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Super Fox Sauce: “Nice ass.” Another perspective on feminism, power, and female allure

Maintaining my “bubble butt?” I know what some of you are thinking…how can she write all these amazing blogs about female power/body acceptance and then emphasize the importance of a nice ass? Why? I’ll answer: I believe having a strong body [no matter what it looks like] provides confidence, sexiness and strength. These traits are important to all women. I don’t care if you are a stay-at-home mom or a career woman. Not to mention—in my opinion–the ass is one of the most under-appreciated muscle groups.

During most of my time in my roller derby career (meaning the 4 years I played), my ass was probably the focus of many photos. At the time, I’m pretty sure it was because males were usually seen behind the camera. However, as more female photographers arrived—my ass still haunted photos. This may sound vain—I know. I hate bringing attention to this absurd “ass” topic, but I truly believe those photos emphasized both my female athleticism and aesthetics.

I know there will be some feminists that scoff at this comparison, but I don’t really give a shit. As a feminist myself—I hold my strength, intellect as well as my beauty (including my great ass) as a source of female power. I also think it’s important to appreciate young females for their intelligent minds and powerful bodies. Of course, there is an appropriate difference between praising girls and women, but appreciating the female body is not shameful. In the Renaissance era, it was both provocative and innovative—as well as taboo.

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In my opinion, American culture, religion and pornography have promoted the female body in a shameful perspective. In European film, nudity (men/women) is often shown in family settings, because this is a part of common family dynamics. Nudity is not portrayed as “raunchy” or “dirty,” it’s mundane and commonplace– similar to a banana on the counter– pardon the pun. However, a full-frontal nude scene in an American box-office smash would request the actress’s vagina in peak condition:  tanned, sanitized and groomed to perfection. A perfect example of pornographic preference. This woman would certainly raise some catty eyebrows, female finger-wagging, and Maxim magazine model opportunities.

Throughout history, women’s sexual power has been exploited and shamed. Ironically, many women (not only men) are the ones to point out another’s “sluttiness.”  “She shouldn’t be wearing that.” “She’s too old to wear that.” “She clearly has no respect for herself.” However, [playing the devil’s advocate] maybe this woman embraces her allure and persuasive super-powers over any sex that finds them attractive. Just think about it. When was the last time you wore something sexy to persuade your partner or batted your eyelashes to avoid a speeding ticket? If you say “never” –you’re lying.

After I read the previous paragraph to my beautiful “dyke” (even though I’m not a fan of this word–she finds it powerful) girlfriend (Susan), she stated, “I have never flirted to get something I wanted or batted my lashes.” “What does that even mean?” she said.  I’m only going to say this once—ask anyone who knows Susan, and they will giggle at her response. Susan naturally oozes sexual energy. She’s magnetic, beautiful and compassionate. Both women and men pass her their number because they can’t tell whether she’s just friendly or physically attracted to them.

Many women don’t have to consciously flirt, it’s innately present– similar to the tempting smell that radiates from pumpkin pie.  In other words, I don’t give a shit how progressive you might be regarding female behavior, every woman [at some point in their life] has used their female charm to their advantage. It doesn’t matter what gender receives the attention. That’s right ladies, this applies to all you “dykes” out there too. I find it refreshing, liberating and powerful to showcase the curves as well as the intellect. Repeat ladies: “I treasure my intelligence and magnetism.”

I’ve had several derby teammates who work in an academic/professional setting, and they have told me several times that they prefer to not wear booty shorts during roller derby bouts. This also applies to sexy outfits during happy hour. After all, they could run into one of their students or clients! Of course I respect their preference. I just think it is ridiculous they feel they must follow some sort of social rule to maintain student and faculty respect. At first, I commended this way of thinking. However, as time went on, I thought about why their integrity would be damaged by displaying their female allure?

Showing up to lecture rocking a mini-skirt with your boobs riding shot-gun beside your collar bone is definitely out of line. This is clearly an inappropriate platform to rock your sexiness. However, why do I have to modify my choice of dress because this judgmental asshat’s comments are applauded by other self-righteous douches?

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If it’s bright and fun—I’m wearing it. Of course, I work at a salon—so it’s a different label people usually attach to my style.

An extreme, morbid version of this situation might be a fundamental Muslim woman completely covering her entire face, hair and body (resembling some type of Gothic cult member) to ensure men are not tempted to fall prey to their sexual prowess. These women live in terror of being raped, shunned, tortured [even disfigured from acid being thrown on their face.] A woman in this culture would be punished and accused of being a whore– all at the cost of some male’s desire.

Again, women are somehow made into a disobedient “Eve” for tempting the male species with their “apple,” curves and [heaven-forbid] dark, shiny hair. Scandalous! Maybe males should be taught how to control their sexual cravings and learn about their biological wiring. It’s a similar comparison to a woman being raped because she wore something provocative. This disregards any male accountability for self-will or  uncontrollable sexual impulses.

office-space-meme.pngCan you imagine if a man was judged or discredited for wearing a fitted suit that somewhat outlined the shape of his large penis? (ex: “Bob is wearing provocative outfits and he’s attracting a lot of female attention in the office. It makes him looks trashy and unprofessional.”) That would never happen, and he might even be praised and possibly “high-fived” for his male awesomeness.

Speaking of “awesomeness,” I’d like to tell you a story about an intelligent, stunning, young woman (Anna) who runs a science lab at a local university. She has blown-out long hair, petite frame and feet [often heard by clacking her stylish heels on a sterile floor.]  She’s a combination of Jane Goodwin and Amy Adams. On my first meeting, I tried to guess her major—a game I’m really good at: “Marketing? Public relations? Fashion merchandising? I know! Business management?”

Her sheepish smile indicated I was wrong, “I’m actually getting my master’s in biology.” I was dumbfounded. Clearly she did not receive the dress code requirements: faded Levi’s, Chacos, non-toxic hairspray and wind-resistant flannel. I know, I should be an FBI profiler.  Clearly, I’m the judgmental douche now. But seriously, she broke every stereotype that was implanted in my brain about scientific, female geniuses. Yes, unlike most sociologists, I admit I fall prey to labeling and societal stereotypes.

Recently, Anna scheduled her yearly trim (the only guideline that fit into the “biologist” mold) and proceeded to tell me she was being featured in a publication manual for the biology department. I replied, “That’s awesome! Good for you– representing female brainiacs.” Unfortunately, Anna’s descriptive story leading to the photographer’s editing preferences took a shitty, judgmental turn. She said he requested she remove her makeup, wear the standard white coat (downplay her sorority appearance,) stand in the background (take emphasis off her leadership) and blend in with her students (devaluing any kind academic credit.)

I was amazed hearing about the photographer’s behavior. Even in a diverse, academic setting, the photographer made clear she was too attractive for the science department.  I asked her, “Did you say anything? What the kind of bullshit is that?!You should receive the same respect as any other faculty members.” She said she was shocked at the request. She wasn’t sure how to respond and simply convinced herself she was following simple editing directions. After all, he was a professional—a narrow-minded professional, that is. Next time I told her to call this derby girl for back-up.

 

In conclusion, I’m shouting out props towards my beautiful biologist friend and throwing up my middle finger to the societal norms of female provocativeness. As Johnny states from Dirty Dancing, “No one puts baby in the corner.”  In fact, this “baby” is putting on her tiny red dress finding a dance floor, wearing lipstick and showcasing her female silhouette until it’s sweaty and exhausted. For all you out there judging me, my intelligence level or glorious ass—deal with it.

 

 

 

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