So just last Saturday, I blogged about wrestling with how to live out feminist values in the real world. Then yesterday, Amanda Hess @ The Sexist wrote about what she calls “feminist cognitive dissonance,” or the fact that
a simple awareness of feminist issues can’t magically negate the power of the culture in which we live. Here, validation is still dispensed based on how well you conform to the ideal.
Some of us desire that validation more than others, or need to conform in some places in order to, say, keep our jobs in order to pay rent — while completely disregarding them in others (say in the privacy of our own bedrooms). Complicated shit.
Hess quotes from a piece on the difficulty of giving good sex advice in a fucked up culture.
Nagoski [Hess writes] notes that “most of the time it takes more than normalizing statistics to liberate someone from the burden of fear.” In other words, simple awareness that our cultural ideal has been hoodwinking women into hating ourselves isn’t enough to make us stop. “What can an educator provide? Sadly, most often it’s advice about how to conform more to the cultural lie. Which makes me feel like a fraud,” she writes. “It’s like trying to send the message that weight doesn’t matter, and then giving dieting tips.”
You can check out the rest of the post at The Sexist under the title of Female Orgasms, Skinny Girls, and Feminist Cognitive Dissonance.