By Sheila Jeffreys
Should western good looks practices, starting from lipstick to labiaplasty, be integrated in the United international locations understandings of destructive traditional/cultural practices? by means of studying the position of universal attractiveness practices in harmful the overall healthiness of girls, growing sexual distinction, and implementing girl deference, this ebook argues that they should.
In the Nineteen Seventies feminists criticized pervasive good looks regimes similar to eating regimen and depilation, yet a few ‘new’ feminists argue that good looks practices aren't any longer oppressive now that ladies can ‘choose’ them. despite the fact that, within the final twenty years the brutality of western good looks practices turns out to became even more serious, requiring the breaking of dermis, spilling of blood and rearrangement or amputation of physique elements. Beauty and Misogyny seeks to make experience of why good looks practices should not in simple terms simply as chronic, yet in lots of methods extra severe. It examines the pervasive use of make-up, the misogyny of style and high-heeled footwear, and appears on the position of pornography within the construction of more and more renowned good looks practices corresponding to breast implants, genital waxing and surgical alteration of the labia. It appears to be like on the plastic surgery and physique piercing/cutting industries as being sorts of self-mutilation by way of proxy, within which the surgeons and piercers function proxies to hurt women’s our bodies, and concludes by way of contemplating how a tradition of resistance to those practices might be created.
This crucial paintings will attract scholars and academics of feminist psychology, gender reviews, cultural reviews, and feminist sociology at either undergraduate and postgraduate degrees, and to an individual with an curiosity in feminism, girls and wonder, and women’s health.
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Extra info for Beauty and Misogyny Harmful Cultural Practices in the West (Women and Psychology)
319). There is no suggestion that women can ``choose'' to wear the veil since the enforcement process is so clear and so brutal, ``Women who are considered inadequately covered are attacked by these men (members of the `Party of God' the Hezbollahis) with knives, or guns and are lucky to survive the experience'' (Afshar, 1997, p. 320). Makeup is not enforced with such brutality in western cultures. However, as Homa Hoodfar points out, the veil may be worn for different reasons in different countries and even within the same country (Hoodfar, 1997).
The notion of choice she employs does not make allowance for the types of pressure towards wearing restrictive clothing that are discussed elsewhere in this chapter, such as harassment in public places that can only be alleviated in this way. Covering can reduce this kind of friction but is not therefore a sign of freedom so much as an accommodation to oppression. Coomaraswamy's introduction of the notion of ``choice'' is worrying because it waters down one of the most useful aspects of the notion of harmful cultural practices, the irrelevance of such western notions where cultural expectations and practices act as enforcers.
In the west, in the advertising literature of labiaplasty surgeons, long labia are said to inhibit sexual pleasure and to be an embarrassment. Coomaraswamy uses the language of human dignity to describe the harm of traditional practices. These practices are said to violate women's dignity (Coomaraswamy, 1997). The concept of women's ``dignity'' is an important one and the idea of human ``dignity'' is fundamental to human rights theory and practice. It is a useful measure against which to size up western beauty practices such as labiaplasty.