This following article is a little different from my recent works, I delve further into the issues of the aesthetics and how I feel about modern Feminists. I’m not against make-up or shaving my legs, I simply feel like this greater truth needs to stand out there like a sore thumb until people realize this, as I have come to.
Whenever I look around, at all the faces and busy people, with their busy lives and white picket fences, I know. I know that deception is the blood and bread of our society; I also know that many are aware; we are knowing that it is necessary for the ebb and flow between fluid bodies and the trivial dance between each and every individual that lives and breeds off this planet. I know that deception is essential, crucial to the sanity to which we owe our madness. In an article in the Chicago Tribune by Jon Van, this greater truth is expressed and attributed to features of human nature. These features that placate the truths of our souls to simple whimpers of polite and distant smiles that fail to convey what we really want to express. This is especially in the case of wom*n and the feminist agenda.
Maybe it is created through the years of oppression, or the blatant disregard for the agenda itself today, but the backlash against the feminist initiative in younger generations is nothing short of upsetting. I watch my younger sister, worry and cry over trivial things like how her hair is positioned and the way her facade is created through the careful application of beauty products that aim to truly conceal our inner beauty. I myself am responsible for my own subjugation, sponging thick and oozing foundation to cover the multitude of imperfections on my face. I am stuck in a constant paradox, trapped between what I expect of myself as a wom*n and what I wish to convey on the spectrum of societal expectation. Every day I lather my skin and line my eyes with black kohl, I am presenting a perfected and edited version of who I am as a person, I am lying to those around me, I am deceiving myself.
Are we truly condemned to only achieving things once we ‘unsex’ ourselves and become synonymous with the male persuasion? Even those of the strongest persuasion, female figures expressed through the multitudes of history and spanning across popular culture and change have been subject to the unknowing propagation of their own subjugation. Strong and independent wom*n like Oprah Winfrey, Julia Gillard, Lady Gaga and Joan of Arc all propagated their roles on an engendered scale, expressing and coming into contact with aspects of femininity that defined who they are as people and what kind of lives each wom*n experienced.
All the above wom*n are examples, Oprah Winfrey, Julia Gillard; women of power, who despite their positions and responsibilities were still subject to the trivial baubles and powdered appearances that defined how well they could complete their tasks. Lady Gaga is a large propagation of ‘hyper-femininity’ and the implications of staying relevant and notable as a wom*n by using her ‘feminine-attributes’ to shock her way to the top of the popular culture food chain. As an upper-middle class, non-practicing Christian, my patron saint was St. Joan of Arc and as a child, her ideals of becoming ‘one-of-the-boys’ strongly appealed to me. Her commitment to making change was so impressionable that I modelled myself on her appearance, only now I understand the gendered significance of what she executed by taking on the appearance of a male.
At a young age, I understood that in order to make a difference a wom*n had to deny everything she was defined by and take on the attributes that defined a ‘strong’ and ‘impressionable’ character. Even in the recent interview conducted by the ABC, Julia Gillard, herself expressed the need to exercise deception in the way she comported herself as a powerful and strong woman, despite feeling the need to express herself in a completely different way. At one point one of the most powerful wom*n in the country, deceived the nation because the truth would unveil the institutional weakness that wom*n all fell victim to… the absolutely ridiculous notion, that we might behave as the stereotyped and typical wom*n that misogynists and chauvinistic pigs pigeonhole us to be.
This problem trickles through the system, ingraining itself in the generations of young wom*n that look to the lessons of experience that other women can provide them with and this is all that we can offer. We can offer them solstice, that you can make change, but you have to be ‘One of the boys’, you have to be ‘strong’ and ‘impressionable’. ‘Crying is for girls’ and ‘girls’ can’t run a country, because we are ‘too emotional’ and we believe them, that invisible force that tries to quash our attempts to leave the gender penitentiary.
I am not a ‘man-hater’ or a ‘rabid-feminist’, I see a need and I have the will to convey the discrepancies that undermine us. I know deception can never really be eradicated because it is the lifeblood of our existences, it allows us to function as a somewhat civil society within the parameters of our ‘human nature’, I also, however, know that change must begin within ourselves, to change the need to deceive others by presenting perfect versions of ourselves and escape the paradox that keeps us sedated and placated. We are waking up and we are aware, we are passionate and will fight, for the right to govern ourselves and the way in which we express who we are to those who try and keep us down.