We watched Mulan last night because neither of us had any work to do, and I found myself pointing out all the gender stereotypes in the movie (even though Mulan is by no means the worst in this arena). I apologized to my friend for possibly annoying her, and she told me that she had never thought about this movie that way before. We had a brief discussion about movies as agents of socialization and how the Disney princess movies often promote sexist ideas, and she decided she might give a presentation in her class about these movies.
It was nice to see her make sense of something relating to feminism and find it interesting.
Later, we went to my room and had a long talk that evolved into body image issues. I talked a lot, as this is my pet cause as a feminist, and I realized how difficult it is to pinpoint the specific causes for these issues within specific people, and how hard it is to change one's thinking once these ideas manifest themselves.
My friend also had a lot to say about these things, and in a lot of ways we are similar. We both have issues with our bodies, and we both know that some of the things we say/think are based on falsely held ideas and are often not fair. But we can't seem to change the way we think. We are both victims of female oppression in a society that holds beauty as a marker for success and worth above all other measures, and the marker is set unbelievably high.
The only difference between my friend and I when it comes to issues of women's rights and certain invisible oppressions is that I identify as a feminist and my friend does not. She said that she does not think of herself as a feminist because she's not "active about it" in the sense that I am with this blog.
Well, dear friend, I want you to know that you are a feminist. If you don't want to call yourself one, that's fine, but your ideas and beliefs when it comes to women's rights make you a feminist.
EDIT: I just checked my e-mail, and saw this article. Apparently, losing weight is so important that people might want to start creating false memories about bad experiences with fatty foods so they won't crave those foods.
"Although it's not ethical to create false memories in people, making an association between eating a fattening food and getting ill may be beneficial," says Elke Geraerts, a psychologist from St. Andrews and lead author on one of the studies. "People may avoid those foods in the future."It's not ethical, but hell, if I can lose weight, sign me up!