So, I usually discuss a lot of things with my mother. Who was the one introducing me into feminism. But one thing that she doesn’t actually believes, is that men feel entitled to criticize women’s appearance. She says that of course; some does, but not the majority. However, I have another opinion here.
I think that the majority of guys do this, but without thinking too much about it. It’s not like they’re consciously trying to put women in their place, but.. well, let me tell you about an experience of my own.
As you all know, I lived down south in Sweden for a year, and I went to a school with almost only guys and I hung out with this group. We all became really close pretty quickly. One time we were sitting around a table playing drinking games - it was still early, so nobody was really drunk, but we’re all getting tipsy. My hair is in my way, so I take the top of my hair and places it in a ponytail. One of the guys then feel it’s appropriate to say that:
"Why do you put it like that? It makes you look like a boy."
Which.. well, I thought was.. odd at the time. It actually made me a bit sad to hear that. I was sitting around a table with my friends. Does it matter that it makes me look like a boy?
We’re having fun, what does my face have to do with any of this?
Why did he need to say that? So I said something along the lines of; “It was in the way.” And doesn’t really call him out on it.
After that I started to notice it. A lot of the guys, that were my friends, that MOST of the time saw me as part of their guy-group, would say something small. Like “why do you put your hair behind your ear?” or comment that I looked like a boy in that shirt.
And it was a different from when they said “You’re just one among us guys!” - Because that I liked. I liked being one of them, not being excluded as being the ‘girl’ in the ‘boy-band’. But other times ‘looking like a boy’ wasn’t held up in the same light. And it made me feel very conflicted.
What I believe is that a lot of guys feel that they can say things like that, because, without even noticing it themselves, they feel that they could make me change small things about my appearance to suit them. Not because they’re douchebags, because they honestly weren’t (well.. sometimes), but because they’ve been told that what they thinks is important. That I would WANT to change my appearance because they pointed out it made me look like a boy.
Not because they were interested in me.
Not because they wanted to date me.
Not because they wanted to have some sort of ownership over me.
But because, somewhere inside they felt as if they were doing me a favour in telling me that. They believe that girls change their appearance because they want to attract guys.
Newsflash, that’s not it. That’s not true. That’s never been true.
Can we stop believing that it is?
If I ever have children, and they grow up to be like I was under my teenage years. I’ll have such a good time watching them snicker while we watch movies/tv-series as they ship things in their mind, and they won’t think I can see it.
will i be able to.