Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Follow up: Braumberg “Body Projects”, Steinem “Sex, Lies and Advertising”, and Boston Women’s Health Book Collective “Our Bodies, Ourselves”

American society does not handle women’s health well. Since the beginning of America, women’s health has suffered. In “Our Bodies, Ourselves” they discuss similar topics to Fausto-Sterling. The understanding the female body is far from finished. There are many things that are still unknown about how the female body works, especially menstruation. Menstruation still has a negative connotation with it, just as it did over a hundred years ago. What is so scary about women having their periods?
In “Body Projects” and “Sex, Lies and Advertising” the issue of women’s health is continued. These two articles focus more on how women go about changing their body to fit a certain image. Braumberg gives the example of Yvonne Blue who goes through what many women do too: dieting. The idea of slim being beautiful is relatively new historically, but it is very strong. Women spend millions every year on the diet industry. The search for the perfect body takes time and money. She also talks about how dieting is only part of how women want to change themselves. Bras and piercings are examples of women trying to change themselves, all in that search of being beautiful.
Something that really grabbed my attention was Steinem’s question in the beginning of her article. She asked what would people think of us years from now? I imagine that most people will think what we do today is disgusting, but I might be wrong. Most people today view corsets as horrible, yet today we literally have hundreds of different versions of the corset for sale. So perhaps in the future women will be doing something even more drastic than what women do today. This is really sad, why is self-confidence so hard to have? I have to think that yes, we can do better than this.
I just wanted to include a clip that was sent to me on women in the military. It is a joke, but I think it says a lot about our society today. It is: http://www.theonion.com/video/army-program-pairs-female-soldiers-with-male-chape,18978/

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