Feminism, Body Issues, and Sisterhood

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This post at “Morphing Into Mama” triggered this post at I Blame the Patriarchy, which inspired a lot of blogosphere conversation. Here is an excerpt:

“…according to this astonishing post, our Morphing Mama believes that if you gain a few pounds or cut your hair or in any way alter the physical appearance of your hot prenuptial self after you get hitched, you are guilty of”false advertising.”

Who might one construe as the consumer injured by this false advertising?

“Husband,”that’s who (that’s what the Morphing Mama calls the dude she married.”Husband.”).

Then the Morphing Mama drops the bomb that will cause the shitstorm that would eventually drive her to close comments on the post.

“Personally,”she writes,”I think it would be unfair to Husband if I gained a bunch of weight and did nothing about it.”his remarkable statement reflects our heroine’s capitulation to the patriarchal feminine hotness imperative. Whereas she sensibly repudiates the absurd notion that she should be”in love”with her brisket-shaped kid, she cannot bring herself to reject the authority of the Male Gaze. For instance, the photo in her sidebar, presumably of the author, depicts a young woman in delicious contrapposto with a stroller, gorgeous shampoo-commercial hair, and a really hot ass.

The Morphing Mama (or”MIM,”as she is known on the blog) married a guy to whom she attributes this speech:”‘You’re not going to chop of all your hair now that we’re married, are you?’ he asked nervously.”

MIM believes that before she got married, she”advertised”herself to this hair-fetishist as a commodity: a weight-specific brand of sexy conformity to patriarchal hotness standards. Furthermore, she thinks it would constitute an ethical lapse if she were to relax her white-knuckle grip on skinny long-haired femininity. In other words, it is her wifely duty to maintain her hotness.”Husband”signed up for hotness, remains a big fan of hotness, and, as a male in a patriarchy, is entirely entitled to hotness. To deprive this hotness consumer of hotness would be”unfair.”….

… The thing is, in a world where women are the sex class (by which I mean Planet Earth), even morphing mamas are expected to display themselves according to male standards of fuckability as defined by pornography, and those who fall short are subject not only to public censure and ridicule and fat jokes, but to the ultimate horror: not being hot enough for Husband.

Today Maia at Alas, A Blog surveyed the terrain, and wrote a really interesting overview of the debate. It is well worth reading, as are Morphing Mama’s own reactions.

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