An Inside Look at a Feminist in Julie Bindel’s
“The Ugly Side of Beauty”
Sheila Jeffreys is an activist, lesbian feminist that is attempting to reach out to all the women, children and men in our society in order to bring about equality. Jeffreys, is trying to get the attention of people, mainly women by passionately bringing issues to the fore-front that degrade and oppress women, such as beauty products, fashion and the pornography industries. Jeffreys is trying to send a message to society about what we consider norm is not beauty at all. The under skin of this superficial beauty that we see is really where the beauty lies and that we need not to cover this up and to learn how to except people, women for what they are and what they have to offer. The goal would be for women to be on equal footing with men in the work-place, in the home and society in general. Furthermore, she is saying that our society is corrupting our children by delivering messages to them about how they should look and act, via fashion and beauty aids.
Jeffreys opinion is that we are hostages of our own society. After reading this article about Jeffreys and her ideas such as not shaving leg and under-arm hair, dying and changing hair color, wearing make-up, cosmetic surgery such as labiaplasty and breast implants. Jeffreys makes a strong agreement about how our society is conditioned into thinking that women have to conform to the model type woman that fits the norms of our society. She is trying to get women to not just accept this for norm, but to question it and rebel in order to bring about equality, in a sense a counter-culture. Our society, especially peers do target young children, girls about fashion, beauty and what is expected of them and with media being an agent of socialization this mode of transmission is able to reach out and affect many more people.
On the other hand Jeffreys does seem to be extreme in her thoughts and ideas. She seems to be a tremendously expressive, passionate person that believes whole heartily about her cause. But she is so extreme about her ideas of men it tends to turn the general public off from even listening to her. You’re either on the train or you’re off. Jeffreys has some exceptionally good points that a person cannot ignore such as cosmetic surgery, targeting children, etc, but her severe opinion that all feminists should be lesbians and that male supremacy is wrapped around sexual-intercourse, with many other ideas seem to be too radical for most people to wrap their heads around.
Yes, I do believe we are prisoners of socialization on the most part. Most of us grew up in a family consisting of a mother, father and siblings. The family unit represents the most influential piece especially to young children as they are growing up. We learn by conditioning and observing our role models such as how to treat your parents, to share in the duties at home, going to school, and getting good grades. Most of us are expected to get an education, married and have children. We also learn this by socialization agents who strongly influence our lives more now than say twenty years ago, such as television, computers, the internet, cell phones, and magazines. Not only do these devices bring the image to us of what were suppose to look and act like, but just having one of these devices suggest status such as being cool.
Overall, Jeffreys has a way of getting a person to think about her ideas, just by being so outspoken. I think more people would listen to Jeffreys if she were to take it down a notch or two, because truly she does have some good points that I think most of us could learn from.
Here is the link to read the article: http://tinyurl.com/3gpmm5a