Women’s News: The Unsatisfied American Woman

Women’s News: The Unsatisfied American Woman

Women’s News: ‘Blobby’ Bodies and Biggest Losers: Women Judging Women

Women’s News: ‘Blobby’ Bodies and Biggest Losers: Women Judging Women

A Message From The Creator

A Message From The Creator

A Message From The Creator

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Women’s News: ‘Blobby’ Bodies and Biggest Losers: Women Judging Women

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Sheila Moeschen

Writer, Women’s Advocate, Academic, Comedian

Writing about the season two premier of HBO’s Girls,New York Post critic Linda Stasi had this to say about show creator, writer and star Lena Dunham, who plays the character Hannah: “It’s not every day in the TV world of anorexic actresses with fake boobs that a woman with giant thighs, a sloppy backside and small breasts is compelled to show it all. In fact, Adam (Hannah’s onscreen love interest) as well as another man, are now obsessed with her and can’t get enough of her blobby body.” Further on in the piece, Stasi notes that the show shortchanges the merits of the typically ideal television female character as embodied by Marnie, played by Allison Williams: “Sometimes it just doesn’t pay to be smart, breathtakingly beautiful, nice and kind. Not when there are blobbies who are willing to take their clothes off in public constantly — even when they aren’t in character.” If you’re keeping score, that’s “blobbies,” 2; beautiful girls, 1; actual women, zip. Blerg, as Liz Lemon would say.

The descriptors applied to Dunham’s body are, surprisingly, not the most troubling element of Stasi’s piece. They are cringe-worthy for readers and writers alike. “Blobby” is the vocabulary pinnacle of the 6-year old, not, one presumes, of the accomplished journalist. It is the sophomoric, mean girl tone with which they are delivered, a tone that has become innocuous in our current culture where women judging women has become a weird kind of blood sport.

Whereas at one time, such types of personal slams, untoward remarks or intimate criticism remained the bread and butter of tabloids, soap operas and the occasional, shocking tell-all memoir, this trend has evolved into a wide-spread industry. Snark sells. The more mean spirited, the more celebrated. Women engaging in the equivalent of linguistic cat fights. Reality tv shows like The Biggest Loser, American Idol,Here Comes Honey Boo Boo and the Bachelor/Bachelorette encourage a brutalizing, bruising approach to discussing its participants (many of whom are women). These shows as well as others enable a kamikaze style of self-important judgment and righteous criticism leveled at what the media has persuaded us to view as “characters” but who, are in actuality, living, breathing, feeling people just like you. Surprise.

The fact remains that women are notorious judgey Mcjudgers. Any woman who has spent more than five minutes being a woman can attest (sheepishly or not) to this truth. Some complex psychological reasons behind this behavior include instances where women feel threatened, self-absorbed, insecure or find the need to scape-goat another woman by throwing her under the proverbial bus. And for women in the public sphere — politicians, leaders, celebrities, other types of social icons — the “if you can’t take the heat, get out of the kitchen” argument is readily supplied, thus engendering the climate of permissive and increasingly unchecked judgment to persist. This does not make it acceptable and does not excuse women from treating each other like contestants in a Hunger Games-esque competition of insults, slurs and snark.

It is not realistic or humanly possible to do away with this mentality together. We all (at least those of us who cannot claim Buddhist enlightenment) partake in this behavior from time to time. Nor is it feasible to expect the industries that profit from judgment culture to shift their business focus, to forgo the easy money made by critics such as Stasi willing to offer 800 words that keep people talking about a television show, celebrity figure or online newspaper. We can, however, hold ourselves accountable for our actions. We can use our consumer power to send a message or start a movement. What we can do is change the conversation to make the real impacts of this toxic practice visible. It erodes women’s efforts to collaborate with and support one another; it undermines the artistic and creative accomplishments of women; it detracts from the more important, genuine, provocative dialogues about the individual’s contribution to society; and it allows for, to take a page out of Stasi’s thesaurus, “sloppy” work poorly disguised as thoughtful analysis.

Read More:  http://www.huffingtonpost.com/sheila-moeschen/women-judging-women_b_2449739.html?utm_hp_ref=women&ir=Women

Women’s News: The Unsatisfied American Woman

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Rabbi Shmuley Boteach

Rabbi and Writer

Several times a week I counsel couples in crisis. Underlying all their problems is the loss of desire. They love each other, but they no longer lust after each other. Their marriages are now built on the softer, more comfortable emotion of love rather than passionate, more explosive and nuclear bond of lust.

Why is lust disappearing? There are many reasons. First, we are such a physical and material generation that we don’t understand lust. So we denigrate it as something sleazy. Lust, we think, is something men feel when they look at porn. Lust is what a man feels for his secretary while love is what he feels for his wife. Lust is what a wife experiences for the male colleague at work with whom she flirts while love is what she feels when she spoons with her husband at night in bed, even when they don’t have sex.

Lust has been lost from our lives because we think it something of the body rather than of the soul, something generated by hormones rather than a spiritual energy. A visceral emotion demonstrating more our kinship with animals than anything uniquely human. And because we don’t respect lust we have never focused on understanding its rules and the conditions through which it is maintained.

Then there is this: we believe love to be eternal while lust is so utterly ephemeral. We de-emphasize lust in relationships because we believe it’s bound to disappoint us and let us down. We don’t believe that lust can be sustained. It is a flimsy foundation upon which to build a relationship and should be made secondary to the solid firmament of love.

But who said that love and lust can’t be maintained simultaneously? Are we really so monolithic as to be incapable of sustaining two emotions at once? Can husbands and wives really not be both lovers (lust) and best friends (love) at the same time? And isn’t that, the confluence of both, that men and women most aspire to in their relationships?

You would be hard pressed to find a single relationships expert or marital counselor anywhere who would argue that marriages should be based on lust rather than love. Indeed, they would probably say that my words in so advocating are deeply irresponsible. I’ve delivered hundreds of lectures on this subject so I know it to be true. The marriage counselors tell me I’m wrong and I’m raising people’s expectations unfairly. But the wives sit in their seats and nod approvingly as I present my material. They give their husbands knowing looks as I speak of a woman’s need to always be not just loved by deeply desired.

But if the relationships experts are right and I’m wrong, why is marriage dying? Forget the 50 percent divorce rate that has prevailed for a half century or more. I’m talking about people no longer believing in marriage but rather in serial monogamy. More and more we are hearing arguments to the effect that people used to die at forty. Therefore, marriages were not expected to last longer than about twenty years. Now that people live ’til 90, there is no way marriages should be expected to last half a century or more. So people are shacking up more and marrying less. Married couples are today in the United States, for the first time ever, a minority. Forty percent of all women are single. Whole regions, like Scandinavia, have a marriage rate of just a quarter of the population. Hollywood is famous for men and women who have children together but who never even think of marrying. Why should they? Their commitment to one another is enough. Once the commitment wears off, they’ll separate amicably and move on to the next person. Why remain tied in an institution that is loveless? Take what you can get, for as long as you can get it, and move on.

What certainly cannot be said is that marriage is dying due to a lack of information. There are more self-help books on marriage and relationships being published every year than in all human history combined. More relationship advice is being dispensed in one day of TV than most of our grandparents received up until the day they tied the knot.

So why are relationships on the decline? Because the advice being given is flawed. It’s based on love and not lust. It glorifies closeness without emphasizing distance. It focuses on the legality of marriage rather than the sinfulness of forbidden desire. It highlights the warm embers of friendship over the burning coals of lust.

In short, it emphasizes the cozy, warm, fuzzy emotion of love over the super-charged, deeply erotic, electrifying feeling of lust.

Rabbi Shmuley Boteach, “America’s Rabbi” whom the Washington Post calls “the most famous Rabbi in America,” this week publishes his newest book, The Fed-up Man of Faith: Challenging God in the Face of Tragedy and Suffering. He is currently writing Kosher Lust, a book examining the rules that sustain covetousness and desire in long-term relationships. Readers with stories or insights to share should please write to info@shmuley.com. Follow RabbiShmuley on Twitter @RabbiShmuley.

Read More:  http://www.huffingtonpost.com/rabbi-shmuley-boteach/love-lust-marriage_b_2467809.html?utm_hp_ref=women&ir=Women

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