New feature: Self harm

// 3 July 2008

Self harm isn’t always about cutting, says Nino. Too many girls and women are holding themselves back from fully living

Self harm doesn’t just mean cutting open your arms and pouring boiling water on them. It ranges from starving yourself, to giving birth, to ridiculous beauty treatments and tolerating abusive, unappreciative partners. Lifting weights and getting in fights as the stereotypical male does, aren’t actually particularly hardcore or challenging compared to the amount of physical and emotional pain we as females opt to put ourselves through. It’s so much easier to be hit by someone else than it is to hit yourself. But attacking and judging ourselves are an everyday focus for women and girls worldwide. Only when we get too skinny are we seen as really harming ourselves. Or our arms get too scarred. Or we jump in front of train. Or swallow a bunch of pills. But, in reality, it seems to have become perfectly acceptable, and indeed a given part of being a woman, to harm ourselves on a daily basis without anyone really giving a shit.

Somehow society has drilled it into us that this is completely fine. Because in fact, we deserve all the pain. It’s the Eve theory all over again. The lass who apparently brought sin into the world, and encouraged man to do the same. This justification is completely unreasonable. It’s like saying that because George Bush kills so many innocent people and talks so much crap, all Americans are to blame. We should punish them. Or Islampphobia – because a few idiots make up their own interpretations and decide to go on a killing spree, all the Muslims should suffer. These are views held by some people, but challenged by many. Yet when it comes to this Eve bullshit, nobody questions the fact that this misplacement of blame is just that. Bullshit. Women might argue, but we generally accept that we deserve to be persecuted, because it’s an idea a male-driven society has drilled into us.

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