“womanhood” – mini-rant

We don’t get cable at my house, but we do get a few channels off the antennae; most of which are french. As such, I’m often watching something I don’t really want to watch. Today, for example, I sat down to my mac-and-cheese lunch (eaten out of the pot, of course) and watched that bitch* Martha Stewart cook something amazing in under twenty minutes.

After Martha Stewart, there was this new talk show called Steven and Chris. Steven and Chris are very obviously gay, and their show (which I’ve seen a couple of times before) centers on classic stereotypical gay/female topics such as interior decorating, hot new fashion trends (gag) and fitness.

Today, they were discussing the findings of a recent survey where women were asked what they would do to lose weight. Some reported that they would shave their head to lose 15 lbs, and others would go so far as to spend a week in jail. Still others would be willing to have a 6th toe or lose ten years off their life. These findings are repugnant, but it’s not what this rant is about. This rant is about how Steven and Chris talked emphatically about these findings and discussed where they fit in with the findings as if they were women.

Straight women and gay men share two things: sexual attraction to men, and (only in some cases) identification with traditionally feminine gendered stereotypes. That being said, being sexually attracted to men and identifying with traditionally feminine stereotypes A WOMAN DOES NOT MAKE. I’m not trying to lynch these guys for their gender identification, or the fact that they are successfully hosting a show aimed at a predominantly straight female demographic. I’m more irked at how I’m seeing womanhood conceptualized lately.

Recently, someone close to me revealed that they were seriously considering getting breast implants. She had lost most of her breast size due to having children. When I expressed my concern as gently and un-judgmentally I could, she confessed that she didn’t “feel like a woman” any longer… despite the fact that she has kids! To me, the ability to give birth is among the most fundamental aspects of womanhood! Not to say those who are unable/unwilling to procreate are not true women. I count myself among this group. The point is that if woman is defined in opposition to man (which is almost always is), that’s the biological difference. That’s it. I’d much rather see womanhood reduced to biological difference than sexual orientation toward men, or obsession with losing weight.

*- I love Martha. She’s still a bitch.

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