Women may wear their hair short because it’s chic or easy to care for. And some guys favor long, sexy locks, a la Andrea Agassi — before he went bald.
But some women cut it short to express a more masculine sense of themselves. Just as some men — cross-dressers — don girlish wigs to bring out their feminine side.
So hair holds symbolic meaning: Long is feminine; it’s for girls. Short is masculine; it’s for boys.
Repression is not what you might think it is. I recently wrote:
A lot of us think it’s about working to suppress sexual desire. And while the early stages can be at least partly conscious, after a while you’re not actively blocking anything. You’ve simply lost sexual feelings and energy. Plus, plenty of punishing messages targeted at women’s desire get internalized. And sex is too often used as a weapon. Read the rest of this entry
Why would someone feel so threatened by a poster asking to respect women and treat them with basic human dignity that they try to tear it down and write degrading comments on it?
That’s what one of my friends’ daughters wondered.
Amber had been walking downtown with her two kids when they saw this poster from a distance, proclaiming: Read the rest of this entry
Ariel was the first Disney Princess to be touched by feminism. And she is plenty different from her predecessors — good girls who never rocked the boat, and who all needed saving by their Prince Charmings.
In Ariel we find a young woman with a strong sense of self who seeks independence and empowerment.
But she reflects the early tensions of our feminist beginnings. Read the rest of this entry
Men act and women appear. Men look at women. Women watch themselves being looked at.
That’s what art critic John Berger famously observed.
But some feminist artists have turned the tables in the exhibit, Man as Object: Reversing the Gaze:
With a gallery filled with men stripped naked this body of work exposes women’s cheeky, provocative and sometimes shocking commentaries on the opposite sex (which) may make the viewer squirm a little. But that is precisely the point.
You’ve probably seen this anti-street harassment video:
It’s part of Hollaback’s ongoing work to empower women by boosting empathy, understanding and change.
But the video has been called racist for over representing men of color.
Less so than girls — who are more strongly judged by their appearance. But they do care.
And no wonder, since looks are one way to gain sex, status and self-esteem. (So no surprise that Casanovas — who want A LOT of sex partners — are especially body-conscious.)
But it’s complicated. Read the rest of this entry
Just knowing that someone likes us spurs attraction to them.
In one experiment a young woman acted interested in men via eye contact, leaning toward them, and listening attentively. Afterward, the men said they liked her very much.
In fact, “liking” — or not — can be a self-fulfilling prophecy.