Shirley Jackson, Erica Jong and Miranda July were all considered for J-day. But guess what? Ashley Judd is the awesome lady author of the day, for her recent response to media jerks trying to make her into little more than a pretty (or puffy) face.
If you haven’t read her essay in The Daily Beast yet, click here and do so. It’s an excellent feminist response to the kinds of terrible things the patriarchy does to women. And her main point is: patriarchy isn’t just men. It’s a system that holds us all back, because it targets women, but the abusers are all of us.
Here’s her quote:
That women are joining in the ongoing disassembling of my appearance is salient. Patriarchy is not men. Patriarchy is a system in which both women and men participate. It privileges, inter alia, the interests of boys and men over the bodily integrity, autonomy, and dignity of girls and women. It is subtle, insidious, and never more dangerous than when women passionately deny that they themselves are engaging in it. This abnormal obsession with women’s faces and bodies has become so normal that we (I include myself at times—I absolutely fall for it still) have internalized patriarchy almost seamlessly. We are unable at times to identify ourselves as our own denigrating abusers, or as abusing other girls and women.
Thank you, Ashley Judd, for standing up to the patriarchy by writing this excellent essay, which is currently making the rounds on the Internet, sparking discussions and, hopefully, on its way into lots of classrooms across America where teachers can use these ideas as teaching tools to help stop the spread of this kind of hateful thinking before it’s too late.
P.S. If you’re hankering for more A to Z Challenge madness, don’t forget to check out my “Ninja Weapons from A to Z” post at rebelsofthe512.com!