You do not win by struggling to the top of a caste system, you win by refusing to be trapped within one at all.
Women who love themselves are threatening; but men who love real women, more so.
A culture fixated on female thinness is not an obsession about female beauty, but an obsession about female obedience. Dieting is the most potent political sedative in women’s history; a quietly mad population is a tractable one.
The beauty myth is always actually prescribing behaviour and not appearance.
The Victorian woman became her ovaries, as today’s woman has become her “beauty.
She wins who calls herself beautiful and challenges the world to change to truly see her.
What are other women really thinking, feeling, experiencing, when they slip away from the gaze and culture of men?
A cultural fixation on female thinness is not an obsession about female beauty but an obsession about female obedience.
Beauty provokes harassment, the law says, but it looks through men’s eyes when deciding what provokes it.
No matter what a woman’s appearance may be, it will be used to undermine what she is saying and taken to individualize – as her personal problem – observations she makes about the beauty myth in society.
Beauty discrimination has become necessary, not from the perception that women will not be good enough, but that they will be, as they have been, twice as good.
Cosmetic surgery processes the bodies of woman-made women, who make up the vast majority of its patient pool, into man-made women.
The maturing of a woman who has continued to grow is a beautiful thing to behold.Or, if your ad revenue or your seven-figure salary or your privileged sexual status depend on it, it is an operable condition.
Healthy” and “diseased,” as Susan Sontag points out…are often subjective judgments that society makes for its own purposes. Women have long been defined as sick as a means of subjecting them to social control.
The economics of industrialized countries would collapse if women didn’t do the work they do for free: According to economist Marilyn Waring, throughout the West it generates between 25 and 40 percent of the gross national product.
Beauty’ is a currency system like the gold standard. Like any economy, it is determined by politics, and in the modern age in the West is is the last, best belief system that keeps male dominance intact.
Most urgently, women’s identity must be premised upon our “beauty” so that we will remain vulnerable to outside approval, carrying the vital sensitive organ of self-esteem exposed to the air.
Today a woman must ignore her reflection in the eyes of her lover, since he might admire her, and seek it in the gaze of the God of Beauty, in whose perception she is never complete.
As women demanded access to power, the power structure used the beauty myth materially to undermine women’s advancement.
If women cannot eat the same food as men, we cannot experience equal status in the community.
The surgeons’ market is imaginary, since there is nothing wrong with women’s faces or bodies that social change won’t cure; so the surgeons depend for their income on warping female self-perception and multiplying female self-hatred.
The stronger that women grow, the more prestige, fame, and money is accorded to the display professions: They are held higher and higher above the heads of rising women, for them to emulate.
Spokespeople sell women the Iron Maiden and name her “Health”: if public discourse were really concerned with women’s health, it would turn angrily upon this aspect of the beauty myth.
Aging in women is ‘unbeautiful’ since women grow more powerful with time, and since the links between generations of women must always be broken.
Women have face-lifts in a society in which women without them appear to vanish from sight.
Western women have been controlled by ideals and stereotypes as much as by material constraints.
Only God, my dear,” wrote Yeats blithely, “Could love you for yourself alone/And not your yellow hair.” This quote is meant as a bit of lighthearted verse. But it is an epic tragedy in three lines.
We need to insist on making culture out of our desire: making paintings, novels, plays and films potent and seductive and authentic enough to undermine and overwhelm the Iron Maiden.
It seemed to me, watching, that if you were dextrous enough to gift-wrap an independent-minded amphibian, you could just about manage a condom.
What little girls learn is not the desire for the other, but the desire to be desired.
Women are mere “beauties” in men’s culture so that culture can be kept male. When women in culture show character, they are not desirable, as opposed to the desirable, artless ingenue.
To ask women to become unnaturally thin is to ask them to relinquish their sexuality.
Women are not wrong if they react instinctively – often jealously – against their partner’s interest in porn, since pornography is actually, neurologically, a woman’s destructive rival for her man’s sexual capabilities.
Some women have become far too proscriptive of other women’s pleasures and private arrangements, and the definition of feminism has become ideologically overloaded.
Rape and sexual assault … should be understood not just as a form of forced sex, they should also be understood as as a form of injury to the brain and body, and even as a variant of castration.
Camille Paglia is: ‘the nipple-pierced person’s Phyllis Schlafly who poses as a sexual renegade but is in fact the most dutiful of patriarchal daughters.
Many of the signals that either stoke or diminish female desire have to do with the female brain’s question: Is it safe here?
Peaceful, lawful protest – if it is effective – is innately disruptive of ‘business as usual.’ That is why it is effective.
Obstacles, of course, are developmentally necessary: they teach kids strategy, patience, critical thinking, resilience and resourcefulness.
‘Beauty’ is a currency system like the gold standard. Like any economy, it is determined by politics, and in the modern age in the West is is the last, best belief system that keeps male dominance intact.