Download Beauty and Misogyny: Harmful Cultural Practices in the West by Sheila Jeffreys PDF

By Sheila Jeffreys

Should western attractiveness practices, starting from lipstick to labiaplasty, be incorporated in the United international locations understandings of destructive traditional/cultural practices? via interpreting the function of universal good looks practices in destructive the health and wellbeing of ladies, developing sexual distinction, and implementing lady deference, this ebook argues that they should.

In the Seventies feminists criticized pervasive attractiveness regimes akin to food plan and depilation, yet a few ‘new’ feminists argue that good looks practices aren't any longer oppressive now that ladies can ‘choose’ them. notwithstanding, within the final twenty years the brutality of western good looks practices turns out to became even more serious, requiring the breaking of epidermis, spilling of blood and rearrangement or amputation of physique components. Beauty and Misogyny seeks to make feel of why attractiveness practices are usually not in simple terms simply as continual, yet in lots of methods extra severe. It examines the pervasive use of make-up, the misogyny of favor and high-heeled footwear, and appears on the function of pornography within the production of more and more renowned good looks practices resembling breast implants, genital waxing and surgical alteration of the labia. It appears to be like on the plastic surgery and physique piercing/cutting industries as being sorts of self-mutilation through proxy, during which the surgeons and piercers function proxies to hurt women’s our bodies, and concludes by means of contemplating how a tradition of resistance to those practices may be created.

This crucial paintings will attract scholars and academics of feminist psychology, gender experiences, cultural stories, and feminist sociology at either undergraduate and postgraduate degrees, and to a person with an curiosity in feminism, girls and sweetness, and women’s health.

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Additional info for Beauty and Misogyny: Harmful Cultural Practices in the West

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One impact is that they suffer constant remarks, but there are likely to be further effects, unexamined here, of having to be so clearly and conspicuously women, wearing the uncomfortable stigmata of their subordinate condition while seeking to be effective in government. The Fact Sheet says that harmful cultural practices are, ``consequences of the value placed on women and the girl child by society. They persist in an environment where women and the girl child have unequal access to education, wealth, health and employment'' (UN, 1995, p.

This concept is a useful antidote to the debate on agency versus subordination that I have covered here because it is founded on an understanding of the power of cultural enforcement of practices that harm women and children. For practices that are identi®ed as harmful, ``choice'' is no defence. 27 2 HARMFUL CULTURAL PRACTICES AND WESTERN CULTURE I argue here that beauty practices in western culture should be understood as harmful cultural practices. Western beauty practices such as makeup and breast implant surgery involve different degrees of harm to women.

The damaging health consequences of practices such as female genital mutilation are well documented (Dorkenoo, 1994). The damage that results from harmful practices in the west may not be so immediately clear or severe. However, there is considerable evidence of the damaging health consequences of cosmetic surgery practices such 30 HARMFUL CULTURAL PRACTICES AND WESTERN CULTURE as breast implant surgery (Haiken, 1997) that are common in the west. The psychologically harmful consequences of beauty practices are largely undocumented because such practices have not been considered problematic, but they are likely to be considerable, playing a part in the construction of a subordinate femininity for women.

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