You are going to die. That’s the fate of every single living thing. Except maybe those Time Lord jellyfish. But well, they’re jellyfish. I’m sure they lead full lives∞ of the jellyfish kind, and are fine with being jellyfish, because it’s not like they can get cable in the middle of the ocean so they can know what they’re missing. For example, they’re missing the upcoming US presidential election. And um… why can’t I be an immortal jellyfish? Why, God, why?
Anyway… Kathy Shaidle linked to this article in the Daily Mail about a woman who is shocked, yes shocked, to find out that her young, smooth, slender body has transformed into a less young, less smooth, less slender body over the years. The idea of the article is that aging is a horrible thing to happen to women, how unfair, waa waa waa.
Okay. Here’s the thing. I find the older woman much more attractive than the younger one. Maybe that’s just me, but I don’t find skin and bones to be sexy. Also, the younger girl is just too young. Maybe that inexperienced, untouched look turns some men and women on, but it just makes me skeevy. The older woman’s body looks lived in and experienced, like someone who has done things and thought things, some of them possibly interesting. And hell, I should look so good.
But. I am starting to be disturbed by what I have been seeing in some parts of the conservative/libertarian/rightwing internet recently: a resurgence in preoccupation with unrealistic and unhealthy standards of female beauty. It was fun to admire Condoleeza Rice and Sarah Palin’s good looks; it was less fun to read petty slams on Hillary Clinton for looking her age and wearing pants suits. That was then. Then I started reading various HBD and men’s rights websites, until I had to quit because I couldn’t see the text for all the hatred of any woman who dared not wear high heels and makeup any time she ventured out of doors, and worse, was over 20 and hadn’t joined an alpha male harem, and worst of all, dared to be overweight — and by “overweight” they meant “is not a stick with boobs and hair.”
What I really hate, though, is I’m starting to see women joining in. Crying because they aren’t young and skinny any more. Criticizing female political figures they don’t agree with by using their looks against them. I’m going to confess something: I love Hillary Clinton’s Dr. Evil outfit. All she has to do is get a dueling scar and be interviewed petting a white cat and she has my vote. (Why vote for the lesser evil indeed?) But from my supposed fellow rightwingers (who aren’t really my fellows these days, but you’re starting to figure that out, aren’t you?) all I saw were sneers and juvenile jibes. That’s worse than the pants suit thing.
I stopped calling myself a feminist because feminists had gotten so silly over the past few decades. The silliness culminated back in the late 80s, when women threw themselves under the bus for the right to none other than Hillary Clinton’s husband to sexually assault all the young female underlings he wanted, so long as he threw the ladies a couple of crumbs of power every now and then. As far as I was concerned feminism as a movement of any importance on planet Earth died when that woman, whose name I have mercifully erased from my memory, said she’d give Bill Clinton a blow job as long as legal abortion was safe.
Still, that doesn’t mean everything feminists said was wrong. They were right about a lot of things, and one of the things the were right about was that our society had unhealthy standards of beauty for women. It disturbs me to see that so many women in the 21st century still think that there is nothing wrong with saying that it would take them years to “recover” from seeing a photograph of their older nude body. That is wrong. I don’t care if it’s “honest.” Young women hearing this from older women will internalize the idea that older women are ugly, that they are only valuable when they are young and skinny. And young women who aren’t skinny (that is, don’t fit into the current sickly, borderline starving ideal of female beauty) have it even worse, because they’ll get the idea that they are already not valuable and they never will be. What is that I can’t even.
And don’t tell me men get treated the same way and have the same feelings of worthlessness when they’re old because it’s not true and you know it. Women have always had to bear the burden of knowing they’ll be considered useless and ugly when they are no longer young and smooth-skinned while men get told things like “older men look distiguished.” Don’t even lie to me and tell me it’s not so. Men won’t lift a finger to put a stop to it because why would they? They’re getting all the benefits of this system. It’s up to women to quit perpetuating it by playing the game. We can start by stopping — stop moaning about how ugly we are, stop crying over the waistline we had when we were young and stupid, stop agreeing with other women that growing old and even (gasp!) not ever finding a man and ending up living alone is the most horrible thing that could ever happen. I can think of a lot more horrible fates — like being young, pretty, and in a coffin.