This past weekend, Teen Vogue was trending on Twitter after publishing a piece criticizing President-Elect Donald Trump. A lot of the response was positive, but then there were positive responses dripping in backhanded compliments: people expressed utter and complete shock that a magazine marketed toward teen girls and young adult women was producing intelligent political commentary.
As if it’s surprising that teen girls and young adult women can be interested in reading about politics and lipstick in the same place. Not only is this a ridiculous assumption, it’s alsoridiculous for anyone to believe that Teen Vogue is the first publication to do this. Magazines like Sassy were cutting edge for this very reason back in the ’90s, and in the digital realm, Rookie Mag and us at Gurl.com have provided content that focuses on beauty, relationships, sexuality, and politics… because all of those things have some level of importance to us. Hell, even Cosmopolitan was cutting edge at its inception, and in recent years it has become common to see a piece about important political issues right next to a post on style tips.
Time Magazine: Ha ha. We’ll give him devil horns. It’ll be subversive.
Teen Vogue: THIS IS NOT A TIME FOR SUBTLETY. THIS COUNTRY IS ON FIRE. https://t.co/2FMuwe00A1
— James Lucas Jones (@jameslucasjones) December 10, 2016
Wow, it’s almost as if girls/women/femmes are a multifaceted people or something. Imagine that!
Women should not be held captive to tired stereotypes and gendered assumptions, but we are, all the time, every damn day. This type of ideology is so insidious that even women start buying into it just like men do. But let’s set the record straight and dispel some of the BS, shall we? Here are eight of the most “shocking” things that girls can do.
Caring About Politics And Beauty At The Same TimeLike I said in the intro, women are perfectly capable of being incredibly passionate about politics, marginalized people, and oppression...and know what good matte liquid lipsticks are out there at the same time. These things do not cancel each other out. This is especially true given the fact that seemingly frivolous topics like fashion and beauty are also inherently political. Beauty standards are political. How our clothes are made is political. EVERYTHING IS POLITICAL. Clueless
They Can Act Rational During That Time Of The MonthIt does us no favors to act like the hormones for anyone with a vagina can't go haywire around their period, but the fact that people actually assume--IN THE 21ST CENTURY--that folks aren't to be trusted to make rational, reasonable decisions with a tampon up their vagina is complete madness. Periods don't make people less reliable for positions of power either, by the way. Carrie
Wearing Makeup Without Thinking About MenI actually think it's hilarious that men think that women only wear makeup for their approval. Not only is this heterosexist AF, it's also incredibly self centered. People wear makeup for all kinds of reasons. And yes, some people explicitly wear it to seem more appealing to men. But for the most part, they're doing it so they feel good about themselves, no men in mind. Is that extra highlight to make those cheeks pop really for some boyfriend? LOL, naw. Who Are You Polly Maggoo
Having Multiple Hookup Partners Without Getting Super Emotionally AttachedI don't know who started the BS idea that women somehow have some gene that makes them a zillion times more sensitive to sexual encounters than their male counterparts, but I can tell you right now that it's a load of BS. There are loads of women out there who happily have multiple sexual partners without getting super clingy. WOW, AMAZING! No, not really, it just doesn't fit into everyone's gendered stereotype of women in sexual relationships. One's response to sex or intimacy isn't purely based on gender, it's based on all kinds of things like socialization and plain ol' emotional depth. The To Do List
Be Passionate And Emotional Without Being A Bitch Or A CrybabyThis is cliche AF, but it's still (unfortunately) relevant: Men can be impassioned, loud, and forceful and be seen as totally rational and in control. But oh God, let a woman raise her voice or say anything with an iota of power and it's reduced to being emotional at best or a massive bitch at worst. So let's just make this as clear as possible, right here, right now: your words shouldn't be dismissed just because there's force behind them. A voice that is quivering with emotion shouldn't be sniffed at, and a voice that is firm and steady shouldn't be written off as mean. Dear White People
Getting Dolled Up Without Wanting Dudes To Slobber All Over ThemJust like the makeup bit, women's outfits are not made with only male consumption in mind. Period. It drives me crazy when I see dudes talk about how ridiculous it is for girls to only dance with other girls at clubs when they're "dressed like that." The sense of entitlement is embarrassing and dangerous. Misfits
Acknowledge How Effed Up Beauty Standards Are...But Still Succumb To ThemYes, I know that it is gendered AF for me to be expected to shave. But I still shave sometimes. Wow, it's almost as if it's hard to undo decades of socialization! You can acknowledge something is effed up and still do it, just don't force it on others! Sarah Wintner
Like A Male Musician Without It Just Being ABout LooksI...literally saw a guy on Twitter express shock that a woman he knew liked the rapper J Cole and not just because he was handsome. Um, we are able to separate an artist's looks from their music. If it's a package deal, great, but to assume that a woman only enjoys a certain artist for aesthetics alone is so condescending. YouTube
What other sexist assumptions do women have to deal with? Tell us in the comments.