In the absence of true consciousness-raising, I’ll settle for half an ounce of critical thinking skills.

There is an article in the Washington Post, published a few days ago, with the headline:

Women’s greatest threat isn’t misogyny, it’s counting calories. The modern feminist movement is losing because of our obsession with weight.

I have a qualm.

The author correctly states that “We can’t close gender gaps when we spend endless hours counting calories instead of cracking glass ceilings.” True! There are a great many non-essential, frivolous, or even outright harmful pursuits that suck up time, energy, and money that women could be more profitably using to make hay in the world.

What I would like someone to explain to me — and to the editor who wrote the headlines for the piece — is how encouraging weight obsession and body dysmoprhia is not misogyny. Perhaps I am just a strident feminazi who sees woman-hating lurking around every corner*, but I’m fairly certain women do not make the choices we do in a magical land free of the taints of patriarchy.

“Hmm, I could spend the afternoon working on my application for this prestigious fellowship that has never been awarded to a woman, or I could vomit up my lunch and then spend three hours on the treadmill. Two legitimate choices that I’m able to consider in the complete absence of a larger cultural context!” thought no woman ever. But thanks for making it seem like we do, Editor Who Is Dissatisfied With Current Clickthrough Rates. 

Clickbait, thy name is Washington Post Headline. If this is the quality of thought in the “modern feminist movement” (which one, exactly?), then I’m not surprised to hear that it’s losing. This column deserved better, and so do women.

*Spoiler alert: I totally am! Because I live, you know, in the world.

10 Comments

  1. Oddly enough, we don’t put much of a dent in the patriarchy by writing about what’s wrong with women instead of what’s wrong with the way the world’s structured. Funny how easy it is to get stuff like that published, though.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. In the 90’s, a prominent, African-American intellectual wrote about the difference between racism in the US and racism in South Africa during apartheid. He felt more comfortable in SA because at least he knew exactly what he was dealing with, whereas in the US, it was far more covert and difficult to prove. Misogyny is laced into our culture, damn straight, and we need smart writers like you to rip apart the seams.

    Liked by 4 people

  3. How thoroughly miserable – the article, not your commentary. I read another enlightening article a few days ago claiming that women who sleep around before marriage tend to end up unhappily married. Ergo: women, save yourself for Mr right.
    FFS.

    Like

  4. You totally are am. Living in the real world (and keeping your eyes open) will do that to you. I love the way you write. Funny and right between the eyes.

    By the way, thanks for checking out AHintOfLight.com
    Pat

    Like

  5. I read your post about “walking a mile in her shoes” last month and it is still with me, so I decided to come back and follow you, and now I find another post that is going to haunt me for a while. Thanx.

    Like

  6. Feminism didn’t lose…just ask Ann Coulter, Phyllis Schlafly and any of the “conservative” women who write, speak, run for political office and make good livings trashing the women who made it possible.

    The goal of feminism was to give women choices, not to create more feminists, and to that end it has completely succeeded.

    Like

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