“Tough Guise,” a film by Jackson Katz analyzes the ways in which media portrays gender to reinforce an ideal of masculinity, which he defines as “how men view men.” One aspect of the anaylsis was the ways in which over time media has portrayed men as physically larger and women as smaller to reinforce the traditional power dynamic as a response to the women’s movement of the sixties and seventies. The film prompted me to reflect on my own experience of how I “make myself small”- physically and psychologically in order to please men and maintain the traditional power dynamic.
Rich, Rich Woman
If I had a dollar for every time I hear the phrase “boys are intimidated by…” Bitch…
I would be a rich, rich woman.
I have spent so much of my life making myself seem dumber, thinner,
smaller, prettier, kinder, softer, calmer, quieter
ALL to make the men who are silencers,
I sit across from a man on the T;
His legs spread wide, while mine are crossed, he stares at me.
He takes up space
But I’m not worried, my dad bought me mace
So that I would always be safe, in places I should already be safe in
While I am scared being alone on the T in the night
Women all over the world, all over my city fear, even in the daylight
Their husbands, their boyfriends, their fathers,
But no one seems to even bother
To stop making women shrink themselves,
Or better yet stop the media from thinking violence is a kink for us.
Women have spent their money learning to kick box,
and break balls, and outfox
But don’t let your muscles get too big, the male boss won’t hire you,
he’s more likely to fire you
I paid for my smallness in tears and bile,
as I knelt over the toilet
In my plaid school skirt, facing the high school trials
of being enough, but never too much
I soften my touch, and he hardens his touch
I want to slap his hand, but ladies don’t hit
In order to make money, take our money, they sell
an image of a small white belle
and a tough, violent man who puts her in her place
When the honey gets beat, she’s too weak
And another man steps in to save her,
All to make the man in the chair feel like he has power everywhere.
I want back my 77 cents that I spent making men feel bigger, better,
stronger, safer, smarter, tougher, rougher, louder
I want to be a rich, rich woman.
By Erin Sheedy.
In my last spring break, I disappeared for a night. While I suspect that this was the second time I’ve been roofied, I’ll probably never know for sure. After waking up in a strange place and returning home, I saw the damage that I believe I had caused--the tears and panic in my mom’s eyes, my boyfriend sitting in the driveway crying as he waited for me to come home. I don’t know what happened that night.
One might think the goal of a lingerie company would be to sell lingerie. But it seems Victoria’s Secret is more focused on selling an ideal image of beauty to its consumer rather than quality bras. Unfortunately, whether Razek prefers it or not, the straight, cisgender, leggy and thin white woman does not represent the majority of the United States population
In today’s era of reckoning, strength, and empowerment, it is important to remember the generations of powerful women who fought for equality and contributed to the victories that we have captured, as well as those that we will continue to pursue.
This self-portrait series highlights different insecurities and flaws that should be seen as pieces of art instead of something to be ashamed of. Each image represents a different “flaw” society tells us we need to change or cover up. Instead of hiding these “flaws,” embrace them.
Femininity and the expression of the feminine has been confusingly (and sometimes misguidedly) reflected in our society, its image ricocheting across surfaces of different textures and layers with different purposes--sometimes empowering, sometimes demeaning, sometimes both? We examine the complicated relationship behind feminine power and its intention.
Illustrator Mary Sutton notes that putting yourself out there and speaking your mind can be difficult, especially as a woman. Exposing her work, an extension of herself, to others has always been something that she’s especially struggled with. In an era where all our lives are available online, however, everything we do is trackable and therefore judge-able. Successes and failures can be broadcast with equal permanence.
Designer Olivia Jimenez’s series is meant to point to women in history while cementing them around us. In so doing, she hopes to remove the boundaries of the historical figure by making them as fluid and resilient as the sky or sea or the natural world at large.
Street harassment is a prevalent issue for women and young girls in every society. In one survey, 65% of women in the United States reported being harassed on the street. Mary Sutton depicts street harassment through the common phrase, “You Should Smile More” with a series of drawings.