Bodies

Hello, I’m Brenda’s body and I’m writing a guest blog post today. Brenda’s brain is experiencing a bit of overload so she asked me too fill in.

Female-Plastic-Body-Form

Female Plastic Body Form

Brenda sometimes does what she calls “self-censoring”, but a more accurate term would be “auto-censoring”. Auto-censoring does not mean limiting what you express, but rather what you consume; you become the censor of your own media. Usually, Brenda auto-censors by avoiding movies that are extremely violent, limiting her exposure to depictions of rape, and by not consuming too much news. Specifically, Brenda listens to the news in the morning, and reads the newspaper to stay on top of what’s happening in the world, but she never watches the news. Why? Because sometimes you can see dead bodies on the news and people being shot. Whether or not you think that reporting the violent reality of what’s happening in, say, Syria, requires showing that violence, Brenda just doesn’t want to see it. It doesn’t add to her understanding of the situation and it disturbs her.

So Brenda was doing a pretty good job of not knowing anything about the Steubenville rape trial until this week. This week, many friends posted videos of the terribly sexist reporting on the verdict and Brenda just couldn’t ignore it. In fact, she was outraged!

Now, Bjütie was always meant to have a positive upbeat tone because lots of people are already really good at being sharp critics and angry activists, and Brenda thought her pastime should allow her to get away from being too serious (Brenda has a f*cking serious job). Her aim was to be smart, personal, stylish, and fun. That’s where I come in. As Brenda’s body, I am perfectly positioned to talk about women’s bodies without getting all political.

Happy smiling bodies doing good things to each other

Happy smiling bodies doing good things to each other

I’ve been pretty lucky; as bodies go, I’ve had a good time of it so far. Of course, I’ve had some downs along with the ups. Like all women’s bodies these days, I’ve been under surveillance. I’ve been told I shouldn’t eat dessert because I was already large enough. I’ve been told to eat because not eating is a sign of dysfunction. I’ve been tormented by wheat which makes me very ill. And I’ve been pitted against my smaller cohorts: told that I’m what a real woman’s body should look like, as if thin bodies don’t belong to real women. But, luckily for me, I’ve mostly been told that I’m beautiful. And I’ve been touched in ways that have been nurturing and loving. I can count on one hand the times I’ve felt genuinely threatened. Instances of real danger have been rare and I’ve been able, with Brenda’s brain’s help, to escape relatively unscathed.

As a body, all I really want is to be safe, to be healthy and to feel pleasure. And so I’m not sure why women’s bodies cause such turmoil in the world. For starters, everyone came from a woman’s body and so a little gratitude for women’s bodies would not be out of place. Without women’s bodies acting as warm little incubators for 9 months, the planet would be remarkably human-free.

Also, there seems to be a lot of discussion about whether women’s bodies should be covered-up or uncovered and about what rights a covered-up body has as opposed to an uncovered body. If too much of the body is covered, a woman loses access to government services in some places in the world. That seems very isolating and unfair. If a woman’s body is too much on display then it seems she is no longer respected by some people and she becomes the target of violence. Sometimes, if a girl’s body ingests a lot of beer and you can see some parts of it, like legs and décolleté, people think that body doesn’t belong to a human being with agency, feelings, and dignity. They see the body as an object, like all those lifeless images of inviting women’s bodies that are in media everywhere.

Wait — is she a slut or is she oppressed… or both?! How about neither…

If I could speak for all bodies right now, I would say that bodies are precious! Bodies need to be protected, especially smaller bodies against bigger bodies. A body’s coverings and previous life experiences should never be a license to negatively judge that body’s owner and it’s definitely not an invitation to violate that body. Basically, unless a body belongs to you, you really can’t make any decisions about that body.

Hands off! Hands on! I decide. And I can change my mind as many times as I want.

Comments

  1. Brenda’s body is a wise guest blogger!

  2. Great Read!

  3. This is what I have always believed in. Your words could be coming out of MY body’s mouth, but then that would be considered plagiarism, so I will just say that you took the words out of my mouth 🙂 So happy that there is someone out there with the same views as me, who is willing to share it with the world!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: