I don’t normally write about feminist issues. That doesn’t mean I am not observing carefully the variety of ways in which women are still stripped today. If not of their clothes – well, there’s that too – but of the equal place we aspire to in our society.
Recently I asked an older gentleman (M1) if he knew what women want most of all. All guesses failed miserably. So I said choice. And explained the choice to decide when you want what to happen in a relationship, rather than it being decided by the alpha male and you obliging to make him happy. Which we all know fails in the long run.
The previous chap I discussed this with reacted immediately with ‘everyone wants that.’ Not getting at all that for men that is built into the patriarchy. Of course he couldn’t as he’s not a woman. We only know what we miss by experiencing the absence of something. Hence I don’t expect anyone benefiting from the big P word to know these things. So I bother to explain.
I fool myself into thinking I am now heard, for 5 minutes after this conversation with M1 he tries to push his needs onto me. People cannot hear what they don’t want to. I rest my case, sadly.
There are many dynamics that push women down. The one I have noticed acutely the past while was repeated 3 times: Food and eating. Did you know that women are still ridiculed for eating? Are we still expected to survive on fresh air?
With a male friend we go for lunch at a restaurant. I order real food, as that is my commitment to my body. Fair enough? When the food arrives he looks at his plate, then at mine, then back at his own. Then asks “Wow, did you not eat this morning?” As in do you really grant yourself all of that? And its companion … won’t you get fat? Yes, I do and no, real food does NOT make you fat. I swallow it, and say “no, I did not,” because it’s true. Whatever you do, just be nice.
But now I also feel bad that I have more and his silly order looks rather stingy, so I start equalising the portions. No problem at all, but you get my drift. Take the minimum, look after the man.
The other comments, from 2 other men, were similar…
”Wow, can you manage all of that?”
“Well, yes. Why not?” Now I’m getting braver. This is becoming a pattern.
Any fat woman would have cringed, resolving to go onto yet another bad diet to try and shift the shame.
Why are we shamed out of self-care?
Passionate about nutrition I am concerned with this pattern. We all grew up with the influence of women’s magazines with emaciated girls luring us into starvation diets. And boy did I do that with gusto. I can remember days in high school when I tried to survive on apples. Under the influence of a mother on a popular programme I followed suit. This is still going strong today, so I won’t name it. Lucrative business model that keeps you battling, so coming back.
I remember the discomfort those days of actually eating in front of a boy. It was considered taboo. For some reason hungry was cool. For some reason this is still expected today.
I now understand how this lack of brain nutrition transported my dear mother’s deprived mind right into serious mental instability – and trauma for the rest of us. Poor woman worshipping the false food pyramid the wrong way up. And getting more and more fat and sick. Depression, insomnia, and more damage from drugs to dull the body’ please for help.
Do men ever receive these condescending comments? The more they eat the more man they seem to be. Does that mean feeding, so nutrition, so life support, whilst provided – often grown too – by women, is essentially meant for men? How did we get to this in our society?
Even the day after, I am ridiculed for eating up my food. “You didn’t leave a crumb behind.” Fuck no, why waste precious food? Why dishonour the planet with such a sacrilege? Every drop counts, like our water.
And so, when the Universe gifts me with a daughter, I duly toss out all women’ mags. None of this destructive influence for my bonny girl. Let girls stand in their fullness now, without any shame. Yet she picks it all up on the internet, starts living on apples and green tea. Broke my heart.
Now I can look at this dynamic because I have cracked the weight, and hence health, code for myself through knowledge. Trust me, if I was still self-conscious this would have been too painful to even look at. I would have taken the blame for my own blob of fat and probably apologized.
These are snapshots of incidences of essentially passive aggression, which had become acceptable in our society. How about we liberate ourselves from this now? Remember that we represent the Earth, hence humanity comes through us. Our core energy is that of preserving and nurturing life, else our children will not survive. As women are suppressed, the Earth is destroyed. And now we are in serious trouble.
I know it is taboo to say this, but it needs to be faced. The destruction was and is still NOT orchestrated, nor lead, by women. The healing will come from women in their full power. Women who are nourished. This is our only hope. To manifest this is everyone’s duty.
By Elma Pollard