"Feminists who claim prostituted women have ‘choice’ are letting those women down. They may think they are helping them by invoking the ‘choice’ argument. They may have the best of intentions. But tell me, then, why all these feminists are not prostitutes themselves? Why not give up their well-paid jobs and become a well-paid prostitute or a well-paid porn star? Because – obviously – these feminists have some degree of choice, certainly more than the prostituted woman has. They may have had opportunities which the prostituted woman has not had. They would do well to think on that next time they are arguing that the woman who is being used by a man to achieve orgasm has any ‘choice’ in the matter."
Jacqueline Homan, “Prostitution, Pornography and the Illusion of ‘Choice.’” (via womentoadmire)
But when I see what my new office will look like:
I like makeup. I wear it almost every day. I think eyeliner is the best. I really like being able to cover up my zits and under eye circles. Does that make makeup an inherently ‘good’ thing? Does it mean that makeup is feminist and progressive because I am feminist and progressive? Does it mean that the only possible reason I could ‘enjoy’ wearing makeup is because I like it, point blank? No. Of course not. I wear makeup because I grew up in a culture that scrutinizes women’s looks and values their appearances above all else. I live in a consumer culture that invents flaws and insecurities in order to be able to sell us things that will ‘fix’ our flaws.
So makeup isn’t really the best. There are many aspects of the beauty industry that can and should be critiqued. But does that make me a terrible person because I wear makeup? No. Does it mean I’m not a real feminist because I wear makeup? Of course not. But it also doesn’t mean it’s perfectly fine and awesome and that I shouldn’t explore or acknowledge the fact that I wear makeup because I was taught and bought into the idea that, in one way or another, I was going to be judged based on my appearance and that I’ve been convinced and have convinced myself that I needed to wear makeup in order to avoid looking ugly and sick."
It’s Not About You: Beyond Kink Shaming by Meagan Murphy on FeministCurrent
This is actually a piece about BDSM, but I liked this bit and I think it makes a good argument for how one can be critical of a practice and not be saying that those who engage in it are terrible people. Also, more generally, the idea that not all choices are feminist and choices don’t exist in a vacuum, etc etc.