1) Makeup, oppression and being yourself : Notice she says wearing makeup to impress a guy is a "wrong reason" to wear it. But isn't it more empowering to entice the men you want (by making yourself highly attractive) rather than just expecting them to magically sense you are better than the other women around? This is an indirect and feminine way to start relationships. Some feminists endorse the masculine and direct way of approaching men yet they look down on the indirect way! Asking guys out is unnatural and unpleasant for most women yet they encourage this! Yes, take on the burden of pursuing men and you are fighting patriarchy but if you get your hair done and wear lipstick you are a slave to patriarchy...right...
2) The pro-woman line: Wow I totally agree with this part "The Pro-Woman Line sought to explain contradictory behavior. For example, feminists applied it to makeup and other beauty standards. The "anti-woman" argument was that women participate in their own oppression by wearing makeup, uncomfortable clothes, girdles, or high-heeled shoes. The Pro-Woman Line said that women are not at fault; they just do what they need to do in a world that creates impossible beauty standards. If women are treated better when they wear makeup, and are told they look sick when not wearing makeup, a woman who wears makeup to work does not create her own oppression. She is doing what society requires of her to succeed." Basically that whole underlined part is a key reason why I want to become an elegant Black woman; because I like it, I think it's better, and it will help me succeed in getting what I want out of life!
3) Excerpt from Womensliberation.org (very good read!): Regarding the pro-woman line, "We don't believe that women are brainwashed or conditioned, or that we oppress ourselves. Rather, we do what we have to do to get by in a world that is still run by and dominated by men. Wearing make up, acting flirty, even getting plastic surgery or botox—all are the result of our oppression, and a way of coping with it, not the cause. We don't put on make-up because we feel compelled to due to advertising, but rather because we are treated better when we do. We get compliments and attention—and when we don't wear make-up people tell us we look tired or sick. Beauty magazines don’t brainwash us into dieting, dressing up, or making up—rather, they are how-to manuals on getting by, getting love and getting jobs under male supremacy...The other side to the Pro-Woman line is that despite everything, women are always fighting back and resisting in some area of their lives. We don’t mindlessly submit to the demands of male supremacy. We women fight back all the time—just not on everything, and often not together in a coordinated, organized way. "
"Hanisch firmly rejects the idea that women who are in the movement, feminists we might now call them, necessarily know better than women who are not in the movement. Indeed, it’s very important that “we” should listen to “them” because they probably have damn good reasons for not being in the movement. Then instead of asking ourselves what is wrong with women who don’t want to be feminists, we should think about what might be wrong with our own thinking and actions; otherwise we will fail."
This is really blowing my mind because I totally agree with this! Basically this is what The New Elegant Black Woman is all about. It's about my dissatisfaction with my life and the fact that I was not getting what I wanted so I needed to change something to make it better. I am all about participating in the system, learning the rules, playing the game, and trying to win even when others want or expect you to fail. In my opinion I was doing some traditionally masculine things to get by and succeed (e.g., becoming educated, working, not having children alone and staying home) but other non-feminine things were not helping me (e.g., not smiling, being argumentative for no reason, looking androgynous, devaluing useful feminine things like cooking). So I started reading and trying new things so I could come up with my own "how-to manual that would help me to get by, get love, and get jobs under male supremacy!" What I kept reading over and over was that my femininity and feminine energy was necessary to get what I wanted (I knew I was clueless about it) so I chose to embrace that while still going to school and working. I needed to get rid of some behaviours and change some things about my appearance while keeping other things and adding new things.
I think these problems can only be changed by using power and only so many people in society have it. Individuals however can have some power when voting. They may also have power by influencing those around them, sometimes just by having others observe their behaviour and success. I may eventually develop some power because of my career (that was only possible due to my education). Others have power to influence because of their celebrity, some use it for good like in the video, but others use it to harm (e.g., misogynistic rap music). I think that those without power should only be responsible for protecting themselves and taking care of their basic needs not saving all women or fixing society.
I am not advocating apathy but what I am saying is that some people (e.g., with power who have all of their basic needs met) can get away with protesting, trying to fight the system, and going against the norm but for those without power the consequences may be devastating. I suppose those who are in most desperate need and the most oppressed are more willing to risk everything for change, I just don't think they should have to because it costs them so much. Can the homeless man on the street really fight poverty? Can a child really fight child abuse? Can a deathly ill person really fight for better health care? How can they? They have so much to cope with or so little power already how can they be burdened with fighting for causes? I hope you understand what I'm saying. So should poor, disadvantaged Black women be burdened with saving women or Black people...I think not.
The clothes make the man, the woman, and the slave (Sad slideshow. Female slaves were sometimes punished by having their hair cut and having to wear masculine clothing, goes on to worse things)
How do I look? Thoughts on feminism and white middle-class femininity (very interesting!)
The Happy Feminist discussion about feminine appearance: Interesting questions raised. This stood out for me, "The irony for a lot of women is that people keep making a big deal about how you look, but then if you become concerned about how you look (in response to these reactions), you are considered a typical representative of the frivolity and vanity of your sex."
Confessions of a fun feminist (interesting because it highlights the reason why many women don't want to be labeled "feminists" is because they want to do as they please and not be restricted to looking and behaving in feminist-approved ways. This is also similar to the reason why some Black women want to give up their "Black cards", too many restrictions and obligations that may actually harm the individual)
Lipstick, waxing, and heels- oppression or choice?
Do high heels empower or oppress women?
How traditional feminism is oppressive to women
Is fashion empowering or oppressive?
Ladettes, liquor, and being lady-like, Article 1, Article 2, Ladette Video (This is the type of behaviour I'm talking about that some call "progress" because they are acting like men, but they are choosing detrimental or trivial activities to emulate. This is not helpful and should not be the goal of equality).