I have tried to write this piece five times now. It was triggered by this clip…
Two major networks have refused to run it. They have not given any real reason.
I wanted to write about women, about their power, how men run from this power like a city of Japanese businessmen from Godzilla.
But I couldn’t find the words.
I wanted to write about how an advert like the one below is acceptable…
And how one that shows women empowering themselves, that shows women with breasts and thighs and bellies; that shows women breast feeding, laughing and not at any point defined through the eyes of an ogling man reducing them to purely an object of sexual desire is not acceptable.
Women are only to be shown through the filter of man’s eyes. That’s the message that the media forces upon us.
I wanted to write about how I am surrounded by flawed women.
Circled by their stretch marked bellies and pock marked skin; their sagging breasts and voluminous thighs, frayed hair, bagged eyes, torn labia’s, dried lips, skinny buttocks, ‘man’ knees, thick fingers, small nipples, discoloured eyes and the myriad other supposed imperfections they labour under.
And I wanted to say that it was all bullshit and that I loved every single square fucking inch of them.
If I could have found the words, I would have said how every single one of these women were beautiful. More importantly, how every single one of these women are powerful. Their imperfections are powerful. Their flaws are powerful. Because that’s what a woman is.
I would have waxed lyrical on our need to re-appropriate words such as ‘flawed’ and ‘imperfect’ and realize that they are not demarcations of weakness or failure. That they should be reinterpreted as ‘details’ or ‘textures’; facets of our lives to be kissed and licked and caressed, honoured and respected. I would have gone on to say that we’d be awfully dull without them and that I love the ‘details’ of all my friends, all my lovers, past and present.
I would have shared how many of them have been spurned by men because of these ‘details’ and that I will never understand this.
That I, firstly, will never understand the ability of a human, an intrinsically imperfect creature to ever demand perfection from another. And that I will never understand why one human would not want to dirty themselves in the imperfection of another, breathe it all in and bury your face, your body and your heart within them.
If I could have, I would have shared that, as a man, if you truly allow yourself to experience a woman, any woman, you will feel it.
That it’s like standing at the edge of the ocean and taking it in; it is vast, it is ageless, you are a part of it, but you are a speck next to it. You yearn to be in it, to be a part of it and even though you know you never fully can, you are grateful for its touch, it’s presence and those brief moments of its acceptance.
I would have offered that men are terrified of this power. Not all men. Just those in seats of power it seems. I would have offered some form of apology as a representative of the species, before withdrawing it, knowing that my membership with them is tenuous at best.
I would have written a lot of things. About labeling, about how women I love might be categorized as this or that due to their bodies, about people who look to label beauty instead of seeing this beauty itself, about seeing others as sexual beings is so much more than objectifying them, about how I hate that saying such things sounds twee as they shouldn’t have to be said at all.
I’m not a feminist. I would say that too. I don’t really know what the term means and I don’t feel I have the right to define it purely for my own usage.
But I do love women. I most definitely would have written that.
Their sexuality, their minds, their mystery, their power, their softness, their hardness, their strength, their bravery, their tears, their emotional breadth, their physicality, their warmth, their humour, their fire…
And that’s where the problem lies in writing something like this.
For all my clumsy words, I have barely touched on what I wanted to. You can encapsulate a lot with words.
Nothing can encapsulate ‘woman’.
Which, of course, doesn’t mean we stop trying.
Forget my useless and stumbling words.
Use your own.
Write this article for me, again and again.
Paint your own picture daily.
Men. Women. Children. Husbands. Wives. Fathers. Grand parents.
Create the diversity our media won’t allow us.
Through your stories. Through your loved ones.