Lots of interesting stuff is popping up as Miss Representation’s Facebook status. Readers of my blog will know why I like most of them. And also why I dislike some of them. I’m all for power to women – but ladies, with power comes responsibility. Here today’s example of what I mean: An article on “Slut Dropping” written by a “Independent” journalist. She tells us about the terrible practice at UK colleges where boys pick up slutty dressed girls at early hours of the morning and instead of bringing them home (as promised), they drop them at the other side of town. Yes, we all agree this is a terrible practice and women should be respected and treated nicely. But then. Have you seen what girls wear when they go out? God knows I’m a very open minded person. I was naked on the cover of my first book (called “From Barbie to Vibrator”)! And now I live in LA. And get to see a lot. Of skin. And other stuff.
Young women I see in the USA and in Croatia (and I can proudly say, only in very small numbers and in certain clubs in Austria) wear dresses that hardly cover their intimate areas, that are so tight that they look they might burst in any second, with cleavage revealing more than hiding. And let’s not go to what is happening beneath the dress. I remember an article in British Vogue about a journalist’s daughter age 15, asking her mom for the money for a Brazilian “because everybody does it”. The shoes are extremely high and involve wedges which, until couple of years ago, were only seen in strip clubs. They are impossible to walk in so the girls take them off and wonder around barefoot, carrying their shoes in their hands. Yes, they wonder around like a tired hookers, drunk, barefoot, hands cuffed with her shoes, not able to run or defend themselves (poor things are barefoot and wearing a dresses they can’t move in).
Women protest for their right to wear what they want they go on “SlutWalk”s. But they are mixing what we want and what men want. Women don’t want to wear unexisting dresses, painful shoes and have hair pulled from their vaginas. (There are so-called feminists who claim they have Brazilians because they like it. They’re lying.). They do that because men like it. And here comes the thin line between power and slavery.
There is freedom and self respect. And there’s the opposite: Slavery to trends, slavery to sexual attractiveness - and absolute lack of any self-respect. As women took off their corsets hundred (and something) years ago, and burned their bras 60 years ago, they did not fight for the right to be naked and please men. In contrary – they fought for the right to be comfortable, not to slave to established canons of beauty, and to be free to become equal participants in the society. They fought for the right to move! In early nineties, we thought we were developing this freedom further as we fought for our right for stilettos and female sexuality. Well, the fight ran out of control and instead of becoming powerful queens in control of our own – and even more importantly: of male (!) – sexuality, women have turned into pleasers of male lust. The message those young girls send out is simply wrong. It is not “I’m free to wear this”. It is “I’m here to please you.” Feeling forced (“everyone does it!”) to please and to sexually attract is everything but being free. It is not a weapon. Especially when you’re 15. When you are young, you are simply not in the position to call this message powerful. Or emancipated. It takes a lot of experience and strength for a woman to use her sexuality as a weapon - and avoid self-destruction. We need to teach girls this. We also need to teach them that if you happen to be out at early hours of the morning (especially if dressed “freely”) – you take a cab home.
We can’t expect men to respect us if we don’t respect ourselves. Maybe this is what Alice Schwarzer meant when she said “You can’t be a feminist in high heels.” I hated her for that statement. I believe you can. But it depends what those heels look like. And who’s wearing them.