by Women’s Voices for Change

This list started out as an enumeration of our 10 worst enemies, but there is no way to make such a list without mentioning the obvious: warmongers, rapists, racists and terrorists, just for starters.

It’s impossible to equate anything with such evils, and so it seemed a simple list of some of our foes was more in order — not to add to the negativity all around us, but as a simple heads-up on what we sometimes overlook.

Our list begins after the jump … and as always we welcome your comments.

* * * * *

1. Major Fashion Magazines. Airbrush a 30 year-old and you’ve got an impossibility. Voluntarily thumb through issue after issue featuring the fashionistas’ ideas of the ideal, and you’re either a masochist or setting yourself up for self-loathing. Remember: So many books, so little time

2. The Box Office. Helen Mirren and Judi Dench aside, the preponderance of movies are made for and with sweet young things. So much looking at ourselves as tag-along characters is bad for our sister actors and bad for our self-esteem as well.

3. Trophy Wives. You can’t blame them. Many of them are great mothers. Some of them even love their silver foxes. But all the same, they tilt the playing field the wrong way for the wrong reasons. A sensible society is what’s lost in the balance.

4. Cosmetic Surgery. This isn’t to say that all face lifts are bad face lifts, or that some eye surgery doesn’t help some women to look less tired. It’s just that the wind tunnel women give women a bad name. They make us look scary and scared. If you are too frightened to walk around without a mask, you are too frightening to be around.

5. Misogynists. Enough said.

6. Men’s Clubs. Literally, sure, but figuratively as well. There’s a lot that’s destructive about a bunch of men thinking their exclusive little group of penis-toters can only be safe if they bash women in some way.

7. Alcohol. Do the math. More than two drinks a day puts you at risk for breast cancer. More than two drinks on any day puts you at risk for acting like an idiot. Teenagers aren’t any smarter drunk — and neither are we.

8. Certain Men. Most will remain nameless, but let’s recall what Rush Limbaugh has famously said: “Feminism was established to allow unattractive women easier access to the mainstream.” And here’s Pat Robertson’s contribution to the conversation: “Feminism is a socialist, anti-family, political movement that encourages women to leave their husbands, kill their children, practice witchcraft, destroy capitalism and become lesbians.”

9. Denial. Don’t kid yourself. You are too old to wear that.

10. Ourselves. When we are too polite to call some idiot out on calling us “honey,” or some doctor who addresses us by our first name while we are calling him Dr. So-and-So, or some maître d’ who seats two of us in the dark in the back while two men get the plum table in front, we are perpetuating a system that stinks.

Don’t get us started on what vicious gossip and stupid envy add to the toxicity around us.

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  • Fran December 18, 2007 at 11:19 am

    Great list. It’s amazing how almost all of the ten things work together — they need each other (men’s clubs connects to trophy wives, which connects to cosmetic surgery and fashion mags …).
    It’s a good reminder that it’s a system we are fighting — and that it takes a concerted effort of many to call out institutions and governments, not just individuals.
    Speaking of which, I’d add the 24-news-channels for good measure. I’d love to hear a women talking about foreign policy once in awhile — rather than following the trials and travails of a drug-crazed female celebrity or the female victim of a violent crime …

    Reply