Today, I attended a lecture on ‘Puberty and its Effects on Eating Disorders’

This deviates quite a lot from my last post, but I’ve realized I need to stop posting my blog-style journal posts on my Facebook page and start posting them here. I literally created this site for that purpose. So here goes:

Today I attended a lecture on puberty and its affects on eating disorders.

There were a total of 9 people in the room, 8 of whom were women.

A few of the female students began to speak upon how women’s sexual health is regarded as ‘disgusting’ in the American society.

The professor leading the lecture responded as thus: “Why is it that people find women’s bodies, especially in regards to aspects such as the menstrual cycle, ‘disgusting’?”

I immediately had an answer but /no one else/ did. One of them started to say something but was unable to finish her sentence. Everyone else just shifted in their seats, clearly confused, and maybe even uncomfortable.

So I ended up answering: “Because of the sexualization and fetishization of women’s bodies.” The image of women must remain pure and clean, yet be available as a sexual commodity for the male consumption. It is the same reasoning behind how people find women breastfeeding in public uncomfortable, yet do not bat an eye at pictures of female lingerie models or nude portraits of women. Sexism manifests itself in so many ways so prevalently, that it has rendered people incapable of recognizing it as such when they encounter it.

And this, incidents like these, show why we need feminism, and more education on societal gender dynamics, and more discourses about gender relations, and recognition of the damaging aspects of societal construction of gender norms.

IT SHOULDN’T BE SHOCKING FOR WOMEN TO TALK ABOUT THEIR PERIODS IN THE PUBLIC SPHERE. IT SHOULDN’T BE INAPPROPRIATE FOR WOMEN TO BREASTFEED IN PUBLIC. THE FEMALE BODY IS NOT A SEXUAL COMMODITY DESIGNED FOR THE MALE GAZE AND CONSUMPTION.

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