US Indymedia Global Indymedia Publish About us
Printed from Boston IMC :
IVAW Winter Soldier

Winter Soldier
Brad Presente

Other Local News

Spare Change News
Open Media Boston
Somerville Voices
Cradle of Liberty
The Sword and Shield

Local Radio Shows

WMBR 88.1 FM
What's Left
WEDS at 8:00 pm
Local Edition
FRI (alt) at 5:30 pm

WMFO 91.5 FM
Socialist Alternative
SUN 11:00 am

WZBC 90.3 FM
Sounds of Dissent
SAT at 11:00 am
Truth and Justice Radio
SUN at 6:00 am

Create account Log in
Comment on this article | Email this article | Printer-friendly version
Commentary :: Gender
Secrets They Keep From You About That
22 Dec 2012
In today's culture the idea that a woman is her own person and is fine as she is – measured first for her accomplishments and second for her appearance, hasn't yet hit stride with men – in terms of their being judged on appearance anyway. I mean let's face it, men can look as far away from a fashion model as is possible and do just fine in life. Big bellies, wrinkles, dark circles under the eyes, spots, soup necks, hairy backs, strange faces, crazy teeth, stooped over, shaped like frogs – man, dudes look nuts. I mean that's coming from a straight guy, so I suppose I'm not one to judge, but according to statistics, the incidence of women being interested in bi-sexuality is far higher than that of men, and really, who can blame them?
Men that look like average men don't only make it big where the lights don't shine. We know our teachers aren't rock stars as far as how they look. We know construction workers and truck drivers are built like weird looking cave men or sandwich bags full of mayonnaise. We know guys anywhere can make money and they don't have to be physically attractive according to the popular barometer, and it's guaranteed most successful men are not.

Even where the lights shine brightest, men can get away with looking like your average male public school principal. There are plenty of men in Hollywood, in front of the camera, that might be talented, but are not attractive at all. Men can land leading man roles and have bellies, strange shapes and appear as if they hit the milk shakes more than the protein shakes. Men in the news can be the same way and nobody cares. We are only interested in what the guy has to say about the news; what's the story, and how does it impact our lives.

Women don't have that luxury, and what a lot of guys don't realize is that it is just that, a luxury. Many successful women still aren't making the same amount of money as their equally qualified and equally placed male counterparts. That of course is changing with regards to salaried pay and even bonuses, but there are still other aspects that make the disparity a reality that the saving potential, and what their paycheck is really worth, is much less come payday.

According to Yahoo finance UK, women spend three times as much as men on clothes over a lifetime. The figures they came up with were £34,497 ($55,779.95) for men and £94,442 ($152,708.06) for women. ( Women have to be far more conscious of their appearance regarding clothing than men. Basically in just about any workplace situation, men can get by with much less in terms of clothing. For us, it's basically a uniform, and in a professional corporate environment, that uniform is easily mix and match. You can stretch out the same basic blowout suits for years, only swapping out ties. Even then, if the ties are conservative enough, you can rehash them to an extent.

None of that includes what women have to spend on makeup. I mean you can say women have the choice not to wear it, but where? There are few professions where women aren't required to, wear it if they want to succeed and advance. Let's not forget about fitness. If a woman is slightly overweight, according to the metric perpetuated by the diet and Europe-lead fashion industries that almost seem to hate women currently, is she judged the same way that a slightly overweight man is?

Women have the kind of scrutiny with regards to their appearance men never do. Even there, they face different struggles. If they don't spend enough on their professional attire and look, they aren't putting in enough effort and are called frumpy, etc. If the clothes they buy are not just right, they are tarting it up. Naomi Wolf in her book, The Beauty Myth, cites a former editor of Vogue that states, “Women are punished for their looks, whereas men can go far in just a grey flannel suit.” (Wolf 1991)

Wolf goes on to state, “Urban professional women are devoting up to a third of their income to 'beauty maintenance,' and considering it a necessary investment. Their employment contracts are even earmarking a portion of their salary for high-fashion clothing and costly beauty treatments. New York Woman describes a typical ambitious career woman, a thirty-two-year-old who spends 'nearly a quarter of her $60,000 income…on self-preservation.' Another 'willingly spends more than $20,000 a year' on workouts with a 'cult trainer.' The few women who are finally earning as much as men are forced, through (this professional beauty qualification), to pay themselves significantly less than their male peers take home. It has engineered do-it-yourself income discrimination.”

Women in the US retire poorer than men, and this is confirmed by a recent article in Forbes. ( The author mentions solid reasons for this, like the facts women earn less than men over a lifetime, women biologically live longer than men and the fact that an increasing percentage of women are the sole breadwinners for their families. ( The article then mentions savings by essentially blaming women as less educated or ignorant when compared with men. It never mentions the fact women absolutely have to spend more to make the same amount. If a woman wants to be competitive in the workplace most have to spend far more on clothes than men do, and then there's makeup. That's just the reality, and with the greater amounts spent, come a far more limited ability to save, and also to accrue wealth.

I'm not saying I'm some male feminist, and as a matter of fact I'm not educated enough on the issues to be even close. Furthermore, I'm just too much of a regular guy of average intellect to be an anointed opposite sex intellectual or even pseudo-intellectual spokesman for women. I just don't consider myself that enlightened, nor am I. But I can and do point to things I see that just aren't fair. I just find it interesting that in 2012 we still overlook certain women's issues as a joke, even when many are still deadly serious.

As a nation we celebrated gays being able to openly serve in the military, and that was a good positive step for our country as a developed Western nation that separates church from state. But that was mostly for men. Let's be honest. That was to make gay men that are already serving feel safe and welcome, and especially to appeal to those gay men that want to serve. The military needs all the help it can get as far as numbers right now.

Starting right there, we can spot how serious women's issues still are even in 2012 America. Women in the military are still being allowed to be raped and have their rapists go unpunished. A recent article in the Christian Science Monitor described how, “The number of sexual assaults reported on the campuses of the nation’s military academies increased by nearly a quarter over the 2010-2011 academic year, according to an annual Pentagon survey released Friday. The dramatic increase was recorded despite efforts that defense officials have put into sexual assault awareness programs and other training to try to prevent rape and harassment on campus.

“Roughly 12 percent of women who responded to the survey, and two percent of men, said they had experienced unwanted sexual contact.” (

I mean the Pentagon says it's cracking down, but really? Eric Holder wouldn't even take action when service women suing for the fact they were raped got told by a judge rape was just an occupational hazard regarding women serving in the military. And that was what the Pentagon was arguing in terms of the position it was taking in court – in 2012. ( The Pentagon has done next to nothing to enforce a law put in place by the Bush administration to crack down on human trafficking when it comes to US troops patronizing prostitutes in foreign countries, but tells us we should continue putting money into wars to free women.

These are the things they don't tell us. It's like the idea men prefer skinny size zero women. That too is b.s.. Surveys and studies show straight men prefer normal sized women. Again as Naomi Wolf pointed out in The Beauty Myth, the whole idea of skinny women being the standard for beauty is some marketing scheme cooked up by the diet and European-lead fashion industries to help perpetuate the myth that women need their products far more than they actually do. Women are not only healthier at a normal, average size, but to straight guys, they are more attractive.

And, whether male or female, straight or gay, people that try and convince you as an entire group, that you need to be sick, and jeopardize your health just so they can sell you more goods, are not your friends. They certainly wouldn't be mine.

What they also don't tell you is that it is quite often, that the throwing up certain women do shows up. No matter how much you try, there is always some that gets on your clothes, in your hair, on your skin or left behind in your mouth. People can smell it more often than you think, and you quite often cannot, because it's yours and you are used to it. Using laxatives also has its drawbacks as does replacing eating with smoking. The best way to avoid the stuff is to take back your body, and let it be what it's supposed to be. Don't buy that idea that it makes you unhealthily obese and deathly overweight to be the size a woman is supposed to be biologically. That is just another form of somebody else trying to exert control over your body. Take it back. Make it your own. This is 2012. Don't fall for the b.s..

To read about my inspiration for this article go to
See also:

This work is in the public domain
Add a quick comment
Your name Your email


Text Format
Anti-spam Enter the following number into the box:
To add more detailed comments, or to upload files, see the full comment form.