#24 Misery Loves Company Magazine
Right, first of all a bit of housekeeping. There are some of you who think that I’m a bit of a moaner. Nothing could be further from the truth. In fact, if I show you a picture of a frog dressed up as Spider Man will that remind you that I like a laugh as much as the next man? Yes? Well have that then….
OK, now stop smiling. What? One more? Alright, here’s a cat doing pull-ups….
Better? Right then, here we go…
Close observers of this blog will recognise that I’m turning into a proper old feminist as the years go by. Cynics among you will think it’s some manner of ploy to charm the ladies by pretending to be on their side, but really the time to do that was when I was at University, and back then I had Nelson Mandela and student grant cuts to use to bamboozle the gullible stunners (PS, mission accomplished). No, it’s a genuine position arrived at by suddenly noticing the kind of shit that just drips into men and women’s brains like some patriarchal Chinese water torture, and conditions us to think about certain things in certain ways.
For example, when Hugh Hefner’s sexual history is mentioned, he’s allowed to boast about multiple partners, but when Madonna is in the same position she’s forced to admit to having lots of sex. Same action, hugely different implied judgment. Subtle isn’t it? Well, not always, especially where body image is concerned.
(By the way Hugh Hefner seems to be some kind of hall of mirrors for perceptions of lifestyle. If any of us were stumbling round our houses in the middle of the day in our fucking dressing gowns supping cocktails and reading porn we’d be called degenerate alcoholics; to him it’s just another Thursday).
This is Jennifer Lopez.
Look at her arse (don’t worry, it’s OK, this is SCIENCE). Now unless you’re some manner of supermodel squiring gadabout (or fucking liar most likely) she is an attractive woman. She has 42″ hips. Yeah. Now look at this disgusting magazine cover.
Apart from the maliciously irresponsible use of the word ‘normal’ to describe anyone’s body (not even worth getting into frankly) you see the vilification of people who have the temerity to eat real food, spend less than three hours a day in the gym, and not fall for the bollocks that insists to them that if you don’t look like two grapes on an ironing board you’re morbidly obese.
You’d think people would be immune to this; that women would be smart enough to recognise it for the bullshit it is and get past it, but it’s insidious and very clever. This mock up shows the kind of drivel they’re subjected to daily.
Stunning stuff, and I suppose it’s easy to say ‘don’t read these magazines’, but consider your thirty something colleague who’s permanently on a diet, ignoring all the size sixteen women around her who are happily married and eating what the fuck they like, focussing instead on someone they consider to be beautiful like Kim Kardashian (5′ 3″, enormous arse, airbrushed and cropped to fuck in nearly every photo) and trying to live up to it. It must be so wearing being constantly on a mission to find a husband. Also, and this is the funny bit, men really don’t find it attractive when a woman drones on about how they can’t find a man and how many calories they’ve had that day. Eat a bit, run a bit, and calm the fuck down. You’ll be fine.
Now I accept that this isn’t easy. The layers of cobblers women are enveloped in every hour of every day are hard to shrug off, but your reward will be less stress and maybe a more rounded outlook on life than wistfully flicking through bridal magazines the next time you’re at the doctor’s.
Of course, once you’ve sorted your personal life out you might want to up your game in the career stakes, and when you do a whole new world of head patting gibberish is lying in wait for you.
You have to laugh really. ‘Woman Doctor’, as if in 2014 it’s some kind of miracle that a woman could pass exams and practice medicine while controlling her periods, not being ‘irrational’, and her tits not getting in the way.
Frankly men should be relieved that women don’t take this stuff seriously. If they stopped and thought about it there would be a rash of men being ‘Bobbitted’ in their sleep, and who could argue really?
It can’t be easy putting up with this kind of stuff, but these are the relatively benign bits of subtle pressure that aren’t actually designed to ruin lives, just maintain some kind of status quo. The serious stuff is where men take precautions to control women’s lives in a much more tangible way. These range from poking holes in condoms to ensure a partner who you feel is considering leaving you gets pregnant and stay, and the ultimate sanction, killing a partner who has the temerity to go against your wishes or show a bit of independence. (Look it up; you’d be amazed how often it happens).
I know that in a way it’s difficult for men to get their heads round and sounds like women moaning for the sake of it, but consider your daughter or sister or niece having to go through life dealing with that and it takes on a new complexion.
And finally, it probably doesn’t help women’s sense of security and self-esteem if they know that this is the kind of advice men are getting in their publications really…..
Inspiring, I think you’ll agree.
That’s it. Next time, my part in bringing down the Berlin Wall…….