Leftist commentary from a mouthy bitch

Women and Weights

Yes, I know.  There are very important things going on right now.  Osama bin Laden is dead, but I just can’t rejoice over the death of anyone.  I guess I really am just too much of a hippy for my own good.  Am I sad to see him go?  No. But neither can I rejoice in the streets.

And the Republicans are ramping up their war on women, the poor, and anyone not a rich white guy or a corporation probably owned by rich white guys.

And Donald Trump’s a racist idiot.

And I do want to blog about all of that, but I’ve had a weird sort of writer’s block about all the really IMPORTANT STUFF lately.  Part of it is I get so pissed off I can’t see straight.  And the other part is that after watching other parts of the blogosphere self-destruct and implode, I’m kind of afraid to.  But I’ll get over that.

And, let’s be honest, part of it is I’ve been trying to come to terms with the fact that I turn 40 tomorrow, and what that means.  But you’ll get a special birthday post for that.  I never thought I’d have issues with 40, and they’re not the issues I thought they’d be if I did.

But anyway…

Karyn Marshall, Women's Weightlifting champ in the 1980s

As those of you who have read me for awhile know, I love the gym.  I love to go to the gym.  Ok, I love being at the gym.  It’s kind of a long walk to get there, but what the hell?  Am I going to claim it’s too much exercise to get to my exercise?  That’s just stupid.  So I make the walk to the gym, and get dressed, do my requisite half hour of cardio, for which my reward is playing with weights!  I love weights.  In fact, I was ecstatic that after a prolonged absence from the gym due to a heinous cold and flu season and my friend asthma, I had not lost near as much ground as I had feared.

So, I’m at the gym today, looking at my last workout and figuring I’ll try the last weights I had it set at, and if that’s too heavy, I can lower them.  And as I’m doing my sets I look around, and I just got cranky.

I’m watching all of these women lifting far too little (trust me, you can tell from watching someone lift that they’re lifting too little, just like you can with too much), and using absolutely atrocious form.  Now, I know it’s less likely that they’ll hurt themselves using that bad form, with those teeny weights, but it could happen.  I had to resist the urge to walk around the room correcting form and telling them to lift more, and more slowly.  But I know what reaction I’d get from a good 90% of them if I did that:  “I don’t want to get big.”


A.  If a guy will be turned off because you have muscle tone, he’s a jerk.  Ditch him and find someone who doesn’t suck.

B. Fuck that.

Like many women, regardless of size, I am sick to fucking death of the quest of American society to make women smaller and smaller.  We’re surrounded with images of beauty that is impossible to attain if you are an actual person.  The most beautiful women in our society are photoshopped to levels that are beyond ridiculous, and beyond recognition.  And we keep telling women that they need to look LIKE THAT.  Like that completely unobtainable, completely unreal figure that doesn’t even reflect the body on which it was based.  And I say based, because when they keep whittling down waists and smoothing bumps…  Hell, just go to Photoshop Disasters, or Sociological Images to see what I’m talking about.  Those models people think we should look like?  THEY don’t look like that.

Culture, particularly American culture, is trying to keep women weak from hunger, and just in general weak.  Women’s magazines urge women to “let him open jars for you, even if you don’t need it,” so he’ll feel wanted.  Here’s an idea.  Why don’t you try treating him like an adult, the way you would (I hope) like to be treated?  Seriously, media erases our sexuality in service to ourselves.  It is only allowed when it is in service to others, to sell something, or be sexy for a man.  Is that’s what’s going on with physical strength?  I mean, we’re supposed to be strong enough to haul around kids and baskets of laundry and groceries, but we can’t be strong enough to open a jar or lift something?  Come on.

Maybe if they keep us off balance enough chasing this impossible perfection, we’ll forget that we make less money for the same work, are sexually assaulted at a much higher rate, and that the Republican party is trying to take away our rights and access to basic health care.

Fuck that.

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This entry was posted on May 4, 2011 by in Featured Articles, Feminism, HAES, Misogyny.

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