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Saturday, July 02, 2005

Beautiful Bane

A self-proclaimed hairy-legged-man-hating-lesbian-feminist discusses how would-be liberation is oppression incognito:

"Shoes," Sheila Jeffreys says, "are almost becoming torture instruments. During a woman's daily make-up ritual, on average she will expose herself to more than 200 synthetic chemicals before she has morning coffee. Regular lipstick wearers will ingest up to four and a half kilos during their lifetime." We are talking about Jeffreys' latest book, Beauty And Misogyny: Harmful Cultural Practices In The West, and she is in full flow about the horrors of what she calls "the brutality of beauty".

...

Others oppose Jeffreys' position in a more general way. Natasha Walter, author of The New Feminism (1999), for example, argues that today's women do not want their behaviour "policed by feminism", but wish to enjoy sex with men, wear make-up, and dress in short skirts and high heels without feeling they are betraying feminism.


...After the US invasion of Afghanistan, for example, beauty clinics opened up all over the country, offering cosmetics as an antidote to the enforced wearing of the burka. "You'd have thought the women would have had other things to worry about," she sighs.

Now, I've disagreed with some Jeffreys' ideas in the past (for example, the idea that all feminists should be lesbians-- Sorry, I just don't dig les femmes.) Although her black-and-white arguments are extreme, I think she at least tries to address some of the problems of self-defeating behavior. Just how bad could it be? Can I interest anyone in some black market implants?

At pump parties, groups of patients typically receive silicone injections from an unlicensed, untrained person who is often using non-medical silicone. Costs tend to run between $200 and $1,000 per treatment, police said.

Industrial-grade silicone, floor products and sealers, and a host of contaminants including motor oil and paraffin have all turned up in post-party patients.