Ugly, Fat, Hairy Feminists

The reason most feminists are ugly, fat, and hairy is that most feminists are old.  That is, over forty.

And there are two good reasons for this.  The first is that most living feminists became feminists in the 70s when it was ‘in the air’ and, therefore, easier to be convinced that women are subordinated in our society.  That means they were at least in their late teens in the 70s, which means they’re around fifty or sixty now.

The second reason is that too often it takes until you’re forty to figure it out.   Women in their late teens, their twenties, and thirties seem to have it good.  They get married.  Let’s say that means love, a house, and a pension plan.   At forty, you get traded in for a younger model.  Good-bye to all that.

They have kids.  Let’s say that means happiness and fulfillment.  At forty, they’re treated with contempt by their teenagers, dismissed as naïve and incompetent.  So much for happiness and fulfillment.

They get interviews; they get jobs.   At forty, rather suddenly, it hits you: you’re still in the same job, whereas so many of the men around you, even the younger men, have been promoted past you.

So all of this is to say that in your late teens, your twenties, and your thirties, you (seem to) get taken seriously.  Sexism?  The patriarchy?  What are you talking about?  But at forty, you stop being taken seriously.  You become invisible.  No matter what you do.  No one hears you.  No matter what you say.

And you suddenly realize that the only reason you were ever taken seriously was that you were fuckable.  Any attention paid to you was pretense.  In service to the possibility.  You realize that you’ve been sexualized.  Your whole life.  Whatever you were had female affixed to it.  Prefixed to it. You suddenly see the sexism you’ve been swimming in your whole life.

And, so, you realize you’ve been subordinated your whole life.  Because female means lesser.

And so you become a feminist.

Of course, there’s nothing about being over forty that makes you suddenly ugly, hairy, and fat.  It’s being a feminist that makes you so.  It’s being a feminist that makes you realize that it’s against your best interests to accept societal standards about beauty—to volumize and style and colour this hair, while simultaneously shaving and waxing and plucking that hair; to redden your lips and your cheeks; to eat less than you need.  Because those standards are set to attract the male gaze.  (Because, really, there’s nothing intrinsically ugly about our natural appearance, nor are we fat at our natural weight.)  Those standards keep us sexualized. (In fact, those standards are sexualized: beautiful means fuckable—which is in large part means young.)

And, so, subordinated.

Plus, quite simply, we have better things to do with our time.

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