Honk your horn if you love Ashley Judd’s message

// 10 April 2012

Ashley_Judd_podium.jpg

If you’ve been asleep or your only feminist readings are through the F-word, you may have notice some feminista loving to Ashley Judd through her article basically scraping her critics across coals at The Daily Beast. Her critics have been complaining that Judd’s face has been too puffy and for some reason felt it was within their own entitled privilege to knock her down. She addresses them in a beautiful five point essay breaking down each type of critic carefully educating people about feminism and why their points of attack are completely moot.

However, I’m not just here to send you over to the Daily Beast (cause you really should read it yourself). I would like to praise on two particular points.

1) She identifies a tool to combat self-criticism.

I do not want to give my power, my self-esteem, or my autonomy, to any person, place, or thing outside myself. I thus abstain from all media about myself. The only thing that matters is how I feel about myself, my personal integrity, and my relationship with my Creator. Of course, it’s wonderful to be held in esteem and fond regard by family, friends, and community, but a central part of my spiritual practice is letting go of otheration. And casting one’s lot with the public is dangerous and self-destructive, and I value myself too much to do that.

Maybe some of you don’t have this problem of self-esteem, but I definitely do. It’s extremely helpful to see how another woman combats her self-criticism and where she draws her boundaries. I believe we need more women discussing these types of tools.

2) She defines patriarchy as a system.

That women are joining in the ongoing disassembling of my appearance is salient. Patriarchy is not men. Patriarchy is a system in which both women and men participate. It privileges, inter alia, the interests of boys and men over the bodily integrity, autonomy, and dignity of girls and women. It is subtle, insidious, and never more dangerous than when women passionately deny that they themselves are engaging in it. This abnormal obsession with women’s faces and bodies has become so normal that we (I include myself at times–I absolutely fall for it still) have internalized patriarchy almost seamlessly. We are unable at times to identify ourselves as our own denigrating abusers, or as abusing other girls and women.

As I mentioned in a previous post, feminism is about identifying the system. It’s about identifying the winners and losers of the system, and then determining what formal/informal rules are reinforcing the system. Sexism is something both men and women participate. I am really glad Judd correctly identifies this and gives it the boot it deserves.

*Small vocabulary changes have been made after posting!

Comments From You

Shadow // Posted 11 April 2012 at 2:55 pm

Unfortunately Ashley Judd does not name the sex which benefits from patriarchal/male supremacist system instead she makes the spurious claim that men and boys are equally ridiculed and objectified.’

Really? I’ve yet to read malestream media articles subjecting well-known male celebrities/male actors to voyeuristic appraisals of their physical appearances. Has Ashley Judd not heard of the ‘male gaze’ and how this is used to maintain male domination and male control over all women and girls. ‘Male gaze’ means men are the supposedly default humans and we mere females must constantly monitor our physical appearances to ensure we meet men’s pseudo standards of what constitutes the mythical ideal female form. Forget about the female mind because we supposedly do not have one according to malestream media.

But sadly Ashley Judd is frightened of naming which sex benefits from the patriarchal/male supremacist systema and why this system was created by men for the benefit of men as a group. Instead we have a ‘system’ which supposedly targets women and men equally – how convenient because once again male accountability is being invisibilised and instead it is something nameless and invisible which is oppressing women and men equally! So perhaps it was martians who created this patriarchal/male supremacist and not men!

Naming the problem is central but only naming one aspect is not feminist. If we cannot name how and why men are the ones clinging tightly to their unearned socio-economic power then we cannot possibly begin the laborious task of calling men out on their misogynsitic beliefs; challenging and eventually eliminating the Male Supremacist System. But that would mean men having their unearned socio-economic power taken away from then and men never relinquish their power without a long and bitter struggle. That is why so many feminists are too frightened to name men as the problem and why men were/are the ones maintaining the male supremacist/patriarchal system. Mustn’t upset the menz must we??

lil1 // Posted 11 April 2012 at 11:06 pm

It is a a system in which both women and men participate, but the essential difference has always been that men perpetrate, and woman internalise/perpetuate.

This does not mean that men *always* realise what they’re doing when they engage in reductive or denigrating behaviours but, usually, they knowingly do so, and aren’t completely unaware of the type of power of subordination they are gleaning from it – whereas women are grasping back that power that isn’t one of anyone’s subordination other than their own – power that has been taken from them by, essentially, men.

My mind wanders at just how much could be done if many more women in the public eye were to confront these issues now, at the same time, as Judd has just done. Imagine if a few high profile women put together their clout and demanded, say, far tougher action on gendered internet hatespeech or, woefully misleading and innacurate journalism that had led to people receiving death threats or compromised their everyday life in some way.

I swear women have no clue how powerful they really are.

IronFly // Posted 11 April 2012 at 11:30 pm

I love the comment by lil1, f-ck yes, practical action!

“My mind wanders at just how much could be done if many more women in the public eye were to confront these issues now, at the same time, as Judd has just done. Imagine if a few high profile women put together their clout and demanded, say, far tougher action on gendered internet hatespeech or, woefully misleading and innacurate journalism that had led to people receiving death threats or compromised their everyday life in some way.

I swear women have no clue how powerful they really are.”

We could start a revolution on that alone, I’m sure of it!

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