Tell Me I’m Empowered

A few weeks ago, after the whole Kim Kardashian nude photo internet explosion of 2016, my mother sent me a Facebook message linking to an article about it and asked me what I thought. The article, titled “Dear Kim. Please stop using the term ’empowerment’ when you really mean marketing” is a scathing and sarcastic attack on KK and her selfie by Jacqueline Lunn, who insists:

“Kim’s nude selfies are not about feminism. They are not about liberation or empowerment. They are not about female inclusion.”

I’ve seen any number of angry, hate-filled blog posts skewering Kim as an enemy of feminism, someone who plays into patriarchal ideas of beauty for her own sick enjoyment and monetary rewards, so I was familiar with the whole cycle already. Feminist sees skinny, surgically enhanced woman, is unable to acknowledge the latent internalized misogyny within themselves, begins to hate the skinny woman, and begins to loudly and publicly bash the woman. Rinse and repeat.

Knowing that my mother has an intense hatred for all things Kardashian, I approached the situation cautiously because I wanted to avoid another drawn out argument about what it means to be empowered. What followed, however, was actually a really constructive conversation where I felt we really go to the heart of what makes me so angry about all these people attacking a woman for something so insignificant and harmless as a nude photo.

Continue reading Tell Me I’m Empowered

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The Cycle of Female Incompetence

Original by Chelsea Francis for stocksnap.io
Original by Chelsea Francis for stocksnap.io

I am at work one day in the pub kitchen where I used to work, and I have just washed a huge plastic container full of cutlery. Three times I try and fail to lift the heavy box, gritting my teeth, determined that I can do this myself. My back gives a loud pop, and I drop what ever weight I had lifted and turn, defeated, to my male coworker.

“Could you please help me with this?” I ask, gesturing to the plastic box full of utensils.

He lifts it with ease, carrying it to the other room and leaving it for the floor staff to take to the dining area. I am embarrassed again, a frequent moment in my life, by my smallness, my weakness. Continue reading The Cycle of Female Incompetence