Monthly Archives: December 2015

The Male Gaze

Of course the Male Gaze (please give a few bucks to wikipedia–you know you use it) has been written about so very much. Google it, you’ll see.

the male gaze

Alas, the Male Gaze is as ubiquitous as rain in the northwest. So common that it’s easy to be desensitized to it. Is the male gaze getting some badly needed editing? Hope so.

The Male Gaze is about ownership, ownership expressed in objectification. I never really understood it quite so clearly as I understand it now.

The other night I was out with a friend, a guy I admire and like a lot and with whom I spar easily. He says to me, “You know I work out with a young woman, I like her a lot, but she wears a hoodie sort of like the one you’re wearing the whole time she’s working out.”

He pauses and takes a bite of pizza. Chewing he says, “I mean, it always seems like she’s hiding something. She’s got this bulky hoodie on and what is she hiding? She’s got a pretty nice body, after all.”

I was speechless. Not shocked or insulted or any of that, just…well, where to begin?

His whole perspective was about how her body was something for him to enjoy. That her workout wasn’t her workout, it was his in a way. That her body, her body! wasn’t even hers, it was somehow there to please him, to bring him pleasure.

Bless his heart, I love Larry. I do. We had a session, of course, but he checked his texts a couple of times while I suggested that possibly she felt better in a hoodie because of guys like him, and I could practically see the whole thing whizzing past him. Next time he went to the gym, I’m certain he would be less than pleased if she wore what she wanted, what she felt comfortable in.

After all, she’s got a pretty nice body.

PS: Keating’s mother in How to Get Away with Murder, brilliantly show-stoppingly good acting by Cicely Tyson, sums it up nicely,  “Men were put on this planet to take things. They take your money, they take your land, they take a woman, and any other thing they can put their grabby hands on.” Or their gaze.

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Great vid from Huff post

I’m in a cafe downtown, a guy passes by and I think: Why don’t you smile more often, you’re so pretty when you smile.

You might also like: 80 Years of Subtle Sexism. Things guys never hear… so good.

I feel pretty
Oh so pretty
I feel pretty and witty and gay
And I pity
Any girl who isn’t me today
I feel charming
Oh so charming
It’s alarming how charming I feel

 

 

 

 

Seriously?

Long time no see. It’s not as if there’s nothing to write about. The completely not surprising news about the environment is that climate change is happening faster than most predicted, while evolution among republicans in our country is slower, much slower than anyone could have imagined. In fact, they seem to be going backwards. Still, I ride my bike whenever and wherever possible, still avoid my car if possible (still have the same car.), still garden and raise bees without pasticides, still like rock n’ roll turned up loud and danceable.

Anyway, I’m mulling a new year-long series. It’s called “Now that I’m invisible,” and would maybe chronicle the many, many benefits of being an older woman in our culture. And there are. Benefits, I mean.

Boomers aren’t exactly invisible. They never haven been and aren’t starting now, so I’m not suggesting that as a Boomer, I’m invisible, alas. I will likely draw my last breath being excrutiatingly aware that I’m part of a demographic without which there would have been no summer of love or Beatles or even Sally, the most excellent daughter of Don Draper. But mine is also a demographic that is loud, demanding, usually pissed off, self-absorbed and huge.

mad_men_sally_draper

Sally Draper, just getting started.

What most  people are unconscious about is that there are a billion ways in which women in the world across all generations are never invisible. They are instead objects to be controlled or even owned. Walking down the street, eating a meal, just minding their own business? Not invisible. Not possible. But for a while now, I’ve been feeling a certain Je ne sais pas…lightness? Freedom?  Something along those lines. I can pass…I’m an older woman, inconsequential and therefore…invisible. And dude?  I like it.

This is weird, right?

So, I may do this. It would be a way to chronicle this issue, from way back and everything engrained in me to this new freedom and how it manifests. It’s a curious subject. Curiouser and curiouser.