Damned If you Do, Damned If You Don’t

No matter what you do as a woman, you’re doing it wrong. It’s not simply that the ideal to which you are supposed to live up to is difficult. The ideal is impossible because it’s subject to change at any time at the whim of the men (and sadly, yes, women, too) judging you constantly.

If you’re flirtatious or talk frankly about sexuality, you’ll be branded as slutty or attention whoring. If you don’t flirt at all and focus on business, you’re uptight. Reject sexual advances and you’re a bitch. Stand up for yourself and you’re too seriouscat feminist. Dare to mention that some discrimination you are facing might be gender based and you are “pulling the vagina card”. Act too feminine and you’re the brunt of jokes about the foibles of women. Not feminine enough and you’re disgustingly mannish.

When you try to fit in and exhibit the right level of feminine compliance, you can’t win because the game is rigged.

That’s why I urge all women to resist the impulse to turn against the scapegoat of the day. I’m not saying you have to personally like every woman you meet. Women are human, after all, and so we’re bound to find things we don’t like about each other. But there’s a great deal of territory between best-friends-forever and joining a vindictive pile-on towards some woman who didn’t live up to an impossible standard. It’s also possible to agree with the criticism of some woman’s behavior while disagreeing passionately with the misogynist form the criticism takes.

Credit for today’s title goes to http://everythinginstatic.tumblr.com/ who responded to Friday’s “Girl Gamer” post with the incisive comment “because damned if you do, and damned if you don’t” and inspired me.