Friday, April 16, 2010

The Body Is the Place Where Society Writes Its Messages

"At a time when increasing numbers of women were demanding the right to take up more space in the world, it is no surprise that they'd be hit with the opposite message from a culture that was (and still is) deeply committed to its traditional power structures. Women get psychically larger, and they're told to grow physically smaller. Women begin to play active roles in realms once dominated by men (schools, universities, athletic fields, the workplace, the bedroom), and they're countered with images of femininity that infantilize them, render them passive and frail and non-threatening.

'The female body is the place where this society writes its messages,' writes Rosalind Coward in
Female Desires, and its response to feminism was etched with increasing clarity on the whittled-down silhouette of the average American model : Don't get too hungry, don't overstep your bounds."

- Appetites by the late Caroline Knapp, pg 31

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