.
- Not body positivity: Shaming a woman for losing weight.
- Not body positivity: Excluding men.
- Not body positivity: Shaming or excluding any body type under the sun.
“ But I think that we should also stop blaming women just for being in naked pictures, or for sexting, or for having private photos or correspondence when they occasionally surface in ways they'd rather them not. Blaming women for taking private, nude photos of themselves is tantamount to blaming them for being nude in the privacy of their own showers, what with the potential for window treatments to billow in the wind, or the possibility of a fire breaking out... It doesn't make you stupid to take naked pictures of yourself, but it does make you an asshole if you share someone else's naked photographs with other people. ”—Julieanne Smolinski on the shaming that happens when women, especially young female celebrities, sext and these naked photographs are leaked to the public
I hate that girls are so criticized for taking hours to get ready. I hate that I feel ashamed for spending a half hour curling my hair. I wish it was seen as art and self expression and not as being shallow and self-obsessed. My hair, make up and clothes are part of my art. I don’t want to be made to feel bad about that.
maybe we need to talk about the word “shame” as it pertains to inclusion and oppression, tumblr, because like you keep using that word and i don’t think it means what you think it means.
it’s not being used in the textbook-dictionary-definition sense — in terms of oppression, you can pretty much only be shamed if it’s possible to be bullied back into a status of not existing/being invisible. like, you can shame a fat person because thin is not only considered the norm, but it’s generally the only body type considered worthy of personhood, so if a fat person annoys your or bothers you or disgusts you, you can apply society-backed shame to their existence to throw them into a light that better satisfies you — i.e., you can basically force them to stop taking up metaphorical (or even physical) space that you don’t want them to occupy by throwing social norms (that they don’t fit) at them until they kowtow or until you feel better.
you can shame a trans* person for being out or for expressing themselves by comparing them to what you (and society at large) views as “normal” gender [expression]. that’s where shame comes from in the context of oppression. it comes from the fact that there are a certain set of rules that society at large accepts and abides by, and can thus be used as ammunition against anyone who falls outside that set of standards.
so when you use the term “shame” regarding the majority or the group in power, whatever they may be in the context of the discussion (cis people, white people, thin people, etc.), you’re basically kind of appropriating a term used to describe a form of prevalent and deeply emotional/traumatizing oppression. because shame isn’t just saying “haha/ew gross, you’re [this].” shame is a tool used to force oppressed groups into your idea of normal/acceptable.
you can’t really “shame” someone for being cis — “i don’t like/don’t trust cis people” is not something that carries shame with it. sure, you can feel uncomfortable with that statement, but it’s not backed by the weight of societal norms. it’s not backed by laws or hate crimes or anything. cis IS the norm. it’ll roll off your shoulders eventually because if you’re cis, you go through life every day getting re-affirmed from every direction that you are The Right and Acceptable Kind. whereas trans* folk get the exact opposite. we’re constantly told that we are unfit, strange, unnatural, fake, etc. in everyday situations that you might not even think about — that you don’t HAVE to think about because you’re in the majority/group in power. like, say, using a public restroom. that’s a no-brainer for a cis person. if you’re a cis woman, it’s the stick figure with a skirt. if you’re a trans* woman, it’s a debate, it’s a life choice, it’s wondering and fearing if you’ll get told to leave the bathroom, if you’ll get reported to security under the assumption that you’re attempting to harass other women when you just have to pee.
and that — that’s what shame is. shame is KNOWING that even if it’s not right, even if it’s unfair, even if it’s hurtful and traumatic, whatever this person is saying — whatever form of shame they’re using — is true enough in society’s eyes. it’s an inescapable fact that follows you around. it’s not just a one-off comment that makes you uncomfortable. it’s a set of oppressive standards that actively limits how you can live your life safely.
so, yeah. just…i’m p sure that word does not really mean what you think it means.
Why breastfeeding supremacists can suck my left one
Yesterday, when I quoted Lorrie Hearts about a hospital’s decision to stop making free formula available to new moms in an effort to be “baby-friendly”, I got a lot of supportive comments and questions through Tumblr. (Thanks, y’all!) I also got a lot of hate and misrepresentation directed at me through Twitter. (Does this decide the never-ending social media battle in my head? Maybe!)
When I wrote about breastfeeding and formula feeding for my column in The Daily earlier this year, what I stressed was that too many moms who choose (or must) formula feed are outright shamed for it:
But why a woman doesn’t nurse is beside the point. Whether she’s unable to or simply chooses not to, the guilt has got to go.
We should reserve our motherly disdain for systemic issues that make parenting harder — workplace inequities and the maternal wage gap, the lack of paid maternity leave and affordable child-care options — not other women’s personal decisions about how to feed their babies.
So it’s all the more infuriating that the responses directed at me (shrouded in patronizing rhetoric about wanting to “educate”) have been absolutely rife with shaming.
FeministBreeder, a blogger and lactivist whose Twitter description touts herself as a “rocker chick turned natural mom” (I’m dying to know what kind of mother isn’t a “natural” one), started in by suggesting my post was “harmful to women’s health,” that I hadn’t researched the issue, and that I was “siding with the formula marketing industry” who take advantage of “vulnerable” women.
Her tweets actually embody the main issues I have with those who shame formula-feeding mothers: the condescending attitude that women who formula feed are somehow stupid or have been duped, the assumption that anyone who formula feeds or supports women who do so isn’t educated on the issue, and, of course, the shaming inherent in suggesting that formula hurt women (and babies). The other issue, which I’ll get into in a bit, is the mind-boggling classism I’ve seen bandied about.