Filed under: general jabbering, Hating | Tags: Feelings, old-fashioned chauvanism, relationships
i’ve read a number of articles and seen it mentioned on a few news networks that a lot of teenaged girls are not only “forgiving” Chris Brown for his “mistake,” but are actually siding with him, subscribing to the belief that Rihanna somehow deserved the beating she got. i don’t even know where to begin with this. i guess my first reaction is that, for most teenaged girls, their parents probably haven’t broached the subject of domestic or dating violence. these girls probably have little or no understanding of the psychology of both the abuser and the victim. that being said, American culture and media are probably where most teenaged girls are getting their ideas of what a romantic relationship should be like and where (and if) to draw the line when it comes to arguments and disrespect.
is American culture really that chauvanistic? is that chauvanism overt or subversive? and why is so many women’s tolerance of emotional and physical abuse rooted in the idea that society (and these women themselves) judge the value of a woman by whether or not she has a boyfriend?* (in this case i’m talking about both the women who are victims of that abuse and the women who rationalize or minimize it.)
very generally, it seems to me that American culture is abusing women by holding them up to unrealistic standards of beauty and reinforcing the idea that if a man doesn’t think you’re beautiful enough to date then you aren’t a worthwhile person. (twisted that it’s not based on a woman’s actual personality.) the point of all the circumlocution here is that American culture creates low self-esteem in women, and then exploits it. so my question is how do we get rid of that superficial evaluation of women and base it on her intelligence, class, personality and character?
and, finally, why are so many women so reluctant to assume agency in their own lives, to acknowledge the control they have over their lives and what they will and will not tolerate? sadly, i think i at least partly answered that question in the last paragraph: low self-esteem.
now, i’m sure my HLM with her women’s studies degree will follow this up and embarrass me with her knowledge and insight. so i say to her: do it!
*i use the term “boyfriend” in this question because male approval, affection and attention is the overarching cultural barometer, not my personal one. (i.e. gay men, too, but lesbians especially are judged by the opposite sex based on traditional societal attractiveness standards: weight, haircut, makeup, clothes, etc.) certainly, abuse takes place in homosexual relationships as well, and its tolerated by many people for the same reason: low self-esteem.
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