The Beauty Myth, & Your Wife

I got involved in an altercation in another group I’m in (what a surprise, right?) when I was trying to explain why partners might be put off by yet another make-up seminar.
But it was a CD, ultimately, who explained it best, and I decided to post what she had to say, here:
Keep this in mind. Ponder these fantastically offensive ideas.
– The most important thing about a woman is her appearance. That trumps intelligence, character, spirit, etc.
– Her appearance is not appropriate as-is. She must buy stuff and spent large amounts of time using it. If she does not, she should be ashamed. If she does, well, she’s still not OK. After all, there’s always a better airbrushed model on every billboard.

Horrible, evil claims? Things that nobody in the trans community would be scummy enough to believe? Definitely. And yet pretty much every woman alive has been told these things – implicitly or explicitly. The process of being a mature woman includes learning to rebel against these evil ideas. Defending her spirit against this kind of garbage is CRUCIAL.
So, when you accidentally trigger those defenses by saying something that maybe shouldn’t be interpreted as promoting these evil attitudes – but, then again, understandably could be – CUT HER SOME SLACK. Don’t split hairs of wording with her and tell her she had no business perceiving offense. Tell her you’re on her side, and leave it at that.
Are her defenses too touchy? Her very soul depends on those defenses. Better she defend herself vigorously, and occasionally unnecessarily, than to give the garbage any chance for a toehold in her.
At the same time, I can see why you’re tempted to answer, “Don’t be offended!” Because we’d be ashamed to hold such attitudes, and we don’t like the thought that we came across as believing that even for a moment. But the better way to bolster womankind is not to get bogged down arguing in who should or shouldn’t have been offended, but all to affirm together that allthe synthetic trappings of femininity are for totally voluntary use as we each please.
– Jade Catherine,