Lookism and #MeToo

Discussion in 'Fat in the Media' started by Cynthia, Oct 17, 2017.

  1. Oct 17, 2017 #1

    Cynthia

    Cynthia

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    Every time that I see "Me, too" from a friend on a Facebook feed, I feel increasingly uncomfortable. It's not about the experiences behind the phrase. It's about the movement itself -- the vagueness, the lack of concrete objectives, and the sense that, yet again, society has found another quiet way to separate the "pretty" from the "plain." Yes, I know that any woman can be subjected to sexual harassment, regardless of how others perceive her looks. And, while I have legitimate reason to join in, I refuse to participate. As a fat woman, what would my voice mean in that "Me, too" chorus? Would I be an outlier, one of the improbable victims who demonstrate that anyone, even fat people :eek:, can be groped or assaulted?

    I can't help wondering why women feel compelled to participate. Yes, I know the prepared answer -- so that we can know how pervasive the problem is. (THEN what?) Here's my awkward thought: Is it also a veiled way to post one's badge of "desirability"? Okay, I put it out there. We're essentially primates, after all. I'm asking myself these politically incorrect questions as I ponder the response to Mayim Bialik's NYT op-ed. Her perspective struck a chord, and it saddens me to see how she's been vilified for stating her truth. What are your feelings about the "Me, too" movement?
     
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  2. Oct 17, 2017 #2

    wrestlingguy

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    The unfortunate thing is that men who either HAVE engaged in sexual assault or know other men who have done the same won't ever have a hashtag to designate how pervasive it is from the male side.

    In fact, there are men using the woman who came forward to accuse Nelly of sexual assault to make jokes. See the tweet from comedian Michael Blackson (since deleted after lots of women, and some men called him out on it.......see below)

    I've also seen this turned into a political debate (by men of course) who are talking about Bill Clinton being a sexual predator, and others using this time to also condemn Trump for being the same. What's lost in this "dialogue" is that sexual abuse is not a political issue at all. It's a social issue, and all of the legislation we can generate won't stop it. It has to come from within society with the understanding that it's wrong.

    It also has to have men advocating for change. While women are more than capable today of recognizing the issue and calling out men who engage in these activities, it's important that men also call out bad behavior and language that attempts to normalize rape or sexual abuse. Whether it's "locker room talk", or discussion of what you did with your wife, fiancee', girlfriend or mistress, that discussion is wrong, and other men need to be public about calling that kind of talk wrong. It needs to recognized by men both on social media and in real life if there's any chance of ending this for good.

    Blackson.jpg
     
  3. Oct 17, 2017 #3

    FatAndProud

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    Prime example as to why social media is dumbing down/desensitizing our society. I use FB, but only to talk to friends.

    I don't allow negativity in my life :) I don't watch T.V. I don't read terrible news. I don't associate with negative people. It makes for a "lonely" existence, but I'd rather be happy with myself :) I'm rather content in my little, weird bubble of eccentricities.
     
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  4. Oct 17, 2017 #4

    LoveBHMS

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    Do you seriously believe that sexual harassment has anything to do with being attractive? I literally had to read your post twice because I thought "There's no way at all she thinks that #metoo is about women boasting about their looks." I mean you actually believe women are bragging about being victims????? That's ridiculous. Nobody is like humblebragging "Oh yeah....i mean I'm just so beautiful Harvey Weinstein just couldn't help but threaten me."
     
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  5. Oct 17, 2017 #5

    agouderia

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    Cynthia - I would like to offer a contrarian opinion on this.

    While I am with you regarding the overall meaningfulness of social media campaigns, their framing and effectiveness - imo the #MeToo's main aim is to simply raise awareness of how pervasive all forms of sexual harassment of women are.

    And in that line, I actually think it is important that as many fat women as possible participate. If I look at my circle of friends who are contributing, those are all normal working moms, mid-career professional women of varying sizes and appearances. An appeal like this should not be left to the narcissist-selfie generation of instragram pretty girls - but it should be made clear that literally all women, no matter which size, age, level of attractiveness according to any standard and position can be affected.
     
  6. Oct 17, 2017 #6

    Tad

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    I would think that part of the effectiveness of this is to drive home that it is not just "yes sexual assault is a real problem and many (abstract) women (somewhere) are affected" but rather "the women around me, here, now, in m life, are affected.”

    To that end I would think that, as Agouderia said, the more and more diverse voices, the better.
     
  7. Oct 17, 2017 #7

    StrugglingWriter

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    I agree with your observation about the lack of specificity of the campaign, and most of these campaigns in general. ("Save our girls! Post on facebook!") Some of the people I've seen post re pretty thin-skinned, and I can imagine if they've been looked at wrong or simply asked out with some degree of persistence might construe that as harassment. I certainly don't know that, but then that's the point: without details it's just a couple of words. I'm a dude and I've been harassed. OK, as you say, so what now?
     
  8. Oct 17, 2017 #8

    Blackjack

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    This is absolutely a way to show off one's "desirability", as is demonstrated by those stories shared by women (and men) who were sexually abused and harassed as children. They really just wanted to make it clear that they were actually that hot at nine years of age that their teacher wanted them to sit on his lap.

    It's also very clear that these women have thin skin, since they consider themselves as having been "harassed" after they tell someone they're not interested and the guy continues to discuss the sex they'd like to have with that woman- either in a situation where she can't leave the conversation, or by making an endless stream of alternate accounts on websites to contact her.

    Silly broads. :rolleyes:
     
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  9. Oct 17, 2017 #9

    StrugglingWriter

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    Well, you certainly made my point for me. In each of your sarcastic criticisms you had to supply the details to transform your statement into a derisive comment. Not everything is being piddled at the age of 9 or being propositioned for sex. Sometimes you're a teen who has an awkward teen asking you out too much, or you're on a website and people get outraged by a certain topic in a thread you subscribe to. Which is why lumping it all together and calling it harassment without details or context is probably counterproductive. :doh:
     
  10. Oct 18, 2017 #10

    Cobra Verde

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    I've seen this sentiment before and I don't really get it. Awareness obviously isn't everything and at times it can literally seem like "the least you can do" but when the alternative is the deafening silence that typically greets sexual harassment/assault, is awareness of the problem not a noble enough goal on its own even if there isn't an obvious Step 2 planned? It might not solve anything on the surface but there's always the chance it could lead to something greater. For example....


    I can't help but notice that of the 2 Weinstein exposes the one where women were able to publicly accuse that animal of rape, rather than "mere" sexual harassment, was written by Ronan Farrow. Could be a total coincidence but less than a year after he repeatedly accused his powerful father of molesting his sister he was able to get rape victims to trust him enough to come forward. Almost as if there's a tangible benefit to men being willing to speak up about sexual abuse towards women.


    I'm still haunted by the thought that I wasn't hot enough as a kid to be a target for predators. I mean, come on...

    [​IMG]
     
  11. Oct 18, 2017 #11

    Cynthia

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    I appreciate those of you who read my comments without judgment and calmly countered my argument if you disagreed.

    LoveBHMS, did you bother to read my post creatively or did you just automatically fly into knee-jerk feminist rage? I never claimed that every woman is wearing the hashtag as a badge. Do I think that some might? Yes, I do. And if you could pull yourself away from 30-year-old Gender Studies 101 textbooks, you might find that perceived attractiveness can affect perpetrators' choices and lookism does affect how victims and perps are treated in the legal justice system. Put down your pitchfork and open your friggin' mind.
     
  12. Oct 18, 2017 #12

    Ned Sonntag

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    I'm going to do a second edit and maybe PM you on this sometime. Looks like you and LovesBHMs have both been onboard for a dozen years so...
     
  13. Oct 18, 2017 #13

    Ned Sonntag

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    Yeah *raises hand* it's more about perceived-power amongst one's peers. Trump and Weinstein happen to be in Show Biz, so that why conventional 'attractiveness' is a big deal with them, but power-dynamics and sexual violence covers a lot more ground in our 'society' such-as-it-is...
     
  14. Oct 18, 2017 #14

    LoveBHMS

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    This is why I've stopped posting on Dims.

    Enjoy your safe spaces, trigger warnings, and believe that you're being SHAMED because someone buys a can of diet soda.
     
  15. Oct 18, 2017 #15

    Ned Sonntag

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    This place wouldn't exist without an Antarctica worth o' special snowflakes;)
     
  16. Oct 18, 2017 #16

    Tad

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    Honestly I have no clue how the contents of this discussion relate to your last sentence :confused: And I would honestly like to better understand. (I don't expect to change your mind, but what is bothering you is likely bothering others, but I'm not understanding exactly what is going on here)
     
  17. Oct 18, 2017 #17

    LoveBHMS

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    The OP is equating sexual harassment with lookism and actually suggests that #metoo is bragging. She even hints that she has been harassed herself but won't participate. In her second post she acts as if I'm a knee jerk first wave feminist that actually believes sexual harassment is about power. She goes on to say it's been proven that outward physical appearance affects how victims are treated. My best guess is she means fat women are not taken seriously when they complain because judges or police officers or the media don't believe anyone would harass or rape them.

    What's unfortunate is her refusal to participate actually hurts the cause. If the general public sees that anyone can be a victim, they learn it's about a power trip and not sexual desire.
     
  18. Oct 19, 2017 #18

    waldo

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    So let's say that all the women who at least one time in their lives 'perceived' they 'might' have been sexually harassed, post this sheep-like #metoo thing on social media. It wouldn't accomplish a damn thing! If everyone is a cklaimed 'victim' then all you are doing is devaluing the experiences of the REAL victims of serious sexual assault and perpetuating this myth of the 'war on women / rape culture' that is driving men away from relationships in droves. And whatever transgressions that occur can be due to power trip OR sexual desire OR a combination of the two, depending on the situation.

    BTW, my wife mentioned that some of the most obnoxious sexual harassment she ever received was from lesbians on more than one occasion when she used to hang with her gay friends back in her younger days. So you see, men are not the only ones who can be 'predators'.
     
  19. Oct 19, 2017 #19

    LoveBHMS

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    I have not seen a single suggestion anywhere that only men are predators.
     
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  20. Oct 20, 2017 #20

    Tracii

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    I hate a lot of what I see on facebook.
    Thats why I don't participate is anything like that.
    Basically its all high school stupidity performed by adults.
     

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