She looks like a man… You don’t want to build bulk, you want to be lean… Skinny is healthy and desirable, fit and muscular is not… Her testosterone levels are too high for a woman… Women are too fragile, and shouldn’t be allowed to: serve in combat, land a Yurchenko double pike vault in competition (and definitely shouldn’t get full points if she does), compete against other women if their natural hormone levels don’t conform to the dictated norms.
Why? Because the patriarchy is scared of physically strong women.
It’s the only answer I’ve been able to come up with. I mean, Simone Biles own namesake moves are not given their full scores because the Federation of International Gymnastics is concerned about how risky they are and the safety of other female gymnasts who might want to try those moves. Basicallly, score them lower than deserved so other women don’t think they should try them and prove Ms. Biles isn’t the only women in the world capable of these athletic feats.
As long as we believe we’re weak and in need of protection, or at risk of physical or sexual abuse (and therefor in need of physical protection), they maintain the upper hand. It’s like gerrymandering, because it’s the only way they stay in power, only different.
The patriarchy created and/or pushed most of our societal norms to benefit themselves. Women should be weak and meek and pretty. We should have long nails and high heels that make it harder for us to run away, change a tire, or fend off an attacker. We should spend an inordinate amount of time and money maintain and/or altering our appearance to attract a man, because that’s the most important thing—followed by having babies. We should always, always remember we are the weaker sex.
Sure, this was true when women couldn’t open a bank account, get a loan, or have a credit card without their husband or father signing off on it for them. When few of us went to college, and many that did went solely to find a husband. And when it was far too dangerous for us to be running around alone at night working or God knows what, inciting and inviting men to rape us—because we’re weak.
While we still might not earn as much as men, today we can run our own business and manage our own financial affairs. This means we only need men if we want babies or need their muscle for hard work or protection. Except nowadays we know we don’t. Sperm banks exist. And our own strong, beautiful muscles will do the job just fine.
Which, I think, is part of why men vilify butch lesbians, calling them ugly and mannish. They don’t want to be rendered unnecessary to women because then what power do they have. They can’t even rescue the damsel in distress and that is SO important to men’s egos. They definitely don’t want us to realize we can do everything all on our own without their help, and certainly without them running our lives and dictating what we can and can’t do with our own bodies.
Women who don’t subscribe to the dictums of society and spend hours of their day and thousands of dollars trying to be their skinniest, prettiest, self are a threat to the capitalism that makes them rich.
Mind you, I’m not saying all men are bad or all men subscribe to these views. I’m happily married to a man who loves my muscles because strong is sexy and those muscles let me do the sports we both enjoy. But the men in charge of the patriarchy, yeah, they’re just trying to “keep us in our places”.
This post dedicated to: Namibian sprinters Christine Mboma and Beatrice Masilingi, Venus and Serena Williams, Simone Biles and all the other strong, beautiful, muscular women in the world.
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