Encourage True Girl Power

by Loolwa Khazzoom • January 10, 2011 • Women and Grrrls

I get pissed that this society not only takes advantage of the vulnerability of girls and young women, but that it celebrates that predatory behavior. It delights in it. How much flesh can you get away with seeing. How manipulative can you be to enable you to cop a feel. High five. High ten. What did you get away with on her body.

You make it a battlefield. You make it dangerous to be female. You make it dangerous to come of age. You make it dangerous to love, to risk, to go for it. We must always be cautious, on guard. And if we say fuck it and risk it anyhow, you blame on us any assaultive behavior that follows.

I want to live in a world where men are looking out for women and girls. I want to live in a world where predatory behavior is not only condemned, but deemed completely uncool and recognized as being hurtful to all of us.

I want to live in a world where a man refuses to participate in a woman’s own self-degredation. I want to live in a world where, when a woman prostrates herself before a man, when she acts out of disempowerment, insecurity, a sense of obligated hypersexuality, that the man will not take advantage of the behavior; but rather, he will take advantage of the opportunity to demonstrate to the woman that she does not have to behave that way, that she can be loved as a whole, powerful being with integrity.

I want to live in world where people stop calling women “girls.” Where female body hair is as accepted as male body hair, where it’s in fact deemed sexy.

I remember being at a falafel stand in Israel half a lifetime ago. When I reached out my arm to take the falafel, the guy behind the counter got totally excited to see armpit hair, and he kept playing with me – about to hand over the falafel, but then moving it back, so that he could see me raise my arms again.

The way he went about it totally pissed me off (partly cute, but mostly power-trippy), but at the same time, it was validating. He said he thought underarm hair was totally sexy on women, and he bemoaned the fact that women shaved, including his girlfriend, whom he wished would not shave. It was one of those awesome life moments where someone is being human, having his own opinion, and is not a carbon copy cookie cutter like almost everyone else on the fucking planet.

I think most men see and look for exactly what they are taught to see. In fact, they stop seeing. Blonde, for example, is not a hair color. It is a commodity. A status symbol. A formula. A mold.

More on the beauty formula in another post.

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About Loolwa

Loolwa KhazzoomLoolwa Khazzoom has worked with leading media outlets, including The New York Times, CNN, Rolling Stone, and ABC News. In addition, she has published two books and has lectured at prestigious venues including Barnard Center for Research on Women, the Simon Wiesenthal Center, and Harvard University. Loolwa is passionate about health, music, dance, multiculturalism, and Judaism.

Holistic Media, Marketing, PR

Loolwa Khazzoom is a a public relations manager specializing in holistic media, holistic marketing, holistic public relations, and holistic promotions. Her services include branding and messaging development, image and communications management, website content development and optimization, social media management, traditional media campaign management, book development, and in-house writing and editing.

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