Maybe my radar is just up – it seems everything I read lately is about women in the media, how we are portrayed, belittled and judged. It was the topic of our own Prime Ministers speech in parliament, just this week. And other bloggers are talking left, right and centre about these issues, it seems.
Don’t get me wrong, it’s great that there is some media attention on these topics. These are discussions we need to have as a society, as people and as families.
I say we need to have them, but I am actually wondering why these things are even up for discussion at all.
Why do we notice people’s weight, and then, invariably judge them for it?
Why is gender even taken into account as a qualifier of comments or job description?
Why do we notice the colour of skin?
These are not rhetorical questions. I really don’t understand.
To me, judging someone based on skin colour, gender or size is as ridiculous as judging someone because they have a big nose, or a beard, or always wear their hair in a ponytail.
It simply makes no sense to me.
When I was in school, being a kid of skin and bones, my weight was always, and I mean, always, commented on by the other girls at school. Maybe they thought they were being nice when they said “you’re so lucky you’re a skinny bitch”, but you tell me…how do you think that makes a 12 year old girl feel?
And you know what else it does? It makes everyone suddenly very conscious of their weight. Girls think they are complimenting a friend when they say she is skinny, when, in fact, all that is happening is that the notion that size matters is being reinforced, yet again. When that is said to one girl, all the other girls wonder why it wasn’t said to them. Does that mean they are fat? And the girl who received the ‘compliment’ feels more pressure to stay skinny.
I really just don’t know why these things are even worthy of comment. When I really stop and think about ‘why?’, I am no closer to an answer.
Oh, I know the standard reasons of prejudice, fear, insecurity but those don’t cut it for me. It is purely and simply unfathomable to me. Judging someone based on country of origin, or skin colour, is like judging someone because they live in a different house from you, eat dinner at a different time and eat different food. Ridiculous.
Maybe I’m oversimplifying it. Maybe I’m just a bit thick. Maybe I don’t understand the issues thoroughly enough.
So if someone can explain it to me, please, feel free.