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Living your activism

April 12, 2009

Professor, What If…? posted an interesting article recently about the eradication of a culture of violence.

One place to begin the process of eradicating violence is within our own desires.

If as heterosexual women [we] desire violent, aggressive men, we are perpetuating violence.

While I am sure she is not implying that desiring a man who is aggressive excuses any violence on his part, I do think it’s important to ask how in our own desires, we are reinforcing cultural norms. The women over here at Happy Bodies are working to create a Wo(man)ifesto of how to live body positive. The value of living body positive is not just personal happiness (although I’m a big fan of that) it is also a political statement – a rejection of a culture of body shaming and sexual violence. 

What are the ways you have internalized cultural norms that glorify violence, create shame about our bodies and promote unequal valuations of bodies based on sex, race, sexuality and gender expression? How can we live our lives as a rejection of these norms?

(I’m still working on it.)

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One Comment leave one →
  1. Sara permalink
    April 14, 2009 1:05 AM

    I’m not sure how much I agree with Professor, What If’s analysis – yes, it would be great if we lived in a world where violence wasn’t sexualized, but I think saying that heterosexual women shouldn’t desire violence shames people for their desires, which (I believe) are largely uncontrollable.

    I do think it’s a good idea to analyze desires, though – do I actually desire this at face value, or is my desire just a response to something else I’m not working through? I’m realizing more and more that a lot of things I want/think are just my response to things I’ve been taught. Which is not a revolutionary thought or anything, but acknowledging its relevance to me personally is new to me.

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