Before now, I didn’t fully buy into the whole “take down the patriarchy” thing. I thought it was a little overblown.
That is, until I started learning how modern womanhood burdens got started. Did you know Lysol was first marketed as a douche?!
Yes, I call them burdens. I know this is a matter of opinion. But I’ve discovered the “choice” to participate is not really a choice at all. As someone who’s taken the (bold) move to pick and choose which social norms I will participate in for women, I have found overwhelming obstacles, lack of alternatives, or just plain negative consequences when I try to “choose”. That’s not really a choice, is it?
Our modern western societal standards for how women should look/groom/act/talk did not exist 100 years ago. Although, I would argue, the standards before that were even worse. But now I’m rambling.
Modern day companies started marketing to society after the great depression that women should: shave, wear make-up, use deodorant, wear heels, have styled/dyed hair, douche, wear gloves, wear tight restrictive clothing, ignore their monthly cycles, wear tight BRAS, cover their skin with hose, the list goes on.
This part alone isn’t the bad part. All the things listed do, in fact, provide choices and results for people.
Most of these items require extra time, extra money, and physical consequences that men (usually) don’t endure unless they choose to.
The final straw in the patriarchy (for me) is that women are teased openly for both compliance with and rejection of these standards. It’s a lose lose situation resulting in women being put down either way. If you wear makeup, you care too much about your appearance. If you don’t, you aren’t trying hard enough.
women are teased openly for both compliance with and rejection of these standards
Don’t believe me? When’s the last time you heard a joke or comment about how long it takes a woman to get ready or go to the bathroom? When’s the last time you heard a joke about men doing the same?
I will never forget my husband’s shock, when we were fist married, at the cost of a decent woman’s hair cut, hair dye, monthly tampons, makeup, hair products, etc. I am probably on the low end of the spectrum when it comes to spending in these areas.
I don’t make these rules, but I’m expected to follow them if I want to keep a job, make friends, etc.
I live in a house with 3 guys, and I’m slowly teaching them how much of a burden it is on women to maintain these standards. My boys think a woman with frequently hairy legs is normal. My husband gets that bras are too expensive, a nightmare to shop for, ultimately uncomfortable, wear out to soon, yet my clothes won’t fit right without them.
I refuse to purchase spanx out of principle. If I can’t let it all hang out at 40, with kids, and 20 extra pounds, then when can I?
Take down the patriarchy, throw our your control tops.
And if you want the purple mug above, you can get it here.